Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to support two bills that would stop corporations from using forced arbitration to rip off their customers: H.R. 2087/S. 1133, the Arbitration Fairness Act, and H.R. 2079/S. 1122, the CLASS Act. The former bill would eliminate forced arbitration clauses from all employment and customer contracts, while the latter would prevent universities from putting those clauses in student enrollment contracts. Both of these bills will allow you to fight for your rights in a court of law, as you're entitled to do, without having to take your claims before some arbitrator who knows full well which side is paying him. Seems commonsensical, doesn't it? Well, beware of yet another onslaught against common sense from the right: that these bills will promote "frivolous lawsuits." Right-wingers must think very little of people, to think that Americans are constantly trying to get over. I suppose if I told them how little they think of people, they'd respond that it's the trial lawyers who mislead them into doing evil. But I know people. People ain't stupid, either.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Office of Natural Resources Revenue to enact the most vigorous coal royalty reforms possible, then both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters help you do that. So what are we reforming, exactly? The price the taxpayer gets from the coal that corporations extract from public lands, that's what. You'd think our government would be looking out for us here, since it's our land and our money, but they seem to look out for coal corporations more, regardless of what right-wing war-on-coal propagandists will tell you. Current regulations allow coal corporations to pay royalties not on the money they make selling their coal to utilities -- which is how you'd think it would be done, right? -- but on the money they make selling their coal to a shell corporation they own which then sells the coal to utilities. ONRR's reforms would base royalties on a coal corporation's first sale to a middleman they don't own, but that's not enough -- like I said, it's our land, and our money, so we should base the rate on the final sale.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Pennsylvania DEP to issue the most vigorous fracking safety rules possible, then Penn Environment still helps you do that. Want some more motivation to comment on the DEP proposal? Here it is: Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers President Mark Cline remarked back in late March that the DEP should give "operators who know the industry best" more say in the commenting period, adding that comments either supporting the DEP proposal or demanding more from it are, and I quote, "coming from people who don’t really have a clue what they’re talking about." Setting aside the fact that he didn't bother proving he knows more than you or I: don't these "operators" who supposedly "know the industry best" have a conflict of interest in their comments to our government? I mean, it sure does seem an awful lot these days like "knowing the industry best" means "letting the industry do whatever makes its CEOs the most money and damn everything else." Why should we take that guff from anybody?