January 31, 2013 was the vote that never happened. Clean Water Action and allies won a critical battle in the fight to keep Virginia’s current uranium mining ban in place. This was the date when the State Senate’s environmental committee was scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 1353, a bill to regulate uranium mining at the Coles Hill site in Pittsylvania County. If passed, the bill would have effectively ended the state’s thirty-one year ban on uranium mining, beginning what could have been a long, ferocious fight on the issue.
Instead, bill sponsor Sen. John C. Watkins withdrew his bill, presumably knowing from his count of likely votes that the measure was doomed to fail.
Building on Past Victories to Protect Maryland’s Water
Clean Water Action has endorsed Tim Kaine of Virginia for the United States Senate. It is the second Clean Water Action endorsement for Kaine. The first was in 2005 when he was the clear environmental choice for Governor. As Governor, Tim Kaine did not disappoint. His four years in office were a time of progress for the protection and restoration of Virginia’s water.
Clean Water Action has been knocking on doors throughout Northern Virginia. Since June, the goal has been to recruit new members and renew longtime supporters, and then to make sure Clean Water Action members are registered to vote.
All members are urged to turn out and vote for a slate of high priority candidates this November 6. Each is in races with very high environmental stakes for Virginia and for the nation. These include President Barack Obama, Tim Kaine for the U.S. Senate, and Gerry Connolly for the U.S. House (District 11). Clean Water Action’s endorsements followed a rigorous process involving tough looks at the candidates’ records and positions, responses to questionnaires, and in some cases interviews.
are you a clean water voter?
By Charles Griffith - Climate & Energy Program Director, Ecology Center
In a great example of a good start, Ann Arbor’s city council approved a plan earlier this month to further prepare the city’s infrastructure to support plug-in electric vehicles. The resolution calls on city staff to review permit and planning processes, as well as zoning codes, to remove barriers to creating plug-in infrastructure. The resolution also requires the city’s administrator to consider adding plug-in vehicles as part of the city’s fleet.
A manufacturer-run program for collecting mercury thermostats is failing to keep the toxic heavy metal out of the trash—and the environment. Turning Up The Heat II estimates that, at most, the industry recycling program has captured 8% of mercury thermostats coming out of service in the past decade. This has resulted in the disposal of over 50 tons of mercury into the environment, which can expose people to the neurotoxin through fish consumption.
HB 6526 Toxics Disclosure and Innovation for Healthy Children. This bill will:
Putting the Brakes On
Big oil has its sights on California. Plans are in motion to make the state the nation’s number one oil producer, moving up from its current 4th place position. New hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques are a big part of industry’s strategy. Though oil developers promise an economic boom for the state, increased fracking has the potential to cause serious environmental and health harm, and California residents and other industries might be forced to shoulder those costs.