Pennsylvania residents, take note: House Bill 722 (still not up at the Pennsylvania state legislature's website at this writing, but here's a PDF of it, courtesy Common Cause) would, like SB 22, amend the state Constitution to take redistricting power from the legislature (which, as we've seen, can't do the job without protecting its own interests) and give it to a five-member commission, made up of the House and Senate Majority and Minority leaders and a fifth individual chosen by the other four. Can you imagine that going wrong? Of course you can -- you can imagine four legislators conspiring to choose someone who won't rock the boat. But you can also imagine that backfiring on those legislators, and you can perhaps more easily imagine the political parties having a hard time getting a fifth member to rubber-stamp their wishes, since each party will have two votes on the commission. Thus shifting redistricting power from the legislature to a commission gives the people a better chance at regaining control of our politics. So go here to find your state legislator, and then call them and tell them to support fair redistricting.
As you know, President Trump has issued yet more Executive Orders aiming to open up the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans to offshore drilling, so Penn Environment, the Sierra Club, and the Alaska Wilderness League all help you tell Congress to stand against Mr. Trump's plan to pollute our oceans for the profit of the few. Before you think standing against Mr. Trump is just something dirty hippie environmentalists would do, remember that the shore communities in America also depend on ocean-related industries -- you wouldn't want to see the salmon trade in Alaska disappear because of offshore drilling in the Arctic, would you? And the aforementioned BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 wrecked Lousiana's shrimp trade in the years to come. Besides, if you've ever lived within two hours of an ocean, you also know that our shore communities depend on tourism. And why wouldn't they? Everybody loves the ocean. And we shouldn't pollute it just so a few oil and gas CEOs can make a few more dollars, and then gild the plumbing in their 19th vacation homes.
Finally, we were no great fan of the last Congress's chemical safety "reform" legislation, but ain't nothing so bad that President Trump can't make it worse, so of course his EPA aims to delay rule-making that would force chemical facilities to upgrade their security, so that chemical plant explosions (which are far more frequent than even news coverage would suggest) don't injure and kill people so much. But of course, for Messrs. Trump and Pruitt and their kind, regulations do nothing other than keep their friends from making unearned money -- heaven forbid our government actually tries to keep people from losing their lives and their homes. And even if your name was Scrooge McSmallgovernment, you could reasonably object to the hundreds of millions of dollars in damages chemical explosions cause annually. In any case, the EPA is taking public comments on its plan to delay chemical plant safety rule-making, and the Union of Concerned Scientists helps you tell the EPA not to delay efforts to make chemical plants safer.