Not one more Climate Denying FERC 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.

This is bad – red-alert, 4-alarm BAD. But I have good news, too. On October 16 we’re going to the Senate with friends from Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) to deliver a loud and clear message: We can’t afford one more Climate Denying Trump Nominee in charge of our energy policy. The Senate must vote NO on McNamee and stop Trump’s FERC!

Let’s be perfectly clear: We think any nominee is a bad idea, because preserving the deadlock at FERC – where the two remaining Democrats are often at odds with the two remaining Republicans – is our best chance at stopping new pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

But even allowing that we don’t want anybody to be confirmed, McNamee is worth fighting. He has been a lifelong advocate for fossil fuels, and is a climate denier. Sign here to demand the Senate vote vote NO on Trump’s latest climate-denying, community-wrecking nominee; Bernard McNamee!

He’s completely unqualified to oversee energy policy: He has no experience in the utility or natural gas utility industries, let alone our complicated and interconnected system of electric utilities. He once wrote a letter to The Hill about how fossil fuels “dramatically improve the human condition” – on Earth Day no less!

More importantly, he was a leading author and architect of Trump and Rick Perry’s dangerous plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants last year; a plan so obviously biased in favor of fossil fuels and the corporations who profit off them that even FERC voted 5-0 to deny it. After the unanimous rejection by FERC, McNamee has been hard at work looking for a legal, or extra-legal loophole to order that we pay some $34 billion in subsidies to failing coal and nuclear plants.

Having failed to find a legal way to apply national-socialist principles to every American’s utility bill, Trump seems to have decided that it’s simply faster to pack the FERC – just like he’s packing the courts. This is only the latest example of Trump appointing dangerously unqualified loyalists to high-ranking positions at FERC: FERC chief of staff, Anthony Pugliese  told a far-right Breitbart News podcast that FERC was working to approve McNamee’s coal and nuclear bailout, and repeated the statement to a nuclear energy conference.  Pugliese’s collusion is so extreme that even moderate Democrats on the Senate Energy Commitee have said it “call[s] into question the impartiality and independence of the Commission.”

McNamee’s nomination is obviously be part of a plan to ram through more fossil fuels. And FERC’s Republican majority is clearly complicit. Pugliese was brought into FERC by former acting-chair Neal Chaterjee and Chairman Kevin McIntyre seems ready to go along with him, saying on Twitter “I look forward to serving with McNamee.”

McNamee is clearly unqualified, dangerous, and denies the urgent, imperative science of the most recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changewhich unequivocally states that we have to cut all emissions of global warming pollution (including methane which is ~80x more potent of a climate-pollutant than Carbon Dioxide) 50% in 12 years, and 100% by 2050.

It’s up to our Senators to ask serious questions of McNamee, and the remaining four commissioners who have allowed the agency to become mired in partisan, climate-denying scandal. And ultimately, it’s up to each and every one of our Senators to vote NO on McNamee. Sign here to tell them so.

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

Make the call to Stop Kavanaugh

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

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

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

Not sure what to say? Start here (and feel free to read the links below for lots more context and ideas):

You’ll be connected to the congressional switchboard when you call. Tell them the name of your Senator, or which state you live in. They’ll patch you through to one of your two Senators and you’ll probably get a receptionist or a voicemail. You can just say something like:

“Brett Kavanaugh is a radical, anti-environment justice who’s already said that the President is above the law, Roe v Wade should be overturned, and corporations have the right to pollute our water and destroy our climate. You MUST vote NO on his confirmation. And you should speak out now to demand that no vote be held until we have a chance to see ALL his papers from the George W Bush administration — well after the mid-term elections. Do I have your promise that you’ll oppose this dangerous nomination?”

Don’t forget to call back and tell your other Senator (we all have 2) the same thing!

