Politics & Activism News (Democrats Stand Up to GOP Poison Pills, EPA Sued, Oil Shale Fail Video,…)
Democrats Stand Up to House GOP
Senate Democrats have stood up to the constant assault on the environment a bit and told the House GOP to “stop polluting [a] middle-class tax bill with poison pills,” as Brad Johnson of Think Progress writes.
“Instead of finding commonsense solutions, the Republicans are talking about things that have nothing to do with middle-income taxes — like the Keystone pipeline, rolling back regulations to keep our air safe and our water clean and pure,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this week. “These tactics are stalling — more evidence the Republicans don’t want to extend this tax cut. They talk about extending it but simply are unwilling to do anything to make it a reality.”
The American Lung Association and the National Parks Conservation have sued the EPA (did so on Valentine’s Day, actually) in order to try to force it “to complete the required review of the need for stronger limits on the amount of soot, smoke, and other airborne particles that endanger public health,” Earthjustice, the public interest law firm that filed the suit, reports.
“The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review the science and update the National Ambient Air Quality standards every five years to ensure the public is protected by the best available science. The agency failed to meet the deadline in October 2011. EPA’s failure to update these standards nationwide means that outdated limits remain in place even though they fail to protect public health. Those particularly hard hit by particulate pollution include children, seniors, people with lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, and low income communities. Without updated standards, millions of Americans will face continued risk from unhealthy levels of particle pollution. Stronger standards would drive cleanup measures nationwide that could prevent thousands of premature deaths annually, according to an analysis published in 2011.”
The Checks & Balances Project made this great video this last week on House Speaker Boehner and Rep. Lamborn’s oil shale boondoggle (enjoy):
Heartland’s Science Classroom Infiltrator
The Heartland Institute’s science classroom influencer has reportedly said “my goal is to help them teach one of the greatest scientific debates in history.” The problem is that it’s not a scientific debate! It’s a fabricated debate with one purpose: cause doubt about the scientific consensus on global warming (and the scientific consensus that global warming is caused by humans). How does that guy live with himself!
Utah Bill Could Make Videotaping a Farm the Same as Assaulting a Police Officer
Yes, you read that right. “Utah is the latest state to consider new laws targeting undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. A new bill would make photographing animal abuse on par with assaulting a police officer,” Will Potter of Green is the New Red writes.
Texas Tea Partiers Opposed to Keystone XL
And why wouldn’t they be? “If there’s anything the Tea Party hates, it’s whatever the government is doing right now,” Jess Zimmerman of Grist writes. Which means greens have picked up some unusual allies in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline: Texas Tea Partiers who think the project violates property rights.”
House Transportation Bill Gets Earmarks Full of Giveaways to Big Oil (from GOP)
Ah, our oil-loving Republican Congresspeople — they’ll do anything they can to give Big Oil, one of the richest (if not the richest) industry on the planet, more money. They decided to jack up a House transportation bill with earmarks to Big Oil this week, something even their Republican constituents (i.e. voters) wouldn’t support.
Harry Reid photo via studio08denver