Monday, July 31, 2017

THANK SENATORS FOR FIGHTING TRUMP'S ATTACKS ON OUR NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS


The people have spoken, and there is OVERWHELMING support for our national monuments. More than 2.7 million comments were sent to Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during this unprecedented “review” of monument designations.

Although the comment period has ended, the fight to protect these special places continues. We truly appreciate Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Martin Heinrich, Senator Tom Udall, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Senator Brian Schatz and Senator Michael Bennet for urging the Trump administration to listen to their constituents and preserve our monuments.


Your Message (feel free to personalize it):

Thank you for standing up for our monuments
Dear Senators,
Thank you for speaking at the recent press conference highlighting the more than 2.7 million public comments in support of protecting national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act. 

I oppose President Trump's and Secretary Zinke's unprecedented "review" of these monuments, and I appreciate your leadership in calling out these threats to our public lands and waters. Our monuments belong to all of us, and we need to make sure it stays that way.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Contact your representative, who voted in favor of further militarization of the U.S.- Mexico border region.


House Republican leadership got approval to spend $1.6 billion for the border wall by sneaking the allocation into a defense-funding package. The funding of this wall will further Trump’s discriminatory anti-immigrant agenda and will worsen U.S. Customs and Border Protection abuses in Arizona.

Send a message to your Arizona representative, who voted in favor of this spending package. Rep. Grijalva and Rep. Gallego were the only Arizona representatives who voted against the package.

House Republican leadership was afraid of putting $1.6 billion in wasteful spending on Trump’s border wall on the floor for a vote. This obscene expenditure was bundled with defense and other unrelated funding to pass it sneakily through the House without a chance for others to amend it.

Contact your representative, who voted in favor of further militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Across the southwest, border residents and local stakeholders like mayors and sheriffs are firmly opposed to President Trump’s folly endeavor, based on economic, environmental, and humanitarian impacts. We must continue to fight for the members of the border community whose voices are not being consulted, much less listened to, about the wall being imposed on them.

- Alessandra Soler
ACLU of Arizona

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Take Action: Trump's EPA Is Trying to Delay Methane Protections. Tell Them NO!


After Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, his EPA is now trying to take us backward by delaying key climate and pollution protections put in place by the Obama administration.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The Trump administration and Congress tried and failed to overturn Obama-era restrictions on methane emissions that would have had devastating impacts on communities and our climate. But now, Scott Pruitt's Environmental Protection Agency is doing everything it can to delay implementing these regulations.

That’s right: the agency tasked with protecting our environment is actually trying to put a two-year delay on new methane pollution standards that protect our communities from dangerous pollution and climate disruption. The only people benefiting from a freeze on EPA methane standards are corporate polluters and their allies. The head of the EPA is supposed to represent the best interests of the American people – not the worst actors in the oil and gas industry.

This is unacceptable.  Tell the EPA that they’re supposed to protect our communities not help the oil and gas industry pollute them.

Thank Senators who spoke out against Bayer and Monsanto taking over global food supply


Bayer and Monsanto employ an army of lobbyists to get their merger from hell approved by lawmakers in Washington, D.C. The SumOfUs hired their own lobbyist to beat them at their own game!

And the hard work of those lobbyist is paying off: this week, 19 US Senators published a letter, speaking out against the Bayer Monsanto merger. This is a direct result of those lobbying efforts!

Let’s go on Twitter and thank the Senators for having our back and putting people over profits.


People like us are really helping to put a chink in the armour of Bayer and Monsanto.  With our help, the SumOfUs brought farmers and beekeepers to Washington: They gave first-hand accounts of the consequences a Bayer-Monsanto merger would have.

This work has helped shape the political agenda in Washington: Lawmakers are taking note that mega mergers like Bayer-Monsanto are extremely unpopular with the public. Just now the Democratic Party announced that combatting corporate power and enforcing antitrust law is going to be one of its top priorities through 2018.

I am hopeful that together we can stop Bayer and Monsanto from taking over our global food supply. 

- SumOfUs 

More information:

URGENT ACTION ALERT ARIZONA! Stop TEP's war on solar.



To: Arizona Corporation Commission

STOP TEP’S ATTACK ON SOLAR.

I oppose TEP’s anti-solar, anti-consumer proposal. Please, do not permit TEP to levy discriminatory monthly fixed charges on solar customers and reduce the amount solar homeowners are credited when they send power to TEP.

Let's help this petition shine! Sign and share if you agree @TEPenergy should not punish solar customers!

Why is this important?

