Chesapeake: The Sierra Club Maryland Chapter Newsletter
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2012 Chesapeake autumn

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Sierra Club Endorses John Delaney for Congress

by David Hauck
The Sierra Club has endorsed John Delaney in his campaign to become the representative from Maryland’s 6th Congressional District because of his support for our core issues—reducing America’s dependence on fossil fuels; protecting our country’s air, land and water resources; and promoting energy efficiency and conservation.

President Obama Needs Your Help

by Betsy Johnson
On April 18, the Sierra Club, Environment America, League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action put out a press release endorsing President Obama.

Letter from the Chair

by David O'Leary
Over the past several months, I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. In addition to interesting history and beautiful images, watching the series has provided an opportunity for proud reflection on the role of the Sierra Club in establishing and protecting our amazing parks.

You Can't Vote If You're Not Registered

by David Hauck
As the other articles in this newsletter keep repeating, this is an important election! We are being presented this November with two very different views about whether we as a nation need to take action to address climate change, encourage renewable energy, continue to work to reduce air and water pollution, and preserve our natural environment. But if you’re not registered to vote, you don’t get to have a say.

Congressional Endorsements: Who Gets Our Vote and Why

by Betsy Johnson
Environmentalists in most Maryland Congressional districts are fortunate to have representatives who take environmental protection seriously. This is reflected in their scores on the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scorecard (

Money in Politics: This Time, It’s Different

by David Hauck
Four years ago, the Obama campaign harnessed social media and the internet to bring in unprecedented amounts of political contributions from small donors. Nothing like it had ever been seen in previous presidential elections and several commentators talked about how the ability to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from millions of small donors represented a turning point in campaign finance. In future elections, they said, candidates could avoid the corrupting influence of, and dependence on, large donors with special interests and, instead, tap into a vast network of small donors. But this optimistic scenario was snuffed out by the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Our Congressional Candidates

The Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed the following candidates in the 2012 general election:
Senate: Ben Cardin
House District 1: None
House District 2: Dutch Ruppersberger
House District 3: John Sarbanes
House District 4: Donna Edwards
House District 5: Steny Hoyer
House District 6: John Delaney
House District 7: Elijah Cummings
House District 8: Chris Van Hollen

How to Write a Letter to the Editor

The majority of Marylanders know little about the candidates’ environmental records. You can amplify or correct the information that is being published by writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper when you see that environmental issues are not being dealt with completely or accurately.

Nominations Sought for State and Local Leadership Positions

Each year, the Maryland Chapter and our nine local groups hold elections for delegates to their executive committees. The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization that elects its own volunteer leadership from among its members. Every member is entitled to vote and to run for leadership positions in the club.

Cliff-Notes for the Sierra Club

by Josh Tulkin
I’m writing this column at the end of August, and it will appear as autumn approaches, almost a year since I started as Director of the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter. But it already feels like a lifetime.

Big Energy Campaigns to Open Maryland to Fracking

Big Energy is stepping up its campaign to open Maryland to fracking, and the Sierra Club is working hard to slow this ill-conceived and dangerous speeding train. Your help is making our fight possible.

Greater Baltimore Group’s Environmental Challenges

by Chris Yoder
Here’s what’s happening in the Greater Baltimore area, from air quality to zoning.

What’s an Easy Step You Can Take to Move Beyond Coal?

by Craig Marlowe
When many people think of clean or renewable energy solutions to burning fossil fuels, they think of offshore wind turbines, or solar electric projects. And yet right here in Maryland, we developed modern solar water heating—a small-scale clean-energy solution that can reduce coal-generated electricity demand by 10% for the average household with electric water heaters.

Up on the Roof

by Michael Brune
Let me start with a confession: I'm the executive director of the country's largest environmental organization, and I don't have solar panels on my roof. Now wait a minute. Before you judge, I do have a few justifications. We have young children and funds have been tight . . . we had been planning to move for a while . . . we were saving up to buy a house, etc. All valid reasons, if I say so myself. But still, no solar.

Grassroots Opposition to Coal Is International

by Gordon Scott
The global grassroots movement against dirty, polluting coal-fired power has added another continent to the ranks of those finally moving away from the carbon-intensive fuel source: Australia. This July, the government of Australia announced that it is cancelling an A$100 million grant to Australian conglomerate HRL for a 400-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Victoria. This is likely to be the death blow to what many believe is the last coal plant planned for Australia.

Scene from the River: Experiencing the Beyond Coal Outing

by Andrew Graham-Yooll
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon I find myself strolling the banks of the Gunpowder River in the Gunpowder Falls State Park east of Baltimore, trying to spot different birds including ospreys and bald eagles—as I eventually do. After filling out the usual disclosure forms for renting a boat, I don a life vest and grab a paddle. Now we are ready.

Magnificent Support for the Mattawoman

by Danielle Seeley
Kayakers eager to enjoy the lotus blossoms turned out for the Maryland Sierra Club’s conservation outing on Saturday, August 18. Pushing off from Up the Creek Rentals, the explorers leisurely paddled along the Mattawoman Creek to enjoy the lush flora and fauna. Even though the lotus blossoms were highlighted on the trip, kayakers also saw cattails, wild rice, wood ducks, and blue heron. They stopped along the way to learn about the importance of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and the largemouth bass, the history of the long-abandoned gravel dredging site, and how the Charles County 2006 Comprehensive Land Use Plan is currently threatening this pristine freshwater marsh.

Letters to the Editor

Just in time for autumn, more tick talk.


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