Sign Now: Wet’suwet’en solidarity in the face of disaster capitalism

As I type this, in the midst of a pandemic, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Canada is under attack by the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline.

We’ve seen this again and again over the last few days: Billionaire oil CEOs and industry lobbyists see the corona virus crisis as an opportunity to push through fossil fuel infrastructure and demand massive government bailouts while they think the world is looking the other way.

Today, it’s happening in Canada as TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is pushing ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, putting communities and their workers at even more risk. The investment firm KKR is in the process of buying 65% of Coastal GasLink. If we can stop the sale, we can help stop the pipeline from being built.

That’s why today, March 23rd, we’re joining allies and friends across North America (turtle island) to flood the inbox, phone lines, and twitter feeds of this projects financiers with messages telling them to respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately!

Take a moment to sign our #ShutDownKKR petition and tell all your friends to do the same! If you’ve already signed (more than 140,000 of us have as I type this), click here to take the next steps by writing, calling, and/or tweeting at KKR.

Here’s the back story, if you’re just learning about the Wet’suwet’en today:

The same company that wanted to build the KeystoneXL pipeline, TC Energy, is about to start building a 417-mile, multibillion dollar fossil fuel pipeline in northern British Columbia, Canada. It’s set to cut right through Wet’suwet’en lands without the consent of the hereditary chiefs. To protect their sovereignty and defend their lands, different camps were built along the pipeline route where land defenders have been living for over 6 years.

In the last month, militarized police have raided the Wet’suwet’en camps with assault rifles, dogs, sound cannons, and helicopters while Indigenous elders and youth stood by in shock. Now, all eyes are on Wet’suwet’en — and their hereditary chiefs are urgently calling out for massive global support. 

Here in the U.S., you can help by calling out the largest funders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, JPMorgan Chase and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). Their plans to invest in the pipeline aren’t final and there’s still time to stop them.

Sign the petition to protect Wet’suwet’en & demand climate chaos profiteers JPMorgan Chase and KKR to stop financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

photo credit Michael Toledano

Join the Wet’suwet’en Strong day of action!

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, TC Energy is still going ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, putting communities and their workers at even more risk.

We need all eyes on the Wet’suwet’en frontlines right now. Billionaire oil CEOs and industry lobbyists will see this crisis as an opportunity to push through whatever they can when the world is looking the other way.

That’s why on Monday, March 23rd, we’ll be flooding KKR’s inbox, phone lines, and twitter feeds with messages telling them — respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately! KKR is currently one of the pipeline’s biggest financiers.

Will you take one minute right now and join the online day of action. Here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Email KKR with our easy message tool
  2. Call KKR at 1-888-593-5407 and follow the instructions. Talking points:
    1. I am calling to demand you respect Indigenous rights and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately.
    2. The Coastal GasLink project would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas.
    3. Building Coastal GasLink would disregarding the lack of consent by Wet’suwet’en community and the impacts to climate, air, water.
    4. All pipeline construction poses risks to indigenous women by allowing man camps to be built along the route. The problems with missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada and the US are well documented
  3. Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them to drop Coastal GasLink

Thanks again for taking action! You can also share this post, and graphic to spread the word!

Bad news about FERC & Jordan Cove

As we feared, and warned only yesterday, in the midst of the global pandemic the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conditionally approved the Jordan Cove fracked gas export terminal and Pacific Connector pipeline today.

The approval is conditioned on Pembina, the Canadian fossil fuel corporation behind the project, qualifying for critical permits from the state of Oregon, three of which have already been denied or withdrawn. But it’s still an incredibly disappointing decision from a rogue, rubber stamp agency.

It was only last Thursday that Senate Republicans rammed through a vote on James Danly to be a new commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Danly is the first totally partisan nominee – traditionally one Democrat and one Republican are nominated together. While a handful of Senators commented on the unusual decision to stack a supposedly bi-partisan commission with three Republicans and one Democrat.

And more than 14,000 of us wrote demanding changes at FERC, and we delivered all your signatures to each Senator before the vote. But Danly is a fossil fuel industry darling, and Senators Murkowski, Manchin, and McConnell were eager for him to secure their majority on FERC, which oversees all inter-state pipelines and fossil fuel export facilities. Hours after Danly was confirmed FERC fast-tracked the application to build the Jordan Cove gas export terminal proposed in Oregon, which was denied a permit by one vote in February.

