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Tag: Keystone XL pipeline

“Key” Pres. Obama’s Veto of KeyStone XL Pipeline- ECO Legacy

Today, in defense for our environment and for all of us people on the planet, President Obama has exercised his USA Presidential power to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, an important step in the movement towards an  “ECO” Presidential Legacy, powered by us people.

It’s disturbing that, at a time when all hands need to be on deck for humanity to live in balance with our resources on this planet, the USA Congress has forced President Obama to exercise his presidential power now,  instead of doing their job to create public policy, and laws that help govern our society and builds a vital nation better structuring  and organizing our quality of life. This 3rd veto is no surprise, as President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address, to veto this bill and others, that were not truly in the best interest for us all.

Tar sands in Alberta Canada

 

At this point, most of us understand why the Keystone Pipeline is not the “Key”. The tar sands (or oil sands) toxicity benefits no one, and at this point sadly we all know the words to this song, “Profit over People and Planet,” which is the cornerstone, or key stone, behind many who prioritize this now in our world.  Tar sands confront public health, at a time when we already have too many challenges with clean air to breath globally.  Keystone XL usurps the citizens’ human rights as property owners of Nebraska, South Dakota and other states that the pipeline goes through.  It questions their freedom, forcing them to sacrifice their own home, and farm land— for what? To transport oil from Canada through the USA for Mexico, or China –when all these regions, including the USA, can get our own clean renewable energy from natural sources?  Sounds reasonable?  It risks the quality of our water, earth, air, and presents the risks of contamination.

Is this an evolution of the US Constitution? Why is it even being considered at this moment and how could this be the “key”?  Who would this benefit?  Well, others have spent a great deal of time breaking down the motivation, and who benefits.  It is all very simple—some call it “cash whipping” it serves individual Congress members, many who were each paid over $200,000 to vote “yes,” and this “wolf in the sheep’s clothing” good sounding “Citizen’s United Bill” that has polluted one of the best pieces of public policy ever written; the USA Constitution.  Thanks to Citizen’s United which allows corporations to have equal rights with citizens and finance, monstrosities, like Keystone XL, to become a possibility, instead of a crime.  Tar sands projects at this time on our planet need to be illegal because they threaten the public health, of our species and all on our planet. But it also argues important legal issues about freedom at such a time— discerning people’s state’s, national, and planet interests. This moment in time affords the opportunity to redefine our priorities, and with the class action cases against Keystone XL Pipeline being argued at a state level in court, this indeed may be an opportunity to define how the United States unite and if they are a UNITED States of America.

At this time on the planet, will we get beyond “EGO”— can’t we move towards “ECO”—  ecology and economy.  At a time when we all need not only more sources of alternative renewable energy deployed, but resiliency, and sustainability with flow of energy.  The grid is taxed with more demand often than it can supply.  We need to be passing legislature that indeed incentivizes renewable energy sources, distributed energy architecture, and teaming-up on microgrids.  We need policy to incentivize net zero buildings and creative renewable energy systems, and energy storage, at a large scale.  We need more electric vehicles on the road charging to renewable energy sources, with complementary energy storage systems.  We need to crack that large scale energy storage nut, and incentivize not a pipeline transporting energy from one country to another through our country, but onsite energy systems that are reliable, resilient, and onsite electricity generation locations, homegrown energy from our natural resources, stored for backup when needed.

Why are we not trying to put bills on the table to work through our own energy challenges?  Bipartisan bills that have a chance of getting passed with the intent being to benefit the public— after all, are not politicians supposed to be public servants? It is a sad use of power that is spent stalling for time, until the power can move in another direction.  It all is a strategic, historical power play that at the end will only demonstrate how all systems, including the political system, could better serve us people and our planet.  The Keystone XL Pipeline will prove to be the pipe dream of this time, dreamt from the fallible EGO of Trans Canada bought through and approved by Congress, but fortunately it gives all people the opportunity to see the light, and the possibility of ECO.

“The pen is mightier than the sword”
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton  1839

Watch out world— 2015 plans to be a year of action, as mentioned prior, with the climax being President Obama as one of the leaders towards powerful global policy that stands for our people and planet over profit in Paris at UNFCC’s COP21.  Think it’s impossible?  Well we’ve seen a draft of what is on the table for global “ECO” policy, and there are better possibilities, even surprising ones, and if we all continue to team-up for the good of our planet we will create a global movement, and this isn’t a pipe dream or pipe line for any agenda accept our future.

Political System of the United States with its checks and balances

Thankful that the Unites States Constitution triune structure of checks and balances exists, but  it is confronting that it’s limits are being tested, and begs to question why it isn’t functioning more as a trinity— especially at this moment in humanity’s story on our planet earth.

