Mon. – 4/30 – 3 quick environmental actions

Coal-Ash disaster from lingers in Tennessee as regulation fight rages. People continue to die of the health effects to this day. In 2008, a 5.4-million-cubic-yard torrent from a coal ash slurry-filled pond choked waterways and created a moonscape of mounds residents dubbed ‘ashbergs.’ Photographer: Wade Payne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

1. Deadline is TODAY, April 30th. – Don’t Weaken Coal Ash Disposal Regulations.

coal ash

Scott Pruitt is proposing to weakening the Coal Combustion Residuals rules that safeguard communities from coal ash contamination.  A toxic by-product of coal burning power plants, coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other contaminants, and its disposal was regulated in 2015 by the EPA to reduce health and environmental risks to communities. But at the behest of the utility industry, the Trump Administration has proposed the first of two rules that would weaken the essential protections that those EPA rules provide.

Deadline for comments is TODAY April 30th.  Comment to EPA here, by 11:59 PM ET.  Continue reading “Mon. – 4/30 – 3 quick environmental actions”

Environmental War Crimes – Part 5 – Money

A group of demonstrators, including one dressed as the Grim Reaper, march to protest the proposed resettlement of New York’s Love Canal neighborhood. In 1990, the state began selling new homes in Love Canal, a former toxic dump site whose previous residents had to be evacuated due to health hazards. (Photo by William Campbell/Sygma via Getty Images

On Monday,  we started our multi-point breakdown of a singularly destructive bill – HR 3354, a legislative monster of an appropriations act, whose length and complexity hides gifts, in the form of riders, for industries and anti-environmental extremists.  In Parts 1 and 2, we listed those that pose a clear threat to our health and that of our families by the removal or lessening of protections for our air and water. In Part 3, we spotlighted the ones that are focused on taking or abusing our public lands for private financial gain or on hindering their proper management. In Part 4, we focused on those that demonstrated our legislators disrespect for the our lives and health as well as that of our wildlife.

Environmental War Crimes – Part 1 – Air
Environmental War Crimes – Part 2 – Water
Environmental War Crimes – Part 3 – Land
Environmental War Crimes – Part 4 – Life

We’ve loosely organized these riders on their effects on the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.  That one is listed in “Air” in our arbitrary category system, does not preclude it from harming other aspects of the environment. The gas and oil industries and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) are examples that land in every group.

Today we’re going to talk about the ones that didn’t quite fit into any one group, those that specifically loosen controls on toxins, that allow polluters to shift cleanup costs to us and “industry-friendly” riders that are truly breathtaking in the audacity of their corruption. 

It’s just business! – Call to action:

Continue reading “Environmental War Crimes – Part 5 – Money”

Environmental War Crimes – Part 4 – Life

On Monday,  we started our multi-point breakdown of a singularly destructive bill – HR 3354, a legislative monster of an appropriations act, whose length and complexity hides gifts, in the form of riders, for industries and anti-environmental extremists.  In Parts 1 and 2, we listed those that pose a clear threat to our health and that of our families by the removal or lessening of protections for our air and water. In Part 3, we spotlighted the ones that are focused on taking or abusing our public lands for private financial gain or on hindering their proper management.

Environmental War Crimes – Part 1 – Air
Environmental War Crimes – Part 2 – Water
Environmental War Crimes – Part 3 – Land

Although these earlier columns discuss the H.R. 3354 riders that will cause harm to wildlife as well as to humans as a side effect of their implementation, today’s column will focus on those that specifically target wildlife and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Why are GOP legislators so cavalier with our wildlife? 

Maybe they feel that wildlife, unlike cattle, oil and lumber, has no commercial value?

They are wrong.

Continue reading “Environmental War Crimes – Part 4 – Life”

Environmental War Crimes – Part 3 – Land

Caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, soon to be hosting oil drilling platforms and roads.

On Monday,  we started our multi-point breakdown of a singularly destructive bill – HR 3354, a legislative monster of an appropriations act, whose length and complexity hides gifts, in the form of riders, for industries and anti-environmental extremists.  We’ve already discussed the harm that is proposed to our health and that of our families with the relaxation of protections for our air and water.

