EPA Pick’s History of Hostility to the Environment
Confirmation of Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s pick to head the EPA, could have disastrous consequences for our health, air, water, and climate. As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt turned his office into a crony capitalist institution, suing the EPA on behalf of big polluter “clients” who turned around and gave more than $300,000 to his re-election campaign. He’s a climate-change denier, and his own work bio calls him “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
Read our Top 5 list of things you probably don’t know about the fossil fuel industry’s favorite lawyer—and tell your senators to oppose Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA.
Secretary of Big Oil?
Yesterday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began hearings on former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s nomination to be secretary of state. Appointing an oil executive with no government experience to be in charge of our foreign policy would undermine U.S. foreign relations and leadership in addressing climate change and human rights violations around the world. With senators from both parties expressing skepticism over Tillerson, sending a message to your senators now will have a huge impact.
Urge your senators to strongly oppose Tillerson’s nomination for secretary of state.
The Path of Most Resistance
Join us on Tuesday, January 17, at 11:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM EST for a special Facebook Live event. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune will share the Sierra Club’s strategy for resisting the Trump administration’s anticipated assault on the environment, talk about ways you can stay involved in the fight to protect our land, water, communities, and climate, and answer questions submitted by supporters like you. Not yet following us on Facebook? Let’s change that. Don’t have access to Facebook? Don’t worry; we’ll share the replay video afterward.
Save the date—and submit a question for Michael.
Donald Trump and his administration oppose the Clean Power Plan and plan to sell off our public lands, hobble the EPA, expand fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, and withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The environmental policies promoted by his cabinet nominees represent a very real threat to the safety of our communities and the health of our families and our planet. That’s why we’re coming together as part of the People’s Climate Movement January 21-24—the first 100 hours of the Trump administration—to stand up for our planet and our communities.
RSVP now to join the People’s Climate Movement 100 Hours of Resistance.
Hundreds of New Sierra Club Trips Are Here!
Where will 2017 take you? Our latest trip launch features 300+ ideas for active exploration, including soft adventure, rugged treks, and everything in between. Take your pick of:
Head to Sierra Club Outings to browse the full lineup by trip type or destination, view featured trips, learn about our volunteer leaders, and more. As always, you can book your reservation online or call (415) 977-5522 to secure a spot by phone.
Photo by BGSmith/iStock
Obama Bans Drilling in Arctic and Atlantic Oceans
Five days before Christmas, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented a gift to future generations of North Americans when they banned oil and gas drilling in 115 million acres of the Arctic Ocean and, in a swath stretching from Massachusetts to Maryland, 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic Ocean. “These actions … protect a sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other on Earth,” said Obama, who is cementing his environmental legacy in ways that will be difficult for his successor to overturn.
Read more, and thank President Obama for protecting our Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
Meanwhile, on Dry Land…
On December 28, the anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, President Obama established two new national monuments in the Southwest: Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada. The designations protect slightly more than 1.6 million acres and help knit together a vast wildlife corridor north of the Colorado River. A coalition of Native American nations has been advocating to protect Bears Ears, which may contain up to 100,000 cultural sites. Gold Butte, long a priority for desert conservationists, protects Joshua tree forests, twisting slot canyons, and high-elevation stands of ponderosa pine from Las Vegas sprawl.
What We Choose to Save
President Obama’s newest national monument designations are extremely welcome—yet bittersweet for two reasons. First, in a matter of days, we will no longer have a champion for public lands in the White House. Second, the Republican leadership in Congress is preparing to mount the most aggressive attack on public lands protections in our nation’s history. And as Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune writes, “they’ve already made their first move.”
Learn about the coming battle over national monuments and how we can keep public lands safe.
Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2016
“Donald Trump’s stunning electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton was the biggest story of 2016, period,” writes Sierra magazine editor-in-chief Jason Mark. “His cabinet picks make plain he’s determined to stall, if not reverse, the United States’ recent progress on climate change.” But 2016 was a mixed bag on the environmental front, with victories, accomplishments, and trends to celebrate. (And get fired up, Sierra Club activists: The reality of a climate-science denier residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. means the next four years will be our time to lead as well.)
Read Mark’s recap of “the big, the bad, and the good from 2016.”
Through the Roof
There’s no denying that 2016 was in many respects a tough year—especially after November 8. But 2016 was also the best year on record for clean, renewable energy like wind and solar. Ready for 100, a solutions-focused campaign dedicated to accelerating the transition to 100 percent clean energy at the local level, has plenty of positive, hopeful stories to share from this past year.
Read about 21 times that clean energy was “through the roof” in 2016.
Sierra Survey Puts You in the Running for REI Bonanza
Sierra magazine periodically conducts a readership survey that helps us produce a magazine that’s tailored to your interests and passions. Complete our online survey, include your email address, and you’ll be entered to win a $500 gift certificate to REI and a one-year national parks pass. All responses are anonymous, and we’ll only use your email address to contact you if you win. Complete rules are available online. The survey closes at midnight EST on January 31.
Complete our survey today!
Get Virtual and Get Outdoors
The U.S. is blessed with beautiful parks and natural spaces, and every child should have the chance to experience them. The Every Kid in a Park initiative gives fourth graders and their families a free one-year entry pass to our federal public lands, waters and shores. Join First Lady Michelle Obama and Sierra Club Ambassador and Modern Family star Nolan Gould as they explore America’s great outdoors in a virtual reality experience that will entice kids of all ages to get outside.
Check out the Every Kid in a Park virtual reality experience.
(Click on the green GET THE APP link in the upper-right-hand corner of the page to watch the virtual reality tour.)
NEW! The Sierra Club National Parks Coloring Book
The Sierra Club and illustrator Lauren Allen have created a beautiful coloring book celebrating America’s national parks. Featuring 30 original designs of inspiring quotes and landscapes from Acadia to Zion, the Sierra Club National Parks Coloring Book will entertain you with hours of exploring in America’s natural treasures. And it comes with a set of colored pencils.
Get yours today!
Join the Cooler, Greener Auto Club
Get a discount on eco-friendly roadside assistance with our new partner, Better World Club. As a Sierra Club supporter, you receive a 10% discount on Better World Club’s eco-friendly roadside assistance. Use code SLUB2121. Plus when you sign up with Better World Club, the Sierra Club receives a donation to support our work.
Sign up today!
Water and Oil Don’t Mix
The oil and gas industry has long treated the Gulf Coast as a sacrifice zone, raking in huge profits at the expense of wetland ecosystems and local residents’ health. Now, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline wants to build a network of pipelines to transport fracked tar sands crude oil from North Dakota to refineries and ports in Louisiana. The final link, the Bayou Bridge pipeline, would cross the Atchafalaya Basin, home to 15 endangered or threatened species and the nation’s largest wetland.
Speak up now to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline—the public comment period ends this Thursday, January 12.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers