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Rock the Earth Newsletter January 2012

» Thank You for Your Support in 2011
» Rockin’ the National Park Service’s Roseland to Susquehanna Power Line Plans
» Railroad Earth Rocks the Earth in Denver
» Help us Rock 2012
» New Cell Phone? Recycle your old phones with Rock the Earth

» Who's Your Planet Defender?
» Last Chance for Holiday Membership Discounts
» What Rocks Your Earth: Ian Goldberg

Thank You for Your Support in 2011

We want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who became a new or renewing member of Rock the Earth this past year, bid on an auction item, dropped a few bucks in a donation jar, or helped spread the word about our growing organization. It is only through the support and consideration of generous donors and volunteers like YOU that we were able to accomplish so much in 2011!

Highlights of Rock the Earth’s 2011 accomplishments:
  • Through our Education/Outreach program we were able to activate thousands of music fans to take action to protect Western Australia’s Kimberley from a proposed development that would have impacted this important wilderness habitat in partnership with John Butler. Similarly, we also activated fans to take action to stop a proposed powerline that will impact one of the last remaining protected areas in the Northeastern U.S. around the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational area (where NY, NJ and PA come together) and the Appalachian Trail, an issue suggested to us by Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth).
  • Working hand in hand with Friends of the Earth and Reverb (a nonprofit known for greening concert tours) we put over 250 artists and promoters on notice that we were going to continue to educate the public about the deleterious impact that the cruise ship industry has on the environment, and offered our services to anyone willing to take affirmative steps to change cruiseline operations to become more sustainable.
  • For over 4 years have stopped an attempt by the Bush Administration to open up one of the last remaining wilderness-quality areas in the state of Colorado from wholesale leasing for natural gas drilling (Colorado’s Roan Plateau). This case is in Federal District Court and should be decided soon.
  • Educated tens of thousands of music fans across the United States at over 135 concert dates in 30 states about these and other pressing environmental issues, reaching approximately 1 million music fans and artists.
  • Provided environmental education & outreach this summer on tours with the Ray LaMontagne, Journey, Foreigner & Night Ranger, My Morning Jacket, Umphrey’s McGee, and John Butler Trio.
  • Participated at 8 high-profile music festivals, including: Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Summer Camp, High Sierra, and All Good, among others.
  • Greater use of Social Media for education and advocacy efforts throughout the year.
  • Now have over 50,000 people in our database (most of whom receive our monthly e-newsletter) and nearly 5,000 Facebook Friends and Twitter followers.
  • Raised over $90,000 in 2011, the majority of which came through individual memberships and donations.
  • Organized and trained over 100 volunteers nationwide, who contributed over 10,000 hours of donated time.
  • Expanded our volunteer teams in New York, Denver and Washington, DC, with rebuilding efforts expected in Chicago and Atlanta ready to launch in 2012.
  • Continued educational activities at major festivals through the development of Rock the Earth’s Green Screens and Social Change Through Music panels and artist discussions.
  • Rock the Earth Mobile Phone Drive informed concert-goers across the nation about the negative impact of not recycling, and engaged them in participating in a mobile phone recycling initiative. Cell phone collection achievement: over 5,000 out-of-use cell phones collected via festival, tour, and educational institution initiatives.
  • Received financial support from a variety of charitable and for-profit sources that included: Patagonia, eMusic, Pace Butler, Heffernan Foundation, Bonnaroo Music Festival/Superfly Presents/AC Entertainment, Mountain Jam, All Good Music Festival, Gould Family Foundation, Wear Your Music, and Waterwheel Foundation/Phish.
  • Also received invaluable product and service donations this year from: Railroad Earth, Frontgate Ticketing, Gibson Guitar, Nugs.Net, SCI Fidelity, New Belgium Brewery, Dogwood Cellars, Whole Foods, Summer Camp, Wakarusa, FloydFest, Electric Forest, High Sierra Music Festival, DelFest, Gathering of the Vibes, LiveNation/Music Today, Fox Theatre (Boulder), The Fillmore at Irving Plaza (NY), Best Buy Times Square Theatre (NY), Ogden Theatre (Denver),and Bluebird Theatre (Denver).

Incredibly, Rock the Earth accomplished all of this with only two hard-working paid employees. Our sincere thanks to our supporters, our Volunteer Staff, our Advisory Board and our nation-wide team of volunteers for your many contributions in making 2011 a very successful year despite the financial challenges we faced. Look for the full Annual Report on our website in March.

