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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #149

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 14, 2017

A smorgasbord of news of interest to green unionists:

Big Coal’s last-ditch effort won’t save the industry - By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, April 6, 2017 - “There is an overall direction of travel here that is very clear, and yet we have an administration that keeps insisting that what they are doing is going to bring these jobs back,” Light said. “This administration keeps selling these coal communities a false bill of goods, and using them as part of the window dressing for killing off these regulations.”

B.C. Government Scientists Say Staff Cutbacks, Outsourcing and Political Interference Threaten Public Health and Safety - By Judith Lavoie, DeSmog Canada, April 7, 2017 - Since the Liberal government was elected in 2001, B.C.’s public service has been reduced to the smallest per capita in Canada and departments with science-based mandates have lost 25 per cent of staff scientists and licensed expert positions, according to the survey, which was partially funded by the Professional Employees Association.

Bullish on Renewable Energy: Investors Argue Trump Can’t Stop the Revolution - By Leslie Kaufman, Inside Climate News, April 4, 2017 - It would be a tremendous economic tragedy for the new administration to miss the opportunity China sees and not go after this tremendous—and much needed—job creation."

Canadian study: transition to renewables 'irreversible.' But U.S. needs to accelerate transformation - By Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, March 31, 2017 - The Canadian group said that, globally, about 6.7 million people have jobs in renewables. The solar industry alone is now creating one of every 50 new jobs in the United States, one of out of every 80 since 2009.

Chased by Drought, Rising Costs, and Clean Technology, India Pivots on Coal-Fired Power - By Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue, April 11, 2017 - The depression in the coal sector is causing momentous economic pain. Most big American coal companies are in bankruptcy and tens of thousands of miners lost jobs. Billions of dollars in coal reserves are being stranded around the world.

Cities Will Continue To Lead Us Towards 100% Clean, Renewable Energy - By Jodie Van Horn, Breaking Energy, April 6, 2017 - From small towns like Hanover, New Hampshire to bustling metropolises like Los Angeles, people across the country want to raise their kids in communities free from toxic pollution, to create new jobs and economic opportunity, and to pay less for basic services like electricity.

A Conversation With NNU Co-President Jean Ross About The Keystone Pipeline - By Pattie Lockard, National Nurses United, April 10, 2017 - The corrosive tar sands oil that is extracted, transported, and refined for the Keystone project is a major contributor to climate change. An assessment from the pre-Trump Administration Environmental Protection Agency found that well-to-well emissions from tar sands are 82 percent higher than for conventional oil. Then why is the pipeline going full steam ahead?

Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were - By Martin Empson, ResoluteReader, April 10, 2017 - That’s the system that needs to be broken and progressive movements will have to incorporate a new vision for agriculture into its struggles in order to do this. In part mean arguing for the type of changes that Lymbery has so eloquently explained in the face of the enormous environmental tragedy that he highlights. But it will also mean a radical struggle by those producers and workers in the fields and the factories to wrest power from the corporations.

Deregulation Sacrifices Workers, Public Health for Corporate Profits: Report - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, April 11, 2017 - For example, EPI looked at the Trump administration's decision to delay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's 2016 rule limiting workers' exposure to dangerous silica dust; [related]: Regulations Often Help Working People, While Deregulation Serves Corporate Interests - By staff, Economic Policy Institute, April 11, 2017 - The fact sheet outlines various regulations that Congress is attempting to repeal or has repealed using a rarely used procedure called the Congressional Review Act—such as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and the OSHA recordkeeping rule—which directly benefit working people and which hold private interests responsible for workplace rights and safety violations.

EPA staff ‘openly mocking’ Trump’s ‘arrogant and callous’ policies, says retiree - By Joe Romm, Think Progress, April 10, 2017 - In the five-page letter, Cox slams the president for the “false and misleading” claim that killing EPA carbon pollution standards will bring back coal jobs.

5 Ways China Is Becoming the Global Leader on Climate Change - By Bridgette Burkholder, EcoWatch, April 5, 2017 - Renewable energy already employs 3.5 millionpeople in China, compared with less than a million in the U.S. China expects new investments will create 13 million more jobs in the sector by 2020, according to China's National Energy Administration.

4 Ways Renewable Energy Is the Fastest Path to a Booming Economy - By Ryan Schleeter, EcoWatch, April 10, 2017 - Still think the Keystone XL pipeline will create tens of thousands of permanent jobs? Think again.

Landworkers’ Alliance post-Brexit Policy launch – A Place at The Table - By Ed Hamer and Jyoti Fernandes, La Via Campesina, April 12, 2017 - The launch will feature the release of a comprehensive 18-page report outlining the LWA’s key policy proposals for re-orientating agricultural support to deliver high quality food to UK consumers while building an environmentally, socially and economically resilient farming industry.

“Naavenmaadbeku?” ("What should we do?") - By Akhilesh Jairam, La Via Campesina, April 6, 2017 - This step is a new beginning, in a young direction. It is the enthusiasm, concern and energy of youth that will shape the farmers movement in the days to come.

NAFTA Needs To Be Replaced, Not Renegotiated - By John E. Peck and Jim Goodman, Family Farm Defenders, April 8, 2017 - Trade deals like NAFTA thrive on such commodity speculation that boosts corporate profits, while bankrupting family farmers, price gouging consumers, and destroying the environment.

Native American uranium miners and the Trump budget - By Robert Alvarez, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 5, 2017 - (T)hey were sent into harm’s way without sufficient warning, becoming the workers most severely exposed to ionizing radiation in the US nuclear weapons complex.

New polling: Renewables popular with Coalition voters, exposing gulf with Guy opposition - By Pat Simons, Yes 2 Renewables, April 10 2017 - “It’s no surprise Coalition voters are so enthusiastic about the Victorian Renewable Energy Target. The scheme will create 11,000 jobs and attract billions worth of investment to regional Victoria” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

New York's duty to divest from fossil fuel companies: State and city pensions should stop pouring money into oil and coal - By Bill Lipton, New York Daily News, March 27, 2017 - New Yorkers have the power, along with other large states, to lead away from this frightening future and towards an alternative vision of clean renewable energy, good jobs, and environmental justice.

Number Of UK Low Carbon & Renewable Energy Jobs Nears Quarter-Million - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, April 7, 2017 - New figures from the UK government reveal that an estimated 234,000 full-time equivalent employees were working directly for low-carbon and renewable energy activities in 2015.

Oil bust claimed a third of service workers, but job market improving - By Collin Eaton, FuelFix, April 6, 2017 - The oil-market collapse that began nearly three years ago forced U.S. oil producers to dramatically curb drilling, eating into profits.

Polling Of Trump Voters Reveals Clean Energy Is Not A Partisan Issue - By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica, April 7, 2017 - “North Carolina voters see renewable energy as a tremendous opportunity for economic growth for our state, which is already home to over 34,000 jobs across a $7 billion clean energy industry.

The Promises and Limitations of Radical Local Politics - By Michael D. Yates, CounterPunch, April 12, 2017 - Steve has well described the challenge facing USW Local 5, which represents hourly workers directly employed by Chevron. We have worked hard to maintain a relationship with this local, whose members depend on oil refinery work to feed their families. Short term, it would actually have created more union jobs, if we had succeeded in forcing Chevron to take additional steps to reduce pollution as part of its current $1 billion refinery modernization project in Richmond.  Where job loss is a longer-term possibility due to governmental efforts to slow global warming, we and many others have promoted the idea of a “just transition.” That means that any societal move away from fossil fuel dependence must guarantee jobs, retraining, and equivalent benefit coverage for the people who currently work in industries that would be affected.

The rural renewable power renaissance - By Patrick Sisson, Curbed, April 4, 2017 - It’s not just that renewable power is providing more jobs than the coal industry—roughly 300,000 U.S. workers are employed by wind and solar, compared to the 65,971 who work in coal mining—it’s also having an outsized impact on rural communities. The Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, which features municipalities that have, like Abita Springs, committed to a renewable energy future, includes rural towns such as Greensburg, Kansas.

10 States Leading the Pack in Clean Energy Jobs - By Joel Jaeger, EcoWatch, April 8, 2017 - The solar, wind and energy efficiency industries already employ millions of people in the U.S. and they're poised to grow on the Senate Cloture Vote for Gorsuch - By Jamie Henn, Common Dreams, April 6, 2017 - Today, the U.S. Senate enacted the so-called “nuclear option” and voted on cloture for Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Supreme Court Justice, who is a friend of Big Oil executives and a foe to workers, the disabled, and the climate.

Trump Executive Order on ‘Energy Independence’ Will Not Bring Back Coal Jobs - By Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, March 28, 2017 - During the signing of an executive order today promising the roll back of federal climate and coal regulations, President Donald Trump repeated false claims about “job killing” EPA regulations and made dubious promises to bring back coal mining jobs.

Trump Voters and Democrats Agree on More Clean Energy, New Polling Finds - By Julian Spector, GreenTech Media, April 6, 2017 - This week, the latest nationwide Quinnipiac University Poll found that 76 percent of Americans are very or somewhat concerned about climate change, and 68 percent say it's possible to tackle climate change while protecting jobs.

At Trump's EPA, going to work can be an act of defiance - By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2017 - The dim outlook at the EPA is weighing heavily on its 15,000 scientists, engineers, investigators and other employees, many of whom perceive their life’s work to be under assault from within. The Trump administration is moving as quickly as it can to diminish the place, with plans to cripple the EPA science office, stop the agency’s climate change work, cut its Superfund program in half and outright eliminate 50 programs, down to the voluntary Energy Star stickers that help consumers locate efficient appliances.

Wisconsin Renewable Energy Company Transitions to Employee-Owned Co-operative - By Staff, City Times, April 5, 2017 - North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative President Josh Stolzenburg said the employee-owners would demotractically govern the company, adding he was “thrilled” about the transition.

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