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  • Stop the Merger: No Exelon Takeover in DC! | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    rights related to a street or plaza near the planned DC United Soccer stadium at Buzzard Point just days before Mayor Bowser reversed course and struck the merger deal Exelon also hired the chair of Mayor Bowser s own political action committee the infamous FreshPAC to lobby the Mayor to knuckle under to a bad deal The deal is bad for ratepayers bad for clean energy and bad for DC We ve packed public hearings held rallies and talked to hundreds of residents at ANC meetings citywide with our allies in the Power DC coalition We ll continue fighting back at every step WHY AN EXELON TAKEOVER IS BAD FOR OUR CLIMATE Falling Short on Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency and conservation are the lowest cost resources for meeting electricity demand Expanding energy efficiency to more residents is also a cost effective way to improve air quality reduce greenhouse gas emissions lower monthly electricity bills and deliver measurable improvements in health safety and comfort However Exelon has a record of falling short on energy efficiency Furthermore Exelon s subsidiary Baltimore Gas Electric BGE has a worse energy efficiency track record than PHI in Maryland The Maryland Public Service Commission projected BGE to achieve only 67 of its 2015 energy savings goals and 76 of its 2015 peak demand production goals while PHI s subsidiaries were projected to achieve 99 and 199 respectively Exelon has made no specific commitments to improve their performance and their record indicates a lack of commitment to energy efficiency Exelon Leads Opposition to Renewables DC is also striving to meet more of its electricity demand through renewable energy generation Mayor Bowser s new settlement deal will do nothing to address what the DC Public Service Commission described as Exelon s conflict of interest with DC s clean energy future If the Exelon Pepco merger is approved DC would be welcoming a company that calls itself a leading voice against the extension of the Production Tax Credit PTC to provide the vast majority of electricity in Maryland and Washington D C The PTC is the primary federal incentive for promoting land based wind energy and is a reasonable way of keeping wind costs down By opposing the PTC Exelon is helping to shift those costs to states like Maryland that have renewable electricity goals in place Blocking Locally Generated Community Energy Distributed generation sources such as rooftop solar small scale wind turbines and combined heat and power are a growing market in DC These sources allow customers to lower their energy bills increase their independence and create local opportunities for economic growth The primary driver of distributed generation growth is a policy called net metering whereby rooftop solar and other DG customers can receive retail credit for surplus energy they deliver back to the grid The approval of the Exelon Pepco merger however would put net metering policies in jeopardy Exelon supports groups that oppose net metering such as the American Legislative Exchange Council who call for the

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/stop-the-exelon-merger/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stop the Surge of Coal Exports | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    already ships 28 million tons of coal every year and is legally allowed to release up to 50 tons of coal dust into the air each year Coal is found in soil samples as far as 7 5 miles away Coal dust on homes cars and businesses nearby is a common sight The area has higher than normal asthma rates Baltimore The CSX and CNX coal terminals in Baltimore Maryland ship close to 20 million tons of coal ever year They are located in close proximity to urban communities in South Baltimore that already face an unjust burden of industrial pollution Over the past three years there has been a 50 percent increase in the amount of coal being exported from these terminals and that trend continues to go up with investment and financing from federal state and local governments Threats to rail communities On the routes to and from coal ports rail traffic increases crowding out other rail using commodities and cutting towns in half for hours every day Soil along railroad tracks has also been found to have high levels of coal and even arsenic which is found in coal A coal train dust study in Virginia found that on average a pound of coal dust blows off of each coal car per mile travelled That s a total of 25 50 tons of coal dust polluting rail communities from one single mine to port coal train trip Deepening the environmental crisis in Appalachia Ramping up coal exports would also make coal from Appalachia even more attractive This would set back efforts to halt mountaintop removal mining and build sustainable economic alternatives that protect the heritage and health of local communities Fighting Coal Exports From mine to train to port CCAN is committed to holding the coal industry accountable to environmental laws meant to protect communities from the devastating impacts of its pollution By challenging the financing of coal exports and the permits companies need to expand their operations we can block slow and raise the costs of East Coast coal exports This will keep more coal in the ground and out of the atmosphere and protect our communities from the negative impacts of the export process U S coal executives are banking on overseas exports to offset the drop in coal burning at home But to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming the goal set by the international community to avoid catastrophic climate changes we must keep 80 percent of existing coal and other fossil fuel reserves in the ground We can t let wealthy coal barons wreck our future for short term profits Challenging Federal Financing of Coal Exports from East Coast Ports On July 31 2013 CCAN joined the first ever lawsuit challenging the federal government s financing for the export of Appalachian coal from the United States The U S government approved this financial support for coal exports without considering the increased toxic air and water pollution that could affect communities near

