Oppose Fast-Track Pipeline Approval:
While everyone was watching the healthcare debacle, the House quietly passed two bills that would fast-track approval for oil pipelines, especially those that cross international borders. The bills would reinforce the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) role in approving pipelines and would allow them to impose deadlines on other agencies in evaluating pipeline applications. The legislation would result in hastier decisions that would likely result in greater environmental damage and also serves as a further effort to erode the administrative state. They would also reduce the ability of state and federal agencies to provide input into pipeline applications. We’ll focus on one bill for now and go from there. Background:
Hello, I am a constituent calling from ________________ and I want to urge Sen. ________________ to oppose the “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act.” This bill would diminish the ability of state and local agencies from having input in the pipeline approval process. It would also make it easier to ignore concerns about pipelines that would be in violation of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act. Thank you for taking my call.
Oppose the Anti-Israel Boycott Act:
Few issues are more divisive than that of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and allegiances defy traditional party alliances. Without taking a specific stand on that question, we nonetheless want to offer an action that opposes a piece of legislation that would criminalize participation in an international boycott of Israel. Punishments include fines of up to $1 million and possible twenty-year prison sentences. We oppose this legislation because free speech should extend to one’s participation in boycotts and other economic activities. The ACLU agrees, calling this bill patently unconstitutional. Keep in mind that this action in no way endorses the boycott of Israel; rather, it protects the right to do so. The list of sponsorsfor this bill is striking: arch-conservatives such as Ted Cruz are on board, but so are staunch liberals like Schumer, Gillibrand, and Cardin. Tillis and Burr and also sponsors. No matter where you stand on the Israel-Palestine issue, it would be wise to remember the words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
I am a constituent calling from __________ to urge Senator ________ to withdraw support for the Anti-Israel Boycott Act. It is unconstitutional to restrict a citizen’s right to participate in an economic boycott, a form of speech broadly covered by the courts. Please protect the free speech of North Carolina’s citizens. Thanks for taking my call.
Senator Richard Burr
Washington, DC: (202) 224-3154
Winston-Salem: (336) 631-5125
Senator Thom Tillis
Washington, DC: (202) 224-6342
High Point: (336) 885-0685
A Redistricting Committee Meets, But the Public Knows Little:
On Tuesday, a cryptic notice appeared on the NCGA calendar announcing a meeting of the House Select Committee on Redistricting on July 26 at 1:300 p.m. There was no accompanying press release or any public comment by any legislator. In fact, Democratic members of the committee, when contacted by activists, knew as much about the meeting as we did. The last time the lines were drawn (unconstitutionally, as courts keep ruling), similar hearings were held, but in the end, a few Republican legislators drew the infamous maps in secret. We suspect that this hearing is a similar dog-and-pony show, and we further suspect that the new maps have been ready for months. We have three actions for you: 1) Attend the meeting. We know that public accountability has mitigated some of the worst bills from passing, such as the concealed carry craziness. 2) Email the representatives on the list. We will include a sample script, but it is much better if you write your own informal note. 3) Tweet at the reps. We want to build a public record of our questions on this matter. This could prove to be critical in the inevitable court challenges, and certainly in the court of public opinion. Please remember when you write to be respectful. Many of these members are Democrats who are likely sympathetic to your message, and they will all take you more seriously if you refrain from insults.
Sample Email Script:
I am a constituent from North Carolina writing to express my concern that the July 26th meeting of the Redistricting Committee is mere window dressing. The last time districts were drawn, similar hearings were held, yet the maps were drawn in secret. Since court after court has struck those lines down as illegal, we the public would like to see a more transparent, balanced, and democratic process that will result in legal maps that truly represent all North Carolinians. I look forward to your response.
David.Lewis@ncleg.net, John.Bell@ncleg.net, Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net, Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net,John.Szoka@ncleg.net, John.Torbett@ncleg.net, Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net, Cecil.Brockman@ncleg.net,Justin.Burr@ncleg.net, Ted.Davis@ncleg.net, Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net, Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net,Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net, Andy.Dulin@ncleg.net, Jean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg.net,Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net, Terry.Garrison@ncleg.net, Rosa.Gill@ncleg.net, Holly.Grange@ncleg.net,Destin.Hall@ncleg.net, Edward.Hanes@ncleg.net, Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net, Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.net,Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net, Julia.Howard@ncleg.net, Howard.Hunter@ncleg.net, Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net,Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net, Bert.Jones@ncleg.net, Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net,Chris.Malone@ncleg.net, Mickey.Michaux@ncleg.net, Rodney.Moore@ncleg.net,Garland.Pierce@ncleg.net, Robert.Reives@ncleg.net, David.Rogers@ncleg.net, Jason.Saine@ncleg.net,Michael.Speciale@ncleg.net, Shelly.Willingham@ncleg.net, Michael.Wray@ncleg.net,Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net
Twitter handles for Committee Members:
@RepDavidRLewis @JohnBellNC, @DarrenJNC, @repsarahstevens, @JohnSzoka, @JohnTorbett, @BillBrawley, @CecilBrockman, @RepJustinBurr, @RepTedDavisJr, @JoshDobson85th,@NelsonDollar36, @adulin, @RepJFB, @RepFButterfield, @Rep_Rosa_Gill, @RepHollyGrange,@DestinHall, @EdHanes4NC, @JonHardister, @priceyharrison, @kellyhastings1, @juliahowardnc,@rephowardhunter, @lindapjohnson, @Jordan4NCHouse, @chrismalone3, @romo1963, @NCLegBlkCaucus, @electreives, @JasonSaine97th, @RepWray, @larry_rep