Tell Congress to Keep Country-of-Origin Labels
COOL provides common sense information to consumers and helps farmers and ranchers differentiate their own livestock from imported meat.
Since consumers won the right to COOL in the 2002 Farm Bill, opponents have tried every trick to end it.
Now they’re trying one last trick to scare Congress into dismantling COOL in the upcoming Farm Bill with unwarranted threats of trade retaliation.
Urge Farm Bill conferees and the rest of Congress to ignore scare tactics and keep COOL labels for American consumers and producers.
You can send the message below, or edit it as you see fit.
Tell Senators to support the Wind Production Tax Credit
Last year, wind energy was the top source of new U.S. electricity generation for the first time, providing clean, secure, homegrown energy and tens of thousands of good jobs.
This growth is in jeopardy, however, if Congress does not extend the Wind Production Tax Credit.
This tax credit helps wind power to compete with other energy sources. But, the wind tax credit is scheduled to expire Dec. 31. When Congress has allowed this tax credit to lapse in the past, installation of new wind capacity has dropped.
You can send your message to your Senators below and urge them to support the extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit. If you wish, personalize your comments.
Clean Colorado's Air Now!
Colorado's air can be a little hazy, smelly and dangerous near oil & gas operations. All that local pollution also accumulates to impact regional smog and global climate change, too.
That's why we're asking you to write Governor John Hickenlooper today!
From Greeley to Grand Junction, Colorado has over 50,000 oil and gas wells--with thousands more planned. That spells more chemical fumes, volatile organic compounds, leaky pipelines, venting tanks and diesel exhaust. Citizens are already complaining of breathing problems, communities are wrestling with loss of clear skies, and climate change worries continue to mount. As the brown cloud expands across Colorado, it is time we reduce these toxic emissions!
Tell the Governor today that Colorado can't hold it's breathe anymore!
The good news is the state is gearing up to rewrite air pollution rules for oil & gas. The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) is proposing air pollution standards this November. Industry is working hard to weaken the rules, and the AQCC needs to hear from you to make sure new air pollution standards clean our air AND combat climate change. Become part of the movement fighting to protect Colorado's air and health!
Tell the governor that you don't want any toxic fumes or climate-change-contributing methane gas leaking in to the air from oil & gas.
Tell Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to call a time out on coal sales
Nearly five billion tons of federal coal in the Powder River Basin are in some phase of processing for sale by the Bureau Land Management. This is an enormous amount of coal, nearly equal to the amount leased in the region between 1990 and 2010 (since 2010, 2.1 billion tons have been leased). Surprisingly, the push in the PRB comes even as several mines in the area seeking new leases already have a decade or more of federal coal under lease.
With over 6 billion tons leased over the past decade, it’s time to call a halt and put a moratorium on federal coal lease sales until the serious flaws can be remedied.
WORC, Northern Plains, and Powder River Basin Resource Council recently renewed their call on Secretary Jewel for a moratorium on coal leasing until the many flaws in the system can be fixed. Read the letter here.
A year ago the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a report on federal coal management, The Great Giveaway, that detailed how the public has been shorted close to $30 billion due to the lax practices of BLM and the the Interior Department.
Send your message to Secretary Jewell now. You can use the message below, or edit it as you see fit.
No Coal in This Millennium
Comment, below, to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WA Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County about the Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview! The public scoping period will run for 95 days, beginning on 8/16/13 and closing on 11/18/13.
More information about the problems with dust, delay, disease, and derailments:
The railroad company BNSF has said that more than 500 pounds of coal come off each train car on its trip. This dust causes disease problems like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis. The impacts aren’t limited to the train tracks because of an inversion in the Columbia Basin that picks up the fine particles and deposits them in our watersheds. Delay is a concern, not just for those of us whose patience is short; emergency vehicles may not have the time to wait for trains to pass. Delay for trains is also a problem too because other economic drivers depend on using the same tracks that would be clogged with coal cars. Another risk is train derailments; coal trains had 18 in the summer of 2012. Perhaps the biggest cloud of dust is climate change. Millennium Bulk Terminal is a part of selling cheap dirty coal to be burned in Asia and harm our environment.
