The Ally for October 2016

Welcome to The Ally—the BlueGreen Alliance's monthly newsletter!

October 6, 2016

10 Years of BlueGreen Alliance

With guest appearances from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the BlueGreen Alliance and BlueGreen Alliance Foundation held on September 23 in Minneapolis was a great event. It celebrated the past decade of work and looked forward to new challenges and opportunities that the partnership is tackling today.

Hundreds of supporters from around the country showed up to honor former Executive Director David Foster, United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, former Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, and Apollo Alliance Chairman Phil Angelides. They received BlueGreen Alliance Visionary Awards for their work in forming and maintaining this strong partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations.

We want to give a special thank you to all of the sponsors, allies, and supporters who attended the event.

The video above looks at both the past and the future of the BlueGreen Alliance. Watch it now. 

Reducing Methane Leaks Will Create Quality Jobs

In September, we released a report that found that reducing methane emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry has the potential to create more than 50,000 jobs over a decade. We released Plugging The Leaks: Protecting Workers, Reducing Pollution, And Creating Quality Jobs By Reducing Methane Waste In The U.S. Oil And Gas Industry with events in Ohio and Pennsylvania that featured labor, environmental, health, and civic leaders who understand that reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry will create quality jobs, protect workers and communities, and help address the threat of climate change. Read the report.

Notice Our New Look?

This September, the BlueGreen Alliance and BlueGreen Alliance Foundation launched new websites. Our new logo and branding highlights the blue-green collaboration that continues to drive progress on climate change while creating quality jobs and safe and healthy work environments. Visit the BlueGreen Alliance or BlueGreen Alliance Foundation websites to find out more about our work.

Congress Takes Steps to Help Flint

After months of waiting, Congress finally took action to fund efforts to ensure safe, clean water for the residents of Flint, Michigan. Following on the heels of the Senate, the House passed its Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which included funding for Flint.

The BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director Kim Glas said, “Flint has been waiting nearly a year to receive desperately needed federal aid to address this disaster. The immediate and potentially lifelong consequences of lead exposure will affect Flint for generations to come… The people of Flint have waited far too long.”

Now, the House and Senate must go to conference to resolve the differences between their respective versions of the bill. We will continue urging members of Congress to include in the final bill funding for Flint and communities across the country dealing with aging water infrastructure and drinking water crises. Read more.

Member News

Select news from BlueGreen Alliance member organizations.

The United Steelworkers (USW) joined elected officials and community leaders for the third in a series of town hall meetings to outline the potentially devastating consequences for Pennsylvania workers and businesses if the U.S. enters the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read more.

The Sierra Club ranked the colleges that are working hardest to protect the planet in 2016. Read more.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) applauded President Obama for creating America’s first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, designating a 4,900 square-mile ocean area about 150 miles southeast of the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Read more.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International Secretary-Treasurer Gerry Hudson commemorated the anniversary of the March on Washington 53 years ago. Read more.

The National Wildlife Federation released a new report detailing the increasing threats posed by sea-level rise to wildlife in states along the Eastern Seaboard. Read more.

Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) National President D. Michael Langford joined Susan Story, the CEO of American Water, to highlight how public-private partnerships can help rebuild America’s water infrastructure. Read more.

The United Association announced 17 welding students and 8 HVACR students graduate from the Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after completing weeks of accelerated training. They join the nearly 300 veterans from the Welding & HVACR programs at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State since 2013. Read more.

Quotable

“We need to ensure that we’re protecting workers from benzene and other dangerous chemicals and compounds. These standards for new and modified sources are vital to helping reduce that exposure. Safeguarding workers—and the communities around these facilities—ought to be job one.”

– Bernie Labelle, Senior Rep. for Region II, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) at the Pennsylvania Statehouse event releasing the Plugging the Leaks report