No more business as usual. Tell the Senate to stop FERC now

We live a in climate changed world. From the wildfires out west to the hurricanes in the east — one making landfall this week while four more are active offshore. So why is Congress rushing to approve more Trump nominees to key energy agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)? What, exactly, would it take to convince Senators to just STOP the madness and extraction?

The Senate Energy Committee, once again, is considering new nominees to serve as commissioners at FERC. And FERC has continued its work rubber stamping new fossil fuel infrastructure all through the pandemic. We’ve called and written them thousands of times: Most recently some 40,000 of us asked FERC not to extend a permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

But FERC won’t stop until Congress stops them by instituting real reforms. Will you tell the Senate Energy Commitee that this is no time for Business as usual – and demand they stop the nomination of two new FERC Commissioners this week?

Call nowCall the Senate switchboard 202-224-3121 & tell them to vote NO on all new FERC Commissioners until there are real reforms!
Click here to tell them on Facebook
TwitterClick here to tell them on Twitter
Or, just forward this post to your friends!

The entire west coast is on fire. Hurricane Sally is making landfall today in the Gulf, even as communities re still struggling to recover from Hurricane Laura, which itself made landfall on the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And the Mid west is still trying to put itself back together after a massive derecho (a sort of one-directional tornado) and back to back storms that produced massive flooding.

Donald Trump continues to spout his nonsense and ignore science. But it’s his enablers – the agency heads and administrators that keep rolling back climate regulations and rolling out the red carpet for more fossil fuels extraction and infrastructure – who do the real damage.

The two newest nominations — Allison Clements and Mark Christie — aren’t as bad as some of the people Trump has nominated in the past. But that’s hardly the point: As long as Trump and his cronies are calling the shots, FERC will never be an agency that supports real climate action. We need bold changes, like a Green New Deal that changes FERC in to a Federal Renewable Energy Commission – and that change could be coming soon.

But until those changes come, we stand with our allies at Beyond Extreme Energy in calling upon Senators to abstain from voting for either of these nominees. Next week there will be a people’s hearing on FERC’s numerous offenses against the climate, our communities, and people. That needs to be followed quickly by real reform legislation that Congress can vote on FIRST, before they continue to feed the Fires of FERC’s climate disaster.

Tell FERC: Time’s up for the Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is years behind schedule, drowning in debt, and has no clear path to getting the permits it needs, let alone being built. But that didn’t stop them from going back to FERC and asking for more time.

The MVP is a 303 mile long fracked gas pipeline that Equitrans plans to build from Wetzel County, West Virginia, to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Along the way it would cross the Appalachian trail, more than 1000 rivers and streams, and require clear-cutting wide tracks of the Appalachian mountains.

For years resistance has built against the MVP — including countless community rallies, several long-standing tree sits, and blockades by activists. Click here to tell FERC to deny their request, and stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline for good?

Due in part to that diligent work, the MVP is two years past its initial 2018 completion date and $2 billion over budget – including more than $2 million in fines imposed by the state of Virginia for violating environmental and public health lawsGiven all the fines and delaysthere are real questions about whether MVP is accurately reporting how much of the pipeline is being built, and investors are starting to get cold feet and abandon the project.

Despite all signs indicating that this pipeline is about to be canceled — as its sibling, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, was canceled in July — Equitrans has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a two-year extension of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. If this is granted Equitrans will be able to work longer on getting key permits that have halted construction.

You can help us stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline by signing this petition demanding that FERC deny Equitrans the certification extension!

All signatures received before September 11 will be included in official comments to FERC, and once you sign you’ll be redirected to a page with instructions on how to back up your signature with a hand-written comment.

Don’t let Dominion exec’s off the hook for the ACP

Like all of you, we cheered big hearty cheers when the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was finally abandoned by Duke and Dominion. We’d been fighting that racist, climate-killing, ratepayer-busting pipeline for years.

And for all the time we were fighting the pipeline, the people who stood to profit were the corporate executives at Duke and Dominion. No one person was more culpable for the ACP, or more directly associated with it than Dominion Energy’s Tom Farrell. Now he must resign. Sign here if you agree.

You’ve already heard, over and over, how the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an environmental and human rights disaster:

  • It would have generated more than 67 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants.
  • It would have required 38 miles of mountaintop removal and damage thousands of acres of farm and forest land.
  • And the ACP would disproportionately harm poor, African-American and Indigenous communities all along the route. The plan included building an enormous fracked gas compressor stations in Union Hill — an African-American community of great historical and cultural significance in Virginia. And thirty thousand Native peoples live in the project area across North Carolina.

