“Although plenty of outside groups poured money into these contests, even some representatives of the fossil-fuel industry said that environmentalists had invested their resources wisely in 2012.”
-- Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, November 9, 2012
The 2012 political season was high stakes, with energy issues playing front and center in most major campaigns. The Sierra Club sought to present voters with a brighter future, in which a still-great America builds its economy on sustainable energy, while protecting its air, land, and water. The Sierra Club's political strategy grew out of our ongoing work to move beyond fossil fuels to clean energy.
With an eye toward building the power of the environmental community to deliver on this agenda in the next few years we set goals to elect environmental champions -- including President Obama -- to demonstrate the power of clean/dirty energy issues, and to create opportunities to expand clean energy markets.
It worked. By framing many of the state and federal races with environmental issues, we not only won many of our battles, we facilitated a shift in power that will help us win the war against dirty energy and its effects on the planet.
Looking Forward to 2014
"We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."
-- President Obama, November 6, 2012
In an election season that included record spending by special interests seeking to put profits before people, Americans chose leaders who will push for safe, sustainable, economically sound energy, keep our air and water free from pollutants, and protect our public lands from the devastation of over-mining. The Sierra Club helped make that possible.
This is a pivotal moment in the fight to stop climate change. The fossil fuel industry is on the ropes. Clean energy is on the rise. Extreme politicians and extreme weather, from the nationwide drought to Superstorm Sandy, have removed all doubt that the time for political resolve is now.
In 2013 and 2014, the Sierra Club will promote leaders who take bold action on climate and clean energy, and expose those who still choose toxic money over human health.