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

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

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

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

Pruitt’s trying to over up this cancer-causing chemical report

Last week, hundreds of 198 supporters joined more than 300,000 petition signers and 100 environmental and social justice organizations in calling on Congress to fire EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

But today, he still has a job. What’s more, just today Pruitt abused his power (again) to bodily remove a reporter from a meeting on toxic chemicals. I’ve said it before, but ANY other EPA administrator would have been fired already. But Trump won’t do it. And so far, it seems like it’s going to take more pressure to get Congress to act. So here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Don’t normalize this latest scandal with your silence. Share the news on social media using the links below, or forward this to friends on email.
    1. Share on Facebook.
    2. Share on Twitter.
  2. Chip in to support our ongoing work on this campaign. Last week more than 100 of us participated in petition deliveries from coast to coast. But Congress hasn’t responded to our demands. We need your support to keep planning escalating actions and protests that compel them to #FirePruitt.

The backstory

We’ve been petitioning Congress and the Administration for months to Fire Scott Pruitt, Trump’s racist, corrupt EPA administrator. In cased you missed it, Senator Bernie Sanders helped us lay out the case in a conference call (which hundreds of you participated in) early last week. Click here to listen to a recording if you missed the call (Drew helped moderate and screen your questions).

Last week Pruitt was back on capitol hill to testify before a Senate subcommittee and so were our friends — A crew of activists silently held “Fire Him” signs behind Pruitt as he gave his opening remarks, and again owned the media narrative with stories on CSPAN, Politico, MSNBC, and more.

But the action wasn’t contained to the committee room, or even the East Coast: More than 100 198 methods supporters signed up to deliver more than 300,000 petition signatures demanding Congress Fire Pruitt. There were rallies in New York, sit-down meetings in Philadelphia and Boston, and drop-bys and deliveries in Chicago, California, and hundreds of other locations.

Back on capitol hill, Pruitt’s reception with the Senate was not a friendly one. As with last month’s hearing, Democrats generally called on Pruitt to resign and were harsher in their questioning. Republicans were generally more patient, though Republican Subcommittee chair Murkowski did refer to the scandals as “legitimate” concerns. A lot of questions at the hearing were about whether Pruitt may have had a personal hand in covering up a pollution report that the White House said would be a “PR nightmare” if released.

The report in question is reported to expose the health effects from a class of chemicals used to make non-stick Teflon and some kinds of firefighting foam, which are called perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

Other studies from government agencies have linked those chemicals to cancer, developmental disorders and a host of other health problems and hundreds of communities from Vermont to Souther California may already be contaminated contaminated. Which is why it’s suspicious that Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis caused by PFOA and related chemicals. And, as if to confirm that he doesn’t want to talk about the human and environmental consequences, Pruitt chose not to invite victims, community leaders, and even major media outlets to today’s “National Leadership Summit” on PFOA, PFOS, and other chemicals.

When reporters showed up to cover the meeting anyway, they were refused entry and in one instance forcibly ejected. This is only the latest in a string of scandals and cover-ups involving Pruitt. But it’s important that we don’t get resigned to the Trump cycle of repeating scandals and constant crisis. Pruitt won’t quit, and Trump won’t fire him. And that means it’s up to Congress to take action and #FirePruitt. You can help us keep the pressure up:

  1. Don’t normalize this latest scandal with your silence. Share the news on social media using the links below, or forward this to friends on email.
    1. Share on Facebook.
    2. Share on Twitter.
  2. Chip in to support our ongoing work on this campaign.

 

Call in with Bernie Sanders tonight to #FirePruitt

This could be the end for Scott Pruitt: Last Friday, the New York Times broke the story that, Pruitt wined and dined a Roman Catholic cardinal who also is accused of “multiple … sexual offenses” just because the cardinal doesn’t believe in global warming. Then he tried to cover it up from the press and the public by changing FOUR. DIFFERENT. PUBLIC. ACCOUNTS.

Congress is angry (as they should be) but that may not be enough. There are indications that last month, when he testified before a House Committee, Pruitt may have lied and omitted informationas he has done many times before with the press and public – and therefore broken the law, again.

The only solution is for Congress to fire him using the impeachment process. And that’s exactly what going to do tomorrow, with your help. More than 300,000 people have signed on to demand Congress #FirePruitt. Now we need to deliver the message:

Can you click here to find your member of Congress’ local office and deliver our petition tomorrow at noon? You’ll be provided with a two page delivery packet and training guide to make sure everything goes smoothly. Then, call 844-881-1311 tonight at 6pm Eastern / 3pm pacific, and Senator Bernie Sanders and FOE President Erich Pica will tell you all about it (Drew will be helping manage the Q&A line with other volunteers).

