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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2009

Contact:
David Willett, 202-675-6698

Forged Letters to Block Clean Energy?
Allegations Call into Question Efforts to Oppose Climate and Energy Bill


Washington, DC: An investigation by Daily Progress in Charlottesville, VA has exposed alleged efforts by lobbyists to misrepresent community organizations' positions on the American Clean Energy and Security Act.   According to the article, Congressman Perriello (D-5th/VA) received multiple letters purported to be from the NAACP and Creciendo Juntos, a local Hispanic Community network, voicing opposition to the bill.  Neither organization actually opposes the legislation.   As more facts come to light on this story, the Sierra Club issued the following statement.

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

"Obviously many more facts need to come out before we know the whole story, but the alleged forgery of letters from organizations dedicated to protecting their communities forces one to question who is really behind the efforts to block America's progress towards a clean energy economy.  According to Greenwire/New York Times, in the lead up and aftermath of the House's historic vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, special interests like Coal Utilties and Oil have poured tens of millions into lobbying to keep America stuck in the past."  

"Congressman Perriello deserves praise for not only voting for what was best for Virginia and the nation's economy and security, but also for looking into the efforts of the dirty, old business-as-usual players who tried to sway his vote.   It's impossible to know at this point how many other members of Congress may have received forged letters like those found in Rep. Perriello's office.  It is disturbing, to say the least, to think that some Congresspeople may have, in good faith, voted thinking they were representing their communities when in fact they were not."

"As this bill is soon to be debated in the Senate, it is vitally important that more be done to see what other kinds of dirty tricks are being used to give a false impression of grassroots opposition to clean energy."     

"Our country needs a clean energy jobs bill that will boost our economy and fight global warming. Thousands of jobs could be created here if only the U.S. were to invest wisely in clean energy.  The comprehensive energy and climate bill being discussed in the Senate right now should do more to build our clean energy economy and not let polluters get away with their same old dirty business-as-usual ways. Millions of Americans already hold the most commonly needed job skills for global warming solutions.  Strong, comprehensive energy and climate legislation will put them back to work, retaining and creating millions of good, clean energy jobs in both the revitalized manufacturing and construction sector and the new clean energy industries of tomorrow."

"As the country's oldest and largest grassroots environmental group, Sierra Club takes authentic grassroots organizing seriously and takes offense at industry-funded astro-turf campaigns that undermine true community voices."

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