Taking action while waiting for Keystone.

I hate waiting for news. And this morning, we were waiting on a doozy of an update: A few days after a massive oil spill on the keystone 1 pipeline, the the Nebraska Public Service Commissions (PSC) was to decide whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline route. (See this post if you want to catch up on the spill.) They did, with a really important caveat. And now I’m thinking about what’s next.

But as fortune would have it, I wasn’t stuck home alone, worrying about the vote; Or out at work trying to stay busy while clicking the refresh button on my news feed every few minutes. I was in Pittsburgh at the People Vs Oil & Gas conference, surrounded by pipeline fighters from British Columbia, Canada, South Texas, New York, California and everywhere in between.

So when a couple friends from the local Rising Tide chapter asked me to pitch in (and do what 198 methods does — digital communications support for direct action campaigns), I said yes in a heartbeat; Even if it meant getting up really, really early this morning.

Which is how I ended up holding my cellphone with shivering hands to film, tweet and share a cold, late November morning from Southpointe, PA. I was there to support a brave group of 5 local activists, each of whom had been touched directly by the fracking, coal mining, and extraction industries that have run roughshod over the shale fields and coal fields of that part of western PA, West Virginia, and too many of our communities.

In freezing weather lit by headlamps and watery pre-dawn light they erected two twenty foot tall tripods, dangled themselves from the apex and locked their bodies to the base. All of it to block an entrance to a local office park that is home to some of the biggest, richest and most destructive fossil fuel extraction companies in America. Frackers, Pipeline builders, Injection well profiteers and petro export barons all rub elbows and share office space on the plush Southpointe campus. Heck, even Halliburton rents a suite there.

I think it was a really perfect Counter-pointe to the waiting. While the drillers, frackers and polluters showed up expecting “another day at the often” we did something beutifle, creative, and a little bit crazy to disrupt their morning commute and make it clear #WeWontStop. You can read all about it, and check out my epic, shaky-shivering, 3.5 hour live stream of the whole action, at the Rising tide Facebook page. You can also chip in a few dollars to support the legal defense fund of the two climbers who were arrested here.

And that’s how it needs to be with Keystone XL too. Today’s decision isn’t a defeat — for us or Transcanada, the pipeline builder either. It’s a sort of detente, a “game on” moment that we need to rise to with creativity, love and a powerful spirit of action. You don’t need a giant tripod or a beutifle banner, or even to run out in the street and stop traffic where you live (yet). But you DO need to be willing to speak up and take action when the moment is right. And that’s why we’re encouraging everyone to sign the “promise to protect” today.

Lead by Nebraska landowners and local tribal nations and indigenous leaders, the promise asks you to be ready, to get trained, make a plan, recruit some friends. And when the moment is ripe as a late-July ear of corn, to be ready to take action to protect our country, our communities, and our climate from the Keystone XL pipeline (or whatever else they think of). Will you sign on?

Let’s get to that decision, because it’s a little confusing but here’s the gist:

The Decision is BAD because it’s basically saying the Keystone Xl pipeline can get built, despite all the protests, problems, and last week’s massive oil spill. On the other hand it’s GOOD because the “alternate route” they approved is hundreds of miles longer and needs new and different land to be taken by eminent domain — none of which has been vetted by the EPA and other federal agencies before.That gives us an opportunity to sue, demand more information, and otherwise gum up the works until they do. Because of all that, and the fact that the price of oil has been crashing (undercut by the price of renewable energy, but mostly by cheap fracked gas), a lot of economists and investors think that KXL will simply never be built.

For now, the best thing to do to help is to dig in and get ready to fight this pipeline (and lots more like it) with everything you’ve got. And you can start with the Promise to Protect.

Together, we can stop all of the pipelines, export terminals, compressor stations and more. But only if we promise to take action.

Will you join us?

