Climate action in the age of Corona virus

It’s happened. A global pandemic crisis, which climate advocates have been warning was an ever-greater risk as permafrost and arctic ice melts, has arrived and nothing is the same in the wake of the virus. If you’re sick or caring for those who are – keep going. If you’ve got a little spare time, I’ve got 3 simple actions you can take (and a PS) right now to keep fighting climate change in the time of viral pandemic.

*UPDATE* Senators McConnell and Schumer are negotiating a corona virus response bill this evening (March 20, 2020). And, even more exciting, 16 Senators (Merkley, Booker, Sanders, Warren, Schatz, Hirono, Gillibrand, Wyden, Durbin, Whitehouse, Blumenthal, Harris, Carper, Van Hollen, Duckworth, Markey) have issued the letter pressing on Senators Schumer and McConnell to include a national moratorium on all electricity, water, telecom and other shut-offs in the coronavirus stimulus package.

Click here or use the links below to send a letter to your Senators, now updated with this info and demand!

  1. Tell the Senate to focus on economic relief for people and communities, not the biggest polluting corporations on earth.
  2. Keep your eyes on the frontlines. We’ve already seen attempts to arrest protestors, expedite fossil fuel projects, and other climate crimes during the pandemic. Start by signing our solidarity petition with the Wet’suwet’en in Canada and #ShutDownKKR.
  3. Learn about mutual aid efforts to build an emergency Green New Deal right now in our own communities. Get involved how you can with your neighbors – as our friends at ShutDownDC said: solidarity is the best medicine.

More details, updates and news are below.

And my PS is simply that this project was created to provide digital support for direct action movements fighting climate change. The direct action work is having a moment of crisis and opportunity, but the digital part is more important than ever. Stay tuned for more emails, posts, actions and asks from us in the next few weeks as we try and skill up the movement and retool out tactics to adapt to our quickly changing times.

Tell the Senate to invest in people, not polluters

As I type, the US Senate is considering a potential trillion dollar ($1,000,000,000,000) economic relief package. Initial bad ideas included direct bailouts of the fracking and fossil fuel industries. The more recent bad ideas have included a big bailout of the airline industry (who needs help to support workers, but doesn’t deserve a bailout without strings and scrutiny).

Senate champions like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (and others) are pushing back on those bad ideas, and raising questions about how to condition economic assistance on plans to pay workers, invest in communities, and more. Sanders, Warren and 14 others (Merkley, Booker, Schatz, Hirono, Gillibrand, Wyden, Durbin, Whitehouse, Blumenthal, Harris, Carper, Van Hollen, Duckworth, Markey) have issued a letter pressing on Senators Schumer and McConnell to include a national moratorium on all electricity, water, telecom and other shut-offs in the coronavirus stimulus package.

This is the urgent thing you can do now: Click here to tell your Senators to make sure any economic recovery bill helps workers and communities – not corporations and polluters.

Keep your eyes on the Frontlines

Over the last few weeks as this crisis has developed, we’ve seen authoritarians in the Trump administration and elsewhere use the pandemic as an excuse to crack down on public debate and push through fossil fuel projects. As our dear-friends at Rising Tide said earlier: We need all eyes on the frontlines.

A few examples from the last few days of authoritarianism and fossil-fueled despots acting up:

  1. Last Thursday, Senate Republicans rammed through a vote on James Danly to be a new commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Danly is the first totally partisan nominee – traditionally one Democrat and one Republican are nominated together. And more than 14,000 of us wrote demadning changes at FERC (all your signatures were delivered to each Senator before the vote) But Danly is a fossil fuel industry darling, and Senators Murkowski, Manchin and McConnell were eager for him to secure their majority on FERC, which oversees all inter-state pipelines and fossil fuel export facilities. And now we know why: Hours after Danly was confirmed FERC fast-tracked the application to build the Jordan Cove gas export terminal proposed in Oregon, which was denied a permit by one vote in February. *Update* Sad to report that less than a week after ramming through a partisan nominee, FERC did vote to approve the Jordan Cove terminal in Oregon. Read more here.
  2. The comment period on Trump’s radical plan to gut the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) closed last week, three days before Trump declared a National Emergency on corona virus. And the Trump team continues to push forward with efforts to ban science, public input, and community opposition to fossil fuel projects.
  3. The same company that wants to build the KeystoneXL pipeline, TCEnergy (formerly TransCanada), is about to start building a multibillion fracked gas pipeline in Canada. It’s set to cut right through Wet’suwet’en lands without the consent of their hereditary chiefs. In the last month, police have raided Wet’suwet’en protest camps with assault rifles, dogs, sound cannons, and helicopters.

