Environment

Environment

ROCK THE EARTH ANNOUNCES 2009 PLANET DEFENDERS

Colorado-based environmental organization Rock the Earth has announced its 2009 Planet Defender Awards, in conjunction with their national Rock the Earth Day celebration. Grammy-nominated rock band Incubus, Green For All Founder Van Jones, and Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition, were selected as the winners in three categories. Planet Defender recipients are nominated by Rock the Earth members and chosen by Rock the Earth's National Volunteer Staff.

This year's winner in the ARTIST category, Grammy-nominated Incubus, funds the Make Yourself Foundation , which has raised over One Million dollars to date. The band funds the foundation by donating a portion of the proceeds generated from touring, record royalties, online auctions of concert tickets and memorabilia, and special events, to support various causes and charities both locally and around the world.  Fueling their tour buses with clean-burning biodiesel, printing posters and flyers on 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper with soy ink, serving organic food backstage, offering fans organic cotton T-shirts and working with venues to increase recycling are just a few of the other steps the band has taken to ensure it stays green.

 

Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd said: "We are so fortunate to have this amazing opportunity to share music with so many people! And we are very proud to share Earth consciousness with those who come and listen. Thank you very much! And may this be just another rung in the ladder towards a brighter, more aware planet."

 

Van Jones is thefounder of Green For All.  He is also a TIME Magazine 2008 Environmental Hero and one of Fast Company's 12 Most Creative Minds of 2008. The author of The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Solve Our Two Biggest Problems, Van was recently appointed Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  Green For All is a U.S. organization that promotes green-collar jobs and opportunities for the disadvantaged. Its mission is to build an inclusive, green economy - strong enough to resolve the ecological crisis and lift millions of people out of poverty.  A tireless advocate, his commitment to creating "green pathways out of poverty" and expanding the coalition fighting global warming, has earned Van our Planet Defender award as COMMUNITY LEADER.

 

Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition is this year's Planet Defender award winner for GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM. Led by and for young people, the 50 leading organizations, 700 local groups, and hundreds of thousands of supporters that make up the Energy Action Coalition leverage their collective resources to create a clean and equitable energy future. The Energy Action Coalition is winning clean energy victories at the local, state, national, and international level - all while growing and strengthening the clean energy movement among young people from all walks of life in the United States and Canada.

 

Says Jessy Tolkan, "Young people are building a powerful grassroots movement that is leading the way towards the more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future we deserve. We started by making our campuses and communities living models of sustainability and possibility. Now we are redefining what is politically possible in order to pass bold federal climate and energy legislation this year."

 

This year's Planet Defenders join last year's winners: Dave Matthews Band; Author and businessman Andrew Winston of Winston Eco-Strategies and Karen Cragnolin, Executive Director of Riverlink- as we continue to honor those individuals we feel embody Rock the Earth's drive to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time .  Each Planet Defender recipient will receive a one-of-a-kind award collectively created by artists Joe Benvenuto, Jason Garrett and Chico Raskey (Chico Artglass).

 

Planet Defender Awards - Past Winners

 

Artist

Community Leader

Grassroots Activism

2008

Dave Matthews Band

Andrew Winston

Karen Cragnolin

2007

Barenaked Ladies

Carl Safina

Karen Dolan

2006

Jack Johnson

Rocky Anderson

Jason Rutledge

 

Rock the Earth is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, national public interest environmental advocacy organization, committed to protecting and defending America 's natural resources through partnerships with the music industry and the worldwide environmental community. Rock the Earth represents those individuals and communities whose environment or natural surroundings are directly and adversely affected by the actions of others. Through partnerships with diverse musical artists such as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bonnie Raitt, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Michael Franti, Sheryl Crow and Bon Jovi, Rock the Earth educates and activates fans to pursue a vision of global sustainability and environmental responsibility. We will continue to honor those individuals we feel embody Rock the Earth's drive to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time.

GOV. RITTER HELPS BREAK GROUND ON 2 VESTAS PLANTS; 1,350 NEW JOBS

Gov. Bill Ritter today joined Vestas executives, the crown prince and princess of Denmark and local leaders at a ground-breaking ceremony for two Vestas manufacturing facilities here that will create 1,350 new jobs.

“Today marks the third straight day of new-job announcements this week, resulting in 1,650 new jobs for Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said. “Vestas was one of Colorado’s earliest visionaries and pioneers in our New Energy Economy. Thank you, Vestas, for helping to lead Colorado forward and for working with us to develop a sustainable energy future and a sustainable economic future.”

