We defend Sen. Hagan because she stands up to polluters

Stephen Smith | March 24, 2014 | Energy Policy
Kay Hagan PhotoFor more than a decade, Senator Kay Hagan has worked to promote clean air and public health here in NC. Back in 2002, when Hagan served as a NC state senator, she championed the groundbreaking NC Clean Smokestacks Act – hailed as a model for controlling multiple air pollutants from old coal-fired power plants – in order to reduce smog and haze-forming emissions that negatively impact public health. Fast forward to today, and Senator Hagan is still standing up for policies that protect public health vs. siding with corporate polluters. A few weeks ago, she spoke about the dangers that climate pollution poses to NC and the need to enact prudent policies that reduce carbon pollution, clean the air and protect public health at the same time.

Major corporate polluters have noticed and are spending big to attack Hagan: Charles and David Koch, have spent more than $8.2 million in attack ads in the state to date. These ads aren’t the first time that the Koch brothers have used their money and influence in an attempt to maintain the status quo when it comes to energy policy and climate change. As I noted in a blog back in 2011, the Koch Brothers have a long history of investing heavily in climate denial in an attempt to maximize private profits in their extremely profitable fossil fuel businesses.

In an effort to push back against these efforts and show that we support leaders who embrace and champion clean energy solutions to climate change, my organization – Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) – has joined forces with local as well as national organizations to launch an ad campaign of our own to say “thank you” to Senator Hagan for standing up for clean air and healthy families with the understanding that we can support our businesses and protect public health from dangerous air pollution; we don’t have to choose.

We thank Senator Hagan, and other Congressional champions, for holding polluters accountable and working to secure public health protections for all citizens. If you live in North Carolina, please call Senator Hagan’s office and thank her for standing up for clean air, clean energy policies and climate action!

This is why I say, Fossil fuel corporations and their wealthy benefactors are not only polluting our air, and disrupting our climate, they are polluting our politics.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has over 35 years of experience affecting positive change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as…
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