Friday, June 14, 2019

Urge Senators to support International Climate Accountability Act


Since last Friday, 45 senators and counting have cosponsored the International Climate Accountability Act
(S. 1743), a critical bill that would force President Trump to meet the U.S.'s Paris climate agreement commitments. This bill would block federal spending on Trump's plan to withdraw from the Paris agreement, and legally require him to make a plan to cut emissions and meet our nation's Paris agreement commitments.

Last month the House of Representatives passed H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, thanks to grassroots pressure. Now, the fight moves to the Senate — last week, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced the International Climate Accountability Act ... but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already vowed to kill it. With the Senate majority still controlled by allies of Trump and the fossil fuel industry, getting this and other crucial climate legislation passed will be an uphill battle.

Our best chance to force real climate action is to make every single senator realize that if they won't step up to fight climate change, we'll vote them out of office.The single best thing you can do right now to help win climate action is to make your voice heard at your senators' offices right away.

Even if your senators already support this landmark legislation, they must hear from constituents like you so they know that urgent climate action is a vitally important issue for voters in Arizona.

Tell your senators to take real steps to fight the climate crisis and support the International Climate Accountability Act!

- Aliya Haq, Climate and Clean Energy, NRDC Action Fund

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tell DNC members: Stand up for a climate debate

The petition to DNC members reads:
"Join the DNC member resolution calling for a climate debate."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Yesterday, CREDO and our partners delivered over 200,000 petition signatures directly to the Democratic National Committee calling for a presidential primary debate on climate change.
Tell DNC members: Stand up for a climate debate
Momentum for a climate debate is growing fast. Fifteen Democratic presidential candidates have joined our call, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.1 So have the USA Today Editorial Board2 and the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.3
DNC Chairman Tom Perez made a terrible decision last week to reject our demands and is now feeling the pressure – including backlash from within his own party. More than 50 members of the DNC – over 10% of the total voting membership – signed a resolution last week calling on Perez to reverse his decision and allow a climate debate.4 If we can amplify their voices, we can push Perez to give candidates a real forum to talk about solutions.
The next president of the United States must be prepared to take bolder, faster climate action than any leader before. After four years of Trump, we have no more time to waste.
But the media is still ignoring the issue, giving cover to politicians – who refuse to take action. In 2018, climate coverage on broadcast networks plunged 45% from 2017, despite a year of extreme weather and record climate disasters around the world.5
We need Democrats to step up and put climate change on the national political stage. Without a substantive debate, we can't ensure that Democrats will nominate someone who is ready to lead. The climate crisis is complex, and we need bold solutions – not 30-second soundbites.
The backlash against Perez' refusal to allow a climate debate has been rapid and fierce. He even felt compelled to write a blog post justifying his decision on the eve of our DNC rally.6 Perez seems desperate to relieve the pressure. We need to increase it and force Perez to start taking the climate crisis seriously.
Tell DNC members: Join the resolution for a climate debate. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Brandy Doyle, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Ryan Schleeter, "Activists Double Down, Bring Call for a Climate Debate to DNC Headquarters," Greenpeace USA, June 12, 2019.
  2. Editorial Board, "Joe Biden and other 2020 Democrats give climate change the attention it deserves," USA Today, June 10, 2019.
  3. Ryan Nicol, "Miami-Dade Democrats call for presidential candidates to debate climate change," Florida Politics, June 12, 2019.
  4. Daniel Marans, "DNC Members Push For Climate Change-Centered Presidential Debate," HuffPost, June 7, 2019.
  5. Lisa Hymas, "The Green New Deal is pushing climate change into the mainstream media," Grist, April 3, 2019.
  6. Schleeter, "Activists Double Down, Bring Call for a Climate Debate to DNC Headquarters."

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Ask ACC to increase the current renewable energy standard and energy efficiency standard




Right now, there is a proposal on the table to increase Arizona's renewable energy standard to 50% by 2028. Unfortunately, some Arizona officials are pushing for a goal, rather than a strong standard, which would mean less accountability for polluting utilities like APS and TEP!

We need the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) to hold the utilities accountable and to look out for the interests of Arizona ratepayers by requiring an increase in both renewable energy and energy efficiency. These increases are more than achievable in one of America's sunniest states with record low solar prices and with energy efficiency being the cheapest, cleanest energy resource.

Take action by sending a comment to the ACC and call them out on social media!

We need your help in asking the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to increase the current renewable energy standard and energy efficiency standard and to actually require that utilities meet them. While the ACC discussed this, it has not yet sent a clear message on what direction it will take.