Now, all eyes are on Wet’suwet’en — and their hereditary chiefs are urgently calling out for massive global support. KKR is in the process of buying 65% of Coastal GasLink. If we can stop the sale, we can help stop the pipeline from being builtTake a moment to sign our #ShutDownKKR petition and tell all your friends to do the same!

If you’ve already signed (more than 125,000 of us have already) check out the #ShutDownKKR: Get Your Hands Off Wet’suwet’en Lands! Toolkit for more information on how you can take action.

Solidarity is the best medicine.

In response to the coronavirus, community-based mutual aid groups are forming to support each other by sharing resources, running errands, providing financial support, and emotional care to each other. Dozens of groups have formed or been re-formed in the last few days.

Here are a few idea ideas on how you can take action for a just response to the coronavirus, from our friends at Rising Tide North America:

PS – What’s next

This is the dawning of a new age of organizing. As you’ve heard, this spring’s climate strikes, which were going to be the biggest climate mobilization in global history, are advising us to not plan in-person events and rallies.

Other networks we’re a part of, like the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition and ShutDownDC are similarly adapting their plans for big, rebellious spring actions.

When I started this project after Trump’s election, I thought we could be of service by offering digital support to direct action campaigns on climate change. Over the last few years, we’ve done a lot of that – some of it very recently as you can see from the #2 section above.

Now, as public events, gatherings and protests are canceled, there’s even more need for what we do. We’ve already started talking to our old friends at Beyond Extreme Energy about a series of webinars or live-streams that share skills for campaigning online in an era of social-distancing. We’ve got decades of experience, and dozens of examples of using facebook live, websites, call and text tools, and more to drive change and back up actions in the streets. And we intend to share what we know, learn more about what you and other groups are doing, and build a bigger, more courageous and more digitally-empowered movement for radical climate action in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned for updates later this week, and more ways you can be learn, teach and engage online.

And we intend to share what we know, learn more about what you and other groups are doing, and build a bigger, more courageous and more digitally-empowered movement for radical climate action in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned for updates later this week, and more ways you can be learn, teach and engage online.

Fire William Pendley, Trump’s racist, climate denying public lands director

If you’ve been paying attention for the last 3 years, it won’t shock you to learn that William Pendley, Trump’s Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is a climate-denying white nationalist.

But even in Trump’s swamp, Pendley is worth paying attention to – because this corrupt critter is dangerous, dirty and Congress has the power to remove him – if we speak out.

Sign here to tell Congress: Acting Director William Pendley must resign or be removed from heading the Bureau of Land Management.

Let’s start with the basics. The BLM is responsible for maintaining federal lands and resources for everyone’s benefit across the country. They manage federal monuments and wilderness areas, and even have a role in protecting national parks. The job of the BLM director is, basically, to take care of public lands. To be a good steward and protect them for future generations.

But that’s not Trump and Pendley’s vision. Pendley is a long-time advocate of selling off public lands or giving them to states to sell. His vision is about profit, not protection — and he’s made a fortune selling our public lands to the fossil fuel industry for a pittance. Pendley’s last job was lawyer for a couple counties in Utah that wanted to carve up sections of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments for drilling, fracking and mining. Check out this informative video from the Years Project for more.

Like a lot of corrupt, climate-denying Trump administration officials, including his Boss Andrew Bernhardt, and Bernhardt’s predecessor Ryan Zinke, Pendley never stopped working for the fossil fuel industry. At last count, Pendley had a whopping 57 conflicts of interest — and that’s just the ones he’s chosen to disclose to the ethics office.