The Brighton factories will be part of the significant manufacturing and research base Vestas – the Denmark-based wind system manufacturer – is establishing in the United States. One of the Brighton plants will produce giant wind blades and the other will make nacelle assemblies.

Vestas is spending about $290 million to build the two facilities, which will produce 1,800 blades and 1,400 nacelles a year. Brighton also will be home to a technology and production engineering office as well as a division of the Vestas Business Academy for employee training and development.

Vestas currently operates a wind blade manufacturing plant in Windsor and is building the world’s largest wind tower manufacturing facility in Pueblo. When all four plants are fully operational by the end of 2010, they will employ nearly 2,500 Coloradans.

Other job announcements Gov. Ritter took part in this week:

·         Monday: The Water Company of Pueblo, a high-tech water-purification company, announced it is moving into a bigger facility and adding more than 100 jobs.

·         Tuesday:  Ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Ascent Solar’s new world headquarters and manufacturing facility in Thornton, which will result in 200 new jobs over the next couple of years

Tell Congress to vote Yes for President Obama's clean energy budget

In the coming days and weeks, Congress will consider a budget resolution based on President Obama's proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2010. The president's proposal is a blueprint for major visionary investments that would direct billions of dollars toward the development of clean energy technologies and green jobs.

It is particularly important for Congress to pass a budget resolution that reflects the president's commitment to solving global warming. Capping global warming pollution is the cornerstone of the comprehensive effort we need to create jobs, improve our national security and protect our planet. Every year the auction and allocation of global warming pollution permits would generate billions of dollars, which would then be used for middle class tax cuts and clean energy technology research and development.

The president's proposed budget also includes important funding increases across a broad spectrum of environmental programs, many of which were slashed during the Bush administration. Specific proposals include investments in clean energy, clean water and public transportation; increasing the Environmental Protection Agency's budget; and cleaning up the nation's worst hazardous waste sites.

What to do
Send a message urging your senators and representative to vote YES on a budget resolution that provides the resources necessary to cap global warming pollution and invest in clean energy solutions and other environmental priorities.

Tell the Obama administration to let California implement its Clean Car Program

In one of his first actions concerning the environment, President Obama directed the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, to immediately reconsider the Bush administration's denial of California's request to implement its groundbreaking "Clean Cars Program." If California's request is approved, drivers in California and at least 13 other states would have greater opportunities to buy cleaner, more fuel efficient cars.

Tell President Obama to save Alaska's Rainforest

say no to clearcutting- for the Grateful Web

The inauguration of President Obama could mean the end of an eight-year assault on America's last pristine forests. We need your help to make sure the Obama administration makes a new commitment to protecting these remaining wild lands for generations to come.

Please go here to and urge President Obama to take immediate action to preserve the old growth wilderness of Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

In its final days, the Bush administration set in motion a plan to start clearcutting the ancient, majestic trees of the Tongass, our nation's largest intact rainforest.

Unless the Obama administration reverses this disastrous policy, chainsaws will start cutting through the Tongass as early as this spring, with logging in many of our nation's other pristine forests likely to follow.

When the Roadless Area Conservation Rule was first adopted, millions of Americans cheered its historic passing, which protected 58.5 million acres of wild national forest lands from development.

Over the past eight years, however, the Bush administration repeatedly attempted to dismantle the Roadless Rule. It refused to defend the rule in court, worked to rescind the rule one state at a time, and even went so far as to "exempt" the Tongass rainforest from roadless protections.

The Bush administration's final plan for the Tongass would increase logging fivefold, and create logging roads through priceless habitat for grizzly bears, thriving salmon runs, bald eagles, and the elusive Alexander Archipelago wolf.

Please send a message to President Obama  and urge him to uphold the historic Roadless Rule for our country's remaining pristine forests, including the Tongass rainforest.

Thank you for standing up to protect the Tongass National Forest.

