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Power the Future declares Earth Day a day of visibility for American fossil fuel workers

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A non-profit organization that advocates for energy workers has declared Earth Day a day of visibility for American fossil fuel workers.

“American energy workers make every aspect of life possible, and yet instead of appreciation, they are met with outright hostility from the Biden White House and other environmental extremists,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power The Future, said in a news release on Friday.

The organization has named April 22 the first Fossil Fuel Worker Day of Visibility and has planned a multi-faceted digital ad campaign consisting of a pledge and mobile billboards circling the White House and National Mall in Washington, D.C., according to the news release.

“America’s fossil fuel workers provide the energy that powers our way of life, and they do such a good job, millions are able to take energy for granted,” Larry Behrens, director of Communications at Power the Future, told The Center Square. “However, we should never take them for granted because they are the men and women who power our cars, heat our homes, and make our economy possible.”

The pledge that will be posted on the Power the Future website during the campaign seeks to “honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of working Americans” and calls upon all Americans to lift up the “lives and voices of fossil fuel workers throughout our nation and to work toward eliminating arrogance and contempt based on the extreme climate agenda.”

The digital ad campaign will coincide with national Earth Day demonstrations in the district, according to Behrens.

“Without fossil fuel workers, Earth Day protestors wouldn’t be able to travel or have the materials for their hypocritical demonstrations,” Behrens said.

The climate group Extinction Rebellion, who have planned a demonstration in Washington, D.C., for Earth Day, pushed back against Power the Future’s campaign in a statement to The Center Square. The group says it is a non-partisan movement that uses non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade the government to take action in the climate crisis, according to its website.

“There is unified consensus among climate scientists that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change,” Extinction Rebellion D.C. organizer Reilly Polka told The Center Square. “In order to have safe, secure jobs, we must unify and work together for the healthy, thriving future we deserve.”

Washington elites are trying to falsely divide the labor and environmental movements, Polka said.

“For nearly two centuries, American working men have been put at risk of death to make profit for wealthy elites in Washington,” Polka said. “Now, those same elites want to twist the message of a green future to divide the labor and environmental movement. That just isn’t possible: workers are the glue that holds our society together, and without their rights, there can be no climate justice.”

Declare Emergency, a climate campaign that demonstrates in Washington D.C., said though the nation should be grateful to fossil fuel workers, it is time to move forward.

“We agree with Power the Future that we owe much gratitude to fossil fuel energy workers for their contributions to the miracles of modern life which we, and other Global North core economies enjoy — from dependable food, clothing, heating and cooling, lighting, shelter, transportation to health care, etc.,” Declare Emergency supporter Timothy William Martin told The Center Square. “And while humanity has definitely benefited from fossil-fuel-driven GDP economic growth over the last century, it is now past time to transition towards ‘safely maturing’ the core economies of the world so they no longer require growth.”

Martin said the country should work toward an economic model that maintains safe and stable conditions for life and promotes social justice and equity for all, including fossil fuel workers.

Power the Future hopes the nation’s fossil fuel workers will feel supported and appreciated by the ad campaign, Behrens said.

“They have been demonized since Joe Biden took office and they need to know every-day Americans are thankful of the work they do, even if the Biden administration isn’t,” Behrens said.