This is our first chance to express concerns and shape the scope of what the government will consider as the impacts of the Millennium Bulk Terminal. There is a larger government audience than with Morrow Pacific. The Army Corp of Engineers, which is the lead for all these coal export proposals, is joined by the Washington Department of Ecology, and Cowlitz County. Good news is that a precedent has been set to consider broader impacts than have thus far been looked at in Oregon. Near Bellingham, WA the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Export Terminal will consider rail traffic on the way to the site, public health implications, cargo impacts for shipping beyond Washington, and greenhouse gas emissions for end-use coal combustion. What that means is that concerns, which have thus far been ignored by the Department of Environmental Quality for the Morrow Pacific Project in Boardman, OR, will be heard in the scoping process for Millennium.Check out our factsheets and learn more at www.oregonrural.org
Tell EPA & President to reopen water contamination investigations
This summer, under pressure from the oil and gas industry and the state of Wyoming, the EPA abruptly handed its Pavillion investigation off to the State of Wyoming.
Pavillion residents feel abandoned. Once again, they are left out of the process, with their basic questions still unanswered.
The EPA has also abruptly halted investigations of groundwater contamination linked to oil and gas development in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and Parker County, Texas.
Tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama to reopen the water contamination investigations in Pavillion, Dimock and Parker County.
Tell CDPHE that Public Health and Safety Come First!
The Colorado Department of Health and the Environment (CDPHE) is accepting public comment on Energy Fuels’ Construction Plan and Decommission Funding Plan for the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill until Sept 13th.
These documents will govern not only how the mill is built, but also how the mill site, surrounding environment, and all of the radioactively contaminated buildings, machinery, and equipment working at the mill will be cleaned up and reclaimed. As current clean up of the Canyon City Cotter Mill has shown, this is a costly and complicated process that takes years to complete.
Our region carries the disproportionate burdens of this industry’s past activity that has left behind a legacy of toxic waste and radioactive contamination that is still being remediated by taxpayer monies. If built, the Piñon Ridge Mill would be the first American uranium mill in 30 years and as such, it must be held to the highest standards possible to protect the environment and our public health, safety and welfare. We do not want to repeat past mistakes, so it is critical that local voices are heard in this process.
Although CDPHE has granted Energy Fuels their radioactive materials license, the company still needs these crucial permits before the project can break ground. Upon our review, it is clear there is much room for improvement in these plans to protect the public health and environmental quality.
Join us in asking CDPHE to safeguard healthy communities and landscapes in Western Colorado!
*Note: CDPHE gives more weight to individual, unique comments than form letters. Read our full fact sheet here and add a few sentences to personalize your comment.
Comment on Coal before August 12
Oregon is considering giving permits to an Australian coal company to ship massive amounts of U.S. coal overseas, through ports on the Oregon coast. The coal would travel over 1,000 miles from Montana and Wyoming, leaving communities along the way with increased traffic, coal dust, and diesel fuel fumes, all for a foreign coal company to earn big bucks overseas.
This proposed Coyote Terminal is the first of three projects seeking approval. Officials are taking comments from the public as they look at how this major industrial project will affect the entire region.
Coal exports affect you, whether you live in one of the communities along a rail line like me, near a proposed coal export terminal, or one of the coal mines, or are affected by air pollution and climate change.
Hauling huge amounts of coal across our region would disrupt cities, towns, farms, and ranches and cut into the profitability of many small businesses along the way. Grain producers would have to deal with increased shipping rates and deteriorating service as the same rail system on which they depend would be overburdened with more coal trains. And public health would continue to be threatened by an increase in toxic coal dust and diesel fuel as the trains hauling coal back and forth doubles or triples rail traffic in the region.
The port would provide an outlet for a foreign company to ship cheap, federal coal to Asian Rim competitors. Ambre Energy, an Australian coal company, is asking the federal government for cheap publically-owned domestic coal in order to make windfall profits on the global energy markets.
Make your voice heard! We only have until August 12 to submit our comments. You can send the message as it’s written below, or change it as you wish.
ORA Test People See
Training on how to use Salsa.
For three years, the Obama administration has been quietly negotiating behind closed doors what’s set to become the largest free trade agreement ever with a dozen East Asian and South American nations.
Why the secrecy about the the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement? The U.S. trade office said if the TPP were made public, the deal couldn’t get done. If word got out, the TPP will be so unpopular Congress would never pass it.
