Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Submit your public comment before March 19: NO mining in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments


The Wilderness Society is challenging President Trump's rollback of protections for Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in court, and the law is on our side.

But in the meantime, the Trump administration is shamelessly moving forward with the land planning process that will open these priceless lands to uranium and coal mining, reckless off-road vehicle use and other impacts.

The Interior Department is currently accepting public comments on these new land planning efforts. 

Please tell them it is premature and irresponsible to open our monuments to industry while Trump’s actions are being challenged.

If they insist on moving forward with new land use plans for any portion of Bears Ears or Grand Staircase-Escalante, they must prioritize the protection of cultural and ecological resources.

Help us hold the line while we fight in court--submit a public comment in defense of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

- The Wilderness Society 

Submit a public comment in defense of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante to Assoc. Monument Manager Matt Betenson and Bureau of Land Management District Manager Lance Porter.

Sign the public comment by clicking here. (Please, personalize it for even more impact.) 

The comment reads:

President Trump's Proclamation 9681 and Proclamation 9682 are each the subject of ongoing legal challenges, and it is therefore premature and irresponsible for the Bureau of Land Management to move forward with the planning efforts for the tracts affected by those decisions. 

If the agency moves forward, any management plans created for the Indian Creek, Shash Jaa, Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits and Escalante Canyons units should reflect the intent of the original proclamations establishing the Bears Ears (Proclamation 9558) and Grand Staircase-Escalante (Proclamation 6920) national monuments. The plans should prioritize the protection of cultural and ecological resources in all the monument lands.  

Additionally, for both Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, new public hearings should be scheduled in Salt Lake City, UT, Flagstaff, AZ, Denver, CO, Washington D.C. and Albuquerque, NM, in addition to the "gateway communities" of each monument.  

Thank you. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tell Congress to stop Trump's outrageous offshore drilling scheme, and keep our coast off limits to oil giants


President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have released an outrageous plan to auction off vast swaths of our U.S. coastlines to disastrous offshore drilling.

From Maine to Florida, Washington State to California, across the Arctic and in the Gulf of Mexico, their plan would put drill rigs off the coast of every coastal state — endangering communities, marine wildlife, and our climate with the risk of catastrophic oil spills.

Congress has the power to stop this dirty, dangerous plan by passing legislation that would protect our coastlines — but we must push them to take action now.

Tell your senators and representative to stand up to Trump's fossil fuel giveaway, and protect our coast and our climate from reckless oil and gas drilling!


Despite years of cleanup, tourism and wildlife still haven't fully recovered from the horrific Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that spilled millions of gallons of crude oil. Tar balls still turn up on beaches. Toxic poisons continue to show up in birds and wildlife. Dolphins are still sick and dying at elevated rates.

Trump's short-sighted drilling scheme would put virtually every inch of our coastlines at risk of devastating oil spills. It will irreversibly harm dolphins, whales, polar bears, otters, and other imperiled wildlife that thrive in and around our oceans ... threaten coastal jobs and economies ... dramatically amplify the effects of climate change ... and block our path to a clean energy future by keeping us shackled to the heavily polluting fossil fuels of the past.

All of this, just to pad the pockets of oil executives.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose expanding drilling off our coast. We need Congress to act by launching a full-on legislative counteroffensive that will stop this drilling plan in its tracks.

We need you to help us mobilize a massive, nationwide public outcry in defense of our coast, our communities, and our climate, and make your voice heard at your senators' and representative's offices across the country.

Tell Congress to stop Trump's outrageous offshore drilling scheme, and keep our coast off limits to oil giants!

- Rhea Suh, NRDC 

Stand with Warren and Sanders: Tell the Senate Bailout Caucus to stop helping Trump deregulate Wall Street

