This Tax Day, there's a new message in town: It's time to "Make Big Polluters Pay."
5,000 young voters rallied at the White House to call on President Obama to stand up to Big Polluters and make them pay their fair share. For too long Big Oil and Coal have placed the cost of their pollution on the backs of the American people, dodged taxes and received billions in handouts.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Cherri Foytlin of Gulf Change, and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben addressed the demonstration in front of the White House. They're demanding that the president and Congress stand up to Big Polluters, protect the Clean Air Act, and make corporate polluters like BP pay for their pollution.
The rally is the culmination of Power Shift 2011, a youth clean energy conference and one of the largest grassroots trainings in history. Over 10,000 young people from all 50 states attended the event over the weekend, and keynote speakers included Lisa Jackson, Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, and others.
In the wake of Japan's nuclear disaster, they are calling on the Obama administration and Congress to stand up to big polluters and advance a 100% clean energy economy. Young voters are building a movement powerful enough to counter big corporate interests and make sure that the Obama administration fulfills its promises to lead on clean energy.
"I'm 25 years old and I have a 19 month old son who had to use a breathing machine because the air is so bad in our community," said Destinee Jones, who traveled to Power Shift from Louisiana with Mossville Energy Action Now. "Youth in Mossville are fighting hard, but we need President Obama to stand with us. Our families should be more important than the profits of the corporations poisoning us."
These Millennials wont be stopping in D.C. -- they are going home to build and strengthen grassroots campaigns to stand up to Big Polluters. After a flashmob successfully shutdown a BP station on Sunday, they're planning actions across the country on Wednesday April 20th, the one-year anniversary of the BP Drilling Disaster.