April 23, 2008

THIS EARTH DAY “WE CAN DO IT”, Says Sierra Club

Sierra Club Highlights Local Green Champions to Show How we Can Quickly Build a Clean Energy Economy

April 22, 2008 Ferndale, MI – The Sierra Club celebrated Earth Day today by highlighting several local examples of Green leadership at a press conference at the Woodward Avenue Brewers, a Ferndale business that has changed a number of its practices to become more environmentally friendly. The press conference kicked off a week long volunteer effort to give out 1,000 energy-saving compact florescent light bulbs and energy savings tips around Oakland County.

“This Earth Day, we want to show people what their neighbors, local businesses and governments are already achieving in moving towards a Clean Energy economy - and persuade them this is not a pie-in-the-sky, generation-from-now possibility, but these are changes and opportunities that could and should be seized now,” said Tiffany Hartung, Oakland County Sierra Club Organizer.

One local example the Sierra Club pointed to was the city of Ferndale itself. As a Cool City, the City of Ferndale has been taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Since taking the Cool Cities pledge, Ferndale has formed an Environmental Impact Committee to oversee and give input on environmental policies that the city passes. The city has adopted energy-efficiency policies such as switching over to energy efficient street lighting, requiring Energy Star purchases and requiring green building standards for new buildings. The city also adopted a policy to purchase hybrid vehicles for the city's fleet, and approved policies for transit and land-use improvements that will make alternative transit more of a reality. The city recently added new bike lanes to several of its roads.

One of the speakers was Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey, “The people of Ferndale join the Sierra Club in a clarion call to protect and preserve the environment of our planet and stop the wastefulness and destruction that grows more serious every day.”

“Ferndale is taking some big steps to reduce its contribution to climate change and we wanted to share their examples with its neighboring communities here in the Detroit Metro area,” continued Hartung.

The event was held at the Woodward Avenue Brewers in Ferndale. Organizers say they chose the venue because the brew pub has implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices, such as changing out the lights to more energy efficient CFLs, reusing building material in the construction of the building and it’s sister businesses, using reusable condiment containers and having it’s spent brewery grains picked up to be used as feed for a local bison farm.

“This Earth Day, we can make this switch. We can move beyond oil, coal and the other polluting fuels of the past and instead move into a clean energy economy that creates opportunities and

jobs immediately,” said Hartung. “American ingenuity and innovation can lead the way when it comes to clean energy technologies and fighting global warming. If we can have one industrial revolution – why can’t there be another?”

Learn more about Sierra Club’s Earth Day activities nationwide at www.sierraclub.org/earthday

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April 22, 2008

Thousands of Feet Point Lansing toward Smaller Carbon Footprint


 Earth Day event carpets Capitol in calls to stop CO2, dirty coal plants


LANSING – A massive 150-foot-long petition painted with thousands of footprints covered a corner of the State Capitol today during an Earth Day rally that called on Lansing to walk away from dirty coal plants and carbon dioxide, and invest in clean energy instead.

On Earth Day, the citizens of Michigan are rolling out the welcome mat for a clean energy future and sending Lansing the signal that we cannot go backwards with dirty coal plants,” Progress Michigan Executive Director Dan Farough said. “At a time when we must do everything in our power to protect our Great Lakes and reduce carbon dioxide, there are some in Lansing who want to build more dirty coal plants and put our future at risk. We need a change, we need more clean renewable energy and we need to protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.”

The citizens’ watchdog groups that form the Clean Energy Now coalition repeated their calls for Gov. Jennifer Granholm to sign an executive order to significantly curtail carbon dioxide emissions in Michigan. Clean Energy Now has collected thousands of signatures from citizens urging the governor to order the government to make carbon dioxide a factor in whether the state approves permits for future proposed dirty coal plants.

Today, the carpet that was rolled out on the Capitol steps was filled with thousands of footprints meant to symbolize the number of petition signatures that have already been gathered.
“We want to show the governor that the people of Michigan want less carbon dioxide, no new coal plants and a cleaner future for our children,” Michigan Clean Water Action’s Program Coordinator Becky Jo Farrington said. “On Earth Day, Michigan should send the signal that we put people and our Great Lakes before Big Coal and polluters.”