"As Arizonans, we need to speak up and tell TEP and the Arizona Corporation Commission to act in the people’s best interest by continuing to preserve the choice of each homeowner to make their own power. As a local small business investor, former utility professional, and now as a consultant to the solar energy industry, I know that solar allows all of us to save on our electricity bills, and help TEP meet growing electricity demands, while also conserving our scarce water resources and providing a more resilient grid. I wish all Arizona residents could have the same opportunity I have had to install solar power on my home. Now is the time to speak up and oppose TEP’s anti-solar proposal," wrote Kent Bauman

Solar is an opportunity to drive down costs for all Arizonans. TEP’s proposal does not consider the benefits rooftop solar customers provide to the grid and to our communities. Individual investments in rooftop solar benefit all Arizonans by increasing energy security and reliability, and reducing other utility spending, saves water and helps TEP meet its power requirements.

Unfortunately, TEP wants to make going solar on homes and businesses much more costly by proposing additional charges on solar customers totaling $25-$30 a month!

TEP has joined in the electric utilities’ coordinated effort to stop rooftop solar. As reported in the New York Times, electric utilities and their lobbying groups have undertaken a coordinated attack on rooftop solar, which they see as a threat to their bottom line. And a recent report from the Energy and Policy Institute found that customers are footing the bill for these lobbying efforts against an innovative industry that has created over 260,000 jobs across the country and over 600 in Pima County alone. That means if you are a TEP customer, you might be paying for these efforts to stop solar.

Time is running out to stop TEP’s attack on solar. Please, sign and share this petition to be delivered to TEP and submitted to the Arizona Corporation Commission in advance of this critical vote on the future of customer choice and solar in Southern Arizona.

Strengthen Presidential Conflict-of-interest Laws


A president with so many financial entanglements is a recipe for disaster -- tell Congress to prevent clear conflicts of interest from corrupting our values.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Without being able to track Donald Trump's financial position, we won't know if he has a stake in the decisions he makes as president. He or his associates could even be profiting off the presidency. The potential for corruption is unprecedented. Both sides in Congress get this. Tell your members of Congress to prevent presidential conflicts of interest.

Bills to ban presidential conflicts of interest introduced in both chambers of Congress! One quarter of Congress is now cosponsoring the legislation.

This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined 23 of her colleagues to introduce the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act. In the House. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) reintroduced her companion bill from last year, this time with 102 cosponsors.

These pieces of legislation are vital to protect the republic, and we're glad to see so many members of Congress taking it serious. That being said, we need to more than double the support they have to have a good chance at bringing them up for a vote and pass before Donald Trump takes office.

Contact your members of Congress and sign the following petition.

Rein in presidential conflicts of interest -- pass S.65 and H.R.371

The president has broad influence over national policy and government contracts. Foreign governments and corporations would pay a hefty price to sway those decisions.

Donald Trump has refused to release his taxes, exploited tax loopholes, misappropriated charitable donations, and spent campaign money on his own businesses. His children -- who are reportedly advising him on strategic decisions -- are managing his company instead of a blind trust.

Congress must enact strong checks and balances like S. 65 and H.R. 371 to ensure that the White House cannot enrich business interests, engage in nepotism, or pilfer the national treasury. Apply ethics and conflict-of-interest rules to the president and vice president and require them to release their taxes, divest from investments that could benefit from decisions they make in office, close any offshore accounts, and turn the rest of their assets over to blind trusts.

- Seirra Rise

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A top climate expert was moved to a fossil fuel accounting team after speaking out about the impacts of climate change on Alaska Native communities.


An Interior Department whistleblower has filed a complaint claiming that he was reassigned after speaking out about the impacts of climate change on Alaska Native communities.1 He was transferred to the office that collects fossil fuel royalty payments.
He is but one of approximately 50 top managers who have been suddenly reassigned to new jobs by the Interior Department.2 We can't let this go unanswered: tell Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop using reassignments to silence, undermine, or retaliate against his own staff.
Joel Clement, the whistleblower, is a scientist who used to head the agency's Office of Policy Analysis. He was one of the leading climate policy experts in the government. Dozens of his colleagues have been similarly affected, including leaders in the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service.3
Each are members of the high-level Senior Executive Service. But while it is legal to reassign these executives, that cannot be done in retaliation or to coerce employees to quit. Zinke himself admitted that he would use reassignments to cut the department's workforce.4
The Interior Department is facing other accusations of censoring climate messaging. The department has eliminated information about climate change from its websites.5 Headquarters staff even intervened to remove two climate experts from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent tour of Glacier National Park.That is the level of micromanaged censorship we are dealing with.
Climate change is serious. There are people -- including the Alaska Natives with whom Clement was working -- whose lives are already being turned upside down due to the warming climate and extreme weather. These reassigned staff entered public service to protect others -- yet now the Interior Department is not only preventing them from doing their jobs, but actively making their lives miserable.
References:
1. Clement, J. (19 July 2017). "I'm a scientist. I'm blowing the whistle on the Trump administration." Washington Post.2. Eilperin, J. and Rein, L. (16 June 2017). "Zinke moving dozens of senior Interior Department officials in shake-up." Washington Post.3. Ibid.4. Rein, L. (21 June 2017). "Interior chief wants to shed 4,000 employees in department shake-up." Washington Post.5. Visser, N. (13 June 2017). "Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Agency Website. Again." Huffington Post.6. Rein, L. (20 July 2017). "Interior Dept. ordered Glacier park chief, other climate expert pulled from Zuckerberg tour." Washington Post.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sign the petition: Tell Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resist Trump’s trans military ban and defend the rights of transgender people


Petition to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis:

Because of Trump’s call for a trans military ban, transgender active duty members and veterans are at risk of losing their jobs, healthcare and veteran status. Further, the civil liberties and self-determination of transgender people to make their own decisions about military service is under threat. I stand in solidarity with the transgender community and call on the Pentagon to refuse to comply with Trump’s trans military ban.

