We are angry and disappointed. The battle must and will continue -- but it is time to shift our focus.
The U.S. Senate will not take up comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation prior to the August recess. Even more distressing, it's very unlikely the Senate will push for a comprehensive bill at all this year. While the Senate is expected to vote on a bill addressing the Gulf catastrophe next week, this is clearly no substitute for passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill.
For months, a broad and diverse coalition of Americans has called for immediate action on a clean energy and climate bill. More than three months into the worst industry-caused environmental catastrophe in our history, after the deadliest coal mining disaster in 40 years, and while sweating through the hottest first six months of any year on record, there's never been a more urgent time to move forward with a clean energy and climate policy.
On Tuesday, more than 350 national, regional and local organizations issued a joint statement making clear that inaction is not an option. To this group of environmental, business and security groups, the twin challenges of building a clean energy economy and addressing global warming are too important to fail. In this joint statement, groups called for the Senate and the Obama Administration to continue the fight, and to use every tool available to address clean energy and climate reform by working to limit carbon pollution and invest in new clean energy sources that are made in America. Most importantly, now we must focus on protecting and preserving the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to crack down on polluters.
At every opportunity, a minority of senators who are unduly influenced by Big Oil chose obstruction over working together to solve America's energy and national security challenges. As a result of their actions, corporate polluters will continue to reap record profits at the expense of Americans. They will hear from us.
The November elections are less than 100 days away. District by district and state by state, LCV and our partners and allies will make sure that voters know the choice they have: Support politicians who side with Big Oil or back champions who support a clean energy future that will create jobs, increase energy independence and protect the planet for future generations.
We will not give up and will keep the pressure on to act this year while senators are home in August. We must keep working at every level to transition our nation to a cleaner, more secure energy future.
The fight to create new clean energy jobs and solve the climate crisis will continue -- in this Congress, at the voting booth, in the states and at the EPA.