Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 16, 2009
This week's episode tells the story of the Energy Citizens rallies, which provided concerned Americans the opportunity to voice their opinions on the Waxman-Markey climate bill. The series of 20 rallies held across America gave people from all walks of life the chance to let their representatives in Washington know they need to protect jobs and support responsible energy legislation.
Use the audio player below to listen to information on the August rallies and follow along with the show notes. I hope you find the podcast informative.
00:20 This summer during the August Congressional recess, 20 rallies were held by the Energy Citizens alliance to show Congress the outpouring of concern about the Waxman-Markey bill.
00:51 Studies have shown that Waxman-Markey could eliminate two million American jobs--even after the new green jobs are factored in. The Heritage Foundation says the bill would sharply raise energy costs and projects that gasoline prices could climb by 58 percent.
01:30 Harry Alford: The nation will remain great because the people are willing to defend it and we are coming together today to say, "Shame on you, Congress. We are in a recession. We don't cut jobs, we create jobs."
01:59 Unlike the August town hall meetings on the health care bill, the Energy Citizens rallies were not confrontational. They were festive affairs with bands and speakers.
02:10 These events were attended by thousands of people, many of whom heard about the rally being held in their city from friends or neighbors. Throngs of people showed up in Houston, in Farmington, New Mexico and in the small town of Lima, Ohio.
02:25 In Richmond, Virginia, one of the most compelling speakers was Chris Saxman, a small businessman and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
02:41 Chris Saxman uses a football analogy to describe the potential impact of the Waxman-Markey bill and similar measures on small businesses.
03:24 Saxman's message resonated with seniors, truckers, farmers, small-business owners, energy workers, single parents and others who attended the rally. Many worried that the Waxman-Markey bill could change the very fabric of America.
03:45 Tom from Ohio is concerned about where the government is headed with cap-and-trade. Climate change should be addressed, but not to the point where the government takes control of Americans' lives.
04:10 Shauna from New Mexico thinks cap-and-trade will be devastating to her and her husband's small business.
04:34 Shaka from Tennessee explains that it is clear people are energized about this issue and are frustrated with their representatives in Washington that aren't hearing what Americans are saying at the local and state level.
04:45 Jane Van Ryan attended six of the rallies and had the opportunity to ask several of the attendees what the Senate should do when it considers climate legislation this fall.
04:56 Americans tell Congress to vote on principle, vote to keep jobs in the states and do the smart thing and defeat the Waxman-Markey bill.
05:09 Americans say the bill is harmful and Congress is not paying attention to the people they have been elected to represent.
05:24 Americans say the bill is a regressive tax--a large hidden tax that will ruin states' economies--if it is passed.
05:49 Harry Alford urges the Senate to stand up and defend the United States with a good energy plan; tear up the 1,100-page Waxman-Markey bill and start over.
06:40 The Energy Citizens rallies were organized and supported by nearly 300 national, regional and local organizations united in their concern about the Waxman-Markey climate bill. API was one of the sponsors.
07:05 For more information about the Energy Citizens rallies, go to www.energycitizens.org.
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.