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In This Issue of the Sierra Club Insider:
Schwarzenegger Joins Sierra Club to Oppose Offshore Oil Bill
Straight Talk from the Sierra Club's Car Guy
A Spicy Businessman Goes Solar
Ready for Their Close-ups
Giant Sequoia Monument at Risk
Vote on Your Favorite Sierra Cover
Just Transitions
EXPLORE: Beat the Heat!
ENJOY: Mr. Green's Mailbag
PROTECT: Coastal Drilling Bad for Gulf Coast, Bad for America
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Sierra Club InsiderJuly 25, 2006
Schwarzenegger Joins Sierra Club to Oppose Offshore Oil Bill
California CoastCalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined a Sierra Club teleconference Monday to announce he will "do everything I can to protect our coast" and to fight against the offshore oil bill that the Senate is poised to vote on this week. He echoed the Club's concern that passage of the Senate bill could "lead to the weakening of the moratorium that has protected our California coasts for 25 years."

You can listen to his remarks here.

See below to find out how you can tell your senator you want America's coasts to stay protected.

MPG Calculator

Straight Talk from the Sierra Club's Car Guy
Dan Becker Dan Becker, the Sierra Club's senior representative in its Washington, D.C., legislative office, has become one of the nation's leading experts on global warming and clean cars. Automotive News, Detroit's trade magazine, named Dan to its list of the ten people in Washington who most affect the auto industry, and Rolling Stone called Dan a "Climate Hero." With gas prices hitting record highs, we thought Dan might have some automotive words of wisdom for our Smart Energy Summer.

Find out everything from the difference between good and bad hybrids to what kind of wheels the Sierra Club's car guy drives. Plus, you can ask Dan your own questions about clean cars.


Spicy Businessman Goes Solar
solar panelsRalph Maltese, a McCormick Spices employee from Santa Cruz, California, and his wife, Sheila Peck, installed an array of solar panels in their yard just before Christmas 2004, and they have seen their electric bill drop from $900 a year to a little more than $100. His 2,500-watt system, an array of four panels, originally cost $23,000, but dropped to half that after rebates and tax credits, and he's getting a 10 percent annual return on his investment. Find out how he and his family make it work by generating electricity during the peak hours of the day and using it at night...

And take our Smart Energy Summer solar poll.

Ted Rall CartoonReady for Their Close-Ups
Now that Al Gore's a bona fide global-warming movie star, will other politicians follow suit with their own environmental summer blockbusters?

Cartoonist Ted Rall imagines the movies we might expect from George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and that rising star -- Richard Pombo.

Giant Sequoia Monument at Risk
sequoia When Giant Sequoia National Monument was set aside as a gift for future generations by President Bill Clinton in 2001, it should have closed the books on whether to develop one of Mother Nature's finest works. But some bad ideas never die.

Later this week, a House Resources subcommittee will take up legislation that would allow two commercial logging projects in Giant Sequoia Monument to move forward and that would shield the timber sales from any environmental or legal review.

Pick the Best Sierra Cover
Vote for Sierra CoverSierra magazine publishes spectacular photography in every issue, but one of the toughest jobs the art director and editors have is selecting a cover image. The cover must be beautiful, but it must also help tell the story, whether it's about urgently needed protections or hope-inspiring possibilities. Here's your chance to let us know which of three recent covers you like the best. Vote for your favorite now!

Just Transitions
Just TransitionsWhen the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada, the dirtiest coal-fired power plant in the West, shut down at the end of 2005, environmental groups could have, as Sierra Club organizer Andy Bessler said, just "walked away and high-fived each other." But cleaner air and water weren't the only results of the closure. It also meant the loss of about 200 jobs -- many held by members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes -- at Black Mesa Mine, which provided the power plant's fuel.

So the Sierra Club worked with tribal groups and environmental organizations to create a "Just Transition Plan" that would establish a renewable energy infrastructure on tribal lands, providing jobs and electricity. And the money to pay for this complex and ambitious plan would come from the sale of pollution credits granted to Mohave's owners because their plant stopped emitting air pollution. Find out more.

Not a Club Member? Join Now and Help Protect Endangered     and Threatened Wildlife and Preserve the Places You Love

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Beat the Heat!

If the national heat wave has you sweltering, why not escape to cooler climes this summer? With Sierra Club Outings, you can cycle the Oregon Coast or ship off on a North Atlantic Expedition to Norway, Greenland, and Iceland. Of course, if you like to work up a sweat, we offer plenty of active summer getaways from backpacking the High Sierra to trail maintenance in Utah.

It's not too late for a summer adventure.

Beat the Heat
Mr. Green's Mailbag (on biodiesel)

Mr. Green, Sierra's opinionated green guru, touched a nerve when he expressed some cynicism about biodiesel fuel, and this month's mailbag is full of passionate arguments and counterarguments. (Mr. Green isn't against bio-diesel, mind you, he's just against putting all of our eggs in one fry basket, so to speak.)



Coastal Drilling Bad for Gulf Coast, Bad for America

The Senate is poised to vote this week on an offshore drilling bill that would lift the moratorium on drilling in a 6.3-million-acre protected area in the Gulf of Mexico and also jeopardize every other coastal state.

The House has already passed a bill putting the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts on the chopping block. If the Senate bill passes this measure, then the final bill that emerges from the House-Senate conference committee is likely to be extremely bad. Call your senators today and tell them that drilling off our coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico isn't sound energy policy!

offshore drilling
Photos: Maltese Family (Beatriz Herrera) | Cartoon (Ted Rall) | Sequoia (Joseph Tringali) | Just Transitions (Andy Bessler) | Polar Bear (Rinie van Meurs)