Posts filed under ‘Policy’

Southern Energy Network joins with group of organizations in condemning Florida voter suppression bill

Students working with the Southern Energy Network registered over 2,000 young voters in Florida in 2010 – and our ability to register voters in future FL elections is under attack.  SB 2086, due to be voted on today in the Florida State Senate, would limit student voting in a number of ways, including:

  • Preventing students from being able to change their address at the polls;
  • Reducing the early voting period; and,
  • Introducing new and difficult regulations for any group working to register voters.

This bill will have a direct impact on our ability to register voters in Florida in the 2012 elections and into the future, as well as our ability to effectively turn out students to vote.  This in an unacceptable and dramatic attack on the ability of young people to vote.

UPDATE: The Florida Senate passed the bill 25-13.  The bill will now go back to the House, which passed a different version.

(more…)

May 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

GA YES! Students Press Candidates on Plant Washington & Green Jobs

As a part of our strategy to fight the three proposed coal-fired power plants in Georgia, the Southern Energy Network and Georgia Youth for Energy Solutions (GA YES!), are putting the pressure on 2010 political candidates.

Last Thursday, June 24, we showed up at the Georgia Water Coalition’s Gubernatorial Forum on Water and the Environment ready to ask candidates hard-hitting questions about the future of renewable energy and green jobs in Georgia. With 12 existing coal-fired power plants, one of which is the single largest point source of CO2 in the US, and 3 new plants proposed, these water-intensive power plants are of huge concern to our drought-ridden state.

Kelsea Norris asks Gen. David Poythress about Plant Washington

We told candidates Dubose Porter, Carl Camon, and General David Poythress that young voters will not stand for new coal in the state of Georgia and that we’re demanding clean, safe, renewable energy that will bring real green jobs to our state. And we got a pretty good response!

Candidates Poythress, Porter, and Camon at the Forum

To back up our statements, we spend this past Saturday at a booth talking to folks at AthFest – a 3-day music and arts festival that takes place every summer in downtown Athens, Georgia. We gathered almost 50 new petition signatures from Georgia voters, telling gubernatorial candidates that they’ll be voting for candidates who:

  • Oppose the construction of Plant Washington and support clean energy solutions such as wind and solar, NOT coal and nuclear.
  • Support statewide energy efficiency programs that will cut our carbon emissions and make Georgia a leader in global warming solutions
  • Invest in education to create clean energy tech jobs

E-mail all the gubernatorial candidates and let them know that you’ll also be voting on the issues, and don’t forget to vote in the Georgia primaries on July 20! If you can, copy us on your emails – use jenna@climateaction.net. Jenna is our Georgia Organizer, working with GA YES to fight the proposed coal plants.

Democratic

General David Poythress (Info@poythressforgovernor.com)

Randal Mangham (repmangham@gmail.com)

Dubose Porter (info@porterforgeorgia.com)

Carl Camon (hopeforgeorgia@gmail.com)

Bill Bolton (governor@billbolton.com)

Roy Barnes (info@roy2010.com)

Thurbert Baker (contact@thurbertbaker.com)

Republican

Jeff Chapman (https://www.completecampaigns.com/public.asp?name=ChapmanJ&page=6)

Nathan Deal (info@nathandeal.org)

Karen Handel (info@KarenHandel.com)

Eric Johnson (eric@forgeorgians.com)

John Oxendine (team@johnoxendine.com)

Ray McBerry (McBerryCampaign@GeorgiaFirst.org)

Independent

Ray Boyd (ray@boydforgeorgia.com)

Al Bartell (http://www.albartell.com/contactme.htm)

Libertarian

John Monds (http://www.votemonds.com/contact.html)

Written by Kelsea Norris, student at the University of Georgia in Athens

June 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm 3 comments

North Carolina Primary Election: An Important Political Moment for Our Generation

I haven’t had much of an appetite lately… With the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, confirmed reports of bio-diversities continued global decline, and another delay in adoption of a National Climate Policy,  my stomaches been in knots. Fortunately, I’ve been able to keep myself from sulking, and have found some inspiration through a critical political moment.

The North Carolina Primary Election kicks off tomorrow (Tuesday May 4th). Turnout for mid-term primaries is historically low, with young people being in the lowest turnout percentage. Regardless, with everything going on in the world, I feel compelled to do my part to flip that trend in 2010! I realized more than ever that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for and we will be the ones to define this decade.. Therefore it is up to us what the future looks like.

Polls are open from 7:30a.m – 6:30p.m. To find your polling place CLICK HERE

Here are 4 reasons you need to cast your vote this mid-term election

  1. Almost every ecosystem and resource on the planet is in a state of decline
  2. We’ve got to change the political tides and we need the strongest leadership to do that
  3. Your voice counts and now is not the time to be silent.
  4. Turnout in Mid-term elections is low, that means, as young people, we can have a HUGE impact!!
  5. Because they are just as important, if not more so, as Presidential Elections.

Please share this Facebook link with your networks to get others to vote this Mid-term Election.