Behind this project that terrorized communities in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and threatened our climate was Dominion Energy, one of the most powerful monopolies in America. And Dominion’s leader, Tom Farrell, continued to push this project for years despite the potential consequences. As recently as May of this year, dozens of us attended Dominion’s online shareholder meeting to protest the ACP, and Farrell was still defending the ACP and repeating the lie that it was a ‘clean’ and ‘cost effective’ solution to our energy needs.

Rev. William J. Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign and Vice President Al Gore have already called Farrell’s legacy a “reckless, racist, ripoff.” But Farrell has found another way to dodge responsibility for his actions.

A few weeks ago, Dominion announced that Farrell will become the company’s executive chair, effective Oct. 1, 2020 and continue to serve as chair of the Board of Directors. Day-to-day operations will be run by Robert Blue, Farrell’s former operating officer, who will still report to Farrell.

Farrell has proven himself to be a bad corporate executive. By relying on a business model built on extraction, environmental injustice, and political corruption, he cost ratepayers and shareholders billions of dollars. But instead of firing him after the entire ACP debacle came crashing down, Dominion promoted him!

It’s important to pipeline fighters everywhere that we don’t just let Farrell walk away from the wreckage of the ACP without consequence. If he can get away with it, there’s nothing to discourage Robert Blue, or Duke CEO Lynn Good for that matter, from reviving the ACP in the future. Just as important, there’s no message to corporate leaders and lenders everywhere that betting big on fossil fuels is as dangerous for your career as it is for our communities and climate.

Let’s make an example of Farrell, like we made a symbol out of the ACP. Sign the petition to demand that Tom Farrell resign in disgrace as Executive Chair of Dominion Energy.

Tell FERC to make the Atlantic Coast Pipeline History!

On June 15 The Supreme Court ruled that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) can cross under the Appalachian Trail in the George Washington National Forest. Doing so removed a major obstacle to the project, but did not provide a clear path to how or when the project can be completed. A thicket of lawsuits persists and dozens of state and local permits remain in question.

Billions of dollars over budget, years behind schedule, and with no end in sight, the ACP’s corporate owners — Duke and Dominion — are asking for an extension. On June 19 they filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend their certificate of public good and necessity by two years.

Sign here to tell FERC to reject the extension, and make the ACP History!

Then, RSVP to join BXE and friends on Wednesday July 1 to deliver all the comments in a fun, interactive, arts-based webinarRSVP here to join us live at 11am ET on July 1, or click here to RSVP for the Facebook invite – we’ll share a recording of the webinar, and more details on how to comment and be involved.

The existing FERC permit, which has been the source of several lawsuits and legal challenges, expires October 13, 2020. If FERC denies the request to extend the permit by 2 years, the ACP is history. But FERC is not known for listening to public comment, or evaluating fracked gas pipelines on the objective merits of whether they will hurt people, communities and the climate. Which is probably why they gave us a measly 14 days, immediately before 4th of July weekend, to offer comments.

Lawyers, environmental groups, and experts are filing formal comments to oppose the extension of the ACP’s permit. But we need more than a good argument – we need public outrage and attention to stop the ACP.

Sign here to tell FERC that they must reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s application for a permit extension. If you sign before July 2 we’ll include your comment in the docket as evidence of the public’s opposition and deliver them as part of a creative, artistic, impossible-to-ignore demonstration before FERC’s next commissioners’ meeting on July 17.

Dirty, Dishonest Dominion can’t duck divestment online

Dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy – the principal company backing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – is holding their annual shareholders meeting (AGM) online tomorrow, May 6. They hope that because the meeting is online this year, due to the pandemic, that we’ll stay home and not pressure them to stop investing in fossil fuels, especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, like we have in the past

Dominion’s wrong – and we’re showing up online tomorrow right before the shareholder meeting to give them a piece of our mind. Can you join us?

Here’s what’s going on: Last year, Dominion held their shareholders meeting in my hometown of Columbia South Carolina. We worked with a team of activists from SC, NC, VA and beyond to show up and hold a protest outside the meeting while a crew of activist shareholders went inside to lobby Dominion to divest from fossil fuels and especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

In the year since, things have not gone well for Dominion and the ACP. The pipeline has been mired in court over legal objections to their plan to cross the Appalachian Trail on US Forest Service Land. That court case landed at the US Supreme Court in late February, and we were there as part of a street protest and Non violent civil disobedience action lead by North Carolinian’s impacted by the project.

