Sandy Survivors Urge Obama to Lead on Climate, Reject Keystone XL Ahead of SOTU
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 11:46 AM EST
280,000 Americans Joined Survivors to Call for Bold Climate Action from Obama
As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union Address, and on the heels of yet another record storm, survivors of Hurricane Sandy met with White House officials today to speak about the devastation and deliver over 280,000 signatures urging President Obama to lead on climate change. The survivors, along with Forecast the Facts, CREDO, 350.org and Moms Clean Air Force, pressed President Obama to make good on the call in his inaugural address to respond to global warming with the moral urgency it demands.
“I lost a farm to Hurricane Sandy, and we need president Obama to pass climate legislation now,” said Chef Malisa Rivera, who educates kids on food and farming as the founder of Culinary Kids Culinary Arts Initiatives in the Rockaways. “Time is almost up. Here in the Rockaways, we're doing all we can but we need help- the time for bold action on climate is now.”
Standing before the White House, Sandy survivor Alyssa Durnien of Keansburg, NJ, described the continuing struggles of Keansburg, NJ. “There are still people without electricity, without heat, without a front door.”
Heather Kramer of Far Rockaway, NY, had her home wrecked by the storm. She read from the letter calling on President Obama to immediately take action on climate change, starting with rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline. “We witnessed New York and New Jersey swallowed up by our still-rising oceans,” Kramer said. “To meet your call on climate change, your ‘all of the above’ energy policy must end.”
Following the public statements in front of the White House, the group delivered the open letter to White House Officials in a private meeting organized by Forecast the Facts.
The letter was written by CREDO and co-signed by environmental leaders, including CREDO CEO Michael Kieschnick, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, Moms Clean Air Force Senior Director Dominique Browning, Forecast the Facts Director Daniel Souweine, Rainforest Action Network Board Chairman Andre Carothers, and Friends of the Earth Executive Director Erica Pica.
In addition to the letter, 40,000 signatures from Forecast the Facts and Moms Clean Air Force calling for the President to deliver a detailed plan for climate action in his Lincoln’s birthday State of the Union Address were delivered.
Statements and petitions from participating groups:
Forecast the Facts Petition: http://bit.ly/11QOgT8
"Our members look forward to a detailed plan for climate action in the president's State of the Union address,” said Brad Johnson, Campaign Manager for Forecast the Facts. “There's no better time than Abraham Lincoln's birthday for President Obama to defend Americans from the devastating storms of fossil-fueled climate change."
CREDO Open Letter: http://bit.ly/11QNBkE
“In the face of record storms and drought, President Obama is failing to take action to match the scale of the challenge we face,” said Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager for CREDO. “Millions of Americans were relieved to hear President Obama promise to take action to address the climate crisis, but he can’t make good on his pledge unless he rejects Keystone XL and projects like it.”
350.org Open Letter: http://bit.ly/XXUMAb
"Sandy should have sealed the fate of projects like Keystone--it's clear we have to leave carbon in the ground,” said Bill McKibben, Co-Founder of 350.org. “We'll find out what the president really thinks about climate when he makes his call on Keystone XL."
Mom’s Clean Air Force Petition: http://bit.ly/11sUTvM
"Our world is worth the fight,” said Dominique Browning, Co-Founder and Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force. “We need the leadership of a president determined to clean up greenhouse gas emissions and protect our children's future.”