Oppose AB 816/SB 632: No sweetheart deal for the frac sand industry
Back in October, Sen. Tom Tiffany introduced SB 349, a horrible, sweeping bill intended to prop up the frac sand mining industry by cutting off local governments’ ability to enact commonsense environmental protections.
Bad idea, right?
The great news is that thanks to your more than 1,300 emails plus strong pushback from sensible legislators on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers quickly killed it. The bad news is Sen. Tiffany is right back at it, with a new version, SB 632/AB 816. It’s yet another attempt to give the frac sand industry a sweetheart deal in Wisconsin.
With just three weeks left in the legislative session, crazy things can happen so it’s important that we tell our legislators to kick the latest version of this bill to the curb. The bill passed through committee on a party-line vote Wednesday and is headed to the floor in the next week.
We did it before, let’s do it again: Email your legislators now and tell them to oppose SB 632/AB 816.
Back to the front of the pack
Lately, it's been tough for renewable energy in Wisconsin. States like Iowa and Minnesota are plowing ahead developing wind and solar resources. Meanwhile, we’ve fallen to the back of the pack and rank last of all the states with renewable energy goals. To add injury to insult, we’re sending $12 billion out of state annually to meet our energy needs and losing out on a lot of job growth and economic potential because of it.
Enter the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Act. This forward-looking package would put Wisconsin squarely back on track by prioritizing renewable energy again.
The bill would strengthen our current renewable energy goal to 30% by 2030 and includes other policies to ensure a fair price for renewable energy systems and a provision that would help homeowners and businesses with the upfront costs of owning a system on their property.
It’s time to show our policy makers that we’re ready to go back to the front of the pack. The bill is open for co-sponsorship through tomorrow (Friday 2/28), so contact your legislator TODAY at ask them to co-sponsor the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Act.
Support Safe Prescription Drug Disposal
For years, we’ve been told that the best way to get rid of unused medications was a simple flush.
But now we know better.
The proper disposal of unused and unneeded medications is a huge problem in Wisconsin and the nation. Prescription drugs can pollute our water supply with mercury, selenium and other heavy metals, and scientific research indicates a strong link between increasing levels of pharmaceutical waste and impacts to fish and wildlife populations. What’s more is that a nationwide study done in 1999 and 2000 found low levels of antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80% of the rivers and streams tested.
Many local governments provide drop boxes for unused pharmaceuticals, but state law hasn’t addressed the issue until now. AB 448/SB 351, the Prescription Drug Disposal Bill, will be voted on in the Senate tomorrow and is a good first step for more drug collection programs being run through local governments.
We need this for the health of our families, our communities and our water. Tell your legislators to vote for the Prescription Drug Disposal Bill TODAY!
Support the Drinking Water Disinfection Bill
Clean water is something many of us take for granted, a basic right we enjoy straight from the faucets in our homes.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for nearly 85,000 people living in more than 60 communities around Wisconsin. Two years ago, state legislators pulled the plug on a bill that would have made water in these communities safer through disinfection, but their shortsighted decision has allowed germs to fester in a big way. In fact, researchers from Marshfield Clinic have found viruses in a quarter of all samples from nondisinfected water supplies, the culprit for one in every five stomach illnesses.
Luckily, these viruses days are numbered with AB 545/SB 417, a bill that requires continuous disinfection of municipal groundwater systems. This would effectively level the playing field to deliver so every community throughout the state that relies on public water supplies gets the clean water it deserves.
Everyone deserves clean water. Email your legislators today and tell them add their support to this commonsense bill.
Oppose SB 349 to Protect our Air, Water & Health
In early October, a frac sand mining executive declared Wisconsin the “global epicenter” of this booming industry and said, “we’re just getting started.”
But at what cost?
Along comes SB 349, a sweeping bill that seeks to bolster the frac sand mining industry by cutting off local governments’ ability to enact commonsense environmental protections. What’s worse, this irresponsible thinking is being fast-tracked – and the implications go far beyond just frac sand.
The bill removes local governments’ ability to regulate local air and water pollution regardless of the source. Those powers would be handed over to the state. If passed, many commonsense local laws like those regulating the spread of invasive species, the regulation of outdoor wood boilers and water conservation measures could be pre-empted, to name just a few. The bill could also impact local government authority over the Gogebic Taconite mine in northern Wisconsin.
We need to move fast. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24 by the same committee that fast-tracked the iron mining bill earlier this year.
ACT NOW: Tell your legislators to oppose SB 349 TODAY.
EPA: Don't Water Down Carbon Pollution Limits for New Sources
One-third of the U.S.’s greenhouse gases come from power plants … let’s seize this opportunity for cleaner air!
As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the EPA has drafted rules limiting carbon emissions for new power plants. This is very good news and a positive step for the health of future generations.
The draft rules would limit a new coal plant to no more than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, a sharp but positive cut from the current 1,768-pound average. Gas-fired plants would be limited to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.
It’s about the air we breathe. It’s about our way of life. It’s about our future.
With the rules still in draft form, we need your voice. Tell EPA you support these higher standards for new power plants.
Support the Mercury Thermostat Recycling Bill
One gram of mercury is all it takes to contaminate a 20-acre lake. And the fish in that 20-acre lake. The fish you and I catch in that 20-acre lake and feed to our families.
And that one gram? That’s less than the amount of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, in one of those old, round thermostats that homeowners and builders are increasingly replacing with programmable options. And because Wisconsin doesn’t have convenient options for recycling these mercury-containing devices, they often end up in landfills where the mercury leaches out and into our water.
And the closest lake.
Thankfully, there's a bill in the state legislature that would provide convenient recycling options and incentives for properly recycling old mercury-containing thermostats. Ask your legislators to support AB 424, the Mercury Thermostat Recycling Bill, today.
It is estimated that between 5,000 to 9,000 children born in Wisconsin every year are at risk of health issues because of mercury consumption. And every inland lake in the state is under a fish consumption warning because of mercury. Gram by gram, lake by lake, thermostat by thermostat, we can change these facts.
Oppose SB 302 and Weakened Groundwater Protections
This isn't 2004.
Rivers drying up, lakefront property turning to mud, unsafe drinking water. These are realities for many Wisconsin residents because large wells are allowed to pump groundwater with few restrictions. And property owners are left with few options to stop the effects of over-pumping.
It's been almost 10 years since Wisconsin passed the first groundwater protection law as an initial step to protect our waters for all Wisconsinites. While that law was progressive in 2004, the problems with over-pumping have only gotten worse, the law is proving to be inadequate, and applications for these large wells have increased by 40% in the last two years alone.
And now, instead of moving forward, a legislator is proposing to move us back with Senate Bill 302. This terrible bill would roll back groundwater protections and includes an amendment that undoes a unanimous 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision confirming the DNR has a responsibility to protect Wisconsin's public waters. Basically, this amendment would prevent DNR from protecting our private wells, drinking water and waterways from industry and excessive groundwater pumping.
This bill could be voted on by the Legislature within the next 2 weeks.
Say no to rolling back groundwater protections: Tell your legislators to oppose Senate Bill 302.