We just got back from Capitol Hill where Public Citizen President Robert Weissman spoke about the powers of corporations in Congress and about shifting our economies to sustainable forms of energy.
The first step is to get the oil money out of Congress. We’ve got to clean up Congress. We need clean money in our elections.
The demonstration marked not just the three-month “anniversary” of the BP oil spill but also the 41st anniversary of the moon landing. Echoing similar speeches by former Vice President Al Gore, activist Ted Glick called for the United States to use the same motivating energy that led to the world’s first moon landing and harness it as we move away from oil to renewable sources of energy. Faith-based groups also dominated the scene and religious leaders spoke of the urgency we must feel as we go about saving our planet.
What struck me about the event was how many different people had so many reasons why we need to “get off oil” and begin using clean technologies. We don’t need to find all that many new reasons. We’ve known the most important reasons for years. They are quite simple:
- With the effects of Climate Change (which, despite the vocal deniers’ canned statements, most scientists agree is occurring), people will be physically harmed. They will lose their jobs and homes as the coastline recedes and droughts increase both in frequency and severity.
- As fossil fuels become more scarce, the risk of catastrophe increases. The recent BP oil spill is an example of this. Deepwater drilling is very dangerous. As we drill deeper and in more dangerous places, the more likely it is that something might go wrong. In a new documentary, director Josh Fox shows how a dangerous form of natural gas drilling is affecting American citizens’ water supplies.
- Oil money drives organizations such as Al Qaeda and dangerous governments such as those in Iran and Venezuela. We must not continue jeopardize our national security so much.
These reasons are certainly good enough to explain why we have to get off oil. More keep cropping up, but we shouldn’t need them. We should already realize the urgency of the situation.
The situation has become untenable but the oil money in Congress makes things difficult to accomplish. After the rally, protesters went to the offices of the Congressmen who receive the most money from oil lobbyists. It will take an army of public citizens to stop oil money from flowing into Congressmen’s pockets.
A good place to start taking action would be at beyondbp.org. Sign the petition vowing to boycott this disgusting company for three months.
Next, sign up to receive emails from us. Check the “energy” box when you sign up and we will send you the most important news about oil lobbyists and other energy and environment-related issues.
To fight back against corporate influence in elections, visit dontgetrolled.org.