Ricky Handshoe’s family has lived in Floyd County, Kentucky, for generations. Raccoon Creek flows right by his house. “We used to have the best water on the creek and just about more fish than anywhere else for a stream this size.”
No longer. Heavy metals and other pollutants from mountaintop-removal coal mining have made the electrical conductivity of the water over 11 times what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for aquatic life. “Everything is dead,” says Ricky.
After years of scientific study, the EPA issued guidance on acceptable levels of conductivity in stream water. Unfortunately, last week a court sided with the coal industry and threw out the EPA’s guidance, saying it wasn’t an official rule.
We love parks and public transit. Which got us to thinking: What would a subway system of our national parks look like?
Take a look at our fun subway map and count the number of stops you’ve made and the stations you might want to visit on your next trip.
Nine Must-See West Coast Waterfalls
You can hike to them, dance underneath them, appreciate them from afar, or listen to them up close. They’re majestic and powerful, and no two look alike.
These majestic natural wonders are well worth taking a hike to see.
During recent trips to the West, Mitt Romney said both that he doesn’t understand “what the purpose” of our public lands is and that clean energy jobs don’t exist. This perhaps explains in part why Mitt Romney is willing to cede the clean energy industry — and its jobs — to China.
Well, a new report out from our colleagues at the Center for American Progress shows that not only do they exist today, but that the American West has tremendous potential for billions more in clean energy investments and hundreds of thousands of additional jobs.
Let’s run through the highlights of that report.
More Than 500,000 Green Jobs Today
A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study reflects this success, determining that in 2010, “green goods and services” accounted for:
This comes to 527,083 jobs altogether in these six states.
Overwhelming Public Support for More Clean Energy Investments
When it came to comparing fossil fuels and renewables, western voters were far more likely to encourage more wind and solar power over coal and oil.
Billions More in Potential Investments, Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs
If we put the right set of policies in place, the West’s potential for new investments — and new jobs — is vast.
How many jobs would these investments create? A lot.
Just today, the Obama administration announced it was expediting seven major wind and solar projects in four Western states.
Check out the full report for all of the details about exactly how we could make even more happen.
And of course if these incentives weren’t enough, there’s the fact that we must do more to fight the increasingly urgent threat of climate change. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), speaking today at the National Clean Energy Summit, pointed to this year’s extreme weather events:
This year alone, the United States has seen unparalleled extreme weather events – events scientists say are exactly what is expected as the earth’s climate changes.
The Midwest is experiencing its most crushing drought in more than half a century – or maybe ever. Presently, disasters have been declared in the majority of U.S. counties. More than half the country is experiencing drought, and seventy-five percent of the nation is abnormally dry this year. [...]
And our nation’s infrastructure is literally falling apart because it wasn’t designed to withstand these conditions. Runways are melting, trapping planes. Train tracks are bending, derailing subways. Highways are cracking, buckling and breaking open. The water used to cool power plants – including nuclear power plants – has either run dry or reached dangerously high temperatures.
And that’s just in the United States – just through the month of July.
And Reid pulled no punches when it came to climate deniers:
The seriousness of this problem is not lost on your average American. A large majority of people finally believe climate change is real, and that it is the cause of extreme weather. Yet despite having overwhelming evidence and public opinion on our side, deniers still exist, fueled and funded by dirty energy profits.
These people aren’t just on the other side of this debate. They’re on the other side of reality.
It’s time for us all – whether we’re leaders in Washington, members of the media, scientists, academics, environmentalists or utility industry executives – to stop acting like those who ignore the crisis or deny it exists entirely have a valid point of view. They don’t.
As Sen. Reid also said in his speech, the time to act isn’t later. The time to act is today.
The average tax rate of America’s 10 largest corporations? 9 percent.
Why we need a financial transactions tax in one chart.
Mitt Romney says that waivers he supported will “gut” welfare reform. (They won’t.)
Where pizza and Obamacare meet.
Why Speaker Boehner owes Janet Napolitano an apology.
Better know a right-wing attack group: American Crossroads.
Texas is set to execute a mentally retarded man today.
Amgen became the 31st company to dump ALEC.
The Koch Brothers attacked Zack Galifianakis today.
Mitt Romney is Attacking the Voting Rights of Veterans Today is the day in 1965 — 47 years ago — that the Voting Rights Act went into effect. Instead of taking time out to celebrate today, we’re fending off more Republican attacks on voting rights. As we speak, Mitt Romney and Republicans are attacking the [...]
Free the Pill! Earlier this week, another round of Obamacare benefits kicked in. Over 47 MILLION women will enjoy these new benefits. Take a look: Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress refuse to move on and remain obsessed with repealing Obamacare. Repealing Obamacare would now take away these benefits from 47 MILLION women and countless other benefits that [...]
Trickle Down Didn’t Work Then & It Won’t Work Now The middle class in this country is struggling, which is a big reason why our economy also continues to struggle. The good news is that there are loads of progressive ideas (here are 35) about how to revitalize the middle class. The bad news is [...]
Mitt Romney’s Plan for a $2,000 Middle Class Tax Hike As we reported yesterday, we already know that Mitt Romney has an economic plan to enrich the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Well, a new non-partisan, independent analysis of Romney’s tax plan released today by the Tax Policy Center shows just how far Romney would [...]
My name is Latesha Taylor and I’m scared for my child‘s future.
Every day my 9-year old daughter Loretta goes to school — her life is at risk.
Why? Because without someone available every day to check her blood glucose and administer insulin, Loretta could enter into a coma … or worse.
You see, Loretta has diabetes. Yet her school system doesn’t believe that it’s their job to provide basic care for a child with diabetes when a school nurse isn’t available. Other states have adopted laws that allow school employees to provide diabetes care as trained volunteers … but not mine.
Instead, I’m forced to leave my job every time the nurse is absent or unavailable because the school system refuses to train other staff members in how to care for her. And that means I get fired. A lot.
It also means Loretta is falling way behind in school. She can’t pay attention or keep up with her schoolwork when her blood glucose hits an extreme. And because she has so many absences from leaving school when there’s no nurse available, she’s even been cited for truancy!
Now I’m fighting for my child’s rights … and her safety. And I’d like you to join me. Help fight for the care that children like Loretta deserve at school.
Will you please send an urgent donation to help the American Diabetes Association? Your support could help them fight for the diabetes care that children like Loretta deserve at school, as well as support the Association’s research, information, advocacy and education programs.
Many of the over 200,000 children with diabetes in America have no support system in school when they need insulin or face a diabetes emergency. Some are even turned away from their neighborhood school simply because they have diabetes.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this is discriminatory and must be stopped. School personnel who aren’t health care professionals can — and should — be trained to provide diabetes care when a school nurse isn’t available.
Not only will your generosity help give voice to those like Lorettta who are denied rights because of their diabetes, it will also help fund critical research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes.
I simply can’t thank you enough.
P.S. The American Diabetes Association had already won key victories in multiple states, allowing school employees to volunteer to be trained in assisting children with diabetes. Help us move forward! Your gift today will help the American Diabetes Association improve the lives of children and adults with diabetes. Donate today and help STOP DIABETES®