I’m not sure which is more frustrating: The fact that Senate Republicans stacked the commission so they could ram through a fossil fuel project, or that the Republican FERC majority took the time to meet during a pandemic to approve a project that the Oregon communities, their elected officials, and local environmental agencies already oppose.

For now, the good news is that Jordan Cove and the Pacific Connector Pipeline can’t be built unless and until local permits are issued — and three of them have been rejected in the last few months. As for what’s next, I’ll re-iterate our request to keep your eyes on the frontlines. You can do that by staying in touch with our friends at Beyond Extreme Energy about next steps on FERC, and you can sign on petition in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.

You can also call on the Senate not to repeat their mistake this week by telling them to focus Corona virus response on people and communities, and not corporations and polluters. The Senate is starting debate tonight on a potential trillion dollar relief package for the corona virus. Initial bad ideas included direct bailouts of the fracking and fossil fuel industries. The more recent bad ideas have included a big bailout of the airline industry (who needs help to support workers, but doesn’t deserve a bailout without strings and scrutiny). Click here to tell your Senators to make sure any economic recovery bill helps workers and communities – not corporations and polluters.

Investigate Rick Perry

You remember Rick Perry as Trump’s former Secretary of Energy – the man appointed to lead an agency he famously said he would eliminate, but could not recall the name of during a 2016 Republican Presidential Debate. You might also remember that as one of the “three amigos” Perry was a minor player in Trump’s impeachment drama, which might be what convinced him to resign abruptly at the end of last year.

But did you know that Perry, less than a few weeks out from the revolving door at the Department of Energy is rejoining the board at Energy Transfer LP? Energy Transfer is the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and dozens of other environmental calamities. And Perry’s quick return to the paid employ of these climate profiteers is not just unseemly, it might be illegal.

Will you help us shine a light on the revolving door between climate criminals and Trump’s cabinet by demanding Congress investigate Rick Perry?

Perry’s term as Energy Secretary was not exactly time spent away from the fossil fuel industry. He met with major coal leaders and proposed to bail out the entire coal industry. He pressured the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to support fossil fuels over renewables. And he was a huge supporter of the US exporting more fracked gas, famously praising it as “molecules of freedom”

But it was his help negotiating gas deals with high-ranking Ukraine officials in the middle of Trump’s campaign to get them to dig up ‘dirt’ on Joe Biden that got Congress’ attention. Perry quickly resigned, rather than face questions. But it turns out Congress can still hold him accountable – if they have the political will to act.

In the age of climate crisis we now live in, the Department of Energy has a tremendous opportunity, and obligation, to take action. We’ve already suggested how FERC, which is technically an independent division of the DOE, could be transformed into the Federal Renewable Energy Commission as part of a Green New Deal. And that’s only one part of the transformation the Energy Department could lead – investing in renewables, innovation, job training, battery storage, infrastructure to make our communities resilient to climate impacts – candidates and climate leaders have been laying out plans for more than a year.

As Energy Secretary, Rick Perry had a duty to act on those plans and proposals in ways that would save lives and fight the climate crisis. Instead, he cashed in a favor to go back to the board room of one of the biggest companies in the world profiting off climate chaos. At Energy Transfer, again, he’ll make big bucks ramping up fossil fuel infrastructure that locks us into decades of further dependence on the fuels that threaten our climate and common home. This cannot go unchallenged.

Sign the petition to demand Congress investigate Rick Perry who never stopped getting paid to work for climate criminals.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Day #F2D2

2020 is shaping up to be the year of Divestment, and today is a great day to join in the fun! Right now, students at more than 50 college and university campuses are taking action today for Fossil Fuel Divestment Day and online using the hashtags hashtags #fossilfueldivestmentday & #F2D2. They’re taking a stand and fighting for climate justice by calling on their universities to divest — or withdraw their assets — from fossil fuel corporations. (You can read their op-ed announcing the action in TeenVogue here)

If you’re a student, faculty or administrator at a college or university, we hope you’ll get out and join the #F2D2 actions today. But for everyone else (and everyone in general) there’s another divestment campaign you can support as well – Divestment of our local, state, and federal employees’ pension funds. Click here to write to your local elected officials and demand they divest our public pensions in honor of Fossil Fuel Divestment Day!

