Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oklahoma Legislative Update and Action Alert

OSN is collaborating with the Sierra Club to educate the public on the legislative process. There are several high profile bills of interest in this year's session, including nuclear and alternative energy, green jobs, solar and wind tax credits, among others. Bud Scott, lobbyist for the Sierra Club, has compiled a brief report on the most important bills to help keep people informed and engaged. I encourage you to read the report but more valuable still, contact your legislators about the bills you think would or would not be in the best interest of our state and your families. Phone calls are best but don't wait to contact your Senator and Representative today because important votes take place every week at this time of year.

Contact Your Legislator:

Senator Charlie Laster- 521-5539 or
Representative Kris Steele- 557-7345 or
Representative Shane Jett- 557-7349 or

If you would like to receive Sierra Club Action Alerts by email, visit to sign-up and recieve timely information on key issues.

Sustainable Shawnee Awarded Water Conservation Grant!

Sustainable Shawnee along with several other schools, groups and communities has been awarded a grant from the Oklahoma Water Resource Board. Shawnee's Water Conservation Program would focus on three areas: Public Awareness, Youth Education, and Low-Water Landscaping. The grant request for $4,450 will support elementary school field trips, a college-level seminar, a native plant park and drip irrigation project, and public water conservation education. Sustainable Shawnee will collaborate with several partners including the City of Shawnee, the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, the Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs and local schools to carry out the Campaign this spring and fall called, "Water: Use it Wisely." The Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs has already begun work on the native plants and drip irrigation garden on the corner of Broadway and Main St.

Thanks to everyone that made this grant possible! I look forward to working with all of you to make this program successful.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rosemary Crawford, Center for Energy Matters, Speaks on the Costs of Burning Coal in Oklahoma

Energy Effiency - the Most Important Fuel of All.

Rosemary Crawford, Sustainable Shawnee VP, gave an excellent presentation on the proposed expansion of the coal-fired energy plant in Panama, OK. Though AES, owners of the facility, have withdrawn their application with the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, the fate of the expansion has not yet been finalized. She spoke quite eloquently about the human costs of burning coal for energy encouraging everyone present to be energy conservation ambassadors to the community. She emphasized that the choices we make in our homes and businesses have a real, measurable impact on the families that live near these coal plants. Reducing the amount of coal burned for energy in Oklahoma starts with you and the people whose behavior we influence in our everyday lives.
Under the Bush Administration, mercury emissions laws were weaken to make it easier for older coal-fired plants to operate without meeting Clean Air regulations. Not any more. The Obama Administration is actively petitioning for a reversal of the current policy and long-awaited changes are expected soon.
The Tulsa World recently printed an editorial praising the idea of demand-side management for one simple reason - it's so easy. Instead of fighting about which form of energy is the safest, most inexpensive and plentiful, we could all conserve energy in our homes and really accomplish something.

He's got a point there.