The Alamo The Alamo Group of the Sierra Club
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Action Alerts
Raise your voice to make a difference

Man with megaphone

Sometimes all it takes is a simple phone call or email message to sway the opinion of our elected leaders and officials. Contact us at AlamoAlerts and we will add you to our local Sierra Club Action Alert Email List. You don't have to be a Sierra Club member to receive our alerts, (but we do hope you'll join us).

BREAKING: President Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill

President Obama just vetoed Congress's attempt to force the approval of Keystone XL.

Now it's time to urge him to reject KXL once and for all!

Take action!

Take Action

Exciting news -- President Obama just made good on his promise to veto Congress's attempt to force the approval of Keystone XL!

It gives me great hope to see President Obama stand up to Big Oil-backed members of Congress. Now it's time for the president to fulfill his other promise: to reject Keystone XL if it "contributes to an overall warming of the planet."

Take a moment to thank President Obama for vetoing the KXL bill, and to urge him to put this issue to bed once and for all by rejecting this dirty tar sands pipeline!

We know Keystone XL would result in more climate-damaging carbon pollution. Last week, the EPA advised the State Department that KXL would have a "substantial impact" on tar sands production and that development of Canada's tar sands would result in a "significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions." In short, the EPA said what we've been saying all along: Keystone XL fails President Obama's climate test.

President Obama has promised that he won't approve Keystone XL if it would put future generations at risk. He won't trade the well-being of our children for Big Oil's short-term profits. But Congress won't make it easy for him to do the right thing. That's why the president needs to know that we stand behind him when he rejects this pipeline for good.
It's up to us to show President Obama that it's time to declare that Keystone XL isn't in our national interest, and finally reject it once and for all!
This decision isn't for Big Oil -- or Congress -- to make. The authority rests with President Obama to make the final decision on KXL, based on the facts. The facts couldn't be clearer, and more and more it sounds like President Obama knows that. All that's left is to reject.
Thanks for doing your part to defeat this toxic pipeline,

Michael Brune
Sierra Club Executive Director

Alert posted February 28, 2015

Email Your State Rep: Make The State Budget Green

Lobbyists at the Texas Capitol know the secret – If it ain’t in the budget, it ain’t gonna happen. We know it too.

The fate of environment, water, and parks and wildlife budgets may be sealed this week, and the agencies that support critical programs in these areas are at risk of getting their funding chopped.

Tell your legislator that clean air, water management, and parks and wildlife budgets need to be fully funded.

Though there are many committees in the Texas Legislature that cover air, water, and parks and wildlife, the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Appropriations are the ones that hold the purse strings. They each will hold their one and only required public hearing on the section of the budget that covers the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), and the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (TPWD).

Tell them Texans care about our parks, clean air programs, and water management.

Specifically, the budget committees should:

There is only one bill the Texas Legislature needs to pass – the budget bill. Make your voice heard before it’s too late!

Cyrus Reed Lonestar Chapter

Cyrus Reed
Cyrus Reed
Conservation Director
Sierra Club
Lone Star Chapter 

Alert posted February 16, 2015

Victory! President Obama protects the Arctic Refuge

Thank President Obama for taking the first step to permanently protecting the Arctic's coastal plain for future generations.

Send your thank you letter

Send your thank you letter

We're one big step closer to protecting the Arctic Refuge forever!
In a historic move this week, President Obama announced his commitment to protect more than 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including its coastal plain, as a Wilderness area.

The Arctic's coastal plain is one of America's last wild places -- supporting the birthing grounds of a caribou herd almost 170,000 animals strong, the nesting grounds of birds that migrate to all 50 states, and the denning grounds of the mighty polar bear.

Send your letter today, and thank President Obama for taking this historic step towards protecting the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

From the shores of the Arctic Ocean, south through the rolling coastal plain tundra, over the Brooks Range Mountains, and into the boreal forest of Interior Alaska, the Arctic Refuge is a truly breathtaking place.

For centuries, the Gwich'in and Inupiat people have relied on the bounty of the Arctic for their livelihood. The Gwich'in refer to the coastal plain as the "Sacred Place Where Life Begins," a place vital to their native culture.1
Please take a moment to thank President Obama for his commitment to protecting over 12 million acres of Arctic wilderness and waterways.

On the same day President Obama shared his commitment to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge's coastal plain, Alaska's governor and senators vowed to oppose this potential designation at every opportunity.2 The fight to protect the Arctic Refuge's wild places is far from over, but let's not forget that your tireless work is what led to this announcement. Please take a moment to celebrate!

