Two big bits of news for us to celebrate this week:
The No Child Left Inside bill passed overwhelmingly in the House this past week, thanks to its lead sponsor, Maryland’s very own John Sarbanes, and to the hard work of BJEN’s Ricky Gratz, who also forwarded to me the following email from the NCLI Coordinator, Don Baugh.
In a major victory for our young people, the US House of Representatives
overwhelmingly passed a landmark bill today to support environmental
The bi-partisan vote of 293 to 109 for the No Child Left Inside (NCLI)
Act is a show of support by the House of Representatives for the
importance of outdoor education and environmental literacy.
This bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John P. Sarbanes of Maryland, is
designed to help states provide high-quality outdoor and environmental
instruction. The legislation is intended to fix the unintended
consequences of the No Child Left Behind Act by keeping public schools
from becoming too narrow in their focus on standardized testing and by
restoring the rich and academically challenging experiences outdoor
education provides. Nature provides a powerfully motivating classroom.
Children will carry the lessons they learn outdoors for the rest of
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island is the lead Senate sponsor of the No
Child Left Inside Act. The House vote underscores the strong
Congressional support for environmental education and sets the stage for
including NCLI as part of a broader elementary and secondary education
bill in the next Congress.
The No Child Left Inside Coalition, was the driving force behind this
legislation. With 745 organizations, representing over 40 million
people, the people spoke and Congress listened. While the coalition has
members in all 50 states, it was started here on the Bay, by CBF and
others, all with fire in their gut on this issue. Please congratulate
the founding members of the “Dream Team”, Charlie Stek, Gary Heath, Jeri
Thomson, Monica Healy, Tom Waldron, Brian Day, Anita Kraemer, Bob Hoyt
and Bo Hoppin who started this effort in September 2006. Also thanks to
the wealth of other experts now on the team from NWF, Sierra Club,
NAAEE, Audubon and Project Learning Tree. A very special thanks to
Rep. Sarbanes and his staff, who were stellar throughout this campaign,
and whose artful lawmaking made this historic moment possible.
Find out more: go to http://www.cbf.org and click on the No Child Left Inside box.
Also, the first Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon pollution auction will be held in four days, on September 25. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states - including Maryland - will cap and then reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.
States will sell emission allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefits: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies. RGGI will spur innovation in the clean energy economy and create green jobs in each state.
This is a huge step forward to use the power of the marketplace to spur the marketplace to produce less pollution, more conservation techniques, invest in research and development, create green jobs and technology and turn a profit at the same time.
Keep your eyes open. Let’s see how it goes!