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.

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!

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!

2019 in photos

It’s almost 2020 and you look great! Here’s a quick retrospective on the last year of action and work, as told through some of my favorite pictures and memes. Take a gander, and if you’re so-inclined, chip in here to support another year of banner-dropping, Trump-impeaching, arrest-risking, action and fun!

Here’s a little more background on these photos:

January

Emily disrupts the Wheeler hearing
Photo from AJ+

We started the year protesting Trump’s Environmental Record – in this photo my youngest sister Emily is shutting down a hearing with Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying EPA chief. Ironically this hearing happened during a government shutdown that had furloughed thousands of EPA staff nation-wide. Protesting Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying cabinet is a theme of this year’s actions.

February

A resolution for a green new deal was introduced, call now

Another theme of this year was the Green New Deal – the ambitious proposal to reshape our economy and society in line with what climate scientists tell us are necessary levels of ambition. A resolution was introduced in February by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen Ed Markey. But we felt it could be stronger, more inclusive – and especially that it needed to tackle fossil fuels. We weren’t alone as hundreds of groups and millions of people rallied to the call for a fossil-fuel-FREE Green New Deal in the coming months.

March

Breaking Tump tries to approve the KXL pipeline, again

February brought an old fight back to the fore – the fight to stop Keystone XL. Trump has been trying to build the pipeline, without success, since he was sworn in in 2017. So far court cases and local permits have kept him at bay – but we’re waiting for the moment when Trump’s fossil-fueled-authoritarian tendencies overwhelm those flimsy buffers and they simply begin lighting the fuse of this carbon bomb without proper permits and paperwork.

March was also the month we kicked off this year’s campaign to undercut the banks and hedge funds who make profit off of climate-chaos. That campaign ramped up a lot in April and May during shareholder season.

April

In April I climbed the three-story awning of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to drop this banner with friends at Beyond Extreme Energy. That campaign, to change FERC into the Federal RENEWABLE Energy Commission (FREC) is ongoing, and if you like it you should chip in to support BXE before the end of the year too!

We fired Zinke and Pruitt, now help block Bernhardt

April was also the month we launched the first of a series of campaigns that targeted David Bernhardt, Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying Interior Secretary. Like Wheeler (see above) he became a recurring character in our fight to stamp out corruption, block pollution, and protect the climate from Trump’s cast of climate conquistadors.

 America Shareholders' Meeting

And finally, I told you it was shareholder season. This photo is a favorite from the Bank of America Shareholder meeting where friends dropped a huge, 2-story call banner telling shareholders the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a financial and climate disaster.

May

Dominion press conference

That shareholder action carried right through into May. Here I am in my home-town of Columbia South Carolina talking to press outside the Dominion Energy Shareholder meeting.

Sign here to support disaster relief for Puerto Rico and all Americans.

May also launched our campaign to get disaster relief for Puerto Rico. This became a recurring theme as Congress would appropriate money for disaster relief, but Trump would refuse to sign or disburse the money – IF, and this is a big if, the people helped by the funding were black, brown, or tended to vote for Democrats. Later in the year we broadened this campaign to include climate refugees from the Caribbean and eventually the whole global south.

We can't fight climate change unless we fix our food and ag sectors

And the mid-year variation on the Green New Deal campaign in May (just in time for planting) was our Green New Deal and Ag work. Agriculture is one of the US’ biggest sources of global warming pollution; And there’s simply no way to fix climate change without addressing our food supply. This campaign also continues today, as we work to get Democrats in Congress to grapple with the entirety of a Green New Deal and climate action, not just the easy bits that don’t offend their donors.

June

Stop Barry Myers NOAA nomination!

One of our most successful petitions of the year was opposing Trump’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Barry Myers. It took a while, but Myers eventually dropped out, and NOAA remains a rare bastion of climate research and scientific sanity in the Trump regime. I also really liked this meme of Myers in front of actual NOAA imagery of Hurricane Florence.

July

No More Climate deniers in charge of US climate policy

Less successful was our attempt to block coal-baron Kelly Knight-Craft from being appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations. Our petition and work with partners did generate a lot more “no” votes for her confirmation than normal, but did not succeed in changing the Trump-team’s approach to international climate action.

No rate hike we can't afford more fracked gas

Just a quick one that A) illustrates how a little design and digital recruitment helps local protest campaigns, and B) is solidarity work with allies in North Carolina who are fighting a whole wave of fossil fuel infrastructure including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, fracked Gas liquefaction facilities, and a corrupt administration that ignores pollution in exchange for big money.

This little meme was made for a rate hike protest in Charlotte near the 4th of July holiday.

August

Trump wants to take away your freedom of Information

Wheeler popped back on our radar this month when he tried to hide government files from public records. I do love using photos of Trump and his Administration cronies against them.

September

Climate Strike! That was the big theme in September as we supported hundreds of Climate Strike events here in the US. Greta Thunberg asked the United Nations “How Dare You” and I personally buckled in as part of two beautifully troublesome actions.

