By Rachel Hayden, Sierra Club Global Warming Intern and Joshua Low, Sierra Club Organizing Representative
Last Thursday Senator Amy Klobuchar stood up for Minnesotans by pushing for clean energy and cleaning up mercury from coal powered energy plants. A sincere thank you goes out from the Sierra Club to Senator Klobuchar for officially standing up for the health of Minnesotans and the health of all Americans.
In the past, Democrats and Republicans have managed to come together to confront tough challenges. From the Civil Rights Act in the 1960’s to keeping Social Security solvent in the 1980’s to welfare reform in the 1990’s. But perhaps the most fitting example in the context of combating climate change is the Clean Air Act. As you know, that landmark bill took the first steps to address acid rain and expanded efforts to control toxic air pollutants… Since then, the Clean Air Act has helped prevent more than 18 million child respiratory illnesses and 300,000 premature deaths. Policies to protect our rivers, lakes and streams have also had a positive impact on people’s health.
Those were the words of Senator Klobuchar last Thursday on the Senate floor, and Sierra Club members and supporters can be proud of that speech. After organizing by the Sierra Club and our allies at Environment Minnesota, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Will Steger Foundation, MPIRG, Clean Water Action, League of Women Voters, American Lung Association, Fresh Energy, Izaak Walton League, and Audubon Minnesota; Senator Klobuchar very publicly stood up for public health and the environment.Sierra Club members from Grand Rapids to Rochester and everywhere in between got active in our campaign. Volunteers made thousands of phone calls, met with Senate staffers, wrote hand written letters at Save the Ales happy hours, turned out to forums with Will Steger and the League of Women Voters President Elisabeth MacNamara, wrote letters to the editor, and so much more. Now, it is time for us to thank Senator Klobuchar for standing up for clean air and public health. She needs to hear that Minnesotans support her on clean air, because the Senator Inhofe has already said that he is going to try to reverse the mercury safeguard that the EPA finalized in December. Senator Klobuchar’s phone number is 202-224-3244. Give her a call today to thank her for standing up for clean air. For too long, our country has relied on dirty and old fuel sources to keep the lights on and power our economy. These dirty, old fuel sources are causing many of the health problems that we haven’t been aware of until now. With the backing by Senator Klobuchar, we have the opportunity to move beyond the traditional fuel sources and seriously invest the clean energy sources of the future. In the 21st century, we need to stand up for clean energy to continue our status as a world leader. Thank you again, Senator Klobuchar for highlighting the opportunities for all Americans to stand together for clean energy; because a stand for clean energy is a stand for clean air, clean water, healthier lives and preserving America’s natural beauty. Want to read Senator Klobuchar’s speech? Watch it (Part 1 | Part 2) or read the text here: