Last chance – act now to stop Bernard McNamee!

If you’re one of the more than 27,000 people who have already signed on to our public call to stop Bernard McNamee, Thank you. (if not sign here) But now I need your help to delay, and possibly derail McNamee’s nomination.

Many of you have already called the Senate Energy Committee to opposed McNamee (thanks again!), but new evidence has come to light and the Democrats on that committee are asking to delay McNamee’s vote on Nov. 27th.

Here’s the gist:

In between stints at the Department of Energy, McNamee worked for a right wing thing tank funded by the Koch brothers and Exxon called the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). In that speech McNamee falsely claims renewable energy “screws up” the grid and environmental groups want to “return us to … administrative tyranny.” TPPF tried to delete the video, but some enterprising reporters dug up a copy, and a pro-renewables think tank released the whole thing last week while the Senate was on Thanksgiving recess.

Now, the Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (SENRC) say they need time to review this new evidence and ask McNamee questions about it before they can vote. 

The whole thing is so damning that even Republican former FERC officials and conservative lawyers say that it should disqualify McNamee, but Lisa Murkowski, the Republican chair of the committee is pushing ahead with a vote!

Can you call the Committee at (202) 224-4971 right now and ask them to cancel the vote and reject Mcnamee’s nomination?

Not sure what to say? These can be quick calls there are two basic points you need to make:

  1. Bernard McNamee is a dangerous nominee – he’s corrupt, unqualified, a climate-denier and part of Trump’s plan to force ratepayers to bail out coal and nuclear power. His nomination should be withdrawn and this committee meeting to vote on him should be canceled.
  2. If the hearing proceeds, Senators MUST vote NO on his nomination, and must ensure that all votes are recorded. No unanimous consent or procedural gimmicks (that’s how we got the last three Republican FERC commissioners).

Already called or ready for more? Click here for the instructions from 2 weeks ago on how to call through all the members of the committee and ask each of them to vote no! Only the hearing date has changed, all the other info is still pertinent.

PS – want to see what the fuss is about? Here’s the whole video of McNamee’s speech:

PPS – friends from BXE will be in the hearing room tomorrow – if it goes ahead. Click here to stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates after 10 am eastern tomorrow.

 

Don’t let Trump control the UN climate Talks

cop24 UN Climate TalksNext month, representatives from every country in the world will meet to decide how to implement the Paris Agreement at the COP24 UN climate talks. Donald Trump is the only world leader to have rejected the agreement, and the science of Climate Change.

And Trump is coordinating with fossil fuel companies, polluters and dictators to block progress at the climate talks.

The most recent report from UN Scientists clearly shows that we have only 12 years to achieve a massive transformation in our entire energy economy.​ The People’s Demands for Climate Justice is one such solution. And I need your help to make sure it’s seen and read by all the delegates before millions of people around the world experience climate devastation.

Our best chance is to demonstrate a groundswell of support for the People’s Demands for Climate Justice — a joint global call to government delegates demanding that this year’s climate talks actually lead to meaningful, just climate solutions. Will you sign on with thousands of people from around the world right now?​

These demands have been shaped by people’s movements from around the world that are directly experiencing climate change’s impacts. Early supporters include the Indigenous Environmental Network and Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climatico.

We need to show that people everywhere, including in the U.S., widely echo and support these demands.

Please add your name now to demonstrate your support​ — and to ensure that the Paris Agreement isn’t weakened by Trump and his fossil-fuel cronies.

Last chance to Stop Trump’s climate-denying Energy Nominee

Donald Trump has nominated Bernard McNamee – a deeply unqualified, republican-hack, and climate-denier – to fill the vacant Republican seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory commission (FERC). The Senate is moving at “warp speed” to ram this latest dastardly, destructive nomination through.

McNamee’s confirmation hearing has been scheduled for November 15 at 10am. We’re headed to DC now with friends from Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) to deliver more than 13,000 signatures opposing McNamee. If you haven’t signed yet, now’s the time!

If you agree that we can’t afford one more climate-denying Trump nominee in charge of our energy policy, sign here to tell the Senate: vote NO on McNamee and stop Trump’s FERC!
Bernard McNamee is Trump's FERC nominee
I wrote a longer piece with more footnotes and references that make the case for why and how Trump is stacking FERC with partisan fossil fuel warriors. Check it out and keep telling everyone that this is not normal, it is not ok, and it is essential that we take action in this time of climate crisis.

You may also want to check out the excellent explainer on McNamee from our friend Karen Feridun at Berks Gas truth.