If you haven't already, please take a moment to send a message to the ACC in support of requiring 50% clean renewable energy in Arizona by 2028! The current standard of 15% electricity from renewable sources by 2025 is far too low and well below our neighboring states. We also are supporting an increase of the energy efficiency standard to 35% by 2030, an increase of 15% above the current 20% by 2020 standard.

Arizona officials could bring more clean energy to our state, but only if we're louder than polluters! Watch the video to see why clean energy is important for Arizona and then take action!

WHY THIS MATTERS

South Tucson disproportionately suffers the consequences of fossil fuel pollution as it is home to all of the dirty industries in that city, including the refurbished gas-fired H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station, which used to burn coal, plus a Superfund site. As a consequence, its Latino community, especially the young, is plagued by pollution-related illnesses, such as asthma and other respiratory issues. Transitioning to clean energy is vital for this area.

Clean Energy Changemakers: Tucson video:

Urge Senators: Sponsor Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act

The Colorado River - not just for rafting
The Colorado River. the primary river of the Southwest, flows through the Grand Canyon.  The Colorado River provides water to over 30 million people and to nearly two million acres of farmland in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, collectively known as the seven Colorado River "Basin States." We must safeguard the Grand Canyon and this vital waterways permanently. 

On Tuesday, June 4th, Sierra Club joined U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee; leaders from Indigenous nations; local elected officials; veterans; and conservation groups in supporting H.R.1373 - Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act.

The bill is sponsored by Congressman Grijalva and now co-sponsored by more than 100 other members of Congress, including Representatives O’Halleran, Gallego, Kirkpatrick, and Stanton from Arizona. The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, will make the 20-year mining moratorium established in 2012 permanent. All told, the legislation would protect approximately one million acres of public lands north and south of the Grand Canyon from toxic mining.

See more in this short video. If you haven't already, please use the button below to send a message to Arizona Senators asking for their sponsorship of this bill.

Ask Your Senators to Protect Grand Canyon

The news conference in Washington, DC was followed by a hearing on June 5th where Carletta Tilousi, Councilwoman with the Havasupai Tribe; Coral Evans, Mayor of Flagstaff; and Amber Reimondo with Grand Canyon Trust, testified in support of the bill. Representatives Grijalva, O’Halleran, and Gallego from Arizona were also there to speak in support of the bill.

Let's put an end to uranium mining near the Grand Canyon once and for all. Please spread the word and ask our senators to sponsor the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act!

- Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter

Friday, June 7, 2019

Tell Congress: Reject provisions in SECURE Act that allow annuities providers to scam retirees, and expand Social Security

The average Social Security payment of $14,760 isn't enough to make ends meet.
Petition to the Senate:
"Reject the provisions in the SECURE Act that would allow annuities providers to scam retirees out of their hard-earned savings, and instead focus on expanding Social Security by passing the Social Security 2100 Act."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
But instead of fighting to expand Social Security, some Democrats in Congress are pushing a bipartisan retirement package that contains a massive giveaway to Wall Street that would allow companies to defraud retirees.Social Security is one of the most successful government programs in our history, helping to keep tens of millions of Americans out of poverty over the past 80 years.
This legislation just passed the House of Representatives. We need to ramp up pressure on the Senate to stand up to rich Wall Street donors and get their priorities straight. The security of hard-earned retirement savings should come first.
Wall Street‒backed insurance companies have been fighting for this giveaway for years. The legislation, called the SECURE Act in the House of Representatives, would give employers immunity if their workers are scammed out of retirement savings that are invested in annuities. The immunity – called safe harbor – would allow employers to pick annuities based on kickbacks or how little they cost upfront. The annuity company could later declare bankruptcy and workers would have no ability to sue their employer to recover their savings.2
That's exactly what happens right now to many public employees with 403(b) plans. The new legislation would expand these scams to 401(k) plans, with too few safeguards and no rules insisting companies sell only fixed-payment plans instead of predatory variable annuities.3
Why would Democrats fight for this legislation instead of expanding Social Security? Look no further than Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, who crafted the legislation with Republicans on his committee. The companies that would benefit include:4
...some of Neal’s biggest donors, including Prudential, whose political action committee delivered $5,000 to Neal last quarter. Or the American Council of Life Insurers PAC, another $5,000 donor, whose members also sell annuities. Or Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company. Or New York Life. Or Liberty Mutual. Or TIAA. Or the Insured Retirement Institute, an industry PAC. Or the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting PAC, another trade group that immediately praised the SECURE Act’s committee passage. The Investment Company Institute, a trade group for mutual funds (that also benefit from the SECURE Act), is another Neal donor.
It's not too late to get the Senate to reject this awful retirement scam loophole – if we speak out now.
If Congress really wants to protect Americans' retirement, there is a simple answer: Expand Social Security. Social Security is a time-tested program that can pay all the benefits we earned through 2034 and nearly 80% after without any changes. Forcing the wealthy to pay their fair share will secure the program for all of us into the next century.
The Social Security 2100 Act would increase Social Security benefits for all of us, force millionaires and billionaires to pay the same rate as everyone else, protect low income workers by increasing the minimum monthly benefit, and guard against inflation by indexing benefits to what the elderly really must spend money on.5 Instead of throwing retirees to the wolves in order to win support from major Wall Street donors, our elected representatives should be fighting to expand Social Security.
Tell Congress: Reject retirement scams and expand Social Security. Click below to sign the petition:
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. David Dayen, "The House has found bipartisan agreement on reform to retirement accounts. Be afraid." The Intercept, May 22, 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Rep. John Larson, "The Social Security 2100 Act," accessed June 6, 2019.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Public Comments: Tell CBP NO Border Wall on San Pedro River


