The OEC regularly meets and works with budding citizen activists, growing organizations, and changemakers. This year, one of those changemakers really caught our attention, and that’s why we’ve selected the Ohio Chapters of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby as this year’s One to Watch Award recipient.
Green news, reflections, and stories from Ohio's leading environmental advocates.
Barry Cik had just become a grandfather when he set out on a mission to find a non-toxic, waterproof crib mattress. He was determined to give his granddaughter a healthy start at life, and knew that most mattresses contain chemicals that can lead to all kinds of issues for infants and adults alike. He couldn’t find a single option to his standards, so he got to work to creating his own.
That’s what good entrepreneurs are made of, and Barry has incorporated the highest standards in sustainability and environmental health into the very DNA of his company, Naturepedic.
Last week, the PUCO approved FirstEnergy’s coal bailout case, and as such, customers in FirstEnergy’s territory will collectively be paying up to $204 million more per year on their electric bills, for up to five years. Over $132 million of this is direct payment through a rider on customers’ bills to bolster the company’s credit rating, and the rest would go to cover the company’s taxes. Sadly, there’s little that customers will get back in terms of value for these higher bills.
On September 3, 2016, Oklahoma declared a state of emergency following a 5.6 magnitude earthquake near Pawnee, Oklahoma. The earthquake matched the strongest recorded tremor ever to have hit the area, back in 2011.That same day, Oklahoma officials temporarily shut down 37 of the state’s 3,200 active fracking wastewater disposal wells.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board completed and published their review of the agency’s long-awaited report on drinking water impacts from hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” To make a long story short, if the Science Advisory Board were handing out grades, then the EPA report would have received an F. They found a number of flaws with virtually every aspect of the report.
“It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it. Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” ~ Edward Abbey
At what point does a concern turn into a passion? What pushes us to turn sentiment into action? I cannot pinpoint any singular moment that led me to environmental work. Rather, a combination of growing up in beautiful southwest Ohio, my mom’s activism, and having a fierce trial lawyer for a father led me to be an environmental advocate.
My first national park visit wasn’t that long ago. On a Route 66 road trip with a friend, we saw an interesting sign outside of the small town of Chambers, Arizona that said “Welcome to Petrified Forest National Park.” Our one rule on this trip was either of us could request a stop for anything we thought would be interesting and this seemed very interesting to me. Not only had I never been to a National Park, a petrified forest in the middle of the desert sounded fascinating.
Two years ago today, FirstEnergy filed its original coal bailout case at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. At the time, industry insiders, consumer groups and environmental organizations alike thought it unlikely that FirstEnergy would get what they were asking for - billions of dollars from their customers to pay for the Sammis coal plant and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant.
On August 2, the Clean Power Plan hit a milestone; one year ago the final carbon pollution limits were released by the USEPA, and it was clear that Ohio must get itself on track to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 27% by 2030. The ultimate fate of this critical policy is still a bit uncertain. But the global temperature trends and the climate change impacts felt both close and far from Ohio make me think that perhaps 2016 is shaping up to be the poster child for why we need the Clean Power Plan now more than ever.