This morning, 28 senators concluded their all-nighter – an around-the-clock event to draw urgency to the need to address the climate crisis. Green America welcomes this visibility action by the Senate’s new “climate caucus” and we look forward to big steps to come, joined by members of the House.
For years now the US Congress has been stuck in a partisan impasse that has not only prevented enactment of comprehensive climate legislation, but has also stymied more moderate efforts to advance energy efficiency and other measures to build a clean energy economy. Creating good domestic jobs, cutting carbon pollution, and securing our energy future through renewable sources should all be bi-partisan issues. But even among Democrats, too many have been quiet on climate for too long. Perhaps now the tide will turn and we’ll see the leadership that’s required to cut greenhouse gas pollution and build our renewable energy sectors.
The senators used an all-night session, a rarely used strategy, to build positive momentum for addressing climate change, to attract media attention, and to go on record more forcefully as legislators committed to creating the conditions necessary for meaningful action on climate to take place. That is, all the senators except for Senator Jim Inhofe, a long-standing climate change denier. Understanding the current political constraints, the caucus wants to lay the foundation now for future success.
This Senate climate “talk-a-thon” could be an important step toward something important – but we’ll need ongoing public pressure to make that happen. Constituents can urge your Senators and Representatives to take action, urge the Obama Administration to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and support the EPA’s proposed regulations to cut carbon pollution from new power plants. To support strong power plant standards, you can use Green America’s action through May 9th.
We need everyone’s participation to make climate change a top priority – one that moves from words to actions.