Sorry for such a long note. These are all important happenings and are presented in generally chronological order for your calendars, but please look through them all since some need preparation (such as the People's Climate Train). I will try to send out more frequent notes (no more than once every week or two) so you won't get so much information at once in the future.
OIL TRAINS—There will be increasing numbers of dangerous oil trains through Sacramento unless we can stop them. Currently, efforts are focused on the inadequacies of the Valero Crude-by-Rail Proposal which would send two 50-car oil trains through Sacramento each day. The 1500-page Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) needs your comments by September 15. 350 Sacramento will be hosting one or two workshops in the next few weeks to help people understand the document and write letters. We will be submitting a letter from 350 Sacramento and urge all organizations and individuals to write their own letter--we are all in danger from these trains. Only points that are brought up in the comment letters can be addressed later in lawsuits.
- Wednesday, August 13—The Rail Ad Hoc Committee of SACOG (Sac Council of Governments) will be holding a public hearing at noon at 1415 L St, Ste 300. SACOG is working on a letter on the Draft EIR for the Valero Crude-by-Rail Proposal and need public comments to encourage them to make strong comments.
- Thursday, August 14--Planning Commission meeting in Benicia at 7 pm at Benicia City Hall, 250 E. L St. Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community is meeting outside at 5:30. You are allowed 5 minutes to present your thoughts on the Valero Crude-by-Rail Proposal.
- Thursday, August 21--SACOG meeting at 9:30 am at 1415 L St, Ste 300. We need to support SACOG in their letter that the DEIR is inadequate in its present form since representatives of Valero and Union Pacific are pressuring them to not send the letter. Contact Lynne Nittler at email@example.com or 530-756-8110 if you are going.
- Monday, September 15—Deadline for comments on the DEiR.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO:
- Call your SACOG representative to thank them for the strong letter. Urge them to stand by every statement.
- Watch for oil trains through Sacramento and phone or text Peter Dragovich of Martinez Environmental Group at 925-207-1191 so he can get advanced warning to get a photo when it goes through Martinez.
- Learn more: Article by Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/05/6607840/sacramento-leaders-oil-trains.html; Op ed by Lynne Nittler in the Davis Enterprise http://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/opinion-columns/exercise-the-power-of-public-comment/
TOWN HALL UPDATE—The final draft of the Town Hall Climate Action Plan is out for comments and commitments to those who participated in the Town Hall in May. Please send your comments/edits/ideas by August 22. The next step is to finalize the document and start implementing the action items. There will be lots to do, something for everyone.
Tuesday, August 26--Designing Healthy Communities: Creating a Sustainable & Livable Sacramento Region. Dr. Richard Jackson, MD will speak at the CalEPA Building from 11:30–1 pm. Refreshments, discussion and Q&A. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Breathe California.
Friday, September 12--GEORGE MARSHALL, author of the new book Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, will speak in Sacramento at the Goethe Room, 1701 L St at 7 pm. One of the action items in the Town Hall Climate Action Plan is to find ways to overcome people’s feelings of despair and overwhelmedness. This informative and entertaining talk will give us some good ideas. Donation requested. Also, we are inviting organizations who would like to cosponsor or have a table at the event to contact us.
The PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH on September 21 in New York City will be the biggest climate demonstration in history. World leaders are coming to New York City in September for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. Amtrak is offering discounts on the People's Climate Train (follow the link for booking instructions), which will start in Emeryville and go through Sacramento on its way to New York. Consider being on the train for this historic march.