Press Releases

Blog Post

Broad Coalition of Progressive Leaders Call on Congressional Democrats, President Obama to Act More Boldly on Core, Progressive Issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Brad Luna -- 202/812.8140 (cell) or [email protected]

Leaders and Advocates Available for Midterm Election Response, Interviews

WASHINGTON, DC –A broad coalition of progressive leaders and activists are calling on the Democratic Party to act more boldly on core progressive issues and believe that yesterday’s Democratic, electoral losses are largely due to elected leaders not fighting hard enough for popular, progressive change – leaving voters, particularly progressive constituencies, disappointed and disillusioned.

Below are on-the-record statements from each of the progressive leaders and activists. Additionally, there is contact information for each individual for those press interested in submitting a media request or an interview:

Courtney Hight, Executive Director of Energy Action Coalition:

“Will President Obama wake up and realize that young voters bucked the trends in 2008 because of bold leadership and aspirations, not modestly bowing to the corporate interests he vowed to take on. In the wake of these unpopular corporate dominated elections, political leadership has the opportunity to lead a bold progressive agenda behind a clean energy economy - will they seize it?”

Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement. 

** Media Contact: Courtney Hight (541) 554-9679 or [email protected] **

John Aravosis, Founder and Editor of

“During the 2008 election, Barack Obama promised to be the gay community's "fierce advocate." Since that time, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still haven't been repealed, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act can't even get a hearing, and the Department of Justice continues to defend both DADT and DOMA in court. President Obama and the Democratic Congress had the best opportunity in a generation to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans secure our full civil rights. Now that the House has gone Republican, the only way we're going to secure our rights, and not go backwards, is for Democrats to show the bold leadership that was sorely missed the last two years.”

AMERICAblog is a leading progressive political blog based in Washington, DC.

**Media Contact: John Aravosis at [email protected] **

Adam Green, Co-Founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

"Democrats lost because party leaders never truly fought for popular progressive reforms like the public option and breaking up the big banks, leaving voters uninspired to come to the polls and vote Democratic. What the average voter saw of Democrats was weak, watered-down change -- and weak Democratic leaders who cut deals with the very Wall Street banks and insurance companies they are supposed to be fighting. Progressives will demand boldness, reward bold leaders, reject ‘leaders’ in name only, and hold Democratic politicians accountable when they don’t fight for popular, progressive change."

Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is a 400,000 member grassroots organization dedicated to electing progressives to Congress and fighting for progressive policy change.

** Media Contact: Adam Green at [email protected] **

Jorge Mursuli, President of Democracia USA/Democracia Inc.:

“The Hispanic community has been disappointed with both political parties throughout the past decade for their lack of progress on immigration reform. Obviously the state of the economy and job losses have aggravated that disappointment during this election cycle and in some instances that translated into Hispanics wanting to disengage from the political process altogether. That is not what we want or need and certainly if either party wants to come courting again-they will need to reenergize the community by showing bold leadership and tackling those issues that matter most to us in a way that delivers tangible results.”

Democracia USA (DUSA) is a national, multi-year, non-partisan Hispanic voter registration, civic engagement and leadership development organization that seeks to increase the prominence and participation of Latinos in the American democratic process.

** Media contact: Camila Gallardo at (305) 573-7329 **

Jessy Tolkan, Youth Movement Organizer, Former Executive Director of Energy Action Coalition:

“Young voters are the most progressive constituency in America, even amidst the Republican "tidal wave" young voters preferred democrats by nearly 15 points. The potential for youth turnout was huge, but Democratic leaders and our administration failed to seize key opportunities to deliver on the progressive agenda that would have undoubtedly inspired far higher turnout amongst their core base - YOUNG PEOPLE. The lesson Democrats and President Obama should take away from last night's outcome is not to run to the center, or back down from the fight, the lesson is to be bold and stand up for the progressive values this generation holds.”

Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.

