Earlier this week, legendary West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd passed away. It is unlikely that an environmental organization would have written positively about a pro-coal senator, but in recent years the late Senator Byrd realized the toll that the coal industry was taking on the environment and his beloved West Virginia. Robert C. Byrd, who once fought hard for coal mining and against regulating it in his early years, had an epiphany:
The industry of coal must also respect the land that yields the coal, as well as the people who live on the land. If the process of mining destroys nearby wells and foundations, if blasting and digging and relocating streams unearths harmful elements and releases them into the environment causing illness and death, that process should be halted and the resulting hazards to the community abated.
I really, really wish I didn't have to lead today's roundup with more on the BP oil disaster, but since the oil spill is now in its 46th day, I'm afraid I have no choice. I also wish I didn't have to nag you again about Lisa Murkowski (R-Exxon/BP/Shell/etc.) and her seek-and-destroy mission against the Clean Air Act, but you deal with the senators you have, not the ones you wish you had. Thankfully it's not all doom-and-gloom in Roundupville: this week we heard some of the strongest language in favor of a comprehensive climate and energy bill from President Obama than we've heard in awhile.
Last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) struck a deal with the Democratic leadership that will allow her to force a vote on her “disapproval resolution” on the Clean Air Act on next Thursday, June 10. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he will make a climate and energy bill a priority after the Memorial Day recess, huddling with key chairmen and working to chart out a path forward on "energy-related" legislation. At a high-profile press event President Obama identified comprehensive legislation as the long-term fix for preventing further oil-related disasters. Members of Congress are back in their states and districts all week for Memorial Day recess.
This week’s roundup features some big blows to the climate change deniers. The scientist involved in the "Climategate" incident have been cleared of wrongdoing by an independent panel of experts and the science has been found to be valid yet again. Also, a study recently found that members of the "Tea Party" movement know far less about climate change than the general public. Meanwhile, yesterday a group of protesters disrupted the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to show their displeasure with the coal industry's incessant attempts to undermine the valid science of global warming.
This week’s roundup features both positive and
news on the climate front. Our campaign director Gillian
Caldwell was recently interviewed by Dowser while our ally the Union of
Scientists (UCS) sent a climatologist to defend the latest science on the Colbert Report. Globally, the UN is beginning to plan another
to find a global solution for climate change.
This week's round-up features climate news from across the spectrum. Politically, the Obama administration announced both good and bad news. Economically, it looks like clean energy holds great hope for our Irish friends as well. Scientifically, a finding was released regarding the scientists attacked by climate skeptic hackers last fall. And in the world of April Fools, the ultimate eco-hoaxters released a video of their greatest hits.
By Clean Water Action organizer Jesse Worker. -- Luis
As we stood outside Rep. Mark Schauer's office (MI-7th) in the bright spring sunshine holding signs reading "A storm of support: Thank you for protecting the Clean Air Act" and "Mark Schauer brings clean energy power," I couldn't help but recall my first visit to his office just days before the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) act vote. Rep. Schauer was a first-term Congressman whom Clean Water Action (my organization in Michigan), had worked hard to get into office based on his strong environmental platform. After a productive discussion of why the ACES bill was so important for Michigan's economic and environmental future, we received a call on the day of the vote from his office assuring us that he would be supporting the bill.
This was the week of 72 Hours for Clean American Power. You probably heard about the massive call campaign from us, but lots of groups were a part of this effort, and several posted reports back from supporters who called. We also read more this week about green job efforts both ongoing and in the works. Finally, a friend of the climate change movement came out with a great video showing the growth of the movement in 2009.