News

Action Alert 4.8.2018

Take action today 

Unfortunately, Coal Primacy is inching closer and closer to becoming the law of the land. It passed the House Finance Committee after a contentious hearing in which the effects of the bill and our reasoning were misrepresented. The full House is scheduled to vote on this legislation Monday, 4/9 at 5PM! It has already passed the Senate, so the only hurdle left would be the Governor's signature. Primacy is scarily close to becoming the law of the land.

There is an opportunity here. Since this bill is going to be voted on by everyone in the House, every representative is in play. Please take a second to tell your representative to vote no on HB571!

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Action Alert 4.2.2018

Take action today to help keep the permitting of coal in federal hands - where it belongs! The House Finance Committee is poised to vote on House Bill 571 tomorrow! The Senate version of this bill has already passed, so if we can't slow this down tomorrow, it may be impossible to stop!

Read more here!

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Action Alert 3.23.2018

 

The Tennessee General Assembly is poised to force the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to take over the permitting and regulation of coal mining in the state. This is known as "Primacy". We are against this bill for a host of environmental and financial reasons.

Read more here!

or:

Help us hold the line against coal!

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Legislative Update 3.9.2018

This week, we are focusing on coal and air quality.

Coal Mining Primacy will likely pass the Senate on Monday (3/12) and is up for a vote in the House Finance subcommittee on Wednesday (3/14). Simply put, it is well on its way to becoming the law of the land. To stop this step backwards we need legislators to hear from their constituents!

Furthermore, a bill is advancing to prohibit counties from renewing contracts regarding vehicle inspection and maintenance testing. All of Tennessee just recently reached air quality "attainment status" (which means that our air only recently met a minimum standard for air quality) and this bill seeks to do away with emissions testing before we have even had a chance to enjoy our healthy air!

Take Action Here!

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Legislative Update 3.4.2018

Things are certainly heating up in the Tennessee General Assembly. Legislative watchers have long been predicting that this was going to be a short session, and this means that the pace is going to quicken as committees try and run through the bills that they have left. Of particular note, the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources committee is already on its Final Calendar.

This means that the environmental advocacy community has our hands full as we try and manage all the legislation that we are interested in. If you want to see the sorts of things we follow, check out the TCV Comprehensive Calendar for the Week of 3.5.2018 or the TCV Comprehensive Bill List.

Follow this link for the rest of the update!

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Legislative Update 2.26.2018

The Senate Finance Committee will be taking up the amended Senate Bill 686 on Tuesday, the 27th which seeks to force the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to create a brand new bureaucracy to regulate the coal mining industry - despite the fact that the federal government is already overseeing it!

Please read our take on it and take action here!

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TCV Legislative Update 2.11.2018

Conservation Education Day:

We hope that everyone reading this is aware of the breadth, scope, and urgency of environmental lobbying. We cover Administrative Procedure, Open Government, Water Quality, Air Quality, Public Lands, Solid Waste, and everything in between. But we can't do it without your help! To be effective at the Capitol, we need constituents contacting legislators and backing us up. When politicians know we represent members of their district, they listen.

Click here to learn more about Conservation Education Day and this week in the legislature!

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TCV Legislative Update 1/28/2017

Bill filing deadline is February 1st, but as we gather information and read the bills that are already filed, we are starting to get an idea for what we will face this year. This week, we want to highlight two areas that we think will see some movement before the end of the session, Procedural Bills and Open Government.

Click here to read more

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Nashville Climate March

TCV strongly advocates for better energy policies for Tennessee. Check out this opportunity to support the broad environmental community and science-based policies!

Read more: https://www.facebook.com/events/1586607941406101/​

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Tennessee officials keep radioactive waste details from public

ICYMI: Open government is a cornerstone of environmental advocacy and public health. This is very troubling.

"TDEC's withholding of information which has, for years, been open to the public comes at the same time that companies in Tennessee have filed notice they plan to import up to 10,000 metric tons - or more than 22 million pounds - of low-level nuclear waste from Canada for processing."

Read more: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/11/20/tennessee-nuclear-radioactive-waste-details/839511001/

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Controversial EPA air nominee to get Senate vote

Trump nominated Bill Wehrum to be the top enforcer of our nation’s premier clean air law. Just one problem: He’s sued the EPA 31 times to weaken environmental and public health protections under the Clean Air Act. And that’s just the beginning. We deserve a true advocate to protect our communities.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/358701-week-ahead-controversial-epa-air-nominee-to-get-senate-vote

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State board shifts gas station cleanup costs to taxpayers

Please read this article. There is so much in this article that is central to why Tennessee Conservation Voters exists and is important.
 
In Tennessee's political landscape today, almost all regulations are seen as simple obstacles to profit, not safeguards of the public's health and finances. Obscure boards are shifting in makeup and quietly changing rules that privatize profits and socialize costs. A governor suspends pending regulations without being "aware of the specifics of any of the rules that he suspended". All of this highlights the need for a political voice for Tennessee's environment.
If any of this bothers you, consider subscribing to our Legislative Update and taking a moment to write your legislator right now to ask them to take environmental concerns seriously next legislative session.
 

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Budget Amendment

Governor's just filed budget amendment transfers $1 million in recurring state parks appropriation to non recurring.

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TCV Legislative Update

Bill Update...

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TCV Legislative Update

The Tennessee General Assembly has begun to close Committees this week.

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Primacy Bill Stopped

The “primacy” bill which would have returned the duties of regulating and overseeing coal mining to TN ended its scary life today in the Senate Energy/Agriculture/Natural Resources committee. Chairman Southerland announced without fanfare that the bill was being “general subbed” which is an odd short-hand way of stating that the bill is dead for the year. This was made even more clear later in the meeting when the committee adjourned for the year.

Senate sponsor Yager announced after the routine sounding announcement that he “will be back next session with hopefully a better bill.”

This happened for lots of reasons, including:

Great work by advocates who made it clear to legislators and media that the bill was not in the best interests of Tennessee’s environment or the best interests of Tennesseans.

Fairly obvious skepticism by the TN Dept. of Environment & Conservation about whether there was enough time to analyze and get comfortable that the bill could be properly implemented. (although the Governor and TDEC did not take a formal position on the bill).

Legitimate concern for the legislative process and integrity of the Senate Committee process by Chairman Southerland, who seemed to feel there was insufficient time to make thoughtful decisions on this very long bill.

Please share with others as you see fit.

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4 states report hundreds of complaints and confirmed cases of water pollution from oil or gas drilling.

Follow the link for a full report:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/some-states-confirm-water-pollution-from-drilling/4328859/

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