But actions speak louder than disclosure reports, and Pendley is not only corrupt, but a climate-denier. At BLM he’s prioritized killing Wild Horses over action to stop climate change. And Pendley literally wrote a book (5 of them, actually) on fighting environmental laws and deregulating public lands in which he calls conservation “radical” says scientists lie or cheat to accomplish their goals, calls Native American religions “pantheism” and accuses the government of carrying out a “war” on the western states. Which is one reason why nearly 100 environmental groups have denounced him publicly.

Being an anti-environment climate denier is bad enough, but Pendley’s brand of public land for private profit also traffics in white nationalism. Pendley has argued that “local law enforcement bears primary responsibility for enforcing state and federal laws,” amplifying the agenda of white nationalist organization Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.

It’s the same ideology that lead him to support the Bundy family when they held a Wildlife refuge at gunpoint. Those same ranchers were later pardoned by Donald Trump.

Any one of these actions – his conflicts of interest, his climate denial, his radically anti-public lands message or his close ties to white nationalist militias is enough to disqualify Pendley from serving. And here’s the thing: Pendley is only at BLM by Congress’ agreement – he’s another “acting” director who can be hauled in front of Congress to explain his past-deeds, and removed if enough members of Congress don’t like his answers.

So let’s get the ball rolling on that and remove another racist, corrupt, climate Denying Trump administration official before its too late! Sign the petition: Demand Acting Director William Pendley resign or be removed from heading the Bureau of Land Management.

2019 in photos

It’s almost 2020 and you look great! Here’s a quick retrospective on the last year of action and work, as told through some of my favorite pictures and memes. Take a gander, and if you’re so-inclined, chip in here to support another year of banner-dropping, Trump-impeaching, arrest-risking, action and fun!

Here’s a little more background on these photos:

January

Emily disrupts the Wheeler hearing
Photo from AJ+

We started the year protesting Trump’s Environmental Record – in this photo my youngest sister Emily is shutting down a hearing with Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying EPA chief. Ironically this hearing happened during a government shutdown that had furloughed thousands of EPA staff nation-wide. Protesting Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying cabinet is a theme of this year’s actions.

February

A resolution for a green new deal was introduced, call now

Another theme of this year was the Green New Deal – the ambitious proposal to reshape our economy and society in line with what climate scientists tell us are necessary levels of ambition. A resolution was introduced in February by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen Ed Markey. But we felt it could be stronger, more inclusive – and especially that it needed to tackle fossil fuels. We weren’t alone as hundreds of groups and millions of people rallied to the call for a fossil-fuel-FREE Green New Deal in the coming months.

March

Breaking Tump tries to approve the KXL pipeline, again

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.

March was also the month we kicked off this year’s campaign to undercut the banks and hedge funds who make profit off of climate-chaos. That campaign ramped up a lot in April and May during shareholder season.

April

In April I climbed the three-story awning of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to drop this banner with friends at Beyond Extreme Energy. That campaign, to change FERC into the Federal RENEWABLE Energy Commission (FREC) is ongoing, and if you like it you should chip in to support BXE before the end of the year too!

We fired Zinke and Pruitt, now help block Bernhardt

April was also the month we launched the first of a series of campaigns that targeted David Bernhardt, Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying Interior Secretary. Like Wheeler (see above) he became a recurring character in our fight to stamp out corruption, block pollution, and protect the climate from Trump’s cast of climate conquistadors.

 America Shareholders' Meeting

And finally, I told you it was shareholder season. This photo is a favorite from the Bank of America Shareholder meeting where friends dropped a huge, 2-story call banner telling shareholders the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a financial and climate disaster.

May

Dominion press conference

That shareholder action carried right through into May. Here I am in my home-town of Columbia South Carolina talking to press outside the Dominion Energy Shareholder meeting.

Sign here to support disaster relief for Puerto Rico and all Americans.

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.

We can't fight climate change unless we fix our food and ag sectors

And the mid-year variation on the Green New Deal campaign in May (just in time for planting) was our Green New Deal and Ag work. Agriculture is one of the US’ biggest sources of global warming pollution; And there’s simply no way to fix climate change without addressing our food supply. This campaign also continues today, as we work to get Democrats in Congress to grapple with the entirety of a Green New Deal and climate action, not just the easy bits that don’t offend their donors.