Time and again we’ve seen scandals about Scott Pruitt, and thought to ourselves ‘this time he’s done for’. But every single time, Donald Trump has stood by his man because he appreciates the work Pruitt is doing to destroy our environment and poison our public health on behalf of big polluters.

The White House Press office says they “hoping” Pruitt can address the scandals at his hearing next Wednesday. We need to show up in force and make it clear that Pruitt can’t cover up or explain away his misconduct.

We’ve got everything you need to deliver a powerful message. Just click here to find your member of Congress’ local office and deliver our petition tomorrow at noon.

You’ll be provided with a two page delivery packet and training guide to make sure everything goes smoothly. When you arrive take a picture of yourself holding up the first page in front of the office. Then head inside and deliver a copy of the second page, which has a copy of the petition we all signed. Finally, post your pictures on social media using the hashtag #FirePruitt and we’ll share them with activists and reporters all over the country.

If you’re ready to Fire Pruitt, get your materials and then call 844-881-1311 tonight at 6pm Eastern / 3pm pacific. Senator Sanders and members of our #FirePruitt coalition will tell you all about how we’re going to win.

Stand and Deliver to #FirePruitt

The Scandals keep piling up for Scott Pruitt, Trump’s racist, corrupt, and dangerous EPA administrator. But this latest one – broken late Friday by a team of New York Times investigative reporters – might be enough to end him:

While on a lavish trip to Rome paid for by taxpayers, Pruitt took a Cardinal who denies climate science and is under investigation for child sex abuse out to dinner at a $240/plate restaurant. Then, he tried to hide it from reporters and the public by changing his official schedule four different times. Wow.

More than 300,000 people have signed on to demand Congress Fire Pruitt. And it’s essential that they do. Trump’s not going to do it – As recently as Thursday his press office said that “The president is pleased with the job that he’s doing…” And Pruitt’s digging in:  He’s refusing to show up at the EPA or speak to anyone but a tiny handful close advisors. And he’ll do anything to change the story, even instructing his staff to leak embarrassing stories about his rival, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. And all this after weeks of scandals, nearly a dozen investigations and more!

But Pruitt can’t hide forever. He’s scheduled to testify before a Senate subcommittee next Wednesday May 16, and Drew’s headed to D.C. to make sure he doesn’t get off easy. Along with dozens of partners, we’re planning to escalate. Can you help?

RSVP to #FirePruittIt’s past time For Congress to fire Pruitt. Trump won’t do it and Pruitt won’t resign voluntarily (people have been telling him to for weeks). So impeachment is the only solution for an administrator this corrupt, venal, and dangerous to the agency he’s supposed to lead and the people he’s supposed to protect.

But Congress isn’t likely to act without a push. Hundreds of members have already called for Pruitt to resign, and they feel like that’s enough. Even worse, some Democrats feel like they’d rather have Pruitt as a punching bag – an example of Trump’s corrupt, reckless leadership team – to campaign against in November’s mid-term election. That’s not leadership or courage.

We’ve said for months that if elected leaders want to act like the climate hawks they claim to be, they need to do more than condemn the Trump administration with words. They need to take action – by refusing to fill vacant posts (like at FERC), firing his most dangerous cabinet secretaries, and refusing to confirm deputies and who will carry out the Trump’s deadly anti-climate agenda with less publicity or notice. Pruitt deserves to be the first to go, given all that he’s done, but he shouldn’t be the last. That’s the message we’ll deliver to every member of Congress next week, with your support

We’ve got everything you need to deliver a powerful message. Before you go to your local congressional representative’s office, print out a copy of this two-page delivery packet. When you arrive take a picture of you and your friends holding up the first page in front of the office. Then head inside and deliver a copy of the second page, which has a copy of the petition we all signed. Finally, post your pictures on social media using the hashtag #FirePruitt and we’ll share them with activists and reporters all over the country.