** Media Contact: Jessy Tolkan at (414) 520-5655 or [email protected] **

Rob “Biko” Baker, Executive Director of League of Young Voters:

“Youth led organizations took this election very seriously. We worked hard and set rigorous goals. We had to. Going in we knew that the there would not be a big investment in our organizing efforts or the issues that we are the most passionate about. Although we wish we could have done more, I am positive that the data will highlight the important efforts of young leaders to mobilize their peers. Without bold leadership from both parties, young people will continue to question whether the civic process can help them build bright futures. Elected officials can no longer play lip service to our issues and expect youth organizations to carry the burden of inspiring young voters. We will no longer be ignored. There is too much at stake.”

The League of Young Voters Education Fund mobilizes low income and youth of color to participate in the civic process.

**Media Contact: Misty Anderson at [email protected] **

Robin McGehee, Co-Founder and Director of GetEQUAL:

“Two years ago, we walked into the ballot booth with hope that bold, progressive leaders would take the mantle and move all Americans forward. Sadly, this Election Day, we walked into the voting booth uninspired and exhausted from the long road of broken promises. We don't have an "enthusiasm gap.” We have a disappointment canyon fueled by the transactional politics that the Democratic Party chose to wield. We simply want President Obama and Congressional leaders to show the same courage when casting votes as they show when cashing checks -- and we'll continue to take to the streets until Republicans and Democrats together place us on the road to full federal equality for LGBT Americans.”

GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization fighting

** Media Contact: For media interested in booking an interview or any further press request, please contact Brad Luna, Luna Media Group, at 202-812-8140 (cell) or via email at [email protected] **

Flavia de la Fuente, Editor of and organizer with the Dream is Coming Project:

"We urge our political leadership to champion even more stridently immigration reform, like the DREAM Act, that is based on hard work, education, and service. As we will not be standing idly by as dreams continue to be deferred, we ask for champions, not fair-weather friends.” is a multicultural, migrant youth-led, social media hub for the movement to pass the DREAM Act and pursue the enactment of other forms of legislation that aim to mend the broken immigration system."

** Media Contact: [email protected] **

Miriam Zoila Perez, Editor of

“Last night is proof that pandering to the Blue Dogs is not a winning strategy for Democrats. Ineffective centrist policy making is not what brought young voters and first time voters to the polls. Instead, a progressive vision for the future and the promise of a set of policies that will get us there is what brought record numbers out for Change and Hope in 2008. We saw voters reject right wing ideology by defeating conservative ballot initiatives and winning progressive ones in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, Arizona and Montana. We will not let our leaders use this election as an excuse not to be bold. Now more than ever we need them to dig their boots and stand their ground. The future of this country (and their jobs) depend on it.” is an online community for feminists and their allies.

** Media Contact: Miriam Zoila Perez at [email protected] **

James Rucker, Executive Director of

"African Americans didn't come out to vote and volunteer with the same energy as in 2008, in large part because the Democratic Party didn't fight hard enough on issues that matter to black people. Democrats need to ramp up their commitment to addressing unemployment and the foreclosure crisis — both of which disproportionately affect our communities. Listening to the Republicans and Wall Street in the wake of this election is not going to bring about the changes we need, or help Democrats win in 2012. Fighting harder to deliver on the change they promised in '08 is the only way to make clear to voters that Democrats represent a real alternative to the failed policies of the past."

With more than 700,000 members, ColorOfChange is the largest advocacy community dedicated to amplifying Black America's political voice.

**Media Contact: Brandon Hatler at (212) 691-2800 or [email protected] **

May Boeve, US Campaign Director,

“Big oil fought like hell in this election and Democrats failed to fight back. Democrats looking for a way forward on energy and climate should turn to California, where we beat back Big Oil's attack on our climate laws not by giving in or compromising but by holding our ground.” is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice deman

**Media Contact: May Boeve at (707) 815-0054 or [email protected] . **

Roberto Lovato, Co-Founder,

“Presente and its members stand ready to do the necessary work to move the country towards the progressive majority that both led to President Obama's historic election and swept the Democrats into power in 2008. The question is whether the Democrats will step up and listen to the message of that progressive majority that Presente members represent. On numerous issues of concern to our community-financial reform, war, immigration, and many other issues-the President and the Democrats have not heeded the very voice that elected them, and, as a result, they find themselves in the very unenviable position defined for them by their own inaction: losing power. The future of the country is at great risk and the Democrats cannot and will not avoid this risk without listening to the progressive majority.”

