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Matt Petersen

Matt Petersen

Posted: May 8, 2010 04:00 PM

For the Mothers of the Gulf Coast, and Mother Earth

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As we continue to watch the disastrous impact of the BP Horizon oil catastrophe, the children and families of Gulf Coast mothers -- fishermen, indigenous people, and residents -- are struggling to make ends meet.  Parents are struggling to even feed their families after their livelihoods have been abruptly terminated by the impacts of the spill.  
 
Our nation and the world sadly watch Louisiana, yet again, in growing horror as a catastrophic man-made disaster begins to exact its heavy toll on America.  

Global Green first mobilized in the days after Hurricane Katrina to help the Gulf Coast and New Orleans rebuild better, healthier, and greener. Now just as the City of New Orleans was riding the wave of the Saints' Super Bowl win and the incoming new Mayor (Mitch Landrieu, who was inaugurated this past Monday), our work sadly shifts focus to recovering from the massive oil spill that puts the entire region's sustainable recovery and economy at risk. Our New Orleans office of 11 staff is mobilizing to support the communities on the coast, and help organize the green businesses and other nonprofits to respond.

As Mother Day is upon us, let us all stand with the mothers of the Gulf Coast whose families are suffering. We must come together and show BP executives that we will no longer tolerate corporate greed taking short cuts and cost cutting measures that put millions of people, and fragile ecosystems, at risk.

Let us not just mourn for the 11 victims who lost their lives when BP's deep drill rig exploded last 2 weeks ago -- or for the 29 coal miners recently killed in West Virginia -- we must act as a nation. How many more lives must be lost in providing us with the energy we need to maintain our modern lives by working in one of the world's most dangerous industries -- carbon intensive energy production -- before we increase regulations to protect health, safety, and the environment?

On Mother's Day, let us celebrate those that give us life -- our mothers and Mother Earth. On Monday, let us come together to demand our leaders to pass legislation requiring more regulation of not just the financial industry, but our oil and coal gas sectors as well, to protect human lives as well as the natural systems that give us life. We join hands with the fishing communities to prepare for the future, and meet their needs in the coming weeks and years. We must not allow for 20 years to pass before fishermen receive their checks from BP, as has happened with those impacted with the Exxon Valdez.

Let us no longer wait for increasing fuel efficiency of vehicles far in the future -- we must call for accelerated and increased CAFÉ standards now, and stronger standards in the years to come. Let us move rapidly to invest in clean energy, conservation and efficiency, and make the Gulf Coast continue to be a key engine of our energy production. But instead of just oil and gas, let's make the Gulf Coast the birthplace of the green job revolution with cleaner fuels, renewable power, green building, and energy efficiency.

We cannot sit idly by and allow this to become just another tragic oil spill.  We must mobilize to help Louisiana and the Gulf recover and draw a line in the sand in New Orleans -- the first American city that will feel the impact of sea level rise due to global warming -- to demand change today.