Petition to Senate Democrats:
"Do not collaborate with Donald Trump and Trump Republicans to deregulate big banks. We need to finish the job of Wall Street reform and end a dangerous and rigged system that puts our economy at risk, not roll back the reforms already in place."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Stand with Warren and Sanders: Tell the Senate Bailout Caucus to stop helping Trump deregulate Wall Street
Meet the “Bailout Caucus:” the 12 members of the Senate Democratic caucus helping Donald Trump in his mission to give a regulatory bailout to Wall Street.1
One of Trump’s top priorities for 2018 is to slash the Dodd-Frank protections that safeguard against the risky gambling and speculation that led to the Wall Street economic crash and the bank bailouts. He has help from 11 corporate Democrats and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, who have co-sponsored a horrendous bill undermining rules on Wall Street.2
The American people have made clear their opposition to the #TrumpTaxScam and repeatedly supported candidates who promise to resist Trump. But these Democrats seem to have learned nothing from the financial crash and instead think currying favor with Wall Street is smart politics. We need an instant outcry to show that Americans stand with the Warren-Sanders base of the Democratic party and oppose this Wall Street bailout.
Republicans have spent years attacking the Dodd-Frank protections on behalf of their big bank benefactors. Trump has made letting Wall Street go back to greedy and dangerous speculation one of his top priorities. Now, 12 members of the Senate Democratic caucus have lined up behind Trump’s plans: Sens. Michael Bennet, Tom Carper, Christopher Coons, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Gary Peters, Jon Tester, Mark Warner and Angus King.3
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has blasted the deal in no uncertain terms:
“This bill weakens consumer protections, helps out the country’s biggest banks and encourages them to swallow up even more community banks. This bill shows once again how Washington values short-term profits for big banks ahead of the interests of consumers or the safety of the financial system.”4
The deal would let some banks sell high-risk mortgages once again, exempt many from the Volcker Rule that prevents risky gambling with depositor money and let speculative hedge funds hide behind the branding of major banks. Worst of all, it would exempt dozens of major, well-known banks from strict, too-big-to-fail oversight to prevent another massive crash.5 We need to show that the Warren-Sanders base of the party opposes Wall Street bailouts no matter who pushes them.
Despite what some corporate Democrats say, there is no excuse for supporting this bill. Instead of colluding with an unpopular Trump White House, they could have put Republicans on the defensive with a bold agenda. Instead of echoing Republican talking points about protecting small banks, they could point to statistics that show that small banks are more profitable now than they were when Dodd-Frank was passed.6They decided they would rather add their name to a Wall Street regulatory bailout the Trump administration has been pushing.
There is still time to kill the formal legislation, especially with Democrats wary after the backlash from their surrender to Trump and abandonment of the Dreamers. We need to let every Democratic senator know that this deal is simply unacceptable and pressure them to side with the Warren-Sanders base of the party instead.
Stand with Warren and Sanders: Tell the Senate Bailout Caucus to stop helping Trump deregulate Wall Street. Click below to sign the petition:
Murshed Zaheed, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Rootstrikers, “Meet the Senate Democrats’ Bailout Caucus [Tweet],” Jan. 23, 2018.
  2. Katrina vanden Heuvel, "Why Democrats need to stand with working Americans vs. big banks,” The Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2018.
  3. Rootstrikers, “Meet the Senate Democrats’ Bailout Caucus [Tweet].”
  4. Hannah Levintova, “Tell Democrats: Stop helping Trump deregulate banks,” Mother Jones, Nov. 15, 2017.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.

Monday, February 19, 2018

URGENT! Tell City Council not to spend $2.4 million to subsidize big water users


The City Council will be voting Wednesday on a plan to provide up to $2.4 million per year to subsidize the cost of new water lines to new industrial and warehouse businesses on the outskirts of Tucson. Like the other development incentives, the object is to stimulate Tucson’s economy by providing good paying jobs. The other perk is that in order to get the city to pay for the pipelines, the businesses must agree to include some environmentally sound practices in their building and business plan. Please, read Tony Davis’ article in the Arizona Daily Star for more details: Tucson City Council to consider paying for water lines to new employers

While the current plan is better than the previous plan that encouraged the new businesses to use green practices by offering incentives for implementing them (rather than requiring them), it is still just “greening” more development. For some reason the Tucson Chamber of Commerce wants us to compete with Phoenix in encouraging urban sprawl. 


This perpetual development is NOT SUSTAINABLE. We live in the desert during a drought. We have very limited reserves that rely on imported Central Arizona Project water. The CAP water  is transported 336 miles uphill requiring a whole coal fired power plant to power the pumps. The CAP water stored in Lake Powell is receding at a rapid rate. And other states get first dibs on that water. As climate change progresses, it is irresponsible to bring in more industry that will require water to manufacture their products and even more water to mine for the materials. 

The City Council has committed to taking action to fight climate change. Good! But it is not enough to just install some solar panels on city property. They need to stop promoting development on the outskirts of Tucson that increases traffic to those sites (putting more carbon in the air) and encourages the development of more housing complexes that use up even more of our diminishing water supply.

That $2.4 million would be better spent fixing our aging water system or retrofitting the houses and businesses we already have with water conservation and rainwater harvesting features. It would be better spent installing rainwater harvesting systems on neighborhood streets all over town.

As climate change progresses, Tucson will have more extreme weather. That means more droughts and flash floods. We need to work with the county to update our storm water infrastructure so that storm water is harvested. That would also save millions on storm damage. 


