Category Archives: Uncategorized

Net Neutrality – too late to save it?

A federal appeals court just killed critically important government protections against discrimination online; the giant Internet service providers (ISPs) — Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable — now have total control over what information we can access on the web.

It’s a nightmare scenario, and one the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has long seen coming. A self-imposed, Bush-era rule restricting the agency’s ability to regulate broadband foreshadowed the court’s finding this week that ISPs no longer have to treat all web users equally — they can block websites, slow down services, and double- and triple-dip in charging extra fees to restore access.

But we have the power to stop this. By raising our voices together, we can ensure the FCC has the political will to act on its authority to reverse a decade of failed Internet policy — and the courage to stand up to an industry that has pushed it around for too long.

FCC chair Tom Wheeler says he supports a free and open Internet, but actions speak louder than words. Demand the FCC re-regulate broadband and save the Internet now.

The Internet is an essential service we rely on to conduct our most basic daily affairs, from applying for a job to finding a home to running a small business. And our right to communicate freely and be heard lies at the heart of our ability to participate fairly in our democracy.

ColorOfChange has been at the forefront of efforts to protect our ability to communicate freely online since we fought to enshrine rigorous FCC Net Neutrality rules in 2010. Real Net Neutrality ensures ISPs and content companies can’t collude to turn the democratic Internet into corporate-controlled cable TV, full of restrictions, limits on consumer choice, and toll stations designed to maximize their profits at our expense. In the wake of this week’s ruling, Net Neutrality is dead.

Imagine Comcast penalizing subscribers for accessing news sources not owned by its NBC subsidiary. Imagine AT&T shutting off access to T-Mobile’s customer service website. Verizon charging you — and the school you’re attending — extra for you to access classroom resources online. ISPs are now legally permitted, and more financially incentivized than ever before, to engage in precisely these types of predatory behaviors.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The court agreed the FCC has the power, bestowed by Congress, to regulate ISPs’ business practices — if only the agency can rethink its conflicting, overly restrictive internal rules. Chairman Wheeler has clear direction that it’s time to reclassify broadband companies as common carriers, affording the public the same anti-discrimination protections we all enjoy when making a phone call, using electricity, or taking public transportation.

Can you take a moment to make sure Chairman Wheeler gets the message? Join us in urging the FCC to defend our right to communicate by reclassifying broadband now.

Learn about running for office from local environmental group Bold Nebraska

Below is a calendar of upcoming events where you can get involved in the pipeline fight, and join the campaign for New Energy. Click the links for more details and to sign up.

Feb. 1: Omaha & Lincoln: Candidate Training Workshop
(Saturday, Feb. 1, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Ayars & Ayars, Omaha & Lincoln, NE)
Note: The training will be simulcast via live video at both Ayars & Ayars locations.
The Nebraska League of Conservation Voters has organized non-partisan candidate training workshops to introduce you to our public power districts, natural resource districts, and other introductory-level elected offices. Participants will get an understanding of what these offices do, what it means to serve on the board, and the basics you need to know if you are thinking about running for one of them. Bold Nebraska is a co-sponsor of the trainings, along with Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Farmers Union and the Center for Rural Affairs.

Feb. 4: York Pipeline Fighter & New Energy Voter Meetup
(Tues., Feb. 4, 5:00-7:00 p.m., York, NE)
Join us at the York Community Center, for an update on the U.S. State Department’s review of TransCanada’s pipeline permit application, as well as an overview of the state of Nebraska’s public power landscape, and a preview of Bold Nebraska’s plans for a New Energy Voter campaign in 2014.

Feb. 6: Omaha & Lincoln Pipeline Fighter & New Energy Voter Meetup 
(Thurs., Feb. 6, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Ayars & Ayars, Omaha & Lincoln, NE)
Note: The meeting will be simulcast via live video at both Ayars & Ayars locations. 
Join us at either the Ayars & Ayars location in Omaha or Lincoln, for an update on the U.S. State Department’s review of TransCanada’s pipeline permit application, as well as an overview of the state of Nebraska’s public power landscape, and a preview of Bold Nebraska’s plans for a New Energy Voter campaign in 2014.

Feb. 8: O’Neill Candidate Training Workshop
(Sat., Feb. 8, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., The Blarney Stone, O’Neill, NE)
The Nebraska League of Conservation Voters has organized non-partisan candidate training workshops to introduce you to our public power districts, natural resource districts, and other introductory-level elected offices. Participants will get an understanding of what these offices do, what it means to serve on the board, and the basics you need to know if you are thinking about running for one of them. Bold Nebraska is a co-sponsor of the trainings, along with Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Farmers Union and the Center for Rural Affairs.

Feb. 11: O’Neill Pipeline Fighter & New Energy Voter Meetup
(Tues., Feb. 11, 5:00-7:00 p.m., O’Neill, NE)
Join us at the O’Neill Community Center, for an update on the U.S. State Department’s review of TransCanada’s pipeline permit application, as well as an overview of the state of Nebraska’s public power landscape, and a preview of Bold Nebraska’s plans for a New Energy Voter campaign in 2014.

Feb. 15: York Candidate Training Workshop
(Sat., Feb. 15, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Chances ‘R’ Restaurant, York, NE)
The Nebraska League of Conservation Voters has organized non-partisan candidate training workshops to introduce you to our public power districts, natural resource districts, and other introductory-level elected offices. Participants will get an understanding of what these offices do, what it means to serve on the board, and the basics you need to know if you are thinking about running for one of them. Bold Nebraska is a co-sponsor of the trainings, along with Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Farmers Union and the Center for Rural Affairs.

NET News Legislative Coverage

Live Legislative Coverage: Each day the legislature is in session, NETNews provides gavel-to-gavel coverage on NET Television’s NET2 World.  NET Radio listeners can hear legislative highlights of each weekday session at 5:30 p.m. CT during “All Things Considered,” as well as at 7:06 a.m. CT during “Morning Edition.” Coverage is also available streaming on the NET website at: http://www.netnebraska.org/basic-page/television/live-demand-state-government

Mobile Access: In 2013, nearly 5.4 million minutes of state government proceedings were streamed from the NET website. Legislative content is now available on mobile devices via the Nebraska Capitol Live Mobile App. The app provides instant access to Unicameral action including discussions, votes and hearing rooms. In addition to the Legislature, video from the Nebraska Supreme Court, Appellate Court, the Governor’s Hearing Room and the Nebraska Department of Education are all available. The Capitol Live App is available for Apple and Android devices at the following links:

The Capitol Live App on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nebraska-capitol-live/id597484363?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Capitol Live App on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.netnebraska.nebraskacapitollive

Other NET Nebraska Mobile Apps: http://www.netnebraska.org/basic-page/other/mobile-apps

“Capitol Conversations,” is a weekly web interview series hosted by legislative reporter Fred Knapp. The series, consisting of 10-minute interviews are issue-oriented and focus on one policymaker, state senator or other person whose decisions or viewpoints affect Nebraskans. Each interview is designed to provide information about the guests’ views and opinions on a variety of issues and a closer look at what has shaped their political thinking. New “Capitol Conversations” interviews will generally be available each Thursday through the end of the legislative session, and can be found at: http://netnebraska.org/basic-page/news/news

Derail the TransPacific Partnership

From the Green Shadow Cabinet‘s Kris Alman, published 12/29/2013

The mainstream media should be ashamed of its minimal attempts at informing the American people about the TranPacific Partnership (TPP). Negotiated in secret, the TPP is NAFTA on steroids. It’s urgent we demand that Congress oppose a “fast track” of this treaty.

You may be muttering, “Why pay attention to this irrelevant issue?” After all, we’re too busy working long hours to buy cheap Nike shoes, iPads and apparel from retailers like Walmart to celebrate the Christmas® holidays.

Indeed, we are so busy buying stuff destined for landfills that we don’t realize we are disposable too. The wizards behind the curtain of the TPP are 600 corporate “advisors” for rich multi-national corporations that don’t care about public health, the environment and human rights. They care about profits—period.

Read more here

See also…NAFTA Twenty Years On
from the Green Shadow Cabinet’s Richard McIntyre, published 12/13/2013

News from the Green Shadow Cabinet

False positives of Jobs Report: More jobs, but at less pay

A first look at U.S. third quarter 2013 GDP and October Jobs Reports gives the impression that the U.S. economy is mending and might soon begin to recover. But a closer inspection shows that the reports indicate an economy still mired in a ‘stop-go’ trajectory at best and a jobs market able to produce low pay, often contingent service jobs. Moreover, trends within the reports suggest even the already tepid results in the reports will likely wane, once again, in the coming quarter and months. Here’s why.

news from the Green Shadow Cabinet

The “Monsanto Protection Act” goes to Oregon

While the “Monsanto Protection Act” has been dealt a setback in the Washington, the GMO industry is continuing its backroom campaign against regulation and labelling at a state and local level. The story of Oregon’s SB-863 law shows that the industry is targeting the rights of counties and communities to control their food production.

Don’t Frack the Future

Steve Breyman, Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator

High-volume hydraulic fracturing (better known as “fracking”), the process by which more and more oil and gas in the United States is produced, is good at some near-term things. It’s brought down natural gas prices for consumers. It’s resulted in several boom-towns across America’s shale formations. It’s brought back to life old wells uneconomical to pump through other means. It’s generated significant funds for gas companies and some lucky leaseholders. It’s created thousands of jobs. It’s plowed much needed tax revenues into a few state and local government coffers.

But that’s the problem—fracking is all about now.
Read more Don’t Frack the Future