Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Fight for Our Future

Coming Clean
The blog of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
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April 18, 2012

A Fight for Our Future
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
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Four years ago, Sierra Club members and people across the country knocked on doors, made phone calls, and talked with our friends and neighbors to help Barack Obama win the presidency. We worked hard because we knew that clean air and water and the health of our families were at stake.

But our hard work didn't stop after President Obama was elected. As Senator Barack Obama said when accepting his party's nomination, "Change happens because the American people demand it." We've spent the past three years both demanding and helping the president deliver the kind of positive change we need.

To protect the health of our kids and communities, 800,000 of us called on the EPA to limit toxic mercury pollution from coal plants for the first time ever -- and President Obama acted. New protections will slash mercury pollution from power plants by more than 90 percent and improve air quality for millions of Americans.
  • We said that it was time to clear our air and save families money at the pump -- and the president listened. He's implementing the strongest fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks in history, representing the largest single step our nation has ever taken to move beyond oil.

  • We rallied to defend our wild lands -- and the president protected a million acres around the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining.

  • We called for independence from dirty energy to create new jobs and a healthier future -- and the president responded by making landmark investments in clean energy and demanding an end to costly tax subsidies to oil companies.
Thanks to all that we've accomplished together, the tide is turning. Americans are using less oil and coal than we have in decades -- and clean energy use is skyrocketing.

But though we've achieved much, still more remains to be done. We haven't achieved all that we wanted, and indeed we've had a few setbacks along the way. But we've made great progress, and whether we continue to move forward or instead fall back will be determined this November. Because President Barack Obama has stood with us on the side of health, prosperity, and progress for all American families, I am proud to announce that the Sierra Club is endorsing him for reelection.

The positive changes we've made happen will not go unchallenged. Big polluters are ready for a knockdown, drag-out fight to push their own reckless agenda. They're backing candidates whose agenda is simply pollution without limits: increased drilling and mining, elimination of safeguards for clean air and water, and the end of the EPA as we know it. They are ready to use their billions and an army of lobbyists to highjack our nation's energy policy and continue raking in record profits.

We can't let them reverse what we've achieved. If President Obama is defeated, big polluters will have free rein to turn back the clock and begin polluting our air and water without fear of repercussion.

That's why we need you in this fight. We don't have billions of dollars like the oil industry and other polluters -- but we do have millions of people like you who are willing to work hard to make sure that we get the clean energy, the healthy air and water, and the unspoiled great outdoors that we all need. Together, we must stand with President Obama and against big polluters. Because this election is about more than any one candidate's career -- it's about the future for all of us.
Paid for by Sierra Club Political Committee,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Michael Brune is the Sierra Club's executive director.