The Senate finally passed a transportation/infrastructure bill, but the House wants to add all sorts of poison pills to it, chief among them approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would be built by a corporation with a bad pipe safety record over heartland drinking waters that would never recover from a serious spill. The House also wants to gut any oil-related environmental reviews -- after all, what could go wrong? It's not like the Gulf of Mexico endured a Spillageddon in 2010 or anything! -- and forbid the EPA from regulating poisonous coal ash. The EPA's coal ash proposals weren't even as strong as they could have been, yet Republicans want to destroy them, which points up, again, the uselessness of pre-emptive compromise. The Sierra Club helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass a good transportation bill without any poison pills attached. I'm sick of being a hostage to big corporations, and I'll bet you are, too.
Meanwhile, the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 mandated that our government offer emergency contraception over-the-counter to Native American women on reservations, just like it does everywhere else in the country -- but, apparently, Indian Health Services (IHS) hasn't done the will of the American people as expressed by their representatives in Congress. More precisely, IHS has blocked Native American women from getting contraception -- told them they needed a prescription, told them to drive an hour away to another clinic, even told them it's their fault if they got raped. That's a problem with having an Executive branch -- not only does it do things Congress and/or the Constitution don't authorize, it doesn't do the things it's actually supposed to do. Still, this is America, so change.org helps you tell the IHS to comply with the law and provide emergency contraception, without a prescription, to women over 17.
In other news, you know our government pays out billions of dollars to big agribusiness corporations (not "small farmers," despite what the politicians may have told you) to keep high-fructose corn syrup and therefore junk food cheap, but you may not know that public schools sometimes have junk food machines and even junk food lines in their lunch rooms! Think that might link to rising child obesity rates? Seems the opposite is true, at least -- California passed strong guidelines on snack foods in its schools under former Gov. Schwarzenegger, and voila! California kids eat 150 fewer calories a day as a result, which, trust me, adds up. No reason that only has to be California, though: Congress mandated the Executive branch to come up with stronger standards for food in public schools nationally in 2010, so Moms Rising helps you tell the USDA to get the junk food out of public schools.
Finally, speaking of Stupid Government Subsidies, S. 3080/H.R. 5475, the provocatively-named End Polluter Welfare Act of 2012, still awaits committee action in the Senate (Finance) and the House (subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources). Read the bill, if you get a chance, and observe the multitudinous pathways for our taxpayer money to flow into fossil fuel corporations' coffers! Did you know, for example, that oil corporations enjoy liability limits on their offshore operations? Or that our government funds World Bank coal/oil/gas projects? Or that fossil fuel corporations still get breaks for developing "innovative technologies"? Or that oil corporations have wormed their way into getting "alternative fuel" tax credits? Or that coal royalties get treated as "capital gains"? All gone, if S. 3080/H.R. 5475 ever makes its way to the President's desk. Roots Action helps you help that process along.