New York, NY, United States

Natural Resources Defense Council

www.nrdc.org/
New York, NY, United States

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a New York City-based, non-profit international environmental advocacy group, with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Beijing. Founded in 1970, NRDC today has 1.4 million members and online activities nationwide and a staff of more than 400 lawyers, scientists and other policy experts.The charity monitoring group Charity Navigator gave the Natural Resources Defense Council four out of four stars overall and three out of four stars for its financial practices. Wikipedia.


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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: marketersmedia.com

— According to a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, nearly 77 million Americans received their drinking water from systems violating federal protections in 2015, and more than one-third of them relied on systems that did not comply with standards put in place to protect health. Every public water supplier in the United States is legally required to uphold a certain level of water quality, but violations remain widespread, according to the report. In addition, some water systems are contaminated by substances not yet regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. “It is ongoing, published information such as this report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that explains why fewer than 50 percent of the U.S. population are confident in their tap water, according to an Associated Press poll,” said Allen Baler, Partner at 4Patriots LLC, a Nashville, Tenn.-based company that provides a variety of products that help people become more self-reliant and independent. “With the preponderance of news stories about contaminants showing up in the water supplies of city after city in the U.S., I can’t imagine anything more important than protecting ourselves and our families from the contaminants in our tap water. We owe it to ourselves to take charge of the situation and make sure the water we’re drinking in our homes is safe.” One way to safeguard against contaminated water is with the Alexapure Pro tabletop water purifier, which is capable of transforming contaminated water from virtually any source into clean, safe, delicious water. An advanced engineered, two-stage filter removes up to 99.99 percent of contaminants, including heavy metals such as lead, as well as arsenic, pharmaceuticals – even E. coli and polio. Drinking contaminated water, regardless of the source, can cause serious illness and even death. With a 2.3 gallon-per-hour flow rate, the Alexapure Pro purifies water about three times faster than many of its competitors. Users will be able to access up to 5,000 gallons of fresh, clean water from it before the filter needs to be replaced. Priced at $197, that comes out to approximately 4 cents per gallon. Bottled water, usually originating from unknown sources, costs considerably more. No gas, electricity or water pressure is needed to operate the Alexapure Pro. It removes contaminants using only gravity, producing the most essential item to have now and during an emergency: clean, crystal-clear water. In addition to complimentary shipping, those who purchase the Alexapure Pro water filtration system also receive a credit card-sized steel survival tool featuring 11 different functions, as well as a hardcopy book, “The Water Survival Guide.” They are also able to acquire the Alexapure Go Bottle (priced at $47), which features the same advanced engineering of the Alexapure Pro and which can filter 300 gallons of water, can be stored in a backpack or bug-out bag, and is ideal for camping, hiking, biking or any other outdoor activities. Also available from Water4Patriots is the Survival Spring ($24.95), a nine-inch long, two-ounce straw made of BPA-free, food-grade materials that can filter up to 300 gallons of water and can easily be carried anywhere. Water4Patriots provides products that help people eliminate contaminants from their drinking water, including the Alexapure Pro tabletop water purifier, the Alexapure Pro Go Bottle and the Survival Spring straw. Each product purifies contaminated water from virtually any source into clean, safe, delicious water. For more information, please visit http://www.4patriots.com


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Scientists and packaging companies have been working for years to develop technology that indicates spoilage in food and beverage products. Several years ago, researchers at the University of Rhode Island came up with heat-sensing UPC codes that would change color when a fresh product became too warm, indicating contamination. In 2014, Chinese researchers developed corn kernel-sized tags that could attach to packaging and change color when spoilage was present. These efforts, along with others, have yet to reach commercial viability since special sensors can be difficult to replicate in mass quantities, and at a cost that’s agreeable to manufacturers. For now, food and beverage companies rely on various “best by” and “sell by” claims to indicate product freshness. But these claims have proven to be a headache for consumers who have a hard time figuring out what many of them mean. What does a “better if used by” date indicate? Does a “sell by” date point out when a product will spoil? In fact, these dates indicate product quality rather than product safety; federal law only requires that baby food contain a spoilage date. In the absence of clear instructions, many consumers simply throw out food that’s nearing or has reached its on-pack date. This creates vast amounts of food waste, according to organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which estimates that people throw out a billion pounds of food each year due to label confusion. Developing clearer labels, organizations estimate, could reduce food waste in the U.S. by as much as 8%. Regulators and industry groups are working towards this goal. In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Food Safety and Inspection Service recommended that manufacturers only use a “best if used by” label on meat, dairy and other fresh food packaging. The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, meanwhile, recommend two labels: “BEST If Used By" to signify product quality and "USE by" to indicate the safety of perishable products. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of these illnesses, likely caused by eating spoiled food, could be prevented with packaging that alerts the consumer.