With over 250,000 members, is the largest online community dedicated to serving the Latino community in the United States.

** Media Contact: Brandon Hatler at (212) 691-2800 or [email protected] . **

Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, Choice USA:

“What inspires voters is a vision for change and the determination to see it through. Holding the line and ensuring the status quo does not make for an enthusiastic base. People keep asking what it is that Obama can do to achieve victory in the next 2 years. I believe he must inspire young people by staying true to the promises he made during his campaign and to encourage candidates and Congress to do the same. We need our leaders to be fearless. And in the next 2 years we will be looking to our leaders to be fearless in fighting for a progressive platform on Immigration, Reproductive Health, the Economy and the Environment. See you in 2012. Until then, we’ll be watching!”

Choice USA mobilizes and provides ongoing support to the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders who promote and protect reproductive choice both now and in the future.

**Media Contact: Kate Childs Graham at [email protected] or 202.709.7195 **

Joe Sudbay, Deputy Editor of AMERICAblog and AMERICAblog Gay:

“Last week, I told President Obama that "there is a certain amount of disillusionment and disappointment in our community right now." The President told me that he didn't think the disillusionment "is justified." He may think our concerns aren't justified, but he's wrong. They're real. And, if the White House doesn't grasp that -- and soon, the damage may be irreparable. The LGBT community wants to be equal. And, we're not feeling any closer to that often promised goal.”

AMERICAblog is a leading progressive political blog based in Washington, DC.

** Media Contact: John Aravosis (202) 262-9302 **

Pablo Alvarado, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON):

"What those in Arizona and the students advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act have shown is that bold action is not only possible but that it sparks a movement when taken. At a time when our communities are suffering, whether it be from job loss or families separated in immigration raids, we need leaders in Washington to be as brave as the undocumented youth, as bold as those defying the terror of Sheriff Arpaio, to guide us to a new day. Tuesday's results do not call for a retreat from the reform agenda that so many are hungry for. It is a wake-up call for enlivened progressive leadership that could invigorate a movement. Together we could write a new chapter in the history of this country. The opportunity is there. If only our leaders would take it."

NDLON improves the lives of day laborers in the United States and works to strengthens its member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize, and organize day laborers in order to protect their civil, labor and human rights.

**Media Contact: B. Loewe (773)-791-4668 or [email protected] **

Gaby Pacheco, Co-Founder of the Trail of Dreams:

“Our Latino community came out strong and made it possible for Democrats in Colorado, California, and Nevada to win their elections. I was able to witness first-hand how immigrant youth canvassed and drove out the vote. Now is the time to show Democrats that if they want our vote and support in 2012, they must be bold and push for key legislation like the DREAM Act. Our immigrant community is not voiceless; as a matter of fact, it has a megaphone: our first, second, and third generation Latino voters. If anything, this election showed that we're watching, and we know how to mobilize.”

Trail of Dreams is a student-activist organization advocating for the immediate passage of the Dream Act and a moratorium on the deportation of Dream Act eligible students.