While the pipeline has been stopped (for now) by the courts, the costs haven’t stopped going up. In fact, a new report out today from our friends at NC Warn and Friends of the Earth found that sticking with the ACP will increase energy costs $30 billion across VA, NC and other impacted states.

But while the news is mostly-bad for the pipeline, it has been mostly good for Virginians who want to invest in clean power. In March, Virginia passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which mandates that the state’s utilities, including Dominion, switch to pollution-free energy by 2045.

That one decision basically makes the ACP un-viable. But the pandemic, combined with a major drop in oil and gas prices have pushed fracking and pipeline companies to the brink of bankruptcy and dramatically slashed demand for gas pipelines and power plants. While Trump and co are angling to bail out big oil and gas producers, it would take months or years for that money to trickle down to utilities like Dominion.

Faced with all these headwinds, you’d think that Dominion would drop its support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But instead, they’ve been doubling down on their support – taking on more investment in the pipeline and lobbying to get around the Virginia law and scuttle clean energy requirements in North Carolina and South Carolina.

So, tomorrow, before their shareholders meeting, we’ll gather online and make some noise telling Dominion and their shareholders that it’s time to divest from fossil fuels and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Join us tomorrow (May 6) at 8:30 am before the shareholders’ meeting on zoom to take action. Together we’ll post on social media, call executives and take online action! We’ll hear reports and briefings from experts and shareholder advocates and give you all the info and talking points you need.

PS we’ll also be meeting at 11am on Thursday May 7 before the Duke Energy Shareholders meeting. Join us for that one too!

Join us for the Bank of America Shareholder meeting

From April 22-24, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, millions of people around the world are going online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. And on Earth day – Wednesday, April 22 – Bank of America is holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Shareholders.

As shareholders show up online for the meting online, we’ll join allies from across North Carolina to demand they “Stop The Money Pipeline.” Can you join us?

At 9am, we’ll meet up in a video-chat to sign letters, call Bank of America Executives, tweet at them, and leave reviews on their social media accounts! We’ll share a few memes – just for fun 😉 We’ll inform, educate, and welcome new activists!

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, and is the lead funder of the Atlantic Coast Pipelinea climate and human rights disaster. BofA is also the 4th largest funder of climate-killing fossil fuel projects in the world, having invested $156 billion in the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015.

BofA is ignoring science, public comment, and international law by continuing to fund the ACP and fossil fuels. And with every dollar they spend, they are driving all of us closer to climate catastrophe. Their funding of fossil fuels is also bad for business! With oil prices tanking, and fossil fuels in steep decline across the economy they’re wasting money and momentum that could be used to build a sustainable future.

During their shareholders meeting BofA is especially attuned to public and investor opinion. If we call them out on these destructive behaviors and encourage them to invest in renewables instead, we can make an impact!

Join Us! We need your voice at this moment!

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline stops (here)

On Feb 24, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case to determine if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) can cross the Appalachian trail. This is the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about a pipeline in years. And the first chance in years to put a meaningful check on the power of pipelines and the fossil fuel industry.

Nor is this likely to be the last case the court hears on pipeline siting – other rulings striking down an ACP Compressor station and several other cases are moving through the courts challenge pipeline companies’ right to claim a ‘public necessity’ to take private land through eminent domain and degrade public benefits like health and climate.

We invite all pipeline fighters, mountain defenders, Water protectors and climate resisters should join us in DC on the morning of February 24, 2020. Together we will demonstrate the resolve and power of impacted communities and allies to stop the ACP and all pipelines, no matter what.

While the legal teams for the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Sierra Club make their case to the Justices inside the courtroom, we will demonstrate that a majority of the public outside the court wants a check on the power of fossil fuel and pipeline companies.

It is the responsibility of the Court to hold the interest of citizens in balance with the Executive and Legislative Branches of government.  With the undue influence that fossil fuel and pipeline companies have currently, it is critical that we unify our movement through escalated action against all pipelines and to let our position be known.  

Click here to RSVP and join us on the morning of February 24 at the Supreme Court.

A lot of details are To Be Determined, but this we know:

  • The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is an environmental and human rights disaster. 
    • If built, the ACP would generate more than 67 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants. 
    • It would require 38 miles of mountaintop removal and damage thousands of acres of farm and forest land.
    • What’s more, the ACP would disproportionately harm poor, African-American and Indigenous communities all along the route. The plan includes building an enormous fracked gas compressor stations in Union Hill — an African-American community of great historical and cultural significance in Virginia — and thirty thousand Native peoples live in the project area across North Carolina.
  • To demonstrate the seriousness of this issue, and our resolve to stop the ACP and all climate-wrecking pipelines, many of us are prepared to risk arrest at this event. 
  • We will do nothing that is violent and nothing to disrupt the oral arguments, which we want to proceed and hope to win along with allies in Virginia and West Virginia who brought the case.