In DC I locked myself into a car to and had to be cut out by police with a special saw as we blocked a key bridge at the Shut Down DC action. And then in New Hampshire I was arrested with dozens of friends and allies signing as we peacefully attempted to remove the coal from the last remaining coal plant in New England without a shutdown date.

October

Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas

October was when we expanded our work to get relief for those impacted by climate chaos to the Bahamas, which had just been hit by Hurricane Dorian. Trump was denying them visas – in one case leading people to be turned off a boat bound for the US – so we spoke up. Later in the year the campaign expanded again to cover all climate refugees. Again, I love using these NOAA hurricane images to illustrate why we need climate action now.

November

Bernhardt is too corrupt to go on

November brought one more campaign targeting Bernhardt as Congress opened (and considered more) investigations into his corrupt conduct. Like I said, targeting these Trump cronies has been a consistent theme of our work for years – and it feels like we’re getting closer to expelling Bernhardt and Wheeler. Like we already won campaigns to expel Zinke and Pruitt.

One other fun update on that Bernhardt campaign – a few weeks later some friends took out this mobile billboard in DC – Corrupt and Corrupter indeed.

Our Bernhardt Billboard is turning heads

December

Strike with us Dec 6

The winder Climate Strike was smaller – but was important because it was timed to connect with the UN climate talks. Another failure, unfortunately.

Impeach

What wasn’t a failure was our turnout for impeachment eve rallies nationwide, and the vote – FINALLY – in the House of Representatives this month that made Trump just the third President in history to be impeached (Nixon resigned first).

So there you have it! A year in photos and images to illustrate all our work. You can also check out our previous post which covers more of the science and policy on how we’re ending 2019. Next week, after the New Year, I’ll write you a message about our plans for 2020 but you can be sure it will continue a few of these themes:

  1. Holding corrupt Trump cronies like Wheeler and Bernhardt accountable;
  2. Working as part of the global Climate Strike movement to demand bold action from our elected leaders;
  3. Pushing US policy makers to adopt a bold, fossil-fuel-free Green New Deal; &
  4. Bringing you great direct-action powered online campaigns at the local, state, and federal level to demand climate action.

Dirty, Dishonest, Dominion Energy #DIVEST!

We had a busy 2 days of action targeting dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy at their shareholder meeting in Columbia SC this week.

Check out the reportback video on all our actions, or scroll down to read an account of the more than 5 hours of meetings, speeches and actions. Once you see all the stuff we did, I hope you’ll be inspired to chip in $1.98 or more to support us. We’re still about $500 short of our goal for covering costs of all these events.

Here’s a quick budget for your information :

ItemCost
Food for Community supper$100
Bus Transit for Justice First$1000
Flyers, signs and materials$250
previously raised-$143
Donations from other partner groups-$500
TOTAL left to raise:$707

Monday Night – Community forum and supper

Monday night about 50 of us gathered at the historic Zion baptist Church in Columbia (where Dr King once spoke) for a community supper and teach in. We had reports and stories from all over Virginia, South Carolin, North Carolina and beyond about Dominion’s dirty, dishonest past, as well as a briefing on our plans for the shareholder meeting.

Here’s some video clips of the speakers from that night

Mary Cerulli from Mothers Out Front talked about our global power as a movement working with more than $2 trillion in assets to #Divest from fossil fuels and pipelines.

Greg Yost from NC APPPL talked about the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and how the Carolinas (North and South) are connecting to stop this fracked gas pipeline.

Freeda Cathcart, Indivisible VA talked about the importance of coalitions and working together to make change:

And Finally, Rev Leo Woodberry, from the Justice First tour and New Alpha community development corporation brought it all together in a keynote address that had everyone on their feet marching in one big wave of solidarity by the end.

At the end of Rev Woodberry’s keynote, we had a community supper downstairs, where we heard some more about Justice First’s recent trip to Africa helping communities in Liberia and Sierra Leone set up solar power, and from Chief Pete of the Pee Dee Tribe who talked about struggles with environmental justice during and after the flooding from Hurricane Florence, as well as their concerns about the Atlantic Coast pipeline and harvesting of souther forests for biofuel.

Tuesday – the main event!

On Tuesday we gathered outside the Shareholder meeting and 8 shareholders were admitted in with proxies to address the meeting. The rest of us handed out about fliers And held banners outside so everyone knew our demands. At the end of the Shareholder meeting we held a press conference touching on Dominion activity inside and outside the shareholder meeting.

Taking the fight to #fossilbanks

Get Excited — It’s shareholder meeting (AGM to our friends in Europe) season; And this year we’re taking the fight to some of the biggest #FossilBanks and investors on the planet.

You may remember a few weeks ago when a coalition of friends (including 198 methods) released a big report showing that global banks have invested $1.9 trillion in fossil fuels. Now, those same banks, and the pipeline companies they finance are holding annual shareholder meetings and we’re ramping up the pressure to demand they #Divest from fossil fuels and climate chaos as part of a Green New Deal.

