Time to celebrate your EPA

When was the last time you found yourself partying because our federal government is acting on climate change? Oh right, not really ever in our lives. Well, friends, the time has come.

As you may have heard, President Obama has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to act on the 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA decision. In that watershed case, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare according to the Clean Air Act, and that EPA must therefore regulate carbon dioxide.

EPA didn’t move on the decision until President Obama entered the White House, but now they’re moving quickly: first up, the Agency must solicit public testimony on federal climate regulation. They’ve set up hearings for all comers in two cities this week – Arlington, VA, on Monday, and Seattle on Thursday – and according to top EPA officials, public response to the hearings has already been “overwhelming.”

Here in Seattle, we’re going gangbusters to show EPA that Americans are ready for comprehensive federal climate policy. There’s a lot moving right now, with all three branches of the federal government having now weighed in – the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision, President Obama’s EPA now rolling, and the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES, aka Waxman-Markey) making its way to the House floor. Whatever the branch, folks are flocking to Seattle on Thursday to send the message that we’re ready for federal action to cut carbon, ensure public health, and launch the American economy into durable prosperity powered by clean-energy jobs.

The official public hearing on Thursday, May 21, is already booked from 8am to 1am, but everyone can take part by joining the huge waterfront rally outside the hearing from 12 noon to 1pm – it’s guaranteed to be your best lunch break for a while. The speaker line-up:
•    Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels
•    Rabbi Zari Weiss of Rodef Tzedek and the Jewish Climate Challenge
•    David Nokovic, youth leader from Portland State University
•    Martha Kongsgaard, environmental and community leader
•    Evan Kanter, President, Board of Directors, Physicians for Social Responsibility
•    Dean Allen, CEO of McKinstry Company
•    KC Golden, Climate Solutions (emcee)

A couple thousand folks are already signed up, so bring your friends, your family, your dog, your noisemakers, and your passion for solving the climate crisis to Seattle this Thursday. Check out the rally details here.

(And if you can’t make it all the way to the PacNW this week, EPA still wants to hear from you before June 23rd. Add your 2 cents here.)

Brush up on your climate cheers – whether you holler them out with us in Seattle this week, or email them to EPA here.

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