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/dc-federal/coal-exports/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Let’s Clean Up Coal Ash | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Of this 43 billion tons were used to create products like concrete while nearly 75 million tons were disposed of in coal ash landfills or lagoons Problems with coal ash Despite the coal industry s best attempts to control this harmless substance coal ash leaches deadly chemicals into the environment Coal ash disposal sites release toxic chemicals and metals such as arsenic lead boron selenium cadmium thallium and other pollutants at levels that pose risks to human health and the environment If eaten drunk or inhaled these toxicants can cause cancer and nervous system impacts such as cognitive deficits developmental delays and behavioral problems They can also cause heart damage lung disease respiratory distress kidney disease reproductive problems gastrointestinal illness birth defects and impaired bone growth in children A 2007 report by the EPA found that pollution from coal ash dump sites significantly increases both cancer and other health risks and degrades water quality in groundwater supplies surrounding the dumps Some scientists claim that coal ash is even more dangerous to human health that nuclear waste Ash emitted by coal fired power plants brings 100 times more radiation into the environment than an equivalent sized nuclear power plant Exposure to coal ash is unmistakably dangerous for both the environment and human health Coal ash regulation The EPA s proposed coal ash rule is far from perfect Instead of setting a clear direction for cleaning up coal ash and regulating its disposal it instead offers two options use the strongest protections under the law to curb the coal ash threat or treat it like common household trash with little to no federally enforceable requirements to clean up the coal ash mess CCAN supports strong federally enforceable safeguards that guarantee coal ash will not pollute drinking water rivers streams wildlife and American

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/dc-federal/coal-ash/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Divest from Fossil Fuels | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    hold on campuses across our region and the country fossil fuel divestment What is fossil fuel divestment Divestment simply means getting rid of stocks bonds or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous Fossil Fuel investments are a risk for investors and the planet that s why we re calling on institutions to divest from these companies More than 300 campuses across the country are actively campaigning to divest their college endowments from some of the dirtiest most profitable fossil fuel companies Why does divestment matter Fossil fuel divestment is a moral and political strategy for winning back our future It s also a proven tactic In the 1980 s the South African divestment campaign helped break the back of the Apartheid government When prominent institutions divest their money from fossil fuel companies they make a strong moral statement about the need for action on climate change and help diminish the political power of the fossil fuel industry Divestment also sends a long term economic signal to the shareholders of coal oil and gas companies that their business model is fundamentally incompatible with the livable future we deserve and demand What s the solution Students are calling on their universities to instead invest their endowments in a manner that is environmentally and socially responsible like in the clean energy solutions that will protect our climate Go Fossil Free campaigns on Maryland DC and Virginia campuses Divestment campaigns are launching all over the Mid Atlantic We are excited to support active campaigns help launch new ones and connect students to each other to further their resources and power Divestment campaigns are active on the following campuses in our region Check out their pages and petitions Virginia Tech Eastern Mennonite University James Madison University University The College of William Mary Johns

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/campus/divestment/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Virginia Student Environmental Coalition | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    out of National Power Shift in 2013 This newly formed student coalition aims to unify city and campus communities across Virginia in our collective drive to fight for climate sustainability and environmental justice and create a network for advocacy education and action Representing universities and colleges across the Commonwealth VSEC is devoted to organizing Virginia campuses and at the state level to promote climate activism and rethink the use of

