President Obama Meets with Youth Leaders from Energy Action Coalition at Power Shift 2011

April 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

On Friday, April 15, 2011, a group of 15 young people representing the Energy Action Coalition met with Senior White House staff, and were surprised but pleased when President Barack Obama joined the group for 25 minutes to discuss the Obama Administration energy policies.

The meeting came after Energy Action Coalition contacted national media about Power Shift 2011, stating that “10,000 young, forgotten Obama voters” were coming together in Washington, DC to learn key organizing skills to move beyond dirty energy and advance the clean energy economy. After interest from several major media outlets, the Obama Administration began taking seriously Energy Action Coalition and the youth climate movement it represents.

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post have all covered the story, quoting Southern Energy Network Organizer Jenna Garland and Development Assistant Kelsea Norris.

Photo Credit: The White House, Pete Souza

After the 1-year anniversary of the BP Oil Disaster last week, which devastated the Gulf of Mexico and further devastated the lives of Gulf communities, President Obama needs to dream bigger and commit to the promises he made during the 2008 campaign.

President Obama’s message for Energy Action Coalition and the youth climate movement was that we need to lead grassroots organizing across the country, especially targeting Congress. After Congress failed to pass meaningful climate legislation and the UN Climate negotiations failed, many have turned back to their states and communities, looking to make change happen locally.

Young people are leading the movement beyond dirty energy to a clean, just energy economy. From shutting down coal plants to building clean energy infrastructure, young people have demonstrated where the future lies, and how we must act in the present to achieve our goals.

Here’s a great summary of the meeting from Glenn Hurowitz at Grist.

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Entry filed under: climate justice, coal, direct action, government, louisiana, national, power shift, southern energy network.

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