They told us that it’s over Re McNamee, it’s not

We only have a few hours to Stop McNamee for good, so I’ll make this fast:

Something amazing happened late yesterday in the US Senate: After weeks of our calls, emails, deliveries, protests and a personal visit from me and a team of BXE activists to Chuck Schumer Monday Every Democrat in the Senate took a stand for climate action.

Specifically, they all — even the Joe Manchin — voted NO on the vote to end debate on Bernard McNamee’s nomination. He’s Trump’s climate-denying nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, check out this video from Bernie Sanders, or read the back posts if you need a refresher.

Now, we have until about Noon to add one or two Republicans to that unified Democratic front, and we can actually stop McNamee for good. Three Senators are key to this fight: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Joe Manchin.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video recorded right after our meeting with Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s office. Something we said must have struck a chord, because after that meeting Schumer gave a strong speech against McNamee. It’s just what we needed to reflect the growing Democratic outrage at Trump’s climate-denying, fossil fuel loving nomination0 as part of a thinly veiled scheme to subsidize coal and nuclear power to the tune of ratepayers (like you and me) paying an extra $34 billion dollars.

But here’s the thing – 49 Senators, EVERY. SINGLE. DEMOCRAT. voted NO on the cloture vote for McNamee. 51 votes in favor of McNamee was enough to advance the nomination, but I have to pause a second and remind you what a big deal this is. 49 Democrats didn’t vote NO on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. 49 Democrats in the Senate did not vote for climate legislation in the US Senate under Barack Obama. 49 Democratic Senators have never, ever, voted as a block on climate change before.

Today, at 12 noon, the actual vote, up or down on McNamee, will take place. It’s a very long shot, but we have a chance to win that vote. These Senators are critical, so we’re giving you three ways to contact each of them.

Not Sure what to say? These calls can be super short – the most important thing is to tell them to vote NO on McNamee. Some special wording for our three priority Senators is below, provided by our friends at Beyond Extreme Energy:

For Susan Collins, the message is this: “You can’t say, ‘The federal government cannot afford the billions of dollars in additional funding that is going to be needed if we do not take into account and start acting on the serious consequences of climate change,’ and then support an outspoken climate denier and fossil fuel extremist. Vote no on McNamee!.”

For Jeff Flake, the message is this: “You can’t support allowing all energy sources to compete on an even playing field, and you can’t believe that picking winner and losers is not the federal government’s job, and then support anti-renewables McNamee. Vote no on McNamee!”

And for Joe Manchin, the message is this: “Thank you for voting yesterday against cloture on debate over Bernard McNamee. Today, you need to be consistent and, since Republicans shut down debate, vote no on McNamee. Do the right thing again today!”

Last I just want to leave you with the words of a song a young(er) climate activist taught me at the Cuomo Walk the Talk action earlier this year. It seems appropriate to today:

They told us that it’s all over
They told us that the world gets colder
They told us it’s too much on our shoulders
We believe that we will win
We believe that we will win

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.

 

Make a call to Stop McNamee

If you’re one of more than 25,000 people who signed on to block McNamee -THANK YOU. Together with allies we’ve already delivered your signature and lobbied every member of the committee to vote no. And thanks to you we’ve got a chance to stop the nomination: But we have to act fast.

Every day, new corruption and malfeasance about McNamee emerges – the kind of scandals and abuses of power that could convince Senators to block him.

McNamee’s only chance to get confirmed is if nobody notices or asks questions. So we need your help to make sure that doesn’t happenCan you make a call or send a tweet (they answer them like calls) to members of the Senate Natural Resources Commitee before the hearing tomorrow morning? 

Here’s who to call and how:

  1. Click the link to see a list of all the Senators on the committee and their contact info.
  2. If you have a Senator on the committee, call them first, but don’t worry if your Senator isn’t on the list.
  3. Call as many Senators on this list as you can.
    1. Start with the Chair, Lisa Murkowski and the Ranking member, Maria Cantwell.
    2. Next, we suggest prioritizing these Senators, who have voted to block FERC nominees in the past: Sanders, Hirono, Duckworth, Heinrich, Cortez-Masto
  4. 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 hearing 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).
  5. That’s it! If you have another minute (or while you’re on hold) and you use twitter, it’s also a great idea to tweet at these committee members and make sure they get the message. Karen added all the twitter addresses to that list, or just click here to quickly retweet.​

If you’re looking for more info, our team has published a ton of detailed explainers over the last few weeks, check them out below. A quick recap is that Donald Trump nominated Bernard McNamee to be the next commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) because he passed a ‘litmus test’ by swearing allegiance to fossil fuels and nuclear power.​

McNamee isn’t qualified, heck he doesn’t even admit climate change is a real and urgent threat. But that doesn’t matter to Trump and team — they see McNamee as a perfect crony — someone they can install at FERC who will help them ram through subsidies for coal and nuclear power too extreme for most Republicans.​

There’s a trail of corruption leading from now-chair-again Neal Chaterjee, to his hand-picked FERC chief of staff, Anthony Pugliese, right to McNamee.3

McNamee’s nomination is obviously be part of a plan to ram through more fossil fuels. And FERC’s Republican majority is clearly complicit. But we can stop them if we make calls today, and Senators get serious at the hearing tomorrow. I’ll be there to do everything I can to make sure they do – now I need you to make a call to back me up.