** Media Contact: [email protected] **



Blog Post

Youth Voters Lead Decisive Victory Against Big Oil, Defeat Prop 23

For Immediate Release: November 2nd, 2010

Gabe Elsner, Power Vote California Campaign Director
(310) 738-3738, [email protected]
Whit Jones, Power Vote National Field Director
(914) 671-1880, [email protected]
Young voters lead decisive victory against Big Oil, for climate
Thousands stand up to Big Oil and defeat Proposition 23 & 26
Young voters celebrated a decisive victory against Big Oil in defeating Propositions 23 and 26, two deceptive ballot measures to wreck California's clean energy economy.
The California Student Sustainability Coalition's Power Vote Campaign united thousands of young Californians behind a creative grassroots campaign that exposed Big Oil's dirty ploy, and mobilized thousands of voters to defeat it. The campaign partnered with student networks across the state to turn out the student vote, worked with a community coalition to launch a Clean Energy Hip Hop Tour that merged arts and activism, and directly confronted oil interests like the Koch Brothers through creative protest” said Gabe Elsner, Campaign Director for the Power Vote California Campaign.
Power Vote California's “No on 23” campaign, in partnership with CalPIRG and Environment California, organized on over 50 campuses and collected over 160,000 pledges to vote.
In the final days, campuses across the state used brass-tacks organizing tactics and an online new media strategy to get out the youth vote:
  • At CSU Chico students paraded voters to the polls – they hosted a concert at the center of campus to attract thousands of voters, and called over 600 of them with get-out-the-vote reminders.
  • On the eve of the election, the Clean Energy Hip Hop Tour stopped at Sacramento State University to mobilize hundreds of young people to help get out the vote against Prop 23.
  • City College of San Francisco, while watching the World Series, called over 1000 students to ensure California had multiple victories over Texas this week.
In an election that's been characterized by record corporate spending, capitulation to moderation, and a lack of leadership behind clean energy, the victory against Proposition 23 demonstrates that the youth vote is capable of delivering a victory for clean energy when the choices are on the table,” said Courtney Hight, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition, a national youth coalition of clean energy organizations, “Clean energy victories will continue to motivate young voters and we'll build off of this decisive victory to create more of them.”
The battle against Proposition 23 and 26 illuminated that across the country Big Oil and special interests are corrupting our democratic process. Joel Francis, a student leader at Cal State, Los Angeles brought national attention to this issue when he challenged oilman Charles Koch to debate Proposition 23. It drew coverage from New York Times, BusinessWeek, Forbes and Huffington Post.
**Interviews and images are available upon request**
Gabe Elsner, Power Vote California Campaign Director, (310) 738-3738, [email protected]
For more information, visit:

Blog Post

Youth Clean Energy Voters Show The Leadership They Demand

For Immediate Release: November 2nd, 2010

Contact: Whit Jones, Power Vote Field Director
(914) 671-1880, [email protected]
Youth Clean Energy Voters Show The Leadership They Demand
Thousands stand up to Big Oil and dirty money attacks
In an election that's been characterized by record corporate spending, capitulation to moderation, and a lack of leadership behind visionary ideas, the youth clean energy vote is showing the leadership it demands. United behind the Power Vote campaign, in hundreds of locations around the country, thousands of young voters are standing up to Big Oil, confronting special interests, and advancing bold clean energy solutions.
California – young voters fight Big Oil's Dirty Energy Proposition
In California, where the stakes couldn't be clearer, thousands of young voters are mobilizing to defeat Proposition 23, a deceptive ballot measure funded by Big Oil interests to wreck California's clean energy economy. The California Student Sustainability Coalition's (CSSC) Power Vote Campaign, in partnership with CalPIRG and Environment California, has organized on over 50 campuses and collected over 160,000 “No on Prop 23 pledges.” The CSSC, working with community colleges and the Clean Energy Tour, a traveling hip hop show, has reached beyond traditional students to make sure the diversity of the Millennial generation is represented on November 2nd. A creative debate challenge from Joel Francis, a student leader at Cal State, Los Angeles, to Charles Koch, one of the lead financiers of Proposition 23, has drawn national attention to the people-powered battle against dirty corporate interests.
Virginia – Windmills Not Oilspills
Across the commonwealth of Virginia, young people are using their vote to rally support for clean energy opportunities that can replace dangerous energy. They've carried their message for “Windmills Not Oilspills” to political debates across the state, including to Virginia's 5th Congressional District where their most active has been a voice in the tight race. Over 1000 young people from Charlottesville and University of Virginia have pledged to carry their demands for clean energy to the ballot box. In the run up to the the election they organized 'Dorm Storms' to mobilize their generation to vote.
Florida – Solar in the Sunshine State
In the wake of the BP oil disaster, the Southern Energy Network and young voters across Florida knew that they had to mobilize to protect Florida's shores. Over 5000 young voters have been engaged in their campaign to promote Solar in the Sunshine state. Creative actions like “Human oil spills” and “Marches to the polls” have led young voters to the polls with a message for clean energy.
Ohio – young voters push to revitalize the Rust Belt with clean economy solutions
Young voters in Ohio are building support for a clean energy economy that can revitalize the Rust Belt and move us beyond coal with clean energy jobs. On Halloween they built support for high-speed rail wearing “mass transit train” costumes at political rallies and Trick-Out-The-Vote events. Today they called over 1400 young voters at a phonebank from Oberlin College.
Texas – Holding elected officials accountable to our communities
In San Antonio, young leaders working with the Southwest Workers Union and the “Nuestra Voz” (Our Voice) campaign have been mobilizing young voters around the community's “Peoples' Power Plan.” Through block-walking, voter education and outreach at high schools, they're building community support and power..
**Interviews and images are available for all of the stories above.**
For more information, visit:
or see Huffington Post:

