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Today, the Nevada State Assembly approved SJR13, continuing the multi-year process of placing on the 2016 ballot a question to repeal Nevada’s current ban on same-sex marriage and replace it with a law granting marriage equality to all Nevadans. The same bill passed the state senate last month and now must be passed in the next legislative session in 2015 to continue the process.
Through phone calls, letters, and lobbying, you made sure your state assemblyperson knew that Nevadans stand on the side of fairness and equality.
This incredible victory is a testament to the leadership of Assemblyman James Healey and Assemblyman Elliot Anderson.
These leaders have shown what equality really means – they shared their stories, opened up their lives, and lived the values of true leadership – all to ensure that SJR13 passed.
HRC is proud to work with our legislative allies and progressive organizations on the ground in Nevada. The journey is not over. We’ll need your help to reelect those legislators who stood up for fairness and equality and to win again in the next legislative session.
Human Rights Campaign, National Field Director
P.S. There was more good news out of Carson City today when Governor Sandoval signed a law that adds gender identity and expression to Nevada’s hate crimes law.
I certainly hope that Representative Mark Amodei and Representative Joe Heck made a call to their insurance agents and purchased personal liability insurance for Tar Sands oil spills, because today the voted FOR passage of HR3, the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) that approves construction of the Keystone pipeline. That means they are complicit in enabling the eventual pollution of our land, our aquifers and our nation’s breadbasket that puts food on our tables. You think the Arkansas spill was bad? Just wait, the eventual KXL pipeline spill will be absolutely catastrophic and we need to be prepared to hold each and every representative in Congress who voted for this catastrophe accountable.
Following the House vote on HR 3, Speaker immediately put out a press release that is tantamount to pure propaganda claiming the construction of the KXL pipeline will create 10s of thousands of jobs and will swamp our gas stations with abundant supplies of cheap gas. The reality, however, is that if the KXL pipeline IS constructed, it will suck every gallon of gas they can pump out the the US down that pipeline for shipment to foreign countries, leaving us high and dry, with astronomical gas prices for the remainder of many of our lifetimes. Here’s Speaker Boehner’s press release:
House Votes to Approve Keystone Pipeline, Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs & Increase Energy SecurityPosted by Speaker Boehner Press OfficeMay 22, 2013Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today applauded House passage of the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3), legislation introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) that approves the Keystone pipeline and eliminates legal and regulatory barriers to its construction and the tens of thousands of jobs it will create:
“When American families hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, they’ll once again be paying the price for the Obama administration’s failed energy policy. Gas prices have nearly doubled on the president’s watch, draining family budgets and making it harder for small businesses to hire. The Northern Route Approval Act, part of Republicans’ plan for economic growth and jobs, will help families and small businesses by approving the Keystone pipeline and removing barriers that could keep it tied up in legal limbo for years.
“The Keystone pipeline will create tens of thousands of American jobs and pump nearly a million barrels of oil to U.S. refineries each day, helping to lower gas prices, boost economic growth, enhance our energy security, and revitalize manufacturing. The project is backed by a majority of the American people, including members of the president’s own party. Labor unions have rallied for its approval, saying it’s ‘not just a pipeline, it’s a lifeline.’ Unfortunately, after nearly five years of blocking the project, it’s a lifeline President Obama is refusing to toss American workers.
“House Republicans will continue fighting for the Keystone pipeline as part of our jobs plan that cuts red tape and unlocks more of America’s resources. It is time for the president to put his political calculations aside, work with Republicans to approve the Keystone pipeline, and advance a growth and jobs agenda that will help our economy grow and put more Americans back to work.”
But just weeks ago, we learned from Ryan Koronowski, who posted an article on ThinkProgress, that the pipeline will not create 10s of thousands of jobs, but instead, will create a measly 35 permanent jobs, a far cry from even just 1000 permanent jobs. And, to make matters worse, it will exacerbate the problems we’re experiencing with climate change. The refining process for tar sands crude (if you can really define crude as tar sands mixed in toxic proprietary solvents) will emit more carbon into the atmosphere than 51 seriously dirty coal plants. Not only that, but a series of amendments, some dealing with pipeline safety and the cost of cleaning up potential pipeline spills, were all defeated along party lines. So once again, the GOP has shown us their true colors, showing preference to corporate profits and choosing to socialize cleanup costs for the corporations.
