Last 48 hours to comment on Trump’s offshore drilling plan

Don't let Trump drill our coast!

Apologies if you’ve already submitted a comment opposing offshore drilling in a different way or with a different group. But even if you have, it’s still really important that you submit a comment direct to BOEM using our new form – this will put your message in the fast-lane for BOEM.

This offshore drilling plan is really terrible, and really close to complete. I’ve laid out a bunch of arguments about why we need to oppose it in this earlier blog post​. We’ve also staged actions and delivery events where we spoke out and disrupted BOEM’s process​. And already we’ve helped gather tens of thousands of signatures and public comments opposing the plan.

All that’s missing, as we head into our final 48 hours, is YOU!​ Please click here to send in your public comment now. And if you already have, comment again!

Update on the #NoBBP week of action

Wow! There has been SO MUCH happening this week on the fight to stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (#NoBBP) this week (and other stuff too). Here’s a quick roundup of just SOME of the week’s events, and a reminder that it’s NOT TOO LATE to plan an action at a local bank branch, ACOE office, or another target in your town.

As a reminder, this week (Feb 24-Mar 4) we’ve all been asked and invited to host actions in solidarity with the L’eau Est La Vie Camp in Louisiana. That’s the base-camp for resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP), and you should definitely check out their Facebook page for lots of updates.

The week kicked off with an action in Louisiana led by LA bucket Brigade, 350 NOLA and other local groups and activists. They shut down the construction site for most of the day, and three people were eventually arrested for refusing to move out of the way. Here’s a live stream from part of that action.

Those three activists were released later the same day. You can chip in to support their legal support fund here.

ETP defying federal court injunctionA big focus of the LA activists has been training people to monitor the pipeline construction for possible violations of their air, water, and other permits. As it turns out, a court injunction late last week was supposed to stop construction on the pipeline, at least in the Atchafalaya Basin. But on Tuesday morning, a boat full of pipeline monitors saw the company (the notorious Energy Transfer Partners, ETP, the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline and many other environmental atrocities) working on the route with heavy equipment. Monitors called in the observed violation to local police and legal observers, and the court wrangling is continuing all this week. Just TODAY, March 1st, there is another action at the Governor’s mansion to reveal documents that show collusion between the LA government and ETP.

But it’s not just going down in the Bayou. In solidarity with the L’eau Est la Vie Camp and all the water protectors in Louisiana, activists have been taking actions to target the major financiers of the BBP – banks like Wells Fargo, investors like Morgan Stanley and others. These actions are an extension and continuation of the #DefundDAPL and #DefundPipelines actions many of us took last year in solidarity with the Standing Rock protest encampment.

Here’s an action targeting Morgan Stanley in Rhode Island:

and one in Vermont targeting Goldman Sachs:

And there have been lots of others – in Connecticut, Virginia, California, Washington and all over the country. And it’s not too late to join or host an action this week. Grab a few friends this weekend, head down to a local branch of one of these banks, and make some noise! You can hand out flyers, encourage people to close their accounts, and tell the story of the #NoBBP resistance all over the country. If you register your event on this map, we’ll help support you by inviting activists who live nearby and sharing and amplifying your message on social media (check out those posts above, they’ve reached tens of thousands of people).

Send a Message to Duke Energy online

Earlier this week I endorsed a letter calling on Duke energy to take action on climate change with a bunch of other social and environmental justice nonprofits, singers, actors, and other VIPs.

NC Warn, the group that spearheaded the letter, is especially alarmed by a powerful new NASA study linking climate chaos to rapidly rising global methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry. NASA’s findings strengthen arguments that the U.S. fracking boom is linked to record-breaking global heat since 2014, and thus contributing to the acceleration of weather extremes that are devastating communities and wildlife worldwide.

North Carolina residents are in a unique position to back us up: Duke CEO Lynn Good is likely to listen to what you say — IF you say it in public and online. Can you back us up by posting about the letter on Facebook, Twitter or by email?

Click here to share on Facebook

Click here to share on Twitter

Click here to email

It’s not just us climate activists who are alarmed about that new NASA study: Grammy Award winner Bonnie Raitt also called on Duke CEO Lynn Good to take action — so did Hollywood United, a campaign led by actors like Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo Dicaprio, Norman Lear and many more.

But you don’t have to be famous to know that Duke should take action. Communities across North Carolina are already suffering repeated floods, fires, droughts and other climate impacts. And we’ve been taking action with allies who are fighting the massive Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP),3 which would bring even more of this climate-wrecking fracked gas *(methane) from West Virginia through North Carolina, and eventually to South Carolina as well.

