Pennsylvania residents, take note: the EPA's carbon emissions plan actually gives states a considerable amount of leeway to meet the EPA's standards; President Obama perhaps imagined that would satisfy folks who purport to be concerned about "states' rights," but they seem to have been rather mute in their admiration. Nonetheless, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (or DEP) gets to draw up its own climate change plan, and the Sierra Club helps you tell Pennsylvania's DEP to adopt a vigorous plan that puts renewable energy at its center. Pennsylvania's a big coal state, as you know, and it's now a big natural gas state, too, thanks to Gov. Corbett's willingness to let gas drillers do whatever they like, clean drinking water be damned. But Pennsylvania also has pretty solid solar and wind sectors, and so may well lead the way for other states to transform their energy grids. Pennsylvania's dirty energy interests will no doubt stand in the way. But why should they get all the say around here? They'll only get all the say around here if we let it happen.
Word on the street is that House Speaker Boehner (E-OH) wants to force the nefarious "fast-track" plan down our throats after the elections. You all remember what "fast-track" is, right? It's the only way our government can force "free" trade on an unwilling electorate -- by forcing our Representatives in the House and Senate to vote on a "free" trade treaty in a largely debate-free, amendment-free manner that obviously leaves little time for sober consideration. Wasn't Mr. Boehner just saying he has "knuckleheads" in his caucus? Would some of said "knuckleheads" buck the Speaker's will and oppose "free" trade? Just kidding -- the supposed "craziness" of the Knucklehead Caucus is just an act; they'll all buckle down and do their corporate paymasters' bidding when it comes to "free" trade, though their constituents across the political spectrum oppose "free" trade deals that give away American jobs and American clean water protections and American clean air protections. Hence Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to oppose "fast-track" and bad "free" trade deals.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the SEC to mandate that publicly-held corporations disclose their campaign spending to their shareholders, then Public Citizen still helps you do that. You know the story -- the SEC mulled such a rule for several years, received a record million-plus comments (most in support), and then promptly removed the rule from its 2014 agenda, because it needed a nap or something. But don't shareholders deserve to know how corporate CEOs are spending their money? What are corporations afraid of -- backlash from shareholders who don't like that CEOs are spending their money trying to elect complete knuckle-draggers like Josh Mandel? Mr. Mandel rode some $40 million in spending on his behalf to get within striking distance of incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012. In a mid-term year, when Democratic turnout tends to be lower, Mr. Mandel might have won with all that dirty money behind him. And that would have been a tragedy, since Mr. Brown is a good man, while Mr. Mandel shouldn't be dogcatcher, let alone Ohio's state Treasurer.