BlueGreen Alliance

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A new report says one in three U.S. school children are at risk from a chemical catastrophe. Over 19.6 million kids in 48 states are in “vulnerability zones” and half of the students are in schools located in more than one zone. (Center for Effective Government)

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Supporters of efforts to address climate change are taking the electoral battle to the states by aiming to secure majorities of leaders who support climate action in legislatures in states like Oregon, Washington and Colorado. (Politico)

WHAT’S TRENDING 

Lax safeguards – An EPA Inspector General report says the agency doesn’t do enough to stop hundreds of hazardous chemicals from getting into waterways from sewer plants. (The Hill)

Evening the playing field – Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter says that it’s time to even the playing field for renewable energy by fixing the tax code. (Wall Street Journal)

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The U.S. is facing international pressure to put our money where our mouth is on climate change, but President Obama faces an uphill battle to get the funding needed for the U.S. to contribute to a $100 billion fund to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts. (The Hill)

WHAT’S TRENDING

This week – The EPA will be honing in on the Clean Power Plan and a rule to protect the nation’s waters as the comment periods for them start to wind down. And, public interest groups will push for stronger health and safety protections by increasing enforcement of safeguards already on the books. (The Hill)

Cutting ties- Google became the latest company to sever ties with the ultra-right wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because they say ALEC is “literally lying” about climate change. (Tech Times)

Carbon pricing – This piece examines the political realities facing the U.S. when it comes to putting a price oncarbon pollution. (New York Times)

Posted In: Minnesota

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Many people across the country are enjoying the fall season that unfortunately has been warming over the past few years. (Climate Central)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Going big here at home – Hundreds gathered in South Buffalo to take part in an announcement by Governor Cuomo that the Western Hemisphere’s biggest solar facility is coming to New York. (WKBW)

Protect the Great Lakes – Lessons learned by the algae bloom this summer have experts working to figure out how best to reduce the toxins suspected to have caused the contamination. (Wall Street Journal)

Dollars & cents – In an upcoming speech, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will emphasize the economic argument that failing to address climate change will hit everyone’s wallets hard. (The Hill)

Posted In: The Source

The following blog by Kenneth Quinnell with AFL-CIO has been cross posted from the AFL-CIO’s blog. The original post is available online here. 

In what Communications Workers of America (CWA) heralds as "the largest labor organizing victory in the South in decades," passenger service agents at American Airlines voted to form a union after a 19-year struggle.  In the vote announced today, 86% of the 9,000 agents who voted favored the union, which will now represent 14,500 agents, the vast majority of whom live in the South. American Airlines agents in the West are represented by the Teamsters, and the two unions form a joint CWA-IBT unit to bargain with the airline.

Nearly three-quarters of the agents work in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona and several thousand are home-based reservations agents.  The wide range of jobs the members work include: reservations, ticket and gate agents, baggage service agents, customer assistance representatives, customer service supervisors, club representatives, passenger operations center representatives and special service counter agents.


Posted In: Communications Workers of America, United Steelworkers

The following blog by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has been cross posted from the SEIU blog. The original is available online here

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I wish every SEIU member - in fact, every American - who cares about protecting our environment could have experienced the magic and power of the climate change protest and events in New York Sunday. Roughly 400,000 of us marched together, four times more than any climate change march ever before.

Many of the people I spoke with during the People's Climate March saw it as a turning point in how we tackle clean air and water -- both for them personally and for the whole world.


Posted In: Climate Change, SEIU

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President Obama committed to participating in a dozen new climate change partnerships at the U.N. Climate Summit yesterday. The BlueGreen Alliance's Executive Director Kim Glas said of the announcements, "The series of unprecedented measures announced by the president today that will help communities the world over become more climate-resilient, reduce methane emissions, and better predict extreme weather. This action affirms our commitment to national and international climate action." Here's how other countries stack up. (National Journal)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Keep it clean – Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called for expanding renewable energy and conservation efforts in California. (Los Angeles Times)

Fortune 500 – As world leaders rally behind the need to address climate change, they are joined by company CEOs and executives who are finding ways to do their part. (Fortune)

California’s story – Governor Brown touted California’s successes such as the state’s cap-and-trade program at the U.N. yesterday. (Los Angeles Times)

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Today the U.N. Climate Summit kicks off in New York City with speakers including Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Mayor DeBlasio. President Obama is expected to make a pledge to help other nations struggling to face a changing climate. (ABC)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Bottom line – Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a speech yesterday, as an economic matter we must act on climate change. (Wall Street Journal)

Methane emissions – Secretary Kerry announced the U.S. will give $15 million in support of a new World Bank initiative to cut methane emissions. (Time)

Taking the lead – Three big city mayors—from Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston—are announcing new commitments to reduce emissions, improve efficiency and set city-specific targets to address climate change. (Los Angeles Times)

Just before announcing he’d be heading to New York City to take part in the United Nations international climate summit this week, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a bill that will be the launch point for getting one million electric vehicles on California’s roads. SB 1275, the Charge Ahead California Initiative, sets a goal of getting at least one million zero-emission or near-zero emission vehicles on roads in the Golden State by 2023.

California is a hot spot for electric vehicles, as Californians buy one-third of all electric vehicles in the U.S. The majority of these high-tech electric vehicles are made in America—many are union made by workers at Ford and GM. From all-electric compacts to plug-in family sedans to luxury cars, electric vehicles and technology are made all across America for all kinds of American households. And, earlier this year it was announced that more than 100,000 plug-in cars had been sold in the state since 2010.

The bill’s author, state Sen. Kevin de León of Los Angeles, said the new law will help ensure that everyone has access to electric vehicles. “With this bill, California is driving towards a clean-air future that benefits everyone, not just the wealthy,” he said in a statement. It will help to bring electric vehicles to low- and moderate-income households through new financing tools. In addition, it promotes car sharing programs that can give access to a (clean) vehicle for families that need only occasional use of a car—rather than being burdened with purchasing a car that they may not fully utilize.  

Posted In: California

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Photo by John Minchillo.

The People’s Climate March can only be called a massive success. An estimated 311,000 people marched 2.2 miles in New York City to call on President Obama and world leaders to come together to address climate change. Obama and other leaders will begin meetings tomorrow at a summit in NYC. Other marches in solidarity occurred around the U.S. and the globe. The BlueGreen Alliance’s Kim Glas said the march was a clarion call for climate action. (New York Times & Huffington Post)

WHAT’S TRENDING 

Carbon up – Levels of carbon pollution in 2013 were higher than any other year in human history, according to a series of new studies. (The Hill)

Posted In: The Source