The Keystone spill and what comes after

By now, I expect you’ve heard about the massive oil spill in Keystone 1 – the older tar sands Pipeline that Keystone XL is meant to expand and replace.1 More than 200,000 gallons of oil are still on the ground just miles from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate reservation.2

This is all happening at a critical moment. On Monday, the Nebraska Public Service Commission will decide a crucial local permit for Keystone XL. A denial of that permit, or even a decision to permit it with significant restrictions or re-routing could make the Pipeline too expensive to build, or create years of additional delay we can exploit to protest, organize, and eventually stop this disastrous project.

I don’t know what will happen on Monday. But I’ve spent the whole weekend with an amazing coalition of frontline activists and pipeline fighters, fossil fuel export exterminators and other fabulous people at the #PeoplevsOilGas summit. It’s given me hope and made me believe that together we can stop these pipelines — all of them. From the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines (and others) in the East; to Keystone, Dakota Access, Line 3 and Rover pipelines (and others) in the midwest, to the Trans Mountain pipeline and Jordan Cove export terminal (and others) on the west coast. I encourage you to follow along on our Facebook page and on the hashtag #peoplevsOilGas on twitter where we’re posting tons of updates from panels and conversations you can’t find anywhere else.

Together, we can stop all of the pipelines, export terminals, compressor stations and more. Monday, we’ll learn more about how the Keystone XL fight will continue.

Also on Monday, hundreds of us from this conference will take to the streets and visit the home-offices of some of the biggest fracking, pipeline and polluting companies in America. They all share office space a few minutes outside Pittsburgh, one of the reasons we picked this city to host our conference (in the belly of the beast, so to speak). This, too, gives me hope that we can rise up – stronger, more unified, and more defiant no matter what happens on Monday.

For now, I just wanted to send you a quick update, invite you to follow along on our Facebook page and on the hashtag #peoplevsOilGas on Twitter. If you haven’t yet (or even if you have) it’s a great idea to share the news about the Keystone 1 spill on Facebook and Twitter. The more attention this spill gets, the harder it will be for the Nebraska PSC to approve it on Monday.

This Monday, confront fossil fuel HQs near Pittsburgh

On Monday, November 20 hundreds of people from in and around Pittsburgh will join the People vs. Oil and Gas Summit and travel together to Southpointe – a commercial park about an hour outside the city that houses the headquarters and local offices of several dirty energy companies destroying our climate and communities.

There will be a family-friendly rally and march between several offices featuring the voices of impacted front line communities across North America, and some of us will take action against to call out the dirty energy companies behind fracking, bomb trains, pipelines and pollution across North America

Can you join us? RSVP here to reserve your spot on the bus from downtown Pittsburgh departing at 8:00AM. Or meet us in Southpointe at 9:00.

Here are the final details:

  • What: Rally and Action in Southpointe
  • When: Monday, November 20, 8AM bus departure, return to Pittsburgh ~11:30AM
  • Where: Buses depart from Omni William Penn Hotel (530 William Penn Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15219)

RSVP here to reserve your seat on the bus.

Around the country, people are fighting the greed of fossil fuel billionaires in their communities – and this action gives us the opportunity to come together and confront them on their home turf. We’ll disrupt business as usual, and give them a taste of the discomfort that comes with living near oil and gas infrastructure.

While we’re there, we’ll also visit the offices of public officials including State Senator Bartolotta and the Chamber of Commerce to urge them to stand up to Big Oil and help fight for the renewable energy future we need.

RSVP here to reserve your seat on the bus.

Hope to see you there

Drew and the 198 methods crew

Equator Banks Acted

First of all, thanks so much for taking action with us and our partners as part of the Equator Banks Act campaign. Over 110,000 people (including many of you) signed a petition calling on the biggest banks in the world to stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights. Even better, hundreds of you showed up at more than 50 #DivestTheGlobe actions in cities and towns around the world. Some of the highlights:

  • Mazaska Talks #DivestTheGlobe action by the numbers
    Click to see larger

    Seattle activists visited or shut down over 100 branches of the big banks in 3 days of action.

  • Nearly 100 faith and ethics groups joined the call to action, demanding that Bank of America, TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other big banks stop funding fossil fuel projects.
  • There were amazing, beautiful actions in cities all over the world including Columbia, South CarolinaLausanne, SwitzerlandNew Haven, CTOakland, California; and many many more.
  • Check out the feed below from Mazaska Talks which was made live on the first day of action.