Through a series of tweets Donald Trump put the healthcare and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of transgender active service members1 and veterans2 in jeopardy.


Right now, Trump’s proposed trans military ban is just a series of tweets. It’s up to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to either fall in line with them, or push back as hard as possible.3

Sign the petition: Tell Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resist Trump’s trans military ban and defend the rights of transgender people from Trump’s hate.

Trump’s decision is sharp reversal from the previous administration’s policy allowing transgender people to serve openly. And more than that, stomps on the civil liberties of transgendered people to make their own decisions about military service or transgender health care as a veteran.

To be clear, transgender people already face huge institutional barriers to health and happiness in this country.4 From employment, housing, healthcare, education, and even using public accommodations, too often trans people, and their protections under law, are ignored, neglected, or disenfranchised. And that’s on top of their disproportionate likelihood of being the victims of violent hate crimes and murder.

Trump is scapegoating an already vulnerable population – a play right out of every schoolyard bully’s and authoritarian dictator’s playbook. And his actions fly in the face of our civil liberties and core American principles.

Tell Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that you expect him to fight back against Trump’s hate-motivated transgender military ban.

- Demand Progress 
Sources:
1. Alternet, "Trump's Newest Disaster: Discharging Transgender People in Active Military Service Citing Ludicrous and Impractical Data," July 26, 2017.
2. LA Times, "Transgender veterans outraged by Trump's sudden ban on military service," July 26, 2017.
3. The Guardian, "Defense chiefs resist Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops," July 27, 2017.
4. Marketwatch, "For transgender Americans, workplace discrimination isn’t limited to the military," July 26, 2017.

Sent my heartfelt thanks to my senator this morning.


Senator McCain votes no on "skinny" healthcare bill.


Sent my heartfelt thanks to my senator this morning.

You can send him a note here.

URGENT: Japanese government about to greenlight massive nuclear dump!


The Fukushima disaster keeps unfolding.

Tens of thousands of lives lost. Hundreds of thousands evacuated from their homes. An environment devastated by radiation -- and now, TEPCO wants to dump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

TEPCO is the energy giant who failed to meet the basic safety requirements that might have prevented the Fukushima Daichii emergency generators from failing when the tsunami hit in 2011.

It goes without saying: the consequences of dumping more nuclear waste into the marine ecosystem would be catastrophic.

But it’s not too late to stop this impending ecocide: the Japanese government still needs to give TEPCO the green light.

After the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese government has been under constant pressure from local residents. Now, with support from around the world, we can help shine a spotlight and plead with them to stop TEPCO’s dangerous plans.


Fragile marine ecosystems are at stake. Since the Fukushima disaster, contamination in the local marine food chain has not generally improved. 40% of species remain unfit for consumption, according to Japanese standards, which have been relaxed since the disaster.

Each day, 300 tonnes of water wash through the Fukushima reactors, cooling them down and collecting a slew of radioactive material along the way.

While some of the contaminants can be filtered out, the water cannot be cleaned from tritium -- a radioactive form of hydrogen -- resulting in nearly a million tonnes of highly radioactive waste water.

Fishermen who operate in waters off the plant say any release of radioactive material will devastate an industry that is still struggling to recover from the initial nuclear disaster.

And now TEPCO is planning to release this massive toxic dump into the ocean.

We cannot allow the energy giant partly responsible for the biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl to continue wrecking the Pacific ecosystem -- and the lives that depend on it.

Click here to sign the petition to Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto and ask him to stop this massive radioactive dump!

Together, we stand in solidarity with communities around the world who face the most dangerous impacts of corporations’ risky behaviour. Whether it’s standing with First Nations communities in Canada against oil pipelines, environmental defenders in Peru standing up to mining corporations, or workers on palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia -- we take action to amplify these struggles.

The people, industries, and ecosystems of Fukushima have already suffered so much -- today, please stand with the people of Fukushima and say no to the dumping of radioactive waste in their waters.

