Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | February 19, 2013

Public Citizen statement about its accomplishments


Extinction or survival?

That’s the decision we face as a species.

Scientific evidence demonstrates conclusively — overwhelmingly — that some of humankind’s agricultural, industrial and energy choices are affecting the Earth’s ability to maintain the conditions that are essential to our continuing vitality and maybe even our existence.

Anything less than a 180-degree shift in our stewardship of the ecology that sustains us could be catastrophically insufficient.

It’s already dangerously close to too late. We have to act right now.

And because President Obama — in both his inaugural address and State of the Union — has at least momentarily rededicated himself to bold action on climate, we have a political opportunity to make progress. We must seize it.

A small but important first step happens tomorrow in Washington, D.C., where tens of thousands of people will participate in the Forward on Climate rally — of which Public Citizen is a sponsor — marching to the White House and demanding that the president take decisive action to back up his aggressive rhetoric.

Unfortunately, President Obama is also promoting more oil drilling and gas fracking, accelerating our rush toward the cliff rather than reversing course.

I’m writing today to remind you of Public Citizen’s legacy as a leader in the movement for sustainable energy policies and to update you on our ongoing work to avert climate disaster.

Just this week, Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer introduced comprehensive legislation — developed in consultation with Public Citizen — that would address climate change on multiple and innovative fronts.

Having helped craft this landmark bill, we’re gearing up for what will surely be a tough battle on Capitol Hill to get it passed. Of course, “tough battle on Capitol Hill” is what Public Citizen was built for.

Here is a tiny sampling of what Public Citizen has accomplished over the past four decades as we’ve made clean energy, conservation and climate awareness a cornerstone of our overall mission to protect health, safety and democracy:

We’ve won enhanced fuel efficiency standards again and again over the incessant and baseless objections of the auto industry.
We were instrumental in the passage of the Superfund law to clean up barren, toxic wastelands scattered throughout our country.
We’ve helped shutter outdated and hazardous coal plants.
We organized the first national conference, back in 1974, to foster a critical dialogue about nuclear energy.
We spurred development of a thriving wind power sector in Texas, the largest in the United States.
We worked relentlessly to prevent BP from evading accountability for the worst oil disaster in our nation’s history.
As well, our campaign for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruinous Citizens United ruling — which allows corporate giants to spend literally as much money as they want trying to influence elections and, in effect, buying off our politicians — has a direct impact on climate and energy policy.

The very corporations that pollute our air and water the most are among those that pollute our democracy the most by exploiting a power misguidedly granted them.

Again, all of this just scratches the surface of Public Citizen’s commitment to clean, safe energy and climate security.

It would take 10 emails to outline everything we’ve accomplished — thanks to activists and supporters like you — over the past 40-plus years.

But, in a way, we’re also really just getting started.

This moment — when action is so imperative, when our future is so imperiled, and when the public and political will is so palpable — demands like none before that we step up our advocacy still more.


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