President Obama will likely wait until the ruling from Nebraska’s state supreme court to finalize the rejection of the pipeline outright, which is the final step to closure.  A Nebraska county judge issued a temporary injunction to stop TransCanada from using eminent domain to force landowners to sell their property rights for the pipeline. As a result, TransCanada agreed not to use eminent domain anywhere in Nebraska until the state’s Supreme Court finally settles the legal struggle over Keystone’s route across the state, which if we have anything to do with all of this, it will be a moot point anyway.

For President Obama’s ECO legacy it began with the ARRA with renewable energy options, then granting EPA the power to defend public health as a national security issue and enforce environmental clean air policy. Fast forward to September 2014, nearly half a million of us people rallied for action on climate change in NYC; we were there at the UN General Assembly when President Obama shared with a small group of leaders at an Open Government Forum, that he had just discussed a historic climate deal with China to cut greenhouse gas emissions and in November it came to pass; in December, more than one million comments were submitted in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan; in January, historical protections for the Arctic Refuge were announced; and now President Obama has vetoed Congress’s bill to force the approval of the Keystone pipeline, now it is time to reject Trans Canada’s plans for Keystone XL Pipeline outright will you please add your name to tell President Obama to just outright reject the Keystone XL Pipeline? Please sign here.

It is time to make sure; “We the People”–have an ECO legacy, a time to re-organize, and prioritize by bringing the temptation of this folly to public presenting the clarity of choices driven by EGO vs. ECO. Best left in the words of Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Breathes there the Man” 

 

The 8th annual AltCar Expo

The BMW i3

The 8th annual AltCar Expo  continued in Santa Monica, with marked change and growth.  The AltCarExpo is a great opportunity to ride and drive some of the latest alternative vehicles and understand ways you can do your part with Climate Change. World Team Now visited the Expo on Friday, during the “Fleet Day”, and Saturday for “Public Day”. There we so many inspirational highlights at this year’s event (see World Team Now’s photo album).

The AltCar Expo had the latest in various Alternative Technology Vehicles: Electric, Hydrogen, Propane, Natural Gas, Bio-Diesel, Hybrid but since World Team Now is focused on long term solutions that are sustainable “cradle to cradle” –we focus on electric, which can be charged by renewable energy source like; solar, wind or hydro. We love the concept of the solar boat.

Ford’s C-Maxx Energi and Fusion informational poster

Good old fashion American Ford  and Chevy are now gaining strength in the market with electric vehicles and plug in electric vehicles(PHEVs).   The C-Max Energi  from Ford is a promising vehicle that may lead the market in PHEVs eventually, but we could not fully evaluate that from our one test drive experience.  What is evident is the amount of options from each manufacturer who are all now entering either the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles with products to choose from, like Chevy’s  new “Spark” .  Nissan continues to surprise improving on their leading EV, here with Nissan’s souped-up Leaf, the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC.  20130921_141155 BMW’s i3 EV has range and is part of a new brand, BMW i, consisting of EVs and hybrids. Also we were impressed by Genze (more than a scooter), Team Marine, the international flair of participation from the Netherlands constituency, and Lumos.

Lumos' solar carport

Lumos’ solar carport

Lumos, has a kit solar carport that has game changing opportunities to source your own energy, and help address your utility’s high demand to supply electricity by being able to take advantage of what’s called arbitrage energy by selling back to the electrical grid.  V2G (vehicle to grid — see WTN’s IEEE article “Vehicle Electrification: Status and Issues” for more on this) with the option of a net-zero grid-tied building is one of the significant ways each individual can do their part to combat Climate Change and learn to better live in balance with our natural resources. EPA made a solid step in limiting emissions Friday of new coal plants to 1,100 pounds of carbon-dioxide per megawatt-hour of power produced.

Team Marine in “Volts Watson”

The heart of the inspiration was Santa Monica High School’s club Team Marine, there to unveil their newly transformed vehicle named Volts Watson – an old Volkswagen Beetle from 1971 that is now all electric (see photo album). It was a heartwarming experience to see one of the children that I taught to skate, ocean swim and many other of his life’s first experiences, Matthew Zarken, be part of Team Marine. His brother Nicholas was a volunteer for World Team Now last year at AltExpo and wrote this about his experience.

