Hurricane season is in full swing and the hot, sticky days of summer are here - welcome back August! But, even if you’re not currently battling 90 degree temperatures with 70% humidity, look out: these nasty conditions could be on their way to your city -- yes, even you, Boston and Denver.
State Representative Pricey Harrison (from Greensboro) was there as well as representatives from clean energy businesses, labor and faith communities. State Representative Harrison along with U.S. Representative Howard Coble attempted to enter the event. While Representative Coble was allowed entry, Representative Harrison (who represents the district in which the event was held) was denied access. Also allowed into the event were activists from FreedomWorks, a right-wing group that has ties to big business and the oil industry. [Emphasis added.]
My colleague Kimberly and I had a chance last week to attend Netroots Nation '09, one of the most important progressive political conferences in the country that brings together bloggers, professional online and offline organizers, grassroots activists, journalists, artists, elected officials and center-left political leaders of all levels. We went to Pittsburgh to meet and deepen relationships with both climate and non-climate activists, and assess the mood of the Netroots community and their level of interest in climate and clean energy. I'm happy to report that we not only found a vibrant, optimistic Netroots, but one that's deeply interested in bold climate and clean energy action.
The American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers are up to their old tricks again, promoting yet another industry funded study that supposedly demonstrates that the costs of a national climate bill like ACES will be too much to bear. Like a broken record that plays every time the American public comes close to implementing serious climate policy, they use the same old rhetoric of "reduced" jobs and incomes. This time, at least, no one seems to be listening.
The dirty energy lobby and right wing groups have been doing everything possible to derail a clean energy bill and convince Congress that the majority of Americans are against it. They have taken advantage of the channels used by citizens to communicate with their representatives and senators, and corrupted them. It's time for real constituents to make their voices heard!
Yesterday, the Public Citizen Texas team drove down to Houston to crash the American Petroleum Institute's Energy Citizen event. Billed as a "grassroots" rally against the cap and trade bill currently before Congress, this event was nothing more than a company picnic.
With the first week of recess completed, town hall meetings remain dominated by health care, and complicated by the Astroturfing of right wing think tanks and energy lobbies. With two weeks of recess still to go, grassroots voices will need to be louder than ever to disprove the notion that the anti-climate voice is the majority voice, and to create the necessary momentum for the Senate to pass the strongest possible climate and energy bill in the fall. Public support for climate action is strong (as evidenced by this week's Zogby poll), we just need to ensure that those voices are heard.
When will it end? Just as the dust was somewhat settling on Bonner & Associates’ forged grassroots letters (although it still remains a big issue), Greenpeace USA uncovered a doozy. They obtained a leaked memo from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that details plans to launch a national astroturf campaign to stage “Energy Citizen” rallies and attack clean energy legislation at staged public events. Greenpeace’s wrote a letter to API to verify the memo and reminded the company that these:
Climate change is happening: we are responsible for it, the consequences will be dire, and we need to stop it. Despite these facts, it has become clear to me while working with 1Sky here in Wisconsin that the public believes there is still ongoing debate. Instead of screaming at the next person who said “I don’t believe in global warming”, I channeled my frustrations into uncovering the source of this dangerous misconception.