Campaign Updates, Summer, 2010

Federal Climate and Energy Legislation

Wind Turbine

Clean Water Action and all of the other activists and allies working for strong, comprehensive climate and energy legislation are still waiting for the introduction of new climate and energy legislation by US Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT). These senators have been working with Senator Graham (R-SC) to craft a bill capable of passing the Senate since earlier efforts stalled. A draft was released during the middle of May.

Clean Water Action finds the release of the draft an encouraging step toward addressing the necessary reductions in climate changing pollution and allowing the U.S. to regain a leadership role in the global clean energy economy of the future. The timeline remains uncertain but both Senate leadership and President Obama have indicated a commitment to action this year. Encourage Senators Klobuchar and Franken to support quick action on comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation and support improvements to the bill that ensure real pollution reductions and a lasting clean energy economy.

In a related matter, the U.S. Senate voted down 47 – 53 a resolution by Senator Murkowski (R-AK) to remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate global warming pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Both Senators Klobuchar and Franken voted against the resolution. The EPA established sound scientific evidence showing the public health impacts of these pollutants. Senator Murkowski and the 46 other Senators who voted to support Big Oil and Dirty Coal wanted Congress to make the science go away. We need to remain vigilant to protect the Clean Air Act as an important tool in the fight against global warming and cannot stand by and let politics trump science.

Creating Healthy Homes and Healthy Water

Clean Water Action staff member leads a Healthy Home Party

Clean Water Action staff member Kim LaBo leads a Healthy Home Party

Clean Water Action continues our work to protect environmental and human health from toxic chemical exposure through our involvement in the Healthy Legacy Coalition. This past year, we educated over 500 Minnesotans about how to reduce their toxic chemical exposure in their homes and actively support protective policies with our Healthy Home Presentations. If you would like to host a Healthy Home, Healthy Water Presentation in your community, contact Kim LaBo.


Preserving the Great Lakes

Lake Superior photo by Dan Wenger

The potential invasion of Asian Carp has been one of the dominant Great Lakes issues as of late. Asian Carp are voracious eaters that have been moving up the Mississippi River system threatening native species wherever they go. An electric fence was constructed near Chicago to prevent the carp from traveling from the Illinois River through the artificial canal system and into Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, last year Asian Carp DNA was found in the waterway beyond the electric fence sparking fears the fish have breached the barrier and will establish themselves in the Great Lakes. Efforts since then have focused on a dual track of determining the extent of the immediate problem and finding a long-term solution. Initial results are promising that they have not established themselves in the Great Lakes, yet, but efforts will continue to determine the extent of the Asian Carp invasion.

Clean Water Action and allies in the Healing Our Waters coalition continue to push authorities and Congress to propose a permanent solution that reestablishes an ecological separation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system. The Supreme Court recently declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Michigan, Minnesota’s Attorney General and others to close the system of locks leading into Lake Michigan. Senator Klobuchar and other Members of Congress have also introduced several bills that call for ecological separation but none have moved through Congress thus far.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was a new $475 million initiative in the 2010 budget passed by Congress last year. Over $9.5 million for 14 projects in Minnesota appear on the latest list finalists for GLRI funds. The Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act was introduced in Congress to permanently establish the GLRI as a Congressional program. It also adds provisions to ensure the money is used most effectively to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Senators Klobuchar and Franken were original cosponsors. Contact your Representative today to ask them to support and cosponsor H.R. 4755.

Publication Date: 
06/08/2010

In this issue of Minnesota Currents|online:

2010 Legislative Summary

The 2010 legislative session ended in the early morning hours of May 17 after a brief special session was called by the Governor. Fights over the state budget and funding for health care and education dominated the atmosphere at the Capitol, making it a tough year to pass meaningful environmental legislation. However, once again Clean Water Action was able to celebrate several legislative victories this session. In addition to passing another bill to keep toxins out of our environment, we were able to stop attempts to weaken current environment laws and move Minnesota towards dirty energy options.

Earth Day Birthday Bash Highlights

Clean Water Action members, volunteers, allies and staff celebrated Earth Day’s 40th Birthday with food, fun and activism!

Restoring the Clean Water Act

The drinking water sources for nearly 1 million Minnesotans are at risk of losing Clean Water Act protections. Congress now has an opportunity to fix this and restore protections weakened by the Supreme Court and Bush Administration.

Tips For Water Conservation and Safety

The summer is a time for hot weather and enjoying our lakes, rivers and streams. It is also a time when we tend to have our water closer to the forefront of our minds. Sometimes it seems like there is not much we can do to protect the health and vitality of our water because these problems seem too big. Increasingly, we all share a responsibility to do our part to protect our waters. How we use water, what happens to the rainwater falling on our lands and what we send down our drains are the next greatest challenges we must face together.

Clean Water Action would like to offer a few tips that each of us can do at home to help protect, restore and conserve our precious water resources

Pesticide Issues Gain Urgency At Federal Level

Pesticide issues have gained momentum and long awaited attention at the federal level this year. Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota is leading the fight to ban the highly toxic and commonly used pesticide atrazine, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to disclose inert ingredients in pesticides and the President’s Cancer Panel released a report stating that chemicals threaten our bodies.

Meet Our Canvassers - Is This Job In Your Future?

Summer is in full swing and so is Clean Water Action’s canvass recruitment program! We are currently hiring for part time and full time positions for our field and phone canvasses. Learn valuable skills, work with fun and exciting people, chat with our members about important environmental issues and build your resume. Spend your summer with us by calling today to learn more about our exciting employment opportunities.

Here is what phone canvass manager, Terrance Noble, and field canvass manager, Anna Waugh, have to say about working for the Clean Water Action canvasses.

Summer Campgaign Updates

Creating Healthy Homes and Healthy Water

Clean Water Action continues our work to protect environmental and human health from toxic chemical exposure through our involvement in the Healthy Legacy Coalition. This past year, we educated over 500 Minnesotans about how to reduce their toxic chemical exposure in their homes and actively support protective policies with our Healthy Home Presentations. If you would like to host a Healthy Home, Healthy Water Presentation in your community, contact Kim LaBo.

Preserving the Great Lakes

The potential invasion of Asian Carp has been one of the dominant Great Lakes issues as of late. Asian Carp are voracious eaters that have been moving up the Mississippi River system threatening native species wherever they go. An electric fence was constructed near Chicago to prevent the carp from traveling from the Illinois River through the artificial canal system and into Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, last year Asian Carp DNA was found in the waterway beyond the electric fence sparking fears the fish have breached the barrier and will establish themselves in the Great Lakes. Efforts since then have focused on a dual track of determining the extent of the immediate problem and finding a long-term solution. Initial results are promising that they have not established themselves in the Great Lakes, yet, but efforts will continue to determine the extent of the Asian Carp invasion.

Climate and Clean Energy

Clean Water Action and all of the other activists and allies working for strong, comprehensive climate and energy legislation are still waiting for the introduction of new climate and energy legislation by US Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT). These senators have been working with Senator Graham (R-SC) to craft a bill capable of passing the Senate since earlier efforts stalled. A draft was released during the middle of May.