The first events start this week in Seattle and Charlotte (amongst other places) check it out and sign up to join and event near you.

OR – if you can’t make it to an event or there isn’t one planned near you right now – click here to chip in $1.98 or more to help us challenge these banks and corporate frackers in front of their shareholders with daring and creative protests.

These protests are part of a big, international, coalition that’s working to make the climate crisis a real, immediate concern for big banks and investors. Because to stop a further climate chaos, we urgently need to bring the fossil fuel era to an end. But only massive public pressure will make banks divest from pipelines, fracking wells and other climate-wrecking industries. So we need your help and participation to build that pressure on the Fossil Banks.

So what’s our plan? We’ll be all over this spring protesting at shareholder meetings. Check out some of the upcoming events or visit our Facebook page to see and RSVP:

  • April 10 – Charlotte NC and all over the Country protesting at Chase and Wells Fargo branches, in particular.
  • April 24 – Bank of America Shareholder meeting in Charlotte NC; and
  • May 7 – Dominion Shareholder Meeting Columbia SC

Lots more events are being planned – so stay tuned and drop us a line on Facebook, on Twitter, or right here on the good old fashioned website if you have an AGM/Shareholder meeting you want help planning!

Image courtesy of Fund Our Future

Fossil Banks invest $1.9 trillion in climate change

It’ll come as no surprise to regular 198 methods readers and activists that since the Paris climate agreement was signed in late 2015, global banks have invested $1.9 trillion in fossil fuels. About half of it going to companies like Energy Transfer Partners, Transcanada, and others investing in a massive expansion of fossil fuel projects at exactly the moment climate scientists tell us we have 12 years to radically reduce emissions.

It’s all in the new report Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2019 by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Sierra Club, Oil Change International and Honor the Earth, and endorsed by more than 160 organizations ― including us!

Can you help us fight back? Click here to host or attend one of dozens of protests at local bank branches on April 10 and call out banks dirty investment in climate chaos.

In 2015, J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon supported the Paris Climate agreement and pledged and investment strategy “consistent with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions.” But the report shows he’s been anything but consistent. In fact, Chase is the number one bank investing in fossil fuels with $196 billion invested in coal, Arctic oil and gas, fracking, tar sands, and other fossil fuels ― in the last 3 years alone!

Lots of European banks like BNP Paribas and ING Bank have taken steps to limit their funding of new fossil fuel projects. But US Banks are continuing to spend $1.9 Trillion on new fossil fuel projects ― and what’s worse, their investment in climate chaos is actually increasing.  

But if we act together, we can make a difference. The Dakota Access pipeline got $2.5 billion of its $3.8 billion in total funding from banks like Chase and Wells Fargo. Without those loans, they simply wouldn’t have enough money to build new pipelines, coal terminals or fracked gas facilities.

So thousands of us joined forces to move our money, demand better banking and #DefundDAPL. Now, I need your help to take action again. Here’s how:

  1. Check out the report and share it with your friends online.
  2. You can share it on Facebook, on Twitter, or email this page to your friends.
  3. Join us as we take action across the country to deliver the message loud and clear that funding climate disaster will not be tolerated.
US Banks are the worlds biggest funders of Dirty Fossil Fuels

US Bank broke its promise – Defund Pipelines

If you’re one of the nearly 200,000 people who signed a petition calling on the biggest Wall Street Banks to stop financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all fossil fuel infrastructure, you need to see this.

US Bank, which had promised to stop funding DAPL and similar pipeline projects, just made millions of dollars guaranteeing a massive credit deal with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind DAPL, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and dozens of other dirty pipelines across America.

Will you sign this petition to US Bank CEO Andrew Cecere to keep his promise to end financial support to oil and gas pipelines with our allies at Climate Truth? If you sign today, they and activists in US Bank’s home town of Minneapolis, MN, will deliver it this week.

Last April, a ton of us praised US Bank when they agreed to demands from Indigenous and climate activists (like us) to stop financing major oil and gas pipelines like DAPL. We warned at the time that US Bank was hedging its bets and hadn’t promised to Divest, yet.

But in the closing weeks of 2017, US Bank committed a major betrayal: They signed onto a $5 billion credit arrangement with ETP, the notorious human-rights abusing, climate destroying, pipeline company behind DAPL and some of the dirtiest pipeline on earth.

The decision is as baffling as it is frustrating. Big banks and finance institutions, from New York City’s pension funds to the World bank are divesting from dirty fossil fuels. European banks like ING and BNP Paribas have announced major divestment moves in the weeks since US Bank’s initial announcement. There’s no reason for US Bank to backslide now.

But there is a good reason to turn up the pressure right now: Next month Super Bowl LII is being played in US Bank stadium in Minneapolis. So we’re working with our friends at Climate Truth and local organizers like MN350 and the folks who organized a banner drop at the stadium more than a year ago, to deliver this message bank executives at a high-profile event during Super Bowl week.

Sign the petition now and we’ll deliver it again during US Bank’s biggest publicity event of the year.