Even, better (and worth waiting for) — I’ve got breaking news to share from the actual Equator Banks meeting itself in Brazil. Just to re-cap: 90 of the world’s largest banks met in Brazil October 23-26 to recommit to the Equator Principles, a set of rules guiding which big infrastructure projects they will and won’t finance. Our petitions and actions were intended to pressure these “Equator Banks” or EQIFs banks to rewrite and revisit their own (voluntary) commitment to those principles: Specifically the fact that Equator Banks had financed disasters for our climate AND indigenous rights like the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Agua Zarca hydro project, where Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for leading Indigenous resistance.

Well, just today we got word that it worked! The Equator Banks released a statement saying that they will “start a process of updating the Equator Principles” with a special focus on the “important implications of the Paris Agreement” and “application of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in different jurisdictions”. 

Let’s be clear, this is EXACTLY what we asked for from these 90+ Equator Banks. And it is 100% a result of the pressure and publicity YOU helped put on them with your signatures, actions, events and more.

congratulations: minions cheering
Congrats

It’s also not, obviously, the end of the story. The Equator Banks process is planned to take more than 18 months, and hasn’t officially started yet. And we’ve already seen that even when banks promise to do the right thing, they often exempt current project, make caveats or otherwise backslide almost immediately.

Your continued diligence and follow up will be absolutely essential – and we promise to help by staying connected to Mazaska Talks and other indigenous, direct action, and pipeline fighting groups around the world. We’ll let you know the next time there’s an action, petition or event you can participate in on this campaign.

IN the meanwhile, what now? Well, if you like winning, and enjoyed this whole arc of emails from me and 198 methods (I’m the only person who works here) – then consider leaving us a tip. I love it when people chip in $1.98/week because it gives us the money to keep working week in and week out on projects like divest the globe, while paying a minimum (less than $1 a month) in credit card processing fees (for everything else, there’s Mastercard). I’d also point out that this action is exactly the sort of thing I started 198 methods to do: A big, digitally supported day(s) of action with over 100,000 people signed on, dozens of actions around the world, and a clear result (#winning) at the end.

I’m psyched, let’s do this again, soon.

Thanks,

Drew and the 198 ways to take direct action and divestment is one, crew.

Oakland Action Photo by Jake Conroy / RAN

We’ve gone big, now it’s time to bring the message home:

Thanks again for being one of the now more than 100,000 people worldwide (!) who have signed on to demand that the Equator banks stop funding climate disasters and respect indigenous rights. Now, it’s time to deliver:

Can you RSVP to host or attend a delivery event with us next week as our big, indigenous-led coalition delivers our message to banks all over the world? Click here to get started.

TD bank protest

Next week (October 23-25) there will be actions at local bank branches in various places in the world, and we want to show the strength of our numbers. Activists will be showing up at local bank branches, representing the greater audience holding banks accountable, and asking whether companies like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others will follow BNP Paribas’ lead and #DivestTheGlobe.

Dozens of events are already planned that you can attend or participate in. Or, if you don’t see one near you, sign up to host: Our partners at Mazaska talks have made everything easy for you with simple downloadable materials and toolkits, and online event tools. All you have to do is grab a couple of friends, head to the nearest branch of one of our 90+ target banks and deliver a letter. Or, get as creative as you like – plan a rallyshut down 100 banks in a single daymeet with a local Mayor or elected official to talk about divestment — It’s up to you!

Get started now by clicking here to find or and plan your local #DivestTheGlobe event.

See you in the streets,

Drew and the 198 methods to stop a pipeline crew.

PS – It’s not too late to invite friends to sign the petition! Share this link before Monday to make sure everyone’s comment is included in the delivery events: https://petitions.signforgood.com/EquatorBanksAct/?code=198m

Big French Bank Defunds Pipelines – Sign now to #DivestTheGlobe

I’ve got more good news this week: French Mega-bank BNP Paribas announced this that it’s cutting its funding for extreme oil and fracked gas projects in the US and Canada. While we (and our friends in France) will need to monitor the implementation and details, the news is REALLY GOOD.