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Rockin’ the National Park Service’s Roseland to Susquehanna Power Line Plans

Since 2010, at the suggestion of Railroad Earth, Rock the Earth has been in a battle to protect an amazingly scenic area of the United States where New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania come together, separated by rare highlands, majestic mountains and the beautiful Delaware River Valley. As we previously reported in the May 2011 edition of Rock the Earth Notes, Rock the Earth is engaged in efforts to stop a proposed project by Pennsylvania Power and Light Electric Utilities Corp. and Public Service Electric and Gas Company to replace an existing 230-kilovolt transmission line with a double circuit line, constituting both a 230kV line capable of carrying 500kVs and a new 500kV line. These new 200-foot high powerlines would cut through three scenic and federally-protected areas utilized by millions of people every year: the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  

On November 21, 2011, the National Park Service (NPS) released its long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) analyzing six “alternatives” in order to determine whether to grant construction and right-of-way permits for the new powerlines. The DEIS evaluates potential environmental impacts implementing the six different alternatives. Significantly, one of the alternatives is the “no-action” alternative, which NPS acknowledges is the “environmentally preferred alternative.”  

NPS has scheduled three public hearings: January 24 and 25, 2012 in Bushkill and Stroudsburg, PA, respectively, and January 26, 2012 in Lafayette, NJ. Public comments to the DEIS may be submitted to NPS no later than January 31, 2012. The DEIS, as well as information as to the public hearings and how to submit comments, may be found at the NPS website by going HERE.  

Rock the Earth has been coordinating its efforts with other environmental groups that are preparing formal comments to the NPS DEIS for submission by January 31. As an example of previous comments on this project, the following are links to prior letters to NPS, as filed by various environmental groups, including Rock the Earth:  

This project is also being challenged in two different New Jersey tribunals. As we last reported, in June 2010, the Eastern Environmental Law Center (EELC) filed a lawsuit appealing the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) decision approving the 45-mile NJ section of the powerline, and in February 2011, Earthjustice joined EELC in filing a Motion with the BPU to reopen its proceedings and reconsider its approval of the powerlines. Both the court lawsuit and the Motion before the BPU are pending. For additional information, here is a link to Earthjustice’s most recent press release on these cases.  

Rock the Earth believes that this powerline project raises very serious environmental issues, including obvious damage to natural resources and Visitor Experience. In addition, the proposed project will undermine a Maine-to-Maryland regional greenhouse gas initiative to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy development, since the powerlines will carry electricity generated by outdated, highly polluting coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Moreover, the purported need for the project – namely, to prevent brownouts and blackouts previously predicted to occur in 2012 – has been called into question, since the regional grid operator has since lowered its “load forecast” significantly.  As a result, Rock the Earth will continue to coordinate its efforts with other environmental stakeholders in opposing this unnecessary and environmentally destructive project.

Between now and January 31, you can submit comments to the National Park Service opposing the Roseland to Susquehanna Power Line by entering your comments HERE.  Some suggested points to include in your comments:
  • The NPS should adopt the “No Action” Alternative which is also recognized to be the environmentally-preferred alternative.
  • A powerline passing through these three federally-protected areas will create significant damage to natural resources and the Visitor Experience to enjoy nature, scenic vistas, and natural soundscapes.
  • Proposed plans to significantly expand the powerline corridor are contrary to National Park Service Mandates for the Park Units.
  • The proposed project will undermine a Maine-to-Maryland regional greenhouse gas initiative to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy development, since the powerlines will carry electricity generated by outdated, highly polluting coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
  • The necessity of the project is questionable since more recent studies have significantly lowered “load forecasts” for energy usage in the region.
For more information about this project, go to the Rock the Earth Roseland to Susquehanna Powerline Project Page.  

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Radio Radio

Wanna know how Rock the Earth Defended the Planet One Beat at a Time in 2011 or what we have in store for 2012? Check out this January interview with Rock the Earth Executive Director Marc Ross on Sustainable You at 107.7 FM The Bronc (Rider University radio).

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Railroad Earth Rocks the Earth in Denver

It was a momentous occasion. New Jersey’s, Americana rockers Railroad Earth were making a triumphant New Year’s Eve run for the second year in a row in Denver, and with a couple of the shows sold out, added an intimate fundraiser to benefit Rock the Earth. With an assortment of beer donated by New Belgium Brewing Company, wine from Dogwood Cellars and food from Whole Foods, the sold-out crowd of 100 attendees raised a generous $9,000 for Rock the Earth’s National Education and Outreach Campaign in just under 2 hours!!

We’d like to thank everyone who purchased a ticket (especially those who also bid on auction items); the band and crew (Todd, Tim, Carey, John, Andy, Andrew, Mike, Joel, JonO, Stacey and Phil); band manager Brian Ross; Doug from Dogwood Cellars; Keller, Shawn and Matt from New Belgium; John Caprio, Errin Kava and Don Strasburg from AEG Live and the Ogden Theater; auction donors SCI Merchandise, David B. Smith Gallery, Furthur Frames and Ben Graessle; and our volunteers Barbara Ross, Brian Lavin, Kim and Austin Jetton, Amanda Brown, and Derly Maldonado; photographer Brad Hodge.

For a review of the show and more photos go HERE.

