After String of Losses, Environmentalists Work to Recover
The Washington Post today reports that, having suffered a series of legislative losses over the last year, environmentalists are working to gain back their influence.
It’s a story that has been written many times before; the real question going forward is how exactly environmentalists plan to rally.
The Post points to a rather odd effort to expose the influence the oil industry has over Congress. The Post:
They put on what they called a “CarnivOil” – a fake carnival with a stilt-wearing barker, free “tar balls” (chocolate doughnuts), and a suit-wearing “oil executive” punching somebody dressed like a crab. It was supposed to be satire, but there was a bitter message underneath: When we fight the oil and gas industry, they win.
“We killed the clean-energy bill! There’s still no cap on oil spills!” yelled Heather Brutz, the barker, who was pretending to speak for the industry. “And now, for our graaaaaaand finale, we’re going to pass the diiiiiirty-air act!”
But the real work is being done behind the scenes by environmental lobbyists. They are trying to salvage what is left of the year (and there’s not much time left) by pushing for an oil spill response bill. Others are hoping for more: renewable energy advocates are pushing for passage of a renewable energy standard, for instance. In both cases, congressional staffers say, it’s going to be tough to pass much significant legislation this year going into the mid-term elections. As a result, some environmentalists are already focusing on next year.