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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 3, 2010

Contact: Kristina Johnson
(415) 977-5619

Sierra Club to Obama: Move America Beyond Oil in 20 Years
After Viewing Gulf Devastation, Executive Director Michael Brune Calls for End to Oil Dependence

Venice, Louisiana - Today, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune toured coastal Louisiana to view the impacts of the BP Disaster. Following the boat tour, Brune called on President Obama to launch a plan to move America completely beyond its dependence on oil in the next twenty years.

The Sierra Club will be launching a new campaign urging the President to take action. The Sierra Club will be holding rallies and events around the country, will be running ads and reaching out to its 1.3 million members and supporters, as well as Americans who want to do something about the disaster but don't know how to help.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

If Americans were on the boat with me today and saw what I saw, they would be beating down the doors of their representatives, calling for action. We watched a pelican struggling to fly under the weight of globs of oil. We saw a pod of dolphins straining to swim through the oil slick.

The most infuriating thing was that there was no one else out where we were. There were no BP crews rescuing birds. There was no BP ship laying booms or soaking up oil.  BP has created a disaster so huge that response efforts can never match the needs here.

We should stop using the term "clean up" because there is really no way to clean up this mess. It is heartbreaking. It's hard to describe the magnitude of this catastrophe. This is the largest environmental disaster in our history. It calls for a response of the same scale.

We have never needed President Obama's visionary leadership more than we do now. It's time for President Obama to deliver a plan to move America beyond its dependence on oil over the next twenty years.

We are ready to change the way we do energy. We are ready to stop letting the oil industry call the shots, and start embracing clean energy.

We already have many of the clean energy solutions necessary to create a 21st century transportation system that will move us beyond oil. Our dependence on oil has created all kinds of misery, from the Exxon Valdez spill twenty years ago, to air pollution, to climate change, to foreign wars, to the devastation I saw in the Gulf today. 

For years, the oil industry has raked in the highest profits in the world, while battling safety regulations and lobbying for loopholes and subsidies that our leaders have been all too willing to grant. The oil industry has fought fiercely against the clean energy policies that threaten its stranglehold on our economy.

During World War II this country completely transformed itself to meet an unprecedented threat. We need that level of ambitious vision now. It's time to be bold. This is our chance to move America beyond dependence on oil. We need to seize it.

www.sierraclub.org/bpdisaster



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