The Skywriter

A Trip to the Warner-Lieberman Press Conference


A Trip to the Warner-Lieberman Press Conference

I went down to the Hill yesterday with three of our brand-new summer interns to check out the Warner-Lieberman press conference. Although the event was billed as a press conference, it definitely felt more like a rally.

A group of about 40-50 people stood on stage behind the speakers, many of them wearing green "Climate Action NOW!" shirts (courtesy of NWF) and holding signs: "Yes to Climate Action," "Yes to Green Jobs," "Recharge America's Economy," etc. A lot of the crowd onstage was definitely comprised of NWF and NRDC staffers (some LCV folks were floating around too), but there was a good age range represented. I couldn't tell where everyone was coming from, but it definitely wasn't just a bunch of suited types -- it had a grassrootsy feel. Consistent themes included the need for urgent action and bipartisanship, and interestingly, the power of citizen action and coalitions. In effect the rhetoric on display was no different from what I would expect to hear at our eventual victory rally.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle expressed their support for climate change action...

Sen. Barbara Boxer was clear in her belief that

"We have to heed the word of scientists that our planet is in peril"

Sen. Olympia Snowe said

"We can't afford to wait another year, let alone another twenty."

Sen. John Kerry urged people to

“flood the telephone lines, email their Senators, and make their voices heard.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman said

"We've come this far because of an array of citizens' groups -- a mighty force is arising from the American public. Special interests don't want to change. Are you ready to join us in fighting and defeating special interests!?"

Sen. Amy Klobuchar alluded to the space race, saying,

"We wouldn't have seen potential if we hadn't drawn a line in the sand."

Sen. Ben Cardin said

"We can win if we work together. You're making a difference by being here -- with your support, we can win this battle!"

Warner-Lieberman hit the Senate floor yesterday, and debate will continue throughout the week.

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