Corrupt and Corrupter – an update on Sec. Bernhardt

To help drive home the point that David Bernhard, Trump’s climate-denying Interior Secretary, is one of the most corrupt members of the cabinet, our allies this week are driving a giant billboard around the streets of Washington DC. But, well, you sort of have to see it:

This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn't at stake. Check it out and take action at http://bit.ly/StopBernhardt_198m

Posted by 198 Methods on Thursday, December 12, 2019

“This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn’t at stake,” said Jayson O’Neill, deputy director of the Western Values Project.

WVP is just one of the allies who’ve helped us gather more than 100,000 signatures so far calling on Congress to investigate Bernhardt. If you haven’t already, you can sign on here or share this message with your friends online to spread the word!

Sign Now to Demand bold protections for climate refugees

If you’re one of nearly 120,000 people who signed our petition demanding justice for climate refugees from the Bahamas, you already know that it’s time to act. Will you sign here to tell Congress to protect climate-displaced communities?

If not, here’s a quick reminder: Last September September, the Bahamas were slammed by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. The storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

You probably also remember that in 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria, killing 3,000 people and leaving over $90 million in property destruction.

If you’re a close watcher of climate news, you might even have seen that, just this month, hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan have been displaced due to climate-fueled super storms and the unprecedented flooding that follows.

And yet, Donald Trump’s racist policies seek to turn away climate-displaced peoples from the Bahamas, Kenya, Sudan and other communities. He even denies disaster assistance to communities of color in Puerto Rico and California while protecting his own resorts in Florida.

It’s up to Congress to act: Sign here to tell them to pass a pair of bipartisan bills that will protect climate-displaced people from Trump’s racist policies.

These are only a few recent examples of climate-fueled disasters around the world. Storms, droughts, fires, and floods will all get more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years

We must, of course, take bold action at the local, state and federal level to reduce emissions and institute a Green new Deal. But while those solutions are enacted we must pass humanitarian protections so climate refugees are guaranteed safe passage to new communities in the U.S where they can rebuild their lives.

Time and time again, communities of color, the poor, and those in the global south are hit first and worst by climate disasters. Instead of turning away climate refugees — who are often from countries and communities least responsible for the climate crisis,– Our elected officials must step up to meet these climate refugees’ needs.

Sign if you agree: Climate refugees deserve safe passage to the U.S.

Fortunately, lawmakers who see the strong connection between migration and the climate crisis have introduced S. 2565 and H.R. 4732 to support directly-impacted communities. If passed, these two pieces of legislation would both create a designated immigration status for climate-displaced persons and would establish a global climate resiliency fund to provide humanitarian aid and relocation services.

If you’re ready to welcome climate refugees from across America and across the world into your community, please sign this petition and tell Congress it’s time to protect climate-displaced communities.

Winter is here: Strike now

Tomorrow, on December 6th, young people and adults will strike all across the United States and world to demand the solutions we need to the climate crisis. The timing is crucial, as it coincides with the UN climate talks in Madrid where the focus has been on half-measures and markets, not bold action at the scale we need.

Click here to RSVP to one of the more than 280 strikes across the US.

In September, more than 650,000 people in the United States and 7 million people worldwide walked out of school and work to demand our elected officials to rise up and address the climate emergency urgently. During last week’s international day of action on Nov 29, more than 2 million people participated in international strikes.

Tomorrow, December 6 is our next moment to gather, strike, and shine together.

Once again, the strikes are led by a youth coalition coordinated by Future Coalition, includes Zero Hour, Earth Guardians, Earth Uprising, Fridays For Future USA, Sunrise Movement, US Youth Climate Strike, Extinction Rebellion Youth, and International Indigenous Youth Council and more.

And just like September, there are a diversity of tactics and messages being used. Big actions in San Francisco and Washington DC will lay the blame at the the big banks and investors profiting from the climate crisis.

Other gatherings in Cities and towns from Columbia, South Carolina, to Bellingham, Washington, will host rallies, vigils, walkouts, and teachins of all sizes.

As a global society, we remain at a crossroads with a critical decision to make. Will we choose money and greed, or will we choose us, the future of humanity?

Click here to choose a side, find your local climate strike, and join us in the streets again this winter.

Tell Congress: Bernhardt is Too Corrupt to Continue

We’ve told you before about David Bernhardt, Trump’s latest (not the first) corrupt, climate-denying Secretary of the Interior.

Last time we updated you, Bernhardt had just been confirmed despite nearly 200,000 of signatures opposing his nomination. The vote was largely along party lines, with the same three same Democrats who voted against the Green New Deal — Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) — voting for Bernhardt.

But now there’s a new opportunity to take down another Trump Administration official, like we did with Zinke, Pruitt and others before. Congress is considering opening an investigation into Bernhardt’s cozy relationship with his former lobbying clients. Can you help us encourage them to do so?

Add your name to tell Congress to investigate David Bernhardt’s corrupt connections to his past lobbying clients.

Just like Trump’s impeachable conduct with the Ukraine – there’s real evidence and legal basis to remove Bernhardt. One of his first acts upon being appointed to Secretary of Interior was to engineer the largest rollback of the Endangered Species Act in history.

And in the last few weeks, Bernhardt’s DOI gave one of his largest former clients, the Westlands Water District, a special deal to use more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which supports many threatened and endangered species.

Bernhardt has spent his entire career working for climate profiteers who make a killing off of killing our climate and environment. But he may have gone too far in doing favors for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).

The IPAA is a group of oil and gas producers like Shell, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil that have multibillion dollar stakes in exploiting previously protected lands and waters. They also have a track record of harming working class communities and communities of color. But earlier this year they boasted about having “unprecedented access” to Trump administration officials, including “direct access” to Bernhardt himself.

Even for the Trump administration, this is naked, brazen corruption. And it’s up to Congress to investigate, and eventually remove Bernhardt from office — just like they’re doing with the impeachment investigation.

Sign here to tell Congress they must investigate Bernhardt and determine whether he is using his cabinet-level position to promote the interests of past clients – and if so, they need to impeach him too.

Too much pollution at Westinghouse already.

Westinghouse wants continue operating an aging nuclear fuel plant near Columbia for another 40 years, even though the facility has a history of leaks, spills and pollution.

The 50-year-old Westinghouse factory, is one of only three facilities that makes fuel rods for nuclear power plants. It’s also located right next to Congaree National Park, in a predominantly African American and low-income community.

Westinghouse has a long history of leaks and spills including nitrate, uranium and Technetium 99, which leach into groundwater and maybe the Congaree River. In 2018, Westinghouse was caught when uranium leaked through a hole in the plant’s floor, and exposed a coverup dating back to 2008 that it had never told federal or state officials about.

But despite all these problems, Westinghouse wants a license to operate for another 40 years, and they want it early! Their current license doesn’t expire until 2027, but they’re worried that the failure of the VC Summer nuclear plant, and a change in leadership in Congress or the White House, could turn the public against the nuclear industry. So they’re trying to force the issue now, while they think nobody is paying attention.

Help prove them wrong: Click here to send an official comment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) telling them not to renew Westinghouse’s license!

Reports say that the facility is unlikely to clean up it’s past spills or stop new ones if their permit is renewed. It’s outrageous for the NRC to give a toxic nuclear plant with this many problems another 40 year license to pollute.

If the NRC is serious about public health, they should deny this early renewal application and conduct a more detailed environmental impact statement. They also should require Westinghouse to go at least one full year without an accident or spill before they are allowed to keep operating.

Here’s a video from local activist Virginia Sanders explaining some of the pollution at the plant:

Lower Richland resident and National Sierra Club employee , Virginia Sanders talking about Westinghouse proposed 20 yr license renewal interview at Westinghouse on Bluff Road , Hopkins SC . Also now on YouTube https://youtu.be/paWcoWYDhV8Please copy this link https://www.facebook.com/100002263884408/posts/2513541648731273?sfns=mo

Posted by 350 Columbia on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

An here’s Tom Clements, a nuclear safety watchdog from Columbia, telling the NRC they didn’t study the Westinghouse plant thoroughly enough to justify a new license:

Tom Clements speaking at the Westinghouse/NRC public meeting regarding Westinghouse license renewal – Medallion Center Nov 14, 2019

Posted by 350 Columbia on Thursday, November 14, 2019

It’s clear that this facility cannot be allowed to keep operating – but unless we speak up before November 27, that’s just what the NRC may approve. Click here to send an official comment to the NRC and tell them NOT to approve another 40 years of Westinghouse pollution.

