Fight for an Ecosocialist Green New Deal: Phase 2

by Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America
August 5, 2020 | Call to Action
#EcoSocialistGND  #EcoSocialism #GreenNewDeal

Guiding Principle #7 for an Ecosocialist Green New Deal:
Redistribute resources from the worst polluters

 Everyone on the planet will suffer the consequences of climate breakdown. However, we will not suffer those consequences equally. In fact, those who are the least responsible for carbon emissions (people living in poverty) will face the harshest of consequences, while those who are most responsible for carbon emissions continue to receive subsidies (the fossil fuel industry) and budget increases (the military).

Here in Nevada, the worst polluter is the mining industry.  In 2017, “Nevada ranked first nationally in the release of toxic chemicals per square mile… and the state’s mining industry was the reason why.”  The mining industry in Nevada makes billions of dollars extracting resources from the ground, and pays a pittance in taxes for that privilege. In fact, many of them take enough deductions to pay no mining taxes at all.

Coronavirus has hit Nevada exceptionally hard. State agencies have been asked to cut their budgets by 4% this year, and possibly by 14% next year.  However, at the same time, Newmont Corp., who mines more gold than anyone else in the world (with a fourth of it coming from Nevada), is reporting a net income of $822 million for the first three months of this year, a nearly tenfold increase from last year’s first quarter.

It’s clear that we need to redistribute resources from the worst polluters.

In an ideal world, these mines would be publicly owned and operated. And while, as socialists, that is our ultimate goal, we also acknowledge how deeply entrenched the mining industry is here in Nevada, and feel we must also support worthy legislation when we see it. That is what we see in the recently passed Assembly Bill AJR1.

AJR1 would increase taxes on mining companies from 5% on their net proceeds to 7.75% on their gross proceeds. For some perspective on what those numbers mean, based on 2019 figures:

  • Current taxes are raising: $122 million
  • AJR1 would raise: $589 million
  • 25% of the proceeds of the tax on the gross to be used exclusively for: education, health care, economic assistance, or any combination thereof. The remaining 75% would go to the State for whatever it may need.

Two other bills raising taxes on the mining companies were passed (AJR2 and SJR1). While we welcome any legislation that raises taxes on the mining companies, we believe AJR1 to be the best of the three. And that is why we must make it clear to our elected officials that AJR1 is the piece of legislation that they need to rally behind and advance during the next legislative session.

We are asking you to reach out to local public officials and candidates and tell them we need to redistribute resources from our worst polluters!

  • You can look up who your representatives in Nevada’s Congress are here. There, you will also be linked to their Twitter handles, phone numbers, mailing addresses, as well as a section where you may (this is a really handy feature of that website that makes it easy to share your message).
  • Please note that we are directing this action at State Senate and State Assembly representatives, and NOT at our representatives in the US Congress. If you click on a rep and there isn’t a “Share Your Opinion on Bills” button, you likely didn’t click on a State Senate or State Assembly rep.
  • Below, you will find scripts for phone calls, tweets, or letters/comments to send to your reps to put pressure on them to meet our demands.

If you aren’t sure what to say, you can use the script below when you call or leave a message: (this script could also be easily tweaked for a letter, comment, or email to be sent to the rep!)

Hello, My name is [name] & I live in [state your Senate or Assembly District].

I am calling in support of AJR1. It is time we started redistributing the resources of our worst polluters. The mining industry is the biggest polluter here in Nevada and they do not pay their fair share of taxes. Of the three bills raising taxes on the mining industry here in Nevada, AJR1 is far superior and does the most good for Nevadans. It needs to be the piece of mining tax legislation that gets advanced in the next session.

Can I count on [your representative] to do the right thing?

Once you have contacted the rep, please record your response here.

Example Tweets: (make sure to tag your rep in the tweet!!)

  • If adopted, #AJR1 would generate nearly a half-billion in new revenue. The #nvleg must rally behind this bill, pass it in the next session, and hand it off to the voters of Nevada to make it the law of the land!!
  • An Ecosocialist #GreenNewDeal involves a redistribution of resources from the worst polluters. Raising taxes on mines here in Nevada fits that bill. #AJR1 strongly benefits Nevadans, and our reps must pass it
  • While #SJ1 raises the same amount of tax revenue as #AJR1, it squanders that money in the form of tiny checks sent to Nevadans once per year. #AJR1 puts that money back into education, health, and financial assistance, where it can do the most good.
  • Mining companies have dodged their taxes for long enough. They have taken enough from Nevada, it’s time they gave something back. Let’s make #AJR1 the law and redistribute the resources of Nevada’s worst polluters.
    https://twitter.com/NevadaCurrent/status/1283902336440561664?s=20

Want to do more?

Join DSA today to become a member and become more involved in the things that are impacting your community directly! → dsausa.org/join

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