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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #143

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 11, 2017

News of interest to green unionists:

Claims Used to Overturn the Crude Oil Export Ban Are Turning Out False - By Justin Mikulka, DeSmog Blog, March 2, 2017 - Even with crude exports blowing past all expectations (along with other forces at play), the industry as a whole might only create 100,000 jobs when API promised 1,000,000 jobs. This shortfall shouldn’t really be surprising. CNN Money reported that during the fracking boom years of 2009-2014, only 233,000 total jobs were created by the oil and gas industry.

Coal, oil and gas investments to be phased out, UCT Convocation votes - By staff, Fossil Free South Africa, March 2, 2017 - On Tuesday 28 February, the Convocation of the University of Cape Town overwhelmingly passed a non-binding motion for the university to rid itself of all investments in fossil fuels within five years. Should the university council agree to this motion, it would make UCT the first African University to formally commit to divesting from fossil fuels.

Don't Let Corporations Control Vulnerable Americans' Water - By Wenonah Hauter, The Hill, March 7, 2017 - Reports surfaced that Trump’s proposed budget would gut the EPA — cutting up to $2 billion from the agency’s budget, sacrificing as many as 3,000 employees (so much for his promises to create jobs). He also rolled back key protections for air and water.

Efficiency & Clean Energy Can Replace Coal For A Reliable Modern Grid In US - By NRDC, Clean Technica, March 3, 2017 - “The shift away from coal, and the ongoing retirement of aging coal plants, presents our country with an historic opportunity,” said Starla Yeh, the report’s co-author and a senior policy analyst in NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air Program. “The U.S. is perfectly positioned to lead a global transition to clean energy, modernize its electricity grid, enlist tens of thousands of Americans in new efficiency and clean energy jobs—and help protect the planet from climate devastation.”

Energy Companies Face Crude Reality: Better to Leave It in the Ground - By Sarah Kent, Bradley Olson and Georgi Kantchev, Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2017 - A new era of low crude prices and stricter regulations on climate change is pushing energy companies and resource-rich governments to confront the possibility that some fossil-fuel resources will remain in the ground indefinitely.

The EPA is more vulnerable now than ever before - By Walter Rosenbaum, Grist, March 1, 2017 - For people concerned with environmental protection, including many EPA employees, there is broad agreement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in deep trouble.

To Fight Back Trump’s EPA Assaults, Join the People’s Climate Mobilization - By Lindsay Meiman, Common Dreams, March 3, 2017 - To fight back the Trump administration’s reported attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, the People’s Climate Movement is calling on the public to join the April 29 March for Climate, Jobs and Justice.

First victory in the fight against occupational cancers - By staff, European Trade Union Institute, February 28, 2017 - On 28 February, the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs voted in favour of various amendments to the European Commission’s proposal for a directive amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.

4 Signs Texas Could Lead The Clean Energy Economy – But Will It? - By Environmental Defense Fund, Breaking Energy, March 7, 2017 - The AWEA report shows Texas is the nation’s indisputable wind powerhouse, including serving as home to nearly a quarter of America’s wind jobs. But wind is just one piece of the puzzle, and recent reports confirm the pieces are in place for Texas to blaze the clean energy trail.

Get ready for Trump’s climate-denial offensive - By Katrina vanden Heuvel, Washington Post, March 7, 2017 - Missing in action is a broader sense of what is at stake. Put aside that catastrophic climate changes could render the world uninhabitable. Trump simply dismisses that threat. But given that he pledges to “make America great again,” to bring back jobs and make the economy hum, he needs to learn one key thing about the future: The country that captures the lead in building the technologies and energy systems needed to deal with climate change will dominate the growth industries of the 21st century.

GOP Deregulating Frenzy Takes Aim at Fair Pay and Safety Rules for Workers - By Andrea Germanos, Common Dream, March 06, 2017 - Contractors that kill and injure workers' stand to benefit from repeal of Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, says one observer.

