I just returned from a rally at the White House where hundreds of people joined the nationwide Hands Across The Sand. Our rally is one of 800 where people joined hands and used our bodies to draw a line against offshore drilling and for clean energy. Energy Action Coalition joined Dave Rauschkolb's vision for today with a host of other groups from the Sierra Club, Surfrider and Hip Hop Caucus to pull this together, but it's the grassroots leadership that's really astounding.
We just got a report back from students at the University of South Florida; they organized over 300 people to stand on the beaches of Treasure Island, Fl. "We were overwhelmed with the number of people who turned out to our event" said Dan Cannon from the Southern Energy Network, "all sorts of people showed up -- the community down here gets it, and is ready to seize the moment to move beyond oil. The question that is on everybody's lips is whether Obama will join us."
The options are becoming quite clear. Continue to stand with Big Oil and jeopardize our future, or stand with people ready to move forward into a clean energy future. Right now we have the opportunity to take action on the scale of the Apollo project. We sent a man to the moon in 10 years. That only happened because President Kennedy made it a priority and invested resources into it. To shift our economy to a clean energy economy, we need full backing of the President, Congress, and the Senate.
The President has an opportunity to lead this week. He's hosting a meeting with Senate leadership to discuss climate and energy legislation. I hope at this meeting the President will stand with the American people and push for a climate bill that will reign in Big Oil and launch this Apollo Project. Mr. President, when you meet with the Senate this week, be the leader that millions of young people believed you could be when we voted you into office. Stand up for us. Stand up to the Senators that resist the change we need. Stand up to the people that apologize to BP. Demand that the Senate create bold comprehensive energy legislation that caps carbon emissions.
If there has ever been a time to act, it is now. Oil is gushing into the ocean, destroying all life in its path. Meanwhile, government support continues to gush towards oil companies. Ten billion dollars in handouts go to the dirty energy industry in the form of subsidies, tax cuts and loopholes. This is outrageous -- this money should be invested in an Apollo project to move us beyond oil.
Senators and President Obama, the choices are quite clear: the people or the polluters? Who will you choose?