Specifically: BNP Paribas will not fund new exploration, production, transportation and export projects related to Tar sands, fracked gas and the Arctic, nor the companies involved in more than 30% of their activities; The announcement includes a ban on funding Keystone XL and TransCanada, Line 3 and Enbridge, a Texas fracked gas export facility and any future gas export terminals in the Gulf; and more!

It’s a really big deal and I hope you’ll share the news in the footnotes to spread the word. But I also noticed that you haven’t signed on to our petition calling on 90+ of the biggest banks in the world to Divest from fossil fuels. Can you sign on now?
Ran Action Calling on BNP to Divest, and they did!

I need your signature this week because we’re already planning a big, global day of action to deliver all the signatures October 23-25. All over the world, activists will be showing up at local bank branches and demanding to know if companies like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others will follow BNP Paribas’ lead and #DivestTheGlobe. You can sign up to host or attend an event in your town, but first — click here to sign on to our petition and tell the biggest banks to stop finding climate chaos and respect indigenous rights.

Thanks, Drew and the team

Photo by Toben Dilworth / RAN

BIG NEWS – Big French Bank Defunds Pipelines!

Thanks again for being one of more than 40,000 people to sign the petition demanding that big banks stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights.

I’ve got three important updates and ways you can help the campaign this week:

  • Today BNP Paribas announced that it’s cutting its funding for extreme oil and fracked gas projects in the US and Canada. While we (and our friends in France) will need ot monitor the implementation and details, the news is REALLY GOOD.1 Specifically: BNP Paribas will not fund new exploration, production, transportation and export projects related to Tar sands, fracked gas and the Arctic, nor the companies involved in more than 30% of their activities; The announcement includes a ban on funding Keystone XL and TransCanada, Line 3 and Enbridge, a Texas fracked gas export facility and any future gas export terminals in the Gulf; and more!2 — Can you help spread the news on Facebook and Twitter that we CAN stop these pipelines if we take away their funding?
  • Indigenous-led Mazaska Talks is calling for global days of action October 23-25 targeting the biggest banks. Can you sign up to host or attend an event in your town and spread the word?
  • Lastly, can you help us hit our goal of 100,000+ petition signatures by spreading the word to your family and friends online?

Use the buttons below to share on social media.


Click here to share on Facebook.


Click here to share on Twitter.

Or you can just forward this link by email: https://petitions.signforgood.com/EquatorBanksAct/?code=198m

French Bank BNP Paribas took a step in the right direction. 90 more banks to go:

Photo by Toben Dilworth / RAN

Big news – Basic economics killed a pipeline

TransCanada, the same company behind Keystone XL, just pulled the plug on its disastrous $15.7 billion Energy East Pipeline in Canada.

This is a huge win for all the climate activists, Indigenous leaders and nations, and Canadians of all sorts who fought for years to stop this pipeline — just as we in the US have been fighting to stop #KXL and the Dakota Access Pipeline (#DAPL).

Ultimately, it wasn’t a rally, protest, or petition that slayed the great black snake known as Energy East — it was basic economics.

That’s important for two reasons: One, it puts added pressure on TransCanada and their partners to deliver on KXl, DAPL and other projects — one down, many to go and the stakes just got higher. Two, it indicates that we can stop these projects by speaking their language — and money talks.

Divest the Globe, Defund the PipelinesSign here to stand with Mazaska Talks* and other allies in telling the big banks: stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights!

It’s important to understand that big pipelines and other fossil fuel projects are funded almost entirely by the big banks — companies like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. You undoubtedly know many of those big banks, they have branches on millions of street corners in most cities and towns like Columbia. You might even use them for your checking accounts or credit cards.

They’d rather you didn’t know that they’re financing climate disaster projects like Energy East, KXL, and DAPL. That’s why many of them signed onto the Equator Principles. It’s a promise between the biggest banks to NOT finance projects that threaten the climate and local communities. It sounds good, but they haven’t lived up to their promise.