Trump DENIED on Keystone XL Pipeline

Just a quick update to let you know that U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris has thrown out the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s obviously a huge victory for all of us who have been fighting this zombie pipeline, even as trump keeps re-ordering it back to life. Judge Morris’ order tells TransCanada to cease all pre-construction for the project – meaning that the pipeline is on hold and any construction would be illegal.

It does not mean that the pipeline can’t be re-started. And of course we’ve seen time and again that TransCanada and other pipeline construction companies will routinely violate the law and begin construction – intending to pay whatever paltry fine the Trump administration assess on them later as a “cost of business.” We must remain vigilant – and we’re encouraging everyone to sign and share the Pledge to protect – simply put a promise to show up, throw down, and block all pipeline construction if it starts again and we’re called upon by local indigenous leaders and land holders.

But what’s really exciting is that this ruling says that Trump can’t just dismiss the findings from the Obama Administration that stopped the pipeline. Those findings, remember, also included a specific reference to the climate impacts of the pipeline – the first time a US President had rejected a pipeline like this because of Climate Change.

All of which means, if Trump wants ot un-do the Obama pipeline decision, he’s got to go back and at least look at the climate impacts of keystone XL – which we know will be massive, and which he cannot legally ignore or lie about any longer.

Since Trump first issued a ‘Presidential permit’ for the pipeline and Nebraska commissioners granted a statewide permit for an alternate route Indigenous leaders, rural landowners, and environmental organizations have been suing to stop them. This is a big win for those groups and we’re proud to celebrate with them.

But, we know that this isn’t the end of the fight to stop Keystone XL, and that’s why more than 17,000 of us have pledged to take action if construction begins. Join us today, sign the pledge to protect. And congratulations again on a well-deserved victory.

Elections and consequences

You may have heard that the 2018 midterms were more of a blue puddle or a blue splash than a Blue wave, but I disagree. In fact, I’m with Alexandra Petri who wrote the day after that if Pundits covered star wars like they covered the Blue Wave their headline would have been:

Disappointing Night for Rebels Who Only Manage to Destroy Death Star, Dashing Hopes They Might Also Have Engaged and Defeated Entire Imperial Navy

And I know that it can be hard to pay attention or find the silver lining since the next day Trump replaced Jeff Sessions (good riddance) with the even more nakedly corrupt and cowardly Matt Whitaker — kicking off a constitutional crisis in an attempt to end the Mueller investigation and declare himself above the law. But it’s important – not just to those of us who worked on the election but to all of us who care about climate change –  to pause for a second and remember that we fought like hell and actually WON an amazing thing.

Let the Blue Wave wash over me

Like a lot of you, I was bummed to lose high-profile races like Beto and Ben Jealous (MD). And I think Andrew Gillum might have conceded too soon in FL – Stacy Abrams (GA) has the right idea fighting for every single ballot to be counted. But there’s no spinning some of the great house candidates who we fought hard for, and deserved to win. Candidates like Leslie Cockburn (VA-05), Dana Balter (NY-24) and Ammar Campa-Najjar’s (CA-50).

But for every race we lost, there were more that we won 30+ House pickups, and seven (7!) Governorships! And it’s not just that Scot Walker lost (though good riddance), it’s that we elected strong WOMEN governors in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Kansas. That, combined with the passage of Measure 4 in Florida, which returns the right to vote to 1.4 million returning citizens and non-partisan redistricting in Michigan is going to re-shape the election map.All over teh country we swept out corrupt, anti-voter politicians and installed progressive, pro-voting leaders.

Given how badly gerrymandered the House map was after the 2010 election, Democrats needed to win the national popular vote by 5 % or more just to take the chamber. Instead we won by closer to 10% – an absolute thumpin’ for Republican values and ideas – even if some seats were too gerrymandered to win and Trump is too narcissistic to notice.

But more important than where we won and lost, is how we fought this election and who we fought for. Because we didn’t just win, we made history by sending a diverse set of progressive champions to Congress. Champions like Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, the first two indigenous women elected to Congress. Like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first two muslim women ever elected to Congress; And like  even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the youngest people (and a woman of color to boot) ever elected to Congress.

Now what

There was some initial worry among climate hawks that the Democratic gains in the House and at the state level wouldn’t mean much. After all, Republicans expanded their control of the Senate, and Trump will still be Trump. Faced with the epic challenge of trying to set a bold new path under divided government, Nancy Pelosi’s initial response was not inspiring.

But things have really turned around in the week since: Those brave progressives I talked about earlier got to DC for orientation and immediately made a mark. AOC jumped on a table to fire up youth climate activists, and then visited their sit in at Nancy Pelosi’s office the next day. That kind of outside-in pressure is just what we need to really change things in Congress, and this country.

