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Road Trip: NY Youth Lead March on DC for Clean Energy

February 27, 2009

Albany, NY - As many as a thousand young New Yorkers will join nearly 10,000 others from around the country in Washington D.C. this weekend to demand federal action on climate and energy policy. PowerShift '09 is four days of panels, workshops, networking, demonstrating, lobbying and rallying on Capitol Hill.

Lisa Madry, campus field director with the National Wildlife Federation, says New York will be well-represented.

"New York has the largest delegation of any state. Some of them have come to this through working on their campuses to get their campuses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."

Jackson Morris, air and energy program associate for Environmental Advocates of New York, says a strong voter turnout of young people last fall contributed to the election of a president who is serious about the issue of climate change. Morris is encouraged by what he sees as a groundswell of support for climate policy.

"Before, it was almost like banging your head against the wall and now these groups really see an opportunity to continue to push. The issue of climate change is really evolving to the point where the general public is starting to understand that it is very real and something we need to address right away."

Some critics remain skeptical that global warming is human-caused, and many argue the economic impact of President Obama's proposed cap-and-trade plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions would be too great. PowerShift '09 participants will urge politicians to stand up to what they call the dirty energy lobby.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY