Your Involvement is the Most Important Tool We Have
On April 25th, the Nevada Conservation League will be honoring Joe Johnson at our Green Tie Event in Carson City. Joe has a long history of commitment to creating change through civic engagement. He has served in the Nevada Legislature, been a member of the state environmental commission, and is currently a lobbyist for the Sierra Club. We want to honor Joe because he has been in the forefront of some of the most important environmental legislation in this state over the last few decades. However, we also want to honor Joe because in many ways his career exemplifies a mission that NCL shares – a dedication to effecting meaningful change on conservation issues by getting involved with the people and institutions who make laws and shape policy at the state level.
Fracking in Nevada
Noble Energy, Inc. plans to use hydraulic fracturing to drill as many as 20 exploration wells around Tabor Flats, near the city of Wells. “Fracking “is a highly controversial method of extracting oil and natural gas from deep in the ground. SB390, a bill that will regulate hydraulic fracturing in Nevada, has been introduced into the Nevada Legislature.
Since fracking is new to Nevada, Dawn Harris with Frack Free Nevada has posted news, links and other resources on the Frack Free Nevada website: at https://sites.google.com/site/frackfreenevada/.
Your Toxic Crib
Last year, New York became the first state to ban chlorinated Tris, a common flame retardant, from children’s products. A similar bill has been introduced in 25 other states across the country, and just recently, we have AB 354 introduced at the Nevada Legislature by Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz.
The Save Tahoe Bill
On Monday, March 11th, the Save Tahoe Bill was introduced into Nevada’s State Senate. This bill, (SB229), is the first step toward correcting one of the most potentially damaging pieces of legislation passed in recent years.
In the last few minutes of the 2011 Session, a measure passed that put in motion a timetable to strip almost all environmental protections from Lake Tahoe. The only way to stop this from happening is through legislative action. The Save Tahoe Bill will repeal that earlier measure, and keep Nevada committed to the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact.
Update on Lake Tahoe Threat
Last week, the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore filed a lawsuit to block the new Regional Plan of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Given our role in negotiating this plan, a lot of people have asked us for our thoughts. (Read my statement on the lawsuit itself.) Our primary concern is that proponents of SB271 will use this lawsuit as another excuse to not repeal the measure that will pull Nevada out of the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact.
Why You Should Care About the Nevada Legislature
Anyone who has spent much time in Nevada knows that we're blessed with some of the most beautiful places in the world, from Red Rock Canyon in the south, to Lake Tahoe in the north to the Ruby Mountains in the east. What some may not be aware of is the fragile balance that holds it together. Nevada is one of the most bio-diverse states in the nation, but it's also the driest. Many of the laws that govern how we protect the places that we love are dealt with at the Nevada Legislature. Do the trails at Valley of Fire State Park need repair? How do we draw new solar jobs to Las Vegas? How do we ensure angler access to the Walker River? These questions are decided in Carson City.
Sustainable Communities Don’t Just Happen
After seven years of environmental advocacy, I’ve learned that honest communication and collaboration must be a central part of the work we do if we are going to be successful. By at least one metric, the protection of our environment was a huge success both locally and nationally.
A larger and more diverse mix of environmentally-minded citizens made a difference through their advocacy and in exercising their right to vote in 2012. This happened because environmentalists are expanding our community and learning to work with new constituencies. Although we may not have achieved progress on every issue we care about, we are at least holding the line and educating more people and more decision-makers about protecting our communities from pollution and environmental degradation.
Nevada's small businesses support clean energy
Nevada's small businesses show strong support for clean energy policies and investment, a poll released today (8/15) shows.
The Small Business Majority's poll shows:
- 73 percent of small business owners support new EPA standards that require new power plants to reduce their emissions of previously unregulated greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
- 74 percent support EPA rules to reduce the emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases from new and existing power plants.
- 70 percent of small business owners favor proposed rules to reduce smog and soot pollution that crosses state lines (the “Good Neighbor Rule”).
