Thursday, May 21, 2009

Protesters Arrested Outside Rep. Boucher's Office

Any minute now, the House Energy & Commerce Committee is expected to pass the American American Clean Energy & Security Act (HR 2454), also known as Waxman-Markey.

Earlier today, 15 protesters were arrested outside the office of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), who's been working to weaken the bill. Grist has more on the protest:

“It’s really a statement about Boucher and the leadership he has assumed in gutting the bill and giving billions of dollars to polluters,” CCAN communications director Anne Havemann told Grist after the protest.

Boucher has been very open throughout the process about his talks with coal companies about the bill. “In the course of conducting other negotiations, I have had continued conversations with coal companies, both locally and nationally, including the chief executive officers of CONSOL ... which operates the largest mine in Southwest Virginia, and Michael Quillen, the chief executive officer of Alpha, which is our region’s largest coal producer,” Boucher said recently. “I have been in discussions with Mike Morris, the chief executive officer of AEP, and Tom Ferrell, who is chief executive officer of Dominion, which is Virginia’s largest electricity supplier.”

But Boucher hasn’t made himself quite so accessible to foes of coal, prompting the sit-in today. “He doesn’t meet with groups like us,” said Havemann. “We’ve tried for months.”

Wouldn't it be nice if Rep. Boucher could join the fight for a clean energy future and green jobs instead of protecting the dirty coal industry and its rapidly dwindling number of mining jobs?

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