Tell the Senate: #BeFierce & confirm Deb Haaland Interior Secretary

President Joe Biden has picked Deb Haaland to be his Secretary of the Interior. It’s exactly the kinds of barrier breaking, fossil fuel busting, build-back-better choice we had in mind when we started talking about the need for a Fossil Free Cabinet.

If confirmed, Haaland wouldn’t just be the first indigenous woman to run the department that oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs (though she would be, and how great is that?); She’d also be the highest ranking official in Biden’s cabinet to support a Green New Deal, oppose fracking, and support a detailed plan to end fossil fuels on public lands.

That’s why Republicans are already attacking Haaland. Senator John Barrasso, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, said Haaland’s approach “cuts the throat” of his constituents.

The racist “cowboys and indians” trope aside, Haaland is expected to face one of the toughest confirmation fights of anyone in Biden’s cabinet. And with confirmation votes starting this week on President Biden’s other climate nominees – including Jenifer Granholm to lead the Department of Energy and Michael Regan to lead the EPAthis is the moment to increase our pressure and show Biden and Haaland we’ve got their backs.

Will you join 100,000 Americans and sign our petition to stand with Deb Haaland?

We also don’t know when President Biden will start the clock on Haaland’s nomination because it’s dangerous to leaver her seat in the US House vacant for too long with the narrow Democratic majorities in both chambers. Combine those scheduling complications with Republican’s racist, fossil-fueled opposition to Biden’s climate cabinet, and we know this will be a fight.

But Haaland’s nomination is a groundbreaking event that’s worth fighting over — the first Indigenous person to lead a department with a history of hostility to Indigenous people that stretches from the trail of tears to Standing Rock. Haaland herself went to stand with water protectors and block the Dakota Access Pipeline, and often cites her experience fighting for environmental and human rights as a reason she’s an original Green New Deal.

Since being elected in 2018, she’s distinguished herself as both a subcommittee chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and an individual member of Congress. She has the experience needed to run the Department of the Interior. And as a fierce climate hawk, she’ll work hard to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Before Haaland can lead interior though, we need to #BeFierce for her and demand the Senate confirm her nomination. Sign now to stand with Deb Haaland.

Join us Tuesday to Build Back Fossil Free

Important update on our campaign to convince President Biden to Build Back Fossil Free: Last week, we held an initial day of action, and then Biden canceled the KeystoneXL pipeline on the same day he was inaugurated.

This week, we’ve all heard that President Biden is planning a second series of climate announcements, probably focused on keeping fossil fuels in the ground, for Wednesday January 27. So just like last week, we’re planning a call to action the day before with our allies from the Build Back Fossil Free coalition. Click here to RSVP if you can you join us!

The rally Tuesday evening will feature frontline leaders fighting fossil fuel projects from Line 3 to the Gulf of Mexico, and California to New England. Together we’ll lay the groundwork and share plans to build on our early momentum. This digital rally is intended for individual activists and members of our collective bases, so please spread the word widely ASAP using materials in the updated Build Back Fossil Free Solidarity Guide.

Indigenous organizers and our climate justice movement won a huge victory last week, but we need to keep up momentum to make sure Biden follows through with immediate action to stop Line 3, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and more. Will you join us tomorrow evening for a digital rally to #BuildBackFossilFree?

Details:

Tell Biden to Build Back Fossil Free

Tomorrow, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as the 46th President and Vice President of the United states. They’ll take take over a country ravaged by pandemic, convulsed by a white supremacist coup attempt, and reeling from four years of Trump’s climate denial and fossil fueled fascism.

Biden and team have promised to build back better, and there’s a lot to look forward to: We’ve learned he intends to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline on day one of his administration, for example. And his promise to focus on science and reality in fighting climate change and the pandemic by rejoining the WHO and Paris Climate Agreement are encouraging signs. But there’s one promise Biden hasn’t made, and could, that would be a huge game-changer on climate and fossil fuels: He can promise that building back “better” means building back fossil free.

That’s why we’re joining a coalition of hundreds of groups representing millions of people across the country fighting for climate, racial, and economic justice to ensure Biden becomes the climate president he promised to be. (Click here to read our full petition)

Sign on now to endorse our demands:

  • Protect and invest in the Black, Indigenous, Brown, and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution and climate disasters.
  • Reject new fossil fuel projects, eliminate giveaways to oil gas, and coal corporations, and end the era of fossil fuel production.
  • Launch a national climate mobilization to Build Back Fossil Free, deliver jobs, justice, and opportunity for all.