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/campus/virginia-student-environmental-coalition/ (2016-05-02)
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  • President Obama Keeps Offshore Drilling out of the Atlantic | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    climate denying greed This work began heating up last spring when CCAN joined other groups across Virginia to collect written comments in opposition of BOEM s first draft of the offshore drilling plan that included our coast Thousands of you sent comments to Washington in the short 90 day comment period proving that the entire Commonwealth was not in favor of our coast being put at risk Activists showed up in droves at public listening sessions to ask questions and deliver their comments as well When that comment period was over one thing was clear A formidable coalition had been created and we weren t going away any time soon This year BOEM announced that they would be releasing their final draft plan for offshore drilling and climate activists from Virginia to Georgia went on the offensive to expand our anti drilling coalition to businesses and municipalities In just three months we saw over 100 municipalities across the southeast pass resolutions that opposed offshore drilling In Virginia the city of Virginia Beach reversed their support for drilling and Virginia s Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam came out in vigorous opposition of offshore drilling After that groundswell of support where even the

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/president-obama-keeps-offshore-drilling-out-of-the-atlantic/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Meet a CCANer: Fracking Fellow Darien Pusey | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Upper Marlboro resident in the lower third of Prince George s County I am all too familiar with the dangerous effects that power plants and other major emitters of pollutants and greenhouse gases can have These sources of pollution are often placed in minority low income and rural areas with any complaints of their harmful effects disregarded or not properly addressed There are several members in my family who have developed asthma as a result of factors such as poor air quality due to pollution from these sources Why did you decide to get involved in taking action on climate I decided to get involved in taking action on climate when I noticed the correlation between environmental issues and low income or minority communities These communities within the U S and around the world feel the effects of climate issues the most and often have little to no knowledge or resources to fight it I felt as though it was my duty to not only protect the health of those people but to be sure to do my best to give them the tools necessary so that they can also fight for themselves and teach others to do the same What has inspired you most working with CCAN The thing that inspired me the most working with CCAN particularly on the Prince George s fracking ban campaign was seeing the large variety of supporters coming together regardless of age race or economic background in order to push for the common goal of banning fracking in Prince George s County eventually resulting in the fracking ban coming to pass CCAN and their allies were able to draw support from church leaders community organizations students and everyday Prince George s County residents without which the victory against fracking might not have been

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/meet-a-ccaner-fracking-fellow-darien-pusey/ (2016-05-02)
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  • The Road to Clean Energy Victories in Maryland | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    a 40 clean energy standard by the year 2025 and we could truly double wind and solar in Maryland The bill failed in the Senate Finance Committee yet the result of all of our efforts was that we built an unshakeable foundation and garnered the support of powerful Senate leaders and built a groundswell of grassroots activists After the 2015 session we did not rest Instead we continued to work so that we would flood Annapolis with voices from across Maryland In September Pope Francis arrived in D C with a message for people of faith and conscious Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years Yet all is not lost Human beings while capable of the worst are also capable of rising above themselves choosing again what is good and making a new start Faith communities across Maryland answered the Pope s call to care for creation Together with Interfaith Power and Light the Chesapeake Climate Action Network hosted Climate in the Pulpits a statewide effort of faith communities to raise up creation care and climate change in their worship services On the weekend of September 23rd over 87 congregations celebrated Climate in the Pulpits by inviting climate activists to give sermons dedicating their worship message to climate change and signing postcards to their legislators urging them to pass the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and the Clean Energy Jobs Act Maryland State Delegate Dereck Davis D 25 Prince George s participated by speaking on clean energy during the Sunday service at Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church in District Heights Pope Francis has reminded us that addressing climate change is one of the great moral issues of our time said Del Davis It is imperative that Maryland acts on climate so that we can create real broad and sustainable prosperity Communities across Maryland also spoke out for the Maryland Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act GGRA Maryland s legal mandate to curb greenhouse gas emissions which was set to expire in 2016 The Maryland Climate Commission held meetings across the state from the Eastern Shore to Frostburg MD Activists told the Maryland Climate Commission members that not only did they want the to renew the GGRA they also wanted to strengthen the benchmarks and goals in order to address the growing threat of climate change Next CCAN and the Maryland Climate Coalition hit the road and embarked on our Energy Health and Climate Expo tour throughout Maryland to build a strong alliance of clean energy advocates across the state Events were held in Baltimore City County Charles County Harford and Howard Counties Each event featured our clean energy champions from across the state including Senator Middleton Delegate Davis Delegate Brooks Delegate Robinson Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards and spokespeople from Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen s office Green organizations came together to teach community members about sustainability and how we can work together to combat the growing threat of climate change This

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/the-road-to-clean-energy-victories-in-maryland/ (2016-05-02)
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