Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A new proposal by the Bush/Cheney Administration would gut the law that protects polar bears, wolves and other endangered species

CREDO Action from Working Assets is proud to bring you an urgent alert from our friends at Defenders of Wildlife.

The Bush administration has announced a new proposal that would gut the Endangered Species Act — one of America's most important environmental laws. Now Defenders of Wildlife needs our help to preserve the vital checks and balances that protect our polar bears, wolves and other imperiled animals.

I urge you to read the message below from Defenders of Wildlife's president, Rodger Schlickeisen, and take action today to save our endangered species.

Michael Kieschnick
President, CREDO Mobile
Emergency Action
A new proposal by the Bush/Cheney Administration would gut the law that protects polar bears, wolves and other endangered species.
Urge your Representative and Senators to help stop the Bush/Cheney plan to gut the Endangered Species Act.
Dear Wildlife Supporter,
With less than 160 days left in power, the Bush/Cheney Administration has launched an unprecedented backdoor assault on America's endangered species!
Don't let them get away with it. Urge your Representative and Senators to do everything in their power to stop the Bush/Cheney Administration's eleventh-hour assault on America's wildlife.
For more than 30 years, the Endangered Species Act has protected wildlife at risk of extinction. Now the Bush/Cheney Administration wants to eliminate vital checks and balances that are crucial to protect our polar bears, wolves and other imperiled wildlife.
Please help protect endangered animals from the Bush/Cheney Administration's attack. Take action now.
Announced earlier this week, the Bush/Cheney proposal would severely limit scientific review by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service of projects that could harm imperiled wildlife. And it would explicitly limit the ability of these expert agencies to consider how greenhouse gas emissions from such projects could impact polar bears, wolverines and other wildlife that may go extinct due to global warming.
Instead, agencies proposing projects such as highways, dams, mines, oil or gas drilling and virtually any other activity would be allowed to decide for themselves whether a project is likely to impact any of the nearly 1,400 species currently protected by the Endangered Species Act — without the crucial independent review now provided by scientific experts at the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Many of these agencies do not even have biologists or other qualified staff to make such a determination.
Even worse, the new regulations would impose a brief 60-day review period for agencies, making it even less likely that anyone involved in the process will have the time or expertise to fully evaluate the potential harmful effects of a given project on sensitive wildlife or the habitat it needs to survive.
Help stop the Bush/Cheney Administration's assault on protections for our endangered species. Please take action now.
There are less than 160 days left in the Bush/Cheney Administration — and even less time for your Members of Congress to act. Please take action now to help stop the Bush/Cheney Administration's last-minute attempt to eliminate effective protections for the wildlife that you and I love.
Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife

P.S. Two years ago, Defenders of Wildlife led the fight that stopped Congressional legislation that would have gutted the Endangered Species Act. Now we need your help to stop the Bush Administration from trying to do the same thing. Please take action now!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coal-fired plant fires up people statewide

The 600 MG coal fired power plant in Hempstead County near Texarkana that Arkansas' Public Service Commission has approved, but which has not passed into total approved status by the state's Dept of Environmental Quality (DEQ) yet, must be stopped from being constructed or we will see this state sink deeper into air pollution degradation, and therefore, health degradation. Below are some links where there is both info and a video trailer, some attached flyers, etc. The video was shown here a few weeks ago at the Fayetteville Public Library and is excellent. We hope to get some additional copies available for more showings here and in other towns.
A small group of activists have met a couple of times since the video showing in order to organize efforts to both alert and educate people of the consequences of burning yet more coal for power. The Hempstead plant and another already approved near Oceola, AR will produce enough carbon dioxide pollution to raise Arkansas' CO2 levels by 16% according to calculations done by organizers in this grassroot effort. CO2 is not classified as an air contaminant in Arkansas so DEQ is acting like its hands are tied,
BUT has still not given final approval. Gov. Beebe is really holding the big ace in stopping this plant and he's saying he's waiting on his Global Warming Commission's report (as if they will say, " Geezz, no CO2 really isn't causing global warming!").
To make matters worse for us in our corner of the state (we already have a plant at Gentry just up the road), there's a plant planned near Poteau, OK and it's smoke will reach us according to folks checking wind patterns. This means sounding alarm of disapproval in OK as well.

Secchi Day at Beaver Lake has activities for whole family

Rain Barrel Workshops, Fun for Kids, Boat Rides, Lunch at Beaver Lake on Saturday

Learn to build a rain barrel, take a pontoon boat ride, enjoy lunch, and bring your kids to enjoy activities during Secchi Day on Beaver Lake from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Grand Shelter at Prairie Creek on Beaver Lake. Boat rides are at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and Rain Barrel Workshops will be held at 10, 11, and noon. The KIDS TENT will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Secchi Day is sponsored by Beaver Water District, Audubon Arkansas and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake. For information and directions, visit or call 717-3807.

Amy L. Wilson, Director of Public Affairs
Beaver Water District, P.O. Box 400, Lowell, AR 72745; 479-756-3651

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oil-drilling madness continues to dominate political thinking

The Drill of It All
Did you know that oil companies are already sitting on 68 million acres of leases that they aren't even drilling? Which kind of makes you wonder: Why are Big Oil and its allies suddenly desperate to get their hands on the last few places that are still protected -- our natural treasures, wildlife refuges, and pristine coastlines? They wouldn't use the concerns caused by high gas prices as an excuse to grab it ALL, would they?

Check out our map showing how much of our country Big Oil has already got and spread the word by forwarding it to friends who agree: Enough is enough.

