Sen. Bennet’s staff welcome “Storm” of visitors

Boulderites lead appeal to Senator to support clean-air legislation

| Apr 2, 2010

THAT’S ACTIVISM! Slideshow of environmental activists visiting Sen. Bennet’s office for “the Storm.”

On Wednesday, April 1, 1Sky, 10 allied organizations, and more than 50 activists politely “stormed” Senator Michael Bennet’s Denver office to urge him to fight back against congressional efforts to gut the Clean Air Act.

Representatives of the groups stated their concerns and urged Senator Bennet to make a public commitment to fight to defend and uphold the Clean Air Act, delivering a poster-sized joint request letter signed by all of “The Storm” participants and group leaders.

The result? Well, we couldn’t have been much happier. After delivery of our joint request, Senator Bennet’s staff confirmed that the Senator will oppose the attacks on the Clean Air Act and will not support climate legislation that bows to industry and strips EPA of authority to protect public health and welfare by regulating global warming pollution. We let the staff know that we look forward to a public statement by the Senator himself (which they indicated would be forthcoming), but this is exactly what the local climate and clean energy movement had hoped to hear.

We also passed along our thanks to Sen. Bennet for signing onto a recent joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to move forward with climate and clean energy legislation this spring. Several in the group mentioned that they are delegates for Sen. Bennet and that they appreciate his work on healthcare and now want to see him focusing on climate and clean energy. Sen. Bennet’s photographer and several of our own took photos of us with Sen. Bennet’s lead state staff member on these issues who was talking with us, Zane Kessler. It was a very positive interaction.

After our drop-in visit, the 30 or so of us who had squeezed into the office joined our friends outside and reporters for a press conference. Representatives of our allies spoke as well as a surprise guest from Sen. Murkowski’s (R-AK and promoter of the “Dirty Air Act” resolution) home state. Don Ross, a bush pilot from Alaska who has witnessed the impacts of climate change on his state and is bicycling from Alaska to Washington D.C. to raise awareness, also took part in the Denver event. “By riding in winter and going to extremes I wanted to stress the urgency of addressing climate change. There remains a need to quickly and effectively reduce global emission of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels — an 80% reduction by 2020 — and turn to a clean energy future,” said Mr. Ross. “This we must do for our children to avoid the worst consequences of global climate change.”


LET’S TALK: Members of environmental groups talk to Sen. Bennet staffers during “the Storm” visit.