By Ryan Koronowski on Apr 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that he wasn’t touching the Keystone pipeline decision with a ten-foot pole:
“I am staying as far away from that as I can now so that when the appropriate time comes to me, I am not getting information from any place I shouldn’t be, and I am not getting engaged in the debate at a time that I shouldn’t be,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Right now, Kerry has the State Department’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, but if that is all he information he relies on, he won’t get the full picture. While he will see that the project will only bring 35 permanent jobs, which is true, he would also see almost no discussion of the pipeline’s impact on the climate. (Oddly, he will be able to read an extended discussion of climate change’s projected impacts on the construction and maintenance of the proposed pipeline.)
So where is a Secretary of State sincerely concerned about climate change to go to find the climate consequences of approving the Keystone XL pipeline? He could peruse a new report out yesterday from Oil Change International called: “Cooking the Books: How The State Department Analysis Ignores The True Climate Impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
The report’s recommendation:
In a world constrained by the realities of climate change, the proper measure of any project’s climate impact should not be based on the assumptions inherent in a business as usual scenario that guarantees climate disaster. Instead, the State Department should base these critical decisions on whether the project makes sense in a world that is actually seeking to minimize the real dangers of climate change. On this basis, we recommend that decision-makers consider the total amount of carbon that will be released by the project into the atmosphere.
How do they back that up?
- Using industry analysis of carbon emissions from current tar sands production, the report says the pipeline will carry and emit 181 million metric tons of CO2 every year. That’smore than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal plants.
- Both the IEA and the World Bank have said that if we want to avoid the catastrophic implications of warming the planet by more than 2 degrees C, we cannot burn any more than one-third of the world’s proven fossil fuel reserves by 2050.
- U.S. oil demand has fallen by 2.25 million barrels per day, but if we want to cut emissions to hold global temperature below 2 degrees C, there are very few scenarios that include a Keystone pipeline pumping 3.3 million barrels or tar sands oil per day.
- Petcoke, which is a byproduct of the tar sands refining process, is exported for use as a coal substitute. Since petcoke is cheaper than coal, this encourages more coal burning, and therefore more carbon emissions. The State Department’s EIS does not acknowledge this.
- The pipeline’s pump stations will emit 4.4 million metric tons of CO2 each year, after 240,000 metric tons during the construction phase. This is like adding an extra U.S. coal plant. This pipeline, remember, will pump 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil every day.
- Tar sands pollute more than conventional oil — 27 million more metric tons of CO2 according to the EPA. This would be the same as 7 coal plants. Tar sands are so carbon intensive because of the way it burns, and how much energy is required to extract it. The State Department acknowledged that this will cause 17 percent more carbon emissions than regular oil.
Won’t the tar sands be extracted whether the pipeline is approved or rejected? Not so:
There are many compelling arguments against the fatalistic assertion that the tar sands will be fully exploited regardless of the Keystone XL pipeline. Other proposed pipelines also face substantial opposition in Canada and other regions of the United States. Further, increased costs associated with alternatives such as rail make it clear that the Keystone XL pipeline is far and away the industry’s first choice, and industry experts have been the first to admit this.
The State Department EIS dismisses out of hand the implications of burning the oil we’re projected to burn, saying it is business as usual. But this business is leading us to a very unusual climate future. The idea of approving the Keystone pipeline becomes more impossible as the facts become clearer. We can only hope that Secretary Kerry will stay engaged in the real debate and make the right choice for a livable climate.
[The article above, originally posted on ThinkProgress, was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.]
- Widespread Greenland Melting A Sign of Things to Come (Climate Central)
- House Votes to Approve Keystone Pipeline (Speaker Boehner Press Release)
Obama Knows the Keystone XL Pipeline Is An Export Process! (Blogging Blue)
- ‘Environmental genocide’: Native Americans quit talks over Keystone XL pipeline (rt.com)
- US House Votes to Force Approval of Keystone Pipeline (CNBC)
- Stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline (NRDC)
- Canada’s government is spending millions to get you to like the Keystone pipeline (Grist)
The New Yorker | Obama must stop that evil Keystone Pipeline (Conservatives4Palin)
In a post at Think Progress last Friday, we once again learn that the REPUBLIBAN’s culture war against the LGBT community is still raging —
By Ian Millhiser on May 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm
Carolyn Compton is in a three year-old relationship with a woman. According to Compton’s partner Page Price, Compton’s ex-husband rarely sees their two children and was also once charged with stalking Compton, a felony, although he eventually plead to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing.
