Breaking news – and the organizing hub for the Capitol Climate Action is lit up right now!
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just made an announcement moments ago – calling to switch the Capitol Power Plant entirely off of coal! Just 4 days before thousands of people are mobilizing at the facility for the largest act of civil disobedience in US history for the climate – this statement shows the power of grassroots action!
The Capitol Power Plant has been controversial for years – as an antiquated, inefficient facility that is the largest source of pollution in Washington DC. While efforts to clean up the plant and switch off it’s usage of coal have been attempted for years (including by Pelosi and the Greening the Capitol Initiative), powerful coal state interests (namely Senators Mitch McConnell and Robert Byrd) have blocked attempts to end it’s usage of coal. This plant symbolizes the stranglehold coal has over our climate, our environment, our communities, and our political process.
In the past 2 weeks, the Capitol Climate Action Coalition (made up of over 100 organizations from across the country) sent letters to Congress, informing them of our intent for peaceful action March 2nd at the Capitol Power Plant that is reflecting the urgency and seriousness of the climate crisis. And as the media buzz and public interest grows for this historic mobilization – we are flexing out political muscles, showing that people are demanding real change in our climate and energy policies.
As Pelosi and Reid accurately noted today:
Taking this major step toward cleaning up the Capitol Power Plant’s emissions would be an important demonstration of Congress’ willingness to deal with the enormous challenges of global warming, energy independence and our inefficient use of finite fossil fuels. We strongly encourage you to move forward aggressively with us on a comprehensive set of policies for the entire Capitol complex and the entire Legislative Branch to quickly reduce emissions and petroleum consumption through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean alternative fuels.
This statement today by Pelosi and Reid shows the power of grassroots movements to spur our leaders into action. Years of letter writing, lobbying, and organizing have been vital in building the case about this plant – but it has taken the mass mobilization of thousands of people to push our leaders to more substantial action. As Congressional leaders are recognizing that better solutions exist for their own backyard – we must keep the pressure up to ensure that coal is phased out across the country, and replaced with clean, renewable, just solutions that solve the climate crisis, and support our communities.
“Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid today showed the power of grassroots action. That grassroots action is going to continue until Congress passes legislation that solves the climate crisis.”
Thousands of you are already planning to join us March 2nd in DC – to make sure that our message is not simply about cleaning up one facility – but about climate justice for all. We still have non-violence trainings all weekend, and for people choosing to peacefully engage in civil disobedience or participate in the support rally -you can still join us in keeping this momentum up!