OFA’s Climate Change Offensive

Posted on June 5, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

By James Scott

OFATo the delight of some environmental advocates and the sighs of others, Organizing for Action (OFA), the advocacy group formed from the remnants of the 2012 Obama presidential campaign, has launched a nationwide initiative to build support for the administration’s climate change agenda.

Climate change advocates have long complained that the Obama administration has failed on its campaign pledge to keep the issue on the front burner. Some applauded OFA’s action; others said it doesn’t go far enough.

The OFA initiative started with an email blast to the organization’s 20 million subscribers that contained a video urging accountability for climate change deniers in the Congress. And while activists will surely see the OFA initiative as a step in the right direction, it doesn’t contain specific policy or legislation proposals.

“If we ever want to see real progress on climate change, we need to change the conversation in Washington — right now. We need every member of Congress to be part of the solution. OFA is going to hold these climate deniers accountable — even if we have to go one by one,” the e-mail said.

Then, last week, OFA activists held press conferences and other events in 50 locations in more than 20 states. Here too the initiative focused on criticizing Republicans who have blocked any meaningful action on climate change.

The White House has been stymied in its efforts to enact climate-change regulations by the Republican majority in the House and a lack of a veto-proof majority in the Senate. In 2010, a major climate change measure was rejected in the Senate making a new initiative unlikely in the short-term.

Still, climate change activists hope new attention to the issue will lead to the election of more sympathetic lawmakers. And while there has been no progress in Washington, they want to make sure states do not roll back renewable-energy laws.

Some environmentalists believe the White House and OFA are not going far enough in pushing an ambitious climate change agenda. They had hoped, for example, that OFA and the president would reject the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

In an interview last week with the Washington Post, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said environmentalists are disappointed in the administration’s lack of leadership on climate change.

“Four months after the President’s inauguration, there’s no climate plan, no timeline, and an expansion of drilling on public lands. If this is what it means to make fighting climate a priority, then we’re all in trouble,” he said.

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.

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