Sierra Club on Environment



Not sound science to ban predators on wildlife refuges

Case for voting NO by the Sierra Club (April 6, 2017):
Source: Sierra Club 2017 voting recommendation on H.J. Res. 69 , Apr 6, 2017

Publicize grant opportunities for diesel emission reduction

Zero-Emission Bus Information: Federal funding opportunities:
Source: Sierra Club 2015-16 voting recommendation on ZEBs , Jul 2, 2015

Mandatory labeling for GMO products, then long-term testing

We have a Right to Know what is in our food, right? Currently there are NO labeling requirements for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods--a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria. GE food crops require the use of more industrial pesticides than non-GE crops, have been shown to lower crop yields, and supports the mega-agribusines monopoly that undercuts local, sustainable and organic farming techniques.

Right now, you are eating GE food without knowing it. The average American eats their weight in GE ingredients in a year. But no independent, long-term studies have been done to determine if these foods are truly safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require GE food to be labeled, but permits it voluntarily. Virtually no companies have labeled their GE food under this system. [We advocate] the mandatory labeling of GE food.

Source: Sierra Club 2015-16 voting recommendation on GMOs , Apr 26, 2013

Urge president to establish more national monuments

If you're grateful that the Grand Canyon, Glacier Bay, and the Olympic Peninsula have been preserved as national parks, consider that these icons were once national monuments. The Antiquities Act of 1906 allows the president to proclaim areas of "historical or scientific interest" as national monuments, using a signature alone. The first to receive the honor was Devils Tower in Wyoming, designated by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The most recent is Fort Ord along the California coast, protected in April by Barack Obama. And the largest is a marine sanctuary near Hawaii, established by George W. Bush in 2006. (Only three presidents since Roosevelt have not established a monument.) Here's a sample of places the Sierra Club is urging the president to protect:
Source: Sierra Club magazine, "Monumental Places" , Jul 1, 2012

NGO campaign killed Bush's "Clear Skies" initiative

Well-financed environmental NGOs such as the National Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, or "Big Green" as I call them collectively, launched an aggressive, politically coordinated campaign against Clear Skies. The basis of their opposition was the false and utterly absurd claim that Clear Skies was a "rollback" of existing Clean Air provisions. This was simply not true. The real problem for Big Green was that the bill did not address greenhouse gases. Opponents amusingly called Clear Skies "Orwellian." The bill proposed the 1st-ever cap to reduce mercury emissions from the power plants by 70%, yet, true to form, these Big Green groups said it would allow more mercury to go into the air. Go figure. Clear Skies opponents knew that it would be more difficult to pass greenhouse gas regulations IN ADDITION TO a 3-pollutant bill. Because of this, they held it hostage, making it very clear that politics, not the environment, was the priority.
Source: The Greatest Hoax, by James Inhofe, p. 52 , Feb 28, 2012

Strict regulation & restrictions for offshore oil drilling

The Sierra Club believes that no offshore petroleum exploration should occur unless and until the following conditions are met:Adopted by the 1974 Board of Directors.
Source: Sierra Club 2015-16 voting recommendation on OCS Drilling , Jan 12, 1974

Sierra Club on Energy

Spend by giving tax breaks

One type of governmental strategy is to offer tax breaks for installing energy efficient measurements. Tax incentives constitute a “carrot approach” in they are voluntary instead of mandatory. In theory the market should respond to these incentives and gradually the US economy will move to higher energy efficiency.
Source: Ozark Sierran, Jim Rhodes, Are Energy Taxes a Good idea? , Mar 30, 2000

Sierra Club on Forests

We need protected forests

The need for protected forests cannot be overstated. Instead of recognizing the value of forests for clean air and water, recreation, wildlife habitat and the benefits for future generations, the Forest Service assessed our natural treasures only in terms of timber targets and congressional appropriations. As a result, today almost of our old growth forests are gone and the timber industry has turned our National Forests into a patchwork of clearcuts, logging roads and devastated habitat.
Source: Seeing the Forests for their Green: Commercial Logging Pgm , Aug 1, 2000

Sierra Club on Population

Stabilize population and reduce wasteful consumption

Source: Sierra Club web site , Jul 2, 2000

Pesticide law is "corporate captured" by farm lobby.

Alinsky opposes Sensible Environmental Protection Act

Congressional Summary:Amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to prohibit the EPA or a state from requiring a permit for a discharge into navigable waters of a pesticide authorized under FIFRA. Excepts stormwater discharges and discharges of manufacturing or industrial effluent.

Proponent's argument for bill:(Blue Ridge Times-News, April 2013): Sen. Kay Hagan announced a bill to eliminate a "redundant and burdensome" requirement that 365,000 pesticide users get a CWA permit before spraying in or near lakes and streams. Farmers and other chemical users already have to meet stringent requirements for pesticide application under FIFRA, Hagan said, and the CWA permit only adds a duplicative, unnecessary layer of bureaucracy. Hagan said the "overlapping regulations" have also forced some municipalities to cut down on spraying for mosquitoes "because they don't have the manpower (to deal with the extra red tape), and they fear lawsuits."

Opponent's argument against bill: (Oregon Sierra Club newsletter Dec. 2012): Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" turned 50 this fall: it catalyzed the environmental movement [by focusing on pesticides like DDT]. Today we still face the issues she outlined in Silent Spring. Pesticide law and regulation in the US is a case study in corporate capture: beholden to the farm lobby in Congress, all the way back to the 1947 formation of FIFRA.

FACT: From 1988 to 1995, more than 65 bills were introduced in Congress to tighten pesticide regulations. None of them passed.

FACT: In the late 1990s, two separate investigations revealed that more than half of all former top-level pesticide regulators at the EPA subsequently went to work for, or were paid by, pesticide and chemical industry interests actively involved in fighting EPA efforts to protect the public from pesticides.

Source: S.802 / H.R.935 13-S802 on Apr 24, 2013

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Page last updated: May 01, 2021