Tomorrow, January 21, will mark five years since the Supreme Court issued Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the floodgates for corporate spending on political campaigns under the absurd notion that corporations enjoy "the rights of personhood." Good folks will be rallying against the decision, and the havoc it's wrought, all over the country tomorrow; you can find a nearby rally here, courtesy a broad coalition of groups including Common Cause, MoveOn, and USPIRG. Alternately, both Public Citizen and the League of Conservation Voters help you tell your Congressfolk to pass a Constitutional amendment reversing Citizens United. Be prepared for your Congressfolk to instruct you that, yes, they hate corruption, too, but a Constitutional amendment would allow all kinds of booga-booga to happen, like the silencing of churches, the passing of laws restricting one candidate from running ads at all, and such like -- though none of these were features of the pre-Citizens, McCain/Feingold landscape, and none would survive any kind of judicial scrutiny. But take heart that the haters no longer merely ignore your will -- now they try to discredit your will. They will fail.
Meanwhile, Consumers Union has proposed an innovative way to combat the proposed Comcast/Time-Warner merger if (and I have no idea what will happen, actually) both the Department of Justice and the FCC don't stop it -- they want to take the matter to the states, and so they help you tell your state Attorney General to stop the Comcast/Time-Warner merger if it violates state or federal antitrust laws. Several state Attorneys General are apparently contemplating this very thing, and if the merger goes through, Comcast will control nearly 60 percent of the national cable TV market and nearly half the residential high-speed broadband market as well; chances are that figure will be even higher in some states. And petitioning your state Attorneys General might actually be even better than petitioning the FCC or the DOJ -- your state Attorney General would be more likely to run into you, or others who believe as you do, than anyone in Washington ever would, and would thus be more susceptible to public pressure. And remember, folks: freedom is for people, not corporations.
Finally, the Sierra Club helps you tell President Obama and the EPA to enact more vigorous methane emissions standards than they've thus far done. What's the problem with the EPA proposal, which does, after all, regulate methane emissions for the first time, and proposes cuts of over 40 percent by 2025? The problem is essentially the same as the problem with the EPA's original carbon emission proposals: they affect only new oil and gas drilling operations, when there are, you know, plenty of oil and gas drilling operations already. The good news? The EPA did eventually propose carbon emissions regulations for existing power plants. But no law prevents us from demanding that they step up sooner. After all, methane traps some 80 times the heat that carbon dioxide does, and though methane doesn't yet comprise 10% of all the pollution we spew into the air, that number's growing, and it's going to grow a lot faster as states give over more of their lands to gas drillers. And no, the methane mitigation industry won't fix it. The power of the law will fix it.