Make the call to Stop Kavanaugh

Have you met Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the supreme court? He’s everything you expect, and more: He’s ruled in favor of more mercury in our water, more pollution in our air, and he has it in for the EPA and climate science.

But there’s something nobody knows about Kavanaugh, something the Washington Post this week called a “nightmare scenario” for the constitution and our country: Whether he would use his position on the Supreme Court to rule that Trump is immune from investigation and prosecution, creating a lawless presidency with Trump in control.

Scared yet? Me too. Call (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senators to vote NO on Kavanaugh.

Robert Mueller is actively investigating Donald Trump and his associates over whether they colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 Presidential Election. Trump’s legal team is stone-walling, refusing to let Trump be interviewed because if he does, they’re worried he’ll perjure himself, lie to the FBI or confess to a crime (as he’s already done on twitter). Mueller therefore is likely to subpoena Trump, setting up an unprecedented legal showdown that can only end at the United States Supreme Court later this fall.

But here’s the scary part –Trump and McConnell have already announced plans to fast track the Kavanaugh nomination, with initial hearings scheduled in the next few weeks. If confirmed, one of his first decisions could be to rule that Trump is above the law, and shut down the Mueller investigation subpoena. We can’t let this happen. Call (202) 224-3121. to your Senators and tell them not to allow Kavanaugh’s nomination to have a hearing or a vote.

It’s not outlandish to think Kavanaugh will protect the president that appointed him to a lifetime term on the Supreme Court. After all, Kavanaugh has already said he thinks the SCOTUS ruling that forced Richard Nixon to hand over the Watergate tapes was a “mistake.” He’s also said that sitting President’s can’t or shouldn’t be investigated (despite the fact that he investigated President Clinton when he was desperate to make a name for himself). And Kavanaugh’s time working for George W Bush shows that he believes a President can pick and choose which parts of the law to enforce, based on his own interpretation of the constitution.

We simply can’t let this happen. Call (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senators to vote no on Kavanaugh, and any Supreme Court Nominee who will rule that Trump is ‘above the law.’

Sit in to make Jerry Brown Stand up for Climate

California Governor Jerry Brown likes to talk a good game on climate. He speaks often about climate action and science, and describes himself as a sort of “Anti-Trump” on climate action.

As a centerpiece of that plan, Brown has invited governors and Mayors from around the world to California Next month for a Global Climate Action Summit. But there’s a fundamental problem with Brown’s climate talk – he’s never been willing to stand up and stop fossil fuel production in his own state.

California extracts about 200 million barrels of oil per year, and Brown has frequently helps the Oil and gas industry get new permits, and allows them to drill very close (within a few hundred feet) of vulnerable communities – especially children, the elderly and communities of color.

For the sake of the climate, to protect our communities, it’s time to say “Enough!” It’s time to escalate and make our message impossible to ignore. Will you join us on August 20th in Sacramento as we SIT IN to demand that Governor Brown STAND UP to big oil?

Brown’s climate leadership is not sufficient to address climate change in California, and is not a model of leadership for the world, yet. The global warming pollution from existing wells and pipelines will take California far beyond safe climate limits, and Brown isn’t doing anything to stop new wells from being fracked either.

Our allies are leading a non-violent direct action to insist that Brown address our concerns, acknowledge the science around extreme extraction and neighborhood drilling, and enact adequate protections to save our communities.

We are making two urgent, specific demands that Governor Brown has the power to meet right now:

  1. No new permits for oil drilling in California, and
  2. Commit California to a managed decline of fossil fuel production beginning with 2,500 foot setback limits to protect frontlines communities from toxic oil and gas drilling, as part of a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.

Event Details: (full details provided upon confirmed sign-up) Sign up to sit in to end climate cowardice!

  • Location:  Sacramento CA
  • Sunday Aug 19 Training at 6pm Location:
  • Monday Aug 20 Training at 9am, Action at 11:30

Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice

On September 8th, we’re joining partners from around the world in the streets for the Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice actions.

Our goal is to show our local elected leaders that we demand action on climate change. Will you join us?

When Trump pulled the U.S. out of Paris Climate Agreement, he committed our whole country to a stupid, backwards course of action. We’re now the last country on earth that isn’t signed onto the Paris agreement, and the only country on earth without a plan to fight global warming.

Trump didn’t stop at stupid, either: He and his corrupt cabinet of swamp monsters have proposed dozens of rollbacks and reversals on environmental policy, and proposed opening millions of miles of land and our coasts to new fossil fuel drilling. It’s disgusting and shameful and corrupt. And we can ignore all of it (well, don’t ignore it) if our mayors, Governors and local elected leaders take action.