But we can’t do it without your support. Can you sign up to show up – and if you can’t chip in to support those who can?

 

 

A week of actions to walk the talk on climate

This is the long version of our report back on the Walk the Talk action in Albany, and the #FirePruitt actions in DC – if you prefer shorter versions of these reports and updates, subscribe to our email list on the home page. We start in Albany, so click here if you want to skip ahead to the Pruitt news, click here. And to cut to the chase – we’re looking to raise another $500-$1,000 to cover the costs of this. The funds will be used to support travel and logistics and legal support for more than 55 people (all of whom need to return to Albany next week for a court date. Click here to chip in if you can.

Cuomo Walk the Talk

The week got off to an AMAZING start on Sunday with the Cuomo Walk The Talk Action Camp. about 100 of us gathered in Athens, a few miles south of Albany, for an all day planning meeting, art build and action walk through. It was an intersectional crowd with first time action takers in their late teens and twenties, and experienced grandparents who’d planned or participated in hundreds of direct actions before. Our friend Eric took amazing photos so you can see how it looked.

With our plans made, our art painted I shot everyone a quick email asking for donations and cued it to send the next day while I was at the action. It’s a good thing I did because Monday was BUSY!

We were just one of more than 100 organizations that endorsed the Cuomo Walk the Talk action, and every group brought something to the action. One of the biggest was busses: more than 1500 people came on 19 buses from Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, Rochester, Elmira, Caroline, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Oneonta, Binghamton, Westchester, the Hudson Valley, and Ithaca. Together we formed a massive crowd, too big for the sidewalks we were permitted to hold and pressed in close to  hear Karenna Gore, Tim DeChristopher (Fresh from their necessity defense win in Massachusetts last month) speak alongside frontline community leaders from Sheridan Hollow. Sheridan Hollow is a frontline EJ community in Albany that is home to a power plant that used to burn trash. Now, Cuomo wants to convert it to a fracked gas powerplant, deepening the city and the region’s reliance on fossil fuels.

From the opening rally, we marched just under a mile to the Statehouse lead by beautiful art, two brass bands, and a whole lot of energy for our 3 demands — ending all fracking infrastructure, moving to 100% renewable energy, and making polluters pay, where we heard some more from young leaders like Lee of Sane Energy and Patrick of New York Communities for change. They fired up the crowd (tired from walking the last few blocks up a steep hill) and then lead people inside to rally in the only public space big enough to hold our crowd. More great photos from Eric here.

But it was at that moment that our “red team” split off from the main rally. Instead of going to the staircase, we headed directly for the Governor’s office. In the “war room”, decorated with murals of New York’s conquests in war, we sang and unfurled a giant sun-shaped banner that exactly covered the state seal on the floor. Then we marched for the Governor’s office, but the State police literally shut the door in our faces: locking the glass door from the main stairwell to the “hall of Governors” that leads to Cuomo’s ceremonial action. The message from Cuomo was clear: when it comes to demands that he Walk the Talk on climate, he doesn’t want to hear it.

But we weren’t taking no-answer for an answer. So 55 people including friends from BXE, Sane Energy, NYCC, and Food and Water Watch, sat down and refused to leave until Cuomo met our demands: ending all fracking infrastructure, moving to 100% renewable energy, and making polluters pay.

I was especially moved by the action that Kim and the team from Sane Energy had devised: Each of the 55 arrestees sat down on the floor, and one by one read a short statement on why they were there, which they’d also written on piece of red ribbon. Many people talked about the need to protect their children and grandchildren; some young people talked about the uncertain future their generation faces; and more than one person paid homage to David Buckel, a civil rights lawyer and environmentalist who set himself on fire to protest fossil fuel use, after leaving a suicide note nearby. After each person read their statement, they tied themselves to their neighbor with the ribbon – so that they were literally bound together by their stories.

It was a powerful action, and we were delighted to be able to support it by supporting several of the BXE arrestees and live-streaming the action on facebook where thousands of people watched along. Here’s a short video 350.org made of the action:

And here’s the Livesteam of the whole 3 hour long action.

