Climate Corner: Regulatory burden – must it be so?

May 27, 2023

Vic Elam

There has been a lot of critical conversation lately about the burden that business, industry, and the economy endure because of what many view as unnecessary laws or regulations. Though I cannot speak to all regulations, I have considerable and varied experience with regulatory impact in many different fields and would like to share some insight. The accounts that I share here are just a few select experiences intended to make a point.

I have had the opportunity, or misfortune, depending on your viewpoint, to work in the fishing industry in Alaska. That industry is regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). NMFS gathers information about the health of the fish populations to set harvest regulations that restrict the numbers of different species that can be removed by commercial fishermen and still maintain a healthy population for subsequent years. Commercial fishing vessels are required to have a person on board that is trained by NMFS to monitor and report the amount of catch so that NMFS can track the fishery and close the season when the expendable population has been removed. Those monitors are not hired by the boats they monitor and must follow stringent ethical standards. Without the regulatory oversight of NMFS there is little doubt that the fishing industry would destroy itself by removing more fish than can repopulate. This has been demonstrated in Japan where failure to control commercial fishing has led to major collapses in desirable fish populations. Certainly, our local recreational hunting and fishing seasons and limits are designed to ensure a harvestable population for generations to come.

Consumer protection laws, driving laws, building codes, and much more are put in place to protect ourselves from the actions of others. Laws and regulations are not easily put in place and require the effort and cooperation of our elected officials to enact and enforce. Despite considerable effort from the energy sector industries to manipulate or eliminate laws and regulations, some have been enacted to protect workers and the public. As in other circumstances, these restrictions put on the energy industry serve to protect us from ourselves. The anemic few regulations that made it through the energy industry gauntlet often come under attack even though their intent is to protect public safety.

Although this is not an issue specific to the Mid-Ohio Valley, I have been in a position to observe the tremendous amount of water drawn from many aquifers throughout this country and when I look at a U.S. Geological Survey Report from 2008 that shows that aquifers that underlie critical farmland areas in this country have been depleted to the tune of up to 400 cubic kilometers, it concerns me. I am familiar with farmers who irrigate from aquifers who keep needing to put in deeper wells, and then I see them flood irrigate their fields with water flowing out the other end of the fields filling the drainage ditches. This is where more regulation is needed to protect us from ourselves. As climate change continues to shrink the world’s arable land, the aquifers we deplete may be called on for the worlds’ food supply – they are for a large part already.

Regulatory burden gets a bad rap, but without it our quality of life might be jeopardized. We can lift regulations and the economy might respond favorably, but I would argue that lax regulations are not sustainable and will lead to problems that are not a burden on those who profited from deregulation, but the problems will fall on society.


Vic Elam is a Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action member, an avid outdoorsman, and contributor to organizations that share his concern for our environment and the children we borrow it from.

Climate Corner: Facing reality

May 20, 2023

Aaron Dunbar

“You need to be more realistic.”

Those of us advocating to prevent the collapse of human civilization caused by anthropogenic climate change have heard this line or some variation of it more times than you can possibly count.

“Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that the unanimous consensus of the world’s climate scientists is accurate, and that we really are heading for apocalyptic levels of global heating,” our critics might occasionally allow us, once they’ve decided that the evidence is too grim to go on denying that the problem of warming exists at all. “I agree that we need to do something, but the solutions you’re proposing are far too radical. We use fossil fuels in every single area of our lives, and we can’t survive without them. I agree that we need to stop polluting so much, but getting rid of fossil fuels just isn’t realistic.”

It is impossible to respond to such an argument without acknowledging a kind of deeply flawed calculus implicit in the minds of those who advocate for such middle-of-the-road thinking, and indeed most human beings in general. That is, put simply, the idea that everything will always work out for us in the end.

In some ways, it could be argued that our dogmatic adherence to this myth often serves as a kind of survival mechanism for humanity. This mentality can spur us on through hopelessness and adversity, leading us to persist through hardship no matter how bleak the circumstances may seem. All is not lost, we convince ourselves, and we somehow find the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other, assured that a path will eventually illuminate itself for us.

On the other hand, this level of perseverance, coupled with a lack of self-awareness and ignorance of our place in the sprawling complexities of our world, can easily creep into catastrophic levels of delusion.

“I need a habitable planet,” our thinking goes, “and I also need access to the fossil fuel resources that power my standard of living. But that’s okay, because somehow things always work out in the end. Therefore, it is inevitable that there must be some way that I can have both of these things, and nothing has to change.”