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Help us Rock 2012

So with the new year comes new opportunities to help us Rock the Earth in 2012. We’re looking for a few folks with some time on their hands and a passion for the environment to help us Defend the Planet. We’re seeking a National Volunteer Coordinator, ideally based in Denver (or NYC, Chicago, or the Washington, DC or Baltimore area) who can help us coordinate interns and volunteers throughout the U.S. We’re also seeking Regional Outreach Interns in Denver, Chicago, NYC, DC/Baltimore, San Francisco and Atlanta to volunteer their time educating and activating concert crowds. Lastly, we’re seeking a Social Media intern who can help us increase our Facebook and Twitter presence. All positions are unpaid, volunteer positions, but you get to be part of the leadership of our growing movement of environmentally conscious music fans. For more information, write to


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New Cell Phone? Recycle your old phones with Rock the Earth

Each year Americans throw out over 3 million tons of electronics, in turn sending tons of toxic materials to landfills. Cell phones contain lead, nickel, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and zinc, which are known carcinogens – many are linked to birth defects. When sent to landfills, these substances threaten precious drinking water supplies. In fact, there are over one billion out-of-use cell phones in the U.S. alone, but less than 10% ever get recycled. The rest are sitting in junk drawers, toy boxes, or end up in our landfills or other environmentally unsound destinations.

Please join with 12-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys and Katie Perry in spreading the word about Rock the Earth’s online Mobile Phone Recycling Campaign online at Tell all of your friends and family that they can now recycle their phones from the comfort of their own home. With free shipping, it is a quick and simple way to recycle your old phones while supporting Rock the Earth’s goal to recycle 25,000 unwanted cell phones this year!  It’s an ambitious goal, and we need everyone’s help. As a bonus, each person who recycles a phone via will receive 20% off a future LiveNation merchandise purchase. All recyclers will receive a coupon redeemable on the online store’s extensive catalog of music-related merchandise, AND each week we will award one lucky participant with a free LiveDownload Card redeemable for one digital download of a complete live concert soundboard recording of their choice, from a list of participating artists that include: Phish, the Dead, Dave Matthews, String Cheese Incident, Counting Crows, Widespread Panic, Smashing Pumpkins, Black Crowes, and many more!

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Who's Your Planet Defender?

Since 2006, Rock the Earth has presented an annual Planet Defender award to inspirational defenders in three categories, awarded to those who uphold the ideals that Rock the Earth believes in. In 2011, RtE recognized Pearl Jam in the "Musician" category, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Waterkeeper Alliance) in the "Community Leader" category, and Josh Fox (fracking activist and director of Gasland) in the "Grassroots Activist" category. These winners were chosen from among dozens of nominations made by Rock the Earth members and friends. We are once again asking for nominations of those individuals who embody Rock the Earth's mission of “Defending the Planet One Beat at a Time”. Keep an eye out for those folks who you feel are helping to protect our planet's most precious places, and nominate them for the prestigious Planet Defender Award. Send your nominations by March 15 to . Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.


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Last Chance for Holiday Membership Discounts

Over the last two months, Rock the Earth has bundled some of our more popular thank you gifts into cost-saving packages. This next month is your last chance to receive these gifts at a reduced donation level. In particular, our limited edition posters by noted concert poster artists Justin Hampton, Jeff Wood, Jim Pollock and Gary Houston will be available as gifts with all new and renewing members at the $50 level, or as a part of our holiday packages for only a short time before returning to their normal membership level of $100 – so please make your tax-deductible donation to Rock the Earth now!  

As a bonus, if you join or renew your membership within the next month, we will throw in TWO (2) cards, redeemable for any concert recording in their extensive catalog that includes Phish, the Dead, String Cheese, Disco Biscuits, Widespread Panic and many more! So what are you waiting for? Start the year off by Rocking the Earth!


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What Rocks Your Earth: Ian Goldberg

Ian Goldberg is the founder of Summer Camp Music Festival, and is also owner of The Canopy Club and is Vice President at Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment. Ian has been in the music business much of his life as a part of the family business first started by his father Jay Goldberg. He has supported live music for years through promotion, production and management, and also has a passion and soft spot for animals, the environment and social activism.  

1. What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?  
The easy answer of course is global climate change as that seems to be the culmination of many of our destructive practices. But to be more specific, I think figuring out clean and renewable energy resources and forcing their use is the most important key to combating global climate change.  

2. What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with music?  
Truthfully, environmental activism was the reason I got into the music business. I was lucky that my father had worked in the business before me. When I finished school and was looking at how I could be productive, it seemed the best avenue to be able to earn a living and also have an impact. Certainly, the first Lollapalooza tour was an inspiration for me to see my favorite artists combining activism with a truly great music experience.  

3. Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?    While I haven't made it back, I had a very inspiring experience camping and paddling in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota at a time when I really needed it. I’m looking to get back there soon!

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