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75 OLYMPIC MEDALISTS AND OTHER WINTER SPORTS ATHLETES URGE OBAMA ACTION ON CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY

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    As Pro Snowboarder Jeremy Jones Receives White House “Champions of Change” Award, He and 75 Top Athletes Speak Out for 23 Million Winter Sports Enthusiasts, $12.2 Billion Winter Tourism Industry

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 9, 2013 – Warning that “winter is in trouble,” 75 Olympic medalists and other winter sports athletes – including White House “Champion of Change” awardee and pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones – are sending a letter to President Obama today urging the President to take action on climate and clean energy.

    The representatives of the global snow sports community signing the letter include X Games champions and World Champion snowboarders, alpine/Nordic skiers and professional climbers, including:

    • Olympic gold and silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA)
    • Olympic silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO)
    • 10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year Jeremy Jones (Truckee, CA)
    • Olympic silver medalist, three-time World champion, seven-time X Games champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT)
    • Two-time Olympian and six-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Truckee, CA)
    • Olympic gold & silver medalist, six-time X Games medalist, six-time World Cup champion Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT)
    • 2010 Olympian, Nordic skier Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK)
    • Five-time winner Powder Magazine’s Best Female Performer Ingrid Backstrom (Seattle, WA)
    • Two-time World Freeskiing champion Chris Davenport (Aspen, CO)
    • Two- time World Freeeskiing champion, Kit Deslauriers (Jackson, WY)
    • 2013 World champion, X Games medalist Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO)

    “Without a doubt, winter is in trouble,” the letter states. “… at risk are the economies of tourist-dependent states where winter tourism generates $12.2 billion in revenue annually, supports 212,000 jobs and $7 billion in salaries.  Those are the jobs and businesses owned by our friends and families, generators of billions in federal and state income.”

    Jones is being honored on April 11 at a White House ceremony along with other “Champions of Change,” in recognition of “ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

    Jones is being recognized for his contribution to raising awareness about the impact of climate change on the winter sports industry by creating “Protect Our Winters,” a foundation established in 2007 to unite and mobilize the global winter sports community against climate change.

    “This nomination is an absolute honor for me and the work we’re doing at POW.  But it’s now my responsibility to take this recognition and help secure a place in the climate discussions in Washington.  The letter that’s been enthusiastically signed by so many amazing athletes is a strong showing of solidarity from the leaders in snow sports on climate action, so together, we have to keep that momentum going,” Jones said.

    The letter to the president references a December 2012 report published by Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council highlighting the economic impact of inconsistent winters on the U.S. snow sports community and tourism-dependent states.  (See http://www.protectourwinters.org/climate_report/.)

    The athletes’ letter calls on Obama to follow through on the promise he made in the State of the Union address to fight climate change. He can do so by using executive authority currently available to reduce carbon pollution emitted by America’s power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution worsening climate change, and by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would add millions of tons of new carbon pollution to the atmosphere.

    “Mr. President, it’s time to force our transition to clean energy, and we need your leadership,” the letter states. “…on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised.”

    To hear recording of the press conference call with Gretchen Bleiler, Jeremy Jones, Ingrid Backstrom and Kit Deslauriers, please just click here:   http://www.hastingsgroupmedia.com/POW/040913POWathleteletter.mp3

    The full text of the letter follows:

    “Dear President Obama,

    During the recent State of the Union address, you urged Congress to “get together, pursue a bipartisan market-based solution to climate change…but if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.” 

    As professional athletes, representing a community of 23 million winter sports enthusiasts, we’re witnessing climate change first-hand.  Last year was the warmest year on record, and once again, we’re currently experiencing another winter season of inconsistent snow and questionable extremes.  Without a doubt, winter is in trouble.

    And with this lack of consistent snow, at risk are the economies of tourist-dependent states where winter tourism generates $12.2 billion in revenue annually, supports 212,000 jobs and $7 billion in salaries.  Those are the jobs and businesses owned by our friends and families, generators of billions in federal and state income.

    The good news is that because we know this warming is human-caused, we can do something about it and it can be done, now, from limiting carbon pollution from our nation’s dirty power plants to rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

    First, it is time to tackle pollution from the biggest emitters in the United States: power plants.  We’re asking for you to issue standards under the Clean Air Act that cut carbon pollution from America’s aging power plant fleet – at least 25 percent by 2020, while boosting energy efficiency and shifting to clean energy sources. Power plants are our largest source of carbon pollution.  Cleaning them up will create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs, meet the pollution targets set for the country, and restore U.S. international leadership.

    Furthermore, we urge you to reject dirty fuels like tar sands. Specifically, reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.

    Mr. President, it’s time to force our transition to clean energy, these are the first big steps and we need your leadership.

    Again, on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised.