And yet, thanks to a Texas judge, Compton could lose custody of her children because she has the audacity to live with the woman she loves.
According to Price, Judge John Roach, a Republican who presides over a state trial court in McKinney, Texas, placed a so-called “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce papers. This clause forbids Compton having a person that she is not related to “by blood or marriage” at her home past 9pm when her children are present. Since Texas will not allow Compton to marry her partner, this means that she effectively cannot live with her partner so long as she retains custody over her children. Invoking the “morality clause,” Judge Roach gave Price 30 days to move out of Compton’s home.
Compton can appeal Roach’s decision, but her appeal will be heard by the notoriouslyconservative Texas court system. Ultimately, the question of whether Compton’s relationship with Price is entitled to the same dignity accorded to any other loving couple could rest with the United States Supreme Court.
This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe. Image credit to http://timetowrite.blogs.com
Take a minute and read this — you’re going to want to share it.
A 7-year-old boy named Myles recently wrote to Vice President Biden to suggest a way to make the world a safer place: make bullets out of chocolate.
You’ll love how the Vice President responded (local news video included):
Dear Myles –
I am sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter.
I really like your idea. If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier. People love chocolate.
You are a good boy.
– Joe Biden
We deserve a country where our elected officials are not bought and paid for by big corporations.
But the Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision overturned over a century of precedent and opened the floodgates for unlimited amounts of corporate money to flow into our political system.
Shockingly, the court came to this decision based on the notion that a corporation is legally a “person” entitled to First Amendment rights, and by equating a corporation’s right to spend unlimited amounts of money influencing an election with our right to free speech.
Even before the Citizens United decision, we too often saw the interests of Main Street subverted in favor of the interests of Wall Street.
But with the Citizens United decision now the law of the land, large corporations have the power to spend unlimited amounts of money from their general treasuries to buy elections.
What’s more, Citizen United opened loopholes that allow corporations to hide their campaign expenditures by laundering the money through non-profit advocacy organizations.
It’s very unlikely that the Supreme Court will fix the issue any time soon.
And because Congress cannot pass a law that supersedes a Supreme Court ruling, it may take a constitutional amendment to undo the worst aspects of the Citizens United decision and end corporate personhood.
Clearly, the bar to successfully amending the Constitution is very high. But with 85% of the public opposed to the Citizens United decision, there is a potential for a broad coalition of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who all want to restore our democracy.
And let’s remember, the stakes are too high to allow inaction on this issue. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Citizens United decision fundamentally threatens the integrity of our democracy.
We need a government of, for and by the people. And sadly, we might need to work really hard to re-establish the common sense and democratic view that only people are people, not corporations.
Your senators and member of Congress need to hear from you, regardless of where they stand on this issue. We need to show them that their constituents are part of a broad movement demanding action — not only to convince them that overturning Citizens United is the right thing to do, but also that it’s possible.
Today, take a step to be part of that movement.
Tell your senators and member of Congress to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and end corporate personhood.
The Obama administration just released its first major fracking policy–the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rules for fracking on 600 million acres of public land. And it’s even worse than we feared.1
In a major concession to the fracking industry and its lobbying efforts, the proposed rules are even weaker than previous drafts of the rules.2 3 And they do nothing to close Dick Cheney’s infamous “Halliburton loophole,” which exempts fracking from key parts of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act.4
Of course, it’s become clear that there is simply no safe way to frack. So even worse than the specific concessions made to industry in the draft regulations is the assumption that fracking should be allowed to continue on federal lands despite overwhelming evidence that it endangers our air, water and climate.
The BLM is accepting public comments on its proposed fracking rules for 30 days. We need to let the administration know that these rules are totally inadequate. The administration needs to ban fracking on public lands – not cave to the industry and endanger our health and safety.
Submit a public comment telling the Bureau of Land Management: Ban fracking on federal lands.
An area of federal land larger than the entire state of Florida is currently under lease for oil and gas extraction, so this is one of the most important fracking policy decisions the Obama administration will make.5
Unfortuanately, every indication is that the White House is still putting the interests of oil and gas companies before the health and safety of American communities. The proposed regulations let the industry keep secret the toxic chemicals it injects underground by designating them as “trade secrets” without oversight from the BLM. The rules allow the industry to store contaminated waste in massive open pits, which can release dangerous air emissions and leak toxins into groundwater. And the rules do nothing to prevent the industry from fracking wells right next to homes and schools.
