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The Same Tired Talking Points Brought To You This Time by Senator Baucus and Dirty Energy Lobbyists November 10, 2009

Posted by skolmk in astroturf, cejapa.
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Today, the Senate Finance Committee held its first hearing for the Boxer-Kerry bill. News such as this would typically be welcomed as necessary progress, as we are pushing for strong climate legislation to pass through the Senate before Copenhagen. However, one must take into consideration ulterior motives when Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) is chairing the committee in question.

As the only Democratic Senator to vote “no” on the bill as it was marked up in the Environment and Public Works Committee, Baucus continues to mire progress in hearings that are antithetical to the success of the bill. Today featured industry and conservative lobbyists testifying before the Finance Committee on “Climate Change Legislation: Considerations for Future Jobs”. Included amongst the pro-nuclear and coal representatives was our friend Kenneth Green from AEI (side note: he remembered us interrupting him at the adaptation hearing. Success?)

Brad Johnson with Wonk Room called out Baucus on his indefensible submission to the “polluter lobbyists”, sharing the same sentiments as us that this hearing was supporting nothing more than the same empty rhetoric that has been spewed “time and time again for the past 10 years”.

The action factory shifted into high gear, deciding that we had to bring Finance Committee Senator’s attention to youth demands and constituent calls for global climate action.

Julie + Kerry

John Kerry accepts our 350 tie

We arrived shortly before the hearing began, with some of us dressed in our now infamous Astroturf suits and others as real people demanding bold action on climate change from our leaders. As Senators approached the Finance Committee hearing room, our real people for global climate action approached the Senators, handing them a 350 tie and a glossy photo from a 350 international day of action in their respective home state.

We were lucky enough to have constituents in our group for conversations with Senator Cantwell (D-WA) and Kerry (D-MA), who both gladly accepted our pictures and ties. Kerry even scolded our Astroturfers, saying that there is already $10 million worth of provisions for the coal industry in the bill (yeah…great).

Tom, Julie, Oscar + Roberts

Action Factory takes on Senator Roberts

Not all Senators were as receptive, though. Senator Roberts (R-KS) took a tie but argued against wind turbines in defense of migratory birds (yes, we also thought we would never hear that misnomer of an argument again). We also caught Senator Baucus on his way out of the hearing, and while he gladly accepts money from dirty energy lobbyists would not take a 350 tie from us. After saying he “supported climate change”, we challenged him, asking if he supported bold action against climate change. His response is best summarized by the title of this post- a lot of talk behind inconsistent action.

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