Monday, 15 July 2013 20:50

Green America Policy Work Highlights

This quarter’s Green America Policy Highlights touch on several of the crucial issues we are championing to protect human and environmental health – from climate change to GMOs to controlling dangerous chemicals in personal care products for infants and adults.

Spreading the Word: Clean Energy Victory Bondspolicy-updates300
Green America staff and our coalition partners continue to build support nationally for the Clean Energy Victory Bond – a proposed U.S. Treasury Bond to help finance renewable energy and efficiency measures. This spring we met with Democratic and Republican offices to fine tune last year’s bill in preparation for its reintroduction this summer. We have gathered $15 million worth of pledges from Americans interested in buying the bond once it is available – most likely a few years into the future. The public and clean energy leaders are learning about the bond at our Green Festivals, through events such as the Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Expo, and through the Climate Lobby Day for business leaders to be held later this week on Capitol Hill. We also introduced the Clean Energy Victory Bond concept at the White House Leadership Summit on Women, Climate, and Energy.

Our strategy is to promote the bond simultaneously at both the national and state levels, as a treasury bond and as a municipal bond, in order to generate much-needed financing for the developing clean energy sector.

Pictured: Green America Programs Director Todd Larsen, Green America Policy Director Fran Teplitz, and American Sustainable Business Council Deputy Policy Director Bryan McGannon together on Capitol Hill, building support for CEVBs.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)GMO Inside
 On June 10, 2013 the Senate approved the farm bill which unfortunately did not contain any of the amendments supported by Green America pertaining to GMOs. An amendment put forth by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporting state labeling of GMO foods was defeated a couple weeks prior, 27-71. The remaining three amendments never faced a vote:

  • Repeal of the so-called Monsanto Protection Act (see below);
  • Support for federal GMO labeling;
  • Banning genetically engineered salmon.

However, one positive turn in the GMO movement occurred on the Senate floor. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), pledged to oppose the extension of the Monsanto Protection Act unless there is full and open debate. The Monsanto Protection Act was quietly added to the spending bill that President Obama signed on March 26 and which will expire this September. The Monsanto Protection Act strips the rights of federal courts to halt the sale and planting of genetically engineered crops during the legal appeals process. Read our GMO Inside blog post for more information.

Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act of 2013Personal care
Green Americans are sending thousands of emails to Capitol Hill in support of the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act – if you haven’t already sent your message – please do so now as we approach 10,000 messages sent!

"The simple truth is that everyday products that women, men, and children use contain ingredients that can cause cancer as well as reproductive and developmental harm. Consumers think the Food and Drug Administration is a watchdog preventing harmful ingredients from being in their shampoos, cologne, makeup, deodorants, lotions, and other products, but the truth is, the FDA has little power under current law. This bill will remedy that."
--Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), co-sponsor of the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act

Green America is working with the Safe Cosmetics Campaign to win passage of this over-due legislation to protect individuals, families, and salon workers from chemicals in products many people use daily without knowledge of their toxicity. Stay tuned for updates soon on yet another chemical control bill – the Safe Chemicals Act – now being re-negotiated in the Senate.

13thirtyone Design

Green Festivals