Every single one of us is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry with our tax dollars, and we don’t even know it! That’s because nearly all public pension funds in the U.S. are invested in fossil fuel companies. That’s the retirement savings of every public school teacher, every local fire fighter, and all of our Mayors, County clerks, and other hard-working state and local officials being used to prop up the profiteers of climate chaos.

In many cases, the same first responders on the front lines of responding to climate chaos have their retirement funds invested in fossil fuel companies causing the problem.

To make matters worse, state pension funds’ investments in fossil fuels actually place our those workers’ retirement at risk. Fossil Fuel companies are already underperforming compared to the rest of the market. And when the “carbon bubble” bursts, it could cause losses greater than the 2008 financial crisis, according to a recent study.

The Big California pension funds CalSTRS and CalPERS, which represent nearly three million retired teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public employees, lost more than $17 billion already, costing an average teacher or firefighter $5,572 – $6,072.

That’s probably why “Mad Money” creator Jim Cramer (no friend of the climate movement) recently said, “I’m done with fossil fuels. They’re done.”

One essential step in solving the climate crisis is to move our collective money – bank accounts, retirement funds, insurance coverage all of it – away from the fossil fuel companies that are causing the climate crisis, and instead invest in a just transition to a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy and green jobs. State Treasurers, Governors, and local elected officials have the power to divest these massive state and local pension funds. But they wont act unless we speak out together, and in support of bold youth-led movements like today’s.

It’s time to demand that our elected officials act to freeze all investments in fossil fuel companies and divest public funds from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels.

Sign and send a letter to your governor and state legislators urging them to divest pension funds from fossil fuel industries. It is time to stop supporting climate chaos with our retirement money!

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline stops (here)

On Feb 24, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case to determine if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) can cross the Appalachian trail. This is the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about a pipeline in years. And the first chance in years to put a meaningful check on the power of pipelines and the fossil fuel industry.

Nor is this likely to be the last case the court hears on pipeline siting – other rulings striking down an ACP Compressor station and several other cases are moving through the courts challenge pipeline companies’ right to claim a ‘public necessity’ to take private land through eminent domain and degrade public benefits like health and climate.

We invite all pipeline fighters, mountain defenders, Water protectors and climate resisters should join us in DC on the morning of February 24, 2020. Together we will demonstrate the resolve and power of impacted communities and allies to stop the ACP and all pipelines, no matter what.

While the legal teams for the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Sierra Club make their case to the Justices inside the courtroom, we will demonstrate that a majority of the public outside the court wants a check on the power of fossil fuel and pipeline companies.

It is the responsibility of the Court to hold the interest of citizens in balance with the Executive and Legislative Branches of government.  With the undue influence that fossil fuel and pipeline companies have currently, it is critical that we unify our movement through escalated action against all pipelines and to let our position be known.  

Click here to RSVP and join us on the morning of February 24 at the Supreme Court.

A lot of details are To Be Determined, but this we know:

  • The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is an environmental and human rights disaster. 
    • If built, the ACP would generate more than 67 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants. 
    • It would require 38 miles of mountaintop removal and damage thousands of acres of farm and forest land.
    • What’s more, the ACP would disproportionately harm poor, African-American and Indigenous communities all along the route. The plan includes building an enormous fracked gas compressor stations in Union Hill — an African-American community of great historical and cultural significance in Virginia — and thirty thousand Native peoples live in the project area across North Carolina.
  • To demonstrate the seriousness of this issue, and our resolve to stop the ACP and all climate-wrecking pipelines, many of us are prepared to risk arrest at this event. 
  • We will do nothing that is violent and nothing to disrupt the oral arguments, which we want to proceed and hope to win along with allies in Virginia and West Virginia who brought the case.

There will be roles and responsibilities for all who want them, just like there always are in our movement. To make it possible for as many people to participate as possible, we’ll host a communal breakfast, prayer vigil, and briefing on Monday February 24 for those who are able to join. 

We also welcome your participation with shared travel, housing and other arrangements. Let us know on the form if you need assistance or are interested in helping.

Sign now to turn FERC into the Federal Renewable Energy Commission

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been binging on fossil fuel approvals again. In the last few months they’ve voted on party line to make ratepayers pay more money to subsidize fossil fuels, tried to influence the outcome of court decision in favor of fossil fuels before the trial, and called the fight to stop tolling orders a “losing the PR battle badly”.

