bernard hochendoner signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-03-24 11:10:02 -0700bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,388 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them not to pass The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act.
U.S. lawmakers are quietly debating an important piece of legislation that greatly affects meals for schools.
As it is now, funding allows for providing free lunches and after-school meals to every student enrolled in a public school where at least 40 percent of its student body live in low-income households. The program has had “lasting positive outcomes” and “critical benefits.”
Yet now Republican lawmakers in Congress, led by Representative Todd Rokita, want to introduce The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act that will severely cut the availability of federally subsidized lunches to hungry children in public schools.
Even with the funding provided now, lunch programs are underfunded. The $13 billion allocated to them equals out to just over a dollar per meal for cafeteria administrators to spend on ingredients.
Changing the law now would provide less funding, would remove eligibility for over 7,000 schools and 3.4 million students, and would create additional burdens of paperwork and administration work.
Please sign the petition now to tell Congress we must not cut school funding but instead increase it, to continue to provide at least some proper nutrition to the over 15 million children that lack access to consistent nutrition at home.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell Congress: Keep the pre-existing condition clause for health insurance 2017-03-16 03:29:59 -0700bernard hochendonerGOAL: 799 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress demanding that they keep the pre-existing condition clause in their new health care plan.
Before Obamacare it was nearly impossible for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions to find health insurance coverage.
Now that President Trump and the Republican Party are in power and want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with their own health care system, millions of people are once again in danger of not qualifying for health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Even those that do qualify may face extremely expensive and/or limited insurance coverage.
Please join us in demanding that Congress retain the pre-existing condition clause for whatever health care system they plan to replace Obamacare with so that millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions can maintain their level of health care without their price skyrocketing.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell Congress: Save the giraffe from extinction 2017-03-20 11:05:52 -0700bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,600 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to draft legislation that will provide funding and political help to prevent the extinction of giraffes.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Over the past 30 years, the giraffe population has dropped nearly 40%. With illegal hunting, habitat loss and environmental changes these mammals are being slowly pushed to extinction.
This decrease in giraffe population will continue until we do something to stop it. With funding and political help, these animals could be preserved. There is currently no legislation to help prevent this extinction.
“Whilst giraffes are commonly seen on safari, in the media and in zoos, people – including conservationists – are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction,” said Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN’s giraffe and okapi specialist group. “It is timely that we stick our neck out for the giraffe before it is too late,” he said.
Sign this petition and help us tell Congress that the people want the protection of giraffes put into place.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline 2017-03-11 03:46:46 -0800bernard hochendonerGOAL: 7,519 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration, demanding they stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
[Update 3/16/2017: We have sent the next letter to President Trump with 7,000+ of your signatures, demanding the Dakota Access Pipeline be abandoned. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
UPDATE: The Army Corps of Engineers has denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, but Energy Transfer Partners insists that they will go ahead with the project.
1,281 professionals from institutions like the Smithsonian and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries claim that the construction work from the pipeline destroyed “ancient burial sites, places of prayer and other significant cultural artifacts sacred to the Lakota and Dakota people.”
The letter reads further: “The destruction of these sacred sites adds yet another injury to the Lakota, Dakota and other Indigenous Peoples who bear the impacts of fossil fuel extraction and transportation. If constructed, this pipeline will continue to encourage oil consumption that causes climate change, all the while harming those populations who contributed little to this crisis.”
President Obama halted temporarily construction on the the $3.8bn, 1,170-mile pipeline after the Standing Rock Sioux tribe legally challenged the project. The pipeline is supposed to funnel oil from the Bakken oil Fields in the Great Plains to Illinois and run next to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
We need to ensure the company abandons the pipeline on American Indian land. Sign the petition and stand with the thousands of professionals, and the Standing Rock Sioux, to tell the Trump administration to stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access pipeline for its destruction of Standing Rock Sioux lands, burial sites, and ancient artifacts that are crucial to our understanding of American heritage.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement 2017-02-08 10:33:37 -0800GOAL: 580 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Federal Elections Commission, asking them to make tax return disclosure a requirement for all future presidential elections.
Every U.S. Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released copies of their tax returns to the public so that voters can assess the amount and sources of income, taxes paid, charitable contributions and other data which can affect our propensity to elect them.
This election cycle is the first time a presidential candidate has refused to do so. Donald Trump, despite enormous public pressure, has refused to release any of his tax returns.
