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Redford and Other Leaders Encourage Americans to Say No to Dirty Fuels and Yes to Clean Energy

Frances Beinecke

Posted September 16, 2013

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I have worked to curb climate change for more than a decade. I keep up the fight because I know we can tackle this crisis. I know clean energy solutions exist that can reduce dangerous carbon pollution and strengthen our economy at the same time. But even as we unite behind sustainable technologies, we have to mobilize and stop the dirtiest projects--projects like tar sands oil.

In a new video NRDC Trustee Robert Redford outlines the hazards of this filthy fuel and explains that while strip mining for tar sands is great for oil companies, it’s terrible for the rest of us who want to preserve the northern forests, protect drinking water, and leave our children with a stable climate.

“The saner choice is clean energy,” Redford says. “But we’re not going to get it unless millions of us demand it. So please join me in saying no to tar sands oil and yes to clean energy.”

You can add your voice to this call at NRDC’s new site—a gathering place for those who stand firmly against climate-destroying fuels and in favor of a clean energy future. Some of the nation’s leading cultural figures, including Redford, Van Jones, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Carole King and Jack Kornfield are joining forces with us to help move America beyond fossil fuels and climate chaos.

We need this critical mass now more than ever. As Redford says in his video, America won’t realize our clean energy potential unless more people demand it.

Thousands of homegrown companies are tapping these sustainable resources, and many states have smart policies to spur wind and solar development and investment in energy efficiency. But fossil fuel companies and their allies in Congress try to rig the game in their favor. They lobby in state houses to roll back environmental safeguards and they work on Capitol Hill to try to block the Environmental Protection Agency from addressing climate change pollution.

And now they want to build a pipeline that will expand production of the dirtiest fuel on the planet. As NRDC Trustee Van Jones says in his video for, “Developing the Canadian tar sands would be like lighting a fuse on a carbon bomb.”

We must raise our voices against these dirty fuels, because when we are loud enough, our leaders listen. In November 2011, tens of thousands of people gathered at the White House to protest the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and days later President Obama hit the pause button on a project that had seemed destined to proceed. In February 2013, Kansas residents worked with NRDC to beat back an attempt to repeal the state’s clean energy standard, which has helped generate 12,000 local jobs in the wind industry and brought in $3 billion in investment. And this spring, grassroots activists, environmental public health groups, business executives, and Latino leaders kept the pressure on President Obama until he finally announced a robust plan to confront climate change in June.

I welcome this progress, but we aren’t stopping here—we are pushing forward on numerous fronts. On September 21, for instance, our partners at are leading the Draw the Line Day. People will be taking action across the US to tell President Obama that stopping the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is the only way to keep his climate promises. 

Reining in dirty fuels won’t be easy. These industries have deep pockets and powerful influence.

But we will fight back, because we know there is a better way. America can transition away from the dirtiest fuels and toward more renewable power and more efficient cars, homes, and businesses.

American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield urges us not to give in to confusion or paralysis in his video on “When we hear about climate change it feels overwhelming,” he says. “What can we do?  Let’s stop encouraging the use of dirty fuels and make the transformation that is possible for us. As Pablo Neruda the great Chilean poet writes, ‘You can pick all the flowers but you can’t stop the spring.'"

Click here to join other Americans in demanding clean power.




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RobertSep 17 2013 02:23 AM

Excess CO2 is already starting to alter the biosphere by acidifying the oceans and melting ice caps, which causes positive feedbacks (which are negative to us) such as more bark beetles and the thermal expansion of the oceans, proven empirical and factual evidence which points to the next logical conclusion, DEVELOP THE LEAST EXPENSIVE, MOST ABUNDANT LOW CARBON SOURCE, which is none other than... (drum roll please)...
The Molten Salt Reactor. Despite a few minor technical issues, it consumes just about 1% of the fuel, spits out less than 1% of the wastes, can NOT melt down and can run on the most proliferation resistant fuel, thorium, which is on the order of 400x as abundant as U235.

How are we EVER to fix the excess CO2 problem if we do not opt for an energy source that is quite literally an the order of 1,000,000x BETTER than the mere (and ape like) combustion of precious fossil fuel stores (which are needed for future roads and tires)!

So PLEASE, we (almost) all DEMAND media attention to this (almost) perfect solution to (almost) all the world's problems.
Please search LFTR, too.

