powershift2.jpg
During a tour of the Capitol with Levin's Albion student intern Tony Gorga, Albion students sneak away into Senator Levin's hideaway. Left to right: Heather Nobert, Catie Castelli, Kara Sherman, John Youle, Josiah Fallot, Seth Dawson, William Armstrong, Kevin Nawrot and Lisa Anderson.
A dozen Albion College students converged with other young leaders this month in Washington, D.C. ready to flex their political muscle for a greener future. Power Shift '09 drew more than 12,000 students from across the country to demand that the president and Congress pass a bold climate and energy policy that prioritizes renewable energy, green job creation, and an aggressive cap on carbon emissions.

"I'm even more excited than I was before to tackle the challenges of climate change and carbon neutrality here at Albion," said first-year student Heather Nobert, "Knowing that there are so many people who are dedicated to this is empowering."

 

powershift3.jpg
Michigan students gather during Power Shift '09
The participants attended legislative sessions and "activist" training seminars, providing information on working with legislators and community groups. 500 Michigan students met to discuss statewide efforts they could undertake, and the entire national group spent an "action day" in the capitol, lobbying their states' legislators.

 

 

 

"My favorite panel was on environmental justice," said junior Kara Sherman, chemistry major with a concentration in environmental science. "When this change to "greening" our economy happens, and hopefully it will be soon, we need to make sure that we are doing it in a just way. We will have to take care of the people that work in jobs that will no longer be in use. We will have to make sure that there is never a time when people cannot afford energy.

powershift4.jpg
In front of the Capitol during the Power Shift '09 rally
"Reducing CO2 on a worldwide scale will require the collaboration of many," Sherman, concluding, noting that the U.S. is a critical player in the international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. "If America does not do some serious work now… we will fall short when we could be leading the way for smaller, less developed countries. If we come [to the international conference in Copenhagen] with strong policy it will set a standard and we will be able to have hope."

"Power Shift '09 was organized by the Energy Action Coalition, which has grown over the past four years to include 50 national organizations, over 700 local groups and hundreds of thousands of young people all working together to successfully fight for clean energy solutions, and the creation of new green economy. For more information visit: http://www.powershift09.org/"www.powershift09.org