With the 2018 midterm elections fast approaching, now is the time to engage and mobilize our communities to rise for for climate, jobs, and justice.

California Jerry Brown is converging a summit of sub-national (eg local mayors and governors) leaders from around the world. That Brown is not the leader on Climate that he should be isn’t the point, this time. The point is that thousands of our local leaders will all be in one place this September, talking about plans to fight climate change.

Rise for Climate Jobs and JusticeWe want to spur those local leaders on: Show them that the planet is filled with people who demand real action on climate change, and will applaud them if they get serious (and name and shame them if they don’t). So on September 8th people will take to the streets in hundreds of climate action events across the globe to make three simple demands:

  1. No new fossil fuel infrastructure. No pipelines, no fracking wells, nothing. We’re drawing a line and no elected leader may cross it and expect to be re-elected without a fight.
  2. A swift, just transition to a new 100% renewable energy. We know this vision creates millions of good jobs, and ensures that racial and economic justice are at the core of every community.
  3. Not a Penny More. We need banks, pension funds, and every single citizen, city and bank to #divest from fossil fuels. NOW.

If you’re down with those demands, and ready to take action in the streets. Join us, spread the word, and RSVP to host or attend an action in your community on September 8th.

About to go live in Raleigh for #RiseTogether day 2

I’m about to start another live stream at the Raleigh #RiseTogether rally, so I’ll get right to the point: Can you donate to support these solidarity actions in North Carolina and our ability to help organize them?

Yesterday, I got up super early and drove to Charlotte for the first North Carolina #RiseTogether Action. I’m not a morning person, but it was totally worth it. We marched through downtown Charlotte, a city literally owned by the big fossil fuel banks with a 50 foot inflatable pipeline. We sang and chanted and passed out hundreds of fliers on the doorstep of Bank or America, Wells Fargo, and Duke Energy.

And we tussled (verbally, non-violently) with security at Duke’s headquarters when they forbade us to stand on “their” side of the sidewalk, or even to allow people on “their” side to to take our picture.  But for all the fun and power of this action, it was an entirely volunteer production. So, I have to ask, can you check out the video from day one, and then chip in a few dollars to support our participation in the action and all the time, materials and work that went into it?

Working on this kind of project is exactly why I started 198 methods. Our friends in North Carolina were ready to #RiseTogether in solidarity with our allies in the Gulf. And their participation is so vital! Just as our brothers and sisters in Louisiana are fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP), our friends in North Carolina are fighting the Atlantic Coast (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipelines (MVP). All of these pipelines threaten our communities, our clean water, and our climate future.

So a diverse coalition of NC activists wanted to organize two major actions – On July 30 in Charlotte, and July 31 in Raleigh. But to do it they needed help – they needed digital tools to help recruit more people and connect a big, global, audience to the local actions and demands. I was happy to work with them, and together we’ve already pulled off one action and have a solid plan for today. You can see the video from day one above, and click here to tune in to day two:

But here’s the plain and simple fact: Part of the reason I work with local groups like NC APPPL and other allies, is that they’re under-resourced. These folks work on the front lines with communities of color, indigenous leaders, the faith community, and any one who will stand with them to fight the pipeline. They’ve shown willingness to risk their safety and freedom to stop fossil fuels- like the time we occupied Governor Cooper’s office for more than 8 hours. Or when we barn-stormed into a BOEM hearing to stop offshore drilling and make the people’s voices heard.

Now, they’re rising together with our allies in the Gulf as part of a big, global movement to stop all pipelines and shut down fossil fuels. Can you chip in to support us?

Our Demands are:

But we literally can’t do it without your support. 198 methods is able to work with local groups and step up to support these actions because of small donations from kind people like you. If you’ve watched one of our live-streams, signed on to support our work, or just been looking for a way to help – now’s the time. Click here to chip in and support the North Carolina #RiseTogether actions. We’ll donate all the proceeds to NC APPPL and local groups. Thanks.

Save the Endangered Species Act.

Donald Trump and his Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have declared war on the Endangered Species Act. It’s a terrible policy motivated by greed, blood-lust and a disdain for the natural world.

One part of the policy seems designed to support trophy hunters like Trump’s sons, and follows a pattern of Trump supporting the most extreme and cruel forms of sport hunting. But the real reason they’re pushing this rollback to one of the most successful environmental laws in history is to help the fossil fuel industry to a once-in-a-lifetime chance to profit off our planet at the expense of literally every living thing on earth.

