This week the Senate could potentially hold the first set of major
climate votes of the 112th Congress on up to four Dirty Air Acts:
McConnell-Inhofe, Rockefeller, Baucus, and Stabenow. For years now the
Senate has delayed comprehensive action on climate and clean energy -
the only major votes held on climate have been votes on
polluter-endorsed bills that would gut the Clean Air Act. This vote
could set the stage for further Clean Air Act and climate fights as
the 2012 election cycle approaches.
Just one week ago, 30 climate activists from across the country descended on D.C. for a huge training on grassroots organizing and team building for the climate movement. This week, we will be highlighting a few of the stories coming out of that training. We hope you are as inspired as we are by the dedication, excitement, and talent these 30 activists bring to the movement. Matt Smith, from Wyckoff, NJ, is new to the climate movement, his story is our first featured story from the weekend:
Matt Smith lives in Wyckoff, NJ where he works in finance. His interest in the environment stems from epic family vacations in Yellowstone and Glacier National Park as a child, and he has been hooked on the outdoors ever since. After reading Bill McKibbon's newest book, 'Eaarth,' Matt realized it was time to start doing something about climate change, and linked up with both 350.org and 1Sky in his newfound quest to protect the outdoors. He currently serves as the Regional Coordinator for New Jersey, and is looking forward to ramping up local efforts to help build the national climate movement needed to combat climate change.
Last week Republicans in the Senate threatened to force a vote on the Upton-Inhofe Dirty Air Act. A vote will be delayed until after the one-week recess but it goes to show how committed big polluters and their allies in Congress are to gutting the Clean Air Act every chance they get. Energy-related disasters and conflicts in Japan and Libya continue to influence the U.S. dialogue on energy and climate policy.
As Naima noted in last Friday's roundup, the percentage of Americans who believe climate change is real has dropped to the lowest point since 1998, from roughly two-thirds in 2008 to just 51% in 2010.This is no coincidence: From the so-called "Climategate" incident to the circus of last week's Upton-Inhofe Dirty Air Act hearings, big polluters and th
Following the 9.0 earthquake and resultant tsunami, supplies have been running low in Japan. Food and gasoline shortages have left grocery store aisles bare and homes without heat. The death toll is sobering, with nearly 7,000 confirmed dead andmore than 10,000 people still missing.
This week's energy conversations have been dominated by the nuclear disaster in Japan. At one particular plant, three reactors are in danger of melting down if not properly cooled by the emergency efforts. Most U.S. politicians are sticking to their former stances on nuclear power, including President Obama, who remains supportive of building new nuclear facilities in the U.S. Anti-Clean Air Act bills in the House and Senate continue to inch forward, with a House vote possible in the coming weeks.
As the 2012 elections draw closer, the numbers at the pump could directly effect the ones at the polls. President Obama has had to quash criticisms that the climbing gas prices were owed to stalled domestic oil production. Rather, the spike is owed to the Middle East instability and most noticeably the unrest in Libya.
By Acacia Williams, Dana Johnson, Micah Parkin, and Mary Gilbert
Just over a week ago, climate activists across 17 states campaigned with rallies, meetings, calls, and letters to demand that their elected officials protect the Clean Air Act. The message was clear: represent your constituents, not your corporate donors.
In states such as Colorado, the message was a 'thank you' to climate champions. In Michigan, however, hundreds of people loudly voiced their disappointment with Representative Fred Upton’s recent Dirty Air Act and choice to side with corporate polluters instead of his constituents.