Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Our colleagues in Texas recently rallied against the U.S. Supreme Court’s horrible ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the door for unlimited corporate spending to influence our elections. Learn more about what you can do to fight back against corporate power and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at DontGetRolled.org.

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Whether it was pushing for health care reform, reigning in Wall Street or keeping dangerous prescription pills off the market, Public Citizen’s researchers, analysts and lobbyists have been on the front lines, standing up to corporate power and holding government accountable.

We don’t have deep corporate pockets backing us like our opponents do (Public Citizen maintains its fierce independence by not taking any corporate or government money), but what we do have is the support of our members, activists and people like you. You’ve answered the call time and time again by signing our petitions, calling your members of Congress and giving what you can during these tough economic times.

We could not do our work without your support. So, from all of us at Public Citizen, thank you and happy holidays! Please help us continue protecting health, safety and democracy, contribute today.

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You’ve probably heard members of Congress spouting off lately about how the imposition of caps on medical malpractice payouts in Texas has been so great.

Well, those lawmakers are wrong.  Public Citizen today released a report showing that the caps have failed to improve the health care system.

Not only has the percentage of uninsured people in Texas increased — remaining the highest in the country, with a quarter of Texans now uninsured — but the cost of health insurance in Texas has more than doubled.

So no, we don’t want to do as Texas did.

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The culmination of September and the start of October have been action-packed for Public Citizen. This week we pushed to make the state of Texas realize that climate change must be considered when new coal plants and other facilities are approved. On Tuesday, Public Citizen sued the Texas Comission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to require the commission to regulate global warming gasses. As explained in several media outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the lawsuit seeks to extend to Texas law the precedent set in a lawsuit by 12 states against the Bush administration in 2007. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must regulate it. In a statement we released, Tom “Smitty” Smith, the director of our Texas office drove home just how serious this issue is.

“Texas leads the nation in the emissions of global warming gases. If we were a nation, we would rank seventh in emissions among the countries on earth. The time has come for the TCEQ to take its head out of the sand and begin the process to regulate CO2 emissions from Texas sources. Because the agency will not do so on its own, we are seeking to have a Texas court order it to do so.”

This lawsuit comes at a critical time as Congress begins to consider unprecedented legislation that would regulate man-made greenhouse gases.

Here are some other stories to check out: (more…)

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Cross-posted from Texas Vox.

[Last week], Public Citizen hosted a rally at the state capitol to raise awareness about the U.S. Supreme Court re-hearing Wednesday of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Representatives from Common Cause and Clean Elections Texas joined us, despite the rain and ominous weather. Many thanks to our good government brethren for their support.

The Daily Texan was also on hand, and reported the following:

Public Citizen, a national nonprofit public interest group, organized the rally because officials said they fear a ruling in favor of Citizens United could possibly give corporations more leverage is raising funds for political campaigns.

…The group is concerned this case will allow corporations to spend freely on political advertising that will influence voters.

“The court has signaled that they would like to overturn the precedent of these cases,” Wilson said. “If we allow unlimited corporate ‘free speech,’ then everyone else will be drowned out.”

Well said, Wilson.

But we weren’t the only ones to show up. Andy and David dressed up as corporate fat cats REAL, BONAFIDE corporate boogeymen came to protest our protest! Can you believe the gall? But don’t worry. From the looks of their faces, they didn’t get the turnout they were hoping for either. Poor corporations, it rained on their parade… (more…)

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clunker piles

Even though the Obama administration has not released any information on the sales of cars through the “cash-for-clunkers” program (or perhaps because of it), the Santa Monica-based auto information site Edmunds.com has begun keeping score of what cars are selling. While they include fuel-efficient vehicles like the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, they also include trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. 

The Sacramento Bee reports that “the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, two of the most popular and fuel-efficient hybrids, are noticeably absent from the top-10 list of new cars purchased to replace turned-in clunkers.” Public Citizen’s Lena Pons had something to say about that: (more…)

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April 24, 2009 by citizensarah

According to a Bloomberg article this morning, San Antonio Representative Charlie Gonzalez has joined

a group of Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee (who) want to give utilities free permits for all their existing carbon emissions, according to people familiar with a plan sent to the committee’s chairman.


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