At the same time, a growing number of elected officials and candidates are seriously considering our proposal to turn FERC into the Federal Renewable Energy Commission (FREC) as part of a Green New Deal. Leading presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have signed on, and Congress held a hearing last week on potential reforms to the Natural Gas Act.

FERC’s next meeting is February 20th, and our friends at Beyond Extreme Energy and many other groups will be making our presence felt. Sign on to this statement to support them, and consider their invitation to join us in DC as well!

What’s FERC been up to that’s so bad?

That is why 198 methods, BXE and 220 other organizations are campaigning for FERC to be replaced by FREC, a new Federal Renewable Energy Commission. As part of a Green New Deal, FREC would be charged with ending all fossil fuel use and regulating utility markets as they transition to 100% clean and renewable power over the next few years.

We urge you to consider taking part with us in our nonviolent action on February 20th. Click here to learn more and sign up to join us in DC.

As a first step, please sign our petition to turn FERC Into FREC. We’ll deliver all the signatures to leaders in Congress and on the campaign trail.

Fire William Pendley, Trump’s racist, climate denying public lands director

If you’ve been paying attention for the last 3 years, it won’t shock you to learn that William Pendley, Trump’s Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is a climate-denying white nationalist.

But even in Trump’s swamp, Pendley is worth paying attention to – because this corrupt critter is dangerous, dirty and Congress has the power to remove him – if we speak out.

Sign here to tell Congress: Acting Director William Pendley must resign or be removed from heading the Bureau of Land Management.

Let’s start with the basics. The BLM is responsible for maintaining federal lands and resources for everyone’s benefit across the country. They manage federal monuments and wilderness areas, and even have a role in protecting national parks. The job of the BLM director is, basically, to take care of public lands. To be a good steward and protect them for future generations.

But that’s not Trump and Pendley’s vision. Pendley is a long-time advocate of selling off public lands or giving them to states to sell. His vision is about profit, not protection — and he’s made a fortune selling our public lands to the fossil fuel industry for a pittance. Pendley’s last job was lawyer for a couple counties in Utah that wanted to carve up sections of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments for drilling, fracking and mining. Check out this informative video from the Years Project for more.

Like a lot of corrupt, climate-denying Trump administration officials, including his Boss Andrew Bernhardt, and Bernhardt’s predecessor Ryan Zinke, Pendley never stopped working for the fossil fuel industry. At last count, Pendley had a whopping 57 conflicts of interest — and that’s just the ones he’s chosen to disclose to the ethics office.

But actions speak louder than disclosure reports, and Pendley is not only corrupt, but a climate-denier. At BLM he’s prioritized killing Wild Horses over action to stop climate change. And Pendley literally wrote a book (5 of them, actually) on fighting environmental laws and deregulating public lands in which he calls conservation “radical” says scientists lie or cheat to accomplish their goals, calls Native American religions “pantheism” and accuses the government of carrying out a “war” on the western states. Which is one reason why nearly 100 environmental groups have denounced him publicly.

Being an anti-environment climate denier is bad enough, but Pendley’s brand of public land for private profit also traffics in white nationalism. Pendley has argued that “local law enforcement bears primary responsibility for enforcing state and federal laws,” amplifying the agenda of white nationalist organization Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.

It’s the same ideology that lead him to support the Bundy family when they held a Wildlife refuge at gunpoint. Those same ranchers were later pardoned by Donald Trump.

Any one of these actions – his conflicts of interest, his climate denial, his radically anti-public lands message or his close ties to white nationalist militias is enough to disqualify Pendley from serving. And here’s the thing: Pendley is only at BLM by Congress’ agreement – he’s another “acting” director who can be hauled in front of Congress to explain his past-deeds, and removed if enough members of Congress don’t like his answers.

So let’s get the ball rolling on that and remove another racist, corrupt, climate Denying Trump administration official before its too late! Sign the petition: Demand Acting Director William Pendley resign or be removed from heading the Bureau of Land Management.

Stop Dirty Duke Energy’s Rate Hike!

Duke Energy is seeking approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for a $290.8 million rate hike. If approved, the electric bill of a typical residential customer will rise by nearly $100 a year — all to pay for more dirty power, fracked gas, and pollution.

A series of hearings are planned for the next few weeks, and we’re asking you to show up and speak out in opposition to this plan. Click here to RSVP for the Charlotte Rate Hike hearing Thursday, January 30. If you can’t make it (or even if you can) click here to send an email to the NCUC and tell them No Rate Hikes for Dirty Energy!

