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Turn on the Water, DETROIT! Tax Wall Street! March & Rally Friday, July 18

Turn on the Water, DETROIT! Tax Wall Street! March & Rally Friday, July 18

Lay the blame for the manufactured crisis at the feet of those responsible: Wall Street Speculators and Gov. Rick Snyder. Join Registered Nurses as they declare a public health emergency and demand a moratorium on the unprecedented water shutoffs. Nurses, Detroit residents, clergy, labor, environmentalists, Netroots Nation opinion leaders, and others will march and rally to condemn this violation of human rights. Gov. Snyder is allowing the tragedy to continue with an endgame of privatizing the public water department — the latest in a string of gifts to Wall Street. —National Nurses United, 07/09/14 More »

Nurses tour petroleum coke facilities, seek ban until piles enclosed

Nurses tour petroleum coke facilities, seek ban until piles enclosed

A national nurses union and Southeast Side activists will call on Mayor Rahm Emanuel today to ban petroleum coke in Chicago city limits until the piles of dust are enclosed. National Nurses United says in a news release that an Emanuel-backed ordinance the City Council passed last month to regulate storage of petroleum coke doesn't go far enough. —Chicago Tribune, 06/09/14 More »

In Chicago, nurses take up fight against petcoke piles

In Chicago, nurses take up fight against petcoke piles

“Stunning, just stunning, just stunning,” said Sheilah Garland, shaking her head as she stared out the window of the bus rolling along a dirt road next to towering black piles of petroleum coke on Chicago’s Southeast Side. As an organizer of National Nurses United, a labor union representing about 6,000 nurses in Chicago and 185,000 nationwide, Garland has seen a lot. She represents nurses working in grueling and traumatic situations on a daily basis. And the union has picked fights with powerful politicians, including former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. —Midwest Energy News, 06/09/14 More »

Illinois activists demand moratorium on ‘petcoke’

Illinois activists demand moratorium on ‘petcoke’

Registered nurses and community activists will tour petroleum coke sites in Chicago Monday and publicly demand city officials to declare a moratorium on creating the byproduct they say is a hazard to city residents. National Nurses United is planning a news conference alongside the Southeast Side Environmental Task Force, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, and Progressive Democrats of America. —The Herald-News, 06/09/14 More »

National Health Groups Join Call for Comprehensive Health Study on Keystone Pipeline

National Health Groups Join Call for Comprehensive Health Study on Keystone Pipeline

Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), announced today during a press conference call that two national public health groups, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials, sent a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, joining the request for the Obama administration to complete a comprehensive human health study on the Keystone pipeline. —U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 04/11/14 More »

Nurses Seek Health & Safety Evidence for Keystone XL Pipeline

Nurses Seek Health & Safety Evidence for Keystone XL Pipeline

Katy Roemer, RN, remembers the fire that took place in 2012 at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Calif., a 12-mile drive from the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, where she works as a maternity nurse. The fire burned out of control for more than five hours, spewing a huge black cloud of toxic chemicals, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, into the air. Bay Area residents were advised to stay inside, close windows and doors, turn off air conditioners and heating units, and have duck tape on hand in case it was needed to further seal the windows and doors. Pets and children were to be kept inside. —The ONC, 03/31/14 More »

Carson City Council Voting to Place an Immediate Moratorium On all New Oil and Gas Drilling

Carson City Council Voting to Place an Immediate Moratorium On all New Oil and Gas Drilling

Nurses join others, including Food & Water Watch, in Carson where the city council is voting tonight on a temporary ban on oil drilling following fracking concerns. —California Nurses Association, 03/18/14 More »

Nebraska Nurse Concerned About Health Impact of Keystone XL

Nebraska Nurse Concerned About Health Impact of Keystone XL

I am a Nebraska citizen from Holt County. I have been speaking out against KXL since my first editorial in April 2009. I drink water from the aquifer, 52 feet down, absolutely pure, no treatment or filtration needed. The first route would have been 2 miles to the west of our private well and I was terrified. I called the EPA and an environmental scientist told me he would be concerned also. My concerns were confirmed when I heard Dr Goeke, a UNL water specialist (who now the pipeline proponents quote as having no concern to the water) testify at a NE legislative hearing Dec 1, 2010 that contaminants could migrate up to 2 miles in our groundwater! —Cindy Myers, RN, 03/17/14 More »

The Truth About Tar Sands

The Truth About Tar Sands

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the most important press briefings that has happened in a long time: Senator Barbara Boxer-Keystone Pipeline and the Threat to Human Health. The briefing took place at the Dirksen Senate Building and featured Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), health experts, and community leaders dealing with this issue firsthand from around the country and Canada. The main message of this briefing was that people need to know the truth about tar sands and its effects on people’s health. —Denée Reaves’s Blog, 02/28/14 More »

New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado

New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado

Living near hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — sites may increase the risk of some birth defects by as much as 30 percent, a new study suggests. In the U.S., more than 15 million people now live within a mile of a well. The use of fracking, a gas-extraction process through which sand, water and chemicals are pumped into the ground to release trapped fuel deposits, has increased significantly in the U.S. over the past decade. —Aljazeera America, 01/31/14 More »

CNA RNs Oppose Valerero Oil Company’s Plans to Process 60K Barrels of Tar Sands Crude in Southern CA

CNA RNs Oppose Valerero Oil Company’s Plans to Process 60K Barrels of Tar Sands Crude in Southern CA

