Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts tagged LEO

BE in Union at the Scenic Regional Library (308 Hawthorne Drive) from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. TODAY!  PLEASE…see below, original email

invitation at end of this post:

 

I think it would be a good follow up to the June 29 PSC hearing and to keep

Claire’s feet to the fire. She has to have MO contacts to help stop the Labadie travesty

IF she chose.

 

[ a little jingle I've fantasized about any McCaskill demo we might stage some day:

Claire, Claire

We want clean air.

We won't get out of your hair

Until we get what's fair. ]

 

 

Begin forwarded message:

 

From: “Brendan Fahey – St. Louis Office of Senator Claire McCaskill” <senator@mccaskill.senate.gov>

Subject: “Kitchen Table Talk” in Franklin County Hosted by the Office of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

Date: June 24, 2013 3:00:20 PM CDT

To: lloydk@klinedinst.com

Return-Path: <senator@mccaskill.senate.gov>

Dear Mr. Klinedinst,

My name is Brendan Fahey and I am a staff member for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, on behalf of the Senator, I will be hosting a “Kitchen Table Talk” in Union at the Scenic Regional Library (308 Hawthorne Drive) from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to reach out to you, to listen to your thoughts and ideas about federal policies and legislation and to take them back to the Senator.

These “Kitchen Table Talks” also serve, in part, to inform you of the services that are available through Senator McCaskill’s regional offices. The Senator’s staff throughout the state are able to assist you on a range of federal government issues. If you are currently having an issue with a federal agency, I will be happy to discuss that with you and put you in touch with the member of the Senator’s staff best suited to help with your issue.

Should you have any questions, please contact me at Brendan_Fahey@mccaskill.senate.govor by calling (314) 367-1364. I hope you will be able to join me in Union on July 2nd.

Sincerely,

Brendan Fahey

Field Representative

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

To unsubscribe from further communication, please visit the unsubscribe page here:http://mccaskill.senate.gov/?p=newsletter_unsub.

It all comes down to this. 

 
Hello LEO Suppoyrers. It seems our 3 year local fight to stop the coal ash landfill regulations from clearing the way for Ameren is about to hit a landmark date. THIS FRIDAY MORNING A CIRCUIT JUDGE WILL DECIDE IF THE FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMISSION UTILITY LANDFILL REGULATIONS ARE VALID. Please consider attending.
FranklinCountyCourt-03Franklin County Court Building in which final arguments and likely judgement will be heard.Location:  Corner of Main Street and Church Street – Union, MO 63084
               1 block north of the Franklin County Government Center
               and across the street from Elmer’s BarTime:        9 a.m. on Friday January 11th, 2013
Room:       Judge Schollmeyer’s Court Rm – likely upstairs

Thank you for your support and input as LEO continues to fight the siting of a toxic coal ash landfill in the floodplain of the Missouri River in Franklin County. We have maintained that this material should never be stored in a floodplain and in proximity to drinking water. We will keep you posted on next steps. Even if LEO wins this stage of the legal fight…there will be an appeal to a higher court.If you can, please take this time to donate to LEO’s ongoing legal and political efforts to stop the landfill at the LEO website www.LEOenvironmental.org. Larger donations, please contact Patricia at prsmail@gmail.com. Your previous generosity helped LEO highlight the issues in the media and pay for experts for County hearings and comments to state regulators. Without you, we could not have made the progress that we did on this issue.If you would like to serve as an officer or volunteer, please contact Patricia at prsmail@gmail.comThe LEO Board serves the community as a nonprofit in the State of Missouri. Any questions or suggestions can be directed to Patricia Schuba prsmail@gmail.com…and are welcome.

May we all enjoy a safe and prosperous 2013. May justice and sound policy prevail as we enter the next phase of fighting to protect our property, communities and families.

Warm regards,
Patricia Schuba
LEO President of LEO Board of Directors

www.LEOenvironmental.org

This month’s newsletter from the Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO) has some interesting stories regarding Ameren and their impact on your health.  Did you know a recent study states that the Ameren Labadie plant is causing up to 290 premature deaths per year?

On a lighter note, your truly is this month’s guest blogger with my piece, Solar Tariffs: Two Bites of the Apple, on the Obama administration’s recently announced tariffs on subsidized Chinese solar panels.

Who knows what might happen?  A Congress not beholden to fossil fuels could enact a program to develop the solar industry along the lines of Germany which recently produced solar power equivalent to twenty nuclear plants. Imagine a sustainable American solar industry that is thriving for both manufacturers and installers.

A bipartisan group from the Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO) took a trip up to the state capitol this week to lobby our local representatives to support a resolution that would require the groundwater around the Ameren Coal plant to be tested and monitored more effectively. This should be a no-brainer for any state representative or senator who actually gives a damn about the well being of his or her constituents. But evidently, concerned citizens now have to plead with our elected public officials to do what should just be common sense.

