Sierra Club Releases Holiday Poem as Polluters Prepare Latest Legal Attacks on The Clean Power Plan

For Immediate Release

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Adam Beitman, Sierra Club, 202-670-5585 or adam.beitman@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club Releases Holiday Poem as Polluters Prepare Latest Legal Attacks on The Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON - As the December 23rd deadline approaches for the fossil fuel industry to respond to legal briefs in support of the Clean Power Plan, the Sierra Club has released “The Fight Before Christmas,” a new version of the beloved holiday poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” illustrating the activities of corporate polluters and their allies two nights before Christmas.

“Big polluters and their attorneys are hoping that the courts will deliver them a holiday miracle by staying the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan” said Sierra Club Chief Climate Counsel Joanne Spalding. “But given that the EPA’s standards on carbon pollution from power plants rest on a solid foundation of existing law, it’s much more likely that opponents of these critical environment and public health safeguards will instead get what they deserve: a lump of coal in their stocking.”

The poem, which is set in rhyming couplets, parodies Clement Clark Moore’s holiday classic, with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy standing in for Santa Claus and a flying electric Tesla replacing St. Nick’s iconic reindeer-driven sleigh. It comes just one day before industry must respond to a legal brief filed last month by EPA and its supporters, including states and cities, power companies, clean energy companies, and a coalition of environmental and public health groups, which urged the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject “hyperbolic” pleas for a stay advanced by corporate polluters and their allies.

In their filing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the fossil fuel industry and their allies are expected to double down on their baseless claims against the Clean Power Plan. “In reality, delaying or dismantling the Clean Power Plan is what would cause irreparable harm to the American people” said Spalding.

The Clean Power Plan, which forms the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, will clean up the air we breathe and reduce pollution-related respiratory disease, heart conditions and premature deaths, which disproportionately affect the most vulnerable members of society. The plan will also encourage new investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, helping to maintain the booming clean energy economy which is creating American jobs.

The full illustrated poem can be found on the Sierra Club Website here.

A Fight Before Christmas

‘Twas two nights before Christmas,

And all through the courts

Polluters were prepping their legal retorts.

The filings were made, to the courts with great care

With hopes that a stay soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds

With visions of clean air in their heads.

But ALEC and allies were scheming a plot,

That clean air protections would all be for naught,

And at the Federal Court there arose such a clatter

Polluters sprang into chambers, to file on the matter.

Away with the facts, papers flew in a flash

Tore open the skies to fill them with ash.

The moon, obscured by pollution, still glowed,

Giving luster to the soot covered objects below.

When what to Mitch McConnell’s eyes did appear,

But a red Tesla sleigh, all electric- no gears!

With a steadfast driver so feisty, so hearty

He cursed under his breath- Administrator McCarthy!

Faster than endangered eagles she flew

To protect our communities, for me and for you.

She shouted and called climate deniers by name:

“Now McConnell, Now Inhofe, stop being so lame!

The Clean Power Plan’s good news for all who can breathe,

It’s the EPA’s job- even the Supreme Court can see.

Extreme weather, like the winds of wild hurricanes rough,

Will get worse if our leaders don’t start getting tough

On polluters and deniers obscuring the facts

Focused on profits, not wanting to act.”   

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

Down from the sleigh Gina leapt with a bound.

She was dressed in faux fur, from her head to her foot,

And exclaimed, “Enough with this dirty cah-bon and soot!

It’s time to take action on climate, with haste

We have to act now, before it’s too late!

A stay won’t hold wahta, even utilities will help

Show we don’t have to choose between economics and health.

Clean energy means jobs CPP will create,

And air we can breathe, that is healthy and safe.”

Mean old Mitch scowled, pursed his lips like a bow,

He harrumphed and he grumbled and exclaimed “Just say no!”

Gina turned on her heel, and laughed from her belly

Calling over her shoulder, “your claims are just jelly!

The American people are not on your side

Nor are mothers, or scientists, or businesses alike.

And neither are voters or people of faith,

It’s our moral obligation to keep our common home safe.

“Oh, and just one more thing,” she turned back with a wink,

More to annoy him, than imply anything.

“Speak not one more word, of your lies and denial

And work with your peers and your friends o’er the aisle.

It’s the holiday spirit to work together for good

So we must in good conscience do all we should.”

And she sprang to her sleigh, all good humor and cheer,

Knowing that climate solutions were near.

She exclaimed, in her joy, as she flew out of sight-

“Healthy climate for all- we know it’s what’s right!”

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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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