The Dakota Access Pipeline was financed by these so called “Equator banks”, even though it was built to pump the dirtiest oil on earth, and was fiercely opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Lakota Tribes.

It’s not just in the U.S., either: The Agua Zarca dam in Honduras, also passed the ‘Equator test’ as a project supposedly respecting the rights of the Lenca communities. Tragically, Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for speaking out against the project.

On October 23rd, 92 of the world’s largest banks will meet in São Paolo, Brazil to discuss and re-commit to the Equator Principles. The list of attendees will include DAPL & KeystoneXL financiers such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and many more.

This coalition is calling on allies everywhere to participate by signing this petition and joining us for a mass global action between October 23-25. Will you sign here to tell the big banks: stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights?

PS – Once you’ve signed on, click here to host or attend a local rally, protest or teach-in on October 23, 24 or 25 as part of this collective “Divest The Globe” action!

* “mazaska” is a Lakota for “money”, an homage to the resistance at Standing Rock. The website Mazaskatalks.org is a centralized resource for this campaign, with detailed financial data as well as tools for taking action.

What happened at FERC last week

FERC doesn’t work. but they’re back at work in a big way – clearing the more than $13 billion in back-logged projects sitting on their desk by rubber stamping every pipeline, compressor station, export terminal and bad fossil-fueled idea they can lay their hands on.

To those who showed up — online or in person — on September 20th for the rally, action, and lobbying at FERC and Congress, thank you so much for giving your precious time and energy to this important effort!

We started the day early – 6:30am early for those of us who stayed at a local church the night before to plan, make signs, and put together the petition signatures for delivery. A short walk later, we met up with dozens more friends, nearly a hundred activists and one VERY LARGE puppet of the FERC commissioners dancing to the tune of big Fracked Gas money.

A rally and speakers took turns from 8:30-9:30, including powerful testimony from numerous frontline communities and also Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus. The Rev. as usual, brought the fire to our proceedings declaiming that it was “so disappointing we have to be here… [FERC] shouldn’t have to be told [about the climate impacts of fracked gas]. They just need to check the weather!”

At the end of his comments, the Rev. led us all in a verse or two of We Shall Overcome. And then it was, in the words of one activist “Into the lion’s den” as dozens of activists filed patiently through security lines for the chance to enter FERC, where decisions about our home and planet are made every day.

As we’ve reported before, the great irony of FERC’s ‘public meetings’ is that there is no space for the public to actually comment. Decisions are made for us, about us, OVER us and without any opportunity for any man, woman, child or advocate to stand up and simply say “stop, you’re killing us.” Instead, as has been the case at every FERC commissioners meeting for more than 18 months, we were compelled to take matters into our own hands and chose (in the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, who Rev. Yearwood sited out front) the “positive peace which is the presence of justice,” as opposed to “a negative peace which is the absence of tension.”

Choosing that tense, positive peace, activists stood in unison inside the meeting and sang “We Shall Overcome” while others shouted, were hauled away and served with  arrest warrants. Hundreds of you supported from home by calling FERC – jamming the phone lines for over an hour and blowing up the twitter feed with your #FERCabuses messages. None of our in-person protestors will be allowed back into FERC meetings again, but it was a small price to pay to show the newly restored quorum that our communities will NOT be overcome — we will continue to resist, by speaking out, fighting in the courts, and generally fighting all of FERC’s rubber stamping ways!

After the intervention and protest at FERC, we headed up to Capitol Hill a few blocks away, where (after a short training and orientation) folks headed into the Senate buildings to deliver letters and comments from more than 30,000 citizens opposing FERC, Fracking, and the remaining two nominees.

The day was a great success and carried forward the unceasing resolve of so many not only to stop FERC from destroying communities and the climate, but also to replace it with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels.

Take a look at some of the press hits from the day below!