Blog Post

CA Students Force Debate With Koch Bros on Prop 23

Contact: Gabriel Elsner, 310-738-3738,  [email protected]


CA Student Leader, Debate Team Alumnus Challenges Koch to Debate Prop. 23

If Ignored, Will Go to Wichita to Present Challenge in Person About Koch’s Attempt to “Wreck” California’s Clean Energy Economy  


Los Angeles Cal State L.A. debate team alumnus, former student leader and Marine Corps veteran Joel Francis today challenged Charles Koch to debate the Koch-backed Proposition 23 initiative “anytime, anywhere” in the state of California. If his challenge is ignored, Francis says he will be at Koch’s Wichita, Kansas, headquarters on Tuesday to follow up on the challenge.

Francis issued the challenge via video as a part of Power Vote California, a project of the California Student Sustainability Coalition, a coalition that is fighting the initiative that Koch has backed with at least a million dollars. If passed on November 2, Prop. 23 would suspend California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Passed in 2006, AB 32 ensures the innovation and development of clean energy solutions like solar, electric cars and more.

Francis and Power Vote California are particularly concerned that suspending AB 32 would “wreck” the most promising employment sector for students and graduates entering the job market.

Since 2005, California green jobs have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average. Now, 500,000 employees work in clean technology or green jobs in the state. One hundred economists from California and around the world have called for a “No” vote on Prop. 23 and protect AB 32 because of the legislation’s importance to California’s economic stability.

As a senior, I like that clean economy jobs have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average, but I’m deeply concerned that Prop. 23 would jeopardize $10 billion of private investment in the state’s clean economy, the most promising employment sector for young Californians,” Francis said. “If you are going to try to hurt the economy of a state you don’t even live in, then you ought to have the courage to explain yourself in person.”

If his challenge is ignored, Francis plans to travel to Wichita early next week to deliver his debate challenge letter to Koch’s office in person.

Mr. Koch, I get that you and your corporation don’t want to be part of our clean energy future. That’s your free-market choice. But that doesn’t mean you get to wreck its development for everyone else,” Francis said. “I’m not going to let you hide behind your billions of dollars in Wichita, Kansas. If I don’t hear back from you by Tuesday, I will be at the front door of your office to issue this challenge again in person. As the CEO of one of the largest privately held companies in the country, I know you can’t possibly be afraid of just one college student.”  

# # #


About California Student Sustainability Coalition -

The California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) is uniting and empowering California's community of higher education to collaboratively and nonviolently transform ourselves and our institutions based on our inherent social, economic, and ecological responsibilities. It was founded in 2003. 

