Our democracy has been under assault for years by powerful special interests who want to buy their way into our government. They have helped elect politicians who put their needs first and then do everything they can to make sure they can’t be held accountable by voters – introducing strict voter ID requirements, gerrymandering districts so it’s nearly impossible for them to lose, and more.
The oil and gas industry, aided by the erosion of campaign finance laws and nearly boundless lobbying budgets, asserts enormous influence over legislative processes in real time while also enjoying legacy influence in regulatory frame- works. The results can be devastating to the health of the environment and the public.
PFAS are a family of approximately 4700 human-made chemicals that are incredibly effective at combating oil fires as well as repelling grease, water, and stains. Original PFAS chemicals, known as PFOS and PFOA, are linked to cancer, high cholesterol, birth defects, suppression of vaccines, and other serious health effects.
In early March, Governor Whitmer announced her first state budget proposal. Much of the press coverage of Governor Whitmer’s budget so far has focused on her proposal to increase the gas tax by 45 cents per gallon ovcritical road infrastructure investments. The focus on a single aspect of the budget has resulted in several key components of the budget proposal, which would have significant impacts on our water, being neglected.
From 1990 until 1995, Michigan had the strongest “polluter pay” law in the country. If a corporation was responsible for contaminating our land, air, or water, that corporation was also responsible for cleaning up the mess they made. In 1995 the administration of former Governor John Engler, backed by their allies at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, gutted the polluter pay law, and funding for environmental cleanups in Michigan has suffered ever since.
The 2017 raids of $145 million of ratepayer dollars into the state’s general fund severely impacted CT’s award-winning energy efficiency programs and reduced residents’ ability to use these monies for energy efficiency services! The raids mean 12,900 homes won’t be weatherized, 5,900 low income families won’t be served, potential loss of 6,800 highly skilled workers and $230 million of lost investment in efficiency projects.
Late last year the state legislature rushed to pass Public Act 359, the law that would pave the way for Enbridge Energy to build an oil tunnel through the Straits of Mackinac.
Attorney General Nessel’s recently concluded that there are many fatal flaws in PA 359, which was passed in haste and was not properly vetted by lawmakers or legal staff. The Attorney General also concluded that, due to the flaws in PA 359, the subsequent agreements made between MSCA and Enbridge are also void.
Pennsylvanians are calling Governor Wolf today and letting him know that cutting methane pollution from existing oil and gas operations must be a central action to addressing the threat of climate change.
We must amplify our voices and, more importantly, make sure Governor Wolf’s actions speak the loudest. Join residents from across Pennsylvania today in calling into the Governor Wolf’s office and leaving a message urging him to act on climate change by directly implementing measures to control methane from existing oil and gas operations.
Did you know the Philadelphia Water Department found that plastic bags comprise 17% of the total debris recovered by their skimming operations? Philadelphia’s litter index and 311 reporting show that business associations and residents of Philadelphia’s underserved communities bear the heaviest burden of litter cleanups and that underserved communities also suffer a disproportionate burden to their health. Plastic pollution affects everyone though by reducing our quality of life, blighting our neighborhoods, and by contributing to water pollution and the degradation of our planet.