James Singmaster, III, Ph.D.Sep 17 2013 04:13 PM

I have posted many comments on this NRDC Blog stating that only one action can keep humanity on earth. THAT ACTION IS TO MAKE THE SUN OUR SOLE ENERGY !!!!!!!!
NRDC's campaign program now of "DEMAND CLEAN POWER offers no viable program. I have posted comments on this and other blogs such as UCS's "The Equation" outlining how TO MAKE THE SUN OUR SOLE ENERGY SOURCE AND STATING THAT THE KEY RESOURCE FOR THIS IS GETIING ENERGY FROM OUR BIOWASTES. No one at NRDC seems aware that our mounting messes of biowastes including sewage solids are delibrately being allowed to biodegrade in dumps and sewage plants to reemit trapped CO2 and heat energy. AND a great deal of money and energy are used to do the job of reemitting CO2 and heat energy. Does that make sense to anyone??????? J. Singmaster, III, Ph.D., Environmental Chemist, Ret., Fremont, CA

Daniel FerraSep 18 2013 02:19 AM

"Diminishing fresh water aquifers, drought, and competing agricultural demands present an urgent need for the Federal government to take the lead in identifying what water resources we have and how best to use and protect those resources.

Vital water data has yet to be gathered by agencies of the government. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has not been funded adequately to gather thisinformation. We do not have a thorough understanding of groundwater resources and the interconnection of aquifers and yet we continue to drill shale gas wells and frack them without this essential information.

The U.S. is spending a water budget without understanding how much water is available or what the use of water in energy production will mean for local communities, agriculture, or other commercial uses." Americas Clean Energy Agenda

The Southwest is in the midst of a record drought, some 14 years in the making, which means the water supply for many Western states - California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada - is drying up. Last month the Bureau of Reclamation announced they're cutting the flow of water into Lake Mead, which has already lost 100 feet of water since the drought began.

What happens if the Southwest drought does not end soon?

Will we keep using 3 to 6 million gallons of Clean Water per Fracked well, to extract natural gas?

This petition will ask the California Regulators and Law makers to allocate Renewable Portfolio Standards to Ca. home owners, the RPS is the allocation method that is used to set aside a certain percentage of electrical generation for Renewable Energy in the the State.

The State of California has mandated that 33% of its Energy come from Renewable Energy by 2020.

The state currently produces about 71% of the electricity it consumes, while it imports 8% from the Pacific Northwest and 21% from the Southwest.

This is how we generate our electricity in 2011, natural gas was burned to make 45.3% of electrical power generated in-state. Nuclear power from Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County accounted for 9.15%, large hydropower 18.3%, Renewable 16.6% and coal 1.6%.

There is 9% missing from San Onofre and with the current South Western drought, how long before the 18.3% hydro will be effected ?

Another generator of power that jumps out is natural gas, 45.3%, that is a lot of Fracked Wells poisoning our ground water, 3 to 6 million gallons of water are used per well. If Fracking is safe why did Vice Pres Cheney lobby and win Executive, Congressional, and Judicial exemptions from:

Clean Water Act.

Safe Drinking Water.

Act Clean Air Act.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act.

National Environmental Policy Act.

"Americans should not have to accept unsafe drinking water just because natural gas is cheaper than Coal. the Industry has used its political power to escape accountability, leaving the American people unprotected, and no Industry can claim to be part of the solution if it supports exemptions from the basic Laws designed to ensure that we have Clean Water and Clean Air" Natural Resources Defense Council.

We have to change how we generate our electricity, with are current drought conditions and using our pure clean water for Fracking, there has to be a better way to generate electricity, and there is, a proven stimulating policy.

The Feed in Tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in Renewable Energy, the California FiT allows eligible customers generators to enter into 10- 15- 20- year contracts with their utility company to sell the electricity produced by renewable energy, and guarantees that anyone who generates electricity from R E source, whether Homeowner, small business, or large utility, is able to sell that electricity. It is mandated by the State to produce 33% R E by 2020.

FIT policies can be implemented to support all renewable technologies including:
Photovoltaics (PV)
Solar thermal
Fuel cells
Tidal and wave power.

There is currently 3 utilities using a Commercial Feed in Tariff in California Counties, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Sacramento, are paying their businesses 17 cents per kilowatt hour for the Renewable Energy they generate. We can get our Law makers and Regulators to implement a Residential Feed in Tariff, to help us weather Global Warming, help stop grid failures, generate a fair revenue stream for the Homeowner and protect our Water .

We also need to change a current law, California law does not allow Homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy systems.

Campaign to allow Californian residents to sell electricity obtained by renewable energy for a fair pro-business market price. Will you read, sign, and share this petition?

Leslie Gray, BScSep 19 2013 11:30 PM

I must preface that I have not seen Mr Redford's discussion in its entirety. Yet you may also be interested in tonight's airing of the Nature of Things (CBC) re: Caribou and Alberta oil. Another subject - agrarian practice and the Saskatchewan current (of more or less importance) government's direction to regulate the use of seeds. Yes, your run of the mill, garden variety seed. Also, I believe critics are unaware of Mr Redford's expertise/credentials on environmental issues.
Sorry for the choppy nature of my comments, I've been down with a bug or something.

Comments are closed for this post.


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