Monthly Archives: June 2012

RESTORE Act passes!

National Audubon Society, 6/29/12

Today, the U.S. House and Senate have passed Audubon’s highest legislative priority, the RESTORE Act, dedicating 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster to Gulf Coast restoration, as part of the transportation bill. It is now on its way to President Obama’s desk.

This is truly historic—it will be the single largest investment ever by the United States Congress in environmental restoration. Your support was instrumental in making it happen. While nothing can undo the devastating impact of the BP oil disaster, as we go into the 4th of July week, America has another cause for celebration.

Here’s the statement I issued today:

“The RESTORE Act is a lifeline for the Gulf Coast. It will create jobs, and it’ll restore the places wildlife need to thrive. This is an act of hope and faith in America that has been generations in coming, and it’s the biggest conservation funding victory Congress has ever delivered.”

This giant step forward will provide as much as $20 billion in funds for Gulf restoration and recovery. Here’s what it means for birds, habitat and people:

* Each of the five Gulf States will have the financial capacity to begin and complete restoration projects that have long been planned, but underfunded.
* Thousands of acres of lost habitat for birds and other wildlife in the region will be restored, repaired or replaced.
* Much needed re-engineering of the Mississippi River Basin will get a kick start—allowing that ecosystem to begin to rebuild itself, and helping to reverse the disappearance of Louisiana Coastal wetlands.
* Restoration projects large and small, spanning the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico from the barrier islands of Texas to the Florida Everglades, will receive essential support.

As in any bill that goes to a House-Senate conference, there were compromises. Unfortunately, the visionary funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the Senate version of the bill got left on the cutting-room floor. That funding is the primary driver of land acquisition for Parks, Refuges and Forests in America and we fought hard to keep it in the final legislation and came up short. On the other hand, we’re pleased that a provision in the House version of the bill that would have expedited construction of the Keystone XL pipeline also was excluded.

In the final analysis, we’re thrilled to be delivering billions of dollars of desperately-needed investment in one of America’s most biologically rich regions that is critical to migratory birds. Thank you for your help in achieving this historic victory.


David Yarnold
President & CEO
National Audubon Society

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Voting rights: Iraq, US

from The People’s Boycott

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Voting Whites

This isn’t a very nice cartoon (from Internet lore), but given PA majority leader Turzai’s recent comment that “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done” (PoliticsPA, 6/25/12) it does seem a fair comment:


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U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Strong New Mayors for Peace Resolution

United for Peace and Justice, 6/20/12

At the close of its 80th annual meeting in Orlando Florida, on June 16, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) unanimously adopted a strong, comprehensive, new Mayors for Peace resolution Calling for U.S. Leadership in Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Urgent Needs of Cities.

Noting that “more than two decades after the end of the Cold War, nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons, over 95% of them in the arsenals of the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to cities and people everywhere,” the USCM “reaffirms its call on the President of the United States to work with the leaders of the other nuclear armed states to implement the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament forthwith, so that a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a comparable framework of mutually reinforcing legal instruments can be agreed upon and implemented by 2020, as urged by Mayors for Peace.”

Stressing that “the continuing economic crisis is forcing mayors and cities to make ever deeper cuts in critical public services,” the USCM resolution takes note that “in 2011, the United States spent $711 billion on its military, 41% of the world total and twice as much as the next 14 countries combined, including China, Russia, six NATO allies and three major non-NATO allies.”

read the full article and text of the resolution at United for Peace and Justice

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