Boulder rallies to champion the Clean Air Act
Micah Parkin | Feb 27, 2011
Boulderites rallied Saturday, Feb. 26, in support of the Clean Air Act and to demand that leaders in Congress side with American families over corporate polluters.
In response to the current attacks on the Clean Air Act and current corporate polluter spending blitz in Washington, 20 local groups and over 175 citizens concerned about safeguarding the climate, clean air and social justice came together to demand that leaders in Congress side with the people over the corporate polluter agenda. Those involved in the rally are concerned that in 2010 alone, corporate polluters, including the coal industry, spent over $500 million in lobbying and attack ads. Many are concerned that they are seeing the result of that spending in the current attempts to gut the Clean Air Act.“We’re calling on our leaders to stand up to the influence of polluters who are putting profits over public health and our kid’s futures and honoring leaders who are being clean energy champions,” said Micah Parkin, Regional Organizer of 1Sky, a national climate and clean energy campaign and one of the rally’s organizers. “Senators Bennett and Udall and Congressman Polis have always been on our side on climate and renewable energy issues, and with the millions of dollars flowing from corporate polluters to Congress right now – we need them more than ever to publicly fight to get President Obama and leaders in Congress to side with the health and safety of Colorado’s families rather than with special interests.”
Concerned families, doctors, students, clean energy activists and community leaders including Mayor Susan Osborne, banded together for a rally to demand better from Congress and to support local leaders as they stand up to the influence of corporate polluter spending by protecting the Clean Air Act’s ability to regulate toxic pollution like lead, arsenic, mercury and carbon emissions.
“We are standing up for the public health of individuals who are really being hurt by the pollution that is spewing out of coal plants and other fossil fuel facilities,” said Angie Layton, with Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Renewable energy is much less costly in terms of public health and the environment than using coal and natural gas for generating electricity.”
Congressman Jared Polis, who provided a statement read at the rally, said therein, “There’s a lot going on in politics right now: government shutdowns, budget showdowns, democratic revolutions around the world, union-busting in Wisconsin. But very little matters as much as what you’ve chosen to remind us about: Our air, and our climate, all at great risk.”
In regards to the recent fights in the House of Representatives over energy, climate and clean air policy and the numerous amendments focusing on the ability of the federal government to deal with air and climate issues added by the new class of hard-right activists in the House to the spending bill that passed last week, Congressman Polis stated, “It’s not surprising that these amendments, together with a draft energy bill I call the “Dirty Air Act” were developed after these conservatives met with oil and gas executives. The bill, which was recently leaked, would legislatively overturn scientists’ finding of a threat to public health and the environment from carbon pollution. These budget amendments and Dirty Air Act …are disastrous for the health and future of the American people.”
The rally in Boulder today is part of a larger national campaign of rallies, calls, and meetings across the country where Americans are asking their elected leaders to stand up to corporate polluters and protect the Clean Air Act. A mirror rally will be held at the State Capitol in Denver on Sunday at 2 p.m., sponsored by 13 local organizations. Those organizing the nationwide campaign of rallies, calls, and meetings this week are fed up with compromises that favor corporate profits are over the health and safety of families and climate. Many question the motives of elected officials who would allow corporate polluters to pump toxic pollution into our air, not only worsening the effects of climate change but also endangering the health of families along the way.
“We’re here for our futures,” said 12-year-old Harper Corum-Var with Earth Guardians, a youth group planning a flagship march in Denver this May at which over 10,000 people are expected, as part of a global iMatter March event. “We really need to be enacting environmental reform now, because every day we continue to emit so much CO2 into the atmosphere we’re messing up our future.”
For pictures from the event, please visit this Facebook page
Rally Co-sponsors: 1Sky, 350.org, Boulder County Audubon, Clean Energy Action, Colorado Interfaith Power and Light, Earth Guardians, Greenlands – Neighbors for Climate Action in Newlands, Greenpeace, League of Women Voters of Boulder County, Mothers Acting Up, National Tribal Environmental Council, The Native American Rights Fund, New Era Colorado, Physicians for Social Responsibility, PLAN-Boulder County, Protect Our Winters, Rocky Mountain Center for Peace and Justice, Sierra Club, Unity Church of Boulder, Unitarian Universalists Church of Boulder Green Sanctuary Team
Rally Speakers: Micah Parkin – 1Sky, Mayor Susan Osborne, Harper Var Corum – a 13-year-old representative of the Earth Guardians, Beth Holland – NCAE biogeochemist and an author of the Second, Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chris Hoffman – Whole Systems Consultant, Ecopsychologist, and Poet, Angie Layton – Vice-President for Physicians for Social Responsibility, statement by Congressman Jared Polis, Scot Wooley – CU Energy Club President, music by Ellen Claiborne, Leslie Glustrom – speaking on behalf of RenewablesYES – Citizens for Boulder’s Clean Energy Future, Minister Jack Groverland – Unity of Boulder, Xiuhtezcatl Roske- Martinez – a 10-year-old Earth Guardian
For more information contact: Micah Parkin, 1Sky Colorado and Southwest Regional Organizer, 504-258-1247, [email protected]