- SumOfUs

More information:

Fukushima nuclear disaster: former Tepco executives go on trial, The Guardian, 30 June 2017.
Japan utility plans to dump radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific, UPI, 14 July 2017.
Fishermen express fury as Fukushima plant set to release radioactive material into ocean, The Telegraph, 14 July 2017.
Record radiation detected at Fukushima nuclear plant — Multiple locations register highest levels ever measured — “Radioactive materials in groundwater toward the ocean, ENENews, 3 July 2017.
Radioactive waste from Fukushima power plant disaster to be dumped in sea, Independent, 15 July 2017.

TAKE ACTION! Urge Scott Pruitt to enforce the EPA’s methane pollution standards


Add “breathing air” to the list of things that parents have to worry about for their children. This month, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a dangerous two-year delay on the methane pollution standards that keep our air clean and our families safe and healthy.

The EPA’s standards represented an important step toward protecting the health and safety of communities and workers, reducing missed school days for students with asthma and cutting healthcare costs and emergency room visits.

Delaying these protections is a blatant giveaway to oil and gas interests at the expense of public health. Tell EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to leave these essential safeguards in place.

When polluters release methane,
  1. They release tons of other dangerous gases and chemicals as well, like benzene and volatile organic compounds.
  2. They produce ozone, which has been proven to cause long-term health problems like asthma and even cancer.
  3. They put pregnant women at risk. A study in Colorado showed that babies whose mothers lived near natural gas plants had an increased risk of heart and nervous system defects.
Children miss 500,000 days of school each year due to ozone smog resulting from methane pollution. In the summertime, children suffer 750,000 asthma attacks due to ozone smog resulting from oil and gas pollution.

But instead of cleaning up their act, polluters and their allies in Congress suggest that children stay indoors on “bad-air days,” particularly during the summer months when kids should be outside, to avoid aggravating their asthma condition.

The winners of this delay are clear: corporate polluters and their allies. The EPA has declined to even analyze the air pollution impacts or attempt to assess in any way the additional health and environmental harms that will result from its proposed delay. However, it has taken pains to estimate the cost savings that it believes industry will realize because of this action.

Earthjustice is fighting back in court. Earlier this month, a federal court of appeals blocked a 90-day stay of certain parts of the rule, but the EPA is still trying to implement a two-year delay.

Now, we need your help fighting this delay. Urge Scott Pruitt to withdraw this proposal and enforce the methane pollution standards.

- Jessica Ennis, Legislative Director
Climate & Energy

Food & Water Watch is suing Trump to stop the illegal corporate giveaway of America's water systems, roads, and bridges

Food & Water Watch is suing Donald Trump.

In January, Trump formed an illegal "Infrastructure Council" — a.k.a. a massive corporate giveaway and attempt to sell American water systems, bridges and roads to the highest bidder. And *surprise* the Council's co-chairs (and real estate developers) Richard LeFrak and Steve Roth both stand to profit significantly off the deals they’re crafting. It's not only wrong — it's illegal.

We won't let Trump and his Wall Street friends sell off our public infrastructure for profit.



Our nation desperately needs federal investments in infrastructure. The lack of investment in our public water systems over the decades has led to unaffordable water service rates, and in some places, to water that’s unsafe to drink or bathe with. I've seen too many families over the years worry about whether the water coming out of their tap is safe to give to their child. People deserve better than this.

Yet Trump wants to take advantage of this need to spin deals for his buddies on Wall Street.

For years, Food & Water Watch has partnered with communities to lift up the voices of those impacted by our crumbling infrastructure and demand real solutions. Communities deserve a right to have a say in how their infrastructure is maintained – and to know if Trump is making his friends even richer by building it.

We believe that President Trump’s "Infrastructure Council" has operated in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act ever since he created it in January 2017. We're suing Trump to void all actions taken by his “Infrastructure Council” and to compel the Administration to disclose the role its financially conflicted co-chairs have played in shaping the President’s infrastructure policy.

The answer to our problems is NOT to sell off our roads, bridges and water systems to the highest bidder.

Done the right way, we can rebuild our crumbling infrastructure while spurring economic growth in rural areas, creating good-paying jobs in major cities, and ensuring that every American has access to paved roads, safe schools and clean water. 

Food & Water Watch is proud to stand with communities across the country who are being impacted by decisions made in back-room deals. We don't take any corporate or government funding in order to stay uncompromised — a position that allows us to hold elected officials like Donald Trump accountable.

- Wenonah Hauter
Food & Water Watch


Lawsuit: Food & Water Watch v. Donald Trump, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Commerce, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, filed July 25, 2017.

Lawsuit Challenges Secrecy of White House Advisers on Infrastructure, New York Times, July 25, 2017.

Tucson & Southern Arizona - Our Lives on the Line event


July 29th, 10 AM - 12 PM
Rudy Garcia Park, 2 E Irvington Rd, Tucson, Arizona 85714

More than a dozen groups have joined forces to lead a national “day of action” against the Republican plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act. This rally and press event in Arizona is one of many being held simultaneously in numerous other cities around the country that day.
“Our Lives On the Line, Arizona” event — including a flagship rally in Washington — will set the tone for several weeks of aggressive activism to persuade key lawmakers to back off their repeal efforts.

