Preliminary Thoughts on the Gas Tax
Great Turnout for our Legislative Skills Training!
Great turnout yesterday for the Legislative Skills Training put on by Clifton Government Relations and TCV Education Fund. Many thanks to Representative Harold Love and the 80+ attendees who showed such an interest in citizen advocacy!
Success on Lands Unsuitable for Mining!
The federal government has declared much of East Tennessee unsuitable for mining! This will protect huge parts of Tennessee from ecologically unsound coal mining.
This is big news! This was the result of sustained public engagement that many groups, including TCV, participated in. If you ever wonder whether writing letters or attending meetings matter, think about lands now safe from "ridgetop mining".
Join our Action Alert List to receive more ways to make a difference directly in your inbox!
Legislative Skills Training
Part of TCV's mission is to create educated and effective environmental advocates. Come to our lobbyist's free Legislative Skills Workshop January 4th!
Remember, space is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis so to RSVP or for more info click the link.
2016: Moving Forward
After Elections comes governing
At Tennessee Conservation Voters, we believe that a considerable number of elected representatives would vote right on our issues if we gave them a nudge to prioritize the environment. Let's provide some incentive!
Visit www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators/ to find your representative and senator. Drop them an email that simply introduces yourself as a constituent. Make it clear that you appreciate their willingness to serve in the General Assembly and look forward to watching them care for the environment.
Further advocacy will be needed when specific bills start being voted on. However, a friendly initial contact now will multiply your effectiveness later. Responsible policies won't be pursued if they don't know their constituents care, so let them know!
At Long Last, It's Election Day!
Your voice is your vote and politicians need to know that their constituents will hold them accountable.
E-Day Voting Tips -
- You can use an expired photo ID or one with a different address, but it must be issued by the state of Tennessee or the federal government (Check here if you are unsure).
- Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are generally the easiest times to vote.
- You can use your phone to look up who you want to vote for, but you cannot take pictures or make phone calls while voting.
- Polls close 7pm CST/ 8pm EST.
- As long as you are in line when polls close you are allowed to vote.
- "Frail, physically disabled or visibly pregnant voters should tell their polling officials if they are unable to wait in line to vote. The law allows them to move through the process faster."
Smile! We're on Amazon
Please designate Tennessee Conservation Voters Education Fund as your nonprofit on Amazon Smile. Your prices will stay exactly the same, but a percentage of each purchase will go to fund TCV-Education Fund's mission of creating informed and effective advocates for the environment!
Early Voting Pro-TIps
Since the Early Voting period is in full swing until 11/3/2016, we thought we would share some tips-
- If you are tired of getting political phone calls, VOTE EARLY! Campaigns usually take you off their contact list once they know you voted.
- If you are unsure about where in your county to vote early, simply google "My Ballot" and click "Where to Vote" or use the GoVoteTN app.
- If you might not have enough time to vote at your local polling precinct on Election Day, vote early. Lines are generally shorter and you can vote at any Early Voting location in the county.
- If you have moved recently, think your address might be different than the last time you voted or are just generally unsure about something in the process, vote early. You can change your address at the same time you early vote and you might be able to fix any other issues as well.
- And last but not least, if you want to know how your legislators voted on the environment before you vote for them, feel free to refer to our scorecard.
Remember, your vote is your voice, be heard!
October 11th - last day to make sure you are registered to vote in November.
Visit GoVoteTN.com to make sure you voice will be heard.
The Scorecard is Ready!
Since 2003, TCV has released a Legislative Scorecard that grades legislators on their voting records for environmental legislation. The Scorecard is published as a clear and concise record of legislators’ voting patterns. The names of legislators are listed in alphabetical order. Find yours and see how they compare!
State board shifts gas station cleanup costs to taxpayers
TVA must clean up coal ash pollution!
Great article from board member Michelle Haynes.
"TVA’s Gallatin coal plant upstream from the lake has always been a presence; as a teenager, I learned to water-ski in front of the plant. But back then we had never heard the term “coal ash.” We didn’t know that the Tennessee Valley Authority, was storing leftover coal waste in six unlined pits adjacent to the Cumberland River. And we certainly weren’t aware that for years TVA’s own monitoring has revealed that toxic metals from coal ash are polluting the groundwater and seeping into the river — a scene playing out at TVA sites throughout Tennessee."
Big thanks to Zachary Wilkinson for helping to bring awareness and support to Tennessee Conservation Voters! If you can't make the event, be sure to swing by Etch and thank him!
Ciopped is a round robin style cooking competition where 4 chefs from famous Nashville eateries compete for prize money for their favorite non-profit. TCV has the good fortune to have Zach Wilkinson, sous-chef at Etch, competing for us!
TVA Says It Won’t Haul Away Ash Piles From Closed Coal Plants
Excuse us for being skeptical, but TVA has little credibility when it comes to decisions on how to handle coal ash!
Praised By Builders, New Tennessee Law On Storm Water Has Some Environmentalists Worried
Some Tennessee environmentalists are squaring off with builders over a new Tennessee law that makes it harder for state and local water managers to require storm water management measures beyond minimum standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. They say storm water is already poisoning the state's streams, and the new law will make it harder for regulators to get a handle on the problem.
TCV Legislative Recap
As many of you know, the General Assembly adjourned April 22nd. We helped stop some bad bills and helped pass some good bills, but it is clear that we have a long way to go with a General Assembly that, for the most part, is simply not speaking our language when it comes to environmental matters.
South Cheatham Advocate: Conservation Groups Oppose Homebuilders Sponsored Legislation
Conservation Groups oppose Home Builders sponsored legislation, citing threats to public health, existing flooding and pollution of urban waters, and increasing costs to taxpayers.
2016 Nature Votes
Governor's just filed budget amendment transfers $1 million in recurring state parks appropriation to non recurring.
TCV Legislative Update
TCV Legislative Update
The Tennessee General Assembly has begun to close Committees this week.
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.
4 states report hundreds of complaints and confirmed cases of water pollution from oil or gas drilling.
Follow the link for a full report:
15 Things You Should Know About The New IPCC Report On Climate Science
Read the article