Recently someone leaked one year of Trump's tax returns to the New York Times. This one year suggest that Trump may not have paid federal taxes for almost two decades.
We should insist on transparency from all presidential candidates. Help us tell the Federal Elections Commission that not only do we want Trump to have to release his tax returns, but we want tax return disclosure to be a requirement in all future elections.
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,102 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to impose stronger air pollution standards.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the EPA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Over 90% of the world’s population resides in areas where air pollution levels are alarmingly high. Air pollution has become a public health emergency.
According to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people die annually because of exposure to pollution. “To date, air pollution — both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) — is the biggest environmental risk to health, carrying responsibility for about one in every nine deaths annually,” the report states. “Air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and affects economies and people’s quality of life; it is a public health emergency.”
But a new report released by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University shows that stricter air pollution standards could have health benefits.
The standards advocate 60 parts per billion (ppb) 8-hour standard for ozone (compared with the EPA’s standard of 70 ppb). They suggest a standard of 11 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) annually for PM2.5, rather than the EPA’s 12 µg/m3 annual standard.
The report calculates that adhering to these stronger pollution standards could save 9,320 lives in the United States per year, could reduce serious health events (morbidities), such as heart attacks, hospital admissions and emergency room visits, by 21,400; and decrease “adverse impact days,” during which people may not be able to work, go to school or otherwise be physically active because of severe breathing problems, by 19,300,000 days.
This new report shows that tighter standards for air pollution could save lives. Sign the petition to tell the EPA to adopt stronger air pollution standards to combat this public health emergency.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell Governor Pat McCrory to Officially Repeal North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law 2017-01-31 10:31:08 -0800bernard hochendonerGOAL: 314 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Governor Pat McCrory demanding that North Carolina officially repeal its anti-LGBT law.
North Carolina recently passed HB2, causing them to become the most anti-LGBTQ state in the country. The measure revoke local gay and trans nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, effectively legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination. It also forbids trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
North Carolina Republicans claimed that the measure was created in response to the city of Charlotte passing a LGBT nondiscrimination law. Although the Charlotte measure was just a generic nondiscrimination measure, Republicans declared that HB2 would remain on the books until Charlotte repealed its law.
Charlotte's response was repealing every provision to which Republicans had objected on the condition that the legislature repeal HB2 by the end of the year.
But then Republicans claimed Charlotte had “lied directly to the people” and broken its promise by retaining provisions of its code that prohibited the city from hiring contractors who have discriminated against subcontractors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This provision was never mentioned previously and Republicans never showed any objection to it.
Charlotte again complied, even holding an emergency meeting in order to formally repeal the entire ordinance. This still wasn't enough for Republican legislators. Instead of repealing HB2 entirely, as promised under the circumstances, the new bill includes moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances for six months. Because Republicans hold a supermajority in the legislature, this “cooling off period” could easily be extended in six months’ time. The original compromise agreed to did not include such a moratorium.
This means that “No local government in this State may enact or amend an ordinance regulating employment practices or regulating public accommodations or access to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.”
We must not support this as an adequate substitute for HB2. By doing this, North Carolina Republicans are allowing for discrimination against LBGT people. Please join us in telling Governor Pat McCrory to remove the moratorium and allow local governments in the state to enact measures to protect members of the LGBT community.
GOAL: 2,408 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump Administration, demanding they take real action to end whaling in Japan.
[Update: We are sending the first letter to the Trump Administration with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
In 2014 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling was illegal. But the government of Japan continues to kill hundreds of whales each year. This is a direct violation of the ruling, which stated that the country could not continue whaling until it could prove it was for scientific purposes. The new plan for whaling in the Southern Ocean will kill almost 4,000 minke whales over 12 years, for ‘scientific’ purposes.
Japan's scientific whaling program is widely recognized as a cover for its ongoing commercial whaling operation. Additionally, a new study shows that countries that participate in lethal scientific whaling do not produce superior scientific research.
Japan has already killed 333 minke whales in the Antarctic during its 2015-2016 whaling season – including more than 200 pregnant females – as part of this year’s Antarctic whale hunt, according to the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research.
The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration fear the population of minke whales may be smaller than current estimates owing to surges in modern whaling from countries such as Japan, and that the reason for the population being currently stable is due to the hunting of other whale populations, which has created less competition for food sources.