During the meeting witnesses say Sen. Nieves attempted to change the subject from what’s really important to his apparent obsession over me and this blog — repeatedly referring to me as a “whack job.” (This from a guy who beat down a staffer of his political opponent after the 2010 Republican primary).

Why Nieves thinks ranting about me has anything to do with whether or not he can support a common sense resolution that would protect the health of his constituents in Franklin County is beyond me. I am not a LEO member. I don’t serve on its board. I have no authority with that group. I’m just a casual supporter of its cause.

I suspect this was a kind of filibuster by Nieves so he wouldn’t have to discuss the issue at hand, but it also sounds like a veiled attempt to get the organization to pressure me into going easy on him in hopes he might support the resolution if I do. One member of LEO’s board, an apparent Nieves supporter, went so far as to tell me I should, “back off.”

The thing is, if Nieves’ support for protecting the environment in Franklin County is so flimsy that it is contingent on silencing a local blogger then he’s probably never going to vote for it anyway. If he proves me wrong, I’ll happily give him credit where credit is due. If he doesn’t, I’ll blog about that too. And if he does more stupid shit in the future, I will continue to be merciless. That’s never going to change, no matter how he votes on LEO’s resolution or who tells me to “back off.”

Call me crazy.

Click here to view the beautiful Labadie Bottoms in Franklin County. Take a good look because soon Ameren will be destroying this floodplain, alive with wetlands critters, birds, and the magic of nature’s cleansing power.

On Tuesday, three county  commissioners decided to change the planning and zoning regulations to allow a toxic coal ash dump in the Missouri River floodplain. This has been a two-year struggle by well-informed, educated, powerfully professional citizens to stop an incredibly stupid plan by Ameren Missouri.

Ameren is a “power” company in more ways than one. They have absolutely no good arguments for what they want to do.  It’s just the cheapest (for them) and easiest solution to their waste disposal problem. They lied about having done a five-year study looking at alternative sites. When forced to produce such a study, they fumbled all over themselves with excuses. There was no study of alternative sites, and when local citizens gave them suggestions for alternative uses for the coal ash, they didn’t even bother to follow up on those ideas. Neither did the commissioners.

The fix was in from the beginning. (And I include the one “no” vote because that commissioner did nothing publicly to change the outcome. Ann Schroeder passively voted “yes” by her silence.)

The TRAIN Act: A train wreck for cleaner, healthier air:

Consider just one of the clean air standards in danger because of the TRAIN Act – the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard.

  • It has been more than 20 years since the overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act, which set the stage for the EPA to limit mercury, acid gases, and other hazardous pollution from America’s coal-fired power plants.
  • Opponents still claim they need more time to prepare for this rule, even though they have had more than 20 years.
  • They claim they can’t meet the pollution standards even though the technology is widely available, and even though 17 states already require their coal plants to limit mercury emissions.
  • They claim this rule will hurt the economy even though economic analysis finds that for every $1 spent to clean up toxic air pollution the public receives up to $13 in public health and other benefits.

Supporters of the TRAIN Act claim to be helping our economy. But the TRAIN Act delays critical human health safeguards that will provide hundreds of billions of dollars in public health benefits to Americans each year.

The roll call is instructive:

Ayes Noes PRES NV
Republican 230 4 7
Democratic 19 165 8
Independent
TOTALS 249 169   15

This is what drives me a little nuts about LEO. Don’t get me wrong, I love these folks and I’m glad to see so many self-identified Republicans involved in the fight to stop the coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms floodplain. But after the landfill issue has been decided are they going to go back to voting for Republicans? Are they only involved because this time it happens to be in their backyard?

I appreciate that the founders of LEO went to great lengths to make the coal ash landfill a non-partisan issue. That’s the way it should be because we all breathe the same air. In fact, that’s the way it use to be decades ago as evidenced by the passage of the Clean Air Act. But those days are long gone. As the numbers above show (and they are not unique when it comes to coal) today it is very much a partisan issue.

Bottom line: When you vote for Republicans you are voting against your environment, your health, and your safety, or someone else’s.

You really have to read this article in The Washington Missourian for the sheer hilarity. Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer (Sleepy John around these parts) is fed up with Labadie Environmental Organization President Patricia Schuba and demanded a public apology at a recent forum. He’s just beside himself, you see, because an “unnamed representative” (presumably Rep. Scott Dieckhaus) heard from “an unnamed man” who said he overheard Schuba make “some derogatory comments” to “an unnamed woman” about Griesheimer and his son.

And what were those derogatory comments? Well, Griesheimer couldn’t say, but during the course of that conversation with the unnamed woman the unnamed representative said the unnamed man overheard Schuba make a comment to the unnamed woman about Griesheimer’s son. Griesheimer couldn’t remember exactly what the unnamed representative said the unnamed man overheard Schuba tell the unnamed woman, but it was something to the effect that Griesheimer’s son works for union contractors and he is lobbying for Ameren, or something.

