The collective voices of four hundred and twenty Minnesota citizens sent a strong message to Senator Amy Klobuchar and her staff this week. Over a thousand citizens gathered at the state capitol on September 24th for Moving Planet, coming together to voice concerns for the environment, human health, and the economy. The message was clear, now is the time to transition away from coal and fossil fuels and towards a clean energy future. Attendees signed MN350 petition cards, which were addressed to President Obama, Senator Klobuchar, and Senator Franken. This was their message:“Dirty fossil fuels are making us sick, strangling our economy, and threatening our climate. We need to move beyond fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. Power plants are the nation’s largest source of dangerous carbon pollution. Today, 40 years after passage of the Clean Air Act, power plants are still free to dump unlimited amounts of that pollution into our air. I am extremely disappointed by the EPA’s announcement last week that it would miss the deadline to propose standards for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. This marks the second delay in fulfilling your administration’s promise to address power plants’ enormous share of the air pollution that drives climate change. Limiting pollution from power plants will protect our children’s health, our environment, and our economy. I expect you to do everything in your power to support safeguards that protect our climate and reduce air and water pollution that causes illness and premature death in our communities. I ask that you take action and reaffirm your administration’s commitment to set strong standards that significantly reduce carbon emissions from power plants, as the Clean Air Act requires, without further delay.”
The 420 signed cards represented the views of a much larger population including over 50 organizations, and dozens of businesses. On Monday, thirty Minnesotans presented the cards to staff at Amy Klobushar’s metro office reiterating the concerns and representing their respective organizations. Among the group of Minnesotans delivering the postcards were over 15 young people spending their semester interning with a variety of local organizations ranging from youth engagement at the Science Museum to urban farming at the University of Minnesota’s student organic farm. Also represented were leaders in the local Tar Sands Action group, a board member of Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Sierra Club organizers, the Science Policy Director from Fresh Energy and MN350 Director and professor at the Higher Education Consortium For Urban Affairs.The group asked the senator for a written statement that commits that she will work, without delay, to significantly reduce carbon emissions from power plants through the regulatory power EPA as required by the Clean Air Act. Check out the MN350 website for the video from Senator Franken stating his commitment to defend the regulatory power of the EPA to reduce greenhouse gases.