The President of the United States has power to apply sanctions against Japan for the continued hunting of whales under the Pelly Amendment and the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment, but as of now has taken no action to prevent the needless slaughter.
Help us tell President Trump to take real action to prevent Japan from resuming whaling. Sign the petition today.
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,300 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to President Trump, telling him to end the U.S. policy of perpetual war.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to President Trump with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
As Michael Payne puts it, “The War on Terror is not a war unto itself; it is just one facet of the larger agenda of perpetual war that this government, filled with bloodthirsty war hawks, has conducted for far too long.”
For the last 15 years America, has been engaged in perpetual war.
Our government tells us to be afraid, and that terrorist groups pose a great threat to our country. But America has played the largest role in the origin, spread, and cultivation of these terrorist groups with our constant aggressive military policies.
It is time for the United States to end this state of perpetual war, to bring our troops home, and to cease our aggressive military policies.
Please join us in telling President Trump to stop the war on terror. We need to promote peace and communication between countries, not aggressive foreign policy and military practices.
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 854 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service demanding that they continue the red wolf recovery program instead of opting for captive breeding programs.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is taking heat from scientists for their September 12th decision to abandon the wild red wolf population in North Carolina in favor of captive breeding programs.
USFWS based their decision to remove 32 of the 45 remaining red wolves left in the wild on a population viability analysis (PVA) conducted by a team of scientists — the same scientists now rebuking the USFWS for that decision.
It is clear that the USFWS values the concerns of private land owners over the future of the red wolf. According the the USFWS’ decision memo:
“Acknowledging growing concerns from private landowners regarding management of Service’s Red Wolf NEP project in eastern North Carolina, the Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission met to discuss and develop a canid management strategy.”
These landowners’ concerns do not match those of the majority of North Carolinians, who actually support efforts to enhance the wild red wolf population, according to a poll.
Unless the USFWS can revise it’s protection plan and make good on its mission to “conserve, protect, and enhance” these animals and their habitats, the future for the red wolf looks bleak.
Please join NationofChange in telling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not abandon the Red Wolf population and to continue their Red Wolf recovery program, rather than opting for captive breeding.
bernard hochendoner signed Get the Fossil Fuels Out of Climate Policymaking 2017-02-06 03:34:14 -0800bernard hochendonerGOAL: 2,048 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration, demanding that the fossil fuel industry play no role in climate policymaking.
[Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to the Trump administration with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Corporate influence has pervaded climate negotiations over the years in an effort to protect corporate profits. And now, the climate crisis is closer to the brink.
Not only has the fossil fuel industry interfered with climate progress, these big polluters have pushed false solutions and committed numerous environmental and human rights violations.
Scientists have warned of the “irreversible damage to our plant due to climate change” and it's time world leaders take bold action to ensure we stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions among other solutions.
But with the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations standing in the way, we must remove fossil fuel industry lobbyists from climate policy.
Take action today and sign the petition to create a “precedent-setting treaty mechanism” to get a behemoth industry out of the way. Help us save the planet!
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 770 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, urging them to draft a new law requiring disposable kitchenware to be biodegradable.
This month, France became the first country to ban plastic silverware, plates, and cups. Companies who produce these products will have until 2020 to make sure their products are biodegradable.
It is time for the United States to follow suit.
Plastic has become a huge problem for the earth. It takes an incredible amount of time to break down, causing high levels of plastic pollution all over the world, including places not normally inhabited by humans.
Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. 50 percent of plastic we use once and throw away. It is time for this to change.
Help us tell Congress to follow France’s lead and ban all plastic kitchenware.
GOAL: 1,054 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
[Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
In 2010 the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling said that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.
The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.
The case of Citizens United allows for dark money, the funds given to nonprofit organizations that can receive unlimited donations from corporations, individuals, and unions, and spend funds to influence elections, but are not required to disclose their donors.
The Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United and other cases opened the gates to a flood of billions of dollars that threatens to undermine our democracy.
What we need now is a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Sign the petition to tell Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
bernard hochendoner signed Stop Tax Breaks for the Rich: Create a New Tax System that Doesn't Favor the Wealthy 2017-02-15 18:36:38 -0800bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,249 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, urging them to adopt a tax plan that will end tax breaks on the wealthy.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Tax breaks for the rich are completely out of hand.
