June 2023 Ohio Newsletter

Greetings, Sierra Club Ohio. 

We hope the spring season has brought you joy – the summer season is approaching and there are many opportunities to enjoy our great outdoors. What are you looking forward to the most for the summer season?

Our newsletter touts grand opportunities to get involved across the state! Volunteer with us as Treasurer; participate in an exciting Route Zero campaign event; take action against fracking on our precious public lands in Ohio. We hope everyone will get involved.

Many thanks to our members, contributors, and funders who support our work and who are engaged with us in protecting our environment. Please share our news and encourage others to join us.

Best regards,

Ericka Copeland
State Director, Sierra Club Ohio

Allison Chin Elected as Sierra Club Board President

Towards the end of May, Allison Chin was elected to serve as president (one-year term) of the Sierra Club’s Board of Directors. This is Chin’s fourth term as president. She was the first person of color to ever serve in this role. Chin is a longtime volunteer and lifetime member of the Sierra Club. She has been serving on Board-appointed governance committees or the Board itself since 1999. Chin is a retired biologist who led multidisciplinary domestic and international project teams focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics.

"I am honored to take on this role and continue the great work of the Sierra Club. We are facing critical challenges in protecting our planet and all its inhabitants, and I am confident that we will rise to the challenge," said Allison Chin.
Read more about this announcement here

Treasurer Volunteer Position

We have an exciting opportunity for a volunteer to fill our important role as Treasurer for Sierra Club Ohio.

The Treasurer's role is to serve as the liaison between the Ohio Chapter and the National Sierra Club Chapter Finance and Chapter Fundraising departments regarding all financial matters.
Learn More & Apply Today!

Upcoming Event

Sierra Club is participating in a cross-country, relay coalition campaign called  Route Zero, urging EPA to set strong federal clean car standards this year, with a stop in Cleveland, OH on Sunday, June 11. 

The Route Zero Campaign will be hosting press events and meetups with partner organizations throughout the EPA comment period.

The relay started in Santa Monica, CA; and traveled through Flagstaff, AZ; Kansas City, MO; and Joliet, IL. In June the relay will continue moving through Detroit, MI; Cleveland, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Baltimore, MD.

The trip will end in Washington, DC, where we will be delivering comments directly to the EPA.

Register here to join the Cleveland event

Updates and News

Fracking Ohio Public Lands Update and Taking Action

New rules took effect Tuesday, May 30th, 2023, where the oil and gas industry will be able to nominate parcels of land for potential drilling to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Oil & Gas Land Management Commission. Gov. Mike DeWine has said that his administration won't allow the oil and gas industry any new surface use inside the boundaries of Ohio state parks while he’s in office. However, oil and gas companies could still extract fossil fuels underneath state land by setting up wells just outside the boundaries of state parks and drilling horizontally to extract oil and gas from underneath public lands.
We invite you to stay up to date on this issue and learn more on our website at the blog post here.

Report from the Ohio Environmental and Social Justice Committee on Utility Justice

The ESJ Committee has had many opportunities this month to speak out on actions taken by decision makers that aren’t helpful to most. Those of us who live in Central and Southern Ohio receive our electric service from AEP (American Electric Power). Recently it was proposed that a series of rate hikes totaling over $2 billion dollars be paid by customers. When challenged, AEP stated the funds would be used for tree trimming and removal.

Unsurprisingly, most of the longer power outages in 2022 were situated in neighborhoods and communities of color and lower income families. AEP is still actively utilizing dirty coal plants for the majority of their current service. It is inescapably obvious that AEP is not terribly interested in the welfare of its Ohio customer base. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio held hearings around the state on this proposal, including two in Columbus in late May. You can see ABC 6 coverage here and here.

Concerned AEP customers who missed the public hearings can still submit written testimony to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) urging the commissioners to deny AEP Ohio's proposal (instructions here) and can help bring more attending to this issue by writing letters to the editor of local newspapers ( George Banziger of Marietta had one published in The Marietta Times).


Emily Obringer, Conservation Program Coordinator and Nicole Wolcott, Volunteer Coordinator will both embark on new adventures outside of Sierra Club Ohio in early June.

Our team is very thankful for their passion, dedication, and contributions during their time with us; we will miss their passion and expertise. After their six and five years, respectively, with the club, we wish them all the best as they set out on the next chapters in their careers.

Thank you!

Thank you for all you do for the environment in Ohio. We look forward to hearing from you and connecting on all of our rebuilding activities. Hoping that you and your loved ones are well and safe.