Sierra Club and Steelworkers jointly endorse Obama

The leaders of the Sierra Club and United Steelworkers appeared in Cleveland on Friday with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to endorse Barack Obama for president.

The joint endorsement and accompanying press release emphasized Obama’s support for “a clean energy economy,” which would create jobs while protecting the environment.

It’s a welcome contrast to John McCain’s energy policy, which calls for investing $2 billion in so-called “clean coal” and constructing 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030.

The Sierra Club and United Steelworkers created the Blue Green Alliance in June 2006. The alliance has sought to draw attention to “economic opportunities that could come from a serious investment in renewable energy.”

This work is very important for the progressive movement. Too often the labor and environmental communities have found themselves on opposite sides of controversial issues. We saw that in Iowa earlier this year, when key labor groups backed plans to build a new coal-fired power plant near Marshalltown.

The full text of the Sierra Club’s press release on the Obama endorsement is after the jump. In addition to Obama’s energy policy, Sierra Club drew attention to:

-his opposition to further oil drilling in the Arctic Naitonal Wildlife Refuge;

-his opposition to storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada;

-his promise to undo many of George Bush’s bad executive orders on the environment;

-his support for more regulation of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs); and

-his efforts to reduce children’s exposure to lead.

For Immediate Release

June 20, 2008


David Willet, 202-675-6698

Josh Dorner, 202-679-7570 (m)


Joins United Steelworkers, Senator Brown in Call for Clean Energy Future

Cleveland , OH : With a giant wind turbine representing  America’s clean energy future as a backdrop, the Sierra Club and United Steelworkers today jointly endorsed Barack Obama as the change  America needs.

Carl Pope, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club,  America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, Leo Gerard, the leader of America’s largest industrial union, and, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown highlighted the stakes in this year’s election

“We believe Senator Obama is the change our nation needs – he is the change we need, the leader who will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that will create and keep millions of jobs, spur innovation and opportunity, make us a more secure nation, and help us solve global warming,” said Pope.

“The Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers are standing together in support of Barack Obama because we all share the common goal of putting  America back to work by building a clean energy economy,” said Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers.

“Our endorsement today marks the beginning of a massive mobilization of thousands of members around the country for the campaign-on the phone, on the ground, on the airwaves and online, spreading the message that as President, Barack Obama will lead America into the clean energy future and that we support his plan to solve both our economic challenges and the challenge of global warming at the same time,” said Allison Chin, President of the Sierra Club.

Senator Obama’s plan will help heal  America’s economy and environment:

* Senator Obama has presented a bold and comprehensive plan for addressing climate change that relies on what the world’s scientists have told us needs to be done. His plan includes a “cap and auction” system that would cut our carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

* His plan requires the polluters pay for the global warming pollution they emit, invests the money generated from the credits polluters would have to buy into clean energy, green jobs and aid for the lowest-income Americans affected by higher energy costs.

* His calls for 25 percent of U.S. electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025, and for improving energy efficiency in the  U.S. 50 percent by 2030 would create tens of thousands of jobs in growing industries while at the same time saving the amount Americans would have to spend on energy bills.

“Barack Obama has said, ‘Change is an energy policy that puts a price on pollution and makes the oil companies invest their record profits in clean, renewable sources of energy that will create millions of new jobs and leave our children a safer planet.’ We really could not have said it better ourselves. And that is why he is our candidate and we will do everything in our power to help elect him the next president of the  United States ,” said Pope.

A sample of other high points of Senator Obama’s environmental platform.

*Opposes destructive oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on fragile coasts.

*Opposes the storage of nuclear waste at the  Yucca Mountain repository being built in southern  Nevada.

*Promises to restore environmental protections that the Bush administration rolled back by executive order.

*Calls for tougher pollution regulations on factory farms or concentrated animal-feeding operations (CAFOs).

*Primary cosponsor of the Lead Poisoning Reduction Act, which aims to protect children from toxic lead poisoning.

Sierra Club was also an early backer of State Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic Primary for his run to the U.S. Senate, basing our endorsement on “his strong record of support for clean air, wetlands protection, and clean energy.”

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