Join me in thanking President Obama for doing what no other president has done – making a commitment to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge's coastal plain forever. And together, we will continue to work to protect the Arctic Refuge for future generations.

Thanks for all that you do to protect the Arctic,

Dan Ritzman
Alaska Program Director
Sierra Club

1. "Native Groups: not in our ANWR", The Arctic Journal, January 25, 2015.
2. "White House: Lisa Murkowski overreacted the Arctic wildlife refuge plan", Politico, January 26, 2015.

Alert posted February 7, 2015

Petition Texas Legislators to Save Our Aquifers

In Texas, our aquifers are under siege.

All of the major aquifers in Texas including the Ogallala, Trinity, and Carrizo-Wilcox are being depleted because they are being pumped much faster than they are being recharged with rainwater. 

And no one is stepping up to stop the overpumping.  Instead, state legislators are being lobbied to write laws which would allow more overpumping.

State legislators are hearing influential people say, “Why else is all of that groundwater stored in aquifers if it’s not for us to use?”  Another drumbeat of ‘overpumping’ supporters is that all Texas aquifers should be pumped so that only 50% of their stored groundwater is left in 50 years (that is how the Ogallala Aquifer is being managed right now).

Although it is unconscionable to advocate aquifer depletion as the answer to current water problems – that is exactly what people preach at every legislative hearing and symposium focusing on groundwater. 

When aquifers are overpumped, the aquifers dry up, communities can’t access needed groundwater, water wells become too expensive to drill, river and spring flows diminish – and future generations inherit damaged aquifers.

Unsustainable pumping of our aquifers is not the answer to our water shortages.

Other governmental bodies have already acted to protect their aquifers.  For example, 27 European nations now have laws requiring that aquifers be pumped at a rate less than their recharge.

Texas legislators should also pass laws to protect our aquifers by requiring their sustainable use.  In fact, the Texas Constitution requires them to preserve and conserve Texas’ natural resources.

It is time that state legislators hear from people other than those who will profit by overpumping the aquifers. 

It is time for the state legislators to hear from people who want to ensure that future generations will also benefit from our aquifers.

Sign this petition by March 2, 2015, if you want to tell state legislators to save our aquifers.

The signed petition will be hand-delivered to the Texas Senate and House Natural Resources Committees.  The petition that will be delivered to the legislators is the Petition Letter.

Alert posted February 7, 2015

Prohibit Coal Tar-Based Sealants

The Alamo Group encourages you to contact your City Council representative and the San Antonio Housing Authority about prohibiting usage of coal tar-based sealants on pavement. Here is a telephone script for contacting council. Your councilmember's contact info is here and here. Here is a suggested letter to the San Antonio Housing Authority.

Coal tar-based pavement sealants threaten our drinking water by contaminating it with known carcinogens. This recent magazine article notes that these “probable” human carcinogens continue to coat local parking lots, playgrounds and driveways. We highly recommend viewing these slides from the Sierra Club presentation by Stephen Kale, P.E. containing comprehensive information about the dangers of coal tar-based sealants.

Alert posted January 25, 2014

Ask City Council to Ban Single-use Plastic Bags

Plastic bags blowing in wind

Single-use checkout bags have harmful impacts on our environment and drain our tax dollars. San Antonio residents use more than 1.6 billion plastic bags every year. At least 80% of these end up in landfills or as litter.

While stores don't charge for the bags, city taxpayers pay for a variety of pollution impacts. They cause damage to recycling facilities, and despite the fact that they are about 1% of the waste stream, they cost recyclers as much as 30% of their labor time. They clog up storm drains and wastewater treatment plants. They cost San Antonio residents as much as $1.3 million a year to control their pollution, and they disproportionately affect low income communities who have fewer resources for litter control, less recycling and more fragile infrastructure. That $1.3 million could help low income San Antonio neighborhoods, but instead is being wasted on plastic bag pollution! Even more money is being spent on state and federal clean-up efforts, and it is impossible to put a dollar value on the impacts to wildlife killed by plastic bags.

Visit this page to send a message to City Council. Personalized emails are far more meaningful to your elected officials than form letters. Be sure to include a personal message about why the issue is important to you, and why you think passing a local ordinance will be the appropriate solution.

Also, be sure to sign Cris Medina's online petition. Then, consider:

Suggested Points to Include:

Alert posted November 18, 2013