show dingell how important global warming is to us on august 6

According to the results of a new bipartisan poll conducted by the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency across 30 congressional districts, there is “overwhelming voter support for the U.S. House to pass fuel efficiency standards at least as strong as those passed by the U.S. Senate in June.” According to their polling data, 84% of people right here in Michigan’s 15th congressional district support legislation that would raise fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2018. In spite of this, however, our Congressman, John Dingell, the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, seems unwilling to propose legislation that would see this happen. I plan to write a hell of a lot more about this in the coming weeks, but, for now, I just wanted to tell those of you who, like me, are Dingell’s constituents, about an upcoming event. In early August, when Dingell returns from D.C., there’s going to be an opportunity in Ypsilanti to reach out and let him know that we’d support him if he took the initiative to lead our country forward in this area.

On Monday, August 6, between noon and 1:00 PM, community members will be gathering at the Congressman’s office to encourage him to help stop global warming. (Dingell’s Ypsilanti offices are at 301 W. Michigan Avenue.) Representatives from Greenpeace will be on hand to deliver over 1,500 messages from Dingell’s constituents and a copy of “An Inconvenient Truth.” (Dingell has said that he has not seen the documentary.) From what I understand, it’s going to be a positive demonstration, during which those assembled will thank Dingell for his years of service, his leadership with regard to the environment in the past, and ask for him to reconsider his current position of global warming. I’m told there will even be cake.

I plan to be there, and I hope that some of you will join me… The future of the world is probably worth a lunch hour, right?

And, when I say “the future of the world” is in our hands, it’s not really hyperbole. John Dingell, in his position as Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will be the man that crafts our nation’s energy policy, and, as we all know, the United States is the entity steering spaceship Earth right now… So, it really is up to us, the men and women of Michigan’s 15th district, to show John Dingell the way. Global warming has to be dealt with now, and, like it or not, we’re the ones that are going to have to do it. Our children, and everyone else around the world, are counting on us.

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  1. Posted July 27, 2007 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Congressman Dingell has been a leader for Michigan for over 50 years.

    People living in Michigan’s 15th District know Congressman John D. Dingell as a tenacious, tireless advocate for their communities. Dingell is called the “Dean of the House” for having served the longest tenure in the 435-member body. He has developed a reputation as a champion for working families and is a leading voice in Congress for making health care affordable and accessible to all families. Over the last five decades, Congressman Dingell has helped to write some of the best known laws protecting our health, as well as the rights of workers and consumers.

    Recently, Congressman Dingell acknowledged the need for global warming policy to cut emissions in the US by 60-80% by the year 2050 – a target put forth by the world’s leading global warming scientists. We commend Congressman Dingell for recognizing the problem of global warming. Unchecked, global warming will continue to fuel more intense heat waves, more severe rain storms, and decreasing snow and ice pack which is putting our winter tourism industries at risk.

    Unfortunately, at the same time Congressman Dingell is talking the talk, he’s not walking the walk. Dingell has been pursuing policy that will make it IMPOSSIBLE to achieve the very same objectives he’s calling for.

    In addition to skirting away from any serious legislation on fuel efficiency, Congressman Dingell wants to:

    – Outlaw state laws that will make cars go further on a gallon of gas
    – Gut part of the Clean Air Act by removing the EPA’s ability to regulate global warming pollution – a position just recently upheld by the Supreme Court
    – Mandate the use of liquid coal – a move that will cost tax-payers billions in subsidies, using outdated technology that would make a hybrid run like a hummer. [Liquid coal fuel emits double the global warming pollution as regular gasoline.]

    Now more than ever, the people of Michigan, the American public and his party’s leadership are calling for true leadership to stop global warming. Congressman Dingell must decide – is he going to lead our country toward real solutions or is he going to take us in the wrong direction?

    I’ll be at Dingell’s “Welcome Home Party” on August 6 12 PM – 1 PM at his Ypsi office (301 W. Michigan Ave.) to send him the message that Michigan, the country, and the world is counting on him to be a champion for real global warming solutions.

  2. egpenet
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Years ago, when Dingell and I were much younger, I was the chief speechwriter for Bob Alexander, who was Chief Car Engineer for Ford. I had the exciting task of helping him present several new energy-efficient/ weight- reduction technologies he had just brought back with him from Europe as head of Ford’s engineering efforts in Europe. One result was the eventual introduction of the Ford Fairmont.

