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

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid