Nov 9, 2018

USA: Fight Fires, Floods, Keystone XL, and other Climate Threats

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---- Forwarded message ---
From: RL Miller <>
Date: Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 10:43 AM
Subject: Fire wasn't the email I was going to write

Climate Hawks Vote

I'm writing this as an evacuee, after a night of emergency alerts, cat naps, and devil winds.
I was going to email you about the good news -- the court order stopping the Keystone XL pipeline. And, really, it's good news! A federal judge has blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline! And on climate grounds, no less!
The court required the State Department to revise the proposed project's environmental impact statement to evaluate the extraordinary changes in oil markets that have occurred since the previous review was completed in 2014; to consider the combined climate impacts of approving both the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines; and to study cultural resources and examine the risks of oil spills. That's huge. The court even included in its order a requirement that the Trump administration explain why, besides "because politics," it did an about-face on Obama's denial of the permit.
Yet it's really hard for me to be excited about Keystone, because of the fire that has destroyed homes in my neighborhood. "Fire season" in Southern California used to run from late September til the first fall rains. Now, fire season begins September 1 and ends August 31, and the rains don't stop it -- if the rains come at all. October rains came and went and now we're burning again. This is our new reality. And it's all interconnected: As long as oil flows through a pipeline in the Dakotas, California will burn. As long as coal is mined in Wyoming, Florida will flood.
Each fire brings a sense of impending doom that can't be conveyed by watching on TV news. And the science tells me it's not going to get any better unless we all join together to defeat the polluters who are literally burning my community. Because after my community, it'll be yours.
That's why we've emerged from Tuesday's election as committed as ever to building long-term political power on behalf of the climate. Please become a sustaining donor with a gift of $5/month, $10/month, or whatever you can afford.
Your fellow climate hawk,

RL Miller
"Climate scientists see alarming new threat to California," Los Angeles Times

Nov 8, 2018

USA: Event 11/8 nationwide emergency rallies to defend our democracy from Donald Trump

----- Forwarded message ----
From: Friends of the Earth <>
Date: Wed, Nov 7, 2018, 6:05 PM
Subject: Emergency action needed: Defend our democracy from Donald Trump

Join an emergency rally TOMORROW to defend our democracy from Donald Trump!
Hours after Donald Trump's lackies in Congress lost their majority in the House of Representatives, Trump dealt a huge blow to Special Council Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. He put someone who has openly trashed the investigation in charge of it.
This afternoon, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Then, he put Matthew Whitaker in charge of the Mueller investigation – giving him the final say on the scope, budget and indictments.
Make no mistake: This is a Constitutional crisis in the making.
Tomorrow evening, people across the country are coming together to stop this attack on our democracy. There are already over 900 events scheduled. This is your chance to demand action to correct this injustice. Will you join us?
Trump likely fired Mueller because he's getting nervous -- he knows that the Justice Department is closing in on him. Mueller may even be looking at Trump's potential obstruction of justice.
Earlier this year, four of Trump's associates, including his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen -- the same man who paid $130,000 to hush up Stormy Daniels -- pleaded guilty to charges that stemmed from Mueller's investigation. These included lying to the FBI and campaign finance violations. 
What's more, Paul Manafort, former chairman of Trump's presidential campaign, pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax and bank fraud in August. And now, former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone has been subpoenaed and is under serious investigation.
Trump can feel the walls closing in – and he wants to distract from the Democrats' electoral victories across the country last night. We can't let him get away with it.
Under any other circumstances, we'd be celebrating the firing of Jeff Sessions. Sessions used his position as Attorney General to attack voting rights, gut protections for transgender students, and separate immigrant children from their families.
But let's be clear: Trump didn't fire Sessions because Sessions was advancing an agenda of racism and hate. He fired Sessions as the first step toward stopping the Mueller investigation.  
Congress has the Constitutional authority and obligation to hold Trump accountable for this abuse of power. But we've seen Republicans in Congress give Trump pass after pass every time he crosses another line.
If they don't step up now to hold Trump accountable, they may never act. And if they don't act, we could be facing a constitutional crisis. With many new leaders coming to Congress in January, it's critical that we send a strong message now that standing by and allowing Donald Trump to slide the U.S. into authoritarianism is unacceptable.
We've seen it all around the world -- when strongman leaders take over and corruption runs rampant, people and the planet suffer.
If we want to defend and expand our environmental protections, we need a strong and healthy democracy. We can't let Trump undermine it.
This is a defining moment for Congress. Will our Representatives fight back in the face of corruption?
Or will they let Trump stamp out our core governing principles while they stand by and do nothing?
If people like you stay silent, your elected officials will cave to their political instincts, and Trump will get away with attacking our system of government. So we need you to demand that they defend our democracy from Trump's worst authoritarian instincts.
Thanks for all you do,
Liz Butler,
VP of organizing and strategic alliances,
Friends of the Earth
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Nov 5, 2018

#Bellingham WA: State Dept of Ecology invites public comment remediation of South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant

The comment period is up tomorrow November 6, 2018 per message below from the WA State Department of Ecology ("Ecology"). There is only one public comment (plus one question) on the Ecology's web page for the South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant. It is estimated to be a $9.3 million endeavor. I would like to see more participation by citizens and NGOs.

It would be good if the City of Bellingham included these Ecology meetings on their live stream and archival video feeds. The City and Puget Sound Energy are responsible for the project, with oversight by WA State Dept of Ecology ("Ecology"). The City has many meetings airing at Bellingham Television channel on YouTube therefore if citizens insist then perhaps current/future city leaders will consider making other important presentations similarly available to the public. Alternatively, perhaps citizens could ask Ecology to see about showing such meetings on

 "Manufactured Gas" (MGP) has to do with turning coal and oil materials into gas for use by consumers. Many Superfund sites nationwide have resulted from the industry. This one in Bellingham is a lengthy project (as are most of the twelve cleanup sites around Bellingham Bay). Hopefully the Gas Plant cleanup will be complete by the time the world is kaput (per IPCC report). See the timeline for this project on Slide 7 used at the public meeting Oct 30th: South State Street MGP webpage (Also, Slide 13 is a slick illustration of the extent of the various shocking contaminants--press to see each outlined in different colors). It is such disasters that lead to the decimation of orca populations and other aspects of natural ecological systems.

Other helpful links (BTW, please persuade children and grandchildren to be environmental engineers since this and similar attempts are such long projects!):

  • The FACT SHEET noted in following message as attached
  • Toxic Legacy: The Environmental Impact of the Manufactured Gas Industry in the United States
  • History of manufactured fuel gases page on Wikipedia
  • On Flickr 21 photos by EcologyWA re the South State Street Gas Plant project 
  • Images in Google search for "South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant"

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----- Forwarded message ----
From: Fawley, Ian (ECY) <>
Date: Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 9:31 AM
Subject: Ecology: South State Street MGP Environmental Report (RI/FS) Comment Period: 10/8 – 11/6; Meeting: 10/30
Cc: Fawley, Ian (ECY) <>, Guenther, John (ECY) <>


You are receiving this email notice because you have expressed interest in the Department of Ecology's Bellingham Bay cleanup activities. 
The Department of Ecology invites you to review and comment on an environmental report for the South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant cleanup site in Bellingham.  The report, called a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS):
·         Describes contamination found at the site.
·         Evaluates cleanup alternatives.
·         Identifies a preferred cleanup alternative.
The City of Bellingham (City) and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) prepared the report with Ecology oversight. 
The contamination is from a former manufactured gas plant and other historic operations located at the north end of Boulevard Park. The cleanup site includes both upland and marine areas.  The contaminant levels are potentially harmful and must be addressed under Washington's cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).

Ecology will also hold a public meeting to provide more information and collect comments:

October 30, 2018; 6-8 pm
Bellingham City Hall
210 Lottie St.
Bellingham, WA 98225
Comments accepted:
October 8 – November 6, 2018
Ecology's South State Street Manufactured Gas Plant webpage:
·         RI/FS report document and review locations
·         Site details
·         Contact information

Best Regards,


Ian Fawley
Community Outreach & Environmental Education Specialist
Washington State Department of Ecology
Bellingham Field Office  |  Toxics Cleanup Program
Office: 360-255-4382  |  Cell:  425-324-5901  |
*Email and Mail Note*:  If you wish to be removed from this email list, simply reply with "Remove" and Ecology will update our email list.  If you have a change of mailing address, please respond with a current mailing address.  Thank you.