CNA RNs spoke out at a South Coast Air Quality Management District meeting today to oppose the Valero oil company's plans to process 60,000 barrels of tar sands crude in Wilmington, CA. CNA member, Janet Phun, RN, ICU, St. Mary Medical Center testified on the impact on her patients, family and community where thousands of nurses, fellow healthcare workers and patients live within a few miles from the refineries. —California Nurses Association, 11/01/13 More »

How Climate Change is Fueling a Rise in Deadly Diseases

How Climate Change is Fueling a Rise in Deadly Diseases

In the summer of 2012, the mosquito-borne West Nile virus made a surprising comeback in America. In Dallas, the most affected region, 400 people contracted the disease and 19 of them died. That came as a shock to public health officials, since West Nile virus was thought to be in such precipitous decline that it was practically eradicated. —Nation of Change, 07/18/13 More »

Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure

Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure

Two studies show effects on health of long- and short-term exposure to pollutants from traffic and industry. Air pollution, chiefly from traffic exhaust fumes in cities, is having a serious and sometimes fatal effect on health, according to two studies that link it to lung cancer and heart failure. —The Guardian, 07/16/13 More »

Nobel Laureates Call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

Nobel Laureates Call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

When 10 Nobel Laureates call on President Obama to reject once and for all the Keystone XL oil pipeline, perhaps it's time he do that. Ten recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have written to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging the rejection of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. The Laureates, many of whom urged the President to reject the pipeline in 2011, believe that now is the time for leadership by the United States on climate change. The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is a critical step in limiting the expansion of the Canadian oil sands - Canada's fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. The oil sands also have devastating impacts on local land, water, air, and communities. —Portside, 06/21/13 More »

Hundreds of protesters make their way across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday

Hundreds of protesters make their way across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday

SAN FRANCISCO -- Calling a proposed oil pipeline across the nation's midsection a threat to public health in California, more than 1,000 nurses streamed across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday to urge that President Obama block its construction. It might not have seemed like an obvious target for nurses who had gathered for a convention in San Francisco, but the protesters - clad in red scrubs - said the connection between health problems and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was real. The proposed 1,700-mile-long pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands oil fields in Canada to refineries in Texas, is a public health risk to all, even those a thousand miles away in San Francisco, said members of the group National Nurses United. —San Francisco Chronicle, 06/20/13 More »

Nurses Join Keystone XL Protest In California As New Report Warns Of Pipeline Health Risks

Nurses Join Keystone XL Protest In California As New Report Warns Of Pipeline Health Risks

As both a mom and a nurse, Katy Roemer worries about the health risks posed by the Keystone XL pipeline -- from the chemicals leaching into waterways where the tar sands oil is extracted, to toxins spewing from stacks where the resource is refined. "We are already seeing people in our communities facing record levels of asthma and other impacts from pollution," said Roemer, who works at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., and lives near refineries already processing the heavy, molasses-like Canadian oil. "The pipeline has the potential to exacerbate those impacts, and the impacts of global warming," she added. —Huffington Post, 06/20/13 More »

California governor urges nurses to use union power to raise awareness of climate change

California governor urges nurses to use union power to raise awareness of climate change

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday challenged his allies in the nation's largest nurses union to look beyond their own immediate concerns and help organize a movement to address global climate change. The Democratic governor enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from a packed room of nurses wearing red shirts at the National Nurses United conference in San Francisco. The union was a strong supporter of Brown in his 2010 gubernatorial race and helped him win voter support for his initiative raising the state's sales and income taxes last year. "You're a hell of a lot more radical, and forward and progressive than I am," the governor said. "I can't push you. You got to push me, but together we'll push our country to a much better place." —Associated Press, 06/20/13 More »

Tom Steyer ups climate change pressure on Obama

Tom Steyer ups climate change pressure on Obama

On Thursday, San Francisco billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer is launching a new online campaign Thursday in Washington, D.C. to turn up the heat on his friend President Obama to do more to take on climate change — starting with urging him again to oppose the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Called “We Love Our Land,” it will run at least 10 weeks and be based largely on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and later, Change.org. If some street demonstrations grow out of this, fine, organizers said, but that’s not the point. It is an argument aimed squarely at Obama supporters who are disappointed that he hasn’t done more on climate change. —Joe Garofoli for SF Chronicle, 06/20/13 More »

Stop Austerity, Stop Keystone: Our Planet, Our Health

Stop Austerity, Stop Keystone: Our Planet, Our Health

Keystone represents the false choices of the austerity era. Jobs VS the planet. Economic recovery VS healthy communities. Our money or our lives. The Robin Hood Tax will heal our environment AND our economy. March across the Golden Gate Bridge with 350.org, 350BayArea.org, National Nurses United, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter, CREDO, Food and Water Watch, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, EQUAL Health Network, California League of Conservation Voters, Center for Biological Diversity, Keystone XL Action Council, UNITE HERE! Local 2850, Movement Generation, Bay Localize, Citizens Climate Lobby, Sustainable San Rafael, Global Exchange, and other environment and public health advocates to send this message to Wall Street and Washington, DC. Tax Wall Street to heal the environment —National Nurses United, 06/10/13 More »

Labor Pains, Evergreen

Labor Pains, Evergreen

The battle over the tar sands pipeline among unions has been XL on drama. "For too long we have allowed some corporations to hold a gun to our heads and demand that we choose jobs or choose the earth.” That’s what Terry O’Sullivan, the general president of the Laborers International Union of North America, told green groups and fellow unions at a green-jobs conference in February 2009, just a few months after the union—one of the largest in the country—joined the Blue-Green Alliance, a group organized to advocate for a “clean economy.” —The American Prospect, 04/09/13 More »

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