When Bill Clinton was elected president the 400 highest-earning taxpayers in America paid nearly 27 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to I.R.S. data. By 2012 that figure had fallen to less than 17 percent. This number is even lower now, and doesn’t include the loopholes and other ways the rich have used to their advantage to decrease their taxes paid.
Now House Speaker Paul Ryan has rolled out a new “consensus” republican tax plan full of rate cuts for the 1% and corporates, including repealing the estate tax and making it easier for companies to hide profits overseas.
Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would be no better, also providing additional tax cuts for the wealthy.
A Citizens for Tax Justice analysis found that 60 percent of the tax breaks in the Ryan plan would go to the top 1% of Americans, compared to 37 percent under Trump’s plan.
It is time for us to speak out and do something about the tax breaks for the wealthy. Help us write to Congress to tell them to pass a new tax plan that stops major tax breaks for the rich and helps close the wealth gap.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell Congress to Regulate Prescription Drug Prices 2017-02-01 18:58:34 -0800bernard hochendonerGOAL: 2,375 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they pass legislation to regulate prescription drug prices and end price gouging.
[Update: We have surpassed 2000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to regulate prescription drug prices. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]
Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world.
Access to health care is a human right, and that should include affordable prescription drugs. Yet we have companies like Mylan, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals that love to hike drug prices up. This means that many life saving drugs have become unaffordable for the average American family.
Last year, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 — overnight.
Prices for drugs overall have increased more than tenfold between the year 2000 and today. The average price of cancer drugs is increasing by over $8,000 a year.
It is time for Congress to pass legislation to regulate pharmaceutical drug prices and end price gouging. This should also include things such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, allowing the importation of cancer drugs across U.S. borders for personal use, legislation that prevents drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs and extending the life of drug patents, and creating an FDA approval group or mechanism that can estimate and propose a fair price for new treatments.
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,490 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, asking them to pass legislation that will close tax loopholes for the ultra-rich.
[Update: We have surpassed 500 signatures! NationofChange is sending the first letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to close the tax loopholes for the ultra-rich. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]
Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a new bill in the 115th Congress, which begins next year.
The proposed bill, if passed, would close all of the tax loopholes that Trump exploited in his 1995 tax returns. These loops holes do nothing to boost the economy, but continue to allow real estate investors like Trump to get out of pay millions of dollars in taxes.
“Special tax breaks and loopholes in a corrupt tax code enable billionaires and powerful corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes while sticking the burden on the middle class,” Sanders said. “It’s time to create a tax system which is fair and which asks the wealthy and powerful to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Sanders’ legislation would close the following loopholes:
Exemption for the real estate from passive loss rules (Section 469): This loophole allows for an exception for real estate so that real estate investors can use losses to offset any other income, regardless of if it has to do with their business.
Exemption for real estate from at-risk rules (Section 465): An exemption for real estate investors that allows them to claim losses exceeding what they actually invested.
Like-kind exchanges (Section 1031): Allows real estate owners to swap pieces of property of the same type in order to claim they have no gain to report to the IRS because technically there was no sale.
Debt and Depreciation: Allows for investors to combine tax breaks for for borrowing with tax breaks when an investment rapidly loses value, allowing them to borrow money to make an investment, take deductions for the interest they pay on the debt and then take deductions as the property depreciates.
Stand with Senator Sanders and NationofChange and tell Congress to close the tax loopholes that rich investors are using to dodge taxes.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell Congress Not to Sell Our Wilderness to the Highest Bidder 2017-01-13 18:43:53 -0800bernard hochendonerGOAL: 2,832 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to block any legislation that would allow for America’s shared public lands to be eligible to be sold.
[Update: We have surpassed 2,000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them not to sell our wilderness. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]
New findings have shown catastrophic declines in Earth’s wilderness over the last 20 years.
Researchers reporting in the journal “Current Biology” have presented new findings that show an area twice the size of Alaska and half the pie of the Amazon has disappeared from Earth’s wilderness since the 1990s. This is equal to about 10% of global wilderness.
As Dr. James Watson of the University of Queensland in Australia states, “Without any policies to protect these areas, they are falling victim to widespread development. International policy mechanisms must recognize the actions needed to maintain wilderness areas before it is too late. We probably have one to two decades to turn this around.”
Although there has been efforts to preserve the loss of specific species, there are few policies that actually deal with large-scale lose of entire ecosystems and wilderness areas that haven’t been studied heavily.
