Duke Energy is seeking approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for a $290.8 million rate hike. If approved, the electric bill of a typical residential customer will rise by nearly $100 a year — all to pay for more dirty power, fracked gas, and pollution.
This is our chance to speak directly to NC Utilities Commissioners, the ones who oversee and regulate Duke Energy. They need to know how raising rates affects our climate and communities, especially people on fixed incomes and struggling families trying to make ends meet!
The best way to show them is to show up! Join us at the Mecklenburg county courthouse to learn more and speak out against Duke Energy’s Dirty Energy Rate Hike.
February brought an old fight back to the fore – the fight to stop Keystone XL. Trump has been trying to build the pipeline, without success, since he was sworn in in 2017. So far court cases and local permits have kept him at bay – but we’re waiting for the moment when Trump’s fossil-fueled-authoritarian tendencies overwhelm those flimsy buffers and they simply begin lighting the fuse of this carbon bomb without proper permits and paperwork.
May also launched our campaign to get disaster relief for Puerto Rico. This became a recurring theme as Congress would appropriate money for disaster relief, but Trump would refuse to sign or disburse the money – IF, and this is a big if, the people helped by the funding were black, brown, or tended to vote for Democrats. Later in the year we broadened this campaign to include climate refugees from the Caribbean and eventually the whole global south.
Climate Strike! That was the big theme in September as we supported hundreds of Climate Strike events here in the US. Greta Thunberg asked the United Nations “How Dare You” and I personally buckled in as part of two beautifully troublesome actions.
So there you have it! A year in photos and images to illustrate all our work. You can also check out our previous post which covers more of the science and policy on how we’re ending 2019. Next week, after the New Year, I’ll write you a message about our plans for 2020 but you can be sure it will continue a few of these themes:
Holding corrupt Trump cronies like Wheeler and Bernhardt accountable;
Working as part of the global Climate Strike movement to demand bold action from our elected leaders;
Pushing US policy makers to adopt a bold, fossil-fuel-free Green New Deal; &
Bringing you great direct-action powered online campaigns at the local, state, and federal level to demand climate action.
This really good thread and podcast discussion by The Hot Take co-founder Mary Annaïse Heglar makes the argument that it’s not hope, but resolve, action, and some other things that are necessary in this moment.
I agree with both parts: that we need more hope, and that the antidote to fear is not hope, but action and conviction in the face of uncertainty. If you agree and are able, I hope you’ll click here to donate.
As has become a tradition, I’m going to tell the story of where our climate and common home is at with a series of charts and graphs. Next week I’ll send you a year in photos so you can look back at some of what we’ve done this year.
The fires in the Rainforest are both a symptom of climate-fueled draught, and also a cause of the loss of Arctic Sea Ice; which in turn is contributing to slower circulation of the Atlantic ocean current; and on and on.
There are a lot of climate emergencies happening all over the planet, and none of them are un-connected. Wherever you are, you’re likely seeing impacts, and your local impacts and emissions are fueling the crisis somewhere else.
That emissions are still rising is probably not a surprise, nor is the fact that we’re not doing enough to combat the climate crisis. If we were, emissions would be going down, right? But the distance between what we need to be doing, and what we say we are doing is also getting wider.
So there it is – the state of the climate movement in 4 charts, and it is NOT good.
We’re approaching a series of interconnected ‘tipping points’ of climate chaos much faster than expected.
That’s because emissions of carbon dioxide and methane are still going up despite years of promises by the world’s governments to reduce them.
Most devastating, the gap between what we say we will do, what we need to do, and what we are doing keeps getting wider.
That U.N. report was described as “Grim,” “Bleak” and “drastic” when it came out. But it was not without hope. The authors of the same report on the ambition gap wrote that, “the political focus on the climate crisis is growing in several countries, with voters and protesters, particularly youth, making it clear that it is their number one issue.”
Next week I’ll be back with a photo and video year in review of some of the amazing work we’e been a part of this year – from challenging Trump’s corrupt, climate denying cabinet; to shutting down DC as part of the global climate strike; and much much more.
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.
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.
Now, as the global week of action comes to a close with more than 7 MILLION participants world wide, and major actions all over the US, I want to say THANK YOU; And I want to remind you that this is the beginning of the fight we were built for, not the end.
So as you check out the amazing stories, photos and videos below, I hope you’ll agree that it is worth it to build a community dedicated to the support of non violent direct action for the climate – and chip in what you can to support us.
September 20, around the world, #Strike with us.
Friday September 20 we followed the lead of global youth and took to the streets as part of the largest coordinated international action on climate change, ever. There were more than 1000 events in the US alone, and a record 4 million+ people participated in the strikes.
Activists were back in the Streets of DC by Friday for a march through downtown DC. This time, we focused on a section of Northwest DC where the Trump administration’s corrupt relationship with corporations and polluters is most clear – with stops at the EPA and Trump Hotel, as well as fossil-fuel-financiers Blackrock and Wells Fargo. Our march specifically called for Trump’s impeachment, and an end to fossil fuel fascism. While at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Congress continued its formal impeachment investigation of Trump’s corrupt polluter regime. Read more about it here.
Calling out NC Gov Roy Cooper’s Climate Hypocrisy.
So when Cooper showed up to claim credit as a climate hero by introducing a so-called Clean Energy Plan at a meeting of the NC Climate Change Interagency Council, we showed up to disrupt with old friends from the state.
The action was the next step in ongoing escalation to focus attention on frontline climate justice issues neglected by the Cooper Administration: Duke Energy’s fracked gas infrastructure development–including the ACP and MVP–and the increase in forest destruction being driven by Enviva.