So far, one woman has stood up to Big Oil. Let's thank Speaker Pelosi for keeping a cool head and holding out for real solutions.

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Make Your Travel Matter
Sierra Club founder John Muir believed deeply that conservation begins with experiencing nature's grandeur firsthand, and that's still the guiding principle of Sierra Club Outings. Sure, you could spend another vacation in a high-rise at an overcrowded beach. Or, you could study retreating glaciers from your kayak in remote eastern Greenland, maintain hiking trails in Puerto Rico, or support grassroots environmental efforts in Costa Rica.

Travel with us, and you'll have much more than a vacation. We've just launched our 2009 lineup of international trips, plus a few select domestic itineraries.

Our most popular trips fill up quickly, so have a look now and discover your next life-changing experience.

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The Thirty Percent Solution
Homes and other buildings are America's largest consumers of energy and a major contributor to global warming. That's why the Sierra Club's Cool Cities Campaign is joining with local governments, businesses, and energy-efficiency advocates to support a bold new proposal to adopt "green" building codes for new homes: the Thirty Percent Solution.

Next month, building-code officials from around the country will meet in Minneapolis to vote on whether to strengthen building-code energy-efficiency standards in new homes by 30 percent. By 2030, that would save an estimated 8 quadrillion BTUs of energy and $88 billion in energy costs; reduce CO2 by 464 million metric tons; and create new clean-energy construction and service jobs in the building trades and energy-efficiency product industries.

Make sure your community will be represented at the meeting -- contact your mayor or county leader today.

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Winds of Change in West Virginia
The residents of the Coal River Valley of West Virginia, with the support of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, are proposing the development of a 440-megawatt wind farm as an economically viable alternative to a planned mountaintop-removal coal-mining operation. If the mountaintop-removal coal-mining proceeds as planned, it will destroy ten square miles of the mountain, pollute waterways, devastate the surrounding communities, and eliminate the vast wind potential the mountain now holds.

Add your signature to the petition asking West Virginia Governor Manchin to protect Coal River Mountain and bring clean energy and green jobs to West Virginia!


Stand Up to Skeptics
The Sierra Club has joined forces with the Natural Resources Defense Council in smacking down global-warming skeptics at a new website called

Take a look at all sides of the argument, recommend your favorite ones, and post comments.

"Staring Down Doomsday"
From Sierra Magazine: High school students from the Bronx hit the Appalachian Trail and face their fears.


Support the No Child Left Inside Act
Tell your Representative to support the No Child Left Inside Act to provide students with quality environmental education.

If we act now, we can ensure more American children become adults ready to face the environmental challenges that lie ahead.

Sierra Club
85 Second St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Monday, August 11, 2008

Waste Management to Dedicate Arkansasʼ First Landfill-Gas-to-Energy Plant


Waste Management to Dedicate Arkansasʼ First Landfill Gas to Energy Plant and
Announce New Partnership with Audubon Arkansas

Senator Blanche Lincoln, Governor Mike Beebe and Congressman Vic Snyder Scheduled to Attend Event

State and local leaders will join Waste Management executives on Tuesday, August 12, 9:30 am at the Two Pine Landfill to officially dedicate Arkansasʼ first and only landfill gas-to-energy plant. This plant is part of Waste Managementʼs sustainable commitment to Arkansas as well as North America, unveiled this past October as part of Waste Managementʼs 2020 plan.
Additionally, Waste Management officials will announce a new first-of-its-kind partnership with Audubon Arkansas.

What: Landfill Gas to Energy Plant Dedication and Announcement of New Partnership with Audubon Arkansas
When: Tuesday, August 12 at 9:30 am
Where: Two Pine Landfill
100 Two Pine Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Who: Senator Blanche Lincoln
Governor Mike Beebe
Congressman Vic Snyder
Waste Management Executives
Arkansas Audubon Director Ken Smith
The Two Pine Landfill gas-to-energy plant is a 4.8 megawatt facility, providing power for approximately 4,500 homes in North Little Rock. Consisting of six large engines, it was constructed in 2006 and recently achieved full generation. The engines are powered by methane gas, which forms in the landfill as a result of the decomposition of waste.
Approximately two years ago, Waste Management and Audubon Arkansas began discussions regarding the development of a wildlife management plan for the Two Pine Landfill. This first-of-its-kind program between Waste Management and Audubon Arkansas has the potential to expand to other Waste Management landfills. At Tuesdayʼs event, Waste Management officials and leaders from Audubon Arkansas will unveil the vision for Two Pine Landfill.
This past April, Waste Management received the stateʼs approval to expand the Two Pine Landfill. In the coming years, Waste Management plans to build an additional landfill gas-to-energy plant in the expanded landfill area.
These two projects are part of the companyʼs environmental sustainability initiative. Waste Management has committed to the following actions by 2020: doubling its waste based energy generation from the equivalent of generating enough energy for one million to two million homes, quadrupling the number of its sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council to 100 as well as set aside 25,000 acres for conservation, nearly tripling the amount of recyclables it manages to 20 million tons; and reducing its vehicle fleet emissions by 15 percent and increasing fuel efficiency by 15 percent.
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.
For more information, visit or

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Monarch butterflies visit World Peace Wetland Prairie to lay eggs on milkweed so that caterpillars can eat and grow

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of monarch butterfly August 10, 2008, on World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Please click on link to ENLARGE tall-green milkweed, Asclepias hirtella, at World Peace Wetland Prairie on August 10, 2008.