America Speaks to BP


BREAKING: BP to stop burning endangered sea turtles

This victory started with you. You made a difference.

Over 140,000 CREDO Action members — including you — told BP and the U.S. Coast Guard to stop burning sea turtles alive during oil cleanup efforts. With your help, CREDO Action was the first progressive group to organize widespread grassroots pressure to end this practice. You brought national attention to the issue, forcing BP and the Coast Guard to take action.

Faced with mounting pressure from a number of organizations and the press, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard have finally agreed to new measures to protect endangered sea turtles in the oil slick burning zones.

Read the news here: BusinessWeek: BP, Coast Guard Will Save Turtles From Oil Burns.

Though the details are still being worked out (and we’ll need to ensure that BP and the U.S. Coast Guard follow through on their agreement) we are confident that measures and procedures are being put in place to prevent endangered sea turtles and other wildlife from being burned during oil spill clean-up activities.

Clearly, there is still much work to be done to stop the oil spill, clean up the environmental devastation, address the economic disaster and ensure that BP is held accountable. But it’s important to recognize and celebrate this victory as we face the challenges ahead.

Your pressure works.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action

It’s time to deliver the message: We need climate action now

Union of Concerned Scientists
Contact your senator today
Print out a copy of our Energy Independence & Climate Action flyer and hand-deliver the flyer to your senator at a public appearance, town hall meeting, or to the district office nearest you.

It’s Time to Deliver the Message: We Need Climate Action Now

Despite the tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the urgent need to limit global warming emissions, senators are under pressure to pass a business-as-usual energy bill this year. We need your help to put a strong comprehensive climate and energy bill—one that limits global arming emissions—over the finish line.

Your senators will be back home for Independence Day July 3 to July 11. While they are home, it is crucial that your senators hear from constituents like you demanding a climate and energy bill that will help break our dependence on oil, limit global warming emissions, and transition the United States to a clean energy economy.

The Independence Day recess is a great opportunity for you to ask your senators, in person, to support comprehensive climate and energy legislation. We have compiled a list of public appearances and town hall meetings over the Independence Day recess, as well as the locations of your senators’ district offices. Print out a copy of our Energy Independence & Climate Action flyer and hand-deliver the flyer to your senator at a public appearance or town hall meeting, or deliver it to the district office nearest you. This is an easy, fun, and personal way for your senators to hear from constituents like you in favor of passing a strong climate and energy bill this year.

Take Action Today!

Kate Abend
National Field Organizer
UCS Climate and Energy Program

Immigration …We want real solutions

Reform Immigration FOR America

The big news this week was President’s Obama address yesterday at American University. In the speech, the President called for bipartisan leadership for a comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system. In a meeting with the President earlier in the week, advocates laid out ways that the President can show greater leadership for comprehensive reform, including enforcement reform, greater pressure on congress for legislative solutions and administrative relief. He responded to some of these demands in his speech; we’re pleased that the President is engaged and we hope that we’ll see strong and relentless leadership from the President going forward. For this to pass, the administration should make concrete commitments and engage in this debate the way they did in health care and financial regulatory reform.

Powerful Voices for Reform:
Law Enforcement and Conservative leaders have been incredibly active over the last week. Last Friday in Illinois, a discussion on the impact of our broken immigration system on local enforcement took place between Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, along with other sheriff’s departments and police. Further exploring these issues is a report being released today by the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative, “Law Enforcement Leaders Agree: Federal Government is Responsible for Enforcing, and Reforming, Immigration Law.” The report examines the work done by enforcement leaders across the country calling on federal immigration reform for the good of local enforcement and the safety of our communities. Announcing the report today on a press telephonic were Chief Art Acevedo, Austin (TX) Police Department and National President and National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA), Chief George Gascón, San Francisco (CA) Police Department and Art Venegas (Moderator), Retired Chief of Police, Sacramento, CA and Project Director, Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative (LEEI). The campaign applauds these brave leaders for speaking out for the safety of our communities.

Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR), a group of prominent conservative leaders including several major Evangelical pastors, was also very vocal this week. Several members of CFCIR spoke at a press conference at American University following the President’s address, including Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Conference and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Leith Anderson told the audience, “the reality is that we need to move toward bipartisan support and that we need to move toward specific legislation and that we need to join hands together to do that which I believe is biblical and right and in the best interests of the United States of America.” Next week, CfCIR will be holding its 6th national telephonic call in Miami discussing the way forward for conservatives for reform.

Some of these same members of the faith community took part in an unprecedented coalition of African American and Latino pastors at an event in Washington, DC. Their goal was to show the diverse support and unity for immigration reform. Derrick Harkins, senior pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and co-convener of the coalition said, “We have come together to dispel the ugly myths about a black and brown divide on immigration reform…Throughout our history, immigrants have strengthened our country with their hard work and commitment to core American values.” Everyday, the support for reform becomes broader and more diverse, and it is alliances like these that have never been seen before and that will lead us to a better future.

