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Climate Change Activist Lands White House Meeting After His One-Man Protest

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 12 2013

Remember Brad Johnson, the climate change activist who interrupted White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett's speech during RootsCamp last November?

At the time, Johnson shouted that he wanted President Obama to make climate change a higher-profile priority within his administration. Jarrett first tried to ignore him, and then promised afterwards that she'd take a meeting with him in the White House. The president's influential advisor wasn't ultimately able to attend a scheduled meeting, but the campaign manager for Forecast the Facts did get one and a half hours with the White House's Council on Environmental Quality's Associate Director Rohan Patel, and two members of Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force on Monday. Johnson brought along a few of the community leaders from New York and New Jersey who have been active in local recovery efforts.

In addition to filling in the members of the task force and Patel on how those efforts are going, the group said that they hoped that the reconstruction efforts would be sustainable, energy efficient and subject to local community input.

Asked what he wants to hear from the President in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, Johnson said that he expected the president to announce an end to his "all of the above" energy policy, and a focus on moving America away from fossil fuels. He also wants an acknowledgement that many residents of the East Coast are still suffering from the impact of the hurricane.

The White House aides told Johnson to be on the lookout for new climate change initiatives in upcoming weeks, but he remained skeptical.

"I do worry that the White House is going to compromise by supporting both clean and dirty energy, and hoping that that's good enough," he said. "It does not help us if the United States reduces its emissions while increasing fossil fuel exports. It doesn't count as a win"

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