OFA's motto is Respect, Empower, Include, Organize. We lead with respect as a core value, and ask that all organizing work is done so with that value in mind. When participating in events like this one, you are committing to do so respectfully.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Health Care study delivered to Congress


"I see patients every day who have to make the decision between affording their medications or affording to eat "- Erica, National Nurses United

Nurses are on the front lines of our health care system. They are exposed to the millions of people who do not have insurance on a daily basis – the men and women who die because they put off preventive care due to lack of funds, the men and women who cut down their treatment or prescription drugs because they cannot afford the copays.


With Congress currently focused on health care, the Sanders Institute wanted to broaden the discussion to go beyond insurance coverage to a debate about creating a healthy society, with our citizens as the focus. Leaving millions of people uninsured should not be the only option.

The Sanders Institute and National Nurses United delivered a research paper, titled Medicare For All vs All the Healthcare Each Can Afford, to every Senate and House of Representatives office on Capitol Hill. This report analyzes our current fragmented health care system and suggests a system of health care reflecting the nurses' values of caring, compassion and community. Some facts to consider:
  • 28 million Americans are currently uninsured and millions more are underinsured.
  • Every piece of legislation currently being debated in Congress continues to leave millions uninsured and underinsured.
  • The U.S. spends $9,451 per person on health care every year. This is nearly two and half times the $3,814 average of other major countries.
  • 58% of Americans support a Medicare for All system.
The Sanders Institute believes a vital democracy requires an informed electorate, civil discourse and bold thinking. This in-depth report is a step towards those goals on a very important issue in our society.

- Jane Sanders

Support Tulsi as she co-sponsors the Medicare for All bill


While the continued debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act goes on, a recent USA Today poll shows that 88% of Americans do not support the Senate’s plan. Let's shift the conversation to how we can actually improve health care. In contrast to the Senate plan, an AP poll from last week found that 62% of Americans believe it is the federal government’s responsibility to guarantee health care to all Americans, and we have a bill that would guarantee Medicare for All in the House right now. I have signed on as a co-sponsor, but we need to show the support Medicare for All has outside of Washington.

Tell Congress to support H.R. 676, the Medicare for All Act.

We all know that the Affordable Care Act needs to be improved. While it helped to insure more than 20 million people, expand Medicaid coverage, and end the discrimination of people with pre-existing conditions by insurance companies, we still have millions of people today without any health insurance at all. Even more are underinsured, struggling to afford the skyrocketing cost of premiums, deductibles, and copays for the prescriptions and care that they need. Meanwhile, prescription drug and insurance companies continue to prosper.

While the American people struggle to receive the vital health care they need, pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, are using deceptive marketing tactics, lying about the addictive nature of their drugs, price gouging, and moving to other countries to exploit foreign markets as they have ours while raking in billion dollar profits. The Republican health care bill amounts to a handout to pharmaceutical companies by cutting their taxes, shifting the burden of cost onto ordinary families who are suffering from the opioid epidemic.

I will continue fighting to advance this cause in Congress, but I can't do it without you. Mahalo for allowing me the honor to serve.

Aloha,

Tulsi

Tell JPMorgan Chase: DO NOT provide financial services for tar sands pipelines


Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest energy sources on the planet, producing up to 20% more carbon emissions than conventional oil. And four proposed pipelines, including Keystone XL, would carry that dirty fuel from Canada’s tar sands across thousands of miles of continent to refineries and ports in Canada and the U.S. They ignore the rights of sovereign Indigenous nations and private landowners and pose dire risks for communities along their paths. But imagine if we could stop these pipelines by cutting off their funding at the source. A pipe dream, you say? It’s already happening.

Just 26 global investment banks and lending institutions are responsible for the majority of funding for these proposed pipelines. U.S. banking giant, JPMorgan Chase, has contributed millions of dollars through various loans, credit facilities, and financial transactions.

And yet, JPMorgan Chase has publicly acknowledged that it must review its investments in the fossil fuel sector and that tar sands projects require an extra level of review and scrutiny. Despite these comments, it have fallen short on significantly changing its lending practices to be in-line with its climate and human rights commitments. It is time for JPMorgan Chase to put its money (or rather, not put its money) where its mouth is. Tell JPMorgan Chase to step up its commitment and to cut ties to the tar sands oil pipelines that only Trump and his fossil fuel backers want.

With your help, it can be done! The Dutch bank giant ING recently announced that it will not finance oil pipeline projects from the Canadian tar sands, placing climate, environmental, water, and social impacts among the chief justifications for its overall policy. This latest action by the bank comes after a letter was sent by twenty Indigenous and environmental groups, including Greenpeace, demanding that the bank publicly commit to end its financial relationship with the destructive tar sands pipelines.

