Urgent! Protect Local Communities from Unregulated Frac Sand Mining
Unfortunately, Wisconsin's state-level regulations are woefully inadequate to protect public health and sensitive natural resources from serious impacts related to the over 100 frac sand mines that have been developed in our state since 2010.
But local communities have started to rise up, prompting State Senator Tom Tiffany to introduce legislation that attacks Wisconsin's established tradition of local government control. Thanks to hundreds of you who spoke out against SB 349 at the public hearing last October, Senator Tiffany took his horrible bill back to the drawing board.
Unfortunately, Senator Tiffany recently released SB 632, his latest attack on local control to benefit the frac sand industry and a handful of owners of sand deposits over the authority of local governments to regulate and protect the public health, air, water and safety of their residents. Sen. Tiffany’s legislation establishes broad, sweeping limits on local governments facing threats to air and water from frac sand mining.
While SB 632 is a scaled down version of SB 349, it still ties the hands of local governments by prohibiting local governments from changing or even enforcing rules for operating frac sand mines even if they're found to be "non-conforming" or violating the rules! It also prohibits local governments from doing anything to stop a frac sand operation on lands registered as having a sand deposit. Most troublingly, SB 632 also undermines the 2012 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision upholding the right of local governments to regulate or even prohibit a frac sand mine proposal if needed. Help us keep up the pressure on to protect local sand mining regulation by urging your legislators to oppose SB 632 today.
After you urge your legislators to oppose SB 632, make plans to to attend the joint "public" hearing of the Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining and Revenue and the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining at 12:00 NOON, Monday March 3 in Room 412 East of the WI State Capitol to register against this bill (it only takes a minute to fill out a hearing slip) and if you have time, testify against yet another horrible, fast-tracked bill! Click here to read our statement on SB 632
Take Action to Protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp & Other Invasives
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed its Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study
(GLMRIS), analyzing the threat of 39 invasive species between the Great Lakes and their tributaries, and the possible actions that can be taken to protect our waterways from being devastated by these aquatic invasive species.
Take Action Now to Protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp!
The Great Lakes are a national treasure, and support a $7 billion fishing industry, $16 billion boating industry, and 1.5 million jobs. The introduction of Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species puts the well-being of our communities, wildlife, and waters at risk.
The Chicago Waterways System, which feeds into Lake Michigan, has been identified as the most likely route for the carp to enter the Great Lakes. The study leaves no doubt that the most effective way to stop invasive species from wreaking environmental and economic harm is through the construction of a physical barrier.
Take Action April 3 to Stop the Alberta Clipper Tar Sands Expansion
Canadian pipeline company Enbridge is proposing to double the capacity of the Alberta Clipper pipeline that runs across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to transport 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day, enough to rival Keystone XL. Approving this expansion would open the door to oil shipping on Lake Superior and increase the flow of tar sands throughout the entire Great Lakes region. The movement against tar sands -- one of the dirtiest sources of fuel in the world -- has reached a fever pitch in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. Enbridge's proposed Alberta Clipper pipeline expansion is the next piece of this puzzle.
Join us April 3 as we stand up to protect the Great Lakes region by saying no to the proposed Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline expansion. We need all hands on deck to send an overwhelming message: our lakes, rivers, and climate are too valuable to sacrifice in the name of corporate profits. After our 1pm rally, we'll march together to the final public hearing on Alberta Clipper at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Our friends in Minnesota are depending on Wisconsinites to testify at this hearing and help them make the case that the climate change and water impacts of expanding Clipper vastly outweigh any perceived benefits! If you don't want to testify, help us pack the audience. Our numbers are powerful. Tell your friends, sign up to attend on the official Alberta Clipper rally website or on the Facebook event page today, and email Elizabeth Ward for more information (coming soon) about catching the bus from Wisconsin to the rally and hearing!