June

Stop Barry Myers NOAA nomination!

One of our most successful petitions of the year was opposing Trump’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Barry Myers. It took a while, but Myers eventually dropped out, and NOAA remains a rare bastion of climate research and scientific sanity in the Trump regime. I also really liked this meme of Myers in front of actual NOAA imagery of Hurricane Florence.

July

No More Climate deniers in charge of US climate policy

Less successful was our attempt to block coal-baron Kelly Knight-Craft from being appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations. Our petition and work with partners did generate a lot more “no” votes for her confirmation than normal, but did not succeed in changing the Trump-team’s approach to international climate action.

No rate hike we can't afford more fracked gas

Just a quick one that A) illustrates how a little design and digital recruitment helps local protest campaigns, and B) is solidarity work with allies in North Carolina who are fighting a whole wave of fossil fuel infrastructure including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, fracked Gas liquefaction facilities, and a corrupt administration that ignores pollution in exchange for big money.

This little meme was made for a rate hike protest in Charlotte near the 4th of July holiday.

August

Trump wants to take away your freedom of Information

Wheeler popped back on our radar this month when he tried to hide government files from public records. I do love using photos of Trump and his Administration cronies against them.

September

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.

In DC I locked myself into a car to and had to be cut out by police with a special saw as we blocked a key bridge at the Shut Down DC action. And then in New Hampshire I was arrested with dozens of friends and allies signing as we peacefully attempted to remove the coal from the last remaining coal plant in New England without a shutdown date.

October

Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas

October was when we expanded our work to get relief for those impacted by climate chaos to the Bahamas, which had just been hit by Hurricane Dorian. Trump was denying them visas – in one case leading people to be turned off a boat bound for the US – so we spoke up. Later in the year the campaign expanded again to cover all climate refugees. Again, I love using these NOAA hurricane images to illustrate why we need climate action now.

November

Bernhardt is too corrupt to go on

November brought one more campaign targeting Bernhardt as Congress opened (and considered more) investigations into his corrupt conduct. Like I said, targeting these Trump cronies has been a consistent theme of our work for years – and it feels like we’re getting closer to expelling Bernhardt and Wheeler. Like we already won campaigns to expel Zinke and Pruitt.

One other fun update on that Bernhardt campaign – a few weeks later some friends took out this mobile billboard in DC – Corrupt and Corrupter indeed.

Our Bernhardt Billboard is turning heads

December

Strike with us Dec 6

The winder Climate Strike was smaller – but was important because it was timed to connect with the UN climate talks. Another failure, unfortunately.

Impeach

What wasn’t a failure was our turnout for impeachment eve rallies nationwide, and the vote – FINALLY – in the House of Representatives this month that made Trump just the third President in history to be impeached (Nixon resigned first).

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:

  1. Holding corrupt Trump cronies like Wheeler and Bernhardt accountable;
  2. Working as part of the global Climate Strike movement to demand bold action from our elected leaders;
  3. Pushing US policy makers to adopt a bold, fossil-fuel-free Green New Deal; &
  4. Bringing you great direct-action powered online campaigns at the local, state, and federal level to demand climate action.

4 charts and a mission

UPDATE: Since I wrote this earlier, I’ve come across two good discussions on the role of “Hope” in the face of these charts and the overwhelming science of climate change.

  1. This interview with scientists and experts contrasts these same 4 charts with what gives them hope.
  2. 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.

But if you’re already all in – here’s the link to donate, and thanks.

Chart 1 – Tipping points ahead

This first one is from a recent report in Nature that finds that we’re coming up – faster than expected – on a series of global tipping points. How these tipping points work and interact is a bit complicated, as you can tell from all the arrows and points on that map. But the key idea is that none of these items is unrelated from each other.

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’s bad news, and really alarming, because these disasters are happening decades earlier than previously predicted, and they’re compounding at increasingly rapid rates. At the same time, it helps to know that we are all truly in this together – just because my coast is flooded and yours is on fire, or vice versa, doesn’t mean we aren’t facing the same problems.

If you’re ready to fund another year of all-in actions to stop the climate crisis however and wherever it shows up, click here.

