As the Executive Director of Greenpeace, Phil Radford is at the helm of one of the largest and most influential environmental organizations in the country. Phil leads a national team of 500 highly-skilled environmental leaders working in 23 cities across the U.S. on national and global campaigns to protect our planet’s oceans, forests, and climate.
When President Obama was elected four years ago, his challenge was to stop us from going into financial freefall – now his challenge is even greater: to stop us from going into a climate freefall.
Hurricane Sandy plainly shows why solving global warming must be the top priority for President Obama’s second term. The President must stop supporting the dirty energy sources that cause global warming, fueling extreme weather and putting our coastal communities, our farmers, and our children at risk. Continue reading →
Dow Chemical's Texas Operations facility in Freeport is the global group's largest integrated site. The site contains more than 3,200 acres of waterways and pipeline corridors and houses more than 1,900 buildings across the site.
Even in good weather a major threat looms over many of our largest cities. The threat is in the form of poison gases stored at thousands of U.S. based chemical plants. In the event of an accident, terrorist attack or another climate disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, millions of lives could be put in jeopardy. Although a worse case chemical disaster didn’t happen this time, it easily could have. For example, it was widely reported that Sandy knocked over a 22 car freight train adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike in one of the most densely populated areas of the U.S. If just one of those rail cars was carrying a poison gas such as chlorine and it had ruptured, over a million people would be at risk of immediate injury or death. Trains routinely service major chemical plants. There are 38 high risk chemical plants in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania that each put 100,000 or more workers and residents at risk of a poison gas catastrophe. When these plants suddenly lose power they can become even more dangerous. Last year a sudden power failure triggered a “shelter-in-place” warning to Texas City communities surrounding BP, Valero and Marathon refineries.
Hurricanes and human error aren’t the only threats to chemical facilities. On October 11th Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a chilling warning saying that these same chemical plants and other sectors are vulnerable to cyber attacks, “The collective result of these kinds of attacks could be a cyber Pearl Harbor.” Continue reading →
Governor Cuomo relies on Bradley J Field – a climate skeptic — to head New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Mineral Resources. Unfortunately, Mr. Field has proven to be out of sync with the scientific community on the environmental issue with the greatest scientific consensus — climate change. And despite this, he is responsible for making sure that New York’s regulation of fracking is based on good science. Continue reading →
When was the last time you heard about Republicans and Democrats agreeing on something?
Last week the Center for Public Integrity reported that on April 3, Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President George W. Bush sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to use Clean Air Act to prevent chemical disasters. Continue reading →
Co-Authored by Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA and Aaron Viles, Deputy Director of Gulf Restoration Network
Phil Radford walks through oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead along the break water in Southpass where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. 05/20/2010
The BP disaster turns two this week. Two years since the nation was reminded that offshore drilling is dirty, dangerous, and deadly. Two years since the slow-motion disaster began changing our region, our communities, our ecosystem.
As we look back and assess where we are today, a troubling picture is emerging from the Gulf. Continue reading →
In my limited spare time, I recently picked up Van Jones’ latest book, Rebuild the
Dream. Van’s book, like Van, is truly inspiring.
For full disclosure, Van pitched me on the concept of his new organization some
months ago, explaining that most of us got to where we are because our parents
were handed a ladder. The rungs of the ladder were the GI Bill, student loans,
state colleges, good paying union jobs, and low interest home loans, which our
grandparents and parents climbed to make a better life for many of us. But now
that ladder – the American Dream – is being taken away.
Many of you already know Van Jones as President Obama’s former green jobs
advisor, the author of New York Times’ best seller “The Green Collar Economy,”
or the co-founder of Green for All. Through Rebuild the Dream, Jones has re-
emerged as one of today’s most prolific crusaders for social and environmental
Michigan State University students live in the shadow of the largest on-campus coal plant in the country. Students pay tuition for an education, not to be made sick by dirty energy that pollutes the air and contributes to climate change.
Michigan State University claims to “Be Spartan Green,” a reputation that is soiled by it’s burning over 200,000 tons of coal a year and putting over 47,000 students at risk from coal pollution every day?
