Climate Hawk Tom Perriello To Head Center For American Progress Action Fund

Perriello Cap

Climate Progress is a project Center For American Progress Action Fund.  So I’m delighted to report that Former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) will be taking over as President of CAPAF.

At the same time, my terrific CAPAF colleague, Tara McGuinness, will be both Senior Vice President of the Action Fund and Senior Vice President of Communications at CAP.  As HuffPost puts it:

The announcement caps off a major period of transition for the influential think-tank and advocacy organization. CAP’s founder, John Podesta, recently stepped down from the post of president and was replaced by Neera Tanden, a former top adviser to Presidents Clinton and Obama. Jennifer Palmieri, who headed CAP’s Action Fund, recently left to take on a communications position inside the Obama White House. Her former job, which included the title of Senior Vice President of Communications at CAP, will be split between Perriello and McGuinness.

Climate Progress readers will remember that Perriello emerged is a true climate hawk during the  congressional debate over the climate bill.  He famously said, “The Republicans may win some seats because of this vote, but they can’t regain their souls for demagoguing the issue.”

Here’s more from Perriello in February 2010 telling the “spineless Senate” to get “its head out of its rear end” and confront climate crisis:

I’m sick of starting with what can we get through the Senate; let’s start with what solves the damn problem. Until the Senate gets its head out of its rear end and starts to see the crisis we’re in, our country is literally at risk. Our economy is at risk, because these jobs are being created overseas. It should have the same urgency with this problem that it had bailing out Wall Street. We are swearing an oath to do what’s necessary to protect this country, not do what’s necessary to get a bill through the Senate.

And this:

This is the challenge of our time … the jobs opportunity, the national security challenge, the scientific challenge of our era. Any plan that uses market forces to signal a carbon-constrained environment is going to move us in the right direction. People who don’t support this kind of aggressive energy independence are just selling Americans short.

– We’re so far behind China, Europe, and other areas in the energy jobs of the future because neither party has had the guts to take this on. There are so many spineless people in D.C.

– Every week the Senate doesn’t act, it either freezes that investment and innovation or it sends it overseas. We’re giving up jobs. The Senate … the ridiculous tactics of the Republicans and the timidity of the Democrats””is standing in the way of the kind of job creation we need.

– Unfortunately, good ideas, ideas that could save our country, sometimes take 30 minutes to explain and only 30 seconds to demagogue. In between those two things is leadership, and we haven’t had the moral courage to take this on.

Join me in welcoming Perriello to the Center.

10 Responses to Climate Hawk Tom Perriello To Head Center For American Progress Action Fund

  1. Sarah says:

    Yeah! Fantastic selection!
    Welcome Tom!

  2. David B. Benson says:


  3. Raul M. says:

    good morning,
    It looks to be a busy day with quite a bit going on.
    Good luck.

  4. Raul M. says:

    While it’s true nighttime lighting helps with short term safety, to replace with personal flashlights there is much less waste than lighting up the entire city on the prospect of someone being out at night.

  5. fj says:

    Senators Franken and Whitehouse address the Senate on climate science & scientific consensus @skepticscience

  6. Jeff H says:

    Very Mixed Feelings

    Part of me wants to congratulate all these folks. So, congratulations.

    But the larger part of me — and the part that is issue-focused, analytic, and at least half-aware — wants to use this opportunity to point out an immense problem.

    The revolving doors between the Dem party and CAP — put on display quite clearly here (does anyone disagree?) — ultimately have huge implications when it comes to the degree that CAP, including CP, can apply independent thinking and convey independent views in order to actually help GET THE DAMN CLIMATE CHANGE PROBLEM ADDRESSED.

    The essential truth of that point should require no explanation (to anyone who has been paying attention).

    So I am rather amazed — not sure, really, what to do. Perhaps a question?

    Joe, in order to force climate change to be a more active and honest issue in the upcoming political process, do you think that a credible panel of Demo candidates for President should run against President Obama in a Demo primary process, as some have suggested?

    Or, do you think that climate hawks ought to demand an answer from President Obama to this question, to gain info to help them decide whether or not to vote for him again: “President Obama, if you are reelected, will you approve Keystone XL or not? Please be clear and specific. You’ve had plenty of time to think about it.”

    I’m concerned about revolving doors. I’m interested in the answers to those two questions.



  7. Peter Mizla says:

    A great guy

    Tom is nice to have you with us.

  8. Greg says:

    Tom works extremely hard and is mission driven. I recall talking to him about climate at a small fundraiser before he was elected and I wasn’t sure he got it then but he’s proven he does get it and knows how to fight for what’s right. Congrats! You’d make a great president one day too.

  9. FedUpWithDenial says:

    A real Climate Hawk! Couldn’t be a better selection for president of CAPAF! This is first rate, especially considering Perriello’s valuable experience in the U.S. House of Representatives, with all the inside knowledge that implies.

    At the same time, I’d love to see him back in Congress in due course — let’s say in about the same position of power as Eric Cantor or John Boehner, when the tea party madness has passed. Nobody in the House right now needs replacement as much as Boehner and Cantor. (Hint: the entire GOP needs replacement.)