Posts Tagged ‘Democracy Now!’

As expected, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved climate change legislation last night and sent it along in the legislative process. We strongly urge lawmakers to make major overhauls to this bill or go back to the drawing board.

The problem? Oil, coal and nuclear industries had far too much say in its shaping, and it shows.

Now more than ever, Public Citizen needs you to tell your representatives that climate change legislation should not be weakened by the corrupting influence of big money.

Those who say this bill is the best the legislative process can produce are wrong: The American people demanded strong climate legislation, and polluters are subverting these goals.

Public Citizen supports strong, effective climate legislation, but this bill won’t achieve it. We can talk about hoping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, but this bill won’t do it.

It creates a legal right to pollute for industries and gives away credits for free to allow companies to meet those targets without having to pay for them. That is not going to spur the kind of investments we need.

We must act fast to influence lawmakers to fix this piece of legislation. Please take action so that our voices can be heard loud and clear over those of the oil, coal and nuclear industries.

For more information about the climate change bill and how it needs to be fixed, visit our Web site and watch Tyson Slocum explain Public Citizen’s position in an interview on Democracy Now!

Take action today, and let your representatives know you want them to put interests of consumers above those of the energy industries.

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Let the news storm begin.  For those thirsting for more information on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a few recommendations:

Watch Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, weigh in on Democracy Now! — Environmental Groups See Divide over Landmark Climate, Energy Bill Weakened by Industry Lobbying

Greg Harman at the San Antonio Current takes Charlie Gonzalez to task for his efforts to weaken ACES (look for a cameo quote from our very own Andy Wilson, Global Warming Program Director here at the Texas office — Gonzalez bombs climate change bill

The Washington Post’s business column op-ed: Climate-Change Bill Hits Some of the Right Notes but Botches the Refrain

The Economist breaks down the Handouts and loopholes

And to close out, words from the President:

I commend Chairman Waxman and the Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee for a successful effort to pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill out of their committee today. We are now one step closer to delivering on the promise of a new clean energy economy that will make America less dependent on foreign oil, crack down on polluters, and create millions of new jobs all across America. The bill is historic for what it achieves, providing clean energy incentives that encourage innovation while recognizing the concerns of sensitive industries and regions in this country. And this achievement is all the more historic for bringing together many who have in the past opposed a common effort, from labor unions to corporate CEOs, and environmentalists to energy companies. I applaud the committee for its action and look forward to signing comprehensive legislation.

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ed-abbeyEd Abbey would be proud.

At an auction held by the Bureau of Land Management for oil and gas leases on 149,000 acres of public land in Utah, a University of Utah student and environmental activist named Tim DeChristopher posed as a bidder and bought up 22,000 acres to keep it from industry clutches.  Much of this land was from the area right around Arches National Park, a beautiful swath immortalized in Ed Abbey’s book Desert Solitaire.  DeChristopher also drove up prices for oil and gas leases on other parcels to the tune of about half a million dollars.

Reports the Salt Lake Tribune:

He didn’t pour sugar into a bulldozer’s gas tank. He didn’t spike a tree or set a billboard on fire. But wielding only a bidder’s paddle, a University of Utah student just as surely monkey-wrenched a federal oil- and gas-lease sale Friday, ensuring that thousands of acres near two southern Utah national parks won’t be opened to drilling anytime soon.

Tim DeChristopher, 27, faces possible federal charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on more than 10 lease parcels that he admits he has neither the intention nor the money to buy — and he’s not sorry.

“I decided I could be much more effective by an act of civil disobedience,” he said during an impromptu streetside news conference during an afternoon blizzard. “There comes a time to take a stand.”

The land was being auctioned off in another last-ditch effort by the Bush administration to win Big Industry some holiday goodies before Obama takes office in January.  The BLM didn’t have time to do adequate environmental impact statements, leave much time for public comment, or even take in input from other federal agencies such as the National Parks Service.  Apparently in BLM’s intial announcement of the auction, private property with houses on it and land the agency didn’t have rights to drill on was also included.  BLM won’t re-open the land DeChristopher’s won for auction until February, when the new administration will be in place.  They are also giving bidders who won parcels with inflated prices the chance to withdraw those bids within a ten-day period — but since the Obama administration is unlikely to offer the leases again, most bidders will probably hold on to the land they’ve won.

Watch Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! interview DeChristopher below:


And a final Ed Abbey parting shot:

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

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