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The Rachel Carson Council is a nationwide membership organization that engages and empowers our supporters to take effective action in communities and campuses at the local, state, and national level. With the leadership of our President and CEO, Dr. Robert K. Musil, the RCC is a respected voice for policy change in the nation’s capital.

In addition to our work on Capitol Hill, the RCC currently focuses its organizing at the grassroots level in North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsyvania.

 


 Action Alerts

Save Dolphins and Whales: Say No to Seismic Blasting!

Trump recently overruled North Carolina’s objection to seismic blasting in the Atlantic.

By firing air guns every 10-15 seconds all day, every day, corporations want to scour ocean beds for oil and gas. These blasts are one of the loudest sounds that humans can make—loud enough to injure, deafen, and kill marine life.

Must we continue to lose dolphins, whales, and fish to extract energy from fossilized life? How much of our natural world will be sacrificed for the sake of fossil fuels?

Write your Senators and Member of Congress today! Demand passage of the Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act, S. 828 and H.R. 1601 , introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA-8). We can save the dolphins and whales, but we must act now! Click here to take action!

 

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day established to reflect on the beauty of nature and to take action to protect it. But right now, our forests and their soils face daily assaults that threaten the best way of drawing down and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. On this historic Earth Day, the Rachel Carson Council needs you to sign our joint petition with the John Muir Project calling on our elected officials to take action on the climate crisis through real forest protection and renewable energy solutions, not fake ones.

We appreciate that it may be difficult to take action during the overwhelming coronavirus crisis. But it is critical now more than ever to take action as the new and expanding energy source called woody biomass is touted by corporations and their allies as carbon neutral and renewable. It is neither. Every day, our forests are being ground up and shipped for energy production to Europe. They are being “managed” in ways that destroy their natural benefits and harm the communities around them, particularly environmental justice communities. We must protect them now. Please sign our nationwide petition today. Make Earth Day truly an historic day of action!

 

Let Commerce Secretary Ross know he needs to protect our coasts and our communities!

WesterGeco has proposed plans to blast air guns, louder than a rocket launch, 19 miles off our coasts from the Eastern Shore, Maryland to the Outer Banks and beyond in North Carolina.

Our beach and shore communities do not need seismic testing and offshort oil drilling!

We cannot allow this industry to disrupt and more communities.

Set a precedent to protect ALL of our coasts from the devastating impacts of seismic testing and off-shore oil drilling. Click here to take action and save our shores!

 

Tell the U.S. Senate: We demand a democracy that works for us

It will be hard to protect the environment if the majority of Americans who share our views are not represented properly come election time. I wrote to you recently about the need for environmentalists (and all citizens) to worry about the state of democracy that has been under growing assault here at home and abroad. Proof? Mitch McConnell and the U.S. Senate are sitting on a bill right now that could start to restore our democracy. I am asking for your help to pressure Senator Mitch McConnell and other Senate leaders to bring H.R.1 up for debate and a vote. Click here to take action and demand a democracy that works for all of us!

 


Community Efforts

The Sampson County Public Hearing on Wood Pellets and the Industry that Divided It

On July 15, 2019 environmentalists and community members from across the state of North Carolina and visitors from Virginia and the United Kingdom showed up and gave public testimony against the proposed expansion of Enviva Sampson, an industrial wood pellet producer. Their words spoke truth to power, and the message was clear – North Carolinians want an end to the wood pellet industry in their state.

As detailed in our 2019 report, Clear Cut, Enviva has entrenched itself in North Carolina. It is a part of a system which harms the environment, perpetuates injustices against frontline groups, and divides communities under the guise of economic development.

Returning Home?

Eastern North Carolina and its beautiful coast has and always will be home to me. I work now for the Rachel Carson Council (RCC) in Washington, DC, but this past week, I was able to return home to continue critical work being done by the RCC and others to protect the unique environments and communities that also call the area home. Growing up in North Carolina, respect and awe for the natural world around me were instilled from an early age. I remember warm summer nights with the constant hum of cicadas when I would stay up to the wee hours of the morning to watch for sea turtle hatchlings boiling out of the sand and scramble to the safety of the ocean. I remember taking back country roads and driving for miles with nothing but lush forests on either side of the road

Environmental advocates discuss wood pellet industry’s impact on humans and the environment

Environmental advocacy groups gathered Friday to discuss the impact of the wood pellet industry on climate and public health during a boat ride on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington. People from groups including the Rachel Carson Council, Carolina Wetlands Association, NAACP, Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, Wood Pellet Forum, Cape Fear Sierra Club, and Clean Air Carolina attended. Dr. Kyle Horton, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, was also in attendance. The boat travelled past wood pellet dome silos maintained by Enviva. The boat travelled past wood pellet dome silos maintained by Enviva, a company that bills itself as the world’s largest producer of wood pellets.

Don’t Burn Trees to Fight Climate Change—Let Them Grow

Of all the solutions to climate change, ones that involve trees make people the happiest. Earlier this year, when a Swiss study announced that planting 1.2 trillion trees might cancel out a decade’s worth of carbon emissions, people swooned (at least on Twitter). And last month, when Ethiopian officials announced that twenty-three million of their citizens had planted three hundred and fifty million trees in a single day, the swooning intensified. Someone tweeted, “This should be like the ice bucket challenge thing.” So it may surprise you to learn that, at the moment, the main way in which the world employs trees to fight climate change is by cutting them down and burning them. Across much of Europe, countries and utilities are meeting their carbon-reduction targets by importing wood pellets from the southeastern United States and burning them in place of coal: giant ships keep up a steady flow of wood across the Atlantic.

Northampton County, NC: More Enviva Expansion?

On August 20, The Rachel Carson Council (RCC) called yet again for environmentalists, activists and community members to provide testimony for the third proposed expansion of an Enviva plant in North Carolina in less than a year. The Northampton County Enviva plant is seeking to grow its operations to produce 780,000 tons of wood pellets per year. That equals approximately 18,000 acres of forestland destruction in North Carolina and Virginia. At a time when the climate crisis is getting worse, and with clear science showing the destructive nature of the wood pellet industry, such expansions are absolutely unacceptable.

The Enviva Southampton Plant & Enviva’s Fourth Expansion in a Year

In an unsurprising turn of events, Enviva has applied for its fourth expansion permit in under a year for its Southampton Plant located in Franklin, Virginia. This expansion would increase production by 246,000 tons per year equaling another 5,600 acres of forests cut down annually. This is unacceptable. We are on the precipice of climate disaster, and the only tried and true way to draw down carbon from the atmosphere is through the protection and expansion of biodiverse forests. Every week, more reports and investigations are demonstrating that forests are key to any climate solution and that the wood pellet industry is failing to properly source its materials, failing to protect communities’ health, and worsening our climate through its operations.