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This Wed. morning begins on a high note with the victory in Alabama of Doug Jones over the bigot and molester Roy Moore.
But two truly horrible things are playing out in Washington DC this week: The repeal of net neutrality and the passage of a disgusting “tax reform” bill loaded with unjust and destructive provisions. This is truly a time to speak out as loudly as possible. (See this Delaware State News article about net neutrality. We put contact info in the comments.)
Back to lead poisoning. There is no safe level of lead exposure. It dumbs us down.
I would be willing to bet that Trump supporters have, on average, higher blood lead levels than the rest of us. (Note: A critical reader points out that support for “conservative” politics is most demonstrably correlated with authoritarian personality, not intelligence. In general white people supported Trump–males and uneducated whites the most.). Continue reading
Speak out to preserve Net Neutrality!
There is, to say the least, a lot going on. In Washington, DC, Trump and the Republican leadership of the House and Senate are essentially trying to undo all the progress made by public interest advocates in past decades. If something is wrong, evil, and dirty they are for it. Essentially every federal agency has been put under control of people opposed to the mission of that agency. The last time we saw this happening so blatantly was under Ronald Reagan. Here we go with one really important example: Continue reading
The last time the State of Delaware used the “Consensus Building Institute” scam-shop to carve up the Coastal Zone Act, twenty-five years ago, Green Delaware and Audubon were on opposite sides and DAS was a key seller-out. I’ve been an Audubon member most of the time since about 1971, and am pleased to see that Delaware Audubon is showing more brains and integrity this time around, and is holding back from the farce. This shows some smarts and political maturity.
A key thing to remember is that the battle was lost in the legislature and the mind of an uber-mediocre governor. That outcome is not going to be reversed by DNREC.
It’ s important to pay some attention to the administrative rulemaking process but not be distracted and diverted by it.
If people are serious about getting the Coastal Zone Act back, they need to focus on Carney and on getting rid of turkey legislators like Osienskim and on bringing in corrective legislation.
Most readers will know that a new Delaware law guts the Delaware Coastal Zone Act.
The basic destruction was done by the Delaware General Assembly and Governor Carney in House Bill 90. The details of how the destruction is to be implemented are to be worked out by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). To do this, the DNREC has hired the “Consensus Building Institute,” the same outfit that was used to write very harmful Coastal Zone Act regulations back in the late 1990s. What we said at the time. Continue reading
Reasonable people will agree that the US is in a major political crisis. The “presidency” of Trump has turned out to be as evil and misguided as predicted by the most pessimistic. Every agency connected to environmental and health protection is being turned on it’s head. The US House and Senate are under the control of nutwads. While Trump is mostly despised by responsible people, he has a hard core of supporters, motivated by anger and hate, who do not care at all the damage being done. They applaud it. The more the better. But the US faces so many profound challenges that we just can’t afford such misgovernment.Likewise Delaware is in political crisis. The state is run by a non-visionary governor and poor legislative leadership seeming to take guidance mainly from “Chamber of Commerce” interests. Since “corporate” control is largely the cause of Delaware’s problems, increasing the corporate chokehold will surely not make things better.
The good news is that a new generation of activists is raising it’s head in Delaware. People do care. I’m impressed by many of them. Some brief profiles to follow at some point. Continue reading
After July, we gave our readers a vacation from emails, focusing Green Delaware’s presence primarily on Facebook. Today is the first day of Fall and emails are back.
Please take a few minutes to read Sarah Bucic’s op ed below and prod Governor John Carney to take action. Attention is focused on the Governor as the DNREC has failed for many months to take action. Continue reading
Green Delaware sent out quite a few emails during the last weeks of the Delaware General Assembly, so we’ve tried to be quiet for a while…..
First, Wednesday and Thursday (July 19th and 20th) are both official Code Orange bad air days. Since both ozone and particle levels will be high, along with temperature and humidity, Green Delaware would call these Code Red days and urge caution. These are unhealthy conditions and can be expected to recur throughout the summer. The Mid-Atlantic Medium Range Air Quality Discussion says high ozone levels may persist Friday through Sunday. With the Trump administration working to shut down environmental regulatory programs, the long-term outlook for air quality improvements is not so good. Continue reading
There are only four days left of this session of the 149th Delaware General Assembly. (Various extensions and “special sessions” are possible.)
In this session the “Delaware Way” has been in full flower. The Delaware Way is that a small club of “big head” legislators get together with big-business interests, and the Governor or his representatives, and make all the real decisions. Ordinary legislators generally understand that if they want to stay in office and get things for their district, they aren’t supposed to buck this system,
A few things are on the agenda for this week. One is passing tax and budget bills that penalize mainly lower-middle-class and working class people for Delaware’s “budget deficit.” Rep. John Kowalko is advocating a more fair approach.
Another is gutting the famous Delaware Coastal Zone Act, via HB 190.
Overall, the lack of vision, leadership, and idealism is painful to think about; painful to see in action, and plenty damaging to the future of Delaware and it’s people.
Procedurally, House Bill 190 was written without significant public input. Defenders of the Coastal Zone Act have responded by calling for an open “stakeholder process” before any legislative action is taken.
HB 190 was approved by the House Natural Resources committee on June 7th. The vote was 8 to 1 with only Rep. John Kowalko voting against. The committee is chaired by anti-environmental activist Debra Heffernan (who does not return calls from Green Delaware).
HB 190 then went the the whole House, where it was passed 7 to 34 on June 20th. The honor role of those voting “NO” is Reps. Baumbach, Bennett, K. Williams, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, and Mitchell. (Read the roll call here–click “view” under roll calls)
Next stop is the Senate Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Committee, chaired by longtime Senator Harris McDowell and packed with anti-environmental types.
Is the committee so packed because Senate head Dave McBride chose to do so, or because the entire senate is so packed these days? In any case, HB 190, now decorated with a bunch of amendments that don’t change much, is to be taken up by a Senate committee on
Wednesday, June 28th, at 11:00 am in the Senate Chamber. Members of the public will probably be allowed to speak, but likely only for 2 or 3 minutes.
If HB 190 passes out of the Senate committee it will probably go to the whole Senate on Thursday, June 29th.
If the Senate passes HB 190 as passed by the House, it will go to Gov. John Carney for his signature. Carney is a dedicated, long-declared enemy of the Coastal Zone and the Coastal Zone Act.
So, the timely action at this point is to contact the members of the Senate committee and ask them NOT to approve HB 190:
TODAY! Please get on the phone to “your” legislators about protecting the Delaware Coastal Zone Act.
Home and Leg Hall phone numbers are listed here. Home numbers are OK to use.
If you don’t know who you representative or senator is, go to “Who is my legislator?” (Upper right of page.)
HB 190, the “Gut the Coastal Zone Act” bill, is scheduled for floor debate and vote in the Delaware House of Representatives this afternoon (Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (This could change.)
The bill was passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee on June 7th. 8 members voted for it and only Rep. John Kowalko voted “no.” So now it goes to the full House.
A powerful Dark Side coalition is behind HB 190, and most legislators, whatever their personal feelings, seem reluctant to oppose the bill. The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce carries a big stick.
The action item, per usual. is to contact legislators. Continue reading