The Oregon Sierra Club came out in force to the EPA hearing in Seattle on May 21st to demonstrate the outpouring of public support for fast, scientifically-based, and substantial actions on climate change. The EPA had recently proposed its endangerment finding that global warming pollution is a threat to public health and welfare and they wanted to hear the public’s views, so we made sure to be there to support them.
People of all ages from little baby Maeve, to students from Corvallis and Eugene, to young professionals, to silver-haired heroes, filled three buses to Seattle. 101 of us came up from many parts of Oregon, like folks from Bend living in the shadow of the Boardman coal plant, to support our nearly 2000 of our friends in Seattle and to show the EPA and the nation that we must continue to take bold action to solve global warming.
This amazing turnout was achieved through the hard work of some very dedicated volunteers. Soon after the announcement of the hearing, the Sierra Club formed the EPA Hearing Task Force, which was comprised of folks in Oregon new to the Coal Campaign who wanted to make a big impact on global warming. Those folks, along with many other Sierra Club volunteers, worked daily to spread the news of the hearing throughout Portland by tabling at Farmer’s Markets, flyering local businesses, phoning and mailing fellow Sierra Club members, and engaging in a fun pre-hearing event with Brent Foster from the Attorney General’s office.
We were also able to get some pre-hearing media buzz through letters-to-the-editor written by Sierra Club members, articles about the hearing from the Oregonian to Street Roots, and a really great Op-Ed written by former Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury. We also had KOIN news do a piece the morning of the event right from our bus pickup location!
We had a major impact – and it is only because people took the time to get engaged and do something positive to affect change in our world.
If you didn’t get a chance to participate in this great event, don’t worry!
We have many more opportunities to build on this momentum and deliver real global warming solutions to our region and the country. There are global warming decisions happening at multiple levels of government in June – we have phonebank action nights every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 – 8:30pm at the Sierra Club office starting June 9th through the end of June to generate calls into decision-makers.
Other important dates:
June 9th 6:00pm – First action phone bank night.
June 18th and 19th – the Department of Environmental Quality’s decision meetings on standards for pollution controls at the Boardman Coal Plant (stay tuned for exact times and agenda).
June 23rd 7:00pm– First Beyond Coal Task Force meeting at the Sierra Club office.