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Mary Anne Hitt

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Why the Sierra Club Is Endorsing President Obama

Posted: 04/18/2012 12:58 pm

Both personally and professionally, the past four years have been remarkable for me. On the personal front, I welcomed my daughter into the world, which recharged my motivation to eliminate pollution and usher in a clean energy future. Professionally, I've worked with dozens of allies and millions of Americans to secure historic new health protections, like the first-ever national mercury safeguards that the Environmental Protection Agency finalized in December, or the historic carbon pollution standards they announced this spring.

Over the past four years, we've won historic victories for public health and the environment, as millions of Americans have stood up and said no to dirty coal and yes to clean energy.

We've celebrated landmark protections finally implemented that will -- for the first time -- help keep mercury out of our air and water, and away from our kids. We've retired more than 100 dirty, dangerous coal plants. And we're seeing record growth from the clean energy sector that's putting tens of thousands of Americans to work.

And over the past four years as we've seen these victories, President Obama has had our backs. In the battle for our nation's future, President Obama has stood on the side of health, prosperity, and progress for all American families and against the greed of corporate polluters. From enacting the mercury safeguards to setting carbon pollution standards for power plants, President Obama and his exemplary EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, have tackled some of the most dire and pressing threats to our health, our families, and our planet.

That's why I'm proud to announce that today the Sierra Club is endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election. The president has demonstrated exceptional leadership in standing up to big polluters, implementing historic mercury protections, and strengthening the clean energy economy.

When I look at my daughter, I'm encouraged to think of how these victories will protect her health and the planet as she and her generation grows up. The Obama administration has acted thoughtfully to address one of the biggest threats to her future -- climate disruption -- by first thoroughly reviewing the science, and then putting carbon pollution standards in place that will modernize the way we power our country -- a move that will make for healthier kids, families and workers, while creating much-needed jobs.

Granted, we still have a lot of work to do. We still need stronger smog standards, protections from toxic coal ash, and an end to the devastating process of mountaintop removal coal mining. The Sierra Club will continue working hard toward all these goals in the months and years ahead.

In short, we know that the struggle for clean air, clean water, good jobs, and healthy families is far from over -- and it doesn't stop at the coal plant gates or at the coal executive's desk. As so many of you all know, we have to fight everywhere from the halls of Congress to city hall, and on to the voting booth.

Big polluters know that, too -- that's why they are dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into shadowy front groups and propaganda campaigns to help put their political allies in office.

The goal of big polluters is the same as it has been for years: they don't want any new protections in place that would mean they have to clean up their pollution. And if there's an elected official who opposes them, they want to beat them.

Coal companies, along with their big oil cronies, are supporting candidates whose jobs plan is simply pollution without limits. But President Obama has embraced a clean energy future that puts Americans to work without risking the air we breathe and the water we drink.

But this election is about much more than just one person's job -- it's the future of all the things we care about. We have to defend all the victories we've won to ensure that we can build upon them in the years to come -- so that our kids have healthy air and water as they grow up. And we have more work to do.

If the president is defeated, big polluters will get free rein to turn back the clock and begin polluting our air and water without fear of repercussions.

The contrast is clear and the stakes are high. Big polluters may have millions to spend, but we know we have what it takes to beat them: our people. People who are willing to stand up, work hard, and fight for what is right.

It's critical that we lend our voices and our power to ensure we win this fight, ensuring a cleaner, brighter, and healthier future for our country, our families, and our planet.

If President Obama is reelected, he will have a clear mandate to protect Americans' air, water, land and health, creating momentum for progress on the issues we care so deeply about for generations to come. That's an essential victory for parents like me who want a better, safer and healthy future for our kids -- and an essential victory for all Americans.

Paid for by Sierra Club, www.sierraclub.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

 

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