In summation: Someone told Griesheimer that someone overheard Schuba tell someone something that wasn’t really derogatory about Griesheimer and his son, and then Griesheimer demanded that Schuba hand over her lunch money.

Seriously, it’s like we’re governed by the junior high school drama club. Who elects these morons?

On Friday evening the owners of 3 Brothers in Labadie provided free appetizers to LEO members as appreciation for all their hard work in the community. I was just settling in to my first Sapphire martini when who should sit down next to me but the curious Don Meyer.

Don ran as a Democrat in the primary for State Senate District 26 in 2006 and lost to Gene Tyler. He then ran as a Republican in the primary for the same district in 2010 and was trounced. He’s always been a mystery to me so I thought this was a golden opportunity to pick his brains, find out what makes him tick, and hoo boy, what a character.

Apparently, and I did not know this, both political parties in Franklin County are run by the Knights of Columbus. (I always suspected it was the Illuminati so this was news to me). I asked him why he kept switching parties and running in these local races and he said it was an opportunity for him to talk about issues important to him.

Maybe it was the gin and I just missed it but I still have no idea what those issues are (presumably preserving the Labadie Bottoms is one) but Don seemed to think he got his message out and felt his efforts were worthwhile.

You have to respect anyone who at least tries to run for public office in this day and age. I don’t think I could stomach it. But Don says his political career is over, such as it was, and he will not be running for office again.

I did extend an invitation to him to attend a monthly Democratic committee meeting so he could get to know the officers and members and see firsthand that they are not in league with any secret societies or fraternal orders, but he declined, saying it would be a waste of his time. On this we agree, but for different reasons.

Back in April 2009, just after the grassroots citizens group known as Citizens to Preserve Government Integrity (CPGI) effectively defeated charter government in Franklin County, news reports in the local paper started to emerge about a plan by Ameren to construct a large coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms floodplain. The news came on the heels of the disastrous Tennessee Valley Authority’s storage pond breach in Harriman, Tenn. in Dec. 2008, which flooding hundreds of acres with a toxic slurry of ash.

I posted this on our old blog April 28, 2009 in response …

AmerenUE wants to start building its “utility waste landfill” in Franklin County, upstream from millions of St. Louis County businesses and residents in 2012. They hope to have it operational in 2013 or 2014. And it probably will be unless citizens put an end to this incredibly bone-headed idea. Remember, there is no such thing as “clean coal.”

Little did I know that a small book club in Labadie was talking about the same thing at their regular meeting. But instead of just writing about it they acted to form The Labadie Environmental Organization, or LEO. CPGI’s success in halting charter government convinced me that citizens acting together locally can make a difference and since then LEO has only reinforced that belief in me. LEO has made a huge difference in educating the public and elected officials on the hazards of coal ash. But Ameren is a much more powerful and well-funded target than the proponents of charter government were and the fight is not over.

This Wednesday, July 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm in the County Commission Chambers, the county commissioners are supposed to make public the changes to the zoning code that may allow Ameren’s toxic coal ash landfill in the Missouri River floodway. After this it becomes a legal matter for the courts to hash out so this meeting will likely be the last chance to demonstrate your opposition to the landfill.

Although no public comment will be allowed directly, a large turnout would make a powerful comment all its own. It will tell the commissioners the opposition isn’t going away, that people still care. And when that flood that no one could have ever predicted brings disaster to our area the consequences of their actions will be their legacy.

We will not forget.

The Sierra Club, along with The Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), hosted a Clean Energy Jobs Tour today that was very enlightening. We got a good look at where Ameren is proposing its coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms flood way. It’s one thing to discuss the landfill in the abstract. It’s quite another to see the vast area it would consume firsthand. The county commissioners who are nearing a vote on land use restrictions that will allow Ameren to develop this acreage should be required to visit it before casting their vote. A real eye-opener, that.

We also got the grand tour of CG Power Systems USA Inc. in Washington, Mo, which has to be one of the area’s best kept secrets. CG is a union shop specializing in transformers for wind generators and solar collectors and it employs hundreds of people locally. Although CG is a transnational company with a presence in many countries, most of the supply chain for this plant is within the U.S. so American job creation from this one operation is exponential.

CG is proof that green jobs are not some pie-in-the-sky fantasy of tree-hugging hippy liberals. They are being created now and they are being created in our own back yard. Why so many of us were completely unaware of this operation is a mystery. Companies like this one should be highlighted at every opportunity to attract even more renewable energy-related businesses to our area.

The future of American manufacturing depends on America’s transition from a dirty energy consumption economy to a clean energy production economy. It’s encouraging too see that happening right here in our community.

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