Record Industry Vet Named to Lead Eco Group Rock the Earth

Rock the Earth- for the Grateful Web

Denver non-profit, Rock the Earth, has announced that they have selected music industry veteran Shawn Kilmurray to serve as its new Executive Director. Together with the support of Rock the Earth's Board of Directors, he will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization as well as raising brand profile, diversifying sources of funding and developing strategic alliances. Mr. Kilmurray joins Rock the Earth after nearly two-decades in the recording industry. He has held senior Marketing, Production and Operations roles at Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music, and is a voting member of numerous industry professional organizations. Active in the music community, Mr. Kilmurray will seek to expand RtE partnerships with artists and other music-related entities. Kilmurray shared "While the record business is currently undergoing tremendous change, a new day has dawned in this country and people recognize what can be accomplished when we work together. My challenge is to create synergistic opportunities to involve artists and the music industry at-large to increase environmental awareness that educates and inspires fans and artists alike to take action and produce quantifiable results on important values-driven environmental issues that directly impact our lives, our children's lives and their children's lives." On the selection of Mr. Kilmurray as Executive Director, John Fleckenstein, Senior Vice President at BMG Label Group notes, "I've had the pleasure of working with Shawn frequently over the years; he's a passionate music guy with deep contacts in the industry. I cannot think of a better fit for Rock the Earth. I have no doubt he'll prove to be a tremendous asset to them." Having crossed paths with each other last summer while actively involved with the Obama campaign, founder Marc Ross looks forward to the future of the organization with Kilmurray as Executive Director. "All of us in Rock the Earth are very excited about the addition of Shawn Kilmurray as our new Executive Director. It is our belief that given his passion for the environment as well as his management experience and deep connections within the music industry, Shawn will be able to elevate Rock the Earth to the next level in our goal to become the pre-eminent environmental advocacy organization working with the music community." Enthusiastic about the opportunity, Kilmurray explains, "I am delighted to be asked to lead the organization at what is a critical time for the global environment. Whether it's climate change, chemicals in our food, water issues, deforestation, air pollution, extinction of species or the lack of government action, few of us truly take ownership and act on these issues, foolishly believing others will do it for us. Music has the power to open the heart and touch the soul. Artists have always been at the forefront of social change so they understand the importance of taking action. My objective is to develop collaborative alliances with those members of the music community dedicated to the pursuit of environmental solutions."  Supporting renewable energy, reducing dependency on fossil fuels, sustainability, widespread recycling and increased responsiveness, Shawn Kilmurray and Rock the Earth will continue to promote activism that produces clear-cut results. Bill Sondheim, President of Entertainment and Worldwide Distribution at Gaiam, Inc. reflects on his professional relationship with Kilmurray, "I have known Shawn in various music positions over the last fifteen years. During that time he has consistently demonstrated an ability to balance creative integrity with strong fiscal results. At this critical time when our planet is in peril, I rest easier knowing that he will bring that same passion and intelligence to this worthy cause."

ABOUT ROCK THE EARTH Rock the Earth is a Colorado-based, national public interest environmental organization dedicated to protecting and defending America's natural resources through partnerships with the music industry and the worldwide environmental community. The organization has most recently worked with coalitions to oppose increased drilling on the Roan Plateau and to limit motorized boating through the Grand Canyon. Rock the Earth has also received support from the Educational Foundation of America, musicians Jack Johnson and Incubus' Make Yourself Foundation and the Rex Foundation, allowing it to pursue the defense of important natural areas. For more information, go to www.RockTheEarth.org

Tell the Bush administration not to let mining companies destroy valleys and streams

Stop Bush from polluting our streams!- for the Grateful Web

The Office of Surface Mining has proposed changes to its stream buffer zone rule that would make it easier for mining companies to bury natural streams and valleys under piles of mining waste and vast ponds of toxin-laden sludge. The changes would weaken environmental standards for mountaintop removal mining operations that, even under the stricter existing buffer rule, have buried hundreds of miles of streams and contaminated mountain waterways. The headwater streams threatened by the rule changes provide valuable habitat and feed larger waters that provide drinking water, fishing and other recreational opportunities.

An environmental review of the proposal confirms that the proposed changes could permit the destruction of hundreds of miles of streams and valleys in Appalachia, the region already hardest hit by these irresponsible mining practices. But despite these conclusions, and ignoring the pleas and protests of thousands of activists, the agency is pressing ahead with its proposal.

The Office of Surface Mining is now preparing to finalize these changes to the rule. Before it can do so, however, the Environmental Protection Agency must give its approval.

What to do:  Send a message, as soon as possible, urging the EPA to reject the Office of Surface Mining's plan to allow mining companies to destroy America's streams.

Help protect Wyoming's last unspoiled wildlands

Wyoming- for the Grateful Web

If the Bush administration gets its way, Wyoming's spectacular Fortification Creek Area will soon be sacrificed to a massive drilling scheme.