The next day, I jumped in a car with a few of the BXE folks who’d been arrested and drove back to the DC-Baltimore area. But all 55 of the arrestees have to return to Albany next week for a court date. We’re raising money to send to Sane Energy, who coordinated the action and is making sure that everyone gets to their court date and stays free. If you can, please chip in to support this action and the ongoing support costs.

The hearing that should have Fired Pruitt

We were back in DC because Scott Pruitt was scheduled to testify before a congressional subcommittee. More than 225,000 Americans have signed on to demand Pruitt be fired after a wave of scandals – including many 198 methods members – and we wanted to make sure he felt the heat.

With leadership from Friends of the Earth, we created a carnival atmosphere outside the Rayburn congressional office building. FOE passed out fliers at every entrance, so there was no chance that any member of Congress or their staff could ignore our message that it’s time to #FirePruitt. And a team from several organizations waved signs, danced in a giant Pruitt head and generally had a good time making Scott Pruitt look ridiculous.

Pruitt however, did not look amused as he jogged past our protest. So it was a good thing Lukas from FOE recognized him and shouted a question about his corrupt, climate denying tenure as Trump’s EPA administrator.

The reception inside was not much better: as members of Congress sharply questioned Pruitt on how he broke the law to spend more than $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office, more than $143,000 on first class flights (often back to his home state of Oklahoma), more than $3 million on a massive security detail he didn’t need and gave more than $100,000 in raises to his friends, in direct defiance of White House guidance.

But Republicans went easy on Pruitt. Infamous climate denier Joe Barton of Texas told Pruitt he was “not the first victim of Washington politics.” And it was at that moment that the real action happened:

As Pruitt tried to explain away his sweetheart deal to rent a fossil fuel lobbyists’ condo for $50 a night I was part of a team of activists who raised signs that read “Mr. Corruption.” For a moment, you couldn’t even hear Pruitt’s answer over the sound of the press corps’ shutters furiously clicking away. I was I was lucky to get a seat right behind Pruitt, so my sign was clearly visible on the Cspan live stream carried live on several networks.

Friends of the Earth Fire Pruitt Rally

Pruitt stammered on for a moment, until Chairman of the committee told everyone that if they held up signs or displayed any t-shirts with writing on them, they would be arrested.

Drew asks Dems to walk the talk by firing Pruitt

I didn’t want to get arrested, but a minute later another Republican was praising Pruitt for rolling back clean car standards and inspections on refineries, and I couldn’t take it. I put on my oversized “Impeach Pruitt” shirt over my suit, stood, and slowly shuffled out of the hearing. Lucky for me, the Capitol police decided not to press the issue further – and while they banned me from the rest of the hearing, I was not arrested.

Although i was thrown out, Pruitt stayed on Capitol Hill for a second hearing, where he continued twisting the truth and defending the Trump Administration’s racist, climate denying policies. While I stood outside in the hallway with Erich Picah and staff from Friends of the Earth,  several staffers for Democratic members of Congress thanked us for speaking out – and today, the papers are full of pictures from our action inside and outside the hearing room.

But it’s also become clear from Republicans’ weak questions and the tone of coverage on Fox News that Pruitt isn’t going to resign and Trump is less likely to fire him today than before the hearing. That doesn’t mean we’re giving up – it means it’s up to Congress to fire him, just as our petition asks.

I’ll be heading back to DC in 2 weeks to participate in another FOE-lead rally at the EPA, and we’ll have more surprises for Pruitt and team. Again, if you can, please chip in to support our travel and logistical costs (Drew helped recruit, transport and house several people for the action at the hearing, and will plan to do so again in May.)

What’s it all about?

Both actions this week had a similar theme: Confronted with a Trump administration that denies climate science and does the bidding of the Fossil Fuel industry, we need local leaders and Congressional Climate Hawks to take bold action on climate change.

But too often we get climate peacocks like Cuomo: politicians who talk a good game about how they care about climate change and support renewable energy, but also “frack us in the back” to quote Lee Z from Sane Energy at the Albany action. It’s the same story in Congress, where more than 140 lawmakers from BOTH parties have called on Pruitt to resign, but not one of them, yet, has introduced binding legislation to remove him or called for his impeachment.

