Michigan called for a "State of Emergency" because of the largest oil spill in Midwest history. The pipeline, owned by Enbridge Liquids Pipelines and the largest transporter of oil from western Canada, leaked 840,000 gallons into the Kalamazoo River Monday morning devastating Calhoun County. The pipeline has been shut down but the damage is already done. And to think, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich was on the fence about the climate and energy bill that was recently proposed then put on the back burner.
The horrific pictures coming in of the oil spill in Calhoun County area underscore just how imperative it is for Michigan to move toward clean, safe energy sources like wind and solar instead of relying on outdated fuels like oil," Clean Water Action Michigan Director Cyndi Roper.
On Tuesday, July 20, people from across Missouri gathered in front of Senator Claire McCaskill’s St. Louis office to mark the three month anniversary of the BP oil spill disaster. They asked her to stand with the people, not the polluters, by rejecting campaign contributions from dirty energy corporations, working to switch federal subsidies from polluting fossil fuels to renewable technologies, and supporting an end to offshore drilling.
To ensure that Senator McCaskill heard about this event, in which demonstrators performing an oil “spill-in” blocked traffic in front of her office for about ten minutes, several Missouri residents now in D.C. attended “Coffee with Claire,” a weekly event in which the senator meets Missourians and answers questions. Arielle Klagsbrun of the Energy Action Coalition handed Senator McCaskill photos of the July 20 event and asked her if she would stand with the people by “returning the $25,000 in campaign contributions that you received from dirty energy companies.”
Senator McCaskill replied with a contradiction. She first said that, “I ran for this office and got elected without one dime from any of the people you’re talking about, they were all for my opponent. I’m not here on the basis of any of that money.” However, she later said “Coal has given me a few contributions, compared to many of my colleagues who have gotten a lot more”.
While Senator McCaskill may not have been elected with the help of dirty energy money, she has taken money from the industry while in office. In 2010 she has accepted $9,200 from the coal mining industry and $24,000 from electric utilities, according to OpenSecrets.org. When Senator McCaskill says that she will not support a climate and clean energy bill that increases energy prices for Missouri ratepayers because “it is not our fault in Missouri that we are depending on coal,” one has to wonder whether she really has Missourians in mind, or whether she is looking out for the large dirty energy corporations that have given her so much money and that would be regulated under such a bill.
By 1Sky blogger Nick Santos. See his bio at the end of this post.-- Luis
By now, most of you have probably heard
the double dose of bad news coming out of the Senate (It seems like
political bad news too frequently comes from there). Majority Leader
Harry Reid (D-NV) has indefinitely delayed action on a climate
bill and is still talking of scheduling floor time for Senator Rockefeller's
(D-WV) reprise of Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) Dirty
There's a lot of implications to both
of those actions, and I'm now beyond frustrated with the Senate, so
let's step through why this extra delay from the Senate is absolutely
dangerous for public health and welfare.
First, let’s address the delay of
the climate bill. The Senate continues to show absolute cowardice in
its unwilling to act, despite clear
public support for the measures.
Working on climate change issues has given me a healthy dose of reality
regarding the Senate’s timelines and the frequent delay that’s involved.
However, this delay has the potential to be more devastating than the
others because, unless something changes, we’re looking at a minimum
of three months of delay, but potentially 6-12 months in reality. This
length of time is unacceptable to address one of the biggest issues
of our time.
By Genevieve Raymond is a full time mom and part-time founding member of Climb Against Coal. -- Luis
We were moms on a mission. We woke up at midnight Saturday morning to attempt the 14,411 ft summit of Mount Rainier. We had a message for Governor Gregoire: close Washington’s largest toxic polluter and point source of deadly carbon — the TransAlta coal-fired power plant in Centralia.
We are not experienced mountaineers, but six months ago, when we brainstormed this crazy idea, we determined to meet an urgent challenge with radical action. We each have children between the ages of 3 and 6, and our kids have taught us to be loud and persistent in our demands. The Governor’s plan to burn dirty coal for fifteen more years is unacceptable. The time to transition to clean energy is now.
Big Oil, Dirty Coal and their allies in Congress have succeeded once again in blocking bold climate action. As a result, they will continue to reap record profits at the expense of our health, safety and economic security.
It's time to show Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, our senators and President Obama the full extent of our outrage at their failure to take on the greatest crisis of our time.
Last Thursday, Senate Leaders announced that they would not be taking up climate legislation to the floor before August. This move makes consideration of a cap on carbon unlikely in this Congress. The Senate will instead move forward before the August recess with a more narrowly focused bill aimed mostly at responding directly to the oil spill. 1Sky’s angry press statement reaction is here.
The Senate has once again stalled on climate this summer by officially dropping a comprehensive climate bill from July legislation. In other words, a climate bill will not be passed this summer as we hoped. Big Oil, Dirty Coal and their friends in Congress have again blocked any progress towards a solution to our dependence on dirty energy and our worsening climate. This only goes to show the huge and disturbing influence Big Oil and Dirty Coal has on Congress. This is unacceptable, even more so now that we are in the middle of the worst oil spill in our history and our ever rising temperatures proving global warming is a clear and present danger. However, Congress is either blind to the fact or simply looks the other way.
I really enjoy reading the comments left by 1Sky supporters during a call campaign. With each campaign, our supporters call their elected officials, voice their concerns with the legislators’ staff, and provide us with feedback on their call. Not only is feedback crucial for us to gauge Senate office reactions to our demands, they also inform us on how together we’re pushing our leaders to keep fighting for clean energy solutions.
Our current Spill to Bill campaign focuses on what the Senate needs to do to protect the Clean Air Act in bill negotiations over the next two weeks and help us transition from the Gulf Oil Disaster to a strong climate and clean energy bill. These callers keep pushing their leaders and making these calls to keep our voice raised for what we think is a very crucial moment for climate legislation in our country. Here are a few of my favorite comments so far from callers (hint: add your own and call your senators now!):
Claudia in PA (calling Sen. Bob Casey):
Told him…. trying to protect coal industry jobs is like protecting the guy who sweeps the deck of the Titanic.
Recent reports that the Senate will not consider comprehensive
climate and clean energy legislation before August are a testament to
the outrageous influence of Big Oil and Dirty Coal and their allies in
Congress. It is unacceptable that even in the wake of the worst oil
spill in U.S. history, our elected officials have failed to take bold
action to address the dangers of our fossil fuel dependence and our
worsening climate crisis.
“Enough is enough. The Senate and the Obama Administration must
break the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on our political system
and show the leadership necessary to take us from the BP spill to a
strong clean energy and climate bill. 1Sky activists will be mobilizing
during the August congressional recess to drive that message home loud
and clear. The time for solutions is now.
If you have ever tried to talk to a family member, friend, or plane seat-neighbor about climate change, you know the unique challenges that this offers. As someone who works in the climate movement informing people what is going on and what they can do, I'm right there with you. Recently I came across a great, accessible paper from the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) on just this issue that can help us both.