Problems continue to mount for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. To high unemployment, a lagging economy and billions in public debt, add unsafe drinking water to the island's list of woes. A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council says nearly all of the tap water available on the island violates federal safety standards. The report says many municipal waters systems in Puerto Rico aren't tested regularly. Among those that are tested, the NRDC says it found the nation's highest rate of drinking water violations. More than 2.4 million people in the U.S. territory draw their water from systems which contain harmful bacteria or other contaminants. And almost none of the municipal water systems on the island test for lead contamination. The environmental group is calling on federal, commonwealth and local authorities to make a major investment in the island's water infrastructure and to upgrade testing for contaminants. Puerto Rico's Aqueduct and Sewer Authority is one of the many public agencies on the island struggling to provide services. It holds some $5 billion of the commonwealth's $73 billion public debt. Next week in San Juan, a federal judge will begin overseeing a hearing to restructure that debt under a special law passed by Congress. As part of the proceedings, similar to bankruptcy, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain will decide how Puerto Rico's assets will be distributed among its various classes of bondholders. A fiscal oversight board set up by Congress has approved a spending plan submitted by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello that imposes severe spending cuts. As part of that plan, the island last week announced its closing 179 public schools, a move expected to save more than $7 million. Rossello's administration also wants to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the University of Puerto Rico, a proposal that's been met by protests, faculty resignations and a student strike.


Virginia and North Carolina have one thing in common in addition to their shared border. Both have a Democratic governor and a Republican legislature dominated by reactionaries who want to take America back to the good old days when white men ruled the roost, women were for birthing babies and baking brownies, and black people knew their place. Both also have copious power plant emissions that negatively impact their residents. Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, has recently signed an executive order that directs the state’s environmental regulators to create a cap and trade plan for carbon emissions. “The threat of climate change is real, and we have a shared responsibility to confront it,” McAuliffe said. “Once approved, this regulation will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the Commonwealth’s power plants and give rise to the next generation of energy jobs. As the federal government abdicates its role on this important issue, it is critical for states to fill the void.” If you think the name McAuliffe sounds familiar, it should. He has long been involved in politics at the national level before becoming governor of Virginia in 2014. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, co-chair of Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. McAuliffe’s order would add Virginia to ten other states that already have cap and trade programs in place. California, of course, was the leader in the field. Following in its footsteps, nine states in the Northeast created the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Last week, the Virginia attorney general ruled that the State Air Pollution Control Board has the authority to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. President Obama used a similar ruling to create the Clean Power Plan, which McAuliffe vigorously supported. The current occupant of the Oval Office is doing everything in his power to undercut that initiative so the skies over America may once again be choked with carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. “Unfortunately, the news out of this White House is alarming,” McAuliffe said, according to the Associated Press. “The citizens of our commonwealth want and expect us to confront this issue.” That’s not just political bluster. Earlier this year, a study by Yale University found that a majority of Americans in all 50 states and in 435 Congressional districts support the Clean Power Plan. “As with administrative rule making, he has the authority to regulate carbon, but he can’t pre-dictate what the final results are going to be,” explains Walton Shepherd, a staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The standard he’d like to shoot for is to trade in existing markets, so presumably the stringency would have to be at or above those states in order to participate.” Republicans in the state legislature are none too pleased with McAuliffe’s move. Not surprising, since most of them are in the hip pocket of fossil fuel interests who are happy to poison people just so long as there are fat profits to be made. “The governor is ignoring the legislative process by putting forward broadly expansive environmental regulations — a policy he never proposed to the General Assembly,” Speaker of the House William J. Howell said in an emailed statement. “We are carefully reviewing today’s announcement and will take every action necessary to ensure that the voices of Virginia’s citizens are heard, and that major policy changes are adopted through the legislative process.” Climate activists are predictably ecstatic. Some even urge the governor to go further. “This is a perfect example of how states and local governments can ensure our nation takes climate action even as Donald Trump buries his head in the sand while the seas are rising,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. Local group Chesapeake Climate Action Network was one of those calling for more aggressive action. “The governor can further cement a positive legacy on climate change by finally dropping his support for offshore oil drilling in Virginia and, most importantly, drop his support for two massive proposed pipelines to transport fracked gas from West Virginia to Virginia,” the group said in a statement. Oddly enough, Dominion Resources, the state’s biggest utility company, is happy with the governor’s initiative. It even supports the Clean Power Plan. “Dominion Energy has been preparing for carbon regulation for some time now and appreciates being a part of the stakeholder engagement process,” said Dominion spokesperson David Botkins. “It still looks like the regulatory uncertainty around carbon continues.” You got that right, Mr. Botkins. Check out our new 93-page EV report. Join us for an upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


