The recently established Green Army has been raising a lot of eyebrows (and anxiety) in the ranks of the oil and gas industry. "We are under attack from these people, and we have to push back," explained Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) President Don Briggs at the recent State of the Industry Luncheon held in Lafayette, La.
Although identified by Briggs as one of several individuals and groups who are enemies to the industry, John Barry -- who until recently was vice-president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority -- says that is just not the case.
"The industry may see me as an enemy, I do not see the industry as an enemy," he explained at a public meeting held at the Clifton Chenier Center, also in Lafayette, on February 6.
Barry has been perhaps the most prominent public face regarding the landmark lawsuit filed last summer by the levee board against oil and gas producing companies operating within the state. The board filed the suit after citing studies that show the industry, which has cut around 10,000 miles of canals and pipelines through Louisiana coastal lands, has significantly contributed to the state's land loss and increased risk of flooding.
"What this lawsuit is about is three things, what every parent teaches their kids -- you keep your word, you obey the law, and you take responsibility for your actions," Barry added.
Barry, who has been a recent target by both LOGA and the Jindal administration, is also the President of Restore Louisiana Now (RLN), which was created in order to support the lawsuit and the levee board.
RLN is also a member of the growing Green Army -- a network and coalition of environmental groups and citizens concerned with issues that are affecting the human health and the ecological well being of the state.
The Green Army also includes the groups Save Lake Peigneur, Baton Rouge Aquifer Protection, Concerned Citizens of Grand Bois, the Sierra Club, VAYLA New Orleans, Zion Travelers Cooperative Center, 350 NOLA, Ouachita Riverkeeper, Restore Louisiana Now, Save Charity Hospital, NOLA Trash Mob, Lower Ninth Ward Village, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, Louisiana Progress, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Levees.org, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the League of Women Voters, Global Green USA, Gulf Restoration Network, The Green Project, Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, Alliance for Affordable Energy and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, and is led by retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré.
"There is an expiration date on clean drinking water in Louisiana. We will have less tomorrow than we had today. And this is because of the acts of men, of greed and of a failed democracy. A democracy that put the flag of oil and gas companies over our capitol, over the constitution of responsibility to look out for the welfare of the people," explained Honoré at the meeting.
Honoré, who is best known as the commander of the Joint Task Force Katrina, which coordinated military efforts for relief to a storm-ravaged New Orleans following the 2005 hurricanes, went on to challenge the audience to take action in defense of the state's resources.
"We are the witnesses. We must report. We must speak out. We must take action to make sure that the rest of the Nation knows that we are killing our water."
Additionally, speaker, attorney and Acadian cultural defender, Warren Perrin, expressed worry of the effects of land loss to the Cajun culture and people to those present at the meeting.
"Initially the state would allow the landowner mineral rights if indeed the wetlands went underwater. That is no longer the case today ... If your land is underwater and it is attached to a navigable body -- can you get in or out by boat? It's no longer your land. It is in effect disproportioned, or eminent domain, and the public is unaware of this ... The state has had no incentive to protect and prevent the erosion of our wetlands," he explained, adding, "That is one of the items that I think needs to be addressed, and make sure that we don't force the Cajun people, who settled primarily in the prairies and wetlands, to experience the second Le Grand Dérangement [Expulsion of the Acadians], like their ancestors suffered in 1765."
Next steps for the Green Army include the "Water Festival in the Capitol," set for Saturday, March 8, days before the opening of the next legislative session. The rally will include speakers and talent from across Louisiana who are working to protect the state's waterways and aquifers.
Link to original article from Bridge the Gulf
Congress may be on recess, but activists across the country are not taking a break from the nationwide push to get big money out of politics. Today activists teamed up for a massive petition drop, delivering petitions in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United to 21 Senate offices in 15 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington).
It seems like every e-mail I receive these days from a Democratic Senate candidate or Senator up for re-election this cycle includes a warning that the infamous Koch brothers will do anything, no matter the cost, to take over the US Senate - and with it, our country.
On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a law to establish a Code of Conduct for the Supreme Court.
It’s surely to have Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia quaking in their Tea Party boots because it would mean they would actually have to be independent of political and other influences. They would also have to have the appearance of independence. They would have to stay away from political activity. That part would be really hard.