I’m strongly inclined to believe that Americans are particularly susceptible to this line of reason, as among a race of hairless apes which believes itself to be separate from and above the limitations of nature, we are a nation that believes itself to be an indomitable exception among the empires of the world, as per our longstanding mythology of manifest destiny.

We hold steadfast to the belief that the dealer always wins, and in our short-sighted arrogance we believe the unprecedented excesses of hypercapitalist extraction place us comfortably and eternally in the dealer’s chair.

And yet ultimately, the forces of nature, the laws of physics and chemistry, and the infinite complexity of interconnected ecological systems reign over us like an all-powerful dictator, however benevolent or malevolent its demeanor.

Sometimes things simply do not work out in the end, however unpleasant a fact this may be. Sometimes the equation does not balance. Sometimes people’s lives are destroyed, and they never recover. Sometimes entire species are erased from the Earth as though they were never really here, and sometimes life on our fragile planet is nearly eliminated altogether — as was the case some 250 million years ago, during the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which wiped out some 90% of Earth’s species.

Believing ourselves immune to such a fate, or that it can be avoided while maintaining our limitless consumption of Earth’s finite resources, in no way qualifies as “being more realistic” about the climate crisis, but instead constitutes a level of magical thinking of the most catastrophic order.

For those who call on us to “be more realistic” about the climate crisis, I have some hard and unfortunate truths for you. Realistically, we are on track to arrive somewhere around 3∂C of global heating within the coming decades. Realistically, the Earth’s carrying capacity, or “the maximum population size of a biological species that can be sustained by [a] specific environment,” is likely to be reduced to no more than 1 billion people once we arrive at 4C of warming, as predicted by Professor Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Given the difficulty of factoring in numerous future variables and feedback loops in our estimates of temperature rise, it is by no means an unrealistic prospect that heating should eventually reach this level.

And finally, the only realistic way for us to avoid the potential genocide of some 90% of the Earth’s human population through ecological collapse, is a widespread and immediate transition away from the fossil fuel economy.

You can be as angry as you want to about this. In fact, you should be angry. But the ones you should be angry at are the powerful elites and the fossil fuel executives who spent half a century lying to you about the deadly effects of their product as they deliberately made it indispensable to our everyday lives, viciously fighting against a global transition to renewable energy for fear that it might endanger their bottom line.

The longer these malicious actors keep you enraged at truth-tellers instead of the snake oil salesmen who brought us to this point, the more leverage elites gain in deciding who among us is expendable in their planet-killing crusade for profits.


Aaron Dunbar is a member of Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action.

Climate Corner: Addressing climate change in your own backyard

May 13, 2023

George Banziger

For anyone in the Mid-Ohio Valley who senses the importance and urgency to act on climate change, these can be frustrating and discouraging times. Public officials in West Virginia seem inextricably committed to fossil fuels, especially coal. And public officials in Ohio seem to be hopelessly corrupt and under tightening influence of the fossil-fuel industry.

It’s important in keeping motivated for this cause to exercise personal agency and a sense of purpose in one’s own life. One way to achieve a modicum of success is to strive to make small changes in one’s personal life to address climate change. Spring is the ideal time to set some climate goals in your own backyard–a first step is the lawn, as Dr. Douglas Tallamy, botanist at the University of Delaware and author of the book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” expresses through his slogan, “shrink the lawn.”

Lawn ownership and lawn care are an obsession with most American homeowners. Americans spend, collectively, three billion hours on lawn care per year. Lawn irrigation consumes over 8 billion gallons of water daily. Over 40 million acres of U.S. land are taken up by lawns; this compares to 20 million acres of national parks.

The machines that we use to mow our multitude of lawn areas are not required to have emission controls. By contrast, a healthy ecosystem built upon native plants produces oxygen, cleans water systems, captures carbon, builds topsoil, and prevents floods.

Another advantage to an ecosystem based on native plants is that this biosystem is friendly to pollinators, which are in trouble. As one group of pollinators, honeybees are essential to the multi-million-dollar fruit industry. The rusty-patched bumblebee population, for example, is down 90%. The solution to helping pollinators is straightforward: shrink the lawn, put in native plants, keep the dandelions (an important early source of pollen for bees), restrain from using pesticides, do not rake leaves in the fall (leaves and brush piles support larvae growth in colder months), and watch for nests.

If you are financially able, consider planting some trees in your back yard (approximately ten trees can be bought for the price of one tractor lawn mower). Tallamy uses the phrase “keystone species” to describe tree species that have a disproportionately large effect on the abundance and diversity of other species in the ecosystem. Among these keystone species are oak, cherry, and willow trees. We took a small step in this direction on our property by planting two oak trees in our backyard last fall. Such trees will host hundreds of species of caterpillars.

There is a movement in the U.S. called Homegrown National Park (, which is attempting to link individual property owners all over the U.S. to restore habitat. Most national parks are located in the western U.S., and this means that migratory corridors in the eastern side of the country are blocked to native populations of plants and animals. Conservation efforts that are confined to national parks will not preserve species in the long run because these areas are too confined and small. By associating with this movement one can make a small individual contribution to ecological restoration and collectively move us ahead with national restoration.

A local success story of ecological restoration is the pollinator garden on the west bank of the Muskingum River in Marietta near the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers. Under the uniting leadership of Rebecca Phillips, scores of volunteers, public officials in Marietta, and residents of the west side have come together to plant and care for asters, cup plants, native daisies, cone flowers, and other native species. The pollinator garden has added color, land stabilization, habitat for numerous pollinators, and serves as a model for other communities.

Another opportunity we have to build our resources of native plants is the establishment of a new nursery in Mineral Wells, called Native Roots, which specializes in native plants. One of the sister owners of this nursery, Jen Johnson, opened the Mineral Wells facility in early May this year and is participating in several events to promote native plants in the region.

Continue to press your legislators to make policies that address climate change but make your own personal contribution to addressing climate change with some native plants in your own backyard.


George Banziger, Ph.D., was a faculty member at Marietta College and an academic dean at three other colleges. Now retired, he is a volunteer for Mid-Ohio Valley Interfaith, and Harvest of Hope. He is a member of the Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, Citizens Climate Lobby, and of the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action team.

Throwing us under the fracking truck

May 13, 2023

Times Leader online

Randi Pokladnik

Ohio’s Republican party is ignoring the health of residents in Appalachian counties as it uses the recent passage of House Bill 507 to enable fracking on Ohio’s public lands.

HB 507 was passed without a public hearing during a lame duck session.

The economic benefit Ohio receives from outdoor recreation at Ohio parks is estimated to be $8.1 billion per year, and the recreational industry employs 132,790 workers. But, ODNR’s 5-member Oil and Gas Land Management Commission, who is responsible for writing rules for leasing public lands, is willing to throw the park industry and rural communities under the fracking truck.

The decisions that will affect Ohio’s public lands and ultimately the health of Ohio’s rural communities will be made by The Director of Natural Resources and four members appointed by the Governor; two with experience in oil and gas, one from real estate, and one from an environmental organization. Hundreds of citizens made public comments to the commission about the health and environmental risks of fracking, yet not one person on the commission has any expertise in these areas or was willing to address any of their concerns.

The commission seems fixated on making money off public-owned lands. The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) spoke at the March commission meeting, touting their recent $40 million deal with Texas-based Encino Energy to frack 7,300 acres at Tappan Lake. Encino has its eye on Salt Fork and reportedly wants to get a 15-year lease to place well pads around the park.

Although Governor (Mike) DeWine has assured there will be no well pads on park land itself, a state agency can negotiate additional lease agreements to do this. Fracking is basically unregulated and exposes local communities to multiple carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting pollutants. Additionally, fracking does all of the following: creates a high demand for surface water and land area, increases truck traffic with approximately 592 one-way trips per well, generates toxic fracking wastewater containing water soluble radionuclides, impacts biodiversity and landscape, contaminates air by emissions, leaches PFAS into waterways, induces seismic activity, increases radon in homes, can lead to explosions, requires massive amounts of gathering pipelines, and of course increases amounts of the greenhouse-gas methane.

Ohio’s marginalized Appalachian counties have become a mineral colony, enriching fossil fuel corporations while communities fall further into poverty. (State) Senator (Matt) Huffman (R-12th District) thinks fracking public lands is a “great revenue generator” to provide tax cuts for the rich. Why doesn’t Ohio generate revenues by raising gas severance taxes? Ohio has one of the lowest in the country; currently a paltry 2.5 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. Instead, Ohio’s politicians placate the fossil fuel industry, while Ohio’s regulatory agencies are controlled by the industries they are charged with regulating.