Environmental War Crimes – Part 1 – Air
Environmental War Crimes – Part 2 – Water

Today we see parts of our natural heritage being given away to large corporations  in exchange for devoted patronage, land that will be spoiled for the public forever.

This video is just to give you a taste of the kind of corruption that’s happening right now. Bill HR 3354 just continues our losses…

Continue reading “Environmental War Crimes – Part 3 – Land”

Environmental War Crimes – Part 1 – Air

The current administration has come to steal your health. They’ve come to steal your heritage and they’ve come to steal your voice as an American citizen.

It has already started, of course. Recently, Sen. Murkowski shoehorned a rider into the GOP tax bill allowing oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness. And now, hidden deep in a long boring appropriations bill, are more seeds of destruction. These riders, like Murkowski’s, are so disturbing and corrupt that they couldn’t possibly succeed as bills on their own.

They are, in fact, returns-on-investments to big corporations and ideological extremists, and they will succeed by being overlooked, swept along with the weight of HR 3354, a legislative monster also known as the “Interior and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2018″ Act.

And these legislators will win…

Unless we pull their toxic riders the daylight. Unless we say something against them. Loudly. And unless we defend what is rightfully ours.

Today, we’re starting a multi-part series on HR 3354 along with similar bills. We’re breaking them down into their separate poisonous parts.  You’ve got your phone. You know what to do.

Clean air

Continue reading “Environmental War Crimes – Part 1 – Air”

Friday – Squirrel!!! “The Memo” is diverting us away from this… (4 quick actions)

Not a coincidence that this was planned to go off on a Friday…

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Open cut coal mine

The splashy news about “The Memo”, although part of Trump’s plan to eventually wipe Mueller off the playing board, has another purpose. Since we all know about his end game on that front, what else is happening? How about the beginning of an environmental tragedy that starts today?

At 9 a.m. EST Friday, the extractive industry will gain drilling and mining access to previously protected public land. Trump signing a proclamation last year that decimated two national monuments, most likely unlawfully. Bears Ears National Monument was cut by more than 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was reduced by half. This resulted in the largest elimination of protected areas in U.S. history. The move put tens of thousands of Native American sacred sites at risk, along with key wildlife habitat, and areas used for outdoor recreation. The lawsuits have already begun.

However, today,  February 2, 2018, the areas excluded from the monuments become available to private mineral companies to stake out mining and drilling claims. “We’re working on getting information and new monument maps ready for people interested in claims,” Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) spokesman Michael Richardson confirmed to Reuters. “The costs of claiming are low: a $212 filing fee, and an annual maintenance fee of $150. The claims provide prospectors mineral rights, with no requirement to pay the government royalties, but not ownership of the land. The law covers mining for uranium, gold, silver, copper and other precious metals, but excludes coal and petroleum.” We’re being told not to worry about poisonous uranium mining, as it’s current market price is low. Hmm… we don’t believe low prices are permanent feature of the commodities market, unlike the pollution it leaves behind.

This is a bad business deal for us…

Continue reading “Friday – Squirrel!!! “The Memo” is diverting us away from this… (4 quick actions)”

Casual Friday – Resist in your pajamas!

Cup of coffee ready?

1. Rinse and Repeat.

If you missed any of the actions from yesterday, including calls on DACA and another wildly inappropriate nominee and some quick consumer actions on Motel 6 (seriously!) and a Breitbart advertiser, do them today. It takes 5 minutes or less, depending on what you want to say to Tom Bodett.

2. Did they really think we were going to let 3 corporate shills walk off with the Internet?

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Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is introducing a Congressional Review Act resolution (actual draft here) that would restore the Open Internet Order and reverse the FCC’s historic mistake of repealing Net Neutrality. He needs 30 senators to co-sign to force a vote and only needs ONE more…

Here’s his list so far:
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii.)
Richard Blumenthal (D–Conn.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Sherrod Brown (D-O.H.)
ack Reed (D-R.I.)
Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Hey, where’s Dianne Feinstein? Ask her to sign this already.

Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430

Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I know that Senator [___] is a supporter of net neutrality. I want her to to sign on to the “Congressional Resolution of Disapproval” to force this issue to a vote.

And Julia Brownley. Really?

Continue reading “Casual Friday – Resist in your pajamas!”