    Thank you,

    Jeremy Jones – Truckee, CA  10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year

    Gretchen Bleiler – Aspen, CO Olympic silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist

    Chris Davenport  – Aspen, CO  Professional skier, two-time world freeskiing champion

    Ingrid Backstrom – Seattle, WA  Five-time winner Powder Magazine’s Best Female Performer

    Kit Deslauriers – Jackson, WY  Two time World Freeskiing Champion

    Julia Mancuso  – Olympic Valley, CA  Olympic gold and silver medalist

    Lindsey Jacobellis – Stratton, VT Olympic silver medalist, three-time World Champion, seven-time X Games champion

    Nate Holland – Truckee, CA  Two-time Olympian and six-time X Games gold medalist

    Hannah Teter – Belmont, VT  Olympic gold & silver medalist, six-time X Games medalist, six-time World Cup Champion

    Kikkan Randall – Anchorage, AK  2010 Olympian, Nordic

    Arielle Gold – Steamboat Springs, CO  2013 World Champion, X Games medalist

    Leo Ahrens – Salt Lake City, UT   Professional skier

    Ralph Backstrom – Squaw Valley, CA  2013 World Freeride World Tour Champion

    Molly Baker – Salt Lake City, UT   Professional skier

    Mikkel Bang – Norway  Champion, US Open

    Cody Barnhill – Anchorage, AK  Professional skier

    Ashley Battersby – Chicago, IL  Professional skier, Dew Tour winner

    Hana Beaman – Salt Lake City, UT  Two-time X Games silver medalist, Two-time US Open gold medalist

    Jenn Berg – San Francisco, CA  Professional skier

    Chris Benchetler – Bishop, CA  Professional skier

    Jake Black – Keystone, CO  Professional snowboarder

    Zachary Black – Keystone, CO Professional snowboarder

    Jake Blauvelt – Waterbury, VT Professional snowboarder, US Open champion

    Tricia Byrnes – Stratton, VT Professional snowboarder

    Sammy Carlson – Hood River, OR Professional skier

    Julian Carr – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier

    Sage Cattabriga-Alosa – Salt Lake City, UT  Freesking World Tour Podium,  Peoples Choice Winner (Powder Magazine)

    Jonathan Cheever – Saugus, MA  Professional snowboarder, US Champion, two time World Cup silver medalist

    Ted Davenport – Aspen, Colorado   Professional skier, two time World Heli Champion

    Danny Davis – Truckee, CA  Grand Prix Champion, US, European, Australian and NZ Open podium

    Xavier de le Rue – France  Olympian and three-time Freeride World Champion

    Maria Debari – Seattle, WA  Professional snowboarder

    Grete Eliassen – Salt Lake City, UT  X Games Medalist, US Open Champion

    Kaitlyn Farrington – Salt Lake City, UT  X Games, Dew Tour and Grand Prix Champion

    Benji Farrow – Breckenridge, CO  Professional snowboarder, US Open bronze medalist

    Kimmy Fasani – Mammoth Lakes, CA   Three time USASA Slopestyle Champion

    Wendy Fisher – Crested Butte, CO  Professional skier

    Pep Fujas – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier, X Games silver medalist

    Scott Gaffney – Squaw Valley, CA Professional skier

    Pete Gaston – Aspen, CO   Professional skier

    Caroline Gleich – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier

    Suz Graham – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier

    Chas Guldemond – Laconia, NH  Professional snowboarder

    Terje Haakonson – Norway  Three-time world champion, five-time European Champion, three-time US Open Champion

    Moss Halladay – Squaw Valley, CA  Professional snowboarder

    Kim Havell – Jackson, WY  Professional skier

    Elena Hight – Kauai, HI  Olympian and X Games silver & bronze medalist

    Alex Honnold – Sacramento, CA  Professional climber

    Noah Howell – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier

    Jennifer Hudak  – Hamden, CT  Professional skier

    Graham I. Watanabe – Hailey, ID  Professional skier.  2010 US Olympian.

    Hans K Mindnich – Stowe, VT  Professional snowboarder

    Nils K. Mindnich – Stowe, VT  Professional snowboarder

    Matt Ladley – Chicago, IL   Professional snowboarder

    Christopher Laker – Park City, UT  Professional skier

    Eric Larsen – Boulder, CO  Polar Explorer

    Iris Lazzareschi – Squaw Valley, CA   Freeride World Tour winner

    Nick Martini – Boulder, CO  First place Dew Tour

    Andrew McLean – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier

    Jess McMillan – Jackson, WY  Professional skier

    Jaclyn Paaso – Boston, MA   Professional skier

    Michelle Parker – Truckee, CA  Professional skier

    Jamey Parks – Salt Lake City, UT  Professional skier

    Kevin Pearce – Norwich, VT  Four time X Games medalist

    Callum Pettit – Pemberton, B.C.  Professional skier

    Megan Pischke – Vancouver, BC  Professional snowboarder

    Mike Riddle – Vancouver, BC Professional skier, Gold medal World Ski Championships

    Erik Roner – Tahoe, City, CA  Professional skier

    Marie-France Roy – Vancouver, BC  US Open two-time podium

    Elyse Saugstad – Olympic Valley, CA  2008 Freeride World Champion

    Maddy Schaffrick – Steamboat Springs, CO  Silver medal Copper Grand Prix

    Alex Schlopy – Park City, UT   X Games Gold medalist, Gold Medal World Ski Championships

    Chanelle Sladics – Breckenridge, CO  X Games Silver medalist

    Chris Tatsuno – Sun Valley, ID  Professional skier

    Cody Townsend – Santa Cruz, CA  Professional skier

     


    Posted on: April 9th, 2013