The climate change and clean energy debates might have reached a new low -- just ask the US Attorney General's office.
Ted Glick, a legendary nonviolent advocate who dropped a "Green Jobs Now" banner down the hallway of the Hart Senate Office Building last fall, goes to trial on Tuesday, July 6th, at the Superior Court in Washington, D.C. He faces up to three years in prison.
Three years for dropping a banner that reminds Congress to pursue green jobs and clean energy?
Yes, even a local Fox News station is flummoxed by the ridiculous news:
Let's put this bizarre situation in its proper context. Consider these recent environmental news events: The US Attorney General's office is still looking into "possible" criminal activity at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine, despite hundreds of serious regulatory violations and 29 deaths. And despite a preliminary congressional investigation that concluded BP oil intentionally sought to subvert industry guidelines and regulations, the Justice Department is still in the early stages of maybe pursuing a criminal investigation of the oil giant's criminal activity.
And then there's Glick, who simply wants Congress to move along in a time of crisis.
He's facing prison?
As policy director of the D.C.-area Chesapeake Climate Action Network, one of the most respected and effective grassroots organizations dealing with climate change, Glick has been an outspoken advocate for a just transition to green jobs and and clean energy initiatives. He drew national attention for his fast for climate change awareness last year. But he has two other banner-dropping misdemeanors, hence the severity of his possible sentence. Last May, Glick was offered a sentence of 30 days in jail, which he refused.
"I have no regrets in any way," Glick declared. "There's no way I would accept that anyone should go to jail for 30 days for hanging a banner."
According to news reports, the U.S. Attorney General's office now "has asked the judge to triple Glick's sentence because he's a repeat offender."
Repeat offender? Give me a break.
Massey Energy has operated its underground and massive mountaintop removal operations in a continual state of violation for years.
Likewise, BP has operated its oil operations like repeat offenders for years.
Glick, on the other hand, is a true American hero in the climate justice movement, whose work as a policy analyst on climate change issues has greatly informed and advanced the nation toward a sustainable energy policy.
Glick doesn't deserve prison time -- he deserves a Medal of Honor for his incredible work to halt climate destabilization and transition to green jobs.
Here's an interview with Glick and Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, just days after his banner-dropping protest last fall:
If you would like to help Glick, or attend the US Superior Court hearing, contact CCAN here.
Follow Jeff Biggers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jeffrbiggers