Vote and Voter Early!

May 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

They say FACES. We say farces.

this does not equal this

Gone are the days when environmentalists had only to worry about the dirty energy lobby taking our politicians on luxury cruises or using “greenwashing” to trick consumers into believing that products are environmentally friendly. No, the bad guys can’t just stop at buying out our politicians and our message, they have to hijack our tactics too. Exit grassroots. Enter “Astroturf,” a PR ploy disguised as a spontaneous grassroots effort. It may not be a new tool, but it seems to be all the rage right now. Suffice to say, things are getting dirty, as if Big Coal and Big Oil  weren’t dirty enough already.

To kick off their efforts to perpetuate the petroleum industry in response to new climate legislation coming from Congress, a group called Energy Citizen held a rally in Houston to fight back. Or did they? Says Climate Progress: “Despite signs and T-shirts, the Houston rally of more than 3,000 people – which was sponsored by a group calling itself Energy Citizens — actually had a boatload of funding and logistical support from the oil and gas industry, according to an American Petroleum Institute (API) memo leaked late last week by the environmental group Greenpeace.” Click here for the full article.

The coal industry has chimed in with their own citizen front group as well: the  Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security  or FACES.  My question: who exactly are these people anyway? Grist tried to find out, but upon emailing the only contact on FACES’ website, which listed no funders or members of the group, their inquiry bounced back. You can check out the full article here.

As a grassroots organizer, I have always taken comfort in the idea that there are two major forms of power: money and people. The bad guys might have the former, but when we come together, we’ve got the latter. My question: how do we keep it this way? Watch what real activists did in North Carolina.

– Rebecca Van Damm

August 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm 1 comment

Preparing for a Summer of Action

Now that classes are over, exams are done, and grades are in, I – along with millions of other students across the U.S. – have finally begun to prepare for what will undoubtedly be an incredibly exciting summer. I’ll certainly be keeping busy with classes, work, and plenty of travel plans, but, to be completely honest, I’m excited about much more than beach trips, concerts, and spending time with my friends and family.

In recent years, climate and energy issues have gained considerable media momentum and have garnered the attention of politicians across the country. President Obama has spoken about the issue and people across the planet are beginning to take serious notice. As both a young person and someone who cares deeply about these issues, I have decided to spend my summer working with other young people to push for bold change in current U.S. climate policies. This is an incredibly exciting time for the U.S. and given what’s going on in D.C., this summer is the time for change.

Perhaps one of the most exciting events of the summer is California Rep. Henry Waxman’s climate bill, which was proposed earlier this spring. The bill, formally titled the American Clean Energy and Securities Act of 2009, is currently in the hands of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where it is being revised and edited. In its current state, the bill seeks to define “clean energy” and regulate it on the national level, plans to enforce a cap on carbon emissions, and promises to enact new efficiency standards for the transportation, construction, and energy industries. If anything, the introduction of this bill shows that our elected officials are beginning to realize that the demand for drastic change cannot be met with legislative inaction.

All said, aspects of the bill absolutely must be stronger and we, as advocates for a safer, healthier future, need to speak loudly and let our demands be known. We need a bill with renewable energy targets that mirror the numbers suggested by scientific research, we need a bill that does not give pollution handouts to dirty energy corporations, and we need a bill that will provide the appropriate funding and resources to fully support a nationwide transition to a clean energy future.

Our future is at stake and as both young people and environmental advocates, it’s our job to demand a strong bill that is hopeful and promises to make deep, lasting changes. It’s up to us to inspire our elected officials and although it won’t be an easy job, it’s certainly not impossible.

First, it’s up to us to hold our elected officials accountable for their part in the construction and movement of this bill. We need to contact our congressmen (by phone, e-mail, mail, fax, etc.) and demand that they request changes that reflect the interests of their constituents. We elected them, we are trusting them with a huge responsibility. It’s imperative that we tell them what we need and let them know that we’re paying attention.

We also need to raise public awareness by telling our stories. We can write letters to the editor, opinion editorials, blog posts, facebook posts, twitter feeds. Further, it’s critical that we speak about this issue whenever possible. Tell your friends, family, classmates, colleagues, and neighbors about the bill and explain what they can do to help. Let them know that they, too, can write a Letter to the Editor or phone their congressman. It may sound surprising, but one well-written editorial makes a difference, just the same as one vote can make a difference.

The key to inspiring change is a combination of awareness and action; we need to be knowledgeable of the federal goings-on while also encouraging our communities, universities, and local governments to fight for bold national change. It’s a tough job, but we proved ourselves with Power Vote and Power Shift. As young people, students, and individuals who care deeply about our country’s future, we create a strong, unified voice and we have all the ambition, intelligence, and creativity necessary to inspire change. Let’s talk about this bill, let’s write about this bill, and let’s prove that we’ve got a mission and a purpose. Now is the time to demand bold action and even bolder change and though the summer may be short, now is the time to make it happen.

Brittany Forrestal

Communications Fellow

May 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment


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