Sierra Club Executive Director Anne Woiwode said: “The people of Michigan are warning those in Lansing who want to go backward that we cannot afford to build new dirty coal plants that put our entire future at risk. We urge all our leaders to put Michigan jobs, Michigan’s Great Lakes and Michigan’s future first. We must change course, say no to dirty coal plants and invest in clean renewable energy.”

“Global warming is the most significant environmental and humanitarian emergency that our planet has ever faced and it’s already putting our precious Great Lakes at risk,” Farrington said. “More dirty coal plants mean more greenhouse gases that threaten our citizens and our economy. We should turn away from more global warming coal-fired power plants and turn our state in the direction of clean, renewable energy.”

Terry Miller of Lone Tree Council, a community based group fighting more coal plants in
Midland said: “We call on Gov. Granholm to join the citizens of Michigan in fighting global warming, reducing carbon dioxide and protecting our Great Lakes. She has the people on her side, she should act now to hold Big Coal accountable and she should make sure our Great State leads the way in clean renewable energy, not outdated and dangerous coal.”

Early in 2007, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius invoked a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in directing the state’s environmental agency to consider the negative impact of global warming CO2 emissions in air quality permit decisions for coal-burning power plants. The action was the first time a Governor had invoked a Supreme Court ruling to crack down on CO2 pollution and comes as 59 other coal plants have been turned down or halted across country.

While other states are turning away from coal-burning, Michigan faces the construction of up to seven coal-fired plants that will unleash dangerous greenhouse gases.

Clean Energy Now coalition has also unveiled a ratepayer protection plan that aims to protect consumers from having to absorb the costs of bad, risky investments in more coal. Instead the coalition urges state leaders to turn in the direction of cutting-edge renewable energy and efficiency and bring these rapidly growing industries to Michigan.

To sign the petition, go to www.michigancleanenergynow.com.

Sierra Club Highlights Local Green Champions to Show How we Can Quickly Build a Clean Energy Economy


THIS EARTH DAY “WE CAN DO IT”, Says Sierra Club


April 22, 2008 Ferndale, MI – The Sierra Club celebrated Earth Day today by highlighting several local examples of Green leadership at a press conference at the Woodward Avenue Brewers, a Ferndale business that has changed a number of its practices to become more environmentally friendly. The press conference kicked off a week long volunteer effort to give out 1,000 energy-saving compact florescent light bulbs and energy savings tips around Oakland County.

“This Earth Day, we want to show people what their neighbors, local businesses and governments are already achieving in moving towards a Clean Energy economy - and persuade them this is not a pie-in-the-sky, generation-from-now possibility, but these are changes and opportunities that could and should be seized now,” said Tiffany Hartung, Oakland County Sierra Club Organizer.

One local example the Sierra Club pointed to was the city of Ferndale itself. As a Cool City, the City of Ferndale has been taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Since taking the Cool Cities pledge, Ferndale has formed an Environmental Impact Committee to oversee and give input on environmental policies that the city passes. The city has adopted energy-efficiency policies such as switching over to energy efficient street lighting, requiring Energy Star purchases and requiring green building standards for new buildings. The city also adopted a policy to purchase hybrid vehicles for the city's fleet, and approved policies for transit and land-use improvements that will make alternative transit more of a reality. The city recently added new bike lanes to several of its roads.

One of the speakers was Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey, “The people of Ferndale join the Sierra Club in a clarion call to protect and preserve the environment of our planet and stop the wastefulness and destruction that grows more serious every day.”

“Ferndale is taking some big steps to reduce its contribution to climate change and we wanted to share their examples with its neighboring communities here in the Detroit Metro area,” continued Hartung.
The event was held at the Woodward Avenue Brewers in Ferndale. Organizers say they chose the venue because the brew pub has implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices, such as changing out the lights to more energy efficient CFLs, reusing building material in the construction of the building and it’s sister businesses, using reusable condiment containers and having it’s spent brewery grains picked up to be used as feed for a local bison farm.

“This Earth Day, we can make this switch. We can move beyond oil, coal and the other polluting fuels of the past and instead move into a clean energy economy that creates opportunities and
jobs immediately,” said Hartung. “American ingenuity and innovation can lead the way when it comes to clean energy technologies and fighting global warming. If we can have one industrial revolution – why can’t there be another?”


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