EPA Potomac Yard Conference Center, Arlington, VA Image credit:BuildingGreen.com
It was good news for Earthlings when the Environmental Protection Agency recently ruled that carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants endanger public health and therefore must be regulated by the Clean Air Act. It was a bold and necessary first step toward tackling climate change, and proof that President Obama and his administration get the big picture when it comes to a clean energy future.
The EPA ruling isn't a done-deal, however, so I want to suggest three things you can do to make it so, and to support Obama in what will be a series of climate-change related decisions in the coming yearAttend a hearing.
1. If you can, testify at one of the two hearings the EPA is holding about the endangerment finding that gives the agency the authority and obligation to regulate greenhouse gases. They are in Arlington, Va., on May 18 (as pictured) and in Seattle, Wash., on May 21. We've made it easy for you by providing a guide on how to testify, a link to sign up to testify on the EPA site, and a website where you can arrange to carpool. You'll find it all here.
Our organizers tell us that the response has been great so far, and although both hearings now are filled to capacity during the day and they only have evening spots left, EPA officials have said they will remain until every last commenter is heard.
Also, we’ll have many of our folks inside both these hearings ready to Twitter and blog about what’s going on. If you’re on Twitter, follow the hashtag #nocoal to see the updates from all our attendees.
2. Send an official public comment to the Public Register. Again, we make it easy with an online form and talking points you can customize, or just use your own words!
3. Throw a house party on June 2 to help us launch our Big Picture campaign, which will keep up steady support of Obama's climate-change policies in the coming year. The EPA ruling on global warming pollution is one of many administrative decisions we expect, and they'll need strong public support. During the house parties you'll watch "behind the scenes" videos of the EPA hearings, participate in a conference call with Sierra Club leaders who are closely tracking the issue, and discuss which actions we can all take to move us toward a clean energy future. If you can't host a party, look for one near you.
Your help in any way is appreciated, of course, but if you can get to a hearing in Arlington or Seattle, that would be awesome. We know coal and oil companies will rally to prevent this vital first step by the EPA. We need to turn these hearings into a powerful demonstration that our country's future will not be set by the coal industry and their allies. Let us know you're coming - sign up today and we'll get you what you need!