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by Alana Wase
Despite Marylands commitment to clean, renewable energy, plans are being made to import additional coal-fired power into our state. Two transmission line proposals, the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) and the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH), if built, would encourage existing coal- fired power plants to ramp up production and ship additional dirty coal power to population centers on the East Coast
by Ron Henry
Hello, All. Well, here we are in midst of the autumn quarter already. And what an energetic period it has been thus far!
This issue of Chesapeake includes the ballot for electing at-large members of the executive committee of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club
Statements from candidates David OLeary, Brigitte Fortin, and Betsy Johnson
by Dave OLeary
Throughout the summer and fall, chapter volunteers and staff were hard at work researching, planning and meeting to decide on chapter priorities for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010. We looked into the wide range of issues covered by the Sierra Club national Climate Recovery campaigns, and considered the many issues facing us here in Maryland. At an annual planning meeting in September, the chapter leaders decided to focus on two conservation priorities: reducing global warming pollution through smart energy solutions, and protecting natural places and resilient habitats.
by Yi-Hsuan Lee
The Maryland Chapter Legislative Committee has been finalizing our top legislative priorities for the 2010 Maryland General Assembly, and would like to welcome any new volunteers to participate in this exciting time! The assembly session lasts for 90 days, from mid-January to mid-April, during which time the legislative committee is involved in fast-paced lobbying activities in Annapolis in order to influence the passage of environmentally-friendly legislation
by Dave OLeary
On Monday, October 19, Senator Ben Cardin introduced the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009. If this bill is passed, it should strengthen the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and reauthorize funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The next day, Congressman Elijah Cummings introduced a corresponding bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. These bills follow an Executive Order from President Obama in May regarding protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Information about the two bills is online at www.thomas.gov. The House bill number is H.R.3852. The Senate bill number is S. 1816.
by Jim Long
My affair with Mattawoman Creek began many years ago, after calibration paddling the Potomacs tidal-freshwater embayments near my home. Mattawoman is different. Wooded wildlands frame serene upper tidal reaches; acres of emergent wetland plants waver in the currents; wild rice nods above as submerged aquatics undulate below; and the picture is always animated by fishing birds drawn to this finest of all Chesapeake Bay fish nurseries. Truly, as its Algonquin namesake implies, it is where one goes pleasantly.
The Algonquin Indians termed it where one goes pleasantly. Paddlers and anglers, otters, egrets, and eagles prize it. State fisheries biologists regard it the best of the best. Local government considers it a sewer district. Mattawoman Creek epitomizes what ails the Chesapeake Bay in the face of sprawling urbanization: nearly all land-use decisions are handled by local governments, which, too often, have strong ties to the development industry.
by Chris Yoder
Legislation to protect the unique and vulnerable natural legacy embodied in the wilderness quality wildlands of Utah took an important step forward on October 1, 2009. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing on H.R. 1925, a bill that would designate about nine million acres of these priceless lands as wilderness. This was the first hearing on a comprehensive Utah Wilderness Bill since Utah Congressman Wayne Owens first introduced the Americas Red Rock Wilderness Bill in 1989
Annapolis and Frederick elected new mayors and city councils in November. The Sierra Club endorsed candidates in both places, and two-thirds of our endorsees won.
Since coal is the primary fuel for 60 percent of the electrical energy in our area, saving electricity means being greenfrom less mountaintop removal mining to less global climate change. Burning less fuel oil and natural gas to heat our homes also reduces environmental harm. Fortunately, there are federal and state incentives for saving energy.
by Rich Reis
Mr. Bennet, my high school physics teacher, liked to remind his students that our parents electric bills reflect the energy, not the power we use. However, because electrical capacity and loads vary by season and by time of day, commercial and industrial energy costs also vary by season and time of day. These customers also pay for peak power costs. PEPCO and other utilities are now offering incentives to allow them to remotely turn off our air conditioning systems using Digital Cycling Units (DCU) during some summer afternoons
by Mary C. Corddry
Following is a roundup of whats happening with the nine Sierra Club groups in Maryland: Anne Arundel County, Catoctin, Eastern Shore, Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland
What a weekend! Of course we loved the workshops, bluegrass music, and food, but best of all was the wonderful company!
by Jan C. Hoffmaster
As many of you already know, Dan Soeder has moved to West Virginia and has resigned his position as our outings chair. I know hes going to be active in the West Virginia Chapter and I will attempt to fill his shoes as best I can.
Sierra Club outings are open to everyone, members and non-members alike. Each outing is intended to be a wholesome, safe, and enjoyable experience in the outdoors. Participants must have proper clothing, equipment, and stamina suitable to the event, and are encouraged to select activities that match their individual abilities for outdoor adventures.