– Obama’s Climate Change Speech: Closed to the Public, Open to Activists (National Journal, June 25, 2013):
President Obama’s big climate speech on Tuesday is closed to the public — depending on your definition of public.
Several special-interest representatives were invited to the closed-door speech, including Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club; Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters; Christine McEntee, executive director of the American Geophysical Union; and Michael Bradley, executive director of the Clean Energy Group, a consortium of clean-burning utilities.
In response to a question about the speech being closed to the public, a senior White House official said Obama “will deliver remarks before several hundred stakeholders active in leading the efforts to address climate change by reducing carbon pollution, including business leaders, environmental organizations, faith leaders, scientists, and students.”
A group of people were outside the gates of Georgetown University calling on climate action. One participant said they were organizing outside because they weren’t allowed into the speech.
Several hundred chairs are set up facing the podium where Obama will speak at Georgetown, indicating that while it’s closed to the public, several hundred people are still being invited.