"We have no intention of ceding America’s future to Big Oil."

For Immediate Release

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"We have no intention of ceding America’s future to Big Oil."

Americans Want Jobs and Clean Energy

WASHINGTON - Today Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
released the following statement regarding Tuesday’s midterm election results
and an important victory against Proposition 23 in California.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive
Director Michael Brune

“We did have a particularly bright spot
in California.  San Francisco
beat Texas in the World Series, and California thumped Texas in the fight for clean energy.

We
played big and scored big against Big Oil with the defeat of California’s Proposition 23. 
Despite more than $10 million spent 
on deceptive advertising campaign funded by out-of-state oil barons—more
than $8 Million from Texaco and Valero alone, to undermine the state’s landmark
clean-energy and climate law, California voters took a stand for clean energy –
not in spite of a major economic downturn, but because of it. As National Journal said last week, we
could point to existing jobs that would be lost with the passage of Prop
23. 

With the third-highest unemployment numbers in the nation, California voters chose clean energy as one of the
best paths to recovery.

This victory also shows what
can happen when we work together to create jobs and protect our environment.
When given the chance to vote on the actual issues, the public embraced our
belief that a clean environment and a strong economy are not mutually exclusive.

A broad coalition of clean
tech companies, small businesses, public health advocates, social justice
groups, environmental organizations, organized labor, seniors and young people,
Republicans and Democrats, all worked in tandem to defeat Proposition 23 and
continue our path toward a future powered by clean energy. 

Not surprisingly, polling, including our own, shows that jobs
and the economy were the top priority for voters this election and last night
they showed their dissatisfaction with the current state of the economy and
both political parties.  That will be the
case until the country’s economic situation improves.  And the way to that future is a clean energy
economy and good jobs for American workers.

This election was indeed the year of The Empire Strikes Back.  Big Oil and corporate polluters spent in
record amounts to try to buy back our government—eclipsing progressive groups’
election spending by nearly two to one.
According to the Alliance for Climate Protection, corporate
polluters and energy interests spent 247 million dollars this year on
advertising alone to target legislators in their fight to block clean energy
jobs.

That said, it doesn’t appear that their attacks on clean energy
contributed to Democratic defeats – 27 of the 44 House Democrats
who voted against ACES have been voted out of office or retired.

The open question is with
whom the new House Republican Majority will side.  With the Big Oil and Coal interests who
expect a return on their investment? Or with the American people who want
lawmakers to start making the choices that they’ve been making for years in
their own lives and communities—saving energy in their homes and conserving
resources for a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous America to pass on to their
children. 

Americans still
want more jobs, less pollution and greater security.  When given the opportunity to vote directly
on the clean energy issue, as we saw in Prop 23, voters will side with clean
energy.  We have no intention of ceding America’s future to Big Oil.  We are confident that over the next several
years we will make significant progress at the federal, state and local levels
to build a clean energy economy made in America.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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