Prosecuting climate crime, one state at a time

We’re close to winning a victory in court to hold fossil fuel profiteers like Exxon accountable for their lies. We told you last month about a group of State Attorney Generals and local prosecutors bringing lawsuits against these companies for lying to us since the very beginning of the climate crisis. Now, it’s time to make them pay.

The New York case brought by Attorney General Letitia James against Exxon for fraudulently deceiving investors about its business and climate change just wrapped up and a ruling is expected soon. The US House of Representatives recently held a public hearing into what #ExxonKnew and when they knew it. And as New York’s case wrapped up, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her state is suing Exxon too; joining prosecutors in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and dozens of other cities.

The dam has officially broken, and climate polluters are being called to answer for their crimes. Next month, a delegation will attend the global climate talks in Madrid, to share evidence, legal strategy and encourage other state, local, and national governments to open their own investigations and lawsuits.

Will you back them up by sending a letter to your U.S. Senators, your Representative in the U.S. House, and then your state’s Attorney General and say: I’m counting on you to hold Big Polluters accountable? Just click here to get started.

It’s time to hold Big Polluters liable — for the losses and damage they’re knowingly causing, and to pay for the solutions we need to transition to a just, sustainable future. It’s time to make them pay.

For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon, and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a report in the Guardian showed that just 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

In opening her case against Exxon, New York Attorney General Letitia James said “This fraud reached the highest levels of the company.” And her case is making waves – she compelled former US Secretary of State and ExxonMobil strongman Rex Tillerson to testify in open court. And her case is just the opening shot in what some are calling a legal war that is just beginning.

The fossil fuel industry has caused and is continuing to cause grave damage to people and our planet. And just like we’re not all equally responsible, we’re not all impacted by this crisis equally: Around the world, low-income communities, indigenous people, youth, communities of color, and people in the Global South are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, climate criminals are still up to no good. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.

For the last few weeks, thousands of us have joined with dozens of organizations to demand world leaders kick Big Polluters out of climate policy, make polluters pay for climate crisis, to fund real, just solutions to address the climate crisis.

Elected officials are clearly paying attention — as the surge in lawsuits and congressional hearings indicates. Now is a critical moment to take action. Before the climate talks start, write to your members of Congress and your state Attorney General and urge them to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry liable for their decades of deception.

North Carolina Climate Resistance Actions this week

Wanted to let you know about a series of upcoming actions in North Carolina to fight back against climate change. There are forums in Charlotte, and other cities this week, and a big march this Saturday, Nov 16, in Robeson County. Check out the details below, or click here to see all the events listed at our Facebook page.

First up, our old friends Beyond Extreme Energy are touring the state as part of a “RoadShow” tour of the southeast. Meet them in Charlotte Tuesday, Nov. 12, to hear about about their vision to replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission (FREC). This is especially timely as the Senate is debating a new FERC commissioner this month – which we’ve emailed you about earlier. Lots of other events are planned on their tour as well, including some public protest with 350 Charlotte.

Click for Facebook event and please share with others, or click here to learn more about the BXE roadshow. If you can, please also chip in to support them.

Next up, join us Saturday, Nov 16, at the MARCH FOR JUSTICE in Robeson County, NC.

Piedmont Gas (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy) is proposing to build a one-billion-cubic-foot Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage and processing facility in Robeson County. This is a predominantly indigenous (Lumbee) community within an 8 mile radius of the ACP route, creating a greater risk of explosions, leaks and accidents. And it is 4 miles from the town of Maxton, a predominantly African American town, creating more racism, pollution and perpetuating decades of Environmental In-Justice.