Duke Energy Wants to Raise your bills!

More Background: 

This is our chance to speak directly to NC Utilities Commissioners, the ones who oversee and regulate Duke Energy. They need to know how raising rates affects our climate and communities, especially people on fixed incomes and struggling families trying to make ends meet! 

The best way to show them is to show up! Join us at the Mecklenburg county courthouse to learn more and speak out against Duke Energy’s Dirty Energy Rate Hike. 

If you want to speak out, but aren’t sure what to say, check out our letter writing page, which is chock-full of talking points, facts, and links to other documents. You are also invited  attending should come to our PREP MEETING on Monday, January 27th @6:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte (234 N. Sharon Amity Rd.) in the Conference Room. At the Prep Meeting you can get more talking points, what to expect at the hearing, how to give good testimony and how to write Letters-To-The-Editor and Letters-To-The-Commissioners.

Thanks!

Thanks for signing – Can you help these local PR groups?

Thanks for signing our petition Below are some tools to share the action with your networks online. Because Congress isn’t able to send the full aid package quickly, we’re also including links to some local groups in Puerto Rico. If you wan to bypass the racist Trump regime and fund direct aid to the people who need it, these are some places to start.

share on Facebook
share on Twitter
Or, email this link: 
http://bit.ly/2020PRAid_198m 

This list is copied from a REmezcla article by Raquel Reichard. Thanks to her for writing and to Friends of the Earth friends who shared it with us.

Ayuda Legal PR

Ayuda Legal PR is a nonprofit organization that provides free and accessible education and legal support to low-income people and communities in Puerto Rico. Following Hurricane María, the group, made up of lawyers, legal experts and law students, began focusing on legal assistance during and after disasters, particularly access to justice, the right to housing and fair recovery — all of which will undoubtedly be needed for people rebuilding houses and businesses, seeking health care and more after the earthquakes. Donate here.  

Brigada Solidaria del Oeste

Also born out of the devastating 2017 storms, Brigada Solidaria del Oeste is a community initiative comprised of individuals from various organizations, creative spaces and social struggles that meets with members of communities on the island’s west coast to identify the needs of the people and work to support them. Currently, group leaders are headed south, where the earthquakes and aftershocks were felt the most, to speak with locals, assess needs and help communities on the ground. Donate to the brigade via PayPal through their email address brigadasolidariaoeste@gmail.com. 3

Casa Pueblo

On the archipelago, Casa Pueblo is a community-management project that has been addressing climate change since 1980, when the government attempted to mine deposits of silver, gold and copper, by protecting natural, cultural and human resources and advocating for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable Puerto Rico. Their efforts and education are particularly crucial as the island is increasingly hit with natural disasters. In fact, in December, think tank Germanwatch released its annual Global Climate Risk Index 2020, which found that Puerto Rico is affected by climate change more than anywhere else in the world. Donate to Casa Pueblo here

Correa Family Foundation

Created by Puerto Rican professional baseball player Carlos Correa, the Correa Family Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that supports low-income and/or ill children. Correa, a shortstop for the Houston Astros, was in his hometown of Ponce, which was hit hard during the earthquake, with his wife Daniella Rodriguez Correa at the time the 6.4 magnitude quake hit. On Twitter, Rodriguez said she has “never been so scared in my life,” while Correa told CBS affiliate KHOU 11 “there’s a lot of victims.”

With multiple schools affected by the series of quakes, including an institution in Guánica that was destroyed, Correa started a fund through his children-oriented foundation to help rebuild impacted schools. Donate here

World Central Kitchen & Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico

While Spanish chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization providing free meals to people in the wake of natural disasters, isn’t native to Puerto Rico, the group works with local chefs and community leaders to help those in impacted areas. After Hurricane María, World Central Kitchen served more than 3,000,000 meals and is often applauded on the archipelago for its quick and impactful disaster relief. In a tweet on Tuesday, Andrés said that his team is heading to the southern coast of Puerto Rico, where they will be using solar power and generators to serve affected municipalities. Donate here.

If you prefer to support local food initiatives, Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico, a project of Centro para el Desarrollo Político, Educativo y Cultural (CDPEC), is a self-managed food distribution initiative providing free meals to communities at the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras and Cayey campuses. Donate here.