I recently attended the 2011 Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference, and I was struck by a number of things. The first thing was the attendance – we were filled to capacity! As an organizer, however, what really got me was the intense focus on movement building from all involved – panel speakers, moderators, and participants alike.
We are beginning to realize that our strength lies in our numbers, and that we need to get organized! I knew that’s what we were doing here at 1Sky, but it was hugely inspiring and empowering to hear that goal echoed across the community.
So much of our time has been taken up with defending the Clean Air Act from the likes of Fred Upton (R-Coal/Oil) that it's easy to forget there are lawmakers out there willing to speak out strongly in its defense. People like Barbara Boxer, who has been giving Fred Upton her own version of Ian McKellen's 'you shall not pass!' speech from Lord of the Rings in reference to the Clean Air Act.
The latest attacks on the Clean Air Act are not about policy or even politics; they're about corruption, plain and simple.
We see these attacks coming from both Republicans and Democrats, but nearly all of them are coming from lawmakers who have received large infusions of cash or pressure from big polluters like the coal industry.
The Obama administration seems to think "climate change" is too divisive to mention, but underwriting clean energy tech? That's bipartisan.
Surprisingly, conservative commentators didn't seem to buy it. Why? Government intervention, absent a large-scale emergency, goes against basic conservative philosophy. All they see is needless government intervention into energy technology, and they have a point. Absent climate change, where is the urgency?
Obama has been lavished with praise for his focus on
competitiveness and clean energy in his State of the Union Address. In the
midst of that praise, however, I must bring up some clear issues of
the President has not actually made a concrete promise to protect the Clean Air
Act from impending congressional attacks; he has only alluded to it.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D- OH) has built a reputation of standing up for Ohioans and all Americans in the face of runaway corporate greed. But now, corporate polluters are pushing leaders like Senator Brown into gutting the Clean Air Act -- a political compromise that would cost lives and hamstring efforts to cut climate pollution nationwide.
Let's start the New Year off right. While Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has taken a firm stance in keeping the EPA's regulation in place at the start of this year, Kyle Gracey at Grist explains his top resolution is to use his words carefully and correctly, starting with calling carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions exactly what they are: pollution. He calls on everyone to take the neutral word out of deadly substances.