And, if we may be so bold, it’s right up our alley. For just over 2 years now, we’ve been using digital tools to help stage creative direct actions – usually with an elected or appointed politician as the target. We live streamed the occupation of the North Carolina Governor’s office, brought thousands of people into a conversation about pipelines and fracked gas infrastructure while locked to a giant bamboo tripod outside FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), used twitter and facebook to expand the audience of the occupation of Governor Cuomo’s office (and sang “Hey yo Cuomo walk the talk” more times than I want to talk about) and lots and lots of other things too.

What we DO here at 198 methods is use digital tools to expand the reach and power of direct action campaigns for the climate. Thanks to the incoming, diverse, progressive class in Congress, we might just have more chances to do that starting soon.

 

 

Update from a busy week in DC

It’s been a crazy week of action in Washington, DC, and since a lot of what we’re doing has to do with petitions YOU signed, actions YOU too, and advocacy YOU care about – I thought I’d make a short video all about it:

If you like what you see, click here to chip in and support us!


You can also still take action on these campaigns!

The Case to Fire Zinke

Ryan Zinke is Donald Trump’s racist, corrupt, climate-denying, public-lands-defiling Secretary of the Interior — And it’s time for him to go. It’s time to #FireZinke.

Fire Ryan ZinkeAnd it’s not just me saying so: When Scott Pruitt resigned, there were 16 active investigations into his corrupt actions and abuse of taxpayer funds. Zinke faces 14 federal investigations right now, so he could well be next.

But just like with our #FirePruitt campaign, Zinke isn’t going to just resign without a push. And Trump is only interested in loyalty to himself and the fossil fuel industry. He’s never fired anyone for corruption or bribery (how could he, given his own self dealing?). So, once again, we’re teaming up with a big coalition of progressive groups to pressure Congress to investigate, and if necessary Fire the Secretary of the Interior. Sign on now to support us.

Zinke’s corruption and crimes against the planet are vast, and complicated at times. I said Zinke is racist, corrupt, climate-denying, and public-lands-defiling. Here’s why:

Zinke is a Racist

It’s important to remember that one reason Trump likes Ryan Zinke so much is that they are both “birthers” who alleged that president Obama was not born in the U.S. – a racist lie that’s common to officials in this administration.

In a hearing about oversight of historic sites that used to be Japanese internment camps as historic sites Zinke told Japanese American Congresswoman Rep. Colleen Hanabusa “Oh, konnichiwa.” Hanabusa had been asking Zinke about the sites in relation to her own grandfather’s detention. He defended himself by first asking reporters “How could ever saying ‘good morning’ be bad?” and later by saying he has “friends that were Japanese families.”

But Zinke’s most racist attacks might be reserved for Indigenous peoples and Native Americans. It’s bad enough that Zinke cut tribal governments out of the decision to gut the Bears Ears National Monument  — a substantial reversal from the Obama-era process that created the monument. But when an indigenous woman dared to question him  about his Bears Ears process, Zinke stepped towards her aggressively and told her to “be nice” in a distinctly not-nice manner.

Nor is his prejudice restricted to official land decisions. Only 10 percent of DOI staff identify as indigenous or Native American (too few given that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a part of DOI). But when Zinke cleaned house and reorganized the Department, one third of the senior staff targeted for reassignment were Native Americans. When that clearly racist decision prompted an investigation, Zinke told staff that “diversity isn’t important.”

But for all his own prejudice, Zinke loves to question other people’s citizenship and loyalty to America. His team has defended use of the term “anchor babies”, he told a fossil fuel event that “I got 30 percent of [my] crew that’s not loyal to the [US] flag.” And when a protester tried to ask Zinke a question about climate, he responded: “You know what? You haven’t served and you don’t understand what energy is. I’d like to see your child have to fight for energy.”

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Zinke is Corrupt

Here’s the thing, there are a LOT of smoking guns around Ryan Zinke when it comes to corruption. Just like Scott Pruitt the question is less “how can we prove Zinke is corrupt?” Than “is there any decisions Zinke has made that doesn’t benefit his own family, friends or benefactors in the fossil fuel industry?”

The most blatant example is probably the land deal Zinke’s personal foundation, headed by his wife, struck with the head of Halliburtonwhich donated more than $23,000 to Zinke’s campaigns – that included space for a microbrewery he has always wanted. Not at all by coincidence, the land deal went through just as Zinke and the DOI were approving a whole slew of decisions that benefited Haliburton from opening up more of our coast to drilling to rolling back safety standards for offshore drilling.

Oh and that offshore drilling plan? Only one state was exempted from Zinke’s proposal to open more than 90% of our coastlines to drilling. That was Florida, where key Trump ally Rick Scott is running for Senate and an investigation indicates that Zinke’s teams orchestrated a hasty meeting and press conference in the Tallahassee airport – a possible violation of federal campaign rules, as well.

But there are lot of examples of blatant corruption at DOI: From all the fossil fuel companies that have donated to Zinke, and now have lobbyists running the DOI; To Zinke’s secret meetings with fossil fuel executives and lobbyists; To his “Royalty Policy Committee”,  which is supposed to suggest how much mining and drilling companies have to pay for access to public lands and waters, but Under Zinke is stacked Fossil fuel executives and has recommend payments that are only fraction of their value; To his shady relationship with Whitefish Energy, a two year old company from his hometown with only two full time employees, that somehow won a $300 million dollar contract to restore power in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (they failed, and people died as a result).

We could go on and on, but we won’t do so here. We’ll just recommend you to the excellent coverage in The New Republic and at the website Department of Influence, created by the Western Values Project.

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Zinke is a Climate Denyer

Like racist Birther-ism, denial of Climate change is almost a calling card for the Trump Administration. But Zinke has been especially effective and destructive at wielding the anti-science, pro-fossil fuel line:

There have been numerous documented incidents of the DOI and the  National Park Service removing  climate change research or references to sea level rise from official reports and websites. And Zinke eliminated climate change from DOI’s strategic plan and other plans because that was “inconsistent” with Trump’s energy goals.

He’s also made it personal: One of the 14 investigations into Zinke involves his reassignment of climate scientists. The most famous is whistleblower Joel Clement, the former director of the Office of Policy Analysis who had overseen research into climate impacts for years, and was reassigned to a job collecting royalty payments from fossil fuel companies in apparent retaliation.

Most recently, while wildfires were burning out of control across California, Zinke blamed environmental terrorists and said we need to increase loggingdirectly contradicting common sense, good science, and the policy of CalFire first responders.

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Zinke destroys Public Lands

Zinke swore up and down that he would never sell public lands for private profit in his confirmation hearing. But the DOI preferred proposal for gutting Grand Staircase Escalante included a plan to sell off 1,600 acresincluding some parcels that would be sold to corrupt, anti-environment Utah state representative Mike Noel. Zinke backed off that plan, but it wasn’t the first time. He’s also pushing to cut the Bears Ears national monument by 1.15 million acres and open both monuments to fossil fuel extraction and uranium mining.

And in case there was any doubt about who Zinke is working for, it’s not you, me, science or indigenous communities who hold these lands sacred. Zinke proposed nearly tripling fees for some national parks; His plan to gut Grand Staircase Monument would destroy many dinosaur fossil discoveries; His plan for Bears Ears ignores Native American input that they hold these lands to be sacred; and his plan to fast track seismic testing and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), puts the Gwich’in people and other subsistence hunting and fishing communities in rural Alaska at risk.

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Why right now

That was a lot of reasons why it’s time to #FireZinke – but I just want to give one last short reason why we should take action right now:

Zinke is vulnerable, and he Trump know it. In addition to the 14 investigations, some Democrats in Congress are demanding answers. So far, they’ve been blocked by Republicans loyal to the Trump administration.

But if the election changes who’s in charge of key committees in the House, Zinke could face months of excruciating hearings and inquiries into each of the items tagged above, and many more. That’s how we got Pruitt to resign earlier this year. And we can do it again if we act together – right now, before the election.

Will you help? Sign here to call on Congress to #FireZinke now, and we’ll make sure your name and signature are delivered before the election. We’ll also keep you up to date on protests, actions, and lobbying activity near you that can hold Zinke and the rest of Trump’s team accountable.

We did #FirePruitt now it's time to fire Zinke

What really happened at the Global Climate Action Summit

Our final day in San Francisco was for the #CommunitiesNotCorporations action at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS/ #GCAS2018). We’d already attended the Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice on Saturday, and an occupation of Gov. Jerry Brown’s forest advisory board before the summit.

At this last event, I was embedded with a group of frontline fighters during a tense stand off with police where we blocked the doors to the summit, and I had a front-row seat to the indigenous, frontline, and communities of color who were locked out of a summit where billionaires and mayors rubbed shoulders to congratulate each other on their elevated climate consciousness.

Before you celebrate the commitments made by Mayors of New York and London, or by corporations with billions in profits, check out our wrap up video – filmed live on the streets outside the Global Climate Action Summit, and edited in South Carolina as hurricane Florence makes landfall. And if you’re moved by our argument about what works, and doesn’t work about Jerry Brown’s market-based approach to climate change. Then chip in to support this kind of work if you can.