The nearly-completed TPP trade deal would affect every aspect of our lives. The only information we know is from leaked drafts of the agreement, which reveal the TPP is shaping up to be a “NAFTA-on-steroids."
Here are a few things we know are included:
- Allows corporations to sue a government over virtually any environmental, health, labor law or regulation that a corporation claims hurts its profits;
- Bans “buy American” and “buy local” policies;
- Bars labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food and food products;
- Provides big banks with a backdoor to curb regulation;
- Gives foreign corporations special benefits to move U.S. jobs to low-wage countries.
The problem is, these are just some of the provisions from leaked documents and what we’ve seen from past trade agreements like NAFTA. Drafts of the TPP have been hidden from members of Congress, governors, state legislators, the press and the public.
More than 600 corporate lobbyists have full access to the text. Companies like Monsanto, Walmart, Halliburton, Cargill, and GM are writing this trade agreement while Americans have been left in the dark. And, if President Obama gets his way, the deal will be “fast tracked” through Congress in September, with no debate, no transparency, and no public process.
Just last week, under pressure, the Obama administration allowed the first member of Congress to get a one-time look at the TPP - but swore him to secrecy.
After Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida saw the TPP, he was shocked. “Having seen what I've seen, I would characterize this as a gross abrogation of American sovereignty," he said in an interview. “But I'm not allowed to tell you why!"
Real public input is critical for a trade deal with such broad implications for American jobs, food safety, financial regulation, medicine prices and more.
What are they trying to hide?
Send a message to your Senators and Representative. Help end the secrecy and expose the dangers of the TPP by requesting a copy of the new trade deal from them.
You can use the message below or change it as you see fit.
- Allows corporations to sue a government over virtually any environmental, health, labor law or regulation that a corporation claims hurts its profits;
Tell the Dept. of Energy: Clean Up Before Start Up!
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced considerations to kick-start uranium mining on thousands of acres across Western Colorado.
Their Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) recommends continued uranium exploration and mine development in Mesa, Montrose and San Miguel Counties. The 31 leases cover 25,000 acres of public land, including tracts that surround the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers.
Decisions made in this document will govern uranium leasing in our area for the next 10 years. Under the DOE’s preferred alternative, scores of existing leases could operate alongside 19 new mines during peak operations, opening this area up to its full leasing potential. Meanwhile, over 1,200 abandoned uranium mines remain unreclaimed, leaving behind toxic soils and radioactively polluted waters.
Our region has already carried the disproportionate burdens of an industry that has left behind a legacy of toxic waste and radioactive contamination that is still being remediated by taxpayer monies. Any future uranium development should only be done in a manner that protects public health, safety and welfare. We believe that a different future is possible for Western Colorado by putting people back to work cleaning up old mine sites and developing our potential as a renewable energy producer.
Given our communty's long history with uranium, it is critical that local voices are heard in this process.
Please join us and tell the DOE that we can do better for Western Colorado!
Yes to HB2922! Health Care for ALL Oregon!
HB 2922 – AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL OREGON PLAN ACTA hearing on HB 2922 (Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan Act) is scheduled for May 13th, 1:00 p.m. by the House Health Care Committee in Salem. HB 2922 establishes the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan, operated by Oregon Health Authority. It provides comprehensive health care coverage to all individuals residing or working in Oregon. Supplants coverage by private insurers for health services covered by plan. Click here for full text. Learn more about the bill from Health Care for All Oregon here.
Email your legislators now to support HB2922.
Make Your Voice Heard on the Oregon State Budget
We know that as a state we can make choices that reflect our priorities and none more so than the choices we make about the budget. As the Human Services Coalition put it in their recent action alert, "now is the time to put all our options on the table — we must look at tax expenditures, consider recommendations to make government more efficient, look at using a portion of the rainy day fund or examine other ideas to balance the budget."
The budget isn't terribly exciting but it has big impacts on many of the things we hold near and dear such as OSU Extension services and our social safety net. It also affects bills we hope will pass such as HB2649, Farm to School funding, HB2700, Aggie Bonds, and HB3260, the Health Cost Study Bill.
Email the members of the Joint Ways & Means Committee to ask them to keep OSU Extension Programs like Master Gardeners and Family & Community Health Program well funded. Express your support for bills like HB2649, Farm to School funding, HB2700, Aggie Bonds, and HB3260, the Health Cost Study Bill. Just tell YOUR legislators what you think it important to fund, not fund and reform as they balance the budget.
