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June 23rd 2009

Citizens Urge Representative Cao to Strengthen the Clean Energy Bill

New Orleans, LA – Taking part in a national “Day of Action,” community leaders and activists from Sierra Club, 1Sky, the Gulf Restoration Network, Louisiana Bucket Brigade and the Alliance for Affordable Energy kicked into gear to demonstrate public support for fast, scientifically-based, and substantial action on climate change. Rallying on Friday, June 19th, in front of Representative Anh Joseph Cao’s New Orleans office, a spirited crowed gathered to deliver the message that America wants a strengthened clean energy bill that will provide millions of additional green jobs nationwide and help protect Louisiana’s coast.

“The clean energy bill is the best chance we have to move America to a clean economy and develop millions of green jobs here at home, while also helping to protect our coast and communities from sea-level rise,” said Jonathan Henderson, with 1Sky and the Gulf Restoration Network.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” notes Jordan Macha, Conservation Organizer for the Sierra Club. “Doing nothing threatens our air, our water, our food and our health. We need to act now to protect our environment and to protect the health of our children and grandchildren. America has the ability to innovate and solve big problems. Investing in clean energy and reducing global warming pollution are two sides of the same coin.”

The participants at the rally delivered letters to Representative Cao urging him to support key changes to the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) that will limit dangerous global warming pollution, and will hasten a transition to a clean energy future:

1. Increase the Renewable Electricity Standard to deliver more clean energy jobs here in Louisiana.
2. Restore authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act.
3. Create more clean energy jobs for America by reducing allocations to polluting industries.

“Our lives depend on making this bill effective against global warming. We expect no less from our representatives, both democrat and republican,” said John Atkeison, Director, Climate and Clean Energy Programs, Alliance for Affordable Energy

“We have seventeen oil refineries in the state of Louisiana that contribute to global warming on a daily basis. This energy bill includes a provision to reduce global warming emissions from industry sources including oil companies. We have a real problem and this bill will help to solve it.” Katherine Trotter, Research Analyst, Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

Sierra Club is a national environmental advocacy organization and one of the oldest conservation groups in the country, with the purpose to preserve and protect the natural environment of Louisiana and the nation.

The Gulf Restoration Network is a diverse network of local, regional, and national groups and individuals dedicated to protecting and restoring the valuable resources of the Gulf of Mexico. The GRN has members in the five Gulf states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

1Sky is a collaborative national campaign for strong federal action to tackle global climate change and invest in building the clean energy economy of the future.

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an environmental health and justice organization working with communities that neighbor the state’s petrochemical plants and other industrial hazards. We assist residents in their work to reduce pollution and protect public health.

The Alliance for Affordable Energy is a non-profit, public interest, membership organization dedicated to creating fair, affordable, environmentally responsible, community-based energy policies for Louisiana.