The RAV4 continues

Please come be part of the Team — see Team Marine’s transformed car, World Team in action, and be inspired to take action — be part of  “Draw the Line” on Climate Change, as day of global action against the Keystone XL pipeline, and be for renewable action with your choice to choose your source of energy and what you drive. There were many opportunities to see  the evolution of the electric vehicle from its beginning to now – the growth is remarkable. there was a new milestone with more than 10,000 EVs sold in August. “The 35 million EVs sold in 2012 will rise 3.6 times to nearly 129 million in 2022”, (worldwide and including e-bikes)  as cited in this report  that demonstrates how the vehicle game is changing. Electrifying transportation, like with the solar boat demo-ed here

20130921_140836

At the solar boat from World Team Now: Jacinta Camacho Kaplan, Laura Fercano Demieri, Liana Foksheneanu and Suzanne Maxx

or connecting directly to renewable energy source– is a sustainable way to go, especially as we improve energy storage capabilities. People are beginning to understand the connection between economics and the ecological.  There is greater weight placed in their choices and actions when thinking about the next generation to consider more carefully.  However public adoption, and dealership education has just begun – both of these elements along with supportive policy will contribute to long term roll out of electric vehicles significantly.

 

 

President’s Day – “Move Into Action”

© Copyright World Team Now

From the last three day week end Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, and the Inauguration, the Green Movement is gaining momentum in the USA. On Wednesday February 13th, 48 of our friends and allies made international news by risking arrest at the White House gates protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. The next day, two Senators introduced a powerful new climate bill with a path forward on climate. Now tomorrow, during President’s day week end, the momentum continues with a historical march. It was great to jump start this New Year and Presidential term by the Clean Energy and Environmental Ball in Washington, D.C.!  Here’s a souvenir album.

Congressman Ed Markey, World Team Now’s Suzanne Maxx, Chip Cummings of AREDAY at the Clean Energy and Environment Inaugural Ball, Washington, DC

The highlight was time with Congressman Ed Markey who we deeply respect as World Team Now stands in alignment with him on several energy, environment and social issues.

It’s time for action.  To use our inherit wisdom to change the things we can, and we have a choice about our energy sources. President Obama said in his State of the Union Address:

“But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change”. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.”

To read whole State of the Union Address, click here.

This President’s Day is the opportunity for action.    We are hoping that President Obama will leave an environmental legacy of true change. For him to do that, we have to do our part:  prove there is a large constituency of people who are demanding this change.  Then he will be able to answer with action. He has said numerous times, “push me”.  He is our leader and in a true Democracy a leader will serve the needs of the people.  Not just some people, but all of the people.  We, the people, have to communicate, and demonstrate our needs.  Especially in this grid-locked bi-partisan congress, where corporate lobbyists control the action, or rather block action.  Let’s give President Obama a chance in this term where he can take action to leave a legacy of a leader, and do his job.  In the best interest of public welfare and safety he can exercise his executive power.  It is President Obama’s job to answer the needs demonstrated by the people.  This is why we need you…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00W58FFCQyk&list=PL5gVc1ti66MFARa3fEhtei0rtcNg71FsZ&feature=player_embedded]

Tomorrow the environmental movement will rally to show its strength in numbers for the support of change, we haven’t seen organizing of this scale since Martin Luther King led the Civil Right March, and shared “I Have a Dream”.  Many of us have a dream now too:   a dream where energy is sourced from wind, solar and tidal and other renewable energy.

Calling all ROLLER SKATERS to join the movement

Calling all ROLLER SKATERS to join the movement

If you don’t know about the demand to stop the Key Stone XL Pipeline, click here. To understand the implications, and risks to our water, air and earth, read on here.  The Key Stone XL Pipeline which has started construction needs to be stopped, for our collective future and the safety of our public at large.  If you still want to go down to Washington, D.C.,  here are the details.  Our friends at the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip Hop Caucus got some great sponsors and have teamed up with many other non-profit organizations as well.  They have over 130 buses coming from 28 states, and tens of thousands of people signed up for Sunday’s rally with the goal to make history.

World Team Now is calling all skaters to join the LA March tomorrow skaters join the LA March tomorrow February 17th — here are the details. Bring your wheels, we need to stand tall to show our movement and be counted. Here are some ideas for signs, click here for a sign kit.  Make your own, here are some suggestions for wording: “Rolling Forward  Go Solar!”, “Rolling Forward  Go Wind!” and “Rolling Forward  Go, Tidal Energy!”.

The political system needs the voices of the people to truly affect policy.  We need to demonstrate the change, we all know it is a fragile time in our world, and the choices we make will create our future home for our children.  So how do we leave a legacy to inherit an earth with clean water, air, and clean energy sources?  Take action, do your part, as Gandhi once declared, “Be the change we want to see in the world”.  Want to be part of the team?

Forward on Climate

If you can’t be there now for this one, in LA or Washington,  D.C., please at least schedule a post to Twitter or Facebook with Thunderclap: www.thunderclap.it/projects/1189-move-america-forwardonclimate

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