Randi Jeannine Pokladnik


There is no viable future for coal

(Opinion)Charleston Gazette-Mail  

  • By Eric Engle
  • May 12, 2023



As West Virginia political leaders clumsily continue clinging to coal, they’re being forced (at least quietly) to reckon with a hard truth: Coal doesn’t have a viable future.

To quote an article from West Virginia Public Broadcasting: “Members of the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy and Manufacturing were told Thursday that more than 12,000 megawatts of power will be added to the grid in the next several years. That includes about 10,000 megawatts of renewables and about 2,000 megawatts of natural gas. Combined, that’s nearly as much as the entire footprint of coal in West Virginia of 12,500 megawatts.”

The WVPB article also stated, “PJM [a 12-state grid operator that serves West Virginia] has a systemwide backlog of 252,665 megawatts in its interconnection queue, the line for new power resources to join the grid. More than half of that is solar. Much of the rest are wind and battery storage. Only 5,537 megawatts of natural gas are in the queue, and no coal.”

Speak up against AEP rate increase

May 9, 2023

Marietta Times

Letter to the Editor

George Banziger

American Electric Power (AEP) is raising its electricity rates in Ohio on June 1 by 28%. On top of that huge increase, AEP Ohio is proposing an additional 5% rate hike to take effect in 2024 with a continued annual increase until 2030. AEP Ohio is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to approve these increases. Representatives from PUCO came to Marietta on May 1 for a public hearing on this proposed rate increase. I attended this hearing, which was held at Washington State CC, and was one of only two people to give testimony–both of us spoke in opposition to this rate hike.

AEP made huge profits in 2022. Their CEO made $16 million in that year. While raking in these exorbitant profits, AEP shut off power to 164,000 Ohioans in that year. Electricity is a necessity for all Ohioans; high profits and big salaries are not.

Rate payers are being asked to cover the costs for AEP Ohio’s outdated and irrelevant coal-fired power plants at the level of $211 million. Coal is far more expensive as an energy source than alternatives such as natural gas and renewables. Ohio electricity consumers should not be asked to subsidize an energy source of the 20th century while more affordable options for 21st energy sources are available.

Another consideration is that AEP is still being investigated for corruption surrounding the HB6 legislation that was designed to underwrite Ohio’s nuclear energy plants and manipulated through the legislature by former Speaker Householder.

Here is the short testimony I presented at the Marietta hearing arranged by PUCO:

“I oppose these electricity supply and distribution rate increases because my wife and I are both over 80 years old and are living on a fixed income. While most of us in Washington County struggle (our average income is lower than the state average), AEP makes huge profits for its shareholders. Its former CEO made $16 million in 2022.

AEP makes the ill-advised decision to continue to operate its inefficient and costly coal-fired power plants while the rest of us are trying to make reasonable decisions about our personal budgets.

Renewable sources of energy are more affordable, earth friendly, and more stable than fossil-fuel sources.”

It is still possible for Ohio electricity consumers to express their thoughts on this proposed rate hike. Send your message to: Or you can send a letter to PUCO, referencing Case 23-23 to: PUCO, 180 E. Broad St., 11th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215.

George Banziger

Climate Corner: Trust me (you?); we collect the data

May 6, 2023

Jonathan Brier

My name is Jonathan Brier, I’m a resident of Marietta and an information scientist, but I started as a citizen scientist as a teenager. I didn’t know what I was doing would be called citizen science until years later. I still identify as a citizen scientist to this day, even though I earned a Master of Science degree in Information from the University of Michigan and spent 7.5 years pursuing a PhD in Information Studies at the University of Maryland. My reason for these studies was to help make citizen science more effective and reach more people. I’d like to introduce you to one of thousands I’ve explored.

What is citizen science, you might ask? Well, the Citizen Science Association (“”> uses the definition “Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research — whether community-driven research or global investigations.” To me citizen science is an umbrella term encompassing many practices of the public engaging in science. Birders, aka people really into birdwatching (like my fiancee), often talk about the eBird citizen science project and tracking what they’ve seen and where. eBird applies sophisticated statistical checks for data quality and trust. The United Nations has identified citizen science as important to tackling the sustainable development goals and data needs ( There are growing data needs in many areas of science. Climate science is where I’m focusing today.

The project I would like to share with you is CoCoRaHS ( It is pronounced like hot chocolate ‘coco’ and ‘ra’s like the Egyptian deity, but plural. CoCoRaHS stands for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network and started at the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in 1998. It now has thousands of people all over North America. Ohio joined in February 2009 and West Virginia in May 2009.

