By Ben Greuel of Seattle, Washington. Ben is in Portland working on the Jeff Merkley for US Senate coordinated campaign on behalf of the Sierra Club Political Action Committee “Blue Team”.
The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Here in Oregon we have over 20,000 members who advocate for sound environmental policies and strong environmental leaders. One of those leaders we have endorsed in 2008 is U.S. Senate candidate and Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley.
The Sierra Club’s number one political priority in Oregon this November is electing Jeff Merkley to the U.S. Senate and defeating one of George W Bush’s closest allies, Senator Gordon Smith. The last eight years of the Bush administration have delivered a record of failed environmental policies. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their Big Oil cronies in Washington have waged a war on common-sense environmental regulation and in the process have weakened policies on clean air and clear water all while ignoring proven science warning us of the impending dangers of global warming. On the issue of protecting Oregon’s public lands, Smith has proven himself an opportunist, supporting wilderness where politically convenient, while calling for the weakening of rules that protect clean water, wild salmon, and old growth forests across the landscape. From failed energy policy to failed forest policy, Senator Smith has walk side by side with the Bush Administration and has wholeheartedly supported many of its most misguided environmental mistakes.
In contrast, Jeff Merkley has a proven record of environmental leadership. The 2007 Oregon legislative session, under the leadership of Jeff Merkley, passed a package of bills that constitute the strongest global warming reduction measures in the nation including: requiring Oregon to obtain 25% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2025; new tax credits for businesses and consumers that have created green jobs and saved consumers money; raising energy efficiency standards for appliances; and setting state policy goals to reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions significantly . Due to this kind of leadership, Oregon has already seen new companies and industries take part in an emerging green energy economy, most recently the new Solarworld manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, which is expected to create 1,000 new jobs by the time its fully operational in 2011.
Jeff Merkley’s environmental leadership will be a topic of discussion this Friday when former Vice President Al Gore visits Portland to help bring the change Oregon needs to Washington, DC.
And it will be the motivation for the ‘Enviros for Merkley’ get-out-the-vote canvass this Sunday, October 26 at noon in Portland.
Please join Vice President Al Gore insupport of Jeff Merkley for United States Senate this Friday, and please join other environmental voters in getting out the vote this Sunday.
What: Al Gore & Jeff Merkley reception and fundraiser (Tickets $50-$250)
When: Friday, October 24th – Doors at 5:30pm – Event starts at 6:30pm
Where: Oregon Convention Center (777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd Portland, OR)
What: “Enviros for Merkley” Canvass
Where: Merkley Campaign Headquarters, 3016 SE Division
When: Sunday, October 26 at NOON
Oregonians deserve a leader who will not just talk the talk, like Gordon Smith, but who walks the walk and takes the lead. Jeff Merkley has a proven record protecting Oregon’s environment. Please join Al Gore this Friday and support Jeff’s efforts to take his environmental leadership to Washington DC.