We have until September 24 to file comments opposing this dangerous, unethical, backwards plan. Will you help? File a comment with us and we’ll make sure it’s delivered to DOI and the Trump team before the deadline.

For 45 years the ESA has kept plant and animal species in decline from going extinct. It’s credited with saving the hump back whale, the bald eagle, and dozens of other species.

But in the last few years, protecting threatened species like the Sage Grouse have run afoul of the avaricious plans of the oil and gas industry. Fossil fuel companies want unfettered access to mine, drill, frack and despoil every inch of our land and coastline. And the Trump team’s plan gives them everything they could ever want, and more.

The plan put forward by Zinke and his team at Trump’s DOI would end the protection for species that are called threatened, meaning they’re on the cusp of being endangered, but haven’t actually gone extinct and need to be re-populated in zoos or using other extreme measures. It would also give Trump and Zinke the chance to review which plants and animals are protected on a case-by-case basis — sure to result in many fewer protections for a tiny fraction of the species that need it.

In another part of the plan, Trump and Zinke propose to require a cost benefit analysis when deciding what species and habitat to protect. The direction of the policy is clear — if the oil industry can make a buck by driving a species extinct, they’re free to do it. But the idea of saving wildlife for wildlife’s sake is abolished from our laws.

I won’t lie, there’s very little chance Zinke and Trump can be made to listen to reason. We saw in their plan to open up ALL our coasts to oil and gas drilling that the public comment periods they held were less about public input, and more about protecting their deeply corrupt and unethical administration from legal challenges.

But there is a chance to trip them up in procedure, slow down this disastrous plan, and give our allies in Congress (yes, there are some) time to mobilize and block this plan. Submitting comments to the public record is sort of like making a permanent record of our dissent. When we combine it with protests and public outcry in the press and online, it creates a deep and rich story of how the American public is deeply opposed to these policies. That story, in turn, can be used by our allies in the legal system to sue, challenge, delay and block the implementation of this and other parts of Trump and Zinke’s agenda.

Tl;Dr if enough of us speak out right now, we CAN stop this plan. But we’ve got to file the comments right, and right now. Please, we need your help. Send a comment to the Department of Interior telling them you oppose the Trump/Zinke plan to gut the Endangered Species Act.

Update from Louisiana: Rise together to stop the pipelines

Things are getting dangerous for our brothers and sisters in Louisiana fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Earlier this week Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Bayou Bridge (BBP) and Dakota Access Pipelines (DAPL), leap frogged ahead of their scheduled pipeline construction to begin cutting trees near a group of water protector tree sits.

Along with an armed police export, they’ve continued to cut all the remaining trees around the tree-sits. It’s unnecessary and illegal, but more importantly it puts the safety of these brave water protectors at risk – because even a tree cut near their fragile, elevated encampments can come down wrong and smash guide wires and other safety equipment.

As L’eau Est La Vie Camp said on their facebook page:

We are heart broken by this reckless destruction of the basin, but we continue to occupy the tree sits and will continue to resist.

L’eau Est La Vie and leaders on the ground are calling for aid, and there are two specific actions you can take to help us #RiseTogether this week:

  1. Keep your eyes on Louisiana and our allies there. LeLV has been broadcasting live updates from the trees and their support camp nearly every day and we share most of them on our Facebook page as well.
  2. Sign up to host or attend a local solidarity action this week or next. There are dozens of events planned around the country – from simple sign holdings at a bank branch to full on protests and rallies.
    1. We’re supporting several solidarity actions in North Carolina that connect the Gulf and Atlantic coasts in action to stop pipelines and climate chaos. Click here to learn more about those events.

As soon as tree cutting began, local supporters flooded the Sheriff’s department with calls. They even went down to the precinct and waited for hours to file an official complaint with the seemingly non-plussed officers. But the pattern of the last few weeks has been clear – every time the pipeline company puts lives and property in danger, people rise up to stop or slow them with peaceful, non-violent direct action. The local police and sheriff’s offices are complicit in the crimes, because they’re not only protecting the pipeline, they’re actively harassing the water protectors by walking canine units through their support camp, showing up armed to the pipeline route, and refusing to respond to legitimate appeals for human and civil rights protections for impacted people.

ETP has a despicable track record of attacking water protectors with dogs, water cannons, flyover surveillance and more. But they always pull back when people are watching. Just like at Standing Rock, the more of us watching and calling in to local sheriff’s departments to tell them we’re watching, the safer our water protectors will be.

But while your witness is vital, so is your action. As our friend Cherri said earlier this week: If you’re able to see this message, watch these live-streams or read these emails – you’re connected to a phone or a computer. That means you have the means to make yourself heard.