- 71 percent of Nevada small business owners believe government should play an important role in creating financial incentives that encourage people to take energy efficiency measures, like installing energy efficient light bulbs. Nearly 7 in 10 believe government should provide incentives through funding and policy efforts.
Roundtable a Success with Team Effort!
The Sierra Club's Elspeth Cordua works the crowd while Clark County Public Administrator John Cahill signs a comment card in support of clean air that will go to the EPA in Washington, D.C.
Sierra Club and Nevada Conservation League staff, together with a half-dozen volunteers from both groups, held a successful roundtable discussion on the problems with carbon and greenhouse gas pollution and opportunities for Nevada as clean renewable energy continues to develop.
All I want for Mothers Day is a healthy child
“So it turns out she’s deathly allergic to strawberries!” My neighbor Irina had a slightly dubious tone in her voice as she recounted the latest news of her grandchildren. “Strawberries! We just didn’t have all these allergies when I was raising kids.” Irina is a retired teacher, a mom of three and grandmother of five. She is a compassionate woman, who pretty much loves kids unconditionally, but, like many people, somewhere in the back of her mind she is wondering why her granddaughter’s generation seems to have so very many allergies, intolerances, disabilities, and diseases.
Legislator links climate change to unhealthy air and burning west
Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce, one of the consistently strongest voices for conservation and smart public policy in the Nevada Legislature, penned a thoughtful letter to the Las Vegas Sun pointing out that pollution and climate change from burning fossil fuels are weakening our forests, making them more likely to go up in flames. (And that means more days in Las Vegas with smoke affecting the health of all of us.)
"Global warming is not 'natural.' The nearly universal consensus among scientists is that it is occurring because we are pumping huge amounts of carbon into our air from the burning of fossil fuels, such as that from coal plants. We don’t have to do that."
- Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce
Her point is backed up by an overwhelming amount of research, but that doesn't deter the fossil-fuel defenders from attacking Peggy and science, generally. What do you think? Add your voice to the discussion!
Moapa Paiutes, conservationists lead fight against coal-fired air pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held meetings on air pollution coming from NV Energy’s coal-fired Reid Gardner Generating Station on May 3, and it quickly turned into an argument between community health and jobs: The health of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who live next door to the plant, versus the jobs for men and women in Overton and Logandale who commute to work at the plant.
Some of the workers, such as plant director David Sharp, insisted that the issue on hand was not overall air pollution coming from the coal plant, but regional haze created by the nitrous oxide as one of a stew of emissions from Reid Gardner’s smokestacks.
Advocates for coal want to take the conversation away from overall health and environmental pollution. The more narrow the focus, the less likely they will have to clean up the most polluting form of electrical generation that we have.
Earth Day finds NCL working for smart, clean energy policies
Earth Day is the one of the biggest days of the year around the Nevada Conservation League and NCL Education Fund. Miranda Fisher and Launce Rake represented the organizations at a number of events in Southern Nevada over the busy weekend.
Local heroes Energy Efficiency to be featured on PBS!
Improving your home’s energy efficiency is incredibly important. It is the single most important, cost-effective thing you can do to cut your electric and gas bills.
It helps save the planet, too. But how to get it done? I look out at my home, built in 1950, and I know it leaks air conditioning like a sieve. I’ve done an energy audit, so I know what I need to do, but it is still an intimidating process to go through.
Fortunately, folks like me will have an opportunity to see what works and how it works in a PBS show to be broadcast this week. Alison Haugh, a native Las Vegas, explained that her mother’s house in McNeal Estates, near Charleston Boulevard and Rancho Drive, was built 50 years ago.
On April 12, one of the Nevada Conservation League's many friends attended the Nuestro Rio event at the East Las Vegas Community Center. Along with delicious carne asada, frijoles and arroz, great conversation and some of the best Mariachi music this side of Jalisco, a number of elected and community leaders gathered to consider the history, present and future of the Colorado River.
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