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Fired-up Kucinich: We’re reducing earth to a ‘smoking, glowing, oily mess’

By Sahil Kapur
Friday, May 21, 2010 16:29 EDT
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As gallons of oil continue to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) invoked God on the House floor Friday in an impassioned 90-second plea to end our dependence on fossil fuels and preserve “mother earth” with a clean energy economy.

“The creator gave us a paradise,” began Kucinich, “and we, appropriating the power of nature’s God, are turning our planet into a smoking, glowing, oily mess.” Our “reliance on oil, coal and nuclear,” he continued, is “plundering mother earth of her treasures” and “threatens our health, our security, our economy, our nation and the world.”

Pointing to the “destruction of our natural environment” by way of the enormous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he added: “Must we wait until all coastal areas are ruined – all fish, all birds, all animals are injured and killed – before we realize that drilling presents a threat to the fragile ecology of life?”

It was the kind of fiery speech whose transcript is suitable for framing in the Sierra Club’s office. Environmentalists were quite likely to blush with pride over Kucinich’s equally fervent admonishment of the fossil fuel industry’s attempt to ward off a societal shift to clean energy.

“It is not as though there are no alternatives,” Kucinich said. “Markets and industries have conspired for years to shelve the massive introduction of wind and solar technologies.”

Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled an energy reform bill last Wednesday, which employs a cap and trade program to cut carbon emissions and boost sustainable sources of energy, while limiting the expansion of offshore oil exploration.

Analysts have forecast grim prospects for its passage this year, and climate expert Joseph Romm of the blog ClimateProgress.org predicted to Raw Story that it won’t happen without an “all-out push” from the White House, and would be a dead issue in the next Congress.

Far from galvanizing support for an energy overhaul, the Deepwater Horizon spill has dampened its chances in the Senate, as some progressives have withdrawn their support for expanded oil drilling while conservatives haven’t conceded an inch.

“Written in the oily sands of the Gulf,” Kucinich concluded, “our world exists through fragile interconnected systems of life. Our survival depends upon reconciliation with – not exploitation of – the natural world.”

This video is from the House floor, uploaded to YouTube by Kucinich’s office.

 
 
 
 
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