That’s why we use digital tools to support direct action campaigns. By raising the stakes – with a sit in outside Cuomo’s office and standing up in an impeachment t-shirt at Pruitt’s hearing – we demand more than talk from our leaders, and we show that we’re not going to be placated with happy talk about solar power or “believing in climate change.” And by broadcasting these actions online, and providing ways for you to sign on in support with internet petitions, call in actions, and more – we expand the reach of those actions and share the stories that inspire us with a much larger audience.

Just like at the Albany action, where activists were literally and figuratively tied together by their stories, 198 methods uses digital tools to tie our direct actions for the climate together with a bigger, more powerful community. 

If you value that connection, or want Drew to keep traveling to more actions (maybe in your town next time!) to deliver support, risk what others cannot, and bring you back recordings, live streams and online actions you can take in solidarity – please chip in to support our work.

Earth Week should be about real climate leadership

walk the talk on climateYesterday was Earth Day, and I’m sure you’re getting a million emails asking for money to “Save the Planet” and “stop the pipeline.” There are a lot of awesome groups out there doing great work, and I hope you support a few of them.

This email is a little different. It’s longer, for one thing, but that’s not what matters. What makes 198 methods different (we hope) is our approach. We use digital tools to support direct action campaigns that can really shift the paradigm on climate – moments when by upping the ante just a little bit, we think we can turn the tables on the whole fossil fuel industry.

There are two important examples this week that we’re supporting. Can you chip in to support us while we do? Here’s what we’re doing, because actions speak louder than words:

First, in Albany: We’re supporting the Cuomo Walk the Talk action. Even if you’re not from new York, it’s worth paying attention to – because it’s the latest in a series of campaigns including the occupation of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s office a few weeks ago, and the Brown’s Last chance campaign we’re supporting. All three (and lots of other great work) are aimed at getting Democrats who claim to be climate leaders to really step up. They also all have a common demand: 100% renewable energy, a ban on all fossil fuel infrastructure (especially fracked gas pipelines), and making polluters pay for wrecking our climate.

By Democratic Governors in multiple states like this, there’s a real chance to raise the bar on what it means to be a “climate hawk”. And that’s absolutely essential in this moment. With climate chaos intensifying all around us – Climate disasters cost $307 billion in 2017, more than the entire Republican tax scam and more than $4000/US family of four – It’s no longer enough to “support” renewables or “believe in climate change.” Real leaders in 2018 need to be taking bold actions to stop taking carbon out of the ground, stop transporting it to locations it can be burned, and start a massive and wholistic overhaul of our energy economy.

Tomorrow’s Cuomo Walk the Talk action could be the biggest milestone yet. It promises to be the biggest climate march in Albany’s history. And it lands at a really powerful moment when Cuomo is facing a primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, who has a much more progressive platform on climate and clean energy, and has already rejected all donations from the fossil fuel industry. I’ve spent all day at the action camp planning a direct action component to this peaceful, powerful march and rally, and it’s going to be amazing.

Even better – if it works, Cuomo could be convinced to take one of the strongest stands on climate action in America, while he’s governor of one of the biggest states in America, and while he’s considering running for President of the United States Of America in 2020 (or as soon as we impeach Trump, read on). There are Two ways you can support this action:

  1. Follow the Hashtag #CuomoWalkthetalk starting at ~12pm Eastern tomorrow, April 22
  2. Check out the Facebook page for updates as well, Drew will post and share several live updates from the March, rally and the Direct Action.
  3. Chip in to support our work – after we cover the cost of the action (like our travel and food costs) we’ll donate all of it to the legal defense fund and local frontline groups in New York.

Cuomo walk the talk

That’s the most urgent news, but maybe not the biggest news this week.

