May 20, 2011

Celebrate Healthcare NOT Warfare Monday, June 6

Celebrate Healthcare NOT Warfare
at Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

Monday, June 6, from 8:00–10:00 p.m.

8:00-8:30 p.m. Pre-event reception
$100 includes intimate gathering with the guest speakers and priority seating:

8:30-10:00 p.m.—public event
$30 suggested donation:

With featured speakers:

John Nichols—the Nation, political commentator Democracy NOW!, MSNBC

Donna Smith—co-chair Healthcare NOT Warfare Campaign, CNA/NNU community organizer

All proceeds benefit Progressive Democrats of Americaʼs Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign

May 17, 2011

Montgomery County Peace Luncheon, Saturday, May 21

Please come to the Montgomery County Peace Luncheon, Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville,  100 Welsh Park Dr., Rockville. Directions here:   

The keynote speaker for this year's Peace Luncheon is Gene Bruskin, co-founder of U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW,, an organization consisting of some 200 labor affiliates.

Mr. Bruskin, a highly inspirational speaker, will discuss the relationship of war and inequality in the U.S. He will talk from a personal viewpoint, sharing stories from his wide experience in both union and peace organizing.

Under Mr. Bruskin’s co-leadership, USLAW has become the most respected voice for peace within the U.S. labor movement; the organization is also well-regarded internationally.  In addition to serving as co-convenor of USLAW, Gene Bruskin is currently Director, Strategic Campaigns Department, American Federation of Teachers.  From 2006 through 2008, he was director of the highly successful Justice@Smithfield Campaign for the UFCW.

Don’t miss your chance to hear this exciting, nationally renowned speaker!  Find out how the labor and peace movements can work together effectively from someone with a lifetime of successful, on-the-ground organizing experience.

There is a suggested donation of $25 for the luncheon, but pay what you can.  All proceeds from the luncheon will support a project of Women for Afghan Women, one that Peace Action Montgomery coordinator Jean Athey saw when she visited Kabul recently and will briefly describe.

Lebanese Taverna is catering, and there will be vegetarian options.  You will have the opportunity to purchase handicrafts from Afghanistan to benefit girls' schools and women's coops.

Please come and invite your friends!!   But, very important: you need to RSVP so that the organizers can ensure that there is enough food. Just send an email to and say you intend to come to the peace luncheon.  Do it today, as space is limited! 

Sponsored by Peace Action Montgomery, Pax Christi, and the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville


May 16, 2011

Urgent Maryland Environmental Action Alert

Urgent Maryland Environmental Action Alert: thanks to Greg Smith

Fight Dirty Energy.  Protect Maryland's Environmental and Clean Energy Laws.

Call and Write Governor O'Malley Today.  Urge Him to Veto Senate Bill 690.

Dear friends,

One of Maryland's most important environmental and clean energy laws is under attack by the incinerator industry.  Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) is an essential tool in the state's efforts to fight global warming, promote clean, renewable energy, and reduce our disastrous over-dependence on fossil fuels. 

This important law is now just a signature away from being badly weakened, and the man holding the pen, the person who will decide whether to weaken or defend this essential law is Governor Martin O’Malley.  He's been leaning the wrong way, and he needs to hear from you today.

The RPS requires companies that supply electricity to Maryland residences, businesses, and public and private institutions to get at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2022.  Suppliers can either generate their own renewable energy or they can purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from other generators.  Those generators can operate in Maryland or in other states.

Senate Bill 690 would weaken the RPS by inappropriately elevating waste incineration -- the burning of garbage, tires, automobile scraps and other materials -- to the top tier of Maryland’s RPS, placing this polluting, destructive technology on par with wind, solar, geothermal, and other legitimate renewable energy resources. 

SB 690 would provide even greater financial incentives to incineration, which is already heavily subsidized.  It also could flood Maryland’s energy market with dirty in-state and out-of-state RECs, and crowd out legitimate renewable energy.  This would undermine Maryland's efforts to fight global warming and promote clean, renewable energy.

Governor O'Malley's next and last scheduled bill signing day is Thursday, May 19.  He can either sign Senate Bill 690, veto it, or take no action and allow SB 690 to become law without his signature.

We need Governor O'Malley to take decisive action, defend and promote truly renewable energy, and veto SB 690.

To Learn More and Take Action

You can learn more about how to fight this attack on Maryland's RPS by reading below and by visiting our new web site at:

On our site, you will find fact sheets, information on how your legislators voted on SB 690, letters from a nonprofits calling on Governor O'Malley to veto SB 690, and editorials from newspapers that support a veto.

You will also find an easy way to send Governor O'Malley an email letter.

Act Now.  Please Call and Write Governor O'Malley Today.  Urge Him Veto Senate Bill 690.

SB 690 passed by just one vote in the Senate in the closing hours of the General Assembly session.

Governor O’Malley supports incineration, and he supported SB 690 during the 2011 General Assembly session.

But a growing alliance of environmental, public health and sustainability nonprofits is urging Governor O’Malley to veto SB 690.

State legislators are, too.  So are businesses that develop and deploy recycling, composting and legitimate renewable energy.  And three Maryland newspapers – the Baltimore Sun, the Carroll County Times, and the Frederick News-Post – now urge Governor O’Malley to veto SB 690.

Please join us in urging Governor O'Malley to do the right thing and veto Senate Bill 690.  Call and write him today.  And spread the word by forwarding this action alert to friends, neighbors, colleagues and fellow activists.

Phone:  800-811-8336


Or send Governor O'Malley an email letter through our site and action link provided by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

A Few of the Many Problems with Incineration

Proponents claim that waste incineration is clean, inexpensive and renewable.  It's not.

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other sources indicate that incineration is more expensive and polluting than many other ways to generate electricity.  It's more expensive than on-shore wind, off-shore wind, big solar, small solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.  Megawatt for megawatt, incineration generates more carbon dioxide than even coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.  Megawatt for megawatt, it generates more lead, mercury and other pollutants than natural gas and even coal.

Mass-burn garbage incinerators generally destroy huge quantities of recyclable and compostable materials even in counties and cities with recycling programs. 

Ton for ton, reuse, recycling and composting generally save more energy than incineration generates.  They also provide more local jobs and more local revenues than incineration or landfilling.

Proponents also claim that incineration reduces demand for landfill space.  It can, but incinerators don't eliminate demand for landfills.  Some materials cannot be burned or don't burn well and go straight to landfills.  And incineration generates enormous of quantities of ash, which contains toxic pollutants and often is dumped in landfills.

The majority of what most jurisdictions burn or bury could be reused, recycled or composted -- with less expense, less pollution, and less damage from resource extraction, and with more energy saved, more materials conserved, and more benefit to local economies.

"The choice for Governor O'Malley and Maryland is clear. We can attempt to reach our renewable energy goals honestly by pursuing wind, solar and other legitimate
renewables, or we can cheat by promoting trash incineration.
"We can build a sustainable, green economy based on reducing waste and creating local jobs and revenues through recycling and other strategies, or we can continue
to burn and bury valuable resources and diminish our children's future.
"Mr. O'Malley should veto the bill."

                 -- Brenda Platt, Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and an expert on building sustainable economy through resource conservation, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun, May 10, 2011 

Clean is Clean.

Renewable is Renewable.

Incineration is Neither.