There will be roles and responsibilities for all who want them, just like there always are in our movement. To make it possible for as many people to participate as possible, we’ll host a communal breakfast, prayer vigil, and briefing on Monday February 24 for those who are able to join. 

We also welcome your participation with shared travel, housing and other arrangements. Let us know on the form if you need assistance or are interested in helping.

North Carolina Climate Resistance Actions this week

Wanted to let you know about a series of upcoming actions in North Carolina to fight back against climate change. There are forums in Charlotte, and other cities this week, and a big march this Saturday, Nov 16, in Robeson County. Check out the details below, or click here to see all the events listed at our Facebook page.

First up, our old friends Beyond Extreme Energy are touring the state as part of a “RoadShow” tour of the southeast. Meet them in Charlotte Tuesday, Nov. 12, to hear about about their vision to replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission (FREC). This is especially timely as the Senate is debating a new FERC commissioner this month – which we’ve emailed you about earlier. Lots of other events are planned on their tour as well, including some public protest with 350 Charlotte.

Click for Facebook event and please share with others, or click here to learn more about the BXE roadshow. If you can, please also chip in to support them.

Next up, join us Saturday, Nov 16, at the MARCH FOR JUSTICE in Robeson County, NC.

Piedmont Gas (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy) is proposing to build a one-billion-cubic-foot Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage and processing facility in Robeson County. This is a predominantly indigenous (Lumbee) community within an 8 mile radius of the ACP route, creating a greater risk of explosions, leaks and accidents. And it is 4 miles from the town of Maxton, a predominantly African American town, creating more racism, pollution and perpetuating decades of Environmental In-Justice.

We’re teaming up with a big coalition of local and national groups to oppose the storage facility. And on Nov 16 we will walk together in celebration of our sacred lands and waters.

Join us Saturday, November 16, 2019; from 10am to 4pm – click here to RSVP on Facebook, or click here to download a flier with more info.

Burning the ‘bridge fuel’ myth in Raleigh

On Tuesday, October 15th, the fossil gas myth busting roadshow is coming to Raleigh and you’re invited!

Join friends from Friends of the Earth U.S., NC Warn, Oil Change International, and 350 Triangle; as well as community leaders, local organizations, and students to discuss why the expansion of gas infrastructure is an environmental justice and climate disaster.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper claims to be a climate leader, but has been in the pocket of Duke, Dominion and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for years. We’ve been calling him out, and now it’s time to tell everyone why gas is not safe or clean, and why there’s nothing natural about fracking and fracked gas.

Join us Tuesday, October 15 in Raleigh, NC. for a panel event on why gas is not a ‘bridge fuel’.

This panel will discuss the impact of gas projects on communities in North Carolina, and how local organizations are planning to stop gas in its tracks. The data is clear: Emissions from burning gas alone are enough to overshoot the Paris climate goals and we can’t afford more gas infrastructure.

Gov. Cooper’s fossil-gas agenda has been devastating, harming the health and environmental quality of communities in North Carolina and accelerating the false narrative that gas has a role in the transition to renewable energy. Fracked gas and new pipelines are indefensible. Cooper has no grounds for promoting its use in North Carolina – because we need to move away from ALL fossil fuels immediately, including gas.

Join us and an inspiring panel of speakers who will address several ways the development of gas can’t be justified in these times, specifically in North Carolina. Here’s a quick rundown of who will be speaking (check out the facebook invite for more details):

  • William J. Barber III is the strategic partnerships associate at The Climate Reality Project and currently serves as the co-chair for the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Ecological Devastation committee.
  • Sherri White-Williamson currently serves as a board member of the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH) in Duplin County, North Carolina.
  • Jorden Revels is the Student Government Vice President at the University of North Carolina at Pemboke and holds a position as the Associate Minority Serving Institution Representative for the UNC’s Association of Student Government.
  • Donna Chavis currently serves as Senior Fossil Fuels Campaigner with Friends of the Earth U.S. and has over 40 years of service in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors on the local, state, and national level.
  • Lorne Stockman is a Senior Research Analyst at Oil Change International, where he researches and analyzes developments in the North American oil industry.

The event is free and will take place at the Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh at 7PM on October 15th. RSVP today!

Dirty, Dishonest, Dominion Energy #DIVEST!

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

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

Here’s a quick budget for your information :

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

Monday Night – Community forum and supper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday – the main event!

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