I also streamed live for a few hours from the action outside along with our friends at Rising Tide. You can see the street theater performance starting at about 22 minutes in, and you can see the tense stand off with police at about 1:10:00

Thanks again to all our partners and friends who helped organize – especially Beyond Extreme Energy which helped send me and Don to California; Rising Tide and Diablo Rising Tide, who did so much amazing prep and organizing for all these actions; And the It Takes Roots coalition including IEN and other allies who put on the amazing Solidarity to Solutions conference, and provided a ton of logistics for speakers, art, theater and frontline participation. It takes ROOTS ROOTS ROOTS, to weather the STORM STORM STORM – and y’all got mad roots.

Last – thanks to all the 198 methods supporters and everyone else who chipped in to get us to California, and home safe (just in time for Florence to make landfall in South Carolina, where I live). If you appreciate this kind of action, and the coverage before, during and after these action – please consider chipping in $1.98 or more to keep us fighting.

Donate, Rise, Burn, or Drown

Earlier this week I wrote to you about how, even in a time of climate fueled fires, super-storms and destruction, our movement for global climate justice gives me hope. Specifically, I asked you to come out to Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice action near you this Saturday, September 8, and see and feel that movement for yourself. And I still hope you’ll do that.

But I also wanted to ask if you can chip in $1.98 or more to support our work at this weekend’s Rise events and beyond. I’m in California now, and I plan to do more than march. I’ll be rallying with frontline leaders and taking direct action in the streets. Can you make a quick donation to support what we’re doing?

I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t think another march is going to stop climate change. Big international shows of solidarity are an essential part of the movement – a way that (nearly) everyone can get together and call for change. But if we’re seriously going to change Jerry Brown and other local leaders’ minds, if we’re going to get the solutions we need to stop the climate crisis, we’re going to have to take bold direct action.

And that’s what 198 methods is here for: When the climate movement gets into the streets and takes direct action to force real change, we show up and provide digital tools, material support, and good old fashioned participation to help. That’s why I’m in California – and starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to see a series of videos and reports from Direct Actions happening all this week to create the change we need.

But, I can only be here, and only stream, record an broadcast all this stuff, because of generous supporters. So, if you’re in a position, I’d love it if you can chip in $1.98 or more to keep me going, and my camera rolling.

In Five Days, We Rise, We Burn, Or we Drown

We live in dark times, climate-wise.

California and the West are on fire. The first tropical storm of the season is rolling into the Gulf of Mexico – and the last homes and business Puerto Rico just got power back a few weeks ago. But Donald Trump and team just keep on trucking: appointing climate deniers to key posts, blaming wildfires on environmentalists not climate, and rushing the hearings on climate-killing, justice-denying, Trump-protecting judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Some days, it feels like our only choices are whether to burn in a climate-fueled wildfire, or drown in rising seas. But I’m here to tell you there’s another way. A better way. A way we can Rise above climate impacts, and fight for real solutions and justice.

Our movements light the way at moments like these. And as bad as things look, I’m genuinely hopeful about what we can accomplish if we work together. This weekend’s Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice events are a perfect example: More than 600 actions are being planned in 83 countries and all 50 states here in the US. Will you join us this Saturday, September 8 at an event near you?

California Governor Jerry Brown is convening a conference of sub-national (as in Mayors and Governors) leaders from around the world in San Francisco September 12th – 14th. It’s called the Global Climate Action Summit. But Brown and his desire to be known as a climate-champion and the Anti-Trump are not the real objective.

Activists and protestors are not allowed into the conference, but by rallying outside we can make our demands heard. And with so many leaders in one place, at one time – the opportunity for change is real.

Join us in the streets of San Francisco, San Antonio, and dozens of other cities big and small as we tell the world what real climate leadership looks like:

Rise for climate: No new fossil fuel projects, 100% renewable energy, not a penny more

That’s the new bar for climate leadership. We can’t settle for ‘business as usual’ solutions from our elected leaders. And we can’t be complacent.  We need to show up, speak out, and if necessary shut things down in order to demand real solutions. 

PS – Already planning to attend your local Rise event? Want to do more than march and Rally? Chip in to support 198 methods! We’re headed to San Francisco, and not just to march and rally. Drew will join, support, and participate in a series of non-violent, direct actions during the week of Jerry Brown’s summit.

But we need your support to get our team to California, house them (and other friendly activists visiting) and support a range of logistics in the streets all week from the 8th to the 14th. We’ll send frequent updates via social media, email and online. Please chip in to support us if your can!

.