By Jp Leous
Sen. Murkowski’s Dirty Air Act is back in the news, and this time it’s front page material. As my colleague, The Wilderness Society Director for Climate Policy David Moulton recently wrote in Roll Call (a staple for many inside the Beltway for policy news, insights, and opinions), the Gulf oil spill catastrophe is proof positive that it’s time to address our addiction to fossil fuels– but the senior senator from Alaska (truly ground zero for climate changes) is going to the mat to prevent the EPA from reducing carbon pollution.
President Obama sees this disaster as what it is – a wake-up call to take control of our energy future. The president said: “The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future… I want you to know, the votes may not be there now, but I intend to find them in the coming months.” Now is the time for a comprehensive clean energy and climate policy that will reduce our oil dependence, curb carbon pollution and create needed economic growth and new jobs.
We all know this. But we also know Congress has its own version of reality. For example the Senate is set for its first major vote on energy and environmental issues since the beginning of the worst oil spill in history, and there are 41 Senators already signed onto Murkowski’s resolution to gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate pollutants that danger our health and wellbeing. That’s right: even as the Gulf tragedy continues to unfold due to poor regulatory oversight our Senate is dangerously close to passing a resolution that prevents our regulators from protecting us from industrial pollution! And get this: every day Big Oil and their cronies are ginning up calls to key Senate offices—telling Senators to vote for Murkowski’s Dirty Air Act!
Now, more than ever, your voice is needed to tell your Senators that they must vote NO on Murkowski’s Big Oil Bailout—and pivot immediately to taking up comprehensive climate and energy legislation. I spent hours in Hill offices last week, and I can tell you first hand that the other side is making calls, sending emails and writing letters. Hill staff are keeping tallies of “for” and “against” comments on this — and I can tell you first hand that we need you to weigh in. We need your voice on the Hill today, tomorrow, and every day until we get the Senate action we need. We need to take a play from Big Oil’s book and go to the mat for the future we want. The number for the Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121 – remember to be polite, but firm in telling your Senators to vote no on the Murkowski “Dirty Air Act” and take up comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation now.