Sep 012009
 
Authors: Vince Crespin

Fresh off it’s Thursday energy forum, the Clean Water Group took to the streets on Monday for the first time in a quest to knock on 100,000 doors and garner support for the newest green initiative in Colorado.

The American Clean Energy Security Act, an effort to create jobs in the clean energy industry while making the country more energy efficient that passed the House of Representative three months ago, is currently in the U.S. Senate.

Gary Wockner, director of the Clean Water action group in Fort Collins said the campaign is pivotal in improving the Colorado and national economies.

“We’re doing this to support clean energy in America because we believe it will fight global warming and create green jobs and subsidies for polluting dirty energy,” Wockner said.

The Clean Water Group is the largest environmental organization in the United States with 1.2 million members. The organization specializes in door-to-door advocacy, and Wockner expects the campaign to last for the next six months.

“We are doing our part to help stop global warming,” he said. “As (Secretary of the Interior) Ken Salazar said at the forum just last week (at Fossil Ridge High School), this is the most important issue facing our country right now.”

Katie Sloan, a 23-year-old employee for the Clean Water group, said the organization is a non-profit, non-partisan effort. She said both liberals and conservatives are working together to meet the lofty 100,000-door goal.

Employees of the campaign said they are working together to accomplish the large numbers set out by the campaign in spite of any personal political persuasions. Sloan said she does not see this effort as in favor of one party or the other.

“In general the community has been supportive ’cause they feel it will help the environment,” Sloan said. “. Not too many people enjoy drinking mercury or sulfur, so this act to them is a good idea.”

Nathan Miller, another campaign employee, said Fort Collins may historically be conservative, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t make an effort to be “green.”

“We’re not out there to change hearts. If you answer the door and don’t want anything to do with us, we are not going to try and change your mind. Our job is to empower those who agree with this initiative. We want to educate the people who don’t know the key facts,” Miller said.

However, both Sloan and Miller said campaigners have run into some common problems.

“A lot of residents are paying attention to politicians more then the actual reports. The problem with this is that many politicians are funded by companies that have a vested interest in this one way or the other, so people aren’t getting the facts,” Sloan said.

Staff writer Vince Crespin can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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