Chart 2 & 3 – Emissions still going up

This one, which should be familiar to anyone who has been in this movement for a few years, is from the World Meteorological Association and shows that global concentrations of Carbon Dioxide are still going up.

That goes for emissions of methane too – again according to scientists at the WMO. Methane is the key component in fracked gas, and is up to 80 times more potent at warming the climate and created those interconnected tipping points and indicators in chart #1 above. Which is why we spend so much time protesting at gas pipelines and the people who are supposed to regulate them.

If you agree emissions keep going up, and it’s gone on far too long; click here to chip in and fund the fight for us not to be silent any more

Chart 4 – We’re not acting fast enough.

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.

That was the conclusion of another gut-punch of a report from the United Nations this year, eloquently summed up in our final chart:

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.”

And that’s why I’m asking you to chip in again this year. If you believe, as I do, that while the hour is late and the news is dire, a growing movement of voters and protesters can turn the tide and get us on-track to solve the climate crisis – please consider chipping in $1.98, $1.98/week, or whatever you can afford to keep us fighting.

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.

Corrupt and Corrupter – an update on Sec. Bernhardt

To help drive home the point that David Bernhard, Trump’s climate-denying Interior Secretary, is one of the most corrupt members of the cabinet, our allies this week are driving a giant billboard around the streets of Washington DC. But, well, you sort of have to see it:

This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn't at stake. Check it out and take action at http://bit.ly/StopBernhardt_198m

Posted by 198 Methods on Thursday, December 12, 2019

“This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn’t at stake,” said Jayson O’Neill, deputy director of the Western Values Project.

WVP is just one of the allies who’ve helped us gather more than 100,000 signatures so far calling on Congress to investigate Bernhardt. If you haven’t already, you can sign on here or share this message with your friends online to spread the word!

Tell Congress: Bernhardt is Too Corrupt to Continue

We’ve told you before about David Bernhardt, Trump’s latest (not the first) corrupt, climate-denying Secretary of the Interior.

Last time we updated you, Bernhardt had just been confirmed despite nearly 200,000 of signatures opposing his nomination. The vote was largely along party lines, with the same three same Democrats who voted against the Green New Deal — Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) — voting for Bernhardt.

But now there’s a new opportunity to take down another Trump Administration official, like we did with Zinke, Pruitt and others before. Congress is considering opening an investigation into Bernhardt’s cozy relationship with his former lobbying clients. Can you help us encourage them to do so?

Add your name to tell Congress to investigate David Bernhardt’s corrupt connections to his past lobbying clients.

Just like Trump’s impeachable conduct with the Ukraine – there’s real evidence and legal basis to remove Bernhardt. One of his first acts upon being appointed to Secretary of Interior was to engineer the largest rollback of the Endangered Species Act in history.

And in the last few weeks, Bernhardt’s DOI gave one of his largest former clients, the Westlands Water District, a special deal to use more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which supports many threatened and endangered species.

Bernhardt has spent his entire career working for climate profiteers who make a killing off of killing our climate and environment. But he may have gone too far in doing favors for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).

The IPAA is a group of oil and gas producers like Shell, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil that have multibillion dollar stakes in exploiting previously protected lands and waters. They also have a track record of harming working class communities and communities of color. But earlier this year they boasted about having “unprecedented access” to Trump administration officials, including “direct access” to Bernhardt himself.

Even for the Trump administration, this is naked, brazen corruption. And it’s up to Congress to investigate, and eventually remove Bernhardt from office — just like they’re doing with the impeachment investigation.

Sign here to tell Congress they must investigate Bernhardt and determine whether he is using his cabinet-level position to promote the interests of past clients – and if so, they need to impeach him too.

Trump’s newest FERC nominee is just as corrupt as you think.

We’ve written before about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rubber stamps new pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure, locking us into decades fo climate chaos. And in particular how Trump’s FERC has acted again and again to prioritize fossil fuel profits over the health, safety and civil rights of American citizens.

