|Fighting for a Better Future|
November 7, 2011
“YES WE CAN!” chanted a huge crowd in Lafayette Park in front of the White House as President Obama’s motorcade passed by Sunday evening. This symbolic gesture was a great conclusion to the momentous collaborative action that had just occurred. Only minutes before, approximately 12,000 people had encircled the White House, hand in hand, to protest the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline. Americans, Canadians, youth, people of faith, environmentalists, health professionals, Occupiers, and many more people from all walks of life came, again, to remind President Obama just how critical saying NO to the pipeline really is. USCAN members 350.org, The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), League of Conservation Voters, Rainforest Action Network, Friends of the Earth, National Wildlife Federation, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Energy Action Coalition and more were all there! It’s hard to put into words the energy and excitement of not only yesterday’s action but the continued fight against the tyranny of oil that is picking up momentum day by day. John Adams, NRDC’s Founding Director, captured the movement well when he said, “We’re here today to stand together and say, we believe in a brighter future. Instead of building a pipeline to the past, it’s time to draw a line in the sand, and it’s time to draw the line on tar sands. That’s the line we’re drawing here today.”
Just days earlier President Obama said he will personally make the final decision on the proposed pipeline and that health and environmental concerns are paramount. Uniting moments like these are priceless but we need to keep it going, for more information see TarSandsAction.org.
In related news, activism also took the stage in Washington, DC on Friday evening. Protesters confronted the David Koch backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s (AFP) so called “Defending the American Dream” Convention. Political satire videos were screened during an the “Occupy the Kochs Guerrilla Drive-In.” During the conference, GOP Presidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain was not shy about his ties to the Koch brothers saying, “I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother….and proud of it.” This statement produced a roar of applause, see the video here. AFP recently announced it will start running a 60 second television commercial that accuse the president of “risking billions of taxpayer dollars to help his political donors” in reference to Solyndra’s bankruptcy. A growing awareness of these oil billionaires’ destructive agenda has led to increased scrutiny and resistance from people and organizations all over the United States, for more information on climate denial and the Koch brothers click here (Greenpeace USA).
On Thursday, Senator Hatch introduced S. 1786, a pro-pollution plan that would block the EPA’s ability to clean-up life-threatening toxic air pollution. This bill is part of an extreme, ideological agenda that will cost lives. The bill also included a radical plan, dubbed the “REINS Act” (S.299), whereby no major regulation (i.e., those with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more) could take effect unless it is approved by both houses of Congress within 70 legislative days of being proposed. Fortunately, S. 1786 was defeated 53-47 but this is not the last of the attacks on the Clean Air Act. Strong voices from agricultural, business, community, consumer, educational, environmental, justice, faith, government, health, minority, public policy, science, sportsmen, security, and tribal groups that have taken action in opposition to the rolling back of the Clean Air Act and will continue to fight. For more information on upcoming attacks see our latest Clean Air Act Digest.
There is a lot more going on, so don’t forget to check out the rest of the email for more climate and energy news, action alert, featured member blogs and much more.
Marie Risalvato, Communications Coordinator