The Skywriter

Volunteers give Sen. Brown the "Oily Bird Award"


Volunteers give Sen. Brown the "Oily Bird Award"


By 1Sky summer intern Amy Plovnick. -- Luis

Yesterday afternoon, some volunteers from Massachusetts and 1Sky interns walked into Senator Scott Brown’s (R-MA) D.C. office armed with a stuffed flamingo covered in what looked like oil. The look on the staffer’s face shifted from amusement to dismay as we presented her with this “Oily Bird Award” to condemn Senator Brown for voting in favor of the Murkowski resolution, which would have gutted the Clean Air Act and increased our dependence on dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil. Here's a video capturing the moment:

After the initial shock of receiving this unusual gift diminished, we engaged the legislative aide in a conversation about clean energy and climate policy. Led by our fearless Massachusetts regional coordinator Geneva Boyer, we talked about how Senator Brown’s vote for the Murkowski resolution was a step backwards, a vote for Dirty Coal and Big Oil and against the interests of the people of Massachusetts and the environment. We also talked about how the Senate urgently needs to pass a bill that addresses our climate crisis as well as our energy needs and the oil spill.

Unfortunately, Senator Brown’s staff only seemed interested in discussing the oil spill prevention and response bill that the Senator introduced with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and did not indicate that he will take action to help move a climate bill through the Senate.

Despite the fact that Senator Brown’s staff did not give us the response that we wanted regarding a climate bill, I don’t think that they will forget our visit any time soon. After all, how often do you get an oily bird delivered to your office? Every time they remember the Murkowski resolution or consider energy or climate policy, they will remember this award, and hopefully they will urge Senator Brown to vote the right way on climate and energy policy.

The tragedy of the gulf oil spill shows that it is essential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy economy. The “Oily Bird Awards”, which were also delivered by 1Sky volunteers to local Senate offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Arkansas, sent the message to senators that they will be held accountable for detracting from this critical task.

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