In late April, field biologist Stanley Smith was catching up on emails at his desk in the College of Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, when he noticed a shocking note. It came from the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior, and informed Smith that the public lands advisory council in southern Nevada that he’s served on for years was suspended. Across the country, other regional advisors got similar notices. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had called for a review of more than 200 independent groups that advise his department on various issues, such as whether a historical site or natural feature should be designated a national monument. The day before Smith received his notification, President Trump signed an executive order asking the Interior to review 21 sites recently designated as national monuments. The review would cover patches of wilderness that received the distinction after 1996, like Mojave Trails in California and Bears Ears in Utah, and would assess whether public opinion was adequately taken into account prior to elevating their status. The monument order itself was controversial. But the months-long suspension of the advisory groups means that while Zinke’s team is reconsidering the bounds — and even existence — of some national monuments, the teams specifically set up to provide local input will be out of commission. Called Resource Advisory Councils (RACs), the groups consist of representatives from varied backgrounds, such as oil and gas, ranching, tribal government, and academia. Mike Quigley, an Arizona RAC member who works for a conservation group, said suspending the advisory councils now “calls into question the administration’s sincerity in seeking public input.” Sandra Zellmer, a law professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who specializes in public lands, is more blunt. She says the administration clearly “wants to talk more about economics and energy development and production than about sustainability.” To wit, Zinke has said he’d consider expanding oil and gas exploration, as well as uranium mining, on federal lands. However, a recent report from a group of legal scholars suggests any attempt by Trump to alter a national monument designation will face court challenges — as only Congress has the power to make such a change. President Clinton and his Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt created Resource Advisory Councils in their current form in 1995. According to Zellmer, the move signaled a recognition of the importance of public input in making land-management decisions. Consisting of 10 to 15 members, the councils meet several times a year to discuss activities affecting public lands, like recreation, conservation, and energy exploration. Some RACs are specifically set up to advise on temporary projects, like the creation of a national monument. Each council has seats reserved for representatives who can advocate for everything from history to energy to grazing. For those involved, the RACs represent a rare space where interests like industry and conservation sit down together to work on recommendations. According to members, that leads to a wide array of views about how public lands should be managed. “The process requires an openness to people’s ideas,” says Bob Schneider, the cofounder of a conservation organization and a member of the Central California RAC. “It’s a body with a lot of mutual respect for people’s concerns and people’s values. You don’t get to find that so often in government.” In 2015, Barack Obama named northern California’s Berryessa Snow Mountain, known for the diverse array of species it hosts, a national monument. Schneider, who advised on that declaration, says the decision-making process engaged anglers, businesses, mountain bikers, farmers, and other parties. And that sort of broad consensus is exactly what the Interior says it seeks. “In the case of significant public land use, we feel the public — the people that those monuments affect — should be considered,” said Zinke in a briefing previewing Trump’s executive order. Bobby McEnaney, who works for the Natural Resources Defense Council on renewable energy in the West, says the Trump administration is sending mixed signals with the simultaneous reviews of national monument designations and the RACs. “They say they really value that locals know best,” McEnaney says. “But the one formal apparatus that’s designed to specifically solicit local input on an institutional level is the one they’re deciding to suspend right now.” Without another option, some RAC members are contemplating submitting input on national monuments currently under review — such as the hotly debated Bears Ears, an area near a uranium mine that’s sacred to multiple Native American tribes — through the public comment process. (The window to comment on Bears Ears ends this Friday, while input can be given on other sites under consideration until early July.) But members say that process elicits a flood of responses compared to what one RAC members calls the “meaningful and efficient” recommendations proffered by the councils. “The RACs are an imperfect product by far, but so is democracy,” McEnaney says. “It’s a democratic process. It involves a lot of different interests.”


