Shelving the Climate Bill - An Epic Fail

This week we received witnessed a truly epic fail in our senate.

Despite unified support for a comprehensive climate and energy bill from millions of people, thousands of small business owners, some of the US’s largest and most important corporations, and communities nationwide (including groups representing over 2 million Hispanics nationwide who hadn't previously been so active), Senate leadership announced that due to an utter lack of Republican support and some Democrats, comprehensive climate legislation would be shelved.

So despite witnessing the worst environmental catastrophe in our history blackening the Gulf, costing lives and livelihoods, and sweating through the hottest 6 months of any year on record, these short-sighted senators have managed to jeopardize our future, putting at risk our health, our environment, our national security and our economy, all while pushing the US to the back of the line in the energy race. 

This failure to act shows a total disregard for those hard-working American families who voted for them trusting that they would protect their interests over the interests of big polluters.

Thanks to big oil and coal lobbyists and their buddies in Congress we will continue to send $1 billion a day overseas to buy oil, China will continue to race ahead on clean energy taking our manufacturing and construction jobs, forcing us to rely on China Inc. for our renewable energy needs, and condemning us and our children to live in more polluted communities. Forcing our soldiers to fight a war we keep funding paying for oil on one hand and with lives in the other.

So while China and the Middle East have much to thank this group of republican senators and recalcitrant democrats for, the truth is it leaves Americans unemployed and American factories idle while making petro-dictators and our largest debt holder richer.

As the mother of two small children I can’t help but feel enraged to see that the millions of voices calling for clean energy were drowned out by the partisan rhetoric. But looking in their eyes I can’t help but keep fighting for them, for their future. I can’t imagine what these senators will tell their kids and grandchildren when they ask them why they failed to protect their future, their health, and our country’s position as a world leader.

As our executive director Peter Lehner put it in his blog  “the pollution that causes global warming is a gusher many times the size of the Gulf oil spill,” and it’s sitting above us warming our planet more quickly than at any other time in history. A comprehensive climate and energy bill would have capped that invisible yet ever-menacing carbon dioxide spill.

We missed a unique opportunity, but we must keep raising our voices  calling loudly on politicians in both parties to pass legislation that limits carbon pollution, ends our dependence on oil, creates new, clean-energy jobs and makes our country and our communities safer, better places for all.

Call, write a letter or visit your senators. Let them know we will not settle for this epic fail.