Bates students to take part in D.C. energy demonstration

Fifty Bates College students are among an estimated 10,000 young people from around the United States who will gather in the nation’s capital on Feb. 27 for a four-day summit supporting immediate action on climate, energy and economic issues.

The “Power Shift ’09″ summit mounted in Washington, D.C., by the Energy Action Coalition will rally for creation of a bold national climate and energy policy that prioritizes renewable energy, green job creation and an aggressive cap on carbon emissions.

“It’s the responsibility of American young people to rise up and demand more progressive climate change legislation,” says Robert Friedman, a Bates sophomore from Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., and co-president of the Bates Energy Action Movement, which organized the college’s presence at the summit. “Our representatives have not been doing their job in representing their constituency.”

Friedman says, “Power Shift 09 will be the largest climate change conference and demonstration in the history of the world. We want action on this issue, and we want it — and need it — now.”

The Energy Action Coalition includes 50 national organizations, more than 700 local groups and hundreds of thousands of young people working together to fight for clean energy solutions and the creation of a new green economy.

The summit kicks off on Friday, Feb. 27, with a press conference featuring Al Gore and youth leaders, and culminates on Monday, March 2, with a mass gathering on Capitol Hill. The summit will also include seminars, panels and workshops; a “green career” fair; legislative briefings and activist trainings; and a day of action during which thousands of young people will flood the halls of Congress to lobby their representatives.

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