CoCoRaHS participants are important as they provide local coverage of precipitation for where they live. The minimum requirements are: (a) buy one of the 4″ standard rain gauges, (b) apply to join, and (c) attend or watch a training session.

There are a few types of measurements and other tools, but the 4″ rain gauge is the basic equipment to start and costs $48. The basics to participating are to check, record, and empty the rain gauge at the same time each day and to keep a written record of your data as backup. Enter your data on the website. Quality checks are performed once your record is in the central database and they may ask you to double check your written log if something doesn’t look right. Additional low-cost materials like a ruler, wood dowel, and square of plywood painted white are other tools used in monitoring depending on the precipitation.

What data matters? Reports of zero precipitation at the same time frame each day matters as much as accurate measurement of precipitation. Why? As the report of zero still is data to confirm nothing fell instead of no data, which is a gap.

View the latest data from CoCoRaHS participants by visiting and see a report near you. By adding your backyard, farm, or other data from a location you monitor means that weather forecast models have more reliable data to base their statistical estimates from and climate models can compare their prediction to actual data over time at specific locations. Manual weather records such as ship logs, which include weather data, are one way climate scientists are able to create models of past weather and understand how our climate changes over time.

CoCoRaHS data complements automated weather stations such as those found at airports, NOAA monitoring sites, personal weather station networks like Weather Underground’s Personal Weather Station Network (, and other monitoring sites. Better data means improved forecasts for weather forecasts and crops and maybe you know someone who already relies on this data. As a community we can collect the data, trust the data because we know how it is collected, and maybe better understand the science of climate science.

Does CoCoRaHS interest you? Visit and sign up visit


Jonathan Brier is a Marietta resident, information scientist, and an Eagle Scout. He is a member of the Citizen Science Association, Association of Computing Machinery, American Association for the Advancement of Science, OpenStreetMap US, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, and a Wikipedia contributor. If you want to know more about citizen science or to reach him, visit or email:

Suggested Readings for May 2023

MOVCA Selected Media Postings April 2023

Compiled by Cindy Taylor

Appearing in The Marietta Times:

April 24, 2023  Local News by Clara Noelle; Photo by Clara Noelle shows Adeline Bailey with MOVCA’s tabling
Image of article in Marietta Times

Appearing online in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel: 

April 27, 2023 Business Article by Steven Allen Adams

“Future of Pleasants Power still murky following PSC order”

April 8, 2023    Op-Ed by Craig Straight, Pleasants Power Station production supervisor

Available on the Charleston Gazette-Mail:  

See full list of articles by Mike Tony, Environment and Energy Reporter

April 27, 2023 2023 Article by Mike Tony, Energy and Environment Reporter

“EPA’s first Clean Water Act enforcement action on PFAS discharges targets Chemours facility in Wood County”

   Eric Engle is quoted.

April 25, 2023 Article by Mike Tony, Energy and Environment Reporter

“PSC greenlights Mon Power, Potomac Edison talks toward Pleasant Power Station takeover, holds off on surcharge approval”

April 14, 2023 Article by Mike Tony, Energy and Environment Reporter

“FirstEnergy utilities report potential new costs, “significant risks” amid $36M rate hike proposal in Pleasants plant pursuit”

April 10, 2023 Article by Mike Tony, Energy and Environment Reporter

“FirstEnergy subsidiaries’ $36M rate hike proposal to keep Pleasants plant open drawing strong reaction”

April 1, 2023  Op-Ed by Eric Engle

“Eric Engle: Say ‘no’ to Pleasants Power Station sale”

Available on The Athens County Independent:

March 29, 2023  Article by Sam Stecklow

“Torch fracking injection wells received waste containing ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS: data”

Available on the Columbus Dispatch:

April 24, 2023 Letter-to-the Editor by Aaron Dunbar

“Public land being stolen”

Available on WTAP:

April 30, 2023 Article by Chase Campbell    Article and video

“Discussing the future of the Pleasants Power Station”

Eric Engle, MOVCA Board President, is interviewed and quoted.

April 27, 2023 Article by Chase Campbell    Article and video

“Discussing the EPA’s recent action against PFAS pollution”

Eric Engle, MOVCA Board President, is interviewed and quoted.

