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E-M:/ Sierra Club Launches Smart Energy Summer

Following on the discussion of An Inconvenient Truth --


Anne Woiwode, State Director

Sierra Club Mackinac (Michigan) Chapter



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                     Contact: Josh Dorner

3 July 2006                                                                                                                                           202.679.7570 (m)



Smart Energy Summer to Roll Out Across America

New Campaign to Engage Americans on

Sierra Club Vision for Americas Energy Future


(Washington, DC)- The Fourth of July is a time when we celebrate our values, history, accomplishments, and the unique power of the American spirit.  Through ingenuity and sheer force of will America has overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.  Today, America faces just such a challenge, dramatically transforming our economy and our energy use in order to end our dangerous addiction to oil and dependence on fossil fuels.  Achieving these goals is especially urgent as we draw ever closer to a definitive moment in our confrontation with global warming.


In order to help America meet this challenge, the Sierra Club is launching its Smart Energy Summer.  This campaign will engage people across the country in a conversation about how we can tackle global warming, end our oil dependence and implement the kind of smart energy solutions that will grow our economy and take us into a clean, renewable energy future.  The Smart Energy Summer will conclude with the unveiling of the Sierra Clubs comprehensive roadmap for our energy future, including a scientifically-vetted timeline demonstrating precisely which and in what proportion we will use each technology and energy source to move us past fossil fuels.


Our leaders in Washington have failed to give the American people the energy policy they deserve and so desperately need, said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club.  The Smart Energy Summer underscores our commitment to achieving a smart energy future for America.  This future will leave behind the outdated technologies that threaten our environment and our climate in favor of clean, renewable technologies that have the potential to grow our economy and create thousands of American jobs.


Smart Energy Solutions


Each week of the Smart Energy Summer will focus on one of the smart energy solutions that we can use to move beyond fossil fuels.  A special focus will be on educating the public about the full economic growth and jobs creation potential that can be realized by shifting investments away from outdated technologies that threaten our environment and climate toward the technologies that will power the economy of tomorrow.  There will also be a focus on the untapped potential for oil savings, saving consumers money at the pump, and curbing global warming offered by sensible action to raise fuel economy standards.


Americans understand that renewable energy technology benefits the environment and helps protect our climate, said Dave Hamilton, Director of the Sierra Clubs Global Warming and Energy Program.  But many people do not fully understand that a meaningful commitment to these technologies by government and industry could also create tens of thousands of high-paying American jobs and hundreds of billions in economic growth.  With smart energy choices, a strong economy and strong protections for our climate and environment go hand in hand.


Moving Past the Technologies of Yesterday


The Smart Energy Summer will also emphasize the fact that we cannot solve the energy problems of the 21st century using 19th century technologies.  Technologies like oil, coal, and other fossil fuels lock us into dangerous energy dependence.  Destroying more of our dwindling natural spaces to harvest fossil fuels and releasing their carbon into the atmosphere is rapidly moving us from a situation that is untenable at best, toward one of potentially catastrophic and irreversible damage to our environment and climate.  Nuclear technology is also a technology of yesterday.  Far from being the solution to our energy and global warming problems, it is a costly technology that saddles us with highly dangerous waste and places our communities at great risk. 


No smoker ever quit by smoking an extra pack a day, commented HamiltonSimilarly, we cannot end our dependence on fossil fuels by destroying our natural spaces to simply extract and burn more of them.  That path is both economically unsustainable and will only accelerate the global warming process.  While we cannot get off of oil tomorrow, we can use smart energy choices to make our transition to a clean energy future as swiftly as possible.


Engaging the Public


The Smart Energy Summer is about more than simply educating the public about how we move toward a sustainable energy future; it is about engaging the public in a two-way conversation about energy issues?including discussions of some difficult and controversial options.  Online activities such as hosted chats, quizzes, and calculators will be updated weekly and will be available to consumers across America.  In addition to this virtual outreach, there will house parties, a hybrid car tour, and other events held across the country throughout the Smart Energy Summer, including several events focusing on the Cool Cities program, an initiative of over 250 cities that attacks global warming at the local level.


We are very interested in discussing our smart energy solutions with people across America,” commented Pope.  Were already having a conversation about energy with our members and leaders across the country, but were eager to hear what all Americans have to say.  The Smart Energy Summer is about helping America find the best way to move forward toward a strong economy and a smart and sustainable energy future.


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