Unwinding the damage done by the Trump regime will not be easy. Even today, on the eve of the inauguration, Trump’s loyal minions are feverishly working to ram through pipelines, drilling projects, and more. Trump’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) moved their monthly-meeting from Thursday to today to ensure they could vote to support Jordan Cove, the Mountain Valley Pipeline and a dozen other projects just 24 hours before Biden takes office.

A lot of those decisions can be reversed if Biden acts quickly, and if he has the support of climate hawks in Congress. And there are other big fights – Line 3 is the most urgent in many of our minds – that Biden will have to make quick decisions on due to deadlines and permitting rules, which will give us an early indication of his commitment and follow through on climate action.

And that’s why we’re taking today, the day BEFORE Biden is inaugurated, to lift up all these frontline battles and demand the the Biden Administration #BuildBackFossilFree. Our communities gave Joe Biden the mandate to be bold. He has the tools and authority to reject new fossil fuel projects, eliminate giveaways to fossil fuel corporations, unwind Trump’s disastrous attacks on our climate and communities, and end the era of fossil fuel production — starting from Day One. Will you ask him to make it a priority?

Ps – The image above was created by Christi Belcourt Michif (Métis) and is used with permission. The graphic was created by Katherine Quaid (Nez Perce/Cayuse/Paiute), Communications Coordinator for Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, to support 75+ Indigenous women from Tribes and Nations across the country who sent a letter calling on President-elect Joe Biden to take immediate executive action to stop the Keystone XL, Line 3, and Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) pipeline projects on day one of his Presidency. You can learn more and read the letter here.

How to stop a coup

I’ve been struggling to pull myself away from the news and twitter to talk about the coup attempt this week. As someone who’s planned and participated in dozens of events and actions at the Capitol – many where we peacefully and non-violently risked arrest and were met with a substantially larger, armed, and violent response – I share the shock, outrage and emotion of all of you.

It’s important to be very clear about two things in the immediate aftermath:

  1. This was a Coup attempt, and it’s not over yet.
  2. This week’s coup is nothing like the non-violent, civil disobedience and protest we’re a part of every day, and we must be mindful that our reaction is orderly, legal and based in love and justice – not hate and violent retribution.

If you agree that Trump must be impeached and removed from office, click here to sign on.

Donald Trump directed the mob to go to the capital, and incited them to violence – not just on January 6 but for weeks before that. For years Trump and his enablers have built a culture of white supremacy, and demonstrated a conviction to rule through force and fear. We’ve been calling Trump a fascist and warning of exactly these kind of outcomes for more than four years. For years Very Serious People called us “deranged” or warned us not to exaggerate the threat. Now, finally, they seem to agree.

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate soon-to-be Leader Chuck Schumer – who are usually slow to act in a crisis like climate change, or Trump’s previous abuses of power – are calling for swift action to remove the coup-leader, the deposed ex-President Donald Trump from power.

There’s a lot of talk about the 25th amendment, which Trump’s cabinet could invoke. But it’s not an instant solution – requiring complicated votes by the cabinet that are not easy to convene, and confirmation by Congress. And anyway, most of Trump’s cabinet seems to feel that resigning is a safer path to restoring their reputations (another thing we cannot allow to happen), rather than removing Trump from power and risking the wrath of the same people who smashed up the capital days ago.

Which is why invoking impeachment, again, is the only sure step to remove Trump from office. And it’s a step Congress must take right away, before Trumps last 12 days in office expire, because the coup isn’t over yet. Students of history and political insurrection around the world know that often, fascists and authoritarians often have to try more than once, and more than one method, to hold on to power.

What we saw Wednesday was only a link in a long chain of events where fossil fueled, white-supremacist fascists try and seize control of our government, and bend it to their will.

They won’t go away when Trump leaves office on January 20. And Trump himself has already talked about running for President again, and clearly intends to retain ‘control’ of the GOP. But if Congress impeaches, and convicts Trump before Jan 20, he will be barred from running from office ever again.

Click here to sign on to our joint petition with many national partners. Only by working together can we build the pressure necessary for Congress to act. And only through Congressional Action can we stop this coup and prevent Trump from trying to seize power again.

We’ll have lots more to say, and lots more to talk about, why our non violent, civil disobedience actions — including ones where we risk arrest in the US Capitol — are nothing like the fascist coup attempt we saw this week. A short, simple, explanation might be that intent matters, and how we conduct ourselves while speaking truth as a minority political power, to a majority political power.

When we take action, we come in peace and we speak and act – at times disruptively – to cry out for justice and a safe and healthy planet for all. Often we bring or bear in our hearts the stories of those impacted adversely by the policies in question – bearing witness to their pain and bearing it into the sight and hearing of those in power who would rather ignore it.