SD Tourism: No Uranium Mining in the Black Hills
Powertech - a foreign company - is moving ahead with plans to open a uranium mine in the southern Black Hills. If their permit application is accepted, the mine will use up vast amounts of groundwater, pollute important aquifers, and likely spread toxic, radioactive materials across the Black Hills. Who would want to take a vacation in that setting?
Please sign our petition to SD Tourism Secretary James Hagen demanding that he take a stand against the mine and protect South Dakota's reputation as a tourist destination. We need your signature by November 15, 2013 so we can deliver it before the rulings in the crucial permit hearings in Rapid City.
SB633 Oregon GMO Pre-emption Bill
The Oregon Senate Rural Communities and Economic Development Committee voted 3-2 to pass SB633 through committee. This bill would pre-empt all local (county and city) laws and ordinances intended to set limits on "the display, distribution, growing, harvesting, labeling, marketing, mixing, notification of use, planting, possession, processing, registration, storage, transportation or use’ of genetically modified (GMO) seeds or foods."Now that it has passed through the Senate committee, this bill will be up for a vote before the Oregon Senate as soon as next Monday, April 15. If you think counties should be able to have some control over GMO production locally, contact your State Senator today and urge them to vote no.SB633 is specifically intended to pre-empt a Jackson County ballot measure scheduled for a vote on the May 2014 ballot. This measure was brought forward by organic farmers and their supporters and would establish a county-wide ban on the planting of GMO crops. It was put forward in the wake of issues in recent years with crop loss due to genetic cross-contamination with GMO crops, and a lack of state level action to address the concerns. SB 633 is also intended to prevent future efforts in other counties or cities to set limits or appropriate regulations on GMO crops and foods.
Send Kitzhaber A Valentine - Break Up With Coal Exports!
Valentine's Day is a great time to express your love for the people and places that you care about- like the East Oregon! This Valentine's you can demonstrate your love for our region by taking action to protect it from damaging coal exports. Before we give the green-light to big coal, we deserve to know the impacts on health, safety, agriculture and rural economies from this unprecedented experiment. And that's why we're asking for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Send Governor Kitzhaber a Valentine telling him to say NO to coal export!
This February 14th marks the two-year anniversary of a New York Times story revealing that Ambre Energy, an Australian coal company, had lied to decision-makers about the intended size of their proposed coal export terminal in Longview, WA. Now, Ambre Energy has two proposed coal export facilities up for review: Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, WA and the Morrow Pacific Project in Boardman, OR. Combined, these projects would transport 52 million tons of coal per year through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
By April 1st, Governor Kitzhaber will determine whether to issue a state permit to Ambre Energy allowing construction on the Morrow Pacific coal export facility. While federal permits would have to be issued before construction could begin, it would be the first permit issued on any of the five recently proposed coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest, and set a precedent for opening the door to coal export through the Gorge.
Please show your love for the Gorge by sending Governor Kitzhaber a Valentine and tell him to deny the permit!
The Morrow Pacific Project would export a total of 8.8 million tons of coal through Oregon each year. This is nearly 2.5 times the amount of coal burned in Oregon each year at the Boardman coal-fired power plant. This coal would be transported 900 miles in uncovered coal trains from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to the Port of Morrow where it would be transferred to barges and barged down the Columbia River. This would more than double current barge traffic on the Columbia, disrupting East Oregon grain exports, tribal fishing and tourism dollars.
We know that Governor Kitzhaber loves the Gorge and does not want it to become the coal chute of the nation, but in order to make this decision - he needs to hear from you! Send Governor Kitzhaber a Valentine and ask him to show his love for the Gorge by saying NO to coal exports!
He only has until April 1st to make this decision - will you send him a Valentine today?
Bangs Canyon: Put Brakes on More Motorized Trails
Ask the BLM to set aside the Responsible Recreation Foundation's (RRF's) plan for more motorized trails in Bangs Canyon until the BLM completes revision of its master plan for the whole Grand Junction area.
Insert additional paragraphs if you have personal knowledge of the area or other points to make.
Tell the BLM to put the brakes on this plan!
DEQ: Don't Sacrifice Clean Air & Water for DIRTY COAL
Ambre Energy is checking off the boxes on their application for their Morrow-Pacific coal export project. Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is now reviewing three permits from Ambre to export U.S. coal overseas.