Our letter urges Duke’s CEO Good to do two things:

  1. ​Stop venting unburned methane – which is up to 86 times more potent of a climate pollutant than Carbon Dioxide – into the air from all operations involving methane gas; And
  2. Replace all fossil fuel electricity with renewables bolstered by energy storage, efficiency and energy-balancing programs.

This is especially important for Duke energy, since they’re one of the only utilities in the US where greenhouse emissions are rising due to methane venting and leaking from its massive expansion fracked gas.

Take action this weekend, and NCWarn will amplify your call in ads and paid outreach this month to and urge Duke CEO Lynn Good to help avert climate chaos instead of making it worse – with a first step being cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.


BOEM goes the dynamite – your comments in action

When the Bureau of Ocean Energy management (BOEM) came to my town, there was already a great plan in place with rallies, lobby days,and speak outs planned by partners. But I wanted to make sure we did more than show up and record your comments (and mine) as opposed to the Trump administration’s plan.

There’s an important role for direct action in moments like these. First it’s an important way to withhold consent – a critical strategy in the Gene Sharp model of anti-authoritarian organizing we ascribe to.

Second, it helps inspire people to realize they don’t have to obey unjust and destructive dictates from the Trump administration. Across the country, people have been showing up at these BOEM events to speak out and demand a full retraction of this plan. The louder, less orderly, and more disruptive we get, the more Zinke and his team withdrawal. Some in the media are already saying that it looks more like a political stunt than a serious energy plan.

And finally, it helps to correct the media narrative, which tends towards “both side-ism” and false balance by giving drilling opponents, who vastly outnumber drilling supporters, the same amount of coverage as the fossil fuel industry, and paints BOEM as an impartial referee for science. In fact, Trump’s  Interior secretary Ryan Zinke is already ignoring mountains of scientific evidence that offshore drilling is too dangerous for our coasts and economies, and a disaster for our climate. In many cases, they’re ignoring evidence that was just submitted 1-2 years ago as part of the Obama administration process that resulted in a ban on all offshore drilling in the Atlantic and continental Pacific (eg not Alaska) oceans.*

So, when more than 10,000 members and supporters of 198 methods submitted comments opposing the Trump/Zinke offshore drilling plan, we didn’t just want to hand over your names and comments, we wanted to make a ruckus.

And that’s what we did in South Carolina – arguably the Reddest, most Trump-friendly state where BOEM is holding an offshore drilling hearing (and also Drew’s Home turf).  Below is a LONG recap of the day’s events. But if you’re already into our idea to deliver comments in the most loud, non-compliant, media-shattering way possible, then please chip in. There are important hearings happening in the next week in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina that we want to support and play a role in – and we need your help to make it happen.

The Story in South Carolina.

First of all, all respect to the Sierra Club of South Carolina and their Ready for 100% rally and lobby day, which was already planned at the statehouse. This was lead by Minister Leo Woodbury, he’s from the northeast corner of South Carolina. That’s right across the state-line from Robeson county, which we talked a lot about in the live-stream about the ACP and the Rev., in addition to talking a lot about clean power, talked about the dangers of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure including offshore drilling and new pipelines. Here’s a bit of Rev. Woodbury to give you the flavor:

Later in the morning, the big ocean groups- OCEANA, Coastal Conservation League, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, etc – organized a big rally on the statehouse steps that featured equal numbers of democratic and Republican law makers speaking out against drilling. It was a good event, and did a good job highlighting what SC ‘insiders’ view as our most plausible route to stopping drilling in this state: that the issue is so politically toxic, that it might even suppress turnout among Trump’s base voters in 2018. These groups hope that the threat of an electoral back-lash will lead Zinke and team to offer an exemption for SC like they did for FL – but I’m not so sure.

Here’s some video of that rally:

Our local big greens did a great job planning and executing a rally based on conventional political wisdom.  It featured the voices of big politicians like Rep. Mark “Appalachian trail” Sanford and lots of State legislators. But those same reasons, the rally was not very radical  — for example it did NOT connect offshore drilling to pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure, Climate Change was barely mentioned once, nor was an explicit connection to environmental and racial justice made by most speakers (except the Gullah Geechee nation, of course). Still, that was the part of the day that got the most media attention.

After that it was off to the Doubletree — a hotel as far as you can get from downtown and still technically be in Columbia. Seriously, the location has no public transit it sits at the intersection of two interstate highways. Once there it was clear that BOEM was expecting some pushback given the amount of security on site.  To counteract the un-democratic format of the hearing (more on that below) a lot of those same big green groups staged a counter-rally outside the BOEM hearing room, essentially in the ballroom next door. Where the focus of the earlier rally at the statehouse was clearly political – featuring elected officials and politically connected spokespeople – the pre-BOEM rally at the hotel was focussed on the grassroots. Local mayors, business owners, and impacted trade associations like fishermen were the featured speakers. And the clear focus was to get everyone fired up and ready to submit a comment in opposition to the Trump-Zinke plan. Here’s some video of that rally to give you a taste:

About that BOEM process.

The format of the hearings is always the same, they call it a ‘townhall’ but it’s not the format most of us associate with that description – EG one microphone and people get up one at a time to testify in favor or against on the record. What they have are a bunch of table displays, staffed by career BOEM people about the proposed offshore drilling plan. The displays and staff are not explicitly pro-drilling, but they are there to explain the Trump/Zinke proposal, which is very pro drilling. So the information includes things like “why oil drilling is safer than ever” and “Why is offshore oil important to America’s Economy”. There is no display specifically on climate change or pipelines (which will be needed to get oil from offshore rigs to shore, and then onshore to refineries).

If you want to submit a “public comment” at the hearing, you have to sit down, by yourself at a laptop (provided by BOEM) and type your name, address and other personal information into the approved terminal before being allowed to (in complete silence) type your comment into the system.

I wasn’t having it. So, after a few minutes of letting people sign in and mill around, I pulled out a chair, stood on it, and called BS on the whole process.

I’m using the “BS” frame here as an intentional homage to Emma Gonzalez and her speech in Florida on gun violence. There’s something really powerful about having someone call out a lie, and it’s a similar energy I’m hoping to channel into these remaining BOEM hearings – because they’re NOT OVER YET!

In fact there three more weeks to comment on this offshore drilling plan. So before March 9, tell your friends to comment, share the action online, and if you can please chip in to support us getting to as many of these hearings as possible to shout, disrupt, and make our voices heard any way we can.


* We think the Obama rules should have gone farther, and protected the Gulf of Mexico as well. If it’s too dirty and dangerous for the South Atlantic, why is it safe for the Gulf? Answer it’s not, but the Gulf is treated as a sacrifice zone.  But that’s another story.

Act now to Stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Construction has begun on the Bayou Bridge pipeline (BBP). This is the pipeline at connects at the very end of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to bring fracked-oil from North Dakota to export terminals near St. James, Louisiana.

bayou bridge mapAlong the route, the BBP crosses over 700 bodies of water, threatening our water and the local economy. It also lights the fuse on a massive carbon bomb in the Bakken oil formation — America’s Tar Sands — by connecting the dirtiest oil in America to international export market fueled by corporate greed.

Local organizers have been preparing for this moment for months creating the L’eau Est la Vie camp in the path of the proposed pipeline, writing letters, calling elected officials, attending hearings and suing the company to stop this atrocity.5 Now, those on the frontlines of the #NoBBP fight are calling for aid, and we need to respond.

From February 26 – March 4, You are invited to take action along with communities across the globe in solidarity with those fighting the Bayou Bridge on the frontlines. Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind Bayou Bridge and also behind DAPL, must be held accountable. Click here to learn more and sign up to host an action​.

TONIGHT! February 15 at 5:30 PT / 8:30 ET you’re also invited to join a conference call to hear from organizers and residents who are resisting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on the frontlines. Click here to RSVP and get the call in number so you can hear updates from the ground and learn more about how to plan an action that supports the frontlines.

If you can’t make it tonight, I suggest checking in with to learn more about the financiers and politicians targeted during the week of action​. Lots of you have already signed on to petitions and letter asking these banks to divest. And many of you have attended big days of action targeting these banks (US Bank, Wells Fargo, and others) over the last few months. Even if you can’t plan or attend an event you can close a bank account, hold a rally or just withhold your business and consent from any of these institutions to show solidarity.

But the best thing to do ​right now​ is put up an event on that map – we’ll follow up with more information, sample fliers and more. And of course we’ll send multiple ​emails (along with all the other solidarity partners) to make sure that you get a crowd to back you up. But until someone, like you, steps up to host an event at a local bank branch or similar location, we can’t invite all your neighbors to show solidarity with this important week of action.

So click here to get started hosting your own #NoBBP action between Feb 26 and March 5.

Stop Trump’s offshore drilling plan!

Trump wants to repeal the Obama-era ban on offshore drilling, opening more than 90 percent of our coastline to oil and gas leasing.

