Six months ago, without seeking public comment (I wonder why!), the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) changed its rules for determining what synthetic products to allow in organic foods. The NOSB used to automatically sunset synthetic products after five years, and mandate a two-thirds vote of the NOSB to reinstate them, but now they've turned that on its head: once it allows a synthetic product in organic food, it allows it indefinitely unless a two-thirds majority votes it out. That'll let corporations get lazy about making their organic processes more organic (which sunsets nominally give them time to do), and will likely make the list of synthetic products allowed in organic food longer and longer until the word "organic" doesn't mean a damn thing anymore. Hence the Organic Consumers Association helps you tell Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to reverse the NOSB rule changes. I bet Mr. Vilsack, being an utter corporatist, doesn't care what we think. But he'll jump if he thinks he has to. And a lot of Americans, across the political spectrum, love organic food.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17) has introduced SB 1171, which would mandate that Pennsylvania utilities increase the amount of electricity they produce from renewable resources (particularly solar) to 15% by 2023. That doesn't seem like a whole lot to ask, does it? Especially in a state where wind power is actually doing reasonably well? Wait, let me think of some objections to SB 1171: coal is "more reliable" than solar or wind, people who use renewable energy are "free riders," renewable energy "kills jobs," all government mandates "kill jobs," climate change is a "hoax" perpetrated by environmentalists, coal and oil CEOs know better than everyone else. Nope, no reasonable objections in that list! Pennsylvania actually enacted a renewable energy standard fairly early, back in 2005, but other states have since surpassed Pennsylvania's efforts, and now we're looking at a bill that would only mandate that Pennsylvania produce 4.5% of its electricity from renewable energy sources this year. So the Sierra Club helps you tell your PA state Senator to vote for more renewable energy.
Finally, the EPA is still accepting public comments on its new rule aiming to reduce carbon emissions from new power plants, and Public Citizen helps you leave said comment. President Obama might actually have played this particular 13-dimensional chess game pretty well -- the House passed an awful climate change bill in 2009, one that actually gave away most of the carbon credits that were supposed to raise revenue; the Senate didn't take up the House bill, and then couldn't get a bill of its own together in 2010, at least partly because the Republican point man was, somehow, Lindsey Graham, who took his ball and went home early. But all that left a more desirable option -- EPA regulation of carbon emissions -- on the table, an option already sanctified by a Supreme Court majority that included Antonin Scalia; several Republican-led attempts to rescind the EPA's authority went nowhere, thanks largely to Democratic majorities in the Senate. So having the EPA mandate lower carbon emissions is where we want to be. And if you want the EPA to regulate existing power plants as well, you can add that to your comment.