Our message to DEQ is clear: Concerns about the impacts of coal exports on health, safety, agriculture and rural economies need to be adequately addressed. We need a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will look at the cumulative effects of these proposals.
Send a comment to DEQ Director Dick Pendersen and Governor Kitzhaber today.
DEQ is a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon's environment. We have until December 20th to ensure that coal exports will not hurt East Oregon’s agriculture economy, environment, and threaten public health and safety.
There are many concerns about the impacts of coal exports on communities in the Columbia River Basin - a huge swath of land covering areas from Prineville, Oregon to Wenatchee, Washington.
Due to the unique landscape of this region, the basin is subjet to regular air inversions. In the wintertime, these inversions place a lid on its entire geographical expanse, clearly defining a single coherent airshed. This means dust, pollution and other particulates remain stagnent in the air, essentially keeping this in our airshed for weeks. If these coal export proposals go through, this entire region will be paying the price with serious potential harm to all living populations.
Thank you for your continued dedication to this issue. We are excited for the chance to show DEQ how dedicated we are. You can use the message below or change it as you see fit.
The Oregon Department of State Lands is also accepting comments on their permitting for the Ambre proposal through January 3, 2013. Ask the DSL to "...deny the removal-fill permit for Ambre Energy's Coyote Island Terminal, LLC proposal." Click here to submit your comment: http://www.statelandsonline.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Comments.frmAddComment&id=49123
Drilling and Neighborhoods Don't Mix - Take Action Today!
Amid growing public concern, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has proposed revising the old standards for how far oil and gas operations should be from homes, schools and neighborhoods. We're glad the state recognizes the problems created by drilling in and near our communities, but their solutions fall short. The Commission’s proposal fails to deliver the balanced, common-sense protection for public health and welfare that Coloradans expect and demand. Instead, the proposal simply locks in place the existing 350-foot minimum distance between drilling and homes.
It is time for Governor Hickenlooper to lead on protecting citizens and the environment from the threats of oil and gas drilling. Take action now by sending a letter to Gov. Hickenlooper and Matt Lepore, Director of the COGCC, telling them that drilling and neighborhoods don’t mix.
Please consider adding some of you own thoughts to the letter below.
Pinon Ridge Comments to Judge Dana
Judge Richard Dana will be the independent hearing officer for the formal hearing on the Pinon Ridge uranium mill application by Energy Fuels on November 7 - 13 in Nucla, Colorado. Please urge Judge Dana to deny the mill application or impose strong safety and financial security requirements.
You can modify the sample letter below before sending it to Judge Dana via email. Additional talking points are available on WCC's website.
Coal Means Higher Costs, More Delays for Local Ag
In Eastern Oregon we don’t live in coal country but we may soon. Major US coal companies are proposing toexport millions of tons of coal annually, impacting rural communities from the plains to the ports. Companies aim to ramp up extraction on public lands in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana; to ship coal hundreds of miles by rail and barge to northwest ports; and then export it by ship thousands of miles across the Pacific for coal-fired power plants in Asia. According to Heavy Traffic Ahead, a report commissioned by the Western Organization of Resource Councils, up to 60 unit trains a day to and from the West Coast would be required to transport an estimated 170 million tons of coal a year. The proposal includes exports of about 8.8 million tons of coal per year from the Port of Morrow at Boardman.This proposal threatens human and environmental health, public safety, property values and climate change. It also threathens to impact local agriculture. For northwest grain growers and others who use the rails and barges to get to market, a huge increase in rail and barge traffic could hurt the bottom line. The Columbia River Gorge rail lines and many rail lines that feed them are already at capacity and have significant delays during harvest season. Increase coal exports could increase demand and price for shipping as well as availability.
The Oregon Department of State Lands is accepting comments on the coal exports proposal through October 31. Comments must focus on how coal exports effect Removal-Fill Law in waterways. One of the concerns that can be considered under Removal-Fill Law is “The project will unreasonably interfere with navigation,…” Arguably, heavy barge traffic and river congestion would unreasonably interfere with navigation.You can make comments directly to the Department of State Lands and we need our agricultural organizations and agencies on board too. Please urge the Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Wheat Growers League and Oregon Wheat Commission to submit comments as well to ensure this proposal doesn't hurt local growers.