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Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet



June 4, 2010

Contact: Kristina Johnson
(415) 977-5619

As BP Disaster Spreads, Sierra Club Launches "Beyond Oil" Campaign
Rallies, Ads, Website, Petition Urge Obama to Respond to Disaster with Bold Plan to End Oil Dependence

Venice, La.- Today, the Sierra Club launched a new campaign urging President Obama to respond the BP oil disaster in the Gulf with a bold plan to end America's dependence on oil in the next twenty years. The Sierra Club's "Beyond Oil" campaign will include rallies and events around the nation, paid ads, a new website, a short documentary and videos. The organization will be mobilizing its 1.3 million members and supporters, and conducting robust outreach to concerned Americans everywhere.

Sierra Club's Executive Director Michael Brune was in the Gulf this week touring the disaster site for the second time. After seeing oiled birds and struggling dolphins, Brune issued a call to action for all Americans who feel helpless in the face of the disaster and want to make sure it never happens again.

You can watch a video of Brune in the Gulf here:

watch video of mike brune in the Gulf


Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

What I have seen in the Gulf is shocking. It's horrifying. It's heartbreaking. One bird, covered in oil, struggled again and again to take off from the water. Other pelicans would approach and then move away. It's the kind of image you want to share, not because it's beautiful, but because you want so badly for people to understand.

We can't accept business as usual after what we've seen in the Gulf. This disaster changes everything.

That pelican, coated in oil and struggling to take flight, reminds me of America's past failed attempts to make meaningful progress toward the clean energy future we all know we must someday achieve.

The oil industry has impeded our progress for far too long. It's time to stand up to the oil industry. It's time to move America beyond its dependence on oil.

We have never needed President Obama's vision and boldness more than we do today. We are urging the President to seize this moment, not just to repair broken oversight of the oil industry, but to chart a new course.

We are calling on President Obama to deliver a plan to end America's dependence on oil over the next twenty years. Cleaning up our energy won't be easy, but with the right leadership, it can be done.

Perhaps President Obama can paraphrase the man who once sat behind that same desk in the Oval Office: "We choose to do these things not because they're easy, but because they're right."

After President Kennedy declared that we would put a man on the moon, it took just eight years to transform his vision into reality. For this race, where the stakes are so much higher, we have two decades -- and a bigger head start.

For many Americans who live in places like Ohio and Oregon, it's easy to watch images from the Gulf and feel despair. It's easy to feel helpless. But there is something we can do. We can make sure this doesn't happen again. That's why we're calling on our supporters and concerned citizens everywhere to send a clear message to President Obama. We're ready to stand up to the oil industry and embrace clean energy and a 21st century transportation system. If not now, when?

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