    As an aside … on the handling track, in almost everyone’s estimation, the Ford Mustang Fairmont out-maneuvered and out-paced the current Mustang model. It was a sweeeeet, cheap and fuel-efficient little bugger.

    However, it and its Mercury twin failed to excite the American public. The market wanted horsepower, comfort and heft.

    Leaded gas was still on sale and it was more or less a buck …

    Very soon after, a series of Nixon recessions and then Carter’s big one set the industry on its ear.

    IF … big if … if the Big 3, Dingell, the Levins and the UAW had made the case for the new technologies that were literally on the shelf and ready for production … all of those UAW people would still have jobs today and the imports wouldn’t have stood a chance.

    We have only ourselves (citizens) and our ignorance to blame.

    But that was nearly 40 years ago!

    No time like the present (Aug, 6, 2007) to make it right. Given Gore’s credible predictions, we don’t have much time left to f–k around.

  3. egpenet
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Error-correction … my text says “the Ford Fairmont Mustang” and it was the Ford Fairmont. The Fairmont cleaned the Mustang’s clock in roadability and handling.

  4. Ted
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Dingell thinks he’s helping the auto industry by fighting against better fuel efficiency. What’s obvious to most sane people, however, is that he isn’t. We’re in a different world now and what worked in the past no longer works today. Look at the jobs that have already been lost under his watch. He isn’t saving Michigan jobs. I’m all in favor of supporting Pelosi to work around him.

  5. Posted July 27, 2007 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    First, let me say that there is nothing for me to reconsider on global warming. Unfortunately, judging by your posting, you do not have an accurate understanding of my thinking on global warming. I believe it is a fact, it is being caused by human activity, and we must do something this year to address it. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee I have reported out legislation that will take the first strides in asserting American leadership on this problem. Our bill mandates new efficiency standards for appliances, lighting, buildings, construction, and the electricity grid. Furthermore, it will provide millions of dollars to new research into alternative energy, renewable energy, and new technologies that will help wean us off of burning carbon. This legislation will reduce carbon emissions by 8.6 billion tons; equivalent to the annual emissions of all the cars on the road today in America. For those who say this is not enough, I have two comments. First, you are right – this is the beginning of the process, not the end. Second, these numbers are nothing to shake a stick at and I would note that it is dramatically more than what was done in the previous twelve years of Republican leadership.

    When Congress returns from its August recess I will shortly thereafter introduce comprehensive economy-wide cap-and-trade legislation that will cut our output of carbon dioxide by as much as 80% by 2050. I understand your concern about fuel economy, it is a concern of mine as well and I support raising CAFE standards in a responsible way (even if some of my detractors want you to believe otherwise). I support legislation that will raise these standards to 35 mpg by 2022. It might not be the splashiest number, but it was chosen with great care and deliberation for the thousands of our family members, friends, and neighbors who work in an auto industry that must compete against competitors that do not have the same health care or pension costs. I believe it will spur the technological solutions that will truly force changes in the cars and trucks we drive. And it takes us forward while protecting American jobs.

    I will also be holding town hall meetings on August 7 and 8 specifically about global warming. This is the first time since the Congress began debating the Iraq War that I am having an open forum exclusively devoted to only one subject. I need and want to hear from you, and you need to hear what I am doing, why I am doing it, and how we can work together to solve what I believe will be the moral issue of the 21st Century.

    Here are the details of the town hall meetings:

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007
    Pioneer High School
    Schreiber Auditorium
    601 W Stadium Blvd
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007
    University of Michigan – Dearborn
    Social Sciences Building
    4901 Evergreen Rd
    Dearborn, MI 48124
    (Park in visitor’s parking structure across from building)

    With every good wish,

    Sincerely yours,

    John D. Dingell
    Member of Congress
    15th Congressional District, Michigan

  6. egpenet
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s almost too late, Congressman.

    Rather than improve the automobile and truly set the stage for saving the industry as well as the atmosphere … decisions were made over thirty years ago in boardrooms and at union negotiating tables in Detroit and Deaborn that doommed the American car.

    So, much for hindsight. Your legislation is too little too late.

    Thanks, though. It’s the tought that counts.

  7. edweird
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Ted. Too bad I can’t show up for this. I have a dental appointment for a cavity fill. Ugh.

  8. egpenet
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    What I am having trouble with is … all these years, all the salary paid to this guy (and all the rest) by us taxpayers … he’s got it made … and we’re screwed with rising taxes, no healthcare and a filthy planet. Nice, huh?

    And he’s going to get some thanks on Aug. 6 for being such a sweet guy? Stinks.