Center for Biological Diversity's Laiken Jordahl, went to the San Pedro River, which is the last undammed, free-flowing river in the Southwest. The Border Patrol has announced plans to build across this pristine river, choking off vital waterways and access to habitat for wildlife. The Trump administration has dismantled 41 environmental and health laws to push this through - including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. This would be a disaster for Arizona!  Ecotourism is a big part of our $22 billion dollar tourist industry!

https://www.facebook.com/CenterforBioDiv/videos/2422951604602736/

Comments and information will be accepted until Friday, July 5, 2019


Please, write a letter expressing your opposition to wall being built with your tax dollars on the San Pedro River. The river, the beauty and solace, and the habituate it provides must not be destroyed. Speak from your heart and head. And share this message with your friends.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP, is seeking public input concerning a proposed border barrier project to construct new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs in Pima and Cochise Counties.

CBP proposes to replace up to approximately 63 miles of pedestrian fencing and vehicle barrier with new bollard wall. The project also includes road construction and improvement and lighting installation.

The locations of the segments of the border where the existing pedestrian fence and vehicle fence would be replaced with new bollard wall as a part of the proposed project are shown on the maps below. The proposed design of the new bollard wall includes 18-to-30 foot, concrete-filled steel bollards that are approximately 6” x 6” in diameter.

CBP is seeking input regarding the proposed project’s potential impacts to the environment, culture, and commerce, including potential socioeconomic impacts, and quality of life. Comments on the project will be considered as a part of CBP’s project planning process.

Comments and information will be accepted by email at:

commentsenv@cbp.dhs.gov

or mailed to:

U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. 6.5E Mail Stop 1039
Washington, DC 20229-1100

Comments should reference “Pima and Cochise Counties Border Infrastructure Projects” in the subject of the email.

If you would prefer, you can also sign a petition from Defend Wildlife.

(Consider personalizing it for more impact.) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Tell BLM: Protect public lands by stopping to its coal mining plans

END COAL’S TOLL ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS
In April, the Trump administration’s decision to reopen our public lands for coal mining leases was ruled illegal in federal court because it did not consider any science or public input. Now the administration is once more trying to hawk our public lands, but is again ignoring the science and attempting to shut out public input.

The science is clear on the devastating impact that coal mining has on our air, our water, and our climate, and an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose destroying our priceless public lands for the dirtiest form of energy. We need you to speak up now: We only have until June 6 to tell the Bureau of Land Management that our public lands aren’t for sale to coal mining companies.

The Obama administration froze coal leasing on public lands in 2016. When President Trump reversed the moratorium shortly after taking power, Earthjustice took his administration to court and won.

But the administration did not respond to the court’s ruling with a sincere analysis of the harmful impacts of federal coal leasing and of the clean and safe alternatives for meeting our energy needs. Instead, BLM launched a rushed and superficial process which concluded that reopening our public lands to coal mining has “no significant impact.”

The administration’s conclusion is not only willfully wrong — it’s dangerous: 11% of all U.S. climate pollution comes from federal coal production, and burning coal continues to harm our air, our water, our families, and our wildlife — all while cheaper, renewable energy options abound.

Tell BLM to protect people, public lands, and our future by putting a stop to its latest coal mining plans.

- Earth Justice


MORE INFORMATION:

Judge Rebukes Trump's Attack on Public Lands, Rules Coal Mining Push Illegal - Eco Watch, April 22, 2019

Under Trump, Coal Mining Gets New Life on U.S. Lands - New York Times, August 6, 2017