Today, in the spirit of the 41st Earth Day, all of us at the Center for Biological Diversity want to take a moment with you to celebrate the Earth, its amazing biological diversity and the protections we win for its species every day.
Since last year’s Earth Day you — the Center’s members and supporters — have helped us win some huge victories for endangered species and wildlife. Take a look below and share this impressive list with your networks.
With you beside us, we:
- Garnered more than 150,000 signatures that helped us bring a swift stop to the burning of imperiled sea turtles during cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico;
- Secured the biggest critical habitat area in history for besieged polar bears, who were granted 120 million acres of protected habitat to settle a Center-led lawsuit — and then, just two weeks ago and after years of advocacy, achieved another record protection, this time 2 million acres of critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale;
- Won a legal settlement protecting 1 million acres of roadless lands in four national forests in Southern California (home to spotted owls, arroyo toads and other vulnerable species) from development;
- Launched a powerful, national boycott through our Bluefin Brigade — with more than 20,000 people behind it so far — of sushi restaurants that serve high-end bluefin tuna, a practice that’s driving the majestic ocean predator to the brink of extinction;
- Won Endangered Species Act protection for more than 70 species spanning four continents (Africa, Australia and North and South America), including seven penguins, dozens of Hawaiian species, and several mollusks in the severely stressed southeastern United States.
Please share these victories with your friends and celebrate all that we are accomplishing in our efforts to keep and restore a rich, biologically diverse planet.
During the coming year we have our work cut out for us with a Congress hostile to wildlife and a presidential administration that’s far too often unwilling to stand up to bullies in defense of endangered species and wild places. On this Earth Day, we take courage knowing you’ll be with us to fight the fight — we can’t thank you enough.
Happy Earth Day,
P.S. Help us save the Earth’s most vulnerable species today by sharing this message with friends and family, and urge them to join our fight.
Loggerhead sea turtle photo courtesy Flickr Commons/mattk1979.
Wildflower photo courtesy Flickr Commons/SaraParhizkar.
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Since the anniversary of the Gulf oil spill on Wednesday, it’s become even more evident that BP will go to great lengths to avoid liability and shift its cleanup costs to American taxpayers.
First, it was revealed that BP’s tax break will be even bigger than was initially reported an outrageous $13 billion!1 A BP spokesman wouldn’t say if the company is paying any U.S. taxes at all this year.
We also learned that BP spent $2 million in the first quarter of this year (up 25% from last year),2 lobbying Congress for more offshore drilling, and against measures to limit their liability and implement the recommendations of the oil spill commission.
BP ruined our gulf. BP must pay. Over 125,000 people have signed our petition demanding BP amend its tax return and pay its fair share. Read the message below and sign the petition to help us reach 150,000 signatures and send a strong message to BP that what they are doing is totally unacceptable.
Elijah Zarlin, CREDO Action
1. “BP To Cut Tax Bill By $13B But Won’t Say What It’s Paying IRS For 2010,” Talking Points Memo, April 20, 2011
2. “BP Spent $2 Million Lobbying On Offshore Drilling, Spill Liability, Other Regulations In First Quarter Of 2011,” Huffington Post, April 21, 2011
One year ago, BP’s oil began to pour into the Gulf of Mexico. It did not stop for 87 days.
Today, economic and environmental devastation remain. Thousands of Gulf Coast residents cope with massive health problems from oil and toxic dispersants.
BP, on the other hand, just scored a nearly $10 billion dollar tax credit, by writing off its “losses” incurred from the tragedy.2
$10 billion is the entire annual budget of the EPA, whose funding was just slashed in the continuing resolution. It is almost one third of all the cuts in the continuing resolution.
Responding to BP’s monumental catastrophe cost a massive amount of resources from local, state and federal governments. Now, BP is dealing another massive blow to our nation’s tax revenue.
The $10 billion savings comes after BP wrote-off the $32.2 billion it set aside to cover clean-up costs, fines, and a $20 billion victim compensation fund (which has been notoriously slow and stingy in responding to claims, paying out less than $4 billion so far.3)
But there is an excellent precedent that says BP did not have to deduct these costs for tax advantages. Last year, Goldman Sachs waived a tax deduction it could have claimed as a result of paying $500 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission for giving bad information to mortgage investors.4
BP’s $10 billion tax credit slashes its liability by one third at every US taxpayer’s expense.
Over the weekend, I was in Washington D.C. for the Powershift conference, attended by 8,000 young climate activists.
Hundreds attended from the Gulf Coast, and I heard their stories of oil still remaining on beaches, of its smell still permeating the air, of legions of dead dolphin, turtles and fish, of neighbors who are sick or jobless. I heard them say that BP hasn’t done nearly enough to make it right.
Meanwhile in Washington, BP just restarted political contributions to the Republicans who continue to push for expanded offshore drilling,5 oppose lifting oil spill liability caps,6 and do everything in their power to keep our nation addicted to dirty crude, as millions of Americans literally drain their paychecks into their gas tanks every day.
To take our nation off of dirty, dangerous, expensive fossil fuels, we must force polluters to pay for the damage they do.
One year ago, BP brought us what would become the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history. We don’t owe BP a tax-credit. BP owes us our gulf back. The least it could do is pay its fair share.
Thank you for holding polluters accountable.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
1. “BP Scores $10B Tax Credit by Offsetting Cash,” CBS News, July 27, 2010
Green Century Capital Management (Green Century) filed a shareholder proposal at ExxonMobil* to ask the company to disclose more information about its controversial investments in the Canadian oil sands. Extraction and conversion of oil sands into usable fuel is energy-intensive and environmentally-damaging, requiring clear-cutting of the Boreal Forest, extensive water use, and the creation of massive amounts of toxic waste.
Not to our surprise, Exxon objected to including our proposal on its agenda for its annual meeting and on its proxy ballot. Exxon asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow it to exclude our proposal.
The SEC sided with Green Century in determining that ExxonMobil had not in fact provided sufficient information on its tar sands operations to satisfy investor concerns. This decision clears the way for Green Century to raise the issue of tar sands to the company’s board of directors, top management, shareholders and the media at the company’s 2011 annual meeting in late May.
Last year, we filed a similar proposal and over 26 percent** of shares voted at ExxonMobil were cast in support of our resolution. We believe that vote sent a very strong message to the company that a significant portion of its shareholders are concerned about the issue. This year we will continue to press ExxonMobil to respond and we will work hard to convince more of Exxon’s shareholders to support our resolution.
We will report back to you with the results.
Investors in the environmentally responsible Green Century Funds help support Green Century’s efforts to expose the risks of tar sands mining and our other campaigns to advocate for greater corporate environmental responsibility. To learn more about investing in Green Century’s mutual funds, please click here or telephone 1-800-93-GREEN.
President, Green Century Funds
P.S. Please feel free to share this email with your friends and family – especially anyone you know who may own ExxonMobil stock!
* ExxonMobil and BP were not held by either the Green Century Balanced Fund or the Green Century Equity Fund as of December 31, 2010. Please refer to the Green Century Funds website for current information regarding the Funds’ portfolio holdings. These holdings are subject to risk as described in the Funds’ Summary Prospectus and Prospectus. References to specific investments should not be construed as a recommendation of the securities by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
**The percentage in favor was calculated by (i) dividing the number of votes in support of the proposal by (ii) the sum of the number of votes voted in support of and against the proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes were not included in the calculation.
You should carefully consider the Green Century Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Summary Prospectus and/or Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds, please click here for more information, email info at reencentury.com or call 1-800-93-GREEN. Please read the Summary Prospectus and/or the Prospectus carefully before investing.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC 4/11