Don’t let Dominion exec’s off the hook for the ACP

Like all of you, we cheered big hearty cheers when the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was finally abandoned by Duke and Dominion. We’d been fighting that racist, climate-killing, ratepayer-busting pipeline for years.

And for all the time we were fighting the pipeline, the people who stood to profit were the corporate executives at Duke and Dominion. No one person was more culpable for the ACP, or more directly associated with it than Dominion Energy’s Tom Farrell. Now he must resign. Sign here if you agree.

You’ve already heard, over and over, how the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an environmental and human rights disaster:

  • It would have generated more than 67 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants.
  • It would have required 38 miles of mountaintop removal and damage thousands of acres of farm and forest land.
  • And the ACP would disproportionately harm poor, African-American and Indigenous communities all along the route. The plan included 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.

Behind this project that terrorized communities in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and threatened our climate was Dominion Energy, one of the most powerful monopolies in America. And Dominion’s leader, Tom Farrell, continued to push this project for years despite the potential consequences. As recently as May of this year, dozens of us attended Dominion’s online shareholder meeting to protest the ACP, and Farrell was still defending the ACP and repeating the lie that it was a ‘clean’ and ‘cost effective’ solution to our energy needs.

Rev. William J. Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign and Vice President Al Gore have already called Farrell’s legacy a “reckless, racist, ripoff.” But Farrell has found another way to dodge responsibility for his actions.

A few weeks ago, Dominion announced that Farrell will become the company’s executive chair, effective Oct. 1, 2020 and continue to serve as chair of the Board of Directors. Day-to-day operations will be run by Robert Blue, Farrell’s former operating officer, who will still report to Farrell.

Farrell has proven himself to be a bad corporate executive. By relying on a business model built on extraction, environmental injustice, and political corruption, he cost ratepayers and shareholders billions of dollars. But instead of firing him after the entire ACP debacle came crashing down, Dominion promoted him!

It’s important to pipeline fighters everywhere that we don’t just let Farrell walk away from the wreckage of the ACP without consequence. If he can get away with it, there’s nothing to discourage Robert Blue, or Duke CEO Lynn Good for that matter, from reviving the ACP in the future. Just as important, there’s no message to corporate leaders and lenders everywhere that betting big on fossil fuels is as dangerous for your career as it is for our communities and climate.

Let’s make an example of Farrell, like we made a symbol out of the ACP. Sign the petition to demand that Tom Farrell resign in disgrace as Executive Chair of Dominion Energy.

Tell FERC to make the Atlantic Coast Pipeline History!

On June 15 The Supreme Court ruled that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) can cross under the Appalachian Trail in the George Washington National Forest. Doing so removed a major obstacle to the project, but did not provide a clear path to how or when the project can be completed. A thicket of lawsuits persists and dozens of state and local permits remain in question.

Billions of dollars over budget, years behind schedule, and with no end in sight, the ACP’s corporate owners — Duke and Dominion — are asking for an extension. On June 19 they filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend their certificate of public good and necessity by two years.

Sign here to tell FERC to reject the extension, and make the ACP History!

Then, RSVP to join BXE and friends on Wednesday July 1 to deliver all the comments in a fun, interactive, arts-based webinarRSVP here to join us live at 11am ET on July 1, or click here to RSVP for the Facebook invite – we’ll share a recording of the webinar, and more details on how to comment and be involved.

The existing FERC permit, which has been the source of several lawsuits and legal challenges, expires October 13, 2020. If FERC denies the request to extend the permit by 2 years, the ACP is history. But FERC is not known for listening to public comment, or evaluating fracked gas pipelines on the objective merits of whether they will hurt people, communities and the climate. Which is probably why they gave us a measly 14 days, immediately before 4th of July weekend, to offer comments.

Lawyers, environmental groups, and experts are filing formal comments to oppose the extension of the ACP’s permit. But we need more than a good argument – we need public outrage and attention to stop the ACP.

