News / USA

    Gulf Residents Affected by Oil Spill Pushing Congress for Clean Energy Legislation

    A man from the gulf coast region brings a sample of oil tainted water to a meeting with senators in Washington.
    A man from the gulf coast region brings a sample of oil tainted water to a meeting with senators in Washington.

    Multimedia

    Nearly 100 residents from America's Gulf Coast converged on Capitol Hill this week.  They wanted to meet with their representatives and senators to relay their personal stories about the effects of the oil spill.  They also wanted to encourage passage of a clean energy bill that would transition the nation away from fossil fuel and toward alternative energy.  

    A visit to a U.S. senator involves a lot of waiting.  A jar of cloudy seawater and oily black-speckled sand sits on the ledge in the hallway of the Senate Office Building.  A staffer announces the senator is ready and escorts the group into a conference room.  A man plops the jar directly in front of the empty seat at the head of the table where the senators will sit.  It's a sample from their Florida cities, areas just now being affected by the oil spill.  

    They want to tell Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado to speed through an energy bill.  Their chance to do that comes quickly, as Senator Udall walks into the room.

    They meet with the senator for 15 minutes and he meets with us for five.

    "What I assured them was: given their plea and call and demand in a polite way for us to have a clean energy future, that was job one for me," said Udall.  "That has long been one of my main motivations for being an elected official."

    Udall says he plans to bring a climate energy bill to the floor of the Senate by July 4.  This was Meggin McPhee's second appointment with a senator.  She flew up from Destin, Florida.

    "It's enabled us to bring a real voice to some in Washington, D.C. who watch the news and see the pictures and realize what's happening, but when they're able to put a true voice to what's going on down there and I think we've been well received," said McPhee.

    Nearly 100 residents like Meggin were flown to DC by Repower America, an organization promoting clean energy, run by former Vice President Al Gore.  

    The group went on to meet with several other elected officials.  David Augustine of New Orleans says his group met with a staffer of Republican Senator David Vitter, who also represents Louisiana.

    "[Vitter] said to be patient, but my mindset towards this situation is that 'sorry' is not enough anymore."

    David feels so strongly, that as a rapper, he's written a song about politicians and the gulf.  One line in the song is particularly relevant:

    "Yeah, you apologized, you admitted you're wrong, but we're the ones that got to suffer.  You all get to go home. Sorry ain't enough no more."

    This group wants immediate action.  But there's a lot left to discuss on Capitol Hill, with Senate Democrats trying to combine an energy bill with a climate bill and Republicans opposing the idea and calling it an energy tax.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora