Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie

I’d tell you where I went this weekend, but then I’d probably have to kill you or erase your mind or something.  It’s not like I did anything illegal, but to the people who have large stakes in the coal industry, the things that my friends and I did were shit list-worthy.

Our plan to leave by noon on Friday was thwarted, so by the time we were approaching our location, it was dark outside, and the coal processing plants we passed looked like lit-up roller coasters at Cedar Point. 

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On Tuesday, President Barack Obama earned the opportunity to lead our country for another four years. And that means that our movement must fight harder for climate action than we ever have before. The candidate that the fossil fuel lobby spent millions trying to get into the White House lost last. But if clean energy is going to win, our movement must be ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work right away. There isn’t a moment to lose.

Big Oil, Big Coal and the 1% pledged to spend record amounts -- over $1 billion -- trying to rollback the progress we’ve made on building a clean energy economy, but once again we showed that people power can overcome. And it almost worked.

For the first time in many of our lives, climate wasn’t even mentioned in the Presidential debates. Instead, we saw a race to the bottom as the candidates competed over who had the plan to burn the planet the fastest.

But time and time again, our movement rose to the occasion; we organized people power to stand up to all the dirty money, and misleading TV ads that led to a near silence on climate change. We organized with people in the grassroots to demand climate action, and demand the candidates break their silence.

And on Tuesday, thanks to many of you, our generation proved it’s power and it’s passion when we mobilized like never before: in 2012, Millennials were any even greater share of the electorate than we were in 2008. Nobody expected this. With all the challenges and growing cynicism, people expected that youth vote would stay home; but we didn’t, we showed them that no matter how great the challenge, we’re determined to meet it.

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There’s not a lot to say about this election that hasn’t already been said, but there’s one story you haven’t been hearing enough about: it’s a story about us, but mostly it’s a story about you.

Our generation is going to vote in record numbers, and our voices will be heard. More importantly though, your voice will be heard, on the issues and the candidates that matter to you.

Find your polling place and hours:

Once you go to the polls, make this “I Voted” badge your Facebook profile image to join our virtual vote mob.

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One of the biggest regrets I have is not voting in my first presidential election, the 2008 election.

At the time it was one more thing to think about while planning to live abroad. As the election drew near, I could feel the buzz of it in France and within the community of American students I studied with. On election night, every American student I knew in my town stayed up all night as the results came in, myself included. But I didn't know that every time after that the '08 election is mentioned, that sinking feeling in my gut would reappear as my friends recount their experiences. 

I wish one of my peers had told me "your vote is important, here's how to make sure your vote counts."

This year is different. I have spent every day of the last few months talking with every young person I know and meet about their right to vote and how to utilize it.

Tonight, just like waiting to open presents on Christmas morning, I am eagerly awaiting going to my polling location tomorrow. Tomorrow will be my first time voting in a presidential election. After, I will wear my "I Voted" sticker proudly and then I will go to the phones, again. And I will talk to my friends, again. And I will go on facebook, again. 

Your vote is important. Now get out there and vote!

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