So please, don’t just watch or check in on Facebook: sign up now to host or attend a local solidarity event. There are resources available to help you plan, and an event can be as simple as taking a picture at a local bank branch. If you register an event here, and let us know, we’ll do everything we can to help promote it to our networks online and recruit others to join you. Now is the time to #RiseTogether

Rise together – Divest, no new pipelines, clean energy now.

All week we’ve been glued to the news – not the news from Helsinki (well, ok, that too) but the news from Louisiana where our friends fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline are entering a critical phase of the campaign.

In case you need a refresher, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP) is the tail end of the black snake we call Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If completed, BBP is the final link that connects dirty oil from the American tar sands in North Dakota to refineries and export terminals in Louisiana.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the same company that siced dogs on water protectors at Standing Rock, has been ignoring court orders and human rights in a frantic rush to complete the pipeline. But our friends at the L’eau Est la Vie Camp have stood strong. For months they’ve continuously interrupted, delayed and stopped work.

But last week, a judge overruled an earlier decision, and basically gave ETP a green light to finish construction by this fall. This is especially dangerous for the residents of  a town called St. James right in the heart of cancer alley and adjacent to the terminal where the BBP ends — and a town which still has no evacuation plan, meaning that when (not if) there is a serious accident or explosion on the BBP, or any of the other dozens of petrochemical plants nearby, they have no way out.

This is the critical moment to rise together, and local leaders in Louisiana are calling for our aid. Here’s how to help:

From now until the 31st, frontline resistance campaigns across North America are taking action to stop pipelines and extreme energy projects in solidarity with the fight in Louisiana. We’re encouraged to take action targeting the banks funding these pipeline projects, or by joining the frontlines and taking action directly with us.

Across Turtle Island, Indigenous people and frontline communities are leading the fight to stop oil and fracked-gas pipelines. These pipelines and all fossil fuel extraction endangers the communities they pass through, contaminate the air and water, contribute to global climate change and continue the colonization of native lands.

Water protectors in the Bayou are holding strong. In the last week they’ve deployed a new line of tree sits to slow or stop construction, and they’ve chased Louisiana’s governor all over the state, demanding he meet with residents of St James and other impacted communities. In exchange for their bravery and resolve, they’ve been beaten, arrested, and harassed by police and ETP’s private mercenaries.

The L’eau Est La Vie camp, and front line resistors all over North America, need our support if they’re going to continue the fight. They’re calling on all of us to #RiseTogether in the next two weeks. Can you help?

 

Been a minute

Hey friends, been a minute since my last post. Just want to assure that 1) we’re not done fighting; 2) we’ve been busy, even if we haven’t posted; and 3) There’s more coming soon.

Lightening round recap:

  1. We blocked the doors to the EPA to demand climate justice with the poor people’s campaign on June  18
  2. I stalked the halls of Congress to demand Republican members #FirePruittand then they did!
    1. Two weeks later Pruitt Resigned What the what!?!
  3. I locked myself to a 20 foot tall bamboo tower for 7 hours to #CrackFERCopen and demand reforms at the Federal Energy regulatory Commission (thanks to the more than 10,000 of you who signed in support!)

    1. Later that same week, one of the Republican Commissioners Robert Powelson, announced he is resigning in August – setting up a deadlocked FERC over climate and gas pipelines, exactly what we were trying to accomplish with our action.

There’s been a ton of other news, most of it bad:

  1. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court,Brett Kavanaugh, is a radical, anti- woman, anti-LGBTQ, racist and  anti-environment jurist. And he’s proposed him to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who’s often called a swing vote was pretty reliably pro-climate and life on earth (Kavanaugh is not).
  2. Pruitt is out at the EPA but his replacement, Andrew Wheeler, is equally corrupt, and potentially more dangerous if only because he’s seen as less comically corrupt than Pruitt was – replacing petty scandals over lotion and condo rentals with serious ones about poisoning our air, water and land.
  3. Pipeline construction continues in Lousianna, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and elsewhere as our big, ud, proud, fragile, community continues to fight the black snake on too many fronts to bear. We;ll have na update tomorrow about the current weeks of action happening to support the L’eau Est La Vie Camp. And soon we’ll have more ways to sign, donate, show up and otherwise support all our actions

I trust that even when we can’t find our way back to the keyboard, you know we’re out fighting, demanding action and making change. We started 198 methods to do digital support for direct action climate campaigns. That’s where we’ve been: locking down, sitting in, aking art, making friends and demanding change.

