300+ Groups Ask Senate for Stronger Climate Bill

For Immediate Release

Broad Coalition
Contact: 

Kassie Siegel, Center for Biological Diversity, 760-366-2232 x302 (office), 951-961-7972 (mobile), ksiegel@biologicaldiversity.org

Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0748 (office), 703-587-4454 (mobile), nberning@foe.org

300+ Groups Ask Senate for Stronger Climate Bill

Broad alliance expresses concern with House legislation and demands improvements

WASHINGTON - A
broad coalition of more than 300 faith, human rights, social justice, and
environmental groups sent a
letter to U.S. senators
today calling for energy and climate legislation that is much stronger than
the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House of Representatives June 26. That
bill contained massive giveaways to polluting special interests and would fail
to ensure a rapid transition to clean energy.

The
groups plan to hand deliver the letter to senators' state offices next week as
part of a larger, grassroots mobilization demonstrating far-reaching support for
bold leadership in the fight to solve the climate crisis.

In
the letter, the groups express "profound concern" about the House bill and ask
senators to usher in "the transformational change and greenhouse emissions
reductions required to avert catastrophic climate impacts." The letter calls for
legislation that

  • Reduces
    atmospheric CO2 concentrations to a safe level of below 350 parts per
    million;
  • Maintains
    existing Clean Air Act protections against global warming
    pollution;
  • Minimizes
    the use of offsets and other loopholes;
  • Protects
    vulnerable populations and communities;
  • Promotes
    abundant clean energy;
  • Eliminates
    polluter giveaways; and
  • Adheres
    to preexisting U.S. commitments to the rest of the
    world.

Comments
from a few groups that signed the letter follow:

"We
haven't yet seen the bold leadership from Congress that's required to solve the
climate crisis," said Church World
Service
Director of Education and Advocacy Rajyashri Waghray. "We're sending
this letter to demonstrate broad grassroots support for such
leadership."

"We have to have a stronger
climate bill than the watered-down version that passed the House," said San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society
Conservation Chair Drew Feldmann.

"We're
organizing on the ground, in communities around/throughout the country, to
mobilize the everyday people who will feel climate impacts, and to defeat the
entrenched, polluting special interests in Washington and pass a truly strong bill in the
Senate," said Appalachian Voices
Legislative Associate JW Randolph.

"The everyday people of
America have been left out of the
climate debate. We are building a grassroots movement that reflects the
diversity of America, to mobilize everyday people
who are experiencing the affects of climate change. We aim to defeat entrenched
fossil fuel polluting special interests in Washington and pass a truly strong climate
bill," said Tom Goldtooth of the
Indigenous Environmental Network
.

"There's
an impressive breadth of groups on this letter, and it demonstrates that the
status quo isn't acceptable. Congress must pass a bill that actually gives us a
fighting chance of avoiding runaway global warming. There's no other option,"
said Tyson Slocum, who directs Public
Citizen
's energy program.

Other organizations
signing the letter include 350.org, the Center for Biological Diversity, Center
on Race Poverty and the Environment, Central California Environmental Justice
Network, Corporate Ethics International, CREDO, Communities for a Better
Environment, Franciscan Sisters of Mary, Friends Committee on National
Legislation, Friends of the Earth, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, International
Rivers, Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility United Church of
Christ, Rainforest Action Network, the Unitarian Universalist Association of
Congregations, and many others.

The letter and full list of signers can be viewed at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/action/toolbox/ACESA/sign-on_letter.html.

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