And of course, the harm fracking does to local communities is compounded by its significant contribution to the climate crisis.6 As the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passes 400 parts per million–well beyond what many scientists say is safe–the Obama administration should be working to keep its promise to confront climate change, not encouraging the extraction of vast new reserves of dirty oil and gas.
Submit a public comment telling the Bureau of Land Management:
Demand that they BAN fracking on OUR federal lands.
1. Steven Mufson, “Obama administration issues draft fracking regulations,” Washington Post, May 16, 2013
2. Matthew McFeeley, “Obama Administration Caves To Fracking Industry in New Proposed Rules,” NRDC Switchboard, May 16, 2013
3. Mike Soraghan, “White House huddled with industry before changes to BLM fracking rule,”EnergyWire, April 12, 2013
4. Lauren Pagel and Lisa Sumi, “Loopholes for Polluters,” Earthworks, May 16, 2011
5. Amy Mall, “More than six percent of U.S. already leased for oil and gas: new NRDC analysis,”NRDC Switchboard, February 26, 2013
6. Joe Romm, “IEA’s ‘Golden Age of Gas Scenario’ Leads to More Than 6°F Warming and Out-of-Control Climate Change,” ThinkProgress, June 7, 2011
—by Allen Clifton
I’m so tired of hearing this absurd claim by Republicans that they are the “party for Constitutional values.” I wrote an article a couple weeks ago about how Republicans love a Constitution, just not ours. But even when I spelled it out simply for them, they still didn’t get it. They don’t understand that simply [read full article here]
Tomorrow, Assembly Bills 440 and 441 will have a hearing in the Nevada Senate Legislative Operations Committee. Why does this matter? Because these bills are critical to expanding voting rights in the state of Nevada. AB 440 extends the voter registration deadline so more Nevadan have the opportunity to register vote, while AB 441 makes voting on election day more convenient by adding additional voting locations to choose from.
Republican governors and legislators across the country are trying to restrict voting rights because they know the only way they can win elections is to stop as many people from voting as possible. We cannot let this happen!
We need you to contact legislators on the Senate Legislative Operations Committee right now and tell them to expand voting rights by passing AB 440 and AB 441.
You can find the Committee members’ contact information below:
- Chair Sen. Pat Spearman – Pat.Spearman@sen.state.nv.us
- Vice Chair Sen. Mark Manendo – Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us
- Sen. Kelvin Atkinson – Kelvin.Atkinson@sen.state.nv.us
- Sen. Barbara Cegavske – Barbara.Cegavske@sen.state.nv.us
- Sen. James Settelmeyer – James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us
The clock is running out on the legislative session – if you want to ensure that every Nevadan has a voice in choosing our elected leaders, PLEASE
- Send an email to these committee members,
- Express your support and
- Ask/tell them to pass these bills now.
We need you to act right now and send a message to your Nevada Assemblyperson urging them to support legislation that would begin the multi-year process to repeal the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and allow all couples in Nevada the right to marry the person they love.
Support for same-sex marriage has grown since the unfortunate “policy” ban was passed in 2002 and thus enshrined in our state’s Constitution. More than a decade has passed since that infelicitous event. It’s now time to fix that and for our state lawmakers to honor love, commitment, and all families in Nevada.
In Nevada,”marriage equality” is not just a “social” issue, it’s also an economic issue. As the “Marriage Capital of the World” — our economy benefits from extensive tourism dollars of couples traveling to our state to share their vows and celebrate their union. Economically, we should never enshrine social policy in NV’s Constitution that conflicts with economic policy and demotes our status to “Nevada—the Marriage Capital for straight, heterosexual couples only.” ”Policy” should be handled in the purview of the Legislature such that it can be addressed effectively as mores within our society change over time.
In the next couple of days, the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections is set to consider legislation that would begin the multi-year process to repeal the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and allow all couples in not just in Nevada, but from across our nation and from all over the world, to marry in our State. Last month, the state senate took the first step in making marriage equality a reality by passing this important piece of legislation.
For full marriage equality in Nevada, the legislature will need to pass the same bill in 2015, placing it on the 2016 election ballot where Nevada voters will have the opportunity to honor the thousands of loving, committed couples in the state. Your voice is important and could help make the difference.
As I said, the state Senate has already approved this legislation. Your voice could help make the difference in moving it through the Assembly. Please send a message to your State Assemblyperson TODAY urging him/her to pass the bill.