VAN JONES ON THE COALITION FOR NEW ENERGY
A beautiful coalition against dirty energy
Van Jones, 28 October 2010 (Grist)
"New polls are showing that the majority of Californians reject Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative -- funded by Texas oil companies -- that would effectively repeal the state's landmark clean energy and environmental protection laws.
"What the polls do not show and what few news outlets are covering, is the striking diversity of voices that are demanding clean energy, and rejecting the false notion that protecting the planet and our public health will hurt the economy…Last week, the No on Prop 23 campaign experienced a surge of support from groups that included a council of inter-faith leaders, university academics, the wealthiest man in the country (Bill Gates), an award-winning Hollywood director (James Cameron), and even President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore."
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"They join the rank and file of a coalition that is rarely witnessed in our modern age of ultra-polarizing politics…This coalition includes social justice organizations of all creeds and colors, whose missions are to empower the voices of the working class and communities of color -- including immigrants. These groups understand that less smog means less asthma, fewer trips to the emergency room, and healthier neighborhoods for their children.
"The coalition also includes a group of investors who represent more than $421 billion in assets, much of it in the clean tech sector. They make the case that clean energy technology is the next wave of the industrial revolution, and California is poised to become a leader in innovation, job creation, and commercialization of these technologies. However, they also warn that reversing course on policy -- precisely what Prop 23 aims to achieve -- will cause investment to flow elsewhere (mainly to places like China and parts of Europe)…"
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"What's happening in California is truly amazing. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of voices, from literally every political, ethnic, faith, and socio-economic spectrum, all pulling for the same cause. This beautiful coalition gives us a glimpse of the green path forward toward clean energy, a prosperous sustainable economy, and a healthier planet…[T]he face of politics has begun to change, slowly…The green movement has suffered setbacks…But what we see happening in California gives the green movement a reason for continued optimism…
"…The fight has unmasked the opponents of clean energy, as well as vetted their arguments…[and] this fight has revealed our friends and allies…[H]uge swaths of Californians, from all walks of life, can find common value in supporting cleaner air and a commitment to growing the clean technology sector…The fight is far from over, and with Election Day approaching in less than a week, the stakes are higher than ever. But victory in California can give us a model for the coalition that is needed to achieve a green growth victory in Washington, D.C. and the rest of the nation."