    Gas is back down to $2.97 at the BP, so everybody’s going to play nice-nice. What’s it going to take, people, to make you really, really mad? How much can you take before your skin crawls?

    Can you say, apathy?

  9. Robert
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    You know, you guys can act like jackasses here and pretend as if the congressman hasn’t been doing anything on the issue, and I guess we’re supposed to take from that that you’d do a hell of a lot better in his position. You comments don’t hold a lot of water if you don’t at least participate to the level of attending a public meeting on the issue.

    Edweird, are you telling us you are having cavities filled on Tuesday and Wednesday? So you can’t make either town hall event? 30 years ago when all those fools with no foresight didn’t properly prepare for our current situation, guys like you and I should have been taking better care of your teeth we wouldn’t be missing all these public meetings now.

    So guys, maybe you can now tell us a all here a little about all that YOU’VE done to address the global warming issue.

    Have you guy stuck your heads out into the real world lately? You should try it. I’m sorry, but I have some really bad news for you. The world isn’t revolving around people like you and your opinions. There are tens of millions of people out there who strongly disagree with your views, and they very actively oppose anything guys like Congressman Dingell work to get done towards those ideals you hold so comfortably. There’s a fight out there, and your whining from way behind the front lines doesn’t cut it.

    Are we seeing the beginnings of a Edweird/Egpenet 2008 ticket? I’m excited!

  10. Robert
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Please forgive my typos and terrible grammar. You get my point though.

    I just don’t think it makes much sense to be lumping Congressman Dingell in with all those rotten bastards “he’s got it made” in serving with. You know the ones…those assholes that were completely running the show for the past 6 years…at least up until a few months ago. Now they just have to threaten a handful of reps to get what they want.

    Dingell is one of the most responsive individuals you’re going to find in congress. You should quit your whining and give him something he can bring to the table down there in DC. Believe it or not, your displays of self-righteousness don’t put your representative in a better position when he’s down in DC dealing with threats and pressure tactics of the heavy hitters in business and politics.

  11. Posted July 27, 2007 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Compelling contributions, folks.

    First of all, I think I can accurately say I put my head out there quite a bit for global warming. In fact, I’ve devoted the past few years of my life solely to the issue. As a global warming organizer with Greenpeace, I talk to people every day about what they can do to help avert catastrophic climate change. And Robert – you’re right. There are skeptics out there. There are some people who are so overwhelmed by the problem they choose disengagement. But the voices you’re mostly hearing from are fueled from special interest groups – Big coal, oil, and auto (and even ethanol) that have vested interests – and billions of dollars – invested in keeping things how they are. We can’t raise enough money to compete with these special interest groups, but we do have the will of the people behind us. And if every person gets engaged and takes action there is nothing that can stop us. (This is what democracy looks like ;))

    As for the “Thank you” to Dingell…As some of you have mentioned.. Dingell has been in office for more than 50 years and in his tenure he has done a lot for the people of Michigan and America. On the environmental front, Rep. Dingell is responsible for writing the Clean Air Act, Superfund, The Endangered Species Act, and more. In the past he has been a great advocate for the environment. The environmental community (and the majority of America, NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc.) are concerned that Dingell isn’t quick to follow through with Speaker Pelosi’s promise of aggressive global warming legislation.

    We don’t have 6 years like we did with the Clean air act. The luxury of time eludes us with global warming. Scientists tell us we have less than 10 years to avoid catastrophic climate change. So.. it’s important we acknowledge all that Dingell has done in the past, and let him know that we expect that and MORE from him with global warming. The message is “Welcome Home. Now go back to Washington and be a champion for global warming solutions.” When you truly get the severity of climate change, solutions like reducing pollution, investing in clean energy, and increasing efficiency standards are natural progressions.

    Did you all catch those Town Hall Meetings?? Now there’s an opportunity to get your voices heard. If Dingell wants to know what MICHIGAN wants him to do on global warming, it’s important we’re there to tell him.

    Good global warming solutions are good for the environment AND the economy. And I haven’t met a Michigander yet that doesn’t want to secure a future for their children.

    So get involved. And if you can’t attend an event, call up his office – 313-278-2936
    – and get your voice heard. This week Dingell has the opportunity to support House Bills 969 and 1506 as amendments to the Energy package. These provisions legislate improving fuel efficiency in cars and trucks to 35 mpg by 2018 and increasing our use of renewable energy to 20% by 2020. Let him know you support these bills and have him represent you.