At the same time, Trump’s allies in Congress are trying to dismantle the worker safety and environmental protections put into place after the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people and caused a $60 billion oil spill that destroyed coastal environments and made thousands of people sick.

Nor are spills, explosions and loss of life on oil rigs the only things we’re worried about (though only a fool would not be worried about them). We need to keep at least 80% of known oil and gas reserves in the ground, or risk tipping the climate beyond the point of no return. Adding millions of new acres of oil and gas drilling is not just climate denial, it’s a death sentence for millions of people in coastal communities around the world.

Fortunately, there’s still time to stop Trump’s disastrous plan. You have until March 9 to submit and official comment. Sign with us, and we’ll hand deliver the message at a series of regional meetings over the next few weeks.

Why do we think we can win this time, when the Trump is so clearly bent on service their polluting pay-masters in the fossil fuel industry? Well this time, they might be vulnerable: As usual, Trump’s plan for unlimited offshore drilling was as ham-handed as it was disastrous. Just five days after announcing the new drilling plan, Interior Secretary Zinke did Florida Gov. Rick Scott a huge favor by exempting his state, and ONLY his state, from the offshore ban.

That’s created a huge backlash in coastal states, some of which Trump and his allies in Congress cannot win re-election without. Governors from virtually every state have demanded to be exempted like Florida — including Trump loyalists like Gov. Henry McMaster in South Carolina — but so far only Rick Scott is politically connected enough to get a waiver. The deal many not even be legal, and coasts-state Senators are already holding hearings and demanding answers.

With all this turmoil, now is the moment we can make a difference with simple online actions, backed up by strong in-person deliveries that demand accountability. Can you help? Click here to sign on to our public comment, and we’ll hand deliver it to a BOEM hearing in the next few weeks.

PS – Our friends at are organizing turnout and supporting local activists in several cities. I’ll be at the Columbia SC hearing next week for the first of our deliveries. Check that page for updates and links to events near you.


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.

Trump’s first SOTU

Donald Trump gives his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 30, at 9pm Eastern | 6pm Pacific. Even if you hate the guy (and you should), somebody needs to listed to make sure he doesn’t announce any stupid new ideas (like drilling for oil on the moon, or requiring every citizen to genuflect and donate $5 every time the pass an Exxon station).

Our team will be listening in (and providing live color-commentary via twitter). And you can tune in with us! RSVP here and/or come back just before the speech starts Tuesday night and we’ll host a live stream of the speech, with running commentary from our team and a range of climate journalists, activists Climate Justice Warriors and more. 

Live Blog State of the Union hate Watching party

Trouble viewing the RSVP/Iframe? Click Here

What to watch for: the Pre Game.

Here’s some links and hot-takes before the big speech to give you an idea what to listen for.

Get up, get down, get local to keep fossil fuels in the ground

One of the best places to make progress for our climate and our communities is at the local level. Already Mayors and city councils from Seattle, WA, to Columbia, SC, where I live are stepping up and taking action by calling for a switch to 100% clean energy, divesting from Exxon and other Big Oil baddies, or refusing to do business with the big banks that fund pipelines.

Next Wednesday, January 31st, the day after Trump’s first State of the Union, our friends at are throwing a party with partner organizations, movement leaders and community organizers in Washington D.C. They’ve got a plan for howe we can ALL win at the local level, and I think you should give it a listen. If you’re interested, click here to tune in & watch Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance via livestream on January 31st in your town or city — join a watch party near you or sign up to host one.

The list of speakers includes Senator Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, Rev. Lennox Yearwood from Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson from the NAACP, Cherri Foytlin from BOLD Louisiana, Varshini Prakash from the Sunrise Movement, Jessica Lorena Rangel from Eyes of a Dreamer, and lots more

But you don’t need to be in D.C. to be part of the action. Hundreds of watch parties are already planned in cities and towns across the country. And thanks to the amazing lineup of speakers, it’s a great place for experienced climate activists and new people alike to learn more about the climate crisis and get real tools to take action this year. The event is also interactive – meaning there will be time to talk with your group about ideas and plans for the next few weeks, not just to listen to the fancy people on stage.

Here are just a few of the topics we’ll cover:

  • How to resist the Trump Administration’s ongoing attacks on our climate and communities;
  • Building power towards the 2018 and 2020 elections;
  • The need to unite to secure the lasting change needed on climate through effective local campaigns, including passing local resolutions in your city or town;
  • How together, we can take on the fossil fuel barons driving climate change and build the world we need, with a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

Join us on Jan 31st at a watch party near you — or if there isn’t one on the map yet, you can host one yourself. 350 and 198 will support you every step of the way to make your watch party a success.

Back to FERC with new demands

After almost a year without a quorum, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is back to it’s rubber-stamping ways with four new Trump appointees (three of them Republicans).

Since getting their quorum back, FERC has approved new pipelines, and considered several plans to subsidize coal, gas and nuclear over renewable energy. Thankfully, the rejected a ham-handed attempt by Secretary of (oops) Energy Rick Perry to charge ratepayers billions to subsidize the dirtiest energy in our electric grid. But, despite some groups already declaring victory, FERC’s rejection of Sec. Perry’s plan was not a repudiation of the concept — and in fact they are already considering two additional plans that would subsidize coal, nuclear, and fracked gas, one of them from former Mitch mcConnell aide and Acting FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee.

Nor does rejecting one stupid, poorly-formed plan to subsidize fossil fuels undo all the damage FERC has already done. And FERC is clearly not looking to become a kinder, gentler, more open agency as they’re also looking to reduce the power of states like New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina who have been slowing down fossil fuel infrastructure (but not stopping it) by refusing to grant local air and water quality permits.

Stop FERCIn the midst of all this bad momentum, FERC’s brand new Chairman is saying he wants to review the process of considering applications for gas pipelines. Nobody knows exactly where he’s going with this plan, but we know we can’t trust any of Trump’s hand-picked commissioners. So we’re going back to FERC to announce a 7-point plan for how FERC can put people and the planet first, and we want YOU to sign on.

FERC’s pipeline review protocols were last updated in a 1999 Pipeline Policy Statement  — well before the fracking boom. And while we don’t trust FERC to listen to the public or experts on climate, pollution, land rights, and other issues that should be central to this process, their review gives us an opportunity to define what a functioning Federal Energy Regulator could look like.

With that in mind, we’re putting our 7-point plan out there early, and also calling on FERC to hold no less than six public hearings held in affected communities across the nation, as well as engaging in a robust and truly public comment period (not their usual sham). Click here to sign on to the list of demands below.

Minimal reforms to the FERC process must include:

  1. FERC must mandate a genuine demonstration of an end-use need for a project that is objectively verified by experts and that cannot be fulfilled by renewable energy options.
  2. FERC must respect state and local authority and expertise by deferring to state and local environmental authorities’ findings regarding the environmental, community, and economic impacts of pipelines.
  3. FERC must respect the authority of other state and federal agencies by instituting a policy that prevents FERC from approving pipeline infrastructure and/or allowing any element of construction to proceed until all state and federal reviews/permit processes have been finalized and approvals/permits granted.
  4. FERC must end the use of tolling orders, which place people in legal limbo and prevent communities from accessing justice before a pipeline company exercises the power of eminent domain to take property rights and inflicts irreparable harm through significant stages of construction. If tolling orders are not prohibited, then other mechanisms for addressing the problem include:
    1. Prohibit pipeline projects from advancing in any way, shape, or form, including eminent domain and/or construction, if there is an outstanding rehearing request/tolling order; or
    2. Mandate FERC response to rehearing requests within 30 days and prohibit projects from advancing in any way, shape, or form during that period.
  5. FERC must commit to removing bias from the process, by no longer hiring consultants with demonstrated conflicts of interest (i.e., those who are representing a pipeline company seeking Commission approval), and by prohibiting Commission staff or Commissioners from working on/deciding upon any pipeline infrastructure project in which they have a direct or indirect financial stake or have worked to represent the company within the previous 5 years.
  6. FERC must end the practice of using segmentation to skew environmental and community impact reviews.
  7. FERC must commit to a complete analysis of the costs and benefits, with a full and fair implementation of NEPA, including, but not limited to, fully evaluating social justice impacts; climate change impacts of pipeline construction and operation; community, environment, and climate change impacts of increased natural gas exploration, fracking, and methane emissions resulting from pipeline infrastructure operations; economic analyses that include costs, not just asserted benefits; alternatives not limited to alternate routes but that also include alternative energy sources; and robust health-and-safety impact analyses.

After presenting our plan, we’ll “nail” copies to FERC’s front door to make sure they can’t ignore our demands — will you sign on before Thursday?

PS – If you’re in the DC area or can get there, please join us at FERC on the morning of January 18 for a rally and peaceful protest involving the delivery of these seven demands and all your signatures.

Gas Pipeline image from National Parks Conservation Association