Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

The Sierra Club of Southeastern PA and
CCP Coalition for a Sustainable Future

Green Building

Monday March 10, 2014, 6:45 PM
Center for Business and Industry, 18th and Callowhill Sts, Room C2-5

Holly Shields of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC)
will talk about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
standards a building must meet in order to be certified green.
Experts look for a sustainable site, reduced water use, energy
efficiency, use of recycled materials, and good indoor air quality.
Green building saves money, protects health, and limits the impact of
human activity on the environment. Contact wbrainerd3@gmail.com



Beyond Coal Campaign

Phonebanking, letter writing, canvassing, 1-on-1 meetings, events and other activities are being organized. Thanks to Bryan Crenshaw, we have a great blog pacleanair.blogspot.com and a very informative Twitter account @pacleanair. If anyone wants to have a 1-on-1 discussion with me on how to get involved please call me at 732-589-8024. To be added to the google group list, send your name and email address to william.kramer@sierraclub.org. You will be kept up to date on all campaign activities.



Information on the Keystone XL Pipeline

There is already a Keystone Pipeline running east from Calgary Alberta through Saskatchewan to Winnipeg Manitoba, then south through North and South Dakota to Steele City in southern Nebraska, and east to Illinois. Another pipeline carries oil to the Cushing, Oklahoma. Keystone XL is an expansion project that adds a pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf Coast and another from Alberta directly to Steele City, southeast from Alberta through Montana across the Ogallala Aquifer. The Governor of Nebraska has withdrawn his objection to crossing this vital groundwater source, although in places the aquifer reache the surface near the pipeline.

The XL pipeline will carry 830,000 barrels a day of heated, diluted bitumen, which is semi-solid tar or asphalt. Bitumen is strip mined and upgraded on site using three to five barrels of water for each barrel of tar sands oil. 650 million cubic meters a year of water will be withdrawn from the Athabasca River, which runs through Jasper National Park. When burned bitumen generates 40--100% more carbon dioxide than oil, one reason Dr James Hansen said XL would be disastrous for global warming.

XL will have a 55' clearcut right of way on either side through forest and prairie.

75% of oil reaching the Gulf of Mexico is contracted for export.

Feridun is concerned that President Obama will approve construction. In case he doesn't the House has already attempted to fast track XL four times, the last time calling for it to proceed without further review. She takes issue with the State Department Draft Environmental Impact Statement's weak stance on tar sands and its impacts on climate but agreed that tar sands oil will be extracted by someone else if not the United States. Although British Columbia recently said XL couldn't cross its land, other pipelines are proposed and the oil could be carried by train to other ports. She believes that the protest has to be expanded beyond KXL to extreme energy sources of all types.

Some opponents of KXL hope that Section 526 of the Energy Independence and National Security Act of 2007 might provide a way to block it. The law "prohibits a federal agency from entering into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel, including a fuel produced from nonconventional petroleum sources, for any mobility-related use (other than for research or testing), unless the contract specifies that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel supplied under the contract must, on an ongoing basis, be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel produced from conventional petroleum sources." As the largest procurer of fuel, the federal government would be barred from purchasing any of the dil-bit, the diluted bitumen which is a synthetic fuel.

The Commonwealth Pipeline carrying natural gas from Marcellus shale is planned for Berks and Chester Counties through Hopewell Big Woods, the largest unbroken woodlands in Southeastern PA. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Pipeline Safety Coalition, and Berks Gas Truth worked with a very active community group that formed in Chester County to organize against the pipeline. Natural Lands Trust recently issued a report on pipeline's impacts on the Hopewell Big Woods. http://www.natlands.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/05/HBW_PipelineReport5_13LowResFINAL.pdf

Should Utica shale ever be mined, forced pooling will be legal. By law rock lower than Marcellus shale can be mined for gas and oil even under the homes of people who have not leased their land.