    For the Future,

  12. mark
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for your thoughts. I’m particularly honored that the Congressman, or someone from his office, went to the effort of leaving a response. I hope it signals a willingness to engage in dialogue. In hopes that it does, I’ve moved the Congressman’s comment up to the front page so that others visiting the site would be sure to see it. Hopefully it leads to a productive discussion.

  13. Posted July 28, 2007 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    the thousands of our family members, friends, and neighbors who work in an auto industry that must compete against competitors that do not have the same health care or pension costs

    What’s that? Dingell’s going to be introducing legislation for a universal health care system, in order to take up the burden currently hampering our automakers? (Not to mention our small businesses, and our risk-taking entrepreneurs, and our local governments, and everyone else who, y’know, has employees.)

    (In fairness, of course, he’s already made a number of attempts in that direction, e.g. the Kennedy-Dingell “Medicare for All” proposal of earlier this year. It may require a Democratic President before this can actually go anywhere.)

  14. egpenet
    Posted July 28, 2007 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Clean Air, SSuperfund, Endangered Species, etc. … all fantastic programs and necessary. Yes, kudos.

    Looking back at the entire package, it is apparant to us today, all were necessary, and more neeeds to be done, precisely becausee the auto, steel and oil interests were in thee process of polluting the planet … and wanted to be left alone.

    What the eagles, the kids on love canal and the people in Pittsburgh were choking on was our auto-steel-energy gluttony. Now we are paying for that. And all along the way, the Levins, Dingells and others were protecting those very industries.

    Dingell has a nice retirement, nice car, nice house … and how many former UAW members are out looking for a handout today?

    Birnam Woods is about to arrive at Dunsinane.

  15. Robert
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Egpenet, I do understand (and share) your anger and frustration. However, scape-goating Dingell is not fair or productive.

    I probably disagree with Dingell as much as I agree with him, but his record shows he is thoughtful and responsive to his constituents. That is simply not the case with the vast majority of our public representatives.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but several years back, war profiteers finally managed to completely hijack the executive branch of our country, and much of the congress. That’s kind of a big deal, and that’s the world I am living in.

    If you’re living in a world where Dingell is the problem, I’d like to join you. What are you on, and where do I buy a bag?

    I agree that we should be at Dingell’s office on the 6th to demonstrate how many of us feel he should do more to address this issue. But I don’t think you should be looking to turn people against him. It’s crazy. It’s reactions like that which have been taking this country out of the frying pan and dropping us into the fire.

    We could as easily scape-goat all those Nader voters in 2000, couldn’t we? Should I be tracking them down and making sure none of them have nice houses or cars now?

  16. Billy the evil right winger.
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh. Global warming in Michigan. Isn’t it grand? Sipping on a Michigan micro brew while taking a dip in Union Lake. What could be better?

    Just curious if someone could help me out here. I am trying to find out which coal burning power plants, steel mills, or SUV driving republicans were around way back when… you know when Michigan was under a couple hundred feet of ice! That glacial sheet of ice that carved our great lakes as it advanced and receded how many times to create this water wonderland. Golly gee. If we could have only implemented a good carbon credit plan back then, we may still be living on an ice cap.

    Oh well. Thankfully, we have plenty of superior left wing intellects around to save us all from ourselves.

    Good day.

  17. Ted 2
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    It is confusing, isn’t it? When I first started paying attention to the debate – about a year or so ago – like you, I thought that the people against global warming wanted to create another ice age. I was horrified. Like you, I enjoy being alive, and I was pissed. But then, the more that I read, the more it became clear to me that these people against global warming really just wanted to keep things as they have been throughout human history. They don’t want the earth to heat up to the point that crops won’t grow and human life comes to an end. If you’re still confused, let me know. I can email you some drawings.

  18. egpenet
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Sweet sentiments, Ted. How trusting …

    But wrongo!

    Some of those folks are the ones who are praying every Sunday for Armageddon in the Middle East and the Rapture.

    Puts a whole new slant on “Who is thy neighbor,” doesn’t it?

  19. egpenet
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I am simply saying that in my own lifetime, we have had many opportunities in the US and with our allies to turn the situation around. If it wasn’t government, it was oil or industry or the unions saying “No.”

    And here we are again with a choice … and Dingell isn’t saying “No,” he’s saying, let’s think about it some more. He’s stalling.

    No more time to stall. No more time to sequester CO2 from oil gassification. No Yucca Flats to bury stuff. What’s next?

    Go down screaming bloody hell, I guess.

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