Fossil fuel lobby gaining traction

Coal-fired power plant.

The June passage of climate and energy legislation by the House of Representatives demonstrated that America’s leaders are ready to move our nation forward to a secure clean energy future. They passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), a bill that will create jobs, reduce the global warming pollution that threatens our nation’s security and our children’s future, protect our treasured landscapes, invest in clean, new energy technologies, and make polluters pay.

Yet, the legislation is now facing an uphill battle in the Senate, where it must get 60 votes to pass. We will need your help to fight for every single vote.

Here’s what we’re up against:

In the first three months of this year, the oil industry alone spent $44.5 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies to protect their dirty-energy interests. Burning coal emits more greenhouse gases than any other human activity, so it’s no coincidence that two of the biggest coal-burning utilities have already spent more than $10 million lobbying against a climate bill that would limit coal-plant pollution. Ad campaigns based on misinformation and fear are running nationwide, trying to scare Americans into believing that the climate bill will place a huge financial burden on American families.

These same powerful interests are also lobbying Congress to open up more wild lands — including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — to drilling and to develop oil shale in the Rockies. Wringing oil from shale is a dirty and harmful process that scars the land and requires vast amounts of precious water. Developing oil shale would exacerbate already severe Western water shortages. And our warming climate requires that we burn less fossil fuels, not more.

The science is clear that we need to take bold, decisive action on global warming. The cost of inaction is just too great.

The clean energy jobs bill being considered by the Senate will move us away from the dirty fuel model of the past. It’s the first step in creating a more sustainable future based on American innovation and leadership and all the jobs and other economic benefits it will provide.

In the coming weeks, we’ll need your help to let your Senators know that passing a strong energy and climate bill is critical to our nation’s economy and security.

We’ll need your help to assure that Big Oil and Big Coal do not win their disinformation campaign.

The bill now being considered by the Senate is, quite simply, our best shot at addressing the huge threat that global warming poses to our economy, our communities, and our wild lands.

photo: Coal-fired power plant.