Due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation, we are sensitive to our constituents during this challenging crisis…
Read more about reopening guidelines here.
Sierra Club COVID Info Hub.
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HBG and Chapter Meetings and events:
August 2022 Program
What: Overview of Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area and Plans for the Future by Jack Sims, President of Friends of Frozen Head
When: Tuesday, August 9, 2022, 7:00-8:30 PM
Where: In-Person at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville & Virtual via Zoom. Please RSVP through this Campfire Event Link. You will receive information on how to connect to the program virtually and be notified via email if there are any changes.
Come and hear about the history and spectacular features of one of Tennessee’s premier state parks. Jack Sims, an accomplished photographer, and will present an overview of this biologically diverse and beautiful landscape. He will talk about the goals and objectives of the recently formed Friends of Frozen Head, lead a discussion on it, and answer questions about its mission.
We will also, to the best of our ability, stream this live on Zoom for those that won't be attending the program in-person. Please RSVP to get the zoom link and any updates about this program.
Please RSVP to get the Zoom link for the program. You will receive information on how to connect to this program and be notified via email if there are any changes:
Castle Rock at Frozen Head SP. Photo by Mac Post - used with permission
Tennessee Chapter ExCom Business meetings: Online (via Zoom)
***Please check our website for updates on the August HBG Program*** https://www.sierraclub.org/tennessee/harvey-broome/programs
Note: Consult the HBG website Calendar for updates to our calendar. Questions regarding HBG events should be addressed to HBG Chair Jerry Thornton (email@example.com).
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HBG and Local Issues & Business
Call for Nominations for the Harvey Broome Group (HBG) ExCom
The HBG Nomination Committee is seeking self-nominated candidates and suggestions for nominees! This year, six of HBG’s 12 ExCom members will reach the end of their terms. The Sierra Club’s democratic process ensures it is held accountable to its membership with viable candidates who best represent our members’ interests. Any HBG member in good standing is eligible for nomination for the HBG ExCom.
The HBG ExCom sets the budget and strategic direction, reaches consensus on conservation positions, raises money, appoints officers and committee chairs, plans important events, and approves litigation and electoral endorsements. To accomplish all of this, the HBG ExCom meets on 11 fourth-Tuesday evenings a year, and there is e-mail correspondence between meetings.
After receiving your nominations by July 31, 2022, the HBG Nomination Committee will consider and recommend candidates for the ballot, which is published in the November/December edition of the Tennes-Sierran bi-monthly newspaper and now also online for members opting in to receive Sierra Club emails. Candidates may also get on the ballot by petition and are allowed space on the ballot to advocate for their election. Candidates receiving the top votes will start their 2-year terms in January 2023.
Any HBG Member wishing to be considered as a candidate should indicate their intent by July 31, 2022. Email nominations to Julie Elfin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennessee Primary Elections and HBG Knox County Endorsements!
The primary is here! Election day is August 4th, and early voting lasts until July 30th. Remember to select a candidate for each and every race.
HBG Knox Knox County candidate endorsements
Learn more and check your registration status here
Job Opportunity: Sierra Club Tennessee Organizing Representative
Sierra Club is hiring in Tennessee!
“The Organizing Representative works with community members, volunteers and staff to build and support organized, resilient and powerful communities. The Organizing Representative works with others to build grassroots power, grounded by the Jemez Principles, that achieves concrete campaign goals while creating structural and cultural change. They work with community volunteers and Campaign staff to shape campaign goals. The Organizing Representative builds relationships, increases the number of people engaged, supports leadership development and builds just and supportive partnerships. They use existing data tools and processes to enhance organizing work.”
Learn more and apply here
Appalachian Voices Report: Replacing Cumberland Fossil Plant with energy efficiency and renewables would have much higher jobs outcomes. Study follows critical letter from EPA that calls out insufficiencies in TVA’s analysis for Cumberland.
A new report from our allies at Appalachian Voices reiterates the win-win of clean energy for people and the planet.
“In comparing three ‘Clean Energy Portfolios’ for replacing the capacity at Cumberland, the study finds an average of 739 direct, long-term jobs and 4,489 direct, temporary jobs would be created for the Tennessee Valley. This figure is in stark contrast to TVA’s preferred gas alternative for replacing the plant, which would produce just 25 to 35 long term jobs and only 1,000 temporary jobs. In TVA’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement that considered how to replace capacity at Cumberland, the utility provided jobs projections for two gas alternatives but chose to omit that information for the only renewable alternative it studied.
“ ‘Our analysis shows that a clean energy alternative could create 20 to 30 times more long-term jobs than TVA’s preferred plan for Cumberland,’ said Bri Knisley, Tennessee Campaign Manager for Appalachian Voices. ‘TVA should select a clean energy portfolio to replace the plant, and work with building trades unions, workforce development organizations and other key partners to ensure those jobs are high quality, well paid and provide good benefits.’ ”
Read the full press release here.
Why Environmental Volunteering is Good for Your Health and Happiness
By Sandi Schwartz, Sierra Club Florida Chapter
Harvey Broome Group volunteers tabling at Open Streets Knoxville in May 2022. Photo by Julie Elfin, edited by Todd Waterman.
When we volunteer in our community, we can experience a physiological change called a “helper’s high.” This euphoric sensation happens when our brain releases endorphins, making us feel elated and excited. Giving back also stimulates the vagus nerve, which is linked to the production of oxytocin, a hormone that soothes us. As a result, we experience positive health changes including less stress and a boost in happiness.
Sierra Club provides a positive outlet to make a difference and feel better at the same time. Whether you participate in a cleanup, planting, or trail maintenance locally as a group or create your own Team Sierra initiative to raise funds to support Sierra Club's work for climate, wildlife, and wild places, there are endless opportunities for environmental volunteering through our organization. You might also have a local Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) program to get involved with, which empowers youth from communities with limited access to connect and reconnect to the outdoors. ICO helps create the next generation of environmental justice and social justice leaders through building community and increasing exposure to outdoor recreation, advocacy, and leadership training.
Join HBG’s ICO program here.
Read the full article on the HBG blog.
Federally Funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
This federal program provides federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with: home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.
Read about other local events in Tennessee in our Chapter e-newsletters.
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Events and Actions
Paddle trip: Seven Islands State Birding Park to Cruze Landing, French Broad
Saturday, September 24th 9:30 AM
Kayakers on the French Broad River. Photo © by Ron Shrieves, edited.
This go-with-the-current float covers an easy 5 miles, starting from the Seven Islands State Birding Park public access point on the French Broad River, to a public boat ramp at Cruze Landing (this will require a car shuttle setup among group drivers when we meet). Though far from pristine, this river does have some interesting sights, and a bit of wildlife. There may be some shoal water, but no whitewater. Basic canoe/kayak skills are required. We'll take our time exploring the shoreline for birds and other wildlife, and stop to eat lunch and stretch our legs on an island that is in the State Park. Sorry but we cannot provide boats, so if you need to rent a boat, you will have to contact a local outfitter and make your own arrangements for boats, paddles and PFDs. One-way drive, 20 miles. Pre-register with Ron Shrieves: 865-922-3518; email@example.com (email preferred).
Sierra Club Action Alert: Expand Equitable Access to the Outdoors - Urge Congress to Cosponsor the Outdoors for All Act!
The Outdoors for All Act (H.R. 5413, S. 2887) will create and improve state and locally-owned parks and other outdoor recreation areas, particularly in nature-deprived communities that have been robbed of the benefits, like cleaner air and opportunities to run and play, that parks and open spaces provide.
If passed, this legislation will protect and increase funding for a federal program that builds and maintains parks and green spaces in urban communities that historically have been denied access to nature.
Contacting your Member of Congress will highlight the lack of equitable access to the outdoors and build critical support for this important bill. In the U.S., 100 million people, including 28 million children, do not live within walking distance of a quality public park.
Reach out to your Members of Congress today and urge them to co-sponsor the Outdoors for All Act!
White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) Public Meeting August 3-4, 3 PM - 7 PM ET
Online via Zoom
The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) will hold a public meeting August 3-4, 2022 from approximately 3:00 - 7:30 PM E.T. each day. This free meeting is open to all members of the public. Individual registration is REQUIRED and is available through the scheduled end time of the meeting day.
The WHEJAC is interested in receiving public comments specific to the development of an annual public performance scorecard and the types of indicators or data that would be useful in a scorecard. This scorecard will provide a method for evaluation and accountability to assess the Federal Government’s progress in addressing current and historic environmental injustice. Every effort will be made to hear from as many registered public commenters during the time specified on the agenda.
Registration to speak during the public comment period closes at 11:59 p.m. (ET), July 27, 2022. The WHEJAC will hear from as many registered public commenters as possible during the time specified on the agenda.
Register for the WHEJAC public meeting here.
Learn more about the WHEJAC and the public meeting here.
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*** Note to readers about accessing these articles. Gift links provide a link that allows access for a single time, even if you have reached your limit.
Four Ways the United States Can Still Fight Climate Change: With the president’s most potent tools to fight climate change stripped by Congress and the courts, the administration will now have to rely on smaller, less powerful actions. Coral Davenport, New York Times, July 15. Gift link
“The evident death in the Senate of Democrats’ climate change legislation, which was to have been the centerpiece of Mr. Biden’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, comes just weeks after the Supreme Court handed down a decision that sharply limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the nation’s second-largest source of greenhouse gases.”
