If President Obama hasn't killed Keystone XL dead because our government has a process for evaluating it that must be respected, as he says, then why has his Administration fast-tracked approval of an expansion of Enbridge's Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline? This pipeline runs through the northernmost regions of Minnesota and Wisconsin, so we the people ought to have a say about the deleterious effects an expansion might have on public safety and climate change. But earlier this week we learned from State Department emails that State approved that expansion with no public notice, no public comment period, and no environmental impact evaluation, and hoo boy do those emails sound inappropriately deferential -- the State Department seems to think it should be heeding Enbridge's schedule, rather than, you know, ours. Luckily, construction of the expansion is nowhere near complete, so CREDO helps you tell President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to stop the Alberta Clipper expansion.
Meanwhile, speaking of oil, Public Citizen helps you tell President Obama to halt any further expansion of offshore drilling. Sadly, we know from catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon Spillageddon in 2010 that it's not so much a question of whether they'll be another one, but when. And we also know that the big corporations don't like having clean-up crews on hand for big spills, because that costs money. But surely our government has learned from its mistakes, right? Well, no: Congress has passed no legislation on the matter, and federal regulators are just now proposing new rules addressing what happened five years ago, which oil corporations will have another 10 years before they get around to complying with them -- by which time we could be neck-deep in some Arctic catastrophe that will be even harder to clean up than that mess in the relatively temperate Gulf was. If we can't make offshore drilling safe, we shouldn't do it. I know, I know: that sounds conservative. It's a risk I'll take for love of country.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 920/S. 502, the Smarter Sentencing Act, then Families Against Mandatory Minimums still helps you do that. The Smarter Sentencing Act, as you know, would help give judges more of the flexibility they should have when sentencing non-violent federal drug offenders; currently they're far too hamstrung by mandatory minimum laws to dispense justice properly. However, you may not know that a passel of religious groups stand with us on this matter -- not just the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and the Union for Reform Judaism, but Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition and Tony Perkins's Family Research Council also not only support more merciful (and practical) sentencing laws, and are actually in Washington lobbying for that as we speak. And I'm just as happy to stand with right-wing evangelicals on this matter as I am to stand with them on a la carte cable packaging.