So, in context, Trump’s latest FERC nominee James Danly doesn’t look all that surprising. But in this case, dangerous things come in bland packages:

Danly, who currently serves as the general counsel to FERC claims to be a “humble regulator.” But what he actually means:

Danly’s credo draws on core tenets of the Federalist Society, an influential group of conservatives and libertarians … said several attorneys who practice before FERC

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060534923

That’s right, Danly wants to take control of America’s energy infrastructure the same way Brett Kavanaugh and Trump’s other wildly unqualified, super-conservative, almost-always-white-male judges are taking over the judiciary. And, not surprisingly, he wants to get there in a similar way to how Kavanaugh got on the court.

Our best chance to stop Trump’s latest ultra-conservative nominee is to bottle up his nomination in a committee hearing. Can you sign here to tell the Senate Energy Committee to vote no on James Danly, Tump’s latest climate-denying FERC nominee?

Here’s the short version of how we got here: FERC has seen record turnover since Trump was elected. With the departure of Democratic Commissioner Cherly LaFleur earlier this summer, there are only three commissioners left, two Republicans and one Democrat). That’s barely enough for a quorum, and gives the last remaining Democrat, Richard Glick extra leverage to block votes or halt projects by refusing to participate.

At the same time, there’s been an explosion in protests and opposition to pipelines. Inspired by campaigns against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, activists have been rising up to resist fossil fuel infrastructure from coast to coast. We’ve been part of a number of those campaigns and I know you have been too. At the same time, our allies have been suing every pipeline they can to slow them down and stop the approval process. And in a few very important instances, the combination of those tactics – the lawyers suing and the people protesting – have combined to stop big projects like Keystone and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

So the fossil fuel companies are getting nervous. They’ve been enthusiastically backing Trump’s attempt to pack the court, and are betting billions of dollars that the Supreme Court will back them where lower courts have consistently sided with landowners, the environment, and climate action.

And that’s where Danly comes in: Fossil fuel profiteers and their cronies in the Trump Administration can only win in court if they have regulators who ignore the lower courts. They’ve succeeded in firing or driving out thousands of civil servants at the EPA and Interior Department, and replaced them with lifelong fossil fuel cronies like Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt. Those guys were put in charge because they were corrupt, but not cartoonish, as their predecessors Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke had been.

Just like Wheeler is a less-ridiculous but equally-evil alternative to Pruitt, Danly is a less flamboyant version of Bernard McNamee – the Republican FERC nominee who drew unanimous opposition from Senate Democrats just about 1 year ago. Danly claims to be more moderate, but he’s the legal mind behind FERC’s refusal to even consider the climate impacts of pipelines and projects it reviews.

And, just like Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Danly’s nomination follows a Republican campaign to stack FERC with their preferred commissioners. FERC commissioners are usually nominated in pairs – one Democrat and One Republican – to maintain the legally required balance on the commission. But Danly marks the third Republican nomination in a row, and comes even as a Democratic Nominee to replace LaFleur is waiting for consideration. It’s part of a continuing trend to pack the FERC with Trump-style fossil fuel allies.

Danly’s first hearing is tomorrow, but he wont get a vote in the full Senate for a few weeks. So sign now and we’ll deliver your name to the Senate ASAP!

Bad news & why we fight on

Bad news first: This week the Senate confirmed Kelly Craft to serve as Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying ambassador to the United Nations. The vote was mostly along party lines with only five Democrats betraying their principles, values and common sense vote for Craft.

There’s no upside to Craft being approved. But the vote frames two important reasons why we fight, and how we will fight on:

  1. It’s not our last chance to hold Craft accountable, and just like we fought the nominations of Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt, and Ryan Zinke – only to eventually get them to resign or be fired later – we need to keep at it until every member of this corrupt regime is impeached, removed, and gone.
  2. The five Democrats who voted for Craft – Sens. Maggie Hassan (NH.), Joe Manchin (WV.), Chris Murphy (CT), Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) – are still a problem, but they’re a vanishing breed. We need to keep pushing, and to hold these Democratic turncoats accountable.

So thank you to everyone who signed and shared and called and demanded action. We lost this battle, but the war for our future and climate goes on – and I believe that we can win.

If you believe it too, chip in $1.98 or more to support us, and we’ll lay out some of our plans and goals below the fold.

So, Kelly Craft, corrupt owner of coal mines and climate-denier-except-when-she-doesn’t is headed to the UN? Well, so are we. The next UN general assembly is just over a month away, and a lot of eyes will be on New York.

