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Capitol Hill demonstration to call for renewable energy push from Congress

Robert Weissman speaks about oil companies' influence in Congress at a demonstration on Capitol Hill July 20.

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.

Weissman noted:

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:

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.