Global warming poses a profound threat to the future of the earth and its people. Despite the importance of tackling the problem, the U.S. Senate has thus far failed to pass comprehensive legislation to cap and reduce global warming pollution. While the U.S. Senate stalls, some Senators are even working to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from taking its own action.
For weeks, Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski has been working to build support for a bill that would take away the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to require reductions in global warming pollution.
To demonstrate the opposition of young people to the measure, the Clean Energy Works Campaign organized a series of actions on Capitol Hill this week.
(left) Gabe Elsner, Student PIRG Global Warming Solutions Coordinator and Coordinator of the Clean Energy Works Youth Table, and students from the Clean Energy Works Campaign don surgical masks before visiting the office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday to lobby for regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
On Tuesday, two-dozen Student PIRG leaders passed out ‘No Dirty Air Act’ Masks and stickers to all 100 Senate offices as well as several House targets. The action was covered in Roll Call Magazine, an capitol-insider publication. Earlier that day, the students gained entry to a Senate Budget hearing and lining up behind her in masks, supported EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson as she defended her determination earlier this year that global warming poses a threat to the planet.
Student leaders with the PIRGs, Alliance for Climate Protection and Southern Energy Network converged on the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski to deliver their message opposing the ‘Dirty Air Act’ directly to the Senator. While the students weren’t able to meet with the Senator, they met with Republican Staff Director for the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and engaged in an intensive discussion about the benefits of comprehensive global warming legislation.
The next night, the student leaders stationed themselves with No Dirty Air Act signs outside a fundraiser attended by Senator Murkowski and lobbyists for the Nuclear Energy Institute, Duke Energy and Peabody Energy. Watch video of Senator Murkowski walking by the student protesters. The next day, on a conference call with the Chamber of Commerce – another opponent to strong global warming action – Senator Murkowski acknowledged the protesters, saying
“I actually had an event here in Washington last night and I had my own group of protestors show up, and I guess you know you’ve arrived in politics when you generate your own group of protestors against you.” Hear the audio clip here.
Read coverage of the fundraiser on Daily Kos here - Sen. Murkowski Working Full Time on Behalf of Polluting Industries