We’re teaming up with a big coalition of local and national groups to oppose the storage facility. And on Nov 16 we will walk together in celebration of our sacred lands and waters.

Join us Saturday, November 16, 2019; from 10am to 4pm – click here to RSVP on Facebook, or click here to download a flier with more info.

Trump’s newest FERC nominee is just as corrupt as you think.

We’ve written before about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rubber stamps new pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure, locking us into decades fo climate chaos. And in particular how Trump’s FERC has acted again and again to prioritize fossil fuel profits over the health, safety and civil rights of American citizens.

So, in context, Trump’s latest FERC nominee James Danly doesn’t look all that surprising. But in this case, dangerous things come in bland packages:

Danly, who currently serves as the general counsel to FERC claims to be a “humble regulator.” But what he actually means:

Danly’s credo draws on core tenets of the Federalist Society, an influential group of conservatives and libertarians … said several attorneys who practice before FERC

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060534923

That’s right, Danly wants to take control of America’s energy infrastructure the same way Brett Kavanaugh and Trump’s other wildly unqualified, super-conservative, almost-always-white-male judges are taking over the judiciary. And, not surprisingly, he wants to get there in a similar way to how Kavanaugh got on the court.

Our best chance to stop Trump’s latest ultra-conservative nominee is to bottle up his nomination in a committee hearing. Can you sign here to tell the Senate Energy Committee to vote no on James Danly, Tump’s latest climate-denying FERC nominee?

Here’s the short version of how we got here: FERC has seen record turnover since Trump was elected. With the departure of Democratic Commissioner Cherly LaFleur earlier this summer, there are only three commissioners left, two Republicans and one Democrat). That’s barely enough for a quorum, and gives the last remaining Democrat, Richard Glick extra leverage to block votes or halt projects by refusing to participate.

At the same time, there’s been an explosion in protests and opposition to pipelines. Inspired by campaigns against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, activists have been rising up to resist fossil fuel infrastructure from coast to coast. We’ve been part of a number of those campaigns and I know you have been too. At the same time, our allies have been suing every pipeline they can to slow them down and stop the approval process. And in a few very important instances, the combination of those tactics – the lawyers suing and the people protesting – have combined to stop big projects like Keystone and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

So the fossil fuel companies are getting nervous. They’ve been enthusiastically backing Trump’s attempt to pack the court, and are betting billions of dollars that the Supreme Court will back them where lower courts have consistently sided with landowners, the environment, and climate action.

And that’s where Danly comes in: Fossil fuel profiteers and their cronies in the Trump Administration can only win in court if they have regulators who ignore the lower courts. They’ve succeeded in firing or driving out thousands of civil servants at the EPA and Interior Department, and replaced them with lifelong fossil fuel cronies like Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt. Those guys were put in charge because they were corrupt, but not cartoonish, as their predecessors Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke had been.

Just like Wheeler is a less-ridiculous but equally-evil alternative to Pruitt, Danly is a less flamboyant version of Bernard McNamee – the Republican FERC nominee who drew unanimous opposition from Senate Democrats just about 1 year ago. Danly claims to be more moderate, but he’s the legal mind behind FERC’s refusal to even consider the climate impacts of pipelines and projects it reviews.

And, just like Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Danly’s nomination follows a Republican campaign to stack FERC with their preferred commissioners. FERC commissioners are usually nominated in pairs – one Democrat and One Republican – to maintain the legally required balance on the commission. But Danly marks the third Republican nomination in a row, and comes even as a Democratic Nominee to replace LaFleur is waiting for consideration. It’s part of a continuing trend to pack the FERC with Trump-style fossil fuel allies.

Danly’s first hearing is tomorrow, but he wont get a vote in the full Senate for a few weeks. So sign now and we’ll deliver your name to the Senate ASAP!

The climate crisis isn’t an accident, it’s a crime.

On indigenous peoples day — a holiday that reclaims the memory of this continent and how it was colonized, not discovered, by Europeans — it’s important to also remember that the climate crisis didn’t “just happen”; Like Columbus, this crisis didn’t arrive at random, nor are its impacts felt equitably by all.