Move the Game:
Right after President Obama’s speech, an official campaign to move the 2011 MLB All-Star Game out of Phoenix, AZ was launched by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and other partners. Ellie Klerlein, Associate Director of national campaigns at NCLR kicked off the campaign with a letter to supporters stating, “Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law essentially sanctions racial profiling and makes Latinos and others suspect based on their skin color or accents.  Yet this is where the 2011 All-Star Game is scheduled to take place, even though many of the players themselves would be subject to profiling under the law. This is unacceptable.” It is unacceptable and we encourage you to act now to tell Bud Selig to move the game in 2011!

Comprehensive Reform and the Deficit:
On Wednesday we heard how comprehensive immigration reform could positively affect our economy in a public hearing held by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (i.e. the fiscal commission) in an effort to gather testimony on ideas and proposals that could be used to shrink the federal deficit. Grisella Martinez, of the National Immigration Forum, explained that we must, “reform our immigration laws to raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs, and generate additional tax revenue AND we must engage in targeted, efficient and accountable spending of discretionary funds dedicated to immigration and border enforcement.” She went on to discuss examples of wasteful and uncontrolled spending at the Department of Homeland Security. To read more about the hearing and how immigration reform can shrink our federal deficit, click here.

Comprehensive Reform and the Border:
Earlier this week, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report, “Brick by Brick,” examining border security measures taken over the last five years and their effects on security and communities in general. According to the report, the border security bench marks that were discussed in the last round of the congressional debate on immigration reform have been largely met, but the fixation on border security to the exclusion of comprehensive immigration reform persists.  Some of these policies, the report contends, are well intentioned and effective, but others are poorly executed, lead to the violation of human rights and actually make communities less safe. In the report, CAP suggests strategies for improving enforcement strategies for a safer border while arguing that only comprehensive reform will lead to real solutions.

You Can Help in AZ:
Finally, we’d like to introduce Promise Arizona (PAZ). It is a new membership organization that has been built after a year of organizing in AZ, whose mission is to recruit, train and support a new generation of leaders from across the state to build a new Arizona, one that allows all residents to achieve their full potential.

PAZ is looking for summer fellows to join the fight in AZ. As a Promise Arizona (PAZ) Fellow, you will help to make this a reality by working with local organizers to increase civic engagement of African Americans, Latinos and young people and build lasting relationships in the community. Together, we can ensure that our elected officials represent all of the people of Arizona. Over half a million Latinos are unregistered and we need your help to create the Arizona, and the America, that includes everyone in our democratic process. To apply, click here.

Thank you for all of your work this week. Let’s keep it up!

Rich Stolz and Nora Feely, Reform Immigration FOR America

Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network
Watch news footage from tour of the Gulf
Take  Action

Mariana Jiminez, a 71-year-old grandmother from the Ecuadorean Amazon, dips her hand into the oil-black water in the precious marshlands off Louisiana’s Gulf coast and holds a dying, oil-drenched crab in her hand. She warns of the petroleum-laced water, “This is very very dangerous. This is a poison that kills. Not instantly, but it will kill slowly.”

This week, four Indigenous and community leaders from Ecuador (Mariana, Emergildo, Humberto and Luis), as well as advocates from Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, are deep in Louisiana’s sweltering Bayou witnessing the depth of BP’s oil disaster.

The Ecuadorean delegation has come to share the hard-won lessons from Chevron’s Amazon oil disaster with the United Houma Nation and Atakapa-Ishak tribes, American Indian communities dependent on a healthy Bayou for their very survival.

Every Indigenous person we meet expresses fear and anxiety about losing their ability to feed themselves and their families, and to continue their way of life on the water…all because of BP’s greed-driven failures.

These fears are by no means misplaced, as this is exactly what happened to the Indigenous peoples of Ecuador’s rainforest, at the hands of Chevron Corporation. They too used to fish, but had to start farming to sustain themselves. They spoke of the family members they’ve lost from oil-related birth defects and illnesses, and warned the Houma of the long-term health problems they will be facing long after BP and the TV cameras have left their shores.

As we walked along the deserted, oil-stained beach in Grand Isle, Brenda Dardar Robichaux, former Principal Chief of the United Houma Nation, explained how struck she was by the similarity of her story to the story of Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

From Louisiana’s Bayou to Ecuador’s rainforest, you see the same oil-sheened waterways and dying animals. You smell the same toxic stench in the air. Families nurse their loved ones through oil-related illnesses, respiratory diseases, and cancers while being told the same lie by oil companies and politicians alike- “the oil won’t hurt you.”

In the heart of Houma territory, these communities have come together to find ways to hold reckless, criminal oil companies like BP and Chevron accountable.

Check out news footage of their first days touring the Gulf, as well as the incredible photos on Flickr.

Thanks so much to all of you who donated to make this very special journey possible. You can follow the rest of the tour through the Gulf on We Can Change Chevron’s Facebook page and @ChangeChevron on Twitter.

In solidarity,

Maria Ramos
Change Chevron Campaign Director

P.S.Donate now to support Rainforest Action Network’s critical work to hold oil companies accountable and to support frontline communities from the Amazon to the Gulf.

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