The four action areas the author suggests are:
Regulating tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks
Controlling pollution from power plants
Curbing methane leaks from oil & gas wells
Supporting state-level climate action
In a Twist, Old Coal Plants Help Deliver Renewable Power. Here’s How. The sites, once a source of greenhouse gases, have a useful feature: They’re wired to the electricity grid. For new ventures like solar farms, that can save a lot of time and money. Elena Shao, New York Times, July 15. Gift link
“ ‘A silver lining of having had all of these dirty power plants is that now, we have fairly robust transmission lines in those places,’ said Jack Darin, director of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club ... ‘That’s a huge asset.’
“The advantage of building renewable energy projects on old coal plants is twofold, said Sylvia Garcia, the director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which oversees the coal-to-solar program. First, projects benefit from the ease of reusing an existing connection to the grid. Second, it’s an effort toward ‘trying to reinvest in the communities that have lost those coal plants’ in the first place, she said.”
Massive Tennessee Oil Spill Barely Missed State's Largest Aquifer. Emma Mayer, Newsweek, July 8. Link
“One of the largest crude oil spills in Tennessee history took place last week, and oil just missed the state's largest aquifer.
“The pipeline, which stretches for roughly 1,000 miles, burst on June 29, leaking more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil into the rural town of Henderson.”
Gas instead of coal? EPA tells TVA to look again. Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News Energywire, July 7. Link
“EPA said the Tennessee Valley Authority should reconsider an initial decision to replace its largest coal plant with a natural gas one, arguing that there are cheaper and cleaner options to combat climate change.
“The nation’s largest public power utility is weighing new generation choices as it prepares to close the massive Cumberland Fossil Plant, which is near the Tennessee-Kentucky border. TVA must follow the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the federal government to analyze environmental impacts of major decisions, particularly with infrastructure.”
Bill Nye says the main thing you can do about climate change isn’t recycling—it’s voting. Tom Huddleston Jr., CNBC Website, July 4. Link
“ ‘And, if you’re a kid and you can’t vote yet, make sure your parents vote,’ Nye, 66, added. ‘Hassle them.’
“Nye spoke just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a new landmark ruling that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.”
Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM) 50th Anniversary
Celebrants pose in front of a SOCM timeline banner beginning fifty years ago. Photo by Jake Resor.
Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM) members kicked off their year-long 50th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st in Monteagle, TN. Aging heroes from SOCM’s hazardous early years of fighting strip mining (then as Save Our Cumberland Mountains) joined more recent members and staff, including new Director Austin Sauerbrei. Participants recounted five decades of grassroots successes, shared current campaigns and began planning SOCM’s next fifty years. There was plenty of shared fun, meals, skits and bonding along the way. Sunday closed with commitments to SOCM and pledges to its 50th Anniversary Fundraiser. Lots more articles, chapter reports, and loads of photos are included in the quarterly SOCM Sentinel’s 28 pages.
Read about other events in Tennessee in our Chapter e-newsletters.
*** A democracy with informed citizens requires the professionalism that we have historically expected of credible news sources. Most “local" newspapers today are asking folks who access their online news stories to purchase a subscription to their paper. This is understandable generally, and reminds us that we should do our part to pay for the resources that result in publication of local news. Those of us who use summaries of published print news, as we do, are no exception, and we ask the same of our readers. However, we also believe that a person who only wants to see an occasional article published in a newspaper should not be required to subscribe. So if you believe that you are in the latter category - only an occasional reader - you may be able to read an article without a subscription if you "browse anonymously" or clear your browser cache before activating a link to an article. This may help you avoid many "pay walls" at these news sources (some sources restrict access even with anonymous settings). Another approach is to search for alternate source on the particular news item. But we recommend that our readers who find themselves accessing an online news source on a regular basis subscribe to an online version of the paper, which is generally much cheaper than a print version.
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HELP THE HARVEY BROOME GROUP
PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT
Can't donate now? Sign up for Kroger Community Rewards. Kroger donates a portion of what you spend to the Harvey Broome Group as long as you designate HBG as your preferred charity.
1. Go to the Kroger Community Rewards web page
2. Register (or Sign In if you already have an account.)
3. Enroll in Community Rewards (or Edit if you're already enrolled.)
4. Enter HBG's Community Rewards Number 27874.
That's it. Swipe your Kroger Card when you shop and know that you're helping protect your environment.
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Who We Are
Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization -- with more than two million members and supporters. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. More recently, we've made history by leading the charge to move away from the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption and toward a clean energy economy.
The Harvey Broome Group (HBG) is one of four Sierra Club Groups within the Tennessee Chapter. HBG is based in Knoxville and serves 18 surrounding counties. HBG's namesake, Harvey Broome, was a Knoxvillian who was a founding member of the Wilderness Society and played a key role in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Visit our website
Donate (click the Donate button on the HBG home page)
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