But our campaign isn’t over: Trump’s final two nominations to FERC still need to be confirmed by the full Senate. If you’re looking for further actions to take consider one of the following:

  • Donate to support the ongoing campaign with Beyond Extreme Energy. BXE paid for most of the logistics for this action – from food and housing for activists, to transportation for the giant puppet and much more. 198 supporters have already donated more than $500 to support the work (go team!). If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, or want to make sure BXE is funded to keep going back to the monthly FERC commissioners meetings to do more, it’s not to late to chip in here.
  • Call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to “vote no on those two FERC Nominees — Democrat Richard Glick and Republican Kevin McIntyre.” Unlike the previous two, Republicans Neil Chatterjee and Robert F. Powelson, not one single Senator voted against these two nominations in committee — probably because one is a Democrat and no Republican has yet voted against Trump’s FERC nominees.
  • In addition to calling your senators to tell them to vote no on these appointments, if you’re interested in coming to DC to attend the Senate vote, which hasn’t been scheduled yet, Beyond Extreme Energy has 20 available tickets. We’re looking for people who want to either fill the room or participate in a sing-in. If you’re interested, email info@beyondextremeenergy.org and let them know.
  • Last – spread the news: Share this post and share all the news items below on your social networks – it really makes a difference for a lot of different people to share news and updates becaue even if we don’t make the top-trending list on twitter, we DO generate a lot more attention and discussion about these issues.

Gas pipeline protesters turn up heat on FERC: Activists disrupted the federal agency’s first open meeting since January, saying regulators disregard environmental risks and facilitate land grabs by pipeline companies

FERC Has Quorum Once Again, But Not Much NatGas on Meeting Agenda

FERC picks up where it left off, tackles backlog

Anti-pipeline protestors sing ‘We shall overcome’ at FERC meeting

Pipeline protesters return to FERC energized by recent wins, Trump backlash

WASHINGTON POST: The Energy 202: FERC is up and running again. That means Trump gets more of the pipelines he wants

En EEUU otorgan permisos para destruir el medio ambiente

FERC Is Back in Business and Oblivious as Ever

Pipeline protesters disrupt FERC’s first meeting with new Trump commissioners

 

Stop Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda from home!

Hey! Are you stuck at home or work on September 20 and looking for an easy way to take action along with more than 30,000 other people to stop the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from implementing Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda? You’re in the right place!

Use this page to call in, tweet along, and keep up with the latest from our campaign!

What to do
Follow along
What’s next

What to Do

  1. Call FERC at 202-502-6088 and tell them you support the efforts of national and frontline groups rallying on their doorstep this morning. Make sure to mention that you support the letter we’re delivering that calls for FERC & Congress to:
    1. Enact a moratorium on new fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure until there are hearings into FERC’s abuses in permitting pipelines and reforms put in place that give communities a real voice in FERC’s permitting process;
    2. Vote AGAINST the Dirty Energy bill (S1460), and any other legislation that would increase FERC’s authority and perversely speed up the approval process for fracked gas infrastructure. Communities and property owners nationwide need to have a say over all infrastructure projects.
    3. Support new legislation (such as H.R. 3671, Rep. Gabbard’s ‘OFF ACT’, or the Senate ‘100 by 50’ act) and a federal permitting process that puts us on a path to 100% clean energy to create high paying jobs, a stable climate, and livable communities.
  2. Call your Senators and Member of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and tell them you support the coalition of groups delivering letters to the House and Senate today that demand that they:
    1. Enact a moratorium on new fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure until there are hearings into FERC’s abuses in permitting pipelines and reforms put in place that give communities a real voice in FERC’s permitting process;
    2. Vote AGAINST the Dirty Energy bill (S1460), and any other legislation that would increase FERC’s authority and perversely speed up the approval process for fracked gas infrastructure. Communities and property owners nationwide need to have a say over all infrastructure projects.
    3. Support new legislation (such as H.R. 3671, Rep. Gabbard’s ‘OFF ACT’, or the Senate ‘100 by 50’ act) and a federal permitting process that puts us on a path to 100% clean energy to create high paying jobs, a stable climate, and livable communities.
  3. Tweet along with us! Use the hashtags #FERCabuses and tag @FERC and your Senators &  Member of Congress in your message. Click here if you need helping finding your elected Representatives on Twitter (they’re all there)!

Follow along!



What’s next?

Stay tuned for more ways to share and spread the word after our action wraps up. For now, try these!