Health care cut-off notices mailed to 22,600 retired coal miners, widows as Congress fails to act to fulfill America’s promise to them - By staff, United Mine Workers of America, March 1, 2017 - Letters advising some 22,600 retired coal miners and widows that their earned health care benefits would be cut off in 60 days were mailed from the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds today, causing needless anxiety and concern for these elderly Americans. This travesty is entirely caused because a small minority of those on Capitol Hill simply refuse to honor America’s moral commitment to our nation’s retired miners.

The Infrastructure Opportunity Nobody Is Talking About – Yet - By Steve Cochran, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, March 1, 2017 -  Coastal restoration projects, when done well, can do more than any other to grow the nation’s economy, safeguard national security, save lives and create new jobs – all while being cost-effective.

It’s still a pig - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, March 3, 2017 - Wendy’s latest public relations ploy in response to Campaign for Fair Food isn’t fooling anyone.

Louisiana Governor Calls on President Trump to Expedite Coastal Infrastructure Projects - By staff, Restore the Mississippi Delta, March 8, 2017 - Investing in Louisiana coastal protection and restoration will help protect the region’s vital industries – including fisheries, oil and gas, transportation and navigation – as well as create jobs and build a sustainable coastal economy. The urgent need to rebuild Louisiana’s coastal infrastructure is one of the most important issues facing our country.

Murray Energy bucks coal mining trend with record giving in 2016 - By Ashley Balcerzak, Open Secrets, February 28, 2017 - Some of that coal cash has been controversial, especially as major players in coal production recently have faced large layoffs or declared bankruptcy: Last year Murray Energy’s PAC gave $100,000 to Trump’s joint fundraising committee on June 28, the day before sending 4,400 layoff notices to workers. Most of those particular layoffs didn’t happen in the end, but there have been others: In May 2015, Murray’s workforce stood at 8,400; as of December 2016, it was down to 6,000. More than 400 employees of an Ohio subsidiary, the Ohio Valley Coal Co., lost their jobs or were transferred last November when the Powhatan No. 6 Mine shut down due to lack of reserves.

Nuclear Plant’s Closing Raises New Fears for Jobs and Taxes - By Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, February 28, 2017 - The hearing touched on issues such as energy reliability, lost jobs, the affect on the area’s property tax base and how spent fuel on the site would be stored. In painstaking testimony, top energy officials led lawmakers through descriptions of evolving energy markets and technologies and the complexities of how power is delivered around the state.

On March 25: European peasant movement joins demonstration in ROME for an EU that serves the People - By Andres Arce Indacochea and Fabrizio Garbarino, La Via Campesina, March 6, 2017 - Peasant Movement joins demonstrations in Rome on 25 March: For healthy and quality food, decent work, and a just and sustainable agricultural policy in Europe

1 In 6 Scottish Renewable Energy Jobs At Risk - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, March 6, 2017 - A new survey of the Scottish renewable energy sector has highlighted fears that a sixth of the country’s workforce will lose their jobs within the next 12 months, says Scottish Renewables, the country’s renewable energy trade body.

Only Mass Mobilization Can Save the EPA - By Jamie Henn, Common Dreams, March 6, 2017 - One of those ways is by taking part in the People’s Climate Mobilization this April 29th. Marches and rallies are already being organized across the country and in Washington, D.C.. We’re going to show Trump that he can try and deny the reality of the climate crisis, but he can’t deny the power of the American people. Together, we’re going to stand up to this administration’s attacks on our climate and communities and put forward the vision of a clean energy economy that works for all.

OSU students, Columbus community announce weeklong fast in lead up to Return to Human Rights Tour! - By staff, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, March 7, 2017 - We are fasting in solidarity with farmworkers who have had to go hungry while harvesting the food we all eat because of Wendy’s indifference to their exploitation.

President Trump Wants to Create Jobs. Here’s How He Can Do It - By staff, The Climate Reality Project, February 28, 2017 - According to the White House’s energy plan, President Trump is committed to “help[ing] American workers, increasing wages,” and bringing “jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans.” But the president is approaching these goals the wrong way.

