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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adam Siegel: A Filibreather for all of us

A Filibreather for all of us

by Adam Siegel, Get Energy Smart! NOW!, July 26th, 2011

Monday afternoon, 25 Representatives stood to speak out against moves to devastate protections for America’s environment: from measures to open up the Grand Canyon for uranium miners to measures to eliminate monitoring of polluters. This two-hour call for sanity was a joint move between the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) that gained the twitter call out Filibreather. In other words, a (mini) filibuster undertaken to protect Americans’ ability to breathe clean air.
Amid the insanity of efforts to capitulate to Teahadists on devastating America’s economy through slash and burn tactics on the budget and deficit, House Republican plans and actions to devastate funding for environmental protection programs seems beneath attention — based, at least, on traditional media reporting.
For at least a few hours, on CSPAN if barely elsewhere, House Democrats called attention to “A wish list for special interests
This spending bill represents one of the most egregious assaults on the environment in this nation’s history. … If this bill passes our air will be smoggier, our climate will be hotter, our water will be more polluted, our public lands will become more despoiled. Siimply put, this legislation is so toxic that you better handle it wearing a hazmat suit.”
In two hours of comments that we should pay attention to, Representative after Representative called out the Republican majority for their steely-eyed determination to undermine American security, economic prospects, human health, and prospects for the future.
As Representative Earl Blumenauer put it,
The jihad against climate change continues for my friends on the Republican side of the aisle. And it’s ironic. when people can barely walk outside in Washington, DC., where we’re dealing with drought, flood, wildfires, extreme weather events across the country. And the scientists tell us that it’s related to human activity. This budget reduces our ability to deal with climate change and extreme weather events
Note, by the way, to Representative Earl Blumenauer, we wish that the Republican Party would declare a jihad against climate change rather than doubling (and tripling and quadrupling …) down on their Anti-Science Syndrome Hatred Of a Livable Economic System.
Representative Henry Waxman called out the Republican rejection of sciencethrough passage of a bill that rejected climate science.
This year, we witnessed weather disaster after weather disaster. There have been massive floods, record-breaking fire, record-breaking droughts and now record-breaking heat waves. Yet earlier this year the House passed a bill that repealed EPA’s scientific finding that climate change is occurring. It’s caused by man and is a serious threat.
Waxman also highlighted that contributing to our challenges is the Administration’s relative silence on climate change.
We don’t hear about the connection between these weather events and climate change and carbon emissions. We’re not hearing from it when we watch the daily news shows and we’re not hearing it from this administration. I just sent recently a letter to Secretary Chu, the Secretary of Energy, a Nobel Prize winner, asking him to speak out. We need to educate the American people so we can educate our colleagues here in the House of Representatives.
Waxman is sadly too accurate with these words:
This house can deny science, we can amend our nation’s laws, but we cannot rewrite the laws of nature. The longer we ignore the scientific reality that our actions are destabilizing the environment, destabilizing our climate, the more costly and disruptive our response will need to be and the more we endanger our children’s future.
“Both parties and houses of Congress should be focused on preventing a default crisis, and on creating jobs in a competitive 21st century economy. But instead, this week the House will consider H.R. 2584 - an unprecedented back-door attempt to roll back essential pollution controls and public health protections in favor of bigger profits for the country’s worst polluters. This is a low mark for the 112th Congress that has already seen the GOP majority preserve giveaways to Big Oil and advance legislation to overturn common sense energy efficiency standards, slash clean energy innovation, and carve loopholes in important environmental statutes.
“H.R. 2584 would overturn 40 years of bipartisan progress protecting the clean air and water on which all Americans depend, and the lands and wildlife that Americans treasure. The American people reject the false choice between a prosperous economy and a sustainable environment, which we’ve proven can go hand in hand. SEEC calls on the Congress to reject this bill.”
Filibreather participants: Woolsey (CA); Inslee (WA) (SEEC co-chair); Blumenauer (OR); Serrano (NY); Waxman (CA); Chu (CA); Sarbanes (MD); Holt (NJ) (SEEC Vice Chair); Grijalva (AZ); Tsongas (MA); DeLauro (CT); Hoyer (MD) (House Minority Whip)
Tonko (NY) (SEEC Vice Chair); Cicciline (RI); Hank Johnson (GA); Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX); Capps (CA); Kind (WI); Andrews (NJ); Barbara Lee (CA); Schakowsky (IL); Garamendi (CA); David Price (NC); Connolly (VA) (SEEC Vice Chair); Polis (CO) (SEEC Vice Chair)

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