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Environmentalists, Unions Launch Campaign to Revive Energy Bill

A coalition of environmentalists and labor unions is launching today a cross-country bus tour to pressure lawmakers to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation next year.

On a conference call with reporters today, members of the BlueGreen Alliance criticized the Senate for not acting on climate and energy legislation, blaming Republicans for blocking a vote on the bill. The Republican leadership of the United States Senate wants to send America a message of failure,” Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope told reporters, adding that the GOP thinks such a strategy will help them in the mid-term elections.

But Larry Cohen, president of the Communication Workers of America, said he doesn’t expect action from the Senate on climate and energy legislation this year. “The way the Senate operates, I wouldn’t have confidence in them passing much of anything before the election,” he said. Cohen said he hopes the issue can be addressed “the first day they meet in January.”

The bus tour consists of a series of roundtables with reporters, rallies and public forums on climate and energy legislation. The tour starts today in Carson, Calif., and ends Sept. 3 in Virginia. Cohen said the tour is meant to “get communities and our own members to see the logjam that the Senate has created ahead of the [mid-term] election.”

The BlueGreen Alliance includes among its membership the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Utility Workers Union of America.

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