Greta Thunberg, the teenage campaigner whose started the global school climate strike movement is headed there by sailboat. And a global series of strikes and actions are planned for the week of September 20-28, right when Craft will be showing up to work at the UN.

More updates and details are coming soon – this week in fact. So stay tuned for updates and if you can, chip in $1.98 or more to support our organizing.

Just as important, Congress is home in their districts for the next 6 weeks. If you live in NH, WV, CT, NH or AZ, make sure to contact your Senator at a town hall meeting or public forum and tell them you’re sick and tired of Democrats enabling Trump’s climate-wrecking agenda.

Rex Tillerson and Scott Pruitt, two other famously corrupt Trump cronies who eventually resigned or were forced out, received only one or two Democratic votes in confirmation. Which makes Craft’s confirmation a troubling sign of back-sliding in the party.

As this excellent article from Dave Roberts at Vox points out, it’s becoming a bit of a fashion for Democrats to pledge big changes and actions on climate change, but always just far enough in the future that they never have to be held accountable.

They may think they’ve found a way to talk big on climate without any action or consequence, but we know better. Craft’s nomination was hustled through because she’s a long time donor and friend of Mitch McConnell. But when we’ve had more time to organize opposition – like against Barry Myers, or Trump’s climate denying FERC nominees – we’ve shown that we can be effective.

So if you’re game to keep fighting every nomination, every time, and deprive Trump of his enablers, chip in $1.98 or more and help us keep fighting.

Like I said, there’s no silver lining to Craft being confirmed. A corrupt, climate-denying UN ambassador is just a terrible idea, and even worse in practice. But we’ve got more opportunities to fight coming up soon, and when we fight, we can win. I hope you’ll stay in this fight for our climate and common home with me.

UN Fit to lead. Stop Kelly Knight Craft nomination.

UPDATE – Bad news: As expected the Senate Foreign relations committee voted to approve Kelly Craft to be UN Ambassador despite her being a corrupt, UN-qualified, climate denier.

Even more disturbing, Three Democrats — Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Coons and Chris Murphy— joined every Republican to approve her, despite the fact that she spent most of her time as Canadian Ambassador abandoning her post to spend time in Kentucky and Oklahoma, where she and her husband own several coal mines.

It’s bad enough that Craft is headed to the full Senate for Confirmation this week, where her old friend Mitch McConnell will try and ram through her nomination as a pay-back for all the dirty coal money she’s donated to Republican campaigns. But to think that Democrats might enable the Trump team’s lawless, corrupt, climate denying administration again after all we’ve seen in the last two years. Well, it makes me so mad I could spit nails.

But it hasn’t happened yet – if you haven’t already, please sign here to tell the Senate to reject Kelly Knight Craft’s nomination, she’s UN-fit to represent us at the United Nations. Then, use the share tools below, and/or call your Senator right away at (202) 224-3121 and tell them that Craft is UN-fit to represent us at the United nations.

UPDATE – Mitch McConnell is trying to force a vote on Craft’s nomination this week. This. Is. A. Terrible. Idea.But,…

Posted by 198 Methods on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Donald Trump has nominated Kelly Knight Craft, the wife of coal baron whose family still owns coal mines and is a major Republican donor, to be our next ambassador to the United Nations. This. Is. A. Terrible. Idea.

I don’t have to tell you that The United Nations (UN) is an essential partner in the global fight to stop climate chaos. The UN is the arbiter of the Paris climate agreement, and has unique leverage over the nations of the world to cut pollution and steer us toward a more just and sustainable future.

Kelly Knight Craft is a coal baron, a friend to Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, and was given the plum assignment of US Ambassador to Canada basically because she has given a huge amount of money to Republican candidates and causes, including Trump. While serving as US Ambassador, she has frequently violated ethics rules and mores to a shocking (even in the Trump era) degree – skipping work at an alarming rate and charging taxpayers for expensive private jets. In one instance, an email from the EPA to Ambassador Craft was replied to by her husband, coal magnate Joseph Craft.

Sign here to tell the Senate to reject Kelly Knight Craft’s nomination, she’s UN-fit to represent us at the United Nations.

