by Falon French

The Daily Show recently had a segment on the Gulf oil spill where the last 8 presidents were quoted, claiming that they would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Yet climate legislation – which will actually address our oil addiction and reduce foreign oil imports by $20 billion per year – has made no headway to date.

This Tuesday, I hit the road yet again to spread the message to Hoosiers that climate legislation must happen. The message is this: legislation would be a huge win for Indiana residents. Our air (which contains the third highest level of toxic air emissions, according to the U.S. EPA, and receives D’s and F’s from the American Lung Association) will be cleaner and safer to breathe. We would gain 45,000 clean energy jobs, which would add $2.5 billion to Indiana’s economy. Products created in America would once again be competitive on the global market. We could reduce our dependency on foreign oil and improve our national security. And, most importantly, we could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to avert the worst possible impacts of climate change.

Let’s face it…some of the expected impacts of climate change are already hurting Indiana residents – we are suffering from heat waves and droughts, massive rainfall and flooding in the spring months, and a huge number of pests such as mosquitoes that are no longer killed off by winter cold snaps. Ask your parents and grandparents if they remember summers like the one we’re having now. These weather changes are only going to get worse if we do not actively work to curb our emissions.

The message of Tuesday’s media event was very simple: pass climate legislation now! And, despite opposition that claims only environmentalists want this bill to pass, our climate advocates for this event included the mayor of Logansport, the president of the local Steelworkers union, two small business owners, and the owner of a construction firm.

I ask you to carry this message into your community…it’ll save me a lot of gas. Call Bayh and Lugar and demand that they take action on this issue. You can find out how to get in touch with them on our site. If you can’t think of what to say, call me. I’ll help you (317-685-8800). Write a letter to the editor of your local paper explaining why climate legislation is necessary for our economic, environmental, and national security. Again, need help crafting that letter? Email me..I will help you (ffrench@hecweb.org). And, most importantly, spread the word to your friends and family and ask them to help out as well.

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