WASHINGTON - July 2 - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke about the adverse health and environmental consequences of burning coal and other fossil fuels on Monday, and a YouTube video of Reid’s remarks has gone viral, reaching more than 360,000 viewers.
Reid’s refreshingly honest rhetoric stood out and won praise from environmentalists at a time when many politicians seem scared to stand up to the oil and gas lobbies and many are even insisting coal can be clean.
“This is real leadership from Harry Reid,” Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder said. “He’s telling it like it is. Air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, including coal and oil, is already making Americans sick, and as the climate crisis intensifies the health threats are only going to get worse. Harry Reid is 100 percent correct when he says we have to end our addiction to fossil fuel. Americans’ lives quite literally depend on it.”
Many pro-environment activists, including bloggers at Grist, The Huffington Post, Informed Comment, d-day and Think Progress are praising Reid’s comments.
“The one thing we fail to talk about is those costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is, coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick. It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world. We’ve got to stop using fossil fuel. We have for generations taken carbon out of the earth and put it in the atmosphere, and it’s making us all sick. It’s changing our world.”
View the video:
More information on fossil fuels and Americans’ health:
Friends of the Earth fact sheet: http://www.foe.org/pdf/Coal_Never_Clean.pdf
Warming from C02 emissions likely to cause thousands of deaths in U.S.: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080103135757.htm
Particulates (primarily from fossil fuel burning) estimated to cause approximately 64,000 deaths a year: http://www.nrdc.org/air/pollution/qbreath.asp
Friends of the Earth (foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.