No only is Craft a corrupt swamp-monster with a financial stake in pollution, she’s a fair-weather Climate Denier. She previously claimed that she believes in “both sides of the science” when it comes to the climate. But in an attempt to salvage her nomination before the US Senate, she claimed to believe the science and called for action.

Oh and, not that it matters to the Trump team, but she’s wildly unqualified. UN Ambassadors have to negotiate and represent us every day with dozens of countries and heads of state. But Craft has virtually no diplomatic experience. She had a symbolic post under President George W. Bush and 18 months as US Ambassador to Canada.

And yet, as much of the country swelters under a record-setting heat wave, Congress will return next week and consider Craft’s nomination for a THIRD time. We’ve already seen what Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon CEO, did when given a chance to lead the state department. Or what Andrew Wheeler, a formal coal lobbyist, has done with leadership at the EPA

We deserve a UN Ambassador who will support solutions to climate change, believes in the importance of humanitarian aid, and will be at least physically present to make important decisions on the world stage.

Sign the petition: Demand the Senate reject Kelly Knight Craft’s nomination.

Barry Myers is a NO for NOAA

Once again, Trump has nominated Barry Myers, a totally unqualified, wildly corrupt businessman accused of sexual harassment to lead a major climate change research agency.

This is actually Myers THIRD time being nominated. But while the idea hasn’t gotten any better, the Senate is rushing his nomination through without so much as a committee hearing – which might indicate they intend to install another Trump loyalist before anyone notices.

Here’s the short version – Trump nominated Barry Myers to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) because he’s the CEO of AccuWeather – a private forecasting company you might know from annoying pop up ads on your phone. But Myers isn’t a scientist, and while at AccuWeather he spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to dumb down NOAA research and stop them from giving away weather and climate data for free. Oh, and like Trump, Myers’ entire business is under investigation for a pervasive culture of sexual harassment that went all the way to the top.

Before it’s too late, will you sign here to tell the Senate to reject Barry Myers, Trump’s corrupt, unqualified and sleazy NOAA nominee?

NOAA is an important agency in the fight against climate change. They maintain a fleet of satellites, fly planes into hurricanes, and most important they share all the temperature and weather data they gather with scientists and the public for free. Their research and data has formed the backbone of big parts of our National Climate Assessments and global reports on the increasing pace and severity of climate change.

But Myers is no scientist. He’s the former head of AccuWeather, a for-profit weather prediction company that makes money selling forecasts to consumers on their phones, computers and TVs. As such, Myers spent years and millions of dollars on a quixotic and (thankfully) unsuccessful lobbying campaign to make Congress force NOAA to stop giving away climate and weather data for free.

Obviously, putting a guy who spent years trying to privatize and abolish a government agency in charge of that same agency is a terrible idea — though not a new one from Trump, see also David Bernhardt and Andrew Wheeler. That’s why the Senate blocked Myers’ nomination multiple times in the past.

Since then, Myers has sold his share of AccuWeather to his family, but even that looks shady: Not only is it reminiscent of Trump’s kids running his business (clearly still at his direction and to his personal benefit) while he’s in office, Myers sold his shares at a deep discount with the option to repurchase the stock later. It’s an obvious conflict of interest that he can personally benefit from his actions as head of NOAA, and it’s the sort of thing that would only happen in an Administration as famously corrupt as Trump’s.

And finally, it’s worth remembering that while Myers ran the company AccuWeather was home to sexual harassment “so severe and pervasive, that some female employees resigned,” according to a Department of Labor. Myers tried to make the issue go away by settling with survivors last year, admitting that AccuWeather subjected women to “sexual harassment and a hostile work environment” that the company did “not exercise reasonable care to prevent and correct.”

The pattern is clear. Trump has nominated another corrupt, unqualified business man with a history of sexual harassment and hostile workplace investigations to lead an agency with an important mission for researching and stopping climate change. The Senate already failed to stop former oil and gas lobbyists from running the EPA and Department of interior. Let’s make sure they stop this one from running NOAA too.

Sign here to tell the Senate to reject Barry Myers, Trump’s corrupt, unqualified and sleazy NOAA nominee.