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

The Natural Resources Defense Council assigned a D grade to Costco (40%), Albertsons/Safeway (39%), Publix (38%), Wal-Mart (38%) and Kroger (33%) for poor promotion of better antibiotic practices and antibiotic-free chicken offerings, according to Organic Authority.  These five grocers represent more than 50% of the U.S. grocery market. While they have failed to make public commitments to reducing antibiotic use in poultry supply chains, other companies have begun to move forward. Whole Foods is one of several retailers with a store-wide policy concerning antibiotic-free meat.  “The top five grocery store chains in the country feed millions of Americans, so their actions have a big impact on public health — for better or worse,” said Carmen Cordova, staff scientist with the NRDC, told Organic Authority. “Supermarkets can either continue to ignore the spread of drug-resistant infections, or they can answer their customers’ call to be a part of the solution.” The fact that the nation's top retailers all received failing grades for their promotion — or complete lack thereof — of antibiotic-free chicken is bad news for health-conscious consumers. Today's average consumer demands natural offerings across all food categories, though meat raised without antibiotics have been of particular interest. Consumers are concerned that when producers use antibiotics in meat that are also used in humans, those antibiotics can become less useful to humans — and help fuel the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs." In the past few years, livestock processors, particularly in the poultry industry, have met significant milestones in reducing antibiotics from their supply chains. But while meat producers have responded quickly to consumer demand, retailers are lagging behind. Grocers that want to be upfront with their customers can call attention to antibiotic-free chicken offerings through signage, promotion in circulars and on social media sites. It's possible that consumers may stop shopping at these retailers if they knew about their poor antibiotic-free poultry offerings, but it seems unlikely that this would make a significant impact on store sales. Still, in today's increasingly competitive grocery space, reputation means a lot. Grocers are already racing to reformulate private label products and partner with local farmers in order to establish transparency and score health halos. The issue of antibiotic-free meat may deserve additional focus.