Blog Post

Statement by Courtney Hight, Executive Director of Energy Action Coalition, in response to Announcement Regarding Solar Panels on the White House


 October 5, 2010

Contact: Courtney Hight, Executive Director, 541 554 9679 or [email protected]

The following is a statement from Energy Action Coalition Executive Director Courtney Hight on the announcement that solar panels will be installed on the roof of the White House:

"Energy Action Coalition applauds President Obama for taking a strong symbolic step and urges him to go beyond symbolic commitments and drive real progress on clean energy and taking action on climate change.

"Energy Action Coalition has been calling for President Obama to lead on this issue, in collaboration with and many others. The act of putting solar panels on the White House is a demonstration that young people across the country have been heard as we have asked our President to match our actions in pioneering renewable energy solutions.

"While we celebrate today, we won’t be satisfied until our country has a comprehensive approach to develop a clean energy economy that addresses our nation’s pressing environmental and economic issues. We need an Apollo-style program to revitalize our economy and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to what the science demands. We will hold the Administration accountable to their commitment to prioritize these issues in 2011, and will continue to advance local solutions and build support across the country."

The partners of Energy Action Coalition are Black Mesa Water Coalition, CALPIRG, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CONNPIRG, Campus Progress, the California Student Sustainability Coalition, the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, The DC Project, Earth Day Network, Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, Energy Justice Network, Grand Aspirations, Greenpeace, Green For All, Global Exchange, Indigenous Environmental Network, League of Young Voters, MASSPIRG, NJPIRG, National Wildlife Federation, Rainforest Action Network, REDOIL, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Restoring Eden, Southern Energy Network, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Southwest Workers' Union, Sierra Student Coalition, SustainUS, Sierra Youth Coalition, WASHPIRG, WISPIRG.


Blog Post

Hundreds Rally at White House Against Offshore Drilling, Part of 800 Events Across the Globe

For immediate release: June 26, 2010

Contact: Whit Jones, Energy Action Coalition, 914-671-1880
Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0748

**Photo and video is available**

Citizens Bring 'Hands Across The Sand' Action to White House
To Demand an End to Offshore Drilling and Leadership from Obama

DC event brings voices of 800 events across the country to White House doorstep


Hundreds of people joined hands in front of the White House today to draw a line against offshore drilling and Big Oil handouts. They delivered the voices and messages of thousands of people participating in today's nationwide “Hands Across The Sand” rallies.

Over 800 communities are participating in “Hands Across The Sand,” lining up on beaches and coastlines and joining hands together to say “No” to offshore drilling and “Yes” to a clean energy future. The events will represent the largest-yet outpouring of grassroots activism in response to the Gulf oil disaster.

This message was delivered to the White House as polls show that the public wants President Obama to demonstrate more decisive leadership and lead the Senate towards bold climate and energy legislation.

Young voters across the country are watching to see how political leaders handle this situation, and whether they choose to stand with Big Oil or future generations” said Ethan Nuss, Co-Field Director of Energy Action Coalition, “Today, we are drawing our line in the sand against Big Oil and seizing the moment to bring about a clean energy future. We call on President Obama and our elected leaders to stand with people, not polluters.”

People joined hands in front of the White House holding large banners that read “End Big Oil Handouts” and “Safe, Clean Energy Now.” They heard from people directly impacted in the Gulf.

"The citizens of the Gulf Coast are feeling the effects of oil companies' drilling and abuses. They are ready for clean energy. We need strong leadership now." said Darryl Malek-Wiley, a resident of the Gulf with the New Orleans Sierra Club.

“Today the Hip Hop community is drawing a line in the sand. We must separate oil and politics because the time has come for us to ban offshore drilling and ensure passage of strong comprehensive climate and energy legislation this year. Our future demands no less" said Rev Lennox Yearwood Jr., President of the Hip Hop Caucus

The event was sponsored by Energy Action Coalition, Sierra Club, 1Sky, Hip Hop Caucus, Chesapeake Climate Action Network,, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen, and Greenpeace.