Financial institutions are waking up to the growing movement against these pipelines and the reputational risk they face if they continue to throw their money and support behind these destructive pipelines.  Some have already washed their hands of oil pipeline projects. Keep up the resistance and send a message to JPMorgan Chase asking the bank not to fund dangerous tar sands pipelines that threaten communities and the climate.

Tell JPMorgan Chase: DO NOT provide financial services for tar sands pipelines now!

- Tim Donaghy, Senior Research Specialist, Greenpeace

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stop this Disastrous Energy Bill now


Following on the heels of the health care debacle in the Senate, Mitch McConnell is desperate to get legislation passed that moves Trump’s agenda. That’s why he’s now trying to rush through an 850-page Energy Bill that will lock the US into fossil fuel dependency for decades.

This bill is a dream come true for the fossil fuel industry. 

Call your senators through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell them to reject The Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 (S 1460)!

The bill will:
  • Hasten Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities in the US. These facilities increase the demand for fracked natural gas, and then send that gas oversees. This would result in more communities harmed by natural gas fracking, pipelines, and facilities, and a big increase in climate emissions.
  • Make the Federal Energy Resources Commission (FERC) the lead agency in authorizing natural gas projects. FERC has a horrible track record, always approving pipelines approved by industry at the expense of local communities and the environment. We need to curtail its power, not increase it.
  • Increase funds for extraction of fossil fuels in coastal waters.  After the Deepwater Horizon debacle, we need to put a moratorium on off-shore drilling, not expand it.
  • Expedite the process for allowing fracking on Federal lands.

At the same time, this legislation does absolutely nothing to increase wind or solar power in the US.  While the US needs to shift rapidly to clean energy sources, this legislation would move us backwards.

Incredibly, most Democrats in the Senate have not raised their voices in opposition, but they have the power to put the brakes on this bill.  Senator Bernie Sanders is leading the charge against this fossil-fuel industry giveaway, and we need to increase opposition quickly.

There is still time to kill this bill.   

That’s why we all need to call our senators today, Republican or Democrat, and tell them to oppose the deeply flawed Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 that will lock the US into fracking and fossil fuels, without any support for wind or solar. 

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

- Todd Larsen
Green America  

Rapid Response to ACA Repeal at McCain's TOMORROW

The ACA repeal bill will now be going to the Senate floor for minimum 20 hours debate. In his address to the Senate, Sen. McCain has called for bi-partisanship and asserted that he would NOT vote for this bill as it stands.

Indivisible S. Arizona is conducting a Rapid Response event tomorrow afternoon at McCain's office to ask him to stand by his word, and stand by our Governor's belief that this bill is bad for Arizona.

John McCain's Tucson office at 407 W. Congress Street
4PM-5PM, Wednesday July 26th
We will have signs and flags, but feel free to bring your own!

Parking in garage across the street, or at the TCC (if there is no event). Street parking, or park on the other side of I-10 and walk in.

Email with questions, check our website for more information. www.indivisiblesaz.org

Join former army medic Perry O'Brian as he fights for our healthcare today!

former army medic speaks up against big Pharma 
In just a few hours, Senate Republicans are going to try do the bidding of Big Pharma corporations and strip away health care from 22 million people. For years, corrupt millionaires on Wall Street and in Congress have waged war on us and our families, and now they want to sentence thousands of us to death.

I was a medic in the U.S. Army. I served in Afghanistan. And here’s my message to these corrupt Republicans: I didn’t ask wounded soldiers how much money they had before treating them. They were hurt. And I had a moral duty to help them.

Republicans don’t agree. When they look at our families, our sick children, and our retired seniors, they don’t see humans. They see profits.

We need to fight as hard as we can to protect ourselves, our families, our elders, and our communities. Add your name and be a part of our joint-action to send a strong message that we won’t compromise on health care.

I joined the army as a medic because I wanted to heal my comrades. I can’t sit idly as corrupt Republicans help Wall Street and Big Pharma prey on working Americans in their moment of need.

That’s why we’re so proud and honored to team up with Color of Change, Daily Kos, and the AFL-CIO, Democracy for America, and thousands of other activists to fight for the health care rights of all Americans.

Join our mass movement and we’ll deliver a strong, undeniable message to the U.S. Senate and House that we won’t back down on health care rights.

I hope you’ll join us today, and stand alongside the 22 million Americans who are at risk.

Thank you,

Perry O'Brien
U.S. Army veteran
Common Defense

The ultimate power still lies with the people! An important message of the new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

We have come a long way in our fight to tackle the climate crisis since my film, An Inconvenient Truth, came out over ten years ago.
We've witnessed breathtaking advances in our clean energy tech revolution... and a growing movement of citizens around the world spurring action on climate by political leaders and CEOs...

Yet, evidence mounts of climate change's increasing toll on people and the planet. And we've seen some heartbreaking policy setbacks, like President Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement and roll back other efforts to wean our economy off the fossil fuels of the past.

It shows that, unfortunately, a determined minority — with active financial support from a few large carbon polluters — have found ways to take control of the policy-making process.

But the ultimate power still lies with the people! And that's the most important message of my new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which opens in theaters in just a few days.

I made this new film to keep the momentum going in our fight against climate change. I hope it will help to continue empowering people to counter the efforts by those seeking to sow seeds of doubt.

Participant Media and Paramount Pictures' An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power opens in New York and Los Angeles on July 28 and nationwide on August 4. If you buy a movie ticket online today via Fandango.com and enter the exclusive promo code NRDCBOGO at checkout, you can bring a friend for free (limited quantity available).*
*Fandango Promotional Code is good towards one movie ticket (up to $15 total ticket and convenience fee value). Limited quantity available -- Instructions for how to claim your 2-for-1 offer on Fandango.com are below.
Despite setbacks, the progress we've made on climate is not reversible. The cost of clean energy continues to fall. Countries like China, India and others are moving fast. Big consumer companies are working toward 100% renewable energy. And many states — and cities — are showing new leadership in America's climate fight.

I know we will win in this struggle. I hope that by seeing my film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, you will help jumpstart the next critical phase of this movement — and make sure it's bigger and stronger than ever.

Sincerely,

Al Gore
Al Gore

If you haven't already, please click here to join forces with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power to show our governors that millions of Americans demand strong action on climate from state and local leaders.
*How to Claim Your 2-for-1 Fandango Movie Tickets:

1. Visit Fandango.com or use the Fandango mobile app.
2. Select your date, theater, time, and ticket quantity for Inconvenient Sequel
3. Sign in or create your free Fandango VIP account (or you can select guest checkout).
4. Be sure to click "Promo Code," enter the NRDCBOGO code and click "Apply".
5. Complete your purchase and decide how you want to pick up your ticket(s).

FANDANGO PROMOTIONAL CODE FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. Fandango Promotional Code is good towards one movie ticket (up to $15 total ticket and convenience fee value) to see Inconvenient Sequel at Fandango partner theaters in the U.S. Fandango Promotional Code must be redeemed by 8/31/17 and is void if not redeemed by the expiration date (expires on 8/31/17 or when Inconvenient Sequel is no longer in theaters, whichever comes first). Only valid for purchase of movie tickets made at www.fandango.com or via the Fandango app and cannot be redeemed directly at any Fandango partner theater box office. If lost or stolen, cannot be replaced and there will be no refunds. No cash value. Not valid with any other offer. Offer valid for one-time use only. Not for resale; void if sold or exchanged. If cost of movie ticket with Fandango's convenience fee included is more than maximum value of the Fandango Promotional Code, then user must pay the difference. Fandango Loyalty Solutions, LLC is not a sponsor or co-sponsor of this program. The redemption of Fandango Promotional Code is subject to Fandango's Terms and Policies at www.fandango.com/terms-and-policies. All Rights Reserved.

Hold Wall Street Accountable: Oppose Congress’ Attempt to Allow Secret Courts Controlled by Banks



Let your member of Congress know you oppose H.J.R. 111, the “Arbitration CRA” >>
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AT 202-224-3121

When it was discovered that Wells Fargo employees created more than 3 million fake accounts under existing customer names without their permission, the resulting scandal broke the American people’s trust. The company’s actions, motivated by internal sales quotas, hurt consumers’ credit scores and charged fees for services they didn’t request.

Wells Fargo was able to avoid class-action lawsuits using the arbitration clause it had with its customers. To prevent that practice in the future and make sure we all have our day in court, the Consumer Bureau issued a rule that cracks down on these rip-off clauses and allows consumers to take their grievances before a court without being forced into a secret arbitration court run by the big banks. But now, just a couple weeks after this new rule was finalized, Wall Street-backed members of Congress are moving quickly to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) bill that would overturn this important rule and stack the deck in favor of big banks and against consumers. The House is rushing to vote on the legislation … TODAY!

Will you call your Representative right now and tell them to protect consumers and vote NO on H.J.R. 111, the Arbitration CRA?

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AT 202-224-3121

Just months after strongly condemning Wells Fargo for its “theft” from American consumers, Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA) joined Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) in proposing this legislation, which would return power to the banks and could allow another Wells Fargo-type scandal to go unpunished.

Why? It could be because, together, Rothfus and Crapo have received more than $3 million in campaign contributions from big banks and other financial interests over the course of their careers. When will it stop? When will the politicians in Washington stand with consumers rather than the banks and Wall Street special interests that fund their campaigns? When we stand together and tell our Representatives to stop legislation like this!

Don’t let the Republican Congress take us back to the days when banks had free rein to rip off consumers. Call your Representative in Congress today at 202-224-3121 and tell them to oppose the H.J.R. 111, the Arbitration CRA!

