The Pew Charitable Trusts helps you tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 4916, the POWER Act, which would extend renewable energy tax credits to projects that reuse waste heat from energy consumption. I remember reading about one such project in France in 2009 -- which reused heat generated by the Metro to heat nearby apartment buildings -- and I thought, "I bet right-wingers would call this kind of thing 'socialism,' especially when they hear France is doing it." But fully half of H.R. 4916's sponsors are Republicans (two from New York state, two from Nevada), so I have hope that this bill might, one day, be at least that noncontroversial vehicle for all manner of poison pill amendments. We'd beat such amendments back, of course, but aside from their obvious climate-change and job-creation benefits, waste heat-capturing technologies can be implemented wherever waste heat is generated, meaning that hospitals, police stations, and other places that really can't ever shut down will have one more tool to keep themselves going in a blackout.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior is taking public comments on the matter of handing out oil drilling leases, and the Alaska Wilderness League helps you tell Interior that you oppose drilling leases in the Arctic. The Alaska Wilderness League tells us that "oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean is bad for three reasons. Oily sea creatures. Blankets of heat-trapping soot on Arctic ice. Melting icebergs that leave polar bears starving." Those are all good reasons not to drill in the Arctic, but we have others, as you know -- namely, that we don't know enough about Arctic ecosystems to know how our oil drilling will affect them, and we also can't clean up oil spills in frigid waters as well as we can (at least in theory, right, BP?) in more temperate waters like those of the Gulf of Mexico. Don't conservatives tell us that we shouldn't go bullrushing into projects without being aware of their ill effects? Then the conservative thing to do in the Arctic, it would be seem, would be not to drill for oil. Remember: the conservative thing to do is not the corporatist thing to do, as the "liberal" media would have you believe.
Finally, NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, notes that the House just passed a bill making an expired corporate tax cut permanent -- a bill that would cost some $280 billion over 10 years, and a bill that did not provide any offsets to its cost. Perhaps the House leadership will tell us that the tax cut (which essentially allows corporations to deduct the cost of depreciating equipment much more quickly) will "pay for itself," but Citizens for Tax Justice will convince you otherwise -- this economy isn't recovering as quickly as it should because both people and corporations don't want to spend their money, so giving corporations more money that they won't spend makes no sense. And this House has just approved an unpaid-for and unnecessary tax cut for its corporate paymasters totaling some $28 billion annually -- but won't authorize spending less than $4 billion to take care of undocumented children at the border, nor $6 billion for extending long-term unemployment insurance. Hence NETWORK helps you give your House Rep what-for on this matter.