I’ll also point out that, even though times are certainly still dark, the old adage holds: when we fight, we win. IN the last few weeks we fired (another) member of Trump’s corrupt cabinet. We conviced 20% of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to step down and re-create the deadlock we spent a year exploiting to delay, derail and block gas infrastructure all over America. And we’re not out of fight yet.

We ready. We coming. Don’t touch that dial. I believe that we will win.

Get on a Bus to the Poor People’s Campaign

Earlier this week, I sat down and blocked the door to the EPA in solidarity with the Poor People’s Campaign. Sitting with me and just outside, was a crowd of hundreds – multi-racial, interfaith, and intergenerational – together we rallied, sang and demanded change .

The action was electric. And you know Scott Pruitt – Trump’s racist, corrupt EPA administrator – heard about it. Check out the photos and videos of the action:

But shutting down the EPA for a few hours will not fire Scott Pruitt. And even firing Pruitt will not undo all the damage this Administration has done to our health and the health of our planet.

These 40 days of moral action, which 198 methods has been proud to endorse and support, are the start of a massive campaign to address environmental, racial and economic injustice. This Saturday, June 23, there’s a big rally here in DC to cap the 40 days of action, and launch the next phase of the Poor People’s Campaign. Will you join us? Click here to RSVP!

There are busses and car-pools coming from dozens of states, and housing is available Tonight and tomorrow for some activists. Click here to learn more and get connected.

Can’t make it Saturday? Tune in with us on social media, and chip in a few dollars – all the proceeds will be used to help folks get to and participate in Saturday’s Rally.

The Poor People’s Campaign was founded to engage in mass nonviolent direct action the face of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and militarism. All these are products of the same distorted moral narrative that allows Jeff Sessions to claim biblical backing to rip children from their mothers at the border; and it’s the same distorted moral narrative that allows Scott Pruitt to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on frivolous (and illegal) perks for himself, at the same time he is rolling back protections for clean air, clean water, environmental justice and climate change that cost real lives – especially low-wealth communities and communities of color.

Actions like the one I took on Monday are an important part of this campaign, which has included rallies in more than 38 states, and more than 1700 non-violent arrests. But this is only the beginning.

Rev. Barber, co-chair of the poor People’s Campaign says “We must engage in mass power building in poor and low wealth communities declaring We Won’t Be Silent Anymore!!!” Join us this Saturday to take the next step in building that power.

Cracks between the FERC commissioners

I’ve been fighting with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for years now. Most of the time, they seem pretty monolithic: in all the years they’ve existed, they’ve only said no to two (2) pipeline applications. And they’ve always steadfastly refused to acknowledge the damage that fracked gas does to our climate.

That’s why, for the last four years or so, I’ve been working with Beyond Extreme Energy to resist FERC, tell the Senate not to confirm their commissioners, and generally shut down this rubber stamping agency. But now, for the first time I can remember, we are beginning to see cracks develop between the FERC commissioners:

Just a few days ago, the two (minority) Democratic commissioners, Richard Glick and Cheryl LaFleur, voted to void the  FERC permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. There have also been news reports that the two Democrats are demanding a more thorough review of climate impacts – including one time LaFleur took it upon herself to just “do the math” without her Republican colleagues’ permission.

Without question the unrelenting pressure of our movement has had much to do with this, and we need to keep it up. FERC is still accepting public comments on their pipeline review process. And on Monday June 25, we’re going to deliver a big, noisy message to FERC’s front door. Can you support us? You can join me and our BXE friends in DC to take action on Monday, OR you can just sign this petition and we’ll deliver your name along with thousands of others on Monday.


While there have been several dissents from the Democrats over the last nine months since a quorum was restored to FERC, they have not been enough to actually stop any pipeline or permit. And Republican Chairman Kevin McIntyre has made it plain he’s more interested in ‘streamlining’ the approval process than raising new questions or rejecting pipeline applications.

But while we’re not yet on pace to truly reform or “fix” FERC, I do think there’s reason to be optimistic in this moment. The recent comments from Glick and LaFleur show that our pressure has changed some minds already. And we know from past experience that when we show up in force to shut FERC down, commissioners often scurry for the exits, or even retire altogether. If we can force one more commissioner to change their position, or step down and replace them with someone who takes climate change seriously, we’ll have a majority. And THAT is worth fighting for.

PS – Monday’s action will be big, bold, beutifle and memorable. BXE has already laid out thousands of dollar to build art and props, provide food and housing for all of the participants (including me!) and many other logistics. If you can’t make it on Monday, but want to support the action or watch along online, I know they’d also appreciate a donation – anything helps, but a gift of $1.98, $19.80, or $198 is especially nice and let’s them know you’re with us. Thanks.