Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 19, 2009
For those of you who couldn't attend yesterday's Energy Citizens rally in Houston, we've posted a video about the event. As you'll see, the crowd donned the yellow T-shirts passed out at the door, waved signs and listened intently to the speakers.
It was obvious to me that the 3,500 participants were very sincere in their concern about the House-passed climate bill on their jobs and their families. As I walked through the crowd, several people had stories to tell.
Eric, for example, was worried about American jobs being exported overseas as a result of the Waxman-Markey legislation. He mentioned that India recently built a huge refinery with the sole purpose of exporting petroleum products. He wondered about the future of U.S. refining and how the bill could affect the economy.
Kristen said that her neighbor walked up to her as she was leaving home for work yesterday to tell her that he had just lost his job. She described him as a trusted and supportive friend, and she was very concerned about his welfare.
Jose said the climate issue needs to be addressed, but he encouraged Congress to consider its actions carefully.
Rich agreed that the United States should consider the best ways to reduce emissions, but he added that the Waxman-Markey bill was "not the way forward."
Kenneth, sporting a red, white and blue tie, said he felt transported to the 1700s prior to the American Revolution when patriots began talking openly about freedom and liberty.
About 1,500 more people than anticipated came to the rally. That fact, along with the stories I heard, shows that many Americans truly care about the impact of climate legislation on their families and their lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.