This Republican mayor is bucking his party to stand up for climate action - Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, March 6, 2017 - To Brainard, who has run on a platform of revitalizing Carmel through smart city planning and sustainable upgrades, Republicans aren’t just misguided in bending to industry over the environment — he says they are also missing a huge opportunity to create jobs, establish energy independence, and bolster national security.

Sportsmen & sportswomen slam Trump’s Rolling back Clean Water Rule - By Dan Bacher, Daily Kos, February 28, 2017 - The Donald Trump administration has been in office only since January 21, but it has already managed to alienate one key constituency — sportsmen and sportswomen — for its attacks on the nation’s key environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

Struggle over retired coal miners’ health care comes back to Capitol Hill - By Curtis Tate, McClatchey, March 2, 2017 - That’s why a group of retired Kentucky miners headed for Capitol Hill this week to press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to fix the health care fund for more than 22,000 United Mine Workers of America retirees nationwide.

Train services across France hit by rail strike - By staff, The Local, February 2, 2017 - Rail workers went on strike on Thursday, forcing cancellations on services around the country.

Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against ‘Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life’ - By Jeremy Brecher, Labor Network for Sustainability, March 2017, Why ‘Climate Kids’ vs. Trump is no ordinary lawsuit.

Trump Transport Secretary Elaine Chao Pulls $647 Million Dedicated To California Rail Electrification - By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, March 3, 2017 - Both projects, of course, would be consistent with Donald Trump’s grandiose plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, a program that would create jobs for many Americans. But Trump may not have counted on the antipathy of Congressional Republicans when it comes to spending money on infrastructure. They steadfastly blocked virtually all infrastructure spending during the Obama administration and show no inclination to loosen the purse strings now.

Trump’s ‘order’ that all pipelines be made with U.S. steel is a classic fake-out - By Samantha Page, Think Progress, March 7, 2017 - “The American steel and iron industries and their workers strongly oppose efforts to weaken Buy America by allowing imported steel that is finished in the United States to be used in taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects,” the groups wrote. If that’s on the table, it appears that expanding the Buy America program doesn’t have much backing on Capitol Hill.

Unions decline, construction worker deaths soar - By Sam Pizzigati, People's World, February 15, 2017 - These workers risk life and limb every day—and don’t get anywhere near the reward those “risk-taking” power suits grab.

United States-México border: Migrant farm workers and food producers' action on Women's Day | #March8 - By staff, La Via Campesina, March 8, 2017 - 150 local employees, mostly women lost their jobs without severance continue to demand justice.

US Wind Energy Provided 5.5% Of Nation’s Electricity In 2016, Over 20% In 5 Heartland States - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, March 7, 2017 - Maybe the most important aspect of America’s wind energy industry — which, given the size of the country and the lack of over-the-top policy support — is the role that wind is now playing in rural areas of the country. According to the AWEA, 99% of all wind turbines in the US are located in rural areas, and as such have supported a massive surge in investment in rural America. Overall, the US saw $13.8 billion invested into the wind industry for new turbines in 2016, bringing the country’s total operating wind turbine fleet to over 52,000 turbines.

White House Proposes Axing 1 In 5 EPA Staffers, Cutting Programs For Minorities - By Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, March 1, 2017 - The White House wants to cut one-quarter of the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding and eliminate 1 in 5 EPA employees, three sources with knowledge of the proposed budget told The Huffington Post.

With Plagiarized Praise, Trump White House Becomes Mouthpiece for ExxonMobil - By Lindsay Meiman, Common Dreams, March 7, 2017 - On April 29, movements for climate, jobs, and justice are taking the fight to Washington, D.C. for the People’s Climate Mobilization to resist the systems that attempt to divide us, and present a vision for the world that offers solutions necessary to tackle the climate crisis, bringing forth a 100% renewable energy revolution and an economy that truly works for all.

Work and Climate Change Report (The green transition of work and workplaces: Research and News from a Canadian viewpoint) - By Elizabeth Perry

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