April 26, 2023 Article by Chase Campbell    Article and video

“Environmental Protection Agency ordering Chemours to address PFAS pollution”

April 25, 2023 Article by Chase Campbell    Article and video

“WVPSC approves interim solution to keep Pleasants Power Station open”

April 22, 2023 Article by Brittany Morgan  article and video

“WVUP Ecohawks celebrate and educate on Earth Day”

MOVCA participated in event

April 22, 2023 Feature by Jacob Krantz  video

24th annual Earth Day celebration held on Armory lawn

Available on WKBN 27 (Youngstown):

April 10, 2023  Local News: EAST PALESTINE TRAIN DERAILMENT Feature by Chelsea Simeon

 “Truck carrying toxic soil from East Palestine overturns in Columbiana County”

Available on Journal of Sustainability Education: (missing from previous media listing)

March 27, 2023 Article by Kathryn Williamson, Jamie Shinn, Deb Hemler and Sandra M. Fallon

“A Case Study for Climate Change Teacher Professional Development in West Virginia”

    “inspired by a similar effort by Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, a West Virginia-based civic organization”

See The West Virginia Climate Change Professional Development Project (WVCCPD)

Available on West Virginians For Energy Freedom

April 26, 2023

“PSC Issues Order on Pleasants”

April 21 2023 News article by Steven Allen Adams
WV News: Public weighs in at West Virginia PSC hearing for Pleasants Power Station”

Appearing on-line on Ohio River Valley Institute

April 17, 2023  Article by Jacqueline Ebner, Ph.D., Kathy Hippie, Nick Messenger, and Irina Spector, MBA

“Green Steel in the Ohio River Valley: The Timing is Right for the Rebirth of a Clean, Green Steel Industry”

Available  on-line on WV Rivers  :

April 18, 2023 News about American Rivers (national nonprofit) report of our Nation’s most endangered rivers.

“Ohio River Named 2nd Most Endangered River”

Appearing on-line on  ReImagine Appalachia: Check out all events here:

April 28, 2023 Community Event (Zoom) Description, recording and resources links

“Full employment for All of Appalachia: Listening Session”

April 27, 2023, 2-3 pm Community Event (Zoom) Description, recording and resources links

“Solar Project Pipeline Fireside Chat”

April 18, 2023 Article by Annie Regan Links to playlists and events in PA, WV, and OH

“How to Celebrate Earth Day in Appalachia”

April 13, 2023, 1pm Community Event (Zoom) Description, recording and resources links

“Green Locomotives Can Be a Big Driver for Jobs in the Region”  Webinar

April 13, 2023 12:00 – 1:00  Community Event (Zoom) Description, recording and resources links

“Solar-Powered Faith Communities and Houses of Worship: Saving Money and Ethical Labor”

April 12, 2023 12:00 – 1:00 Community Event (Zoom) Description, recording and resources links

“Social Media 101 Training”

Available on Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services:  

See Community Democracy Resources & Tools:

See Ambassador Community 

 April 20, 2023 10-4pm in Parkersburg, WV

Available on Interfaith Power and Light:

April 24, 2023 Action Alert

“Tell EPS to Finalize Strong Mercury Pollution Protections”

April 13, 2023 Press Release

“Interfaith Power & Light Demands Accountability from Toyota Following New Electric Vehicle Announcement”

Faith Leaders delivered a letter with roughly 15,500 signatures to Toyota’s US headquarters asking the company to commit to full electrification by 2035 without exception

Available on Citizens’ Climate Lobby  :

April 27, 2023 CCL statement on House passage of IRA rollbacks

April 27, 2023 (posted) Citizens’ Climate Radio – Description  and link for listening

“Episode 83: The Not-So-Cool Effects of Air Conditioning on Climate Change”

April 20, 2023 statement on attempts to repeal IRA climate provisions

Appearing on-line on WV Public Broadcasting or WOUB (PBS) or WVXU or NPR:

April 20, 2023  Associated Press Environment feature

“The U.S. plans new protections for old forests facing pressure from climate change”

April 20, 2023  Climate feature by Seyma Bayram

“The Colorado and Ohio rivers are among the ‘most endangered’ in America. Here’s why”

April 16, 2023 Jeff Brady feature text and audio. Heard on All Things Considered

“A 15-year-old law would end fossil fuels in federal buildings, but it’s on hold”

April 6, 2023 Article by Gabriel Scotto

“Ohio University researchers will use a federal grant to find environmentally friendly uses for coal”


Available on EarthJustice:

April 5, 2023 Press Release

“EPA Moves to Strengthen Protections Against Toxic Power Plant Pollution”

Available on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

April 26, 2023 EPA Press Release

“EPA takes first-ever federal Clean Water Act enforcement action to address PFAS discharges at Washington Works facility near Parkersburg, W. Va.”