Take Action to Prevent Another Raw Trade Deal Today
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a devastating trade policy that would cost Wisconsin jobs and lower working conditions and environmental standards worldwide, is being rammed through Congress in an alarming way. Last week, fast track authority for the TPP was introduced. Fast track limits legislative review and debate, requiring Congress to vote the deal up or down without amendments. Once approved, the TPP would actually require changes in local law where it conflicts with the terms of the agreement.
Like other free trade agreements before this one, the Sierra Club is concerned that US citizens have been kept in the dark while its details have been negotiated for years in secret by and for the world’s largest corporations. In twenty years NAFTA has cost American workers 700,000 jobs. How many jobs are we going to lose with the Trans-Pacific Partnership? The Sierra Club is also troubled by the TPP’s potential to undermine state and federal environmental protections. Similar provisions in previous agreements have already led to a race to the bottom that has resulted in water contamination, habitat destruction, and loss of biodiversity for participating countries. Finally, we have acute concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement’s potential to fuel destructive frac sand mining and fracking by speeding up exports of US natural gas to TPP countries with no Department of Energy review or assessment of the environmental or economic implications.
Since 2010, negotiations have been taking place for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a huge, NAFTA-style deal involving the United States and the governments of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Negotiations are being conducted in secret, with little opportunity for citizens to see what is being proposed and agreed to. Everything from labor standards, food safety, environmental standards and human rights will be rolled back and dismantled if the TPP passes. The public deserves the necessary time to debate and fully understand the ramifications of this massive trade deal. Click here to send a letter to your member of Congress. Tell them to get TPP off fast track today.
Urge Legislators to Support Clean Energy for Wisconsin!
|Sign the petition & help us reach our 5,000 signature goal this summer!
Wisconsin’s job creation rank continues to slip as we send over $12.5 billion out of state to import fossil fuels every year. We have a great chance to kickstart our economy by using assets that exist in our state right now to create high-tech renewable energy jobs. All that is missing is the political will to grasp the future. By investing in clean energy, Wisconsin will be far better positioned to compete in the 21st Century economy.
Wisconsin’s 10% Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) will be met by all of our utilities by 2015. New goals are needed now to ensure continued renewable energy development that will create jobs, protect our health and environment, and keep more of our money in Wisconsin. We cannot afford to fall behind as clean energy companies chase states with better policies! Sign our petition urging your state legislators to protect our environment and create jobs by expanding renewable electricity standards, improving net metering, and allowing clean energy choice today!
Clean Energy Creates Jobs! Wisconsin already employs over 1,600 in the solar industry and another 2-3,000 in the wind industry. Investing in clean energy would stimulate economic development, provide revenue for rural communities, and create much-need jobs in a variety of areas, from manufacturing to research to installation and maintenance positions.
Wisconsin can't afford to fall behind in the clean energy race! According to the American Wind Energy Association, Wisconsin had only 648 MW of wind installed by the end of 2012, as compared to 988 MW in Michigan, 1,543 MW in Indiana, 3,568 MW in Illinois, 5,133 MW in Iowa, and 2,987 MW in Minnesota. As we look around to neighboring states, we are left wondering, why isn’t Wisconsin open for clean energy business?
Clean Air Protects our Environment! Burning coal is the top contributor to climate change, and Mercury from coal-fired power plants has led to fish consumption advisories for every lake and river in Wisconsin. Clean energy provides an emission-free alternative to coal.
Clean Energy Protects our Health! Soot and smog from coal-fired power plants have been linked to asthma, heart attacks, and deaths. In contrast, no peer-reviewed studies have found any negative health effects of wind energy, or evidence of ‘wind turbine syndrome.’
Sign our petition urging your state legislators to protect our environment and create jobs by expanding renewable electricity standards, improving net metering, and allowing clean energy choice today!
Visit the JMC Legislative Tracker
Learn about the John Muir Chapter's positions on current Wisconsin legislation that affects YOU, right here in Wisconsin. Find out more by visiting Legislative Tracker, then Take Action by contacting your elected officials today!
Take Action on National Conservation Issues
Click Here to take action on federal legislation related to clean energy and global warming, protecting forests and other wild lands, protecting threatened and endangered species, and more through the Sierra Club action page.