Make a call to the Senate Natural Resources Commitee right now and tell them to stop Trump’s climate denying FERC nominee. 

Want more?

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.

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!

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.

30 hours

I just want to write you a quick update on Brett Kavanaugh: Trump’s anti-environment, anti-worker, anti-woman nominee to the Supreme Court. 

First, and this is important, it’s not too late to stop this nomination. In fact, we may be getting closer to beating Trump and Kavanaugh. BUT we can only do that if we keep up the pressure – so whether you’ve called before or not, call your Senators right now, today, and tell them they must vote No.

Call (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senators or toll free 866-426-2631 and our friends at SEIU will connect you.

call now to save the supreme court

Now, a quick update: It’s been a rollercoaster few days as the FBI was rushed through an investigative process where they were instructed to only talk to 9 people, none of whom were Dr Blasey Ford or Judge Kavanaugh, one of whom refused to answer questions.

At the end of that deeply flawed, completely inadequate investigation, the results (some 50 pages of notes and documents) were delivered to a sealed room in the US Senate, where all 100 Senators were given about a day to read them, one at a time. Several Senators, including South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham admitted they didn’t even read the documents, they just listened to a briefing by some staff, and decided not to change their vote.

BUT this morning, something really important happened. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called a cloture vote – basically ending the confirmation process, and calling the question of whether – based on what they know right now – Senators are ready to vote for or against Kavanaugh’s nomination.

In a big surprise, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted NO on cloture. Several other swing votes – including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine – all voted yes on the cloture motion and it passed 51-49. That sets off a final 30 hours of debate with a vote expected tomorrow afternoon.

This is a big deal because it’s very rare for a Senator to vote no on cloture, and then yes on a nomination. Murkowski is probably a no vote. And Collins, Flake and Manchin’s votes in favor of cloture don’t  mean that they’ll vote yes on the nomination, just that they’re prepared to cast their vote. If Murkowski is a no, and 2 of those 3 remaining swing votes can be convinced, Kavanaugh’s nomination will fail. And just as important, Murkowski’s no vote on the process is a sign that some republicans still aren’t satisfied by the FBI investigation and hearings to date. If Murkowski can vote no, every Republican with a conscience can be persuaded. 

Now, to be clear, the almost-all-male, almost-all-white Republican caucus is not likely to change it’s mind. But we only need a handful of votes, and Mukowski’s no this morning indicates we may be moving in the right direction.

And, finally, the most important point – that’s all because of you, and me, and all the protests and calls and public outcry. White, male, Republicans (including Trump) have been taking to TV and twitter all morning to complain about how ‘rude’ survivors of sexual assault are being; Or to complain about how well organized our movement is to stop Kavanaugh. While a lot of their talking points are utter nonsense (like Trump claiming George Soros is personally responsible for all the outcry) – it indicates that our pressure is getting to them.

We can win this thing in the next 30 hours. A huge coalition of us are hosting a people’s filibuster on the Senate’s front lawn, and we’re prepared to talk all night to delay or stop the vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. And a big wave of national rallies are planned for tomorrow (Saturday).

We need you to participatetune into the livestream and wave, send a comment,  or share with friends. Sign up to attend a rally near you tomorrow and bring a sign. But most importantly, make your voice heard right now and for the next 30 hours – Call (202) 224-3121 or toll free with SEIU 866-426-2631 and tell your Senators to vote NO on Judge Kavanaugh. Need help with what to say? Click here for some talking points and more background.

Believe Survivors. Stop Kavanaugh.

I watched all 9+ hours of the Senate Judiciary committee hearings yesterday, and like a lot of you I feel awful.

I feel sick – physically. I feel emotional. I’m angry, but also deeply sad. I feel, in fact, a lot like I did the day after the 2016 election when Trump “won”.

But here’s the thing, this isn’t the day after. It’s the day of – today the Senate Judiciary committee is scheduled to vote on this disgusting, planet killing, rape-culture-affirming, nominee. At about noon is the moment to show up. Will you join me?

Believe survivors. Stop Kavanaugh

I live in South Carolina, which means Sen. Lindsey Graham is my Senator. I’ll be going to show him how I feel about his passionate defense of rape culture yesterday. I’ll be going because nobody gets to tell me and my friends what to do with out bodies or how to feel about the men who oppress us. I’ll be going because this hasn’t happened yet and I don’t want to sit downstairs and wonder why the music is so loud upstairs where Lindsey, Brett and the other boys are.

Yeah, I don’t know if I can change my Senator’s mind. I rather doubt it. But it’s not too late to stop this and a great many other harms, yet.