We need your immediate action to halt this destructive plan in its tracks. The deadline for submitting comments on the plan is October 7!

Please go to: http://www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction right away and tell the Bureau of Land Management to reject this proposal, which would allow as many as 600 coalbed methane wells in the heart of Wyoming's remaining wildlands.

The Fortification Creek Area - containing over 42,000 acres of public wildlands - represents the last pristine oasis in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, which is already blanketed by coalbed methane wells.

Most importantly, the Fortification Creek region provides critical winter range and calving grounds for an isolated prairie elk herd of only 230 animals. If adopted, the Bush administration's plan has the potential to decimate the entire elk population.

The Fortification Creek Area is also home to pronghorn, bobcats, mountain lions, and over 200 species of migratory birds. Opening these lands to gas drilling would spoil a pristine water source for wildlife, cause irreversible soil and vegetation damage, and destroy outdoor recreational opportunities.

Please go to: http://www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and urge Bush administration officials to protect Wyoming's Fortification Creek

GOV. RITTER STATEMENT ON OIL SHALE P.E.I.S.

support the Natural Resources Defense Council- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Interior's publishing of a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for commercial oil shale development:

"As the national debate over America's energy future continues, we must be clear that Colorado is committed to helping meet America's energy needs. We are issuing about 35 new oil and gas drilling permits a day. We are building a New Energy Economy that is bringing thousands of new jobs to Colorado. And our research institutions are developing cutting-edge, new energy technologies.

"But with the Department of Interior's action today, the federal government has once again failed to act as a responsible partner for Colorado. The Bush Administration is engaging in last-minute maneuvering in its waning days rather than developing a comprehensive, meaningful and responsible long-term energy policy for America's future.

"Finalizing an Environmental Impact Statement without any clear understanding of the environmental, community, economic and energy impacts of commercial-scale oil shale development is irresponsible, short-sighted and premature. This does nothing to address gas prices at the pump today and has the potential to do much more harm than good."

Offshore Drilling: Top 10 reasons it's a BAD idea

Say NO to offshore drilling!- for the Grateful Web

Gas prices have been jumping over and under the $4 mark all summer, your grocery bills are soaring, and campaign ads are blasting you about the benefits of offshore drilling. So what's an average Joe or Jane supposed to believe? Will offshore drilling really make things better for you?

What you're hearing on the news is pretty one-sided, and most reporters are talking about this issue like it makes perfect sense. Well, it doesn't.

What can I say; sometimes dumb ideas get a lot of attention. That's exactly what's happening right now as President Bush has lifted the executive moratorium on offshore drilling, and Congress is being pushed to do the same.

Let me take just a second to review the top 10 reasons offshore drilling is such a dumb idea:

10. Offshore oil drilling won't impact gas prices today, and it won't have a significant impact on gas prices in the future.

9. This is nothing more than a money grab by the oil companies - who are already making record-breaking profits.

8. We burn 25% of the world's oil here in the U.S., but we have only 3% of the world's oil reserves. So even if all offshore oil magically came to market today, the vast majority of our oil would continue to be imported, and we wouldn't see price relief at the pump.

7. The current moratorium was put in place decades ago to protect us from the danger of oil spills along our coastlines and beaches.

6.  Burning fossil fuels like oil causes global warming, which causes stronger hurricanes, which will threaten the very offshore drilling rigs being proposed, which will contribute to even more global warming.

5. To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy within the next 10 years. The billions of dollars that would be spent on offshore oil drilling just postpones the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

4. Oil exploration requires massive seismic testing - which threatens whales and dolphins.

3. Oil prices are set on the global oil market, so American oil is no cheaper than Saudi oil. We won't get a discount for oil drilled in the U.S.

2. We can't solve the world's energy problems with the same drilling that created them.

1. Renewable energy is available now, so it's time to walk away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.

 

Take Action >> make sure Congress hears from YOU about offshore oil drilling.

Let's face it, there's really no good reason to drill offshore. More drilling is good for Big Oil, not for you and your family. We can't drill our way out of this mess - oil drilling is already at an all-time high and prices are still skyrocketing.

As a matter of fact, even if we could tap into all of the energy stored in the Earth's reserves - coal, oil, and natural gas - it would equal the energy in just 20 days of sunshine. Tell Congress to look on the bright side to solve our energy crisis. It's time to invest in renewable energy and leave oil to the dinosaurs. It's time for an energy revolution.


702 H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20001
(800) 326-0959

Melanie Duchin
Global Warming Campaigner