On June 23rd the State Senate passed AJR 1, making California the second state in the union to officially call for an Article V constitutional convention for the sole purpose of passing a United States constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn Citizens United v. FEC and limit the corrupting influence of money in our electoral process.
A new organization called ExposeFacts—backed by well-known source of The Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg—is debuting itself in Washington, DC on Wednesday as a new place where government and corporate employees aware of wrongdoing can more safely and securely report their concerns.
The telecommunications industry is creating and funding front groups which pose as consumer organizations and aggressively lobby to kill net neutrality, journalist Lee Fang revealed in an article published in Vice on Friday.
It’s a sad state of affairs when a country that touts freedom of the press depends upon cable TV comedy shows to hear the real news.
Why the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling is good news for the super-rich and bad news for progressive Democrats.
At the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, a conservative election lawyer and a baby-faced electrical engineer from Alabama with a made-for-TV Southern drawl began plotting how to unravel federal campaign finance regulations.
This is an idea worth spreading - so - please watch & share with 5 or 10 friends. It’s important to get money out of politics and the average person back in. Also - leave a message on the YouTube and let TED know - this is one of the most important issues of the day."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is, as they boast on its website, the world's largest business organization, as well as the nation's largest corporate lobbying group. It is also a recipient of some of the largest amounts of so-called "dark" money in the country, refusing to disclose to the public its donors or even the amounts it receives.
Citizens United is not just the default reference for US Supreme Court decisions—including the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling—that have ushered in a new era of corporate dominance of American elections. It’s the name of the conservative group that encouraged Chief Justice John Roberts and the most activist Court majority in American history to tear the heart out of what were already weak campaign finance laws.
PITTSFIELD -- Their signs read "Get Big Money Out of Politics," "Democracy Is Not For Sale" and "This Is What Plutocracy Looks Like." About a dozen of them stood in Park Square on Wednesday evening, one of 130 "rapid response events" coordinated nationwide to protest that morning's Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC.
Any doubts about the determination of an activist United States Supreme Court to rewrite election rules so that the dollar matters more than the vote were removed Wednesday, when McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was decided in favor of the dollar.
Sam Bell is in the third year of a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Geology as in rocks. But Bell also moonlights as the the state coordinator of The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, the state affiliate of the 10-year-old Progressive Democrats of America. And in his work with The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Bell was instrumental to the investigation that ultimately led to the National Rifle Association paying the second largest campaign finance fine in the state's history.
Postal workers are giving it their all this holiday season, as cards and packages and returns must be collected and delivered amidst ice storms, snowstorms and wild temperature drops.
They deserve our thanks in 2013.
And our support in 2014.
Thanks to a loophole that subsidizes CEO pay, McDonald's, Yum Brands, Wendy's, Burger King, Domino's, and Dunkin' Brands trimmed $64 million from their tax bills in 2011 and 2012.
The fast food industry is notorious for handing out lean paychecks to their burger flippers and fat ones to their CEOs. What’s less well-known is that taxpayers are actually subsidizing fast food incomes at both the bottom — and top — of the industry.
In December 1972, I was part of a nationwide campaign that came tantalizingly close to getting the U.S. Senate to reject Earl Butz, Richard Nixon's choice for secretary of agriculture. A coalition of grass-roots farmers, consumers and scrappy public interest organizations (like the Agribusiness Accountability Project that Susan DeMarco and I then headed) teamed up with some gutsy, unabashedly progressive senators to undertake the almost impossible challenge of defeating the cabinet nominee of a president who'd just been elected in a landslide.
Progressive voices were heard loud and clear at Saturday’s Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee Meeting in Maricopa, Arizona.
Unlike some past ADP meetings where progressives were ignored or where progressive resolutions were tabled and not heard by the full ADP membership, the Maricopa meeting was dominated by progressives.
Tucson is one of the most impoverished cities in the country—for many reasons. The Arizona Legislature—driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and short-sighted, “small government” ideology—has routinely swept funds earmarked for counties and cities to “balance” the state’s budget or fund pet projects like lower corporate taxes. Beyond the Legislature’s negative impact on Baja Arizona, the Tucson economy is not diversified enough. Manufacturing is nearly non-existent in Southern Arizona. There is an over-reliance on defense spending, University of Arizona spin-offs, tourism, low-wage service jobs, and growth/development.
MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track
Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority
MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership
CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab
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