FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2013
Contact: Refugio Mata, Sierra Club, (805) 428-4075 or [email protected]
Jack Eidt, Tar Sands Action Southern California (714) 501 8262 or [email protected]
Kathy Seal, Sierra Club Beyond Coal, 310-403-2489
Downloadable Press Packets:
Schedule and Speakers: SCHEDULE and SPEAKER BIOS-Forward on Climate LA-Feb 17
Flyer: Feb 17 – LA Forward on Climate March.V2
Press Release: RELEASE – LA Climate Change Rally 02-17-13 FINAL
Letter to President Obama: Dear President Obama – Forward on Climate LA
Hundreds March in Los Angeles on National Campaign Launch Demanding President Obama Take Immediate Action on Climate Crisis
The largest rally in the city’s history on climate change coincided with marches across multiple U.S. cities calling for action to avert crises like Super Storm Sandy
LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of activists and supporters from across a wide coalition of over 90 groups, led by Tar Sands Action Southern California and Sierra Club, marched today from Olvera Street and converged for a rally at City Hall where they unveiled a mega letter addressed to President Obama. The ‘Forward on Climate‘ rally – the largest environmental demonstration in Los Angeles’ history – coincided with thousands of protesters converging on Washington D.C. in the largest climate change rally in history, led by 350.org and the Sierra Club.
This was the first time such a wide array of environmental, humanitarian, religious, political, labor, civil rights, student, and community organizations came together in Los Angeles to demand action on climate change. Elected officials and community leaders called on President Obama to take strong action on the climate crisis and reject damaging projects such as the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. led the rally in Los Angeles and was joined by U.S. Congressional Rep. Henry Waxman, Councilman Jose Huizar, and other community leaders.
“All across America, citizens are rallying today to call for action on climate change, and I am proud to join my friends, neighbors, and constituents, here in Los Angeles,” said Congressman Waxman. “We’ve seen climate change coming for a long time, but now it’s here, and it’s getting worse faster and causing greater harm than we ever expected. There is simply no more important fight for the future of our children and grandchildren. President Obama has said he will lead this effort to cut carbon pollution and fight climate change, and every one of us here and at other rallies across the country need to support him. We must call for forceful action by the federal agencies and pressure Congress to start listening to the scientists.”
Clean energy supporters at the rally pointed to the significant steps Los Angeles is making towards breaking its own use of climate change pollution. The LADWP recently launched an aggressive strategy to end its reliance on two out-of-state coal plants that supply nearly 40% of the city’s electricity. The DWP has promised to fully transition out of the Navajo Generating Station coal plant in Arizona by 2015, and has launched a groundbreaking Feed-in Tariff (FiT) ‘solar buy back’ program – the largest citywide FiT program in the nation – that will bring rooftop solar and green jobs to Los Angeles. Nationwide, the Sierra Club and other groups have succeeded in retiring 139 coal plants and stopping 174 new coal plants from being built.
“We are sending a message to President Obama today that the planet can’t wait. Here in Los Angeles, we are working with our local utility – the LADWP – to stop using coal in our city’s energy supply,” said Aura Vasquez, Organizing Representative for Sierra Club’s LA Beyond Coal campaign. “That will help reduce our city’s climate change pollution footprint. But the time has come for the federal government to take strong action too, before it’s too late and global warming spirals out of control. We call on the President to make good on the promise he made in his State of the Union address to take on climate change. He must reject the Keystone XL pipeline and lead the way towards a 21st century plan that supports energy efficiency, conservation, and clean renewable energy.”
Activists voiced support for strong measures to preserve California’s water supply, coasts, and forests for future generations. Crippling drought, devastating wildfires, and super-storm Sandy have brought climate change home. The Forward on Climate rallies represented a growing groundswell calling for immediate action to ramp up renewable energy production and break our addiction to dirty and dangerous fuels like coal, natural gas, nuclear and tar sands oil.
“Burning tar sands bitumen produces three to five times the greenhouse gas pollution on a wells-to-wheels basis than conventional oil. By 2015, the oil sands industrial project could emit more greenhouse gases than the nation of Denmark” said Jack Eidt, Organizer for Tar Sands Action Southern California. “TransCanada’s proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL Pipeline would transport toxic and corrosive diluted bitumen from Alberta across the middle of North America to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. It would threaten contamination of rivers and freshwater supplies for six U.S. states, and still not produce the jobs promised.”
For more information, please visit:
To access line up of community leaders that spoke at the rally, visit: http://bit.ly/ForwardonClimateLA
Tar Sands Action SoCal will be speaking on the implications of the Keystone XL Pipeline at the Pasadena Sierra Club meeting, Eaton Canyon Nature Center, on March 6th at 7:30 pm.