Contact: Whit Jones, 914-671-1880, [email protected]

**Photo and video is available**

For more information visit or


Blog Post

Statement by Energy Action Coalition Executive Director Courtney Hight on the latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll

June 18, 2010
Contact: Whit Jones, Field Director, 914-671-1880 

Washington, DC - Energy Action Coalition Executive Director Courtney Hight issued the following statement in response to the latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll:

"The latest National Journal Congressional Connection poll confirms what we've long known; young voters are motivated by ambitious vision and action on clean energy and the climate crisis. In light of the Gulf oil disaster, young people are looking for courageous action from their political leaders and, as Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff, notes, leading boldly on clean energy is 'a way to get them engaged in the coming election.'


Energy Action Coalition, a coalition of 50-youth led environmental and social justice organizations, is committed to seeing bold action from our political leaders in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster and beyond. We've rallied to call for a Crude Awakening, and on June 26th will join with Hands Across the Sand to demand that President Obama and Congress shift Big Oil handouts to clean energy investments that can move us beyond oil in the next 20 years. 

Moving into the fall, the Coalition will build on it's Power Vote 2008 campaign which mobilized 350,000 young voters for clean energy, to demonstrate that as the Millennial generation comes to power we continue to expect leadership on these issues."


The partners of Energy Action Coalition are Black Mesa Water Coalition, CALPIRG, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CONNPIRG, Campus Progress, the California Student Sustainability Coalition, the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, The DC Project, Earth Day Network, Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, Energy Justice Network, Grand Aspirations, Greenpeace, Green For All, Global Exchange, Indigenous Environmental Network, League of Young Voters, MASSPIRG, NJPIRG, National Wildlife Federation, Rainforest Action Network, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Restoring Eden, Southern Energy Network, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Southwest Workers' Union, Sierra Student Coalition, SustainUS, Sierra Youth Coalition, WASHPIRG, WISPIRG. 


Blog Post

45 Vigils and Rallies Call For a Crude Awakening, On 1-month Anniversary of Drilling Disaster

CONTACTt: Whit Jones, Energy Action Coalition, 914-671-1880, [email protected]

45 Vigils and Rallies Call For a Crude Awakening, On 1-month Anniversary of Drilling Disaster
Young people call for BP drilling disaster to be turning point in nation's energy policy

Young people across the country are marking tomorrow -- the one-month anniversary of the drilling disaster -- with vigils and rallies across the country. The Crude Awakening day of action is calling for BP to take full responsibility for the cleanup and damages of the oil spill, and for our politicians to break their ties with Big Oil and bring about a clean energy economy, starting with re-instating the ban on new offshore drilling. These events are taking place in response to the ongoing spill and elected officials in Washington, DC continuing to advance dangerous energy policy, like the Dirty Air Act.

Over 45 events are planned, they include:

  • Candlelight vigils along the coast of Florida and in Grand Isle, LA to remember the 11 lives lost in the tragedy.
  • Public theatre and a vigil in San Antonio, TX at the site of a recent oil refinery explosion -- another reminder that fossil fuels are dangerous.
  • A rally at Senator Graham's office hosted by the Southern Energy Network, and students from across South Carolina to urge him to renew his leadership on the climate and energy bill, and transition us away from dirty and dangerous energy like offshore oil drilling.
  • Protests at BP stations, including in Edison, NJ, Santa Cruz, CA.

VISUALS: Photos of vigils, rallies and protests in response to the BP drilling disaster and Gulf oil spill.

WHEN: Beginning May 20th

WHERE: Cities, campuses and communities across the country.
For more information, or to be connected with event organizers across the country, please contact Whit Jones, 914-671-1880, [email protected]

Visit: for more info on the Crude Awakening events taking place across the country.

Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of Southern Energy Network, Southwest Workers Union, and 40 other youth-lead organizations working to bring about a transition to a clean and safe energy economy. For more info visit:

Blog Post

“Human Oil Spill” storms Senate offices on eve of Dirty Air Act Vote

CONTACT: Ethan Nuss, (202) 631-1992 or [email protected]

“Human Oil Spill” storms Senate offices on eve of Dirty Air Act Vote
Young people storm Mukowski’s office outraged for her support of another Big Oil Bailout

WHAT: Young people will deliver a “Crude Awakening” to Senator Murkowski in the form of a “human oil spill.” People will flood her office dressed in black demanding that she not give another big oil bailout with the Dirty Air Act, and instead commit to a clean and safe energy economy. This action takes place on the eve of the 1-month anniversary of the oil spill, which young people will be marking across the country with over 40 vigils and rallies.

STATEMENT of Ethan Nuss, Field Director for the Energy Action Coalition, which is coordinating this Crude Awakening event here in DC and across the country:

“With the oil spill devastating the Gulf Coast, it's painfully clear that this isn't the time for another big oil bailout with Senator Murkowski's Dirty Air Act. Young people here in DC and around the country realize that and we taking action to expose the dirty antics of politicians paid off by Big Oil.”

VISUALS: Young people dressed in black with signs reading “this is your Crude Awakening, no Dirty Air Act, no Big Oil Bail Out, Clean Energy Now”

WHEN: Wednesday, May 19th at 11:30 am

WHERE: Senator Murkowski's office, Hart Senate Office Building, 7th Floor

For more information, or to speak to an Energy Action Coalition spokesperson, please contact Ethan Nuss at (202) 631-1992 / [email protected]

Visit: for more info on the Crude Awakening events taking place across the country.




Blog Post

Clean Energy Supporters Deliver “Obama, This Is Your Crude Awakening” Banner to White House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Contact: Phil Aroneanu,, 551.486.5833
Whit Jones, Energy Action Coalition, 914.671.1880
Anne Havemann, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, 202.997.2466

Clean Energy Supporters Deliver “Obama, This Is Your Crude Awakening” Banner to White House
In wake of grave environmental disaster, DC and Gulf residents unite for clean, safe, energy

Washington, D.C. (5/11/10)—DC-area residents marched from the Department of Interior to the White House today to present a 50-foot-long banner with the message, "President Obama: this is your crude awakening." The banner was signed by Gulf residents on Saturday and demanded that President Obama drop his dangerous support for offshore oil and gas drilling in favor of clean, renewable energy instead.

Since the initial oil rig explosion on April 20, millions of Americans have voiced outrage at what some are calling the worst environmental catastrophe in a generation. Approximately 3.3 million gallons have spilled so far.

"This just reminds us, in a powerful way, how dirty the energy we rely on is," said environmental writer Bill McKibben. "If anything good is going to come out of this, it'll be because it focuses our attention -- but more palpably, focuses the president's attention -- on questions of dirty energy."

After the rally, a number of participants planned on attending the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s hearing on the oil spill. Many wore black t-shirts that said “Energy Shouldn’t Cost Lives.”

"The American people know that energy shouldn’t cost lives. BP’s oil spill has reinvigorated a growing national movement to prevent Big Oil from writing our energy policy and hold President Obama accountable to his campaign promises of independence from oil," said Rebecca Tarbottom of Rainforest Action Network.

Many rally participants traveled into D.C. from Virginia to voice their opposition to offshore drilling. Virginia is on track to become the first state on the East Coast to open its shores to offshore oil drilling now that President Obama has announced plans to lift a 20-year moratorium.

Last Thursday the Department of the Interior postponed hearings on a proposed lease sale off Virginia’s coast. Despite the delay, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell believes that the lease sale, planned for early 2012, will go forward as planned.

“Virginians don’t want dangerous oil drilling off their coast to satisfy just six days’ worth of U.S. demand,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “Instead of expanding offshore oil drilling, Virginia should be leading the way in developing offshore wind power. Wind, not oil, is the right direction for Virginia and for the nation.”










Photo, credit Chris Eichler: