Rallies sprung up nationwide this weekend in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. Much of the opposition faced by unions is from the same polluter-funded front groups that have opposed climate legislation for years. The protests in Wisconsin have the opportunity to be a key turning point in the fight against corporate influence on our politics. The House and Senate will return to D.C. this week for further consideration of short-term spending bills.
By Brian Kunkemoeller, Danny Berchenko, and Molly Haigh
We are in the middle of a battle for power. On one side, we have the money of corporate polluters, and their front groups like the US Chamber of Commerce, and on the other side we have the people power of everyday Americans who want their elected leaders to represent their constituents instead of their donors. In 2010, those big polluters launched one heck of a battle cry with $500 million in lobbying and attack ads flooding our political process.
Brian Kunkemoeller is a 1Sky volunteer based in Cincinatti, OH. His interest in working for a more sustainable world was kindled while Studying Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He has been involved in several local and national environmental initiatives as well as keeping Ohio in the climate loop through his blog. http://projectfootprint.blogspot.com/
This past Saturday's Rally to Save the American Dream was a resounding success. People all over the nation flooded statehouses to support our public workers and stand up against tax breaks for corporations and the very rich. Along with other proud sponsors of the event (350, AFL-CIO, SEIU, MoveOn and more), we garnered the attention of none other than Glenn Beck -- making it all the way to his infamous chalkboard.
Politicians continue to attack the Clean Air Act on a daily basis as budget fights, science hearings, and consideration of anti-climate bills persist on Capitol Hill. The government is currently only funded for two more weeks, forcing a major budget compromise by March 18th. House GOP leadership is signaling that they are willing to back down on their most egregious anti-climate riders, but Clean Air Act-blocking legislation continues to be considered in the House and Senate with the introduction of the Upton-Inhofe bill.
We have to address corporate money in politics if we want to win on climate change policies. It might sound off focus, but the fact of the matter is that corporate money in Congress, through donations to campaigns, lobbying, attack ads, etc, is drowning out reasonable arguments for addressing climate change. We have to address the influence of dirty energy industry money in the political process in the United States if we want to see real action on climate change.
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.
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.
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.
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.