Sign here to tell FERC that they must reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s application for a permit extension. If you sign before July 2 we’ll include your comment in the docket as evidence of the public’s opposition and deliver them as part of a creative, artistic, impossible-to-ignore demonstration before FERC’s next commissioners’ meeting on July 17.

Dirty, Dishonest Dominion can’t duck divestment online

Dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy – the principal company backing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – is holding their annual shareholders meeting (AGM) online tomorrow, May 6. They hope that because the meeting is online this year, due to the pandemic, that we’ll stay home and not pressure them to stop investing in fossil fuels, especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, like we have in the past

Dominion’s wrong – and we’re showing up online tomorrow right before the shareholder meeting to give them a piece of our mind. Can you join us?

Here’s what’s going on: Last year, Dominion held their shareholders meeting in my hometown of Columbia South Carolina. We worked with a team of activists from SC, NC, VA and beyond to show up and hold a protest outside the meeting while a crew of activist shareholders went inside to lobby Dominion to divest from fossil fuels and especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

In the year since, things have not gone well for Dominion and the ACP. The pipeline has been mired in court over legal objections to their plan to cross the Appalachian Trail on US Forest Service Land. That court case landed at the US Supreme Court in late February, and we were there as part of a street protest and Non violent civil disobedience action lead by North Carolinian’s impacted by the project.

While the pipeline has been stopped (for now) by the courts, the costs haven’t stopped going up. In fact, a new report out today from our friends at NC Warn and Friends of the Earth found that sticking with the ACP will increase energy costs $30 billion across VA, NC and other impacted states.

But while the news is mostly-bad for the pipeline, it has been mostly good for Virginians who want to invest in clean power. In March, Virginia passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which mandates that the state’s utilities, including Dominion, switch to pollution-free energy by 2045.

That one decision basically makes the ACP un-viable. But the pandemic, combined with a major drop in oil and gas prices have pushed fracking and pipeline companies to the brink of bankruptcy and dramatically slashed demand for gas pipelines and power plants. While Trump and co are angling to bail out big oil and gas producers, it would take months or years for that money to trickle down to utilities like Dominion.

Faced with all these headwinds, you’d think that Dominion would drop its support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But instead, they’ve been doubling down on their support – taking on more investment in the pipeline and lobbying to get around the Virginia law and scuttle clean energy requirements in North Carolina and South Carolina.

So, tomorrow, before their shareholders meeting, we’ll gather online and make some noise telling Dominion and their shareholders that it’s time to divest from fossil fuels and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Join us tomorrow (May 6) at 8:30 am before the shareholders’ meeting on zoom to take action. Together we’ll post on social media, call executives and take online action! We’ll hear reports and briefings from experts and shareholder advocates and give you all the info and talking points you need.

PS we’ll also be meeting at 11am on Thursday May 7 before the Duke Energy Shareholders meeting. Join us for that one too!

Join us for the Bank of America Shareholder meeting

From April 22-24, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, millions of people around the world are going online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. And on Earth day – Wednesday, April 22 – Bank of America is holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Shareholders.

As shareholders show up online for the meting online, we’ll join allies from across North Carolina to demand they “Stop The Money Pipeline.” Can you join us?

At 9am, we’ll meet up in a video-chat to sign letters, call Bank of America Executives, tweet at them, and leave reviews on their social media accounts! We’ll share a few memes – just for fun 😉 We’ll inform, educate, and welcome new activists!

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, and is the lead funder of the Atlantic Coast Pipelinea climate and human rights disaster. BofA is also the 4th largest funder of climate-killing fossil fuel projects in the world, having invested $156 billion in the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015.

BofA is ignoring science, public comment, and international law by continuing to fund the ACP and fossil fuels. And with every dollar they spend, they are driving all of us closer to climate catastrophe. Their funding of fossil fuels is also bad for business! With oil prices tanking, and fossil fuels in steep decline across the economy they’re wasting money and momentum that could be used to build a sustainable future.

During their shareholders meeting BofA is especially attuned to public and investor opinion. If we call them out on these destructive behaviors and encourage them to invest in renewables instead, we can make an impact!

Join Us! We need your voice at this moment!

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.

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.

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!

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!