FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2010
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
Sierra Club Joins 40+ Groups in Calling for an "Earth Day Revolution"
Groups Urge Senate to Act as 40th Anniversary of Earth Day Approaches
Washington, D.C.--With 40 days until Earth Day 2010, the Sierra Club today joined leaders from the environmental community and others in signing a "Declaration" calling on the U.S. Senate to take swift action on clean energy and climate change. Forty years after the first Earth Day, these leaders urged the Senate to stop stalling and start acting on clean energy and climate solutions for America. The Declaration was unveiled and signed by Sierra Club President Allison Chin and leaders from the League of Conservation Voters, NAACP, Rock the Vote, Natural Resources Defense Council, Hip Hop Caucus, Environment America, Truman National Security Project, and Earth Day Network at an event held this morning on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Similar events are also happening this week around the country. A complete list of signatories appears below.
Remarks Delivered by Sierra Club President Allison Chin
"Rivers catching on fire in Cleveland and offshore oil platforms spewing millions of gallons of oil onto California beaches were just two of the events that catapulted environmental issues to the fore, helped galvanize a nascent environmental movement and brought Americans together to celebrate the first Earth Day-- held 40 years ago next month. Much progress has been made since then in clearing America's air; cleaning up our rivers, lakes, and streams; protecting our lands; and taking the first steps toward casting off our dependence on the dirty fuels of the past and building the clean energy economy of tomorrow. But even greater progress remains elusive.
"We are now on the verge of decisive action to rid ourselves of this reliance on oil and dirty coal, to create millions of new clean energy jobs that will put our economy back on the path to prosperity, and to start tackling the most important environmental challenge we've ever faced--global warming. Not surprisingly, however, the forces of dithering, denial, and delay are not giving up without a fight.
"First, Big Oil and other polluters followed the example of the tobacco industry and bankrolled a decades-long campaign to undermine science--a campaign which has unfortunately reared its ugly head once again as of late. Then, they spent the last few years trying to protect their profits by predicting an economic apocalypse if do anything to put a price on pollution in order to start building the clean energy economy. Well, we did nothing and the economy collapsed anyway--in no small measure due to the hundreds of billions of dollars dirty energy drains from it every year--billions spent on oil from overseas, billions spent on caring for children and the elderly sickened by dirty air, and billions more spent paying for the other hidden costs of dirty energy. Now, these same big polluters are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on attack ads and an army of Washington lobbyists. These people will do or so anything to stop progress--even if it means committing fraud and sending forged letters. Worse yet, they are even trying to gut the Clean Air Act, one of our nation's most fundamental environmental laws.
"Over the course of the next forty days, we need Senators to declare their independence from Big Oil and the other special interests polluting Washington. We need them to stand up for the workers in Arkansas building wind turbines, for the workers in Michigan building the clean vehicles that will cut our dependence on oil and help clean the air, and for people everywhere who are tired of padding the pockets of Big Oil instead of protecting the planet for future generations. We need senators to stand up for the Clean Air Act and against the dirty money from polluters raining down on D.C. Most importantly, we need Senators to move forward with a bipartisan, comprehensive clean energy and climate plan that means more jobs, less pollution, and real energy independence and security for America.
"I'm proud to sign this Declaration today because it's time we declared our independence from polluting special interests and finish the job that we started some 40 years ago."
The following organizations have signed on to the Declaration:
American Hunters and Shooters
American Values Network
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Clean Water Action
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Climate Protection Action Fund
Defenders of Wildlife
Earth Day Network
Environmental Defense Action Fund
Environmental Law and Policy Center
Green for All
Hip Hop Caucus
Interfaith Power and Light
La Onda Verde
League of Conservation Voters
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
National Wildlife Federation
NWF Campus Ecology
Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Rock the Vote
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy SACE
Southern Energy Network
Truman National Security Project
Union of Concerned Scientists
Veterans for Common Sense
World Wildlife Fund
The Wilderness Society
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