Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Young Activists are Shifting the Power" on Global Warming Says Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

The thousands of students and youth at Power Shift 2007 must have made an impression on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi, who attended the massive Saturday night festivities at Power Shift and delivered a presentation to a crowd hungry for action from Congressional leaders had this to say in a youth-focused email newsletter sent yesterday:

Young Activists are Shifting the Power

The 110th Congress has a powerful and effective ally to combat climate change: America's youth. Last week, thousands of students from the Power Shift 2007 Summit flooded the steps of the Capitol to show their commitment to a green future, where Speaker Pelosi addressed these young activists.

"As you demonstrate today, young people want to end global warming and preserve the planet—God's beautiful creation," she said.

The students extended their efforts by testifying in front of a committee established by Speaker Pelosi—the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming—in favor of active measures to improve the planet's environment.

Two key priorities for this Congress are fighting climate change and working toward energy independence. Speaker Pelosi has highlighted these issues by establishing the "Green the Capitol" initiative. This project outlines a plan for the House to completely offset its carbon emissions by the end of this session of Congress. It also includes a plan to cut the House's energy consumption by half in 10 years.

"An unstoppable movement has taken root in every school and every community in this nation," said Billy Parish, co-founder of the Energy Action Coalition, in his testimony last Monday. "A generation has come to Washington today to lead, to be heard, and to find allies in this Congress who are ready to do what is necessary to solve our climate crisis."

The email included links to video highlights from the Congressional testimony and to several blog and news stories focusing on Power Shift. (But where's the link to It's Getting Hot In Here Madam Speaker?)

Later in the email newsletter, Speaker Pelosi has this to say about America's youth:
Speaker Pelosi: Young People are Hungry for Progress

Recently, Speaker Pelosi accepted a Spirit of Liberty Award from People for the American Way. During the ceremony, she spoke about the continuous optimism of America's youth, from the time of the Founding Fathers to today.

Speaker Pelosi noted that more than one quarter of those who drafted our Constitution were in their twenties and thirties. She said their optimism and impatience for progress were valuable in the founding of our nation.

"With the impatience of youth, these young leaders founded our democracy," she said. "In my recent travels as Speaker, I have met with presidents, prime ministers, and kings. But I have been most impressed and inspired by my encounters with young people like you. Young people around the world are hungry for progress. They want to know if their leaders have the courage to stop war. They want equality, democracy, and freedom."

Read Speaker Pelosi's full speech>>

We're glad to be you allies, Madam Speaker. And damn right we're impatient! Now let's go get us a good energy bill, shall we? We're with you if you can stay strong!

For video of Pelosi's speech at Power Shift see here (part 1) and here (part 2).

[A tip of the hat to Sean Siperstein for sending along the email from Pelosi]

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