Dr. Watson says that “If we don’t act soon, there will only be tiny remnants of wilderness around the planet, and this is a disaster for conservation, for climate change and for some of the most vulnerable human communities on the planet.”
In the United States wilderness areas have been given to states to do with what they want. Many times this means that our recreation lands are sold to mining, oil and gas and other development - in other words the “highest bidder.”
We must take action before this gets further out of hand. Tell Congress that you do not support legislation that will allow America’s shared public lands to be sold to the highest bidder.
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,913 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to draft legislation that will put protections for wild tigers in place.
[Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Did you know that there are only 3,200 wild tigers left on Earth? Poaching is the number one threat to wild tigers. They are hunted for everything from wallets to medicines.
Currently there is legislation that can help put a stop to most of the trade of tiger products. If Congress were to pass the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act there would be serious consequences and protections put into place against poachers and traffickers, thus seriously limiting the illegal trade of tiger products.
Sign the petition and help us tell Congress that you want this legislation, and future legislation for the protection of wild tigers, put into place.
bernard hochendoner signed Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico 2017-03-12 10:46:36 -0700bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,379 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA, demanding that they reject the proposal that would allow for unlimited fracking wastewater to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the EPA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
NationofChange is standing with the Center for Biological Diversity in their efforts to convince the EPA to reject a proposal that would allow for unlimited dumping of fracking wastewater into the Gulf of Mexico.
The proposed permit “violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment.”
We, along with the Center for Biological Diversity, believe that EPA’s consideration of the permit does not take into account how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife.
Here is the full release from the Center for Biological Diversity:
Proposed Permit Threatens Sea Turtles, Fish, Other Gulf Wildlife
ATLANTA— An Obama administration proposal to continue allowing oil companies to dump unlimited amounts of offshore fracking chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico violates federal law and threatens endangered marine wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity warned over the weekend.
In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on a proposed wastewater discharge permit for offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Center explained that the proposed permit violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment. “The permit allows the unlimited discharge of produced wastewater, including the unlimited discharge of chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well-stimulation treatments,” the letter noted.
“The EPA is endangering an entire ecosystem by allowing the oil industry to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and drilling waste fluid into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Center attorney Kristen Monsell. “This appalling plan from the agency that's supposed to protect our water violates federal law and shows a disturbing disregard for offshore fracking’s toxic threats to sea turtles and other Gulf wildlife.”
Today's letter also points out that the EPA is relying on a 33-year-old study of waste fluid produced by offshore platforms, despite the drilling of more than 450 wells in the area since 2010 alone. The letter urges EPA to adopt a zero-discharge requirement for produced water and fracking chemicals, as is required under other offshore drilling permits.
At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including marine mammals and fish, Center scientists have found. The California Council on Science and Technology has identified some common fracking chemicals to be among the most toxic in the world to marine animals.
Fracking chemicals raise grave ecological concerns because, among other factors, the Gulf of Mexico is important habitat for whales, sea turtles and fish, and contains critical habitat for imperiled loggerhead sea turtles. Dolphins and other species in the Gulf are still suffering lingering effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
As explained in the letter, the EPA is proposing to allow oil companies to discharge fracking chemicals without even knowing how much fracking has, or would, occur in the Gulf by relying on data from 1988. Information recently obtained by the Center indicates that oil companies were permitted to frack more than 1,200 times from more than 600 wells from 2010 to 2014 alone. And the agency is relying on more than 30-year-old data to estimate the volume of produced water to be discharged.
bernard hochendonerGOAL: 1,057 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the American Wind Energy Association, asking them to adopt new voluntary guidelines to help prevent bat deaths from wind turbines.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the American Wind Energy Association with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
In the last ten years there has been a major epidemic of bats disappearing due to fatal white-nose syndrome and wind turbine fatalities.
Scientists believe that bats are having a hard time confusing wind turbines with trees. Last year the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced “voluntary guidelines to halt turbines at low wind speeds, when bats are most active, which would save lives.” These new changes were expected to help reduce fatalities by 30 percent.
However, there could be more done. If the industry can hold the blades in check just a little longer bat fatalities could be reduced by 90 percent. To do this there only need to be two minor changes: feathering, or "turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines do not rotate," and implementing higher cut-in speeds, ideally between 5 and to 6.5 meters per second.
Please sign the petition to tell the AWEA to make these changes so that we can save 90 percent of the bats rather than just 30 percent.