Masada Disenhouse is one of the co-founders of SanDiego350.org which formed in 2011 when the coordinators of the San Diego Moving Planet event were enthusiastic about continuing to work together to grow the climate movement in San Diego. Visit them at www.SanDiego350.org.
SanDiego350.org is on target to visit all five of our members of congress (in San Diego County) by the end of October. We’re asking them to support ending federal subsidies for fossil fuels as part of the larger 350.org effort. We’ve visited three so far and have meetings set up with the offices of the remaining two later in October.
It’s been a real learning experience for us (most people in our group had not met with their congressperson previously) and gave us an opportunity to introduce our group and our concerns regarding climate change to the members of congress. Luckily there were a couple of people in our group who are experienced and helped us put together agendas and talking points and get ready for the meetings. Our talking points include pointing out that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t need any subsidies, discussing San Diego’s leadership and growth in green jobs – which are hampered by fossil fuel subsidies, issues of national security, as well as expressing our concerns about the significant impacts of climate change that are projected for our region, and which are already starting to occur.
Our best visit so far was with Congressman Bob Filner (D). Not only did he support ending all fossil fuel subsidies, but he sent each of the people who attended the meeting a letter to confirm that he had co-sponsored the Keith Ellison / Bernie Sanders bill to end fossil fuel subsidies. Congressman Filner was also a speaker at SanDiego350.org’s very first event, Moving San Diego to a Clean Energy Future, in September 2011.
Congresswoman Susan Davis (D) also supports ending fossil fuel subsidies. She noted in our meeting with her that her voting record indicates her support for ending subsidies.
Finally, we obtained the following quote from Congressman Brian Bilbray (R) after meeting with his Deputy District Director, “If the federal government is serious about reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, then government should create an energy policy where all technologies are considered equally and no one sector receives special treatment. I see climate change as an issue that will require the innovation of the private sector in partnership with the federal government to encourage the development of a true source of clean renewable energy.”
That leaves Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R) and Darrell Issa (R), who we’ll be talking to soon. Check back at our blog for updates. We’re also talking about taking our new advocacy skills to the San Diego City Council members as they prepare to approve the City’s Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (CMAP) to meet the requirements of AB32, California’s Climate Solutions Act of 2006.