Is Vermont's Governor Peter Shumlin The Strongest US Politician on Climate & Energy? (Video)

Vermont governor Peter Shumlin speaking at the Moving Planet rally in the state capital Montpelier, 350.org organizer Joe Solomon calls it "the most ambitious speech for climate action by any American politician of that rank...and the first governor to stand with the Tar Sands Action arrestees."

Intentional or not, Governor Shumlin just also quite succinctly stated the connection between the concerns of environmentalists and Occupy Wall Street.

Check out this excerpted transcript if you don't want to sit through the entire ten minute speech:

We're gonna get off our addiction to oil, move to renewables, and make this planet livable for future generations -- and it's going to be your power that makes it happen.

I've been on this job for nine months, and in that short time I've fought more natural disasters than I ever dreamt possible as a kid growing up in the Green Mountain State. This is not the Vermont we knew. This is not the planet that we knew.

We will not join the others in the denial, in the pretend, in the business as usual, because our kids and our grandkids mean more to use than our own greed.

We're going to get off oil and move forward as quickly as we know how.

We'll take a lesson from [Irene] and we'll do the following. We're gonna harness the sun and the wind and the water and the woods -- and that's where we're gonna get our power.

We're gonna make sure that everyone has the resources, to do energy efficiency right. We're gonna take the buildings that we have and make them tighter, and the ones we build and make them zero-net energy buildings.

We can do this together because we're smarter than the rest of the 49 states.

When Wall Street and the oil companies want to drill and dig and dredge for tar sands and oil all over the world. And build pipelines that ship it to places that refine it and make sure that our kids live an unlivable future on this planet. We're gonna say NO: Not on our watch. Turn it back. Stop the plan. Go renewable. Re-build with wind and solar and biomass. We can do this right.

And when our brothers and sisters from this great state, whether it's Bill McKibben or all the people next to him, stand in Washington and sit behind bars for our future -- We Stand With Them.

Let's make sure that we don't make the mistake of thinking we're so right that we talk about the challenge ahead in such lofty language -- that we don't make this a unified effort of all Vermonters from all walks of life, of understanding that we have a joint and collective mission to do this together.

Moving from oil to renewables affects everything we do.

It's not just about energy, it's about jobs. When you see the biggest income gap in the history of this great country. The wealthiest 1% having the most resources, and all the rest watching their income stagnant. The answer is the economic innovation, the economic expansion that comes as we move from oil to renewables.

It affects everything we do: from what we eat and where it comes from. To how we move around, how you got here today. It affects every single segment of the building trade. How we build our highways and our roads and our bridges and schools and our churches.

We can get this right, and when we do its jobs for all Vermonters. And then when they catch up with us, jobs for all Americans. And then when they catch up with us, jobs for all the world. It'll make the Industrial Revolution and the tech-boom look small.

We can lead it together: it's jobs, it's growth, it's a strong economic future. NO to oil means economic power for all Vermonters, and all Americans, and the entire globe.

We can do this together, and we will.


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Tags: Activism | Global Climate Change | Renewable Energy | Vermont

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