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.technologyreview.com

The Trump administration faces likely legal challenges as it looks to exploit a crucial tool for evaluating the economic cost of climate change in an effort to justify plans to unravel environmental rules. The idea behind the so-called “social cost of carbon” is that estimating the economic damages from every additional ton of greenhouse gas emissions allows regulators to more accurately assess the costs and benefits of public policies. Michael Greenstone, previously a chief economist for Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, has called it “the most important number that you’ve never heard of.” But in late March, President Trump issued an executive order that called for disbanding President Obama’s social cost of carbon working group, withdrawing the documents underpinning the current estimates, and directing agencies to consult 14-year-old guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget for future calculations. The same order directed federal agencies to review a series of environmental regulations put in place under Obama, and “suspend, revise, or rescind” them "if appropriate." The central estimated social cost of carbon now stands around $40 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, and ticks up over time. But if federal agencies ignore or significantly reduce that figure, it could offer the administration a rosier economic cover story for dismantling the Climate Action Plan, Clean Power Plan, and mileage standards, or for signing off on controversial pipelines, fracking on federal lands, and much more. Such changes could have substantial impacts on deployment of renewable energy sources, investment in carbon capture technologies, and research on improved vehicle efficiency. If a forthcoming environmental rule relies on a much lower cost estimate, legal challenges are almost inevitable, says James Stock, a Harvard professor who also served as chief economist on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. Indeed, attorneys at both the Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council say they are watching the administration’s next steps closely. “We plan to track very carefully how these issues are treated and the decisions that are being made going forward,” says Martha Roberts, an attorney focused on climate issues for the Environmental Defense Fund. “It’s vital that accurate science and analysis of the risks of climate change … are reflected in government decision making.” To date, the social cost of carbon hasn’t generally been the make or break factor on any given public policy cost-benefit analysis, says Danny Cullenward, a Stanford lecturer and energy economist. Rather it provided an additional economic and climate justification for policies. In the same way, it’s not likely to be the single underpinning that, once watered down or removed, suddenly allows the Trump administration to enact the sweeping changes to environmental rules that they aspire to make anyway. The bigger play here is to dull or destroy an instrument that could become much sharper in the future, as the mounting body of science provides a clearer sense of the true, higher cost of greenhouse gas emissions. “It was much more a tool intended to be proactive on climate policy, rather than as a defensive line to hold ground,” Cullenward says. It’s unclear if the Trump administration will simply allow federal agencies to each calculate their own social cost of carbon going forward, or eventually issue a new, more favorable one through an executive order or other means. Among other possibilities, agencies could shrink the estimated cost by narrowing the geographic scope from global to domestic, or increasing the discount rate, which is used to account for the lower value society places on damages in the distant future, Cullenward says. Crucially, the guidelines cited in Trump’s executive order called for a discount rate as high as 7 percent, compared to rates as low as 2.5 percent under the current calculations. That could bring the social cost of carbon down to “low single digits,” estimates Harvard’s Stock, adding that it would be totally out of line with scientifically grounded estimates of future economic damages. Whatever the mechanism, the lower the figure agencies come up with, the greater the odds it and the policies it is used to justify will be challenged in court. EDF’s Roberts notes that the current working group estimates are based on a large body of science projecting likely damages from climate change, input from across the federal government, several rounds of public engagement, and at least limited legal review. In November 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's exemption of light trucks from vehicle mileage standards, known as the SUV loophole, was “arbitrary and capricious.” The court concluded the administration’s environmental assessment of the final rule was insufficient because it ignored the economic benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions, as required by earlier federal laws. "While the record shows that there is a range of values," the opinion states, "the value of carbon emissions reduction is certainly not zero." Meanwhile, in a case brought by a commercial refrigeration company challenging Department of Energy efficiency standards, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asserted last year that the agency had the authority to take the social cost of carbon into account, and that the analysis used to determine the particular figures was sound. “It will be a heavy lift to come up with something that’s similarly rigorous, and if it’s not, it will be vulnerable to legal challenges as arbitrary and capricious,” Roberts says. Many researchers believe that the current estimates of the social cost of carbon are actually far too low, not far too high. In a study published last year, researchers at Stanford, the University of Exeter, and other institutions said that incorporating various environmental tipping points, such as the dieback of the Amazon rainforest, pushes the social cost of carbon to $116 per ton of carbon dioxide. A 2015 paper concluded that if climate change slows the overall growth of the economy, as increasing evidence suggests, the cost rises to $220 per ton. “If climate change affects not only a country’s economic output but also its growth,” coauthor Frances Moore said at the time, “then that has a permanent effect that accumulates over time, leading to a much higher social cost of carbon.”


News Article | May 27, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

This weekend is Memorial Day – the unofficial start to summer. That means kids across the country – and adults too – are counting down the days until summer vacation. Whether your plans include going to a beach, visiting a national park, or just letting your kids play outside in the sprinklers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plays an important role in making your summer healthier and safer – in ways you might not realize. Here are four examples of how EPA improves summers for all Americans: Smog comes from pollution emitted from cars, power plants, and other sources. It can lead to asthma attacks, heart attacks and even deaths. The summer smog season has already started in most parts of the country. A number of “code orange” days – the terms for days when the air may be too dangerous for some people, like children with asthma and seniors with heart conditions, to be outdoors – have already been issued. Smog has improved significantly in recent decades, thanks to EPA and state leadership, but air quality in the U.S. continues to be a serious problem that can jeopardize public health and limit many individuals’ freedom to spend time outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that more than a third of Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of smog. EPA has worked for decades to reduce smog, most recently when the agency issued new standards for smog in 2015. Once they’re in effect, those standards will prevent 230,000 asthma attacks among children every year. That doesn’t include the benefits for California, which EPA calculated separately – the smog standards will prevent another 160,000 asthma attacks among children in that state alone. Unfortunately, smog standards are under attack in Congress. Several bills to delay and fundamentally alter how these and other air pollution standards are set are now moving through the Senate. Additionally, President Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 cuts funding for the air monitoring that warns families about “Code Red” and “Code Orange” days – the days when air quality reaches unhealthy levels – by almost one third. Many of us look forward to summer for the opportunity to spend time on the beach. Last year, U.S. beach attendance was almost 360 million (more than the entire U.S. population!). Unfortunately, beaches can be shut down by pollution – including raw sewage, which can expose swimmers to harmful microorganisms called “pathogens” that can make people sick. An analysis done by the Natural Resources Defense Council a few years ago looked at water samples from 3,485 coastal U.S. beaches – and found that 10 percent of them were above EPA’s benchmark for swimmer safety. The analysis also notes that an estimated 3.5 million people are sickened every year from contact with raw sewage. EPA – in partnership with states, local governments, and others – works to protect our nation’s beaches. The agency enforces laws and administers programs that regulate sources of water pollution at beaches, conducts leading scientific research on pathogens and sets national standards and criteria, funds grants to states and local governments to help protect our beaches, provides information to the public about water quality, and more. This work helps ensure that America’s beaches stay safe, clean, and open for visitors. Here are a few examples of beach monitoring and cleanup grants distributed by EPA: President Trump’s proposed budget for EPA would eliminate the beach monitoring grants program, among many other things that could impact the health of our nation’s beaches. National parks are a popular destination for summer vacationers across the country. According to the National Park Service, there were over 307 million visits to our national parks last year and those visitors spent $16.9 billion in surrounding communities. This spending supported 295,000 jobs and contributed $32 billion to economic output nationally. EPA and other agencies monitor visibility at 155 national parks and wilderness areas across the country. Unfortunately, many national parks suffer from haze – a form of pollution – that can tarnish scenic vistas and create health problems for visitors. EPA’s program to reduce haze and other pollution harming our parks has led to measurable improvements in visibility. However, according to the National Parks and Conservation Association, three out of four of our most iconic national parks struggle with unhealthy air, and visitors miss about 50 miles of scenery because of haze. EPA’s work to reduce the pollution affecting our parks is under threat by Administrator Scott Pruitt, who sued EPA over a plan to reduce haze when he was Attorney General of Oklahoma. Climate change affects virtually every facet of our lives and can exacerbate all of the problems listed above – more smoggy days, rising sea levels and more pathogens potentially spreading at beaches, and worse haze in our parks. Extreme summer heat can also cause illness and death, and climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of those potentially deadly heat waves. EPA has provided essential leadership to address climate change – including setting standards that would reduce pollution from power plants, cars, trucks, oil and gas operations, and more. Actions underway by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and severe budget cuts in President Trump’s proposed EPA budget could significantly harm the progress we’ve made and delay urgently needed protections for public health and our climate. President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have indicated they will seek to unravel numerous climate protections, including the Clean Power Plan. Their proposed budget for EPA and other agencies undermines climate research and policies, including by zeroing out the U.S. Climate Action Plan. Protecting the things that we love about summer EPA’s work protects our air, our water, our beautiful beaches and parks – and most important, the health and safety of our families. As you enjoy your summer, please remember how important it is to protect the qualities that make summer great. We need a strong EPA – now and all year long. More than just our summers are at stake.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"I'm truly excited that Strand Equity Partners and Leonardo have joined the HIPPEAS family. As the brand continues to grow with such momentum in the marketplace, it's incredible to bring on board partners who align with our vision and values as a company. We are very enthusiastic to be sharing in this journey with them," says Bisterzo. "HIPPEAS is a high-growth and differentiated brand that has been created in a short amount of time," said Seth Rodsky, Managing Partner of Strand Equity Partners. "The unprecedented traction the brand has achieved is a testament to its unique offering that combines nutrition with a creative flavor profile.  We look forward to partnering with Livio, and the talented management team at HIPPEAS, to lead the next evolution of 'better for you' snacking." HIPPEAS is a new brand of organic chickpea puffs calling all snackers to #GivePeasAChance and try the new "better for you" snack while also "doing good" for the world. HIPPEAS believes that "tastes good" and "do good" are two philosophies that should go hand in hand – that's why they've partnered with Farm Africa, a charity working to end hunger and bring wealth to rural eastern Africa. For each pack sold, the brand will donate a portion of sales to support farmers in eastern Africa to grow themselves out of poverty, helping them build a more prosperous life for themselves and their families. HIPPEAS is currently sold in over 20,000 stores in the US and UK with customers including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Albertson's, Safeway, Boots, Waitrose, Amazon.com and more. Light and crunchy with a serious punch of protein and fiber, HIPPEAS are low-calorie, certified organic, certified gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO. With three grams of fiber and four grams of protein per single-serve, one-ounce bag, HIPPEAS are the new go-to snack choice for consumers who demand tasty snacks made with high-quality ingredients. About HIPPEAS™ Light and crunchy with a serious punch of protein and fiber, HIPPEAS™ are low-calorie, certified organic, certified gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO. With 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per single-serve, 1-ouncebag, HIPPEAS™ are the new go-to snack choice for consumers who demand tasty snacks made with high-quality ingredients. HIPPEAS™ are available in five far out flavors: Vegan White Cheddar, Sriracha Sunshine, Far Out Fajita, Pepper Power,and Bohemian Barbecue. About Strand Equity Partners Strand Equity Partners ("Strand") is a leading growth equity fund focused on making investments in emerging and dynamic consumer brands. Strand adds value to its portfolio companies through its marketing and operational expertise as well as its extensive network of industry relationships. Strand investments include Artsy, Chop't, Dos Toros, Revive Kombucha, Sweaty Betty, Thom Browne, Vita Coco, WTRMLN WTR and Bai Brands, which recently sold to Dr Pepper Snapple Group for $1.7Bn, to name a few. About Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio is an Academy Award-winning actor, producer, and activist. He founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 for biodiversity and habitat conservation, and climate change solutions. He is as a UN Messenger of Peace for Climate, and a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award and the World Economic Forum Crystal Award. DiCaprio serves on the boards of World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic's Pristine Seas, Oceans 5, and International Fund for Animal Welfare To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hippeas-announces-new-investors-300461842.html


In addition to her role as CEO, Soledad O'Brien is an award-winning journalist, who anchors and produces Hearst Television's political magazine show, "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" and reports for HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, PBS NewsHour, and regularly contributes to WebMD. O'Brien has anchored and reported for NBC, CNN and others, winning numerous awards, including three Emmys, a George Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont prize and a Gracie. With her husband, she founded the powHERful foundation that sends 25 girls to and through college. "I have seen firsthand the power of partnering with brands, foundations and other non-profits in order to elevate conversations around critical issues. If you can tell a story well, you can move people to do something. The Ad Council's ability to use the persuasion of storytelling to convene these conversations is powerful and I am proud to join this extraordinary institution," said O'Brien. Christopher Gebhardt is an innovator in building brands and driving social impact through the power of storytelling. He leads Stir Strategy and Story, a social impact/innovation strategy and storytelling firm whose clients are corporations, foundations, NGOs and philanthropists. Chris was formerly with Participant Media, where he led the efforts to create a digital community that connected inspiration to action, as well as founding Participant's agency/consulting arm. Prior to joining Participant, Chris was with Ogilvy, Pepsi, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and launched several media, digital and consulting ventures. "Co-Chairing the Ad Council's Advisory Committee is both an honor and an exceptional opportunity to explore how we can harness the collective power of the media and advertising to drive social change," remarked Chris Gebhardt. "By tapping the expertise of this all-star Committee of experts, we're helping the Ad Council shape their campaigns on some of the most critical issues facing the country. For me, it's not simply about serving on a Committee, but helping to make a difference for the millions impacted by Ad Council campaigns." "Soledad and Christopher are experts in harnessing the power of storytelling and media to connect with people and shape public perception on some of the most complex and urgent issues of our times," Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said. "I know they'll provide tremendous leadership when it comes to our next generation of social good campaigns." The Co-Chairs are also joined by seven new Advisory Committee members with a diverse set of backgrounds in the private, public and non-profit sectors, each offering a unique perspective on today's social landscape. They are: The Advisory Committee has been an integral part of the Ad Council for over 50 years. The Committee, which meets twice each year, is comprised of esteemed experts who represent research, academia, philanthropy, business, media and public policy. They have helped initiate and guide many Ad Council efforts, including campaigns on reducing food waste (with the Natural Resources Defense Council), caregiving (with AARP), financial literacy (with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and promoting math and science to girls. The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Through compelling and cutting-edge communications, the Ad Council connects with Americans to inspire, inform and save lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns visit adcouncil.org and its social communities on Facebook, Twitter and  YouTube. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ad-council-taps-soledad-obrien-as-co-chair-of-the-advisory-committee-on-public-issues-300463162.html

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