Tool available from EPA

EJScreen: EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool

Available online from The Guardian:

April 25, 2023 Article by Fiona Harvey, Environmental editor

“John Kerry: relying on technology to remove carbon dioxide is ‘dangerous’”

April 19, 2023 Article by Nina Kakhani

“Nearly 120 million people in US exposed to unhealthy levels of soot and smog- report”

American Lung Association’s study also found great disparity between coasts, with 10 of 11 most polluted counties in California

April 7, 2023 Article by Nina Lakhani

“Green groups sue to stop Ohio from leasing state parks for oil and gas drilling”

April 6, 2023 Article by Damian Carrington, Environment editor

“ ‘Forever chemicals’ linked to infertility in women, study shows”

March 19, 2023 Climate Crisis Article by Oliver Milman  (omitted from last month’s report)

“ ‘We have money and power’: older Americans to blockade banks in climate protest”

Available on Inside Climate News:

April 4, 2023 Politics & Policy Article by Phil McKenna, Emma Ricketts

“Environmental Advocates Protest Outside EPA Headquarters Over the Slow Pace of New Climate and Clean Air Regulations”

April 3, 2023 Science Article by Phil McKenna

“Potent Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depleting Chemicals Called CFCs Are Back on the Rise Following an International Ban, a New Study Finds”

March 21, 2023 Justice Article by James Bruggers (omitted last month report)

“From Gas Wells to Rubber Ducks to Incineration, the Plastics Lifecycle Causes ‘Horrific Harm’ to the Planet and People, Report Shows”

Available on E 8 E NEWS:

April 21, 2023 Article by E.A. Crunden ;  Emma Dumain

“Biden order tackles environmental justice”

Available on Science and Environmental Health Network

April 24, 2023

“April 2023 Networker: A Fracked Nation” Editor’s note- Carmi Orenstein, MPH, CHPHY Program Director, SEHN

April 24, 2023 Feature by Sandra Steingraber, SEHN senior scientist

“The RePercussion Section: A Short History of Fracking”

April 24, 2023 Orenstein has conversation with Ranjana Bhandari, Founder and Ex. Director. Of Liveable Arlington

“The Moral Urgency of Stopping this Intergenerational Theft”


Available online on Grist:

April 21, 2023 Article by Kate Yoder, Staff writer

“A common talking point about climate change gets it all wrong, new study says”

Available from American Rivers

 “America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2023”

#2 Ohio River:

Available on Union of Concerned Scientists:

April 24, 2023  Article by John Rogers, Energy Campaign Analytic Lead

“Renewables Have Pulled Ahead of Coal. What’s Next?”

Research Available from American Lung Association:

2023 State of the Air

Available from Co2.Earth:

See Earth’s CO2 Home Page:

 Measurements from Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (NOAA):  421.00ppm in March 2023; 418.81ppm March 2022

April 13, 2023 CSAS / GISS  Global Warming Update

Available online on World Meteorological Organization (WMO):

April 21, 2023 Press release by WMO

“WMO annual report highlights continuous advance of climate change”

April 19, 2023 Press release by WMO

“New study shows Earth energy imbalance”

April 13, 2023 Press release by WMO

“It was the second joint warmest March on record”


Available from Rewire America

See a great calculator on what you can save in IRA tax credits and rebates.

“YOUR  SAVINGS CALCULATOR: How much money can you get with the Inflation Reduction Act?”

Available from Appalachian Solar Finance Fund Supported by Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative.   and

The Solar Finance Fund (SSF) provides grants and technical assistance to unlock the economic development potential of otherwise viable solar projects that face barriers unique to Central Appalachia. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, public entities and local businesses that serve as community anchors.

