A Clean Water Act loophole has left 2.5 million miles of our streams, 20 million acres of wetlands, and the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk. Environment America organizing resulted in over 13,700 supporters backing the push to close this loophole.
The Public Interest Network includes the state Public Interest Research Groups, U.S. PIRG, state environmental groups in 29 states, Environment America, Environmental Action, Toxics Action Center, Pesticide Watch, Green Century Funds, Green Corps, National Environmental Law Center, Frontier Group, Community Voters Project, Accelerate Change.
MASSPIRG and its allies have gathered more than 112,000 signatures to qualify an updated Bottle Bill for the 2014 state ballot. They delivered the signatures to cities and towns throughout the state this week.
Green Century Capital Management has been a leading voice for fossil fuel divestment in the press and in the socially responsible investing field. Green Century recently released two mini-reports on going fossil fuel free, with one titled "Five Reasons to Consider Divesting from Fossil Fuels" and the other "The Power and Limits of Shareholder Advocacy with Fossil Fuel Companies." Meanwhile, Green Century and 350.org launched a personal divestment campaign Oct. 22nd including the release of a new guide called "Extracting Fossil Fuels from Your Portfolio: A Guide to Personal Divestment and Reinvestment." Visit greencentury.com for more.
Following a roughly $20 million campaign by Big Ag to kill Washington's GMO labeling initiative, corporations including Monsanto, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills and NestleUSA managed to turn a 66% approval of the GMO labeling initiative into a 45% approval. As a result, the WashPIRG backed initiative did not pass and consumers still won't know whether GMO ingredients are in the foods they are buying.
Nearly three quarters of Texas voters approved a $2 billion water infrastructure measure on the ballot November 5th. Environment Texas' Luke Metzger applauded the passage saying, "Proposition 6 gives us a chance to chart a direction toward a more water-efficient economy that cuts water waste, maximizes conservation, and protects our rivers."
160,000 Americans joined PIRG and Americans for Tax Fairness in calling on the Department of Justice to ensure the department's settlement with JPMorgan Chase over mortgage lending abuses is not tax-deductible. As much as $3 billion of a $13 billion settlement for corporate wrongdoing could be written off from the company's taxes unless the Department of Justice acts. In addition, five U.S. senators have signed a letter written urging the Justice Department to not allow JPMorgan to write off its upcoming settlement as a tax deduction. The letter references U.S. PIRG’s January report on tax-deductible settlements for corporate wrongdoing. The five senators were Hirono (Hawaii), Nelson (Fla.), Warren (Mass.), Heinrich (N.M.) and Whitehouse (R.I.)
Once again, Environment America's Anna Aurilio and U.S. PIRG's Ed Mierzwinski made The Hill's Top Lobbyist list, grassroots division. The Hill reported how Anna "executes a mix of inside persuasion and outside grassroots pressure at the scrappy green group" while Ed has "proven his mettle while fighting for health and safety protections in trade deals and the strict implementation of the Dodd-Frank law."
Only 7,000 San Joaquin kit fox remain, and now the animals' habitat -- the Carrizo Plain, the largest native grassland in California -- is vulnerable to drilling and development. Environment California is mobilizing supporters to urge Congress to declare the grasslands a wilderness area, and so far more than 3,000 have taken action.
On October 26th at one of Senator John McCain's town hall meetings, Arizona PIRG's Serene Unrein thanked him for speaking out against corporate tax loopholes. He responded by saying, "I want to thank you and your organizing for your leadership on this. I mean it!"
According to Environment America Research & Policy Center's new report, "Fracking by the Numbers,"fracking is generating enough waste to bury Washington D.C in a 22 foot deep toxic lagoon. This is the the first report to quantify the harm being done by fracking across the country. http://www.ohio.com/blogs/drilling/ohio-utica-shale-1.291290/new-report-...
More than 400 parks, wildlife refuges, historical battlefields and national forests closed to visitors on Wednesday Oct. 2nd, due to the Republican government shutdown. A majority of personnel from the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture were furloughed, halting many of our nation’s critical clean air and clean water programs. Despite this lack of environmental oversight, most public lands and waters remained open to oil, gas, and mining operations. In a statement to the media, Environment America's Aaron Weil said, "Having the doors close on ‘America’s best idea’ is bad enough, however keeping our public lands and parks open to private mining and gas drilling companies who are polluting these treasured landscapes in spite of these closures is truly deplorable." http://environmentamerica.org/news/ame/sorry-were-closed
PIRG's campaign to require the food industry to label GMO foods picked up steam this week, expanding into California, Colorado and Illinois.
Find out more about WashPIRG's ongoing work to label GMO foods here: http://washpirg.org/issues/wap/label-genetically-modified-foods
Earth Day founder Denis Hayes joined Environment Washington at the release of its new report on the nation's top solar states. Hayes, now president of the Bullitt Foundation, which is housed in one of the greenest buildings in the country, said, “The Bullitt Center is proving that you can power a six-story office building on the sunbeams that falls on its roof - even in Seattle. There is no excuse for Washington to lag behind New Jersey!"
Environment Colorado is also working to increase solar in its state, calling for a million solar roofs in the state by 2030. Over 40 businesses in the state have signed onto their letter of support.
Smartphone apps that give riders real-time data on public transit, municipal bikesharing programs, private carsharing services, and peer-to-peer ridesharing services are on the rise as the number of miles Americans are driving are on the decline. A PIRG report, released Tuesday and researched by Frontier Group, documents the trend.
Lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban fracking and fracking waste from Massachusetts at a Sept. 26 State House hearing. Environment Massachusetts delivered 11,700 petitions in support of a ban at the hearing. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/09/legislature_conducts_firs...
U.S. PIRG's how-to blog teaches consumers how they can file complaints about their banks to help them settle disputes and strengthen the Consumer Complains Database that allows consumers to review issues others had with institutions when shopping around for financial products. Laura Murray's blog post about how to use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's database to make the most of your complaint is here: http://uspirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/how-using-cfpbs-consumer-complaint-data...
Targeting a plan that would open nearly three quarters of protected forest to logging while rolling back environmental protections, Environment Oregon mobilized hundreds of people to call Sen. Ron Wyden to register their opposition to the bill.
Taxpayers would save $220 billion over 10 years, under PIRG-backed legislation filed on Sept. 19 to close loopholes that let corporations and the wealthy shield their income in offshore tax havens. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Carl Levin (Mich.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Mark Begich (Ak.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.). A PIRG report found that at least 82 of the top 100 publicly traded U.S. companies have subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. http://uspirg.org/news/usp/senator-levin-introduces-bill-crack-down-tax-...
PIRG staff organized news events in North Jersey, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh last week, earning attention from well over a dozen media outlets for our call for chemical safety. The call to action is backed by more than 1,000 people who spoke with NJPIRG staff and support stricter standards.
Actor Ethan Hawke has joined Environment Texas in urging residents to support our campaign to save the state's rivers. After citing Environment Texas accomplishments in a letter to Environment Texas members, Hawke wrote, "My grandfather, Howard L. Green, served five terms in the Texas Legislature and I know how hard it is to get good things done there, so count me impressed."