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One of the greatest joys in the 2006 election, amid the triumph of capturing both the House and Senate, came with now Congressman Jerry McNerney's defeat of Richard Pombo in CA-11. Pombo was in real competition to be the worst member of Congress when it came to energy and environmental issues.  On the other hand, McNerney knows energy, clean energy

During his career in wind energy, McNerney's work contributed to saving the equivalent of approximately 30 million barrels of oil, or 8.3 million tons of carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas - as well as other harmful pollutants.

In 2008, across the country, we have the opportunity for similarly stark shifts from Energy Dumb to Energy Smart elected officials.  

On this 38th Earth Day, you (and I) can take action to help ensure that the 39th Earth Day will be better than today's by sending some $.01s toward Energy Smart/Earth-Friendly challengers across the country.

WE can make a difference

The WE can solve campaign has opened, with $300 million dedicated to highlighting Global Warming concerns and the importance of Federal action to help guide America toward a sustainable and prosperous future. WE, however, is a non-partisan effort. It will raise the issues, highlight the concerns of Global Warming, but not be explicit about what that translates to for political contributions, volunteering for political efforts, and who to pull the lever for in the ballot box.

There will be attention brought, from many angles, to energy and environmental (principally Global Warming) issues in the coming months and, WE can hope, within the campaigns.  We can help bring focus to this discussion, to the electoral implications of the challenges and opportunities we face as individuals, communities, and nation.  

The opportunity is before us to bring focus to this issue across campaigns, across the United States, and make Energy/Global Warming a winning issue come November and a higher priority for serious Congressional and Administration action come January 2009.  Not Fear but Courage... Rather than fearing action in facing of our challenges, our effort can help spread the Courage and determination for action.  

Energy Smart vs Energy Dumb

The Energy Smart Act Blue page focuses on challengers who offer an opportunity to change the discussion and votes when it comes to energy and environmental issues in Congress. In some cases, these are incredibly "Energy Smart" candidates (such as Tom Perriello, VA-05) , in other cases, their opponents are incredibly Energy/Earth Dumb (such as Andrew Rice, OK Senate, who is running against James Inhofe (R-Exxon)), and, actually, they are mainly both at the same time (great example being Debbie Cook, CA-46, running against Dana Rohrabacker).  What is the Energy Smart Act Blue's core principle:

All of the candidates on this list will help foster a Congress and political climate conducive for more meaningful action toward a Prosperous, Climate Friendly America through dealing with the challenges of Peak Oil and Global Warming.

These are all challengers who are fighting somewhat uphill battles to change the dialogue in Washington.  Some help from the NetRoots could help push them over the crest of the hill and to The Hill.

Who are these Energy Smart challengers who are working to remove some Energy Dumb/Earth Unfriendly voices from Congress?

We have a good problem in 2008: the environment is good for electing candidates who will be better for the environment.  But, they need our support. And, through our explicit support due to their Energy-Smart/Earth-Friendly positions, we have the chance to strengthen the importance of these issues in campaigns across the country and strengthen their chances for positive action when they hit the Hill running.

For more information about these candidates and the philosophy behind the list, see Vote Energy Smart, not Energy Dumb.  Note: this list is not focused on primaries and there are some great opportunities/situations where Energy Smart candidates are vying against each other in the primary.  After primaries, the nominee will be added to the list.  And, as per that other discussion, very willing to hear of other candidates that should be on that list ...

However, time for some action ...

So, what should one write on for Earth Day 2008?  That was a question I pondered ... and, helping these candidates is about the best thing that I can think to do.  So, now it is time for me to go send some pennies (+) to some tremendous people who are fighting to see that the next Congress will have greater understanding about critical isssues of Global Warming and energy.  Care about Earth Day and want to help make every day earth day in America, then Act Blue in an Energy Smart/Earth-Friendly way.

Originally posted to A Siegel on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:11 AM PDT.

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