Congress on climate change: crunch time

1Sky asks Bennet and Udall to seek bold climate bill this spring

| Jan 14, 2010

350-formation

HEAR US. Boulderites formed a large “350” at Oct. 24th in a rally supporting 350.org’s worldwide climate change campaign. (Photo: Beth Wald Photography)

1Sky, one of the largest collaborative campaigns in the country dedicated to bold federal action on climate change, organized a nationwide Senate call-in day Tuesday, Jan. 12th, to pressure U.S. senators to be very serious indeed about climate legislation this spring.

The call-in was timed to hit the district offices in the week before the senators return to Congress on January 19 after their winter recess. Over 175 1Sky activists and Climate Precinct Captains in Colorado made calls. Nationwide, more than 3,600 people made calls.

Along with urging Senators Udall and Bennet to support bold climate legislation, 1Sky volunteers and allies also voiced the importance of voting “no” to Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) potential amendment that would likely eliminate the ability to use the Clear Air Act to regulate and crack down on dirty coal-fired power plants. This use of the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon emissions, which the Supreme Court authorized in 2007, is critical as a way to begin reducing dangerous global warming pollution in the near-term.

“The Clean Air Act is one of the most successful environmental laws ever created and we must defend it from the interests of the Big Oil and Dirty Coal industries that have gotten behind the Murkowski amendment,” said 1Sky Campaign Director Gillian Caldwell.

Shut down dirtiest coal plants

“After years of inaction in Washington, the Obama administration is making sure that the Clean Air Act is used to protect Americans from the dangers of global warming air pollution,” said Caldwell. “This can help make sure the oldest, dirtiest coal plants will have to clean up or shut down but first we have to beat back this attack sponsored by dirty fossil fuel interests.”

The Murkowski amendment could come up as a part of unrelated legislation next week in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Senate returns from winter recess on Jan. 19 and is expected to take up climate legislation in the near future.

“Passing strong climate legislation in 2010 starts with this fight to block Senator Murkowski’s move to neuter the Clean Air Act,” said 1Sky Colorado Organizer Micah Parkin.

1Sky is a national campaign for strong federal action to tackle global climate change and invest in building the clean energy economy of the future. It combines the force of 545 allied organizations, 183,000 climate advocates, 3,400 volunteer Climate Precinct Captains covering more than 390 congressional districts in 50 states, and a team of 37 including 27 organizers in 19 states working to mobilize constituent support.

“If you weren’t able to make your calls on Tuesday, we’re continuing our call-in push this week. Just go to our website to get started,” Parkin said.

Contact: Micah Parkin; (504) 258-1247, Micah@1Sky.org

(Below: See a video by Ben Chambers of 350.org’s Candlelight Hope March held in Boulder in March 2009, just before the U.N. International Climate Talks began in Copenhagen)

Hopenhagen from Ben Chambers on Vimeo.


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