So, how did we really get here? For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a new report in the Guardian shows clearly that 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, they’re still doing it. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.

We are simply not going to fix the climate crisis by reforming or relying on the fossil fuel industry. There’s only one thing they can do to help – pay up. Add your name to demand that fossil fuel companies like Exxon, Shell, and others pay for the climate crisis.

Last month’s global climate strikes were a moment to behold as millions of people worldwide took to the streets to demand urgent action on the climate crisis in the largest public demonstration in global history.

Our actions proved that we have the real, just solutions we need to address the climate crisis are within reach, many of them are already working in communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. What we’re lacking is political will to enact those solutions on the scale and timetable required. Fossil fuel companies and their dirty money is what’s holding us back.

Help us remove the block on our power – make fossil fuel companies pay for the climate crisis and eliminate the biggest profiteers, and the biggest force for inaction on climate.

Big Polluters can afford to pay for the damage they knowingly caused and are still causing. But they won’t do it unless we make them. Communities around the globe are taking action toward holding polluting industries liable for the damage they have caused. From constitutional amendments that recognize the rights of nature, to US cities like Baltimore that are suing to hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for the climate crisis; or
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Exxon for deceiving its shareholders.

The impact of these investigations and lawsuits can be profound. Like the legal actions that exposed Big Tobacco’s abuses and forced the industry to pay billions of dollars for the epidemic it caused and lied about.

But taking down the biggest, most profitable industry on the planet and making them pay for the damage they’ve caused won’t be easy. It will require a global movement to hold fossil fuels liable for the damage they cause. Add your name to the petition and urge decision makers around the globe to hold the fossil fuel industry liable so that we can advance climate justice globally.

Burning the ‘bridge fuel’ myth in Raleigh

On Tuesday, October 15th, the fossil gas myth busting roadshow is coming to Raleigh and you’re invited!

Join friends from Friends of the Earth U.S., NC Warn, Oil Change International, and 350 Triangle; as well as community leaders, local organizations, and students to discuss why the expansion of gas infrastructure is an environmental justice and climate disaster.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper claims to be a climate leader, but has been in the pocket of Duke, Dominion and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for years. We’ve been calling him out, and now it’s time to tell everyone why gas is not safe or clean, and why there’s nothing natural about fracking and fracked gas.

Join us Tuesday, October 15 in Raleigh, NC. for a panel event on why gas is not a ‘bridge fuel’.

This panel will discuss the impact of gas projects on communities in North Carolina, and how local organizations are planning to stop gas in its tracks. The data is clear: Emissions from burning gas alone are enough to overshoot the Paris climate goals and we can’t afford more gas infrastructure.

Gov. Cooper’s fossil-gas agenda has been devastating, harming the health and environmental quality of communities in North Carolina and accelerating the false narrative that gas has a role in the transition to renewable energy. Fracked gas and new pipelines are indefensible. Cooper has no grounds for promoting its use in North Carolina – because we need to move away from ALL fossil fuels immediately, including gas.

Join us and an inspiring panel of speakers who will address several ways the development of gas can’t be justified in these times, specifically in North Carolina. Here’s a quick rundown of who will be speaking (check out the facebook invite for more details):

  • William J. Barber III is the strategic partnerships associate at The Climate Reality Project and currently serves as the co-chair for the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Ecological Devastation committee.
  • Sherri White-Williamson currently serves as a board member of the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH) in Duplin County, North Carolina.
  • Jorden Revels is the Student Government Vice President at the University of North Carolina at Pemboke and holds a position as the Associate Minority Serving Institution Representative for the UNC’s Association of Student Government.
  • Donna Chavis currently serves as Senior Fossil Fuels Campaigner with Friends of the Earth U.S. and has over 40 years of service in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors on the local, state, and national level.
  • Lorne Stockman is a Senior Research Analyst at Oil Change International, where he researches and analyzes developments in the North American oil industry.

The event is free and will take place at the Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh at 7PM on October 15th. RSVP today!