Last Friday, against steep odds, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454, the Waxman-Markey bill). It was a historic moment, and you were among the tens of thousands of Wilderness Society members and supporters who helped make history.
Thanks to you, Representatives got e-mails, letters, faxes, and phone calls urging them to support the bill. Thanks to you, letters to the editor appeared in newspapers around the country, letting members of the House know that their constituents supported this important legislation.
Thanks to you, the bill passed by a vote of 219 to 212.
Considering the millions of dollars spent to defeat the bill by polluters with a vested interest in keeping us dependent on the fossil fuels that cause global warming, it was an extraordinary achievement.
Passage of the Waxman-Markey bill means there will be significant new investment in clean, sustainable energy — and in the jobs a clean energy economy will create right here in America. It means there will be funding to safeguard our treasured natural resources and wild landscapes on which wildlife and human communities depend. It means that for the first time in history, we will be putting limits on the greenhouse gases that cause global warming and put us and future generations at risk.
House passage of this act is a monumental achievement. We needed every single call and letter — and with your help we generated more than 32,000 messages to House members. And we won!
In the words of the late anthropologist Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
The Senate fight looms like Everest later this summer, but with your help we will climb it.
With gratitude from all of us at The Wilderness Society,
Director of Climate Policy