The City Council needs to decide if they are really serious about fighting climate change and making Tucson more sustainable. It’s time to encourage the growth of local businesses by incentivizing them to conserve water and retrofitting existing buildings – instead of bringing in more industrial water hogs. We can never compete with Phoenix. And why would we want to? Tucson Water cannot support perpetual development – particularly of businesses that require a lot of water. If we keep this up, Tucson will be a ghost town like all of the little mining towns that line our back roads. 

For a more sustainable vision for Tucson, check out Sustainable Living Tucson's blog: For the love of Tucson: Creating a desert oasis to combat climate change

Please, speak out to our Mayor and council members before the Wednesday meeting. And if you can, come to the City Council Meeting and make a public statement supporting a more sustainable plan for the future of Tucson's water.

Contact Mayor & Council Members

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild: https://www.mayorrothschild.com/contact-us/ or phone (520) 791-4201

*Ward 1 Vice Mayor Regina Romero: Regina.Romero@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4040

*See V.M. Romero's views on the proposal here.

Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham: Paul.Cunningham@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4687

Ward 3 Council Member Paul Durham: Paul.Durham@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4711

Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott: Shirley.Scott@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-3199

Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres: Richard.Fimbres@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4231

Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik: Steve.Kozachik@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4601

Speak up at the City Council Meeting

What: The Tucson City Council will consider a program of water infrastructure incentives at its Wednesday, Feb. 21 meeting.

When: The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m., and the water incentive package is the 10th and last item on the council agenda.

Where: In the Mayor and Council Chambers of Tucson City Hall, 255 W. Alameda St.

#saveTucson'swater

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Arizona Advocacy Ops for Water and the Environment


Champions for the Environment and Sustainability

Please, consider attending the Pima County DEQ Meeting on the Sundt Generating Station and its impact on our air quality. This is our chance to demand that any future investment goes towards building a clean infrastructure. If we want change, we have to show up and demand it. It is on Thursday, March 1st. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Abrams Public Health Center, Room 1108, 3950 S. Country Club Road,

More information here.

RSVP to tell the Department of Environmental Quality these new gas investments are unacceptable.

There is a lot going on with water in our state legislator. Some bad bills have made it through committee and will probably be up for a vote on the Senate floor early next week. (See more information below). Please, tell your senator to vote no on SB1493. This bill would be a first step in giving ADEQ control of a critical Clean Water Act program that protects washes and wetlands

Sandy Bahr from the Sierra Club wrote:

This week, a crazy number of bills were heard in committee and there were some long agendas and late nights. Next week, there are only two committee hearings, the House and Senate Appropriations committees. The reason for the packed agendas this week was it was the last week to hear bills in committee in the house in which the bills originated. Bills that were not heard are considered dead, unless they are heard in Appropriations or resurrected as a strike-everything amendment. For those unfamiliar with strike-everything amendments, these entail striking the original bill and replacing it with a brand new bill. This is one of many reasons no bill is really dead until the chambers adjourn, sine die, for the session.

It is likely that a couple of bills to allow the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to take control of important water programs will come to the Senate Floor early next week. We are particularly concerned about one of them, SB1493. This would be a first step in giving ADEQ control of a critical Clean Water Act program that protects washes and wetlands. Please ask your senator to vote NO on SB1493!

Update on other Water Bills: The Senate Natural Resource, Energy, and Water Committee and the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee both advanced a number of bills, the larger bills that include multiple provisions -- SB1507 and HB2512 -- and then several other bills that include the individual provisions. They will either attempt to pass them as they are and send them up to the Governor for a veto, or will try to work out some pretty major floor amendments. Either way, there is nothing in the bills that helps protect the environment, our rivers and streams, or consumers. The provisions help developers and big agriculture, mostly. Stay tuned for more on these as they move through the process. Let legislators know you want to see an open, transparent, and inclusive process for addressing Arizona's waters.

To find out who your Representative is, first find your district:
https://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

Then use that district to find your rep.
: https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/

Sign the petition: Block the NRA’s dream bill


Senate Democrats: Stop the NRA. Block concealed carry reciprocity

Tell Senate Democrats: “Block concealed carry reciprocity legislation that would undermine state laws that protect residents from gun violence.”

Add your name:



Parkland, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Orlando. Whether it’s mass shootings or the appalling number of daily gun deaths, the National Rifle Association’s “guns everywhere” agenda is fueling an epidemic of gun violence in our country.

After each mass tragedy, Republicans offer their thoughts and prayers for the victims but show their blind allegiance to the NRA by refusing to act to keep their constituents safe. But now that Trump’s in the White House, they are going even further to help the NRA ramp up its extremist agenda on a national scale – with a reckless, dangerous bill to undermine gun safety laws across the country.