On April 13th, the MSU Board of Trustees will vote on a new plan for how the campus will be powered for decades to come. Unfortunately, the plan is flawed, unambitious, and incomplete. It fails to set a retirement date for MSU’s monstrous coal plant, and worse, it fails to map out a transition to 100% clean energy.
Students are standing up and refusing to let Michigan State continue with this greenwashing.
Last Monday, April 2nd, four MSU Greenpeace student activists unfurled a large 20ft x 20ft banner on a parking garage at Michigan State University demanding 100% clean energy like wind, solar, and geothermal. Since then, students from around the country have stepped up to support MSU, making over 1,000 calls to the MSU Board of Trustees demanding they vote NO on MSU’s flawed energy plan and instead to demand 100% clean energy now.I am inspired by the leadership of students in the environmental (and all) movements. The least I could do to support the MSU students was to call the MSU Board of Trustees myself, urging them to vote “No” on the proposed energy plan, commit to retire the T.B. Simon coal plant, and create a timeline to transition to 100% clean energy as quickly as possible (and no natural gas).
MSU has a unique opportunity to lead by transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy. By seizing this opportunity, MSU can lead the country in clean energy solutions, help rebuild Michigan’s economy, and prepare students for 21st century job opportunities.
Join me – and the students of MSU – and pick up your phones and call the Trustees, and I encourage everyone that can to head to MSU on April 13th. This is not just for MSU, but for every campus fighting dirty energy, and for a true energy revolution in this country.
Thanks for supporting MSU Greenpeace and fighting for 100% clean energy on our nation’s campuses.
Here’s how to make a call:
MSU Board of Trustees Office: (517) 353-4647
Hi, my name is ________ and I’m calling from (your campus or community) to urge Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees [or specific Board member] to vote NO on the proposed energy transition plan.
The current plan fails to set a retirement date for the T.B. Simon coal plant and
doesn’t have a timeline to transition to 100% clean energy. With the health and well being of 47,000 students at risk every year, MSU needs to show leadership by fixing the flawed plan.
Please vote NO on the proposed energy plan, and fix the flawed plan by
committing to close the T.B. Simon coal plant as quickly as possible and replace it with 100% clean energy. Thank you!
The 99% are rising up against dirty energy in our country.
Nationwide, there is a growing realization that power companies are part of the 1%. It is absolutely clear the extraction industry must be stopped along with the companies that support it.
Continuing to extract coal, oil, uranium and fracked gas is destroying our climate, our health – and due to the industry’s greed and graft – our democracy.
Dominion is a prime example.
They are one of the largest burners of coal in the country. They own a fleet of oil plants and are doubling down on natural gas. It’s difficult to forget the nuclear scare last year at one of its plants in North Anna. Dominion is actually investing in new coal fired power stations.
That’s why I, along with our friends at Chesapeake Climate Action Network and 350.org, chose to join hundreds of protestors for a March to End Dominion’s Power Madness in Richmond, Virginia. We encircled Dominion’s headquarters demanding they stop profiting from pollution. We want them to shift from the dirty energy sources they use now to real renewable energy like wind, solar and geothermal.
Virginia has abundant renewables potential, giving Dominion ample opportunity to move past coal, nukes and dangerous fossil fuels. But Dominion doesn’t care about the health and well-being of the communities that live around their hulking coal plants, and it doesn’t care about its massive contribution to climate change.
In fact, the corporation is lobbying against citizen protections from coal pollution both at the state and federal level. It has rorted laws introduced to encourage renewable energy development, allowing the company to collect a $76 million renewable energy windfall while not introducing a single kilowatt of wind or solar power.
Community opposition to Dominion’s dirty energy has been fierce for years. Tens of thousands of Virginians have spoken. They don’t want to pay for Dominion to risk the health of our citizens while polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink.
By investing in renewable energy, Dominion can carry the commonwealth to a prosperous renewable energy future. Until then, the fight for our future will continue.
Earlier this week, Edison International announced that they would shut down the Fisk and Crawford coal plants – a victory for the books! After ten years of gritty and determined grassroots work, communities in Chicago triumphed over the corporate polluter in their back yard. On the same day, citizens in Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania celebrated the announcement that Houston-based GenOn would shut an additional 7 plants, including the Portland Generating Station where Greenpeace worked with NJ and PA residents to demand clean air for their community. Continue reading →