“Elections Confidential” Report Reveals Role of Dark Money Nonprofits and Shell Corporations in 2012
by Brendan Fischer
Mystery donors poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2012 elections via nonprofits and shell corporations, despite widespread public support for disclosure and decades of legal precedent supporting the public’s right to know the sources of election-related spending. A new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Center for Media and Democracy found that contributions from phony for-profit corporations accounted for nearly 17 percent of all business donations to Super PACs.
Bankrolling Climate Disruption
Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have begun to disrupt the global climate, triggering extreme weather events around the globe in recent years. To address this growing climate crisis, the global economy must rapidly transition to low-carbon energy sources. This transition poses major challenges for the banking sector, which will need to shift its financing from fossil fuel-based power sources to low-carbon energy infrastructure.
EPA Environmental justice View
EJView, formerly known as the Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool, is a mapping tool that allows users to create maps and generate detailed reports based on the geographic areas and data sets they choose. EJView includes data from multiple factors that may affect public and environmental health within a community or region, including:
Bank By Bank, Here Are Wall Street's Favorite Politicians
Morgan Stanley - Total money spent on lobbying: $2.25 million
Political candidates who've gotten the most money 2011-2012:
Mitt Romney (R, Presidential Candidate) —$199,800
Barack Obama (D, President) —$33,175
Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY Senator) — $33,075
Tim Pawlenty (R, Presidential Candidate) —$31,715
Debbie Stabenow (D, MI Senator) — $24,750
Representation Without Taxation: Fortune 500 Companies that Spend Big on Lobbying and Avoid Taxes [PDF]
These 280 companies spent a total of $2 billion lobbying on tax and other issues between 2008 and 2010.
The report explains why exploiting offshore tax havens is an example of tax dodging at its worst and that at least 22 of the Dirty Thirty reported subsidiaries in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Since profit artificially shifted offshore is often counted as “foreign” profits, the data likely underestimates the amount lost due to tax havens.
To stop the abusive use of tax havens, we lawmakers must end rules allowing U.S. companies to defer taxes on their offshore profits. In the meantime, there are concrete steps Congress can take that would stop the worst of the abuses by requiring more honest rules and reporting.
To limit corporate money in elections, lawmakers should:
• Require full and honest disclosure – the public should know who is funding what candidates
• Empower shareholders – the shareholders that own corporations should have a say in how corporations spend their money on elections
• Reverse Citizens United
List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
US Dept. Of Labor
ThE Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 requires the Department of Labor’s Bureau of international Labor Affairs (iLAB) to “develop and make available to the public a list of goods from countries that [iLAB] has reason to believe are produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards.”2 iLAB published its initial List on September 10, 2009, which included 122 goods from 58 countries. iLAB published its first update to the List on December 15, 2010, adding 6 goods and 12 countries. The 2011 update adds 2 goods and 1 country to the List, a relatively small number compared to the 2009 initial List and the 2010 update. The List includes only those goods for which we are able to document the use of child or forced labor in their production. Given the pervasive nature of these global problems, it is likely that many more goods are produced through these egregious forms of labor abuse.
PLAN EJ 2014 -Legal Tools
EPA - EJ
I am pleased to present EJ Legal Tools, a review of legal authorities under the
environmental statutes administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that may have
contributive application in the effort to advance environmental justice under Plan EJ 2014 – the
Agency’s overarching strategy for advancing environmental justice.
Plan EJ 2014 implements one of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s top priorities:
expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice. That
priority reflects the recognition that all too often, minority and low-income communities in our
country suffer disproportionate pollution burdens and the intensified health risks and
environmental quality-based obstacles to economic growth that attend such burdens. Plan EJ
2014 focuses EPA’s efforts to address these conditions by more effectively integrating
environmental justice into our programs, policies, and daily work.
Beyond 'dangerous' climate change: emission scenarios for a new world
by Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows
, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
The Copenhagen Accord reiterates the international community’s commitment to ‘hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius’. Yet its preferred focus on global emission peak dates and longer-term reduction targets, without recourse to
cumulative emission budgets, belies seriously the scale and scope of mitigation necessary to meet such a commitment. Moreover, the pivotal importance of emissions from non-
Annex 1 nations in shaping available space for Annex 1 emission pathways received,
and continues to receive, little attention. Building on previous studies, this paper uses
a cumulative emissions framing, broken down to Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations, to
understand the implications of rapid emission growth in nations such as China and India,
for mitigation rates elsewhere. The analysis suggests that despite high-level statements
to the contrary, there is now little to no chance of maintaining the global mean surface
temperature at or below 2◦C. Moreover, the impacts associated with 2◦C have been
revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2◦C now more appropriately represents the threshold
between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change. Ultimately, the science of
climate change allied with the emission scenarios for Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 nations
suggests a radically different framing of the mitigation and adaptation challenge from
that accompanying many other analyses, particularly those directly informing policy.
Public Spending on Energy Polluters Stands in The Way of Millions of Green Jobs
by joe Solomon
A new report called More Jobs, Less Pollution
was released last week, showing that a national 75% recycling rate would create nearly 1.5 million new jobs while reducing an amount of climate pollution equal to shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants, or taking 50 million cars off the road. This report, produced for GAIA, the Teamsters, Blue Green Alliance, NRDC, and SEIU, describes the benefits of building a resource recovery economy that creates