The right-wing Republican extremists in the House of Representatives recently passed the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) dream bill.1 The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would undermine state efforts to protect residents from gun violence and force every state to abide by the weakest gun laws in the country.

Now more than ever we need to do everything we can to stop the NRA. Republicans are so beholden to the NRA that they will do their bidding, but Democratic senators have the power to block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Can you add your name today to make sure they act as a firewall between our communities and the NRA’s extremism?

Tell Senate Democrats: Block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Click here to sign the petition.

Every state allows some kind of concealed carry, but 39 states require a gun owner to obtain a permit before publicly carrying concealed weapons in public.2 Some of those states require training before residents can get those permits. Some states block people who have committed violent crimes, domestic abusers, stalkers or people with mental illness that make them a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun or getting a concealed carry permit. Nearly every state restricts residents from carrying concealed weapons in places like schools, hospitals, government buildings or bars.3

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act uses the differences between states’ gun control laws to water down protections across the country. It forces states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state, no matter how lax the state’s permitting standards are.4 It will encourage people, including domestic abusers, who cannot get a concealed carry license in one state to “permit shop:” applying in another state with weaker laws and bringing their gun back to the state where they live.5 A resident of a state whose legislature has stood up for public safety and passed gun control legislation would be no safer than a resident of a state whose legislature is in the pocket of the NRA.

Years of statistics prove that comprehensive state gun laws lead to fewer gun deaths, but the NRA wants to undermine public safety by advancing a reckless, dangerous policy like concealed carry reciprocity.6 Senate Democrats must use their power to reject the NRA’s extremism and block this deadly bill.

Tell Senate Democrats: Block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/Senate_Concealed_Carry?t=7&akid=27312%2E3130208%2Ey_L0aP

Heidi Hess, CREDO Action


Add your name:


References:
  1. Dana Liebelson, "One Month After Texas Church Shooting, House Republicans Vote To Expand Gun Rights," HuffPost, Dec. 6, 2017.
  2. Michele Gorman, “Guns in America: What is national concealed carry reciprocity?” Newsweek, April 10, 2017.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Everytown for Gun Safety, “Federally Mandated Concealed Carry Reciprocity," accessed Dec. 6, 2017.
  5. Polly Mosendz, "Get Ready for Concealed Guns in All 50 States," Bloomberg Politics, Nov. 30, 2017.
  6. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, "2016 Gun Law State Scorecard,” accessed Dec. 6, 2017.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Donald Trump and conservatives in Congress are seeking to turn churches into the next secret money super PACs


Donald Trump and conservatives in Congress are seeking to turn churches into the next secret money super PACs and sneak through other policies that would further weaken our democracy.

We have to stop them. Will you make a call today? (See sample script below.)

Conservatives have snuck multiple ideological provisions into the must-pass federal spending bills. These riders threaten to further destabilize our democracy in favor of wealthy special interests, and we need to speak out NOW to let Congress know that we’re not going to stand for more attacks on everyday people.

These anti-democratic riders include:

*Allowing tax-deductible dark money to flow through churches and charities into our politics, essentially unleashing Citizens United 2.0.
*Stopping the Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring companies to disclose their political spending.
*Stopping the IRS from creating clear definitions for nonprofit engagement in politics.
*Prohibiting federal contractors from being required to disclose their political spending.
*Relaxing campaign finance coordination limits, which would allow candidates to spend significantly more.

Taken together, corporate dark money would greatly increase in our politics, and our institutions would have little or no ability to stop it. It’s up to us to stop it before it starts.

Today, Americans from across the country are calling Congress to say that we need a clean budget with none of these destructive riders.

Will you join them by making a call today and asking your legislators to remove these pro-big money provisions?

Call your members of Congress now!

Congress is working on passing crucial federal spending bills - and conservatives have snuck multiple ideological provisions into the bills. These riders would weaken our campaign finance system and further destabilize our democracy, and we need to speak up to stop these attacks on everyday people.

Act now and call your legislators at (202) 224-3121 (or at their local offices) to let them know we won't stand for a budget bill that allows more big money into our elections - here's a suggested script for your call:

 “My name is ____ and I’m a constituent of Sen/Rep ______. I’m calling to ask Sen./Rep.______ to oppose any riders in the budget bill that would allow more big money into our elections. Please oppose the riders that would block the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment and prevent disclosure of political spending. We deserve a clean budget that has no riders that would weaken our campaign finance laws. Thank you.”

-Francoise Stovall, Every Voice