- Karl Frisch. ALLIED PROGRESS ACTION

Urge family & friends to contact their Senators in these pivotal states....

Do you have friends or family who live in Alaska, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, or West Virginia?
The Senate is likely to vote TODAY on whether to move forward with an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and Senators in these states are on the fence. Any of these Senators could very well be the deciding vote to protect vital health care. We need all hands on deck to flood the phone lines NOW.
Here’s how you can help. Forward this message (cut and paste) to your friends and family who live in the target states and ask them to call their Senators now. A sample script is below.
  • Step 1: Call your senator at the number listed below:
    • Alaska: Senator Lisa Murkowski — (202) 224-6665
    • Maine: Senator Susan Collins — (202) 224-2523
    • Nevada: Senator Dean Heller — (202) 224-6244
    • Ohio: Senator Rob Portman — (202) 224-3353
    • West Virginia: Senator Shelley Capito — (202) 224-6472

  • Step 2: Once you are connected, say:
    • “As your constituent, I urge you to reject ACA repeal. No one should lose health coverage, and repealing the Affordable Care Act threatens the health care of millions of people including women, elderly people, children, and people with disabilities. Don’t put politics above people’s health and lives. [If you have a personal story to share, adding why the ACA has been important to you is an especially powerful message.]”

  • Step 3: Share our graphic on Facebook and encourage your friends to call their Senators too.
It’s clear that this is not about health care but about scoring a political win for the Trump administration. Senate Republican leadership has tried pushing through many different iterations of a repeal bill, from the narrowly passed House bill to a straight up repeal now, replace later proposal – all of them threatening the health care of millions of people. And right now, most of the Senate doesn’t even know which bill they’ll be voting on! But the bottom line is there is no version of ACA repeal that is good for women and their families.
Senators are being bullied by Senate Republican leadership and President Trump into taking life-saving care away from the residents in their states, and they need to hear from everyone now and every day – every call moves us closer to truly defeating this bill. Please help spread the word in this critical moment.
Thank you for fighting with us.
- Gretchen Borchelt
National Women's Law Center

Tell Congress: Reject Wall Street’s attempt to re-legalize the ripoff clause, big banks’ license to steal.

Wall Street’s minions in the House and Senate are racing to re-legalize the “ripoff clause” big banks use to avoid accountability after cheating their customers.
The ripoff clause is a virtual license to steal for crooked bankers. It allows a big bank to scam you or charge you illegal fees and NEVER get held accountable in a court of law.
Republicans are trying to rush through a vote TODAY to restore the ripoff clause – hoping the public won’t have time to mobilize. We need to speak out immediately.
Okay, some rapid-fire background: Cooked up by Wall Street lawyers and hidden in the fine print of bank account and credit card contracts, the ripoff clause blocks customers cheated by their bank from seeking justice in court.
Instead, the customer is forced into “arbitration,” a shadow court system. Amazingly, the company gets to choose who makes the ruling – so unsurprisingly, the corporation wins 93% of the time.1
The ripoff clause also bans cheated customers from banding together. Banks know someone they scam out of $50 will never be able to pay a lawyer to get it back. So they can rip off hundreds, thousands, or millions at time, raking in illicit profits.
(Remember the massive Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal? Yep, they used the ripoff clause to dramatically lower the amount they gave back to customers).
After nearly 15,000 Rootstrikers members filed public comments calling for action, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a rule this month banning banks and credit card companies from exploiting the ripoff clause
It is a HUGE win for consumers, but it is driving Wall Street lobbyists crazy – so they’ve tasked their servants in Congress with repealing the CFPB’s rule immediately.
We can stop Congress from reinstating big banks’ license to steal – but only if we send an immediate message that we won’t let this fly under the radar.
- Kurt Walters
The Rootstrikers project at Demand Progress
Source:
1. Alliance for Justice, “Some good news on arbitration,” July 23, 2015.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hunters and anglers stories needed to defend national monuments


A big part of what makes Backcountry Hunters & Anglers a powerful voice for American sportsmen is the extent to which our work is grounded by your stories – by members who hunt the ridges and wade the streams and are willing to speak up on behalf of the wild public lands and waters on which we depend.

As BHA continues our work to defend against the loss of habitat protections and access on the 26 national monuments currently under federal review, we need your help to tell the sportsmen’s story. If you or someone you know has hunted or fished in any of the national monuments under review, please take a minute to share your story here.
With your help, we hope to use these stories in the following ways:
  • Hand deliver a compilation of your stories to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
  • Publish your stories on the BHA blog and social media channels.
  • Highlight one story in an upcoming issue of BHA’s Backcountry Journal.
We’re committed to ensuring that habitat protections and public hunting and fishing access are maintained on the national monuments currently under review. Your story will help us illustrate exactly why sportsmen are so passionate about conserving these places and opportunities. Please take a minute to share your story here.

- Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
http://www.backcountryhunters.org/