Shut Down New England’s last coal plant #bucketbyBucket
The Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH, is the last big coal fired power plant in New England with no shut down date. It has polluted the air, water, and climate in New Hampshire for decades, but it still manages to steal millions of dollars in taxpayer in subsidies every year to keep running. So on Saturday, Sept. 28, we joined more than 300 activists from across new England to take matters into our own hands to stop climate chaos.
Nearly 70 people, including me, were arrested trying to enter the plant with shovels and buckets in hand. We were prepared to remove coal from the burn pile #BucketByBucket to literally pull fuel from the fires of climate change. Unfortunately, a large police presence including a helicopter, Drone surveillance and state police in riot gear prevented us from reaching the coal and we were arrested just a few hundred yards from our goal.
The Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH, is the last large coal plant in New England without a shut-down date. On September 28th we will gather in Bow for a mass nonviolent direct action to shut down this plant.
Nobody’s going to close this coal plant for us. Continuing to burn coal and build fracked gas infrastructure in New England is immoral. That our political leaders stand idly by, or worse claim to believe in climate science, but refuse to take the actions necessary in the midst of this climate emergency is unconscionable. We must act ourselves.
When we took action in DC this week, we chose as our message based on firefighter’s badges: to symbolize that we were the emergency responders coming to the rescue of a planet that’s on fire. In the same way, this week we’re going to show up and remove a little fuel from the fire that is burning our future.
Activists have campaigned for decades to close down Merrimack. But local elected officials are bought by the fossil fuel industry and lack the political courage to confront the climate crisis. Nobody is going to shut down this power plant for us. But by physically carrying away the coal, removing the fuel from the fire, we are reclaiming our power and our future in our own hands.
Those who are not risking arrest can arrive on Saturday morning at 479 River Road, Bow, NH – Park on the west side (the southbound side) of the road south of the plant gate. Gather at the softball field across from the plant entrance to urge the operators of the plant to shut it down, and bear witness to those taking more escalated action. Please bring your own lunch.
It is past time to move past comfortable responses to the climate crisis. As Greta Thunburg said in her speech to UN ministers last week:
You remember North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper as the Democrat who promised climate action, but instead approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and colluded with Duke energy to mess with our communities and climate. Cooper is a leading example of the climate hypocrisy in the Democratic party.
Cooper’s latest swindle is his so-called Clean Energy Plan, which he’ll present later this week at a meeting of the NC Climate Change Interagency Council. Cooper’s latest plan is more of the same – flowery talk and platitudes wrapped around inaction on two of the biggest sources of climate pollution in North Carolina: fracked gas infrastructure and the wood pellet, or biomass, industry.
Governor Cooper recently made headlines and received high praise with the release of the state’s Clean Energy Plan. But until his administration stops approving new fossil fuel infrastructure and starts protecting our forests, we are calling him a climate hypocrite.
There’s no time left for business-as-usual; the Amazon and the Arctic are on fire. Greenland is melting and Trump wants to ‘buy’ it. Corruption reigns and the climate crisis is here. Now.
On September 20th, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world will skip school or work to take to the streets and make a stand. Many of them were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg.
They include and will join Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines, who have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future in the midst of the climate emergency.
In Washington, DC we will be answering the call in a huge way and building on the momentum of the youth climate strikes:
We will block key infrastructure to stop business-as-usual, bringing the whole city to a gridlocked standstill. Parents, workers, college students, and everyone who is concerned about the climate crisis will skip work and school and put off their other responsibilities to take action on the climate crisis.
People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated by the worst effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change itself is a product of the same processes which cement racism and wealth inequality in our country and our world.
To achieve something as monumental as shutting down DC, we are going to need everyone to step up. We need everyone’s creativity, everyone’s energy, everyone’s insights, and everyone’s ideas. Every single person has skills and experience to contribute to the strike.
This is the mass uprising that everyone with climate anxiety has been waiting for. This is an uprising for life itself, fighting back against the forces of destruction. This is your chance to take action to save the people, plants, and animals you love. Let’s rise up and shut down DC!
Here’s the plan: On Friday, September 20th, we’re following the lead of youth around the world to join the global climate strikes. The following week, September 23-27, as the UN meets in New York City, we’ll escalate by bringing tens of thousands of people into the streets and shutting down major US cities and key fossil fuel infrastructure until our leaders take action commensurate with the scale of the crisis.
Ever since Trump was elected, we’ve been building for this moment. Every petition you signed online, every Trump official we forced to resign, every action we took at FERC, at a bank, at a Governor’s office in NY or NC, it’s been in preparation for this kind of moment. Now it’s time to take action and I need you with us.
For the last 12 months, youth around the world have been walking out of class and demanding accountability from our elected officials. Many of them were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg. Now, they’re calling on people of all ages to join them in the streets on September 20th.
It’s urgent you answer this call – in person, in the streets, with action. There’s no time left for business-as-usual; the climate crisis is here. Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future while bearing the brunt of climate impacts. Young people are joining them in calling for action to protect a livable future for all of us.
People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated by the worst effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change itself is a product of racism and capitalism.
It’s a showdown in the Pacific Northwest between our movement to stop fossil fuels and climate change, and the Trump team and their dirty power grab. But this isn’t event the first time – Jordan cove has been proposed two other times, in 2005 and 2013, and we’ve defeated it before. That’s how we know we can win.
And we have to win: Jordan Cove and the connected Pacific Connector Pipeline would cut through private and public lands — including traditional hunting and fishing areas important to local tribes. All to deliver fracked gas, a global warming pollutant up to 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, for export.