Contact Autumn Long at

Available from Yale Climate Connections:

April 28, 2023 Article about new tool available from American Forests. Text with links and Audio by YCC team

“This tool helps communities identify areas lacking trees – and advocate for more” (available from American Forests)

April 28, 2023 Article by Michael Svoboda

“A grove of tree books for Arbor Day”

April 19, 2023 Article by Samantha Harrington

“’In every breath we take’: How climate change impacts pollen allergies”

April 18, 2023 Article by Donald Wright

“In ‘No Miracles Needed,’ the technical solutions to climate change are clear. The political ones? Not so much”

April 14, 2023 Article by Dana Nuccitelli

“Drastic climate action is the best course for economic growth, new study finds”

April 12, 2023 Article by Daisy Simmons

“Where to find training, fellowships, and classes on climate journalism”

EPA works with industry, not ‘overreaching’

(Opinion)Charleston Gazette-Mail 

  • By Eric Engle
  • May 2, 2023



Republicans in West Virginia are absolutely obsessed with claiming that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is “overreaching” in its regulation of industry, especially fossil fuels and derivative industries. Hoppy Kercheval just made the claim again in an op-ed in the Gazette-Mail, continuing this tired refrain. It’s nonsense.

First of all, state regulators have a tremendous amount of authority that the federal EPA lacks. In West Virginia, we have the Department of Environmental Protection, a misnomer due to regulatory capture. When industry isn’t permitted to just “regulate” itself, it’s often charged fines so miniscule that it considers them the cost of doing business.

Secondly, the EPA, more often than not, reaches what are called consent decrees with the industries it oversees. This is a negotiated settlement entered as a court order to make sure it is enforceable. It is almost unheard of that the EPA would issue what is referred to as a unilateral administrative order to require parties to take a response action.

Climate Corner: What’s food got to do with climate change?

Apr 29, 2023

Linda Eve Seth

Cutting food waste is a delicious way of saving money, helping to feed the world and protecting the planet. — Tristram Stuart


What we eat, and how that food is produced, affects our health, of course, but also the health of the environment.

Food needs to be grown, processed, transported, distributed, prepared, consumed, and often disposed of. Each of these steps creates greenhouse gases (GHG) that trap the sun’s heat and contribute to climate change.

We waste 1 billion tons of food every year. That’s a disaster for the planet. About a third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions is linked to food. Reducing food waste is one of the most accessible, impactful climate solutions.

For many people in the world, food waste has become a habit: buying more food than we need at markets, letting fruits and vegetables spoil at home or taking/ordering larger portions than we can eat. Habits like those put extra strain on our natural resources and damage our environment. When we waste food, we waste the labor, effort, investment and precious resources (water, seeds, feed, etc.) that go into producing it, in addition to the resources that go into transporting and processing it. The result: wasting food increases GHG emissions and contributes to climate change.

Wasted food, no matter the cause, ultimately ends up in landfills, where it generates methane, an invisible, odorless gas with more than 80 times more warming power in the near-term than carbon dioxide, effectively helping accelerate climate change.

By some accounts, 20% of total GHG emissions annually is linked to food production. which means that agriculture contributes more than any other sector, including energy and transportation, to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN estimates that if food waste were a country, its GHG emissions would be the third highest in the world! Another way to look at the issue: Most of us generate more planet-warming emissions from eating than we do from driving or flying.

Reducing food loss and waste presents a simple. accessible opportunity for immediate climate benefits while simultaneously improving the overall sustainability of our food systems — a necessary transformation to ensure better planetary and nutritional outcomes for current and future generations.

It’s up to each of us to change our habits to make not wasting food a way of life! In the U.S. and beyond, food is wasted along all parts of the supply chain. A variety of local strategies and tools can be used to tackle this issue, including preventing food waste, connecting wholesome excess food to those who need it, and composting food scraps. People often wonder what they as individuals can possibly do to aid the world in the fight against climate change. Here are some easy actions you can take to re-connect to food and help the planet:

Buy only what you need: Plan your meals. Make a shopping list and stick to it, and avoid impulse buys: waste less food, and save money!

Pick ugly fruit and vegetables: Oddly-shaped or bruised fruits and vegetables are often thrown away because they don’t meet arbitrary cosmetic standards. Don’t worry – they taste the same! Use mature fruit for smoothies, juices and desserts.

Understand food labelling: There’s a big difference between “best before” and “use-by” dates. Sometimes food is still safe to eat after the “best before” date, whereas it’s the “use-by” date that tells you when it is no longer safe to eat.

Start small: Take smaller portions at home or share large dishes at restaurants.

Love your leftovers: If you don’t eat everything you make, freeze it for later or use the leftovers as an ingredient in another meal. You also can use your leftovers and food scraps to start a compost pile; Then use that rich organic matter to fertilize your own vegetable garden.

Changing our habits regarding food production and consumption is one very simple, but important, thing each of us can do! Every citizen can be part of the solution to combat climate change through thoughtful food consumption and processing of food wastes.

Until next time, be kind to your Mother Earth.