The Sierra Club helps you tell your state governor to publicize information about crude oil shipments by train. You'd think this would be a no-brainer, given all the accidents oil and gas trains have been having lately, but big rail corporations are trying to keep all that information secret. Perhaps because they think it's a "trade secret"? When you have to be evacuated from your house, when you can't drink or bathe in your water for weeks on end, when first responders can't get to the scene in time because they had no idea oil trains would be passing through, when you lose loved ones as good folks in Quebec did earlier this year, you certainly won't be thanking God that at least those rail corporations were able to keep information from their competitors! The national Department of Transportation issued an emergency order back in May mandating that railroad corporations tell state emergency commissions how often trains with large oil payloads pass through, as well as their specific routes and what counties they'll cross. It's hard to believe that still sounds like BIG GUMMINT OVERREACH!!!! to some folks, but it does. That's why we have to speak out.
Meanwhile, deadline for net neutrality comments to the FCC is Tuesday, July 15 -- why Tuesday? Who knows? -- and Sum of Us and CREDO help you tell the FCC to leave you, and not some corporation, in charge of your internet experience. For net neutrality would insure that, instead of big telecoms letting Miley Cyrus videos download faster to your computer than the blogs and news sites and entertainment sites you prefer, the big telecoms would have to treat all traffic equally (or "neutrally"), which means the internet remains the internet and doesn't become like cable TV which is all 557 channels and nothing on. If you're feeling especially ambitious (and why not? It's the internet, after all), the Consumerist still helps you tailor your message more precisely to the FCC's plan, which is important, as folks do like it when you actually respond in more or less the manner they've asked you to. And, with any luck (or, more likely, with a lot more hard work), we won't have to pay tribute to Comcast or Verizon just to start an internet-based business or keep the internet as a "marketplace of ideas." As American citizens continuing the greatest experiment in representative government in world history, we deserve to have the internet the way we made it.