Pruitt to testify April 26. More than 200,000 of us have already signed on to a petition demanding Scott Pruitt be fired for his corrupt, disastrous leadership of the EPA. Now there’s a new report out from the Government Accountability Office that Pruitt’s $43,000 booth actually broke the law. It’s just the latest in a series of scandals that could finally sink his leadership of the EPA, and deny Trump a key surrogate that he was grooming to help him end Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

This Thursday, Pruitt is scheduled to testify to a House Committee about that, and all his other scandals. I’ll be there along with Friends from Beyond Extreme Energy, Friends of the Earth and dozens of other partners. But it wont just be a standard DC rally:

We’re using Pruitt’s presence on the Hill to turn up the heat on Congressional Democrats, in particular – especially ones who claim to care about climate change and the EPA. For too long, these climate peacocks have sent letters expressing their “concern” or “demanding answers” from Pruitt about his outrageous spending, and even more-outrageous attacks on our environment and public health. But even as they’ve called him out and trumpeted their ‘resistance’ to Trump’s agenda, many of those same elected members of Congress have voted to confirm Trump’s cabinet — from Pruitt in 2017 to new climate-denying NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine last week. Not to mention the FERC commissioners who were confirmed on the same day as our action asking Democrats to lead on this issue last year.

Instead of more letters expressing concern, climate leaders in Congress should demand Pruitt be fired right now – and move to impeach him if Trump won’t do it. It’s the same basic process as impeaching a President to Impeach a member of his cabinet – and now that the GAO confirms Pruitt has committed a crime, it’s great practice as well!

That’s why later this week i’ll be in DC to support partners and allies taking action to Demand Congress do more than talk – that they actually take action by impeaching Pruitt.

I’ll send another update later this week with a wrap up on the Albany action and more ways to support the #FirePruitt day of action. For now, if you want to support our work:

  1. follow the #FirePruitt hashtag on social media
  2. Sign and share the petition, if you haven’t already.
  3. And chip in to support all our work.

You see the pattern: We need elected officials to do more than Talk: We need bold action to block Trumps nominees, ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, make polluters pay and move immediately towards a just transition to 100% Renewable energy. And this week, that’s what we’re all about.

Sign here to Fire Pruitt as head of the EPA

It’s past time to fire Scott Pruitt, Trump’s head of the EPA. Whether he’s tearing apart climate change regulations or making it easier to spread toxic pesticides, Pruitt stands out as the most dangerous, and effective, members of Trump’s cabinet.

Fire Pruitt to save the EPAYour Representative can demand that Pruitt resign, and even fire him using the same impeachment process as for a President. But they won’t act unless and until we demand it.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with a host of other groups to demand Congress take action NOW. Will you sign on in support so we can deliver your name to Congress while the headlines are still fresh?

Pruitt’s been under fire for months over his bigoted, corrupt, and hurtful administration of our nation’s top Environmental Agency. But in the last week, it’s gotten really intense. The news has been so bad in the last week that when I confronted Republican Chair of the House oversight Committee Trey Gowdy (SC) — he of the Benghazi witch hunt — if he’d ask Pruitt to testify in his on-going investigation, Gowdy said “I’m not sure he’s going to make it that long. It gets worse every time there’s a report in the news.” (Scroll down to see the video my friend Elaine recorded)

Gowdy is already investigating Pruitt over reports that he has traveled first class on multiple trips. New scandals involve Pruitt giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in special raises to his favorite staff, in direct contravention of Whitehouse rules – and possibly lying about it in an on-camera interview with Fox news. That has had Congress seething and democrats, at least, demanding investigations. Pruitt is also under fire for getting a special deal from veteran D.C. lobbyists and longtime campaign contributors for a $50-a-night Capitol Hill Condo rental.

We’ve already seen that Trump will fire senior cabinet officials if they get caught in too big a scandal, or cross him publicly. Remember when Tom Price was fired for wasting taxpayer money on travel?

But Trump has already tweeted his support of Pruitt. And, even more frightening, is said to be considering Pruitt as a replacement for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions, remember, has recused himself from the Russia investigation. But Pruitt is under no such constraints – and might immediately fire Robert Mueller or otherwise tamper with that on-going investigation in exchange for Trump overlooking all these scandals and promoting him to our country’s top law enforcement official. We simply can’t let that happen. Congress needs to take action, now.

And as my interaction with Gowdy last week shows, it’s possible that even the most conservative Republicans will take action, given the mounting evidence of Pruitt’s corruption and malfeasance. Sign here to demand Congress take immediate action to #FirePruitt.

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.