That’s more or less the opposite of what happened this week: A violent, hateful, mob broke down the doors to stop the functioning of Democracy and demand that their already-powerful leader be given more power, or else. They brought with them the failed emblems of other white supremacist insurrections. And they clearly felt entitled to seize power, no matter who they had to hurt, step over, or disenfranchise to get there. When police pushed back and arrested a paltry few of the thousands or rioters, they responded with shock and alarm – literally saying “they’re supposed to shoot BLM not [us].”

Like I said, lots more to say on this in the future. But for today I’ll leave you with this simple image: Of Rev Warnock, now a United States Senator, being arrested peacefully at a non-violent, civil disobedient prayer vigil for universal health care in 2017. It’s a lot like a lot of actions we’ve helped organize during the Trump regime’s rise to power. And we wont stop until all of them are gone and barred from our government for good.

Tell FERC: No more variances, time’s up on the MVP!

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is back at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking, once again, to be allowed to bend the rules to the breaking point so they can keep building a fracked gas pipeline nobody wants or needs during the pandemic.

The MVP is a 303 mile long fracked gas pipeline 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. Due in part to that diligent work, the MVP is behind schedule and $2 billion over budget.

Sign here to tell FERC: No more variances, waivers or special exceptions. Time is UP on the MVP!

This time, they are asking for special permission – a variance, in legal parlance – to drill under dozens of streams and rivers – a risky plan that could pollute hundreds of communities downstream. Not to mention the fact that the plan will require bringing in dozens of work crews, many from out-of-state, while the pandemic is surging in South Eastern Virginia – putting unnecessary strain on essential workers in food service, transportation, and other industries while over-taxing an already busy health care system.

They need FERC’s permission because a federal court has “stayed” the company’s Clean Water Act permit already – just one of dozens of fines and delays that are raising real questions about whether MVP is accurately reporting how much of the pipeline has been built. The MVP owners are afraid, if FERC doesn’t let them bend the rules so they can continue construction by drilling under all these streams and waterways, investors will get cold feet and abandon the project.

That’s exactly what happened to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline earlier this year. And that’s why it’s so important that FERC not grant this variance right now: Not only is it irresponsible and dangerous to let MVP construction continue during the pandemic right now, but saying no at this critical juncture could just stop the pipeline for good!

Help us stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline by signing this petition demanding that FERC deny Equitrans the variance to cross waterways!

All signatures received before December 21 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. 

Biden’s cabinet is going off the rails, into climate chaos.

Last week we wrote to you about the important chance to make sure Joe Biden picks climate activists, not corporate cronies, for his cabinet. Since then, unfortunately, the process has dissolved into a disorganized hodgepodge of favor-trading, corruption, and skin deep lip service for progressive values.

This was supposed to be a moment for experience, progressive values, and science-based decision making. Tell Joe Biden to get back on track by signing our petition now, if you haven’t already. And if you have, click here to back up your signature with a social media post, or a phone call.

Last week, Biden picked former USDA head and longtime corporate-farm lobbyist Tom Vilsack to lead the Department of Agriculture, again. At the same time and in a classic, tokenizing horse trade, Biden named Rep. Marcia Fudge, who we had backed along with many other progressives — not to mention the US House Whip Rep. James Clyburn , the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus — to lead the Department of Housing and Urban development: A job she explicitly did not want and had made clear should not be given to another “Black person in Labor or HUD.”

Fudge could have been a transformative pick at the USDA’s — someone who could unite the rural and urban constituents of the agency, tackle the big impacts on climate of our food and farm system, and address the agency’s long history of racial discrimination. Instead we get another old white dude with a history of racism, corruption and climate denial.

News coverage of the Vilsack/Fudge disaster also makes it clear Biden is not interested in diverse, proven leaders with a history of acting on climate — leaders like Deb Haaland, Mustafa Santiago Ali and others.

News reports out in the last few days indicate he’s already offered he Interior Secretary to other candidates (and been turned down) and now he’s looking to hire Michael Regan, the current head of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to lead the EPA.

Regan, you might remember, is the person who literally approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Reagan was appointed by Gov. Cooper to protect our climate and reverse North Carolina’s shameful history on environmental justice. Instead, he swiftly approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as previously negotiated with Duke EnergyActivists were so mad about it, that they (and we) sat in at Gov Cooper’s office for more than 8 hours demanding he revoke the permit – instead he ordered local police to arrest the protesters.

That Biden is considering people like Vilsack – a corporate-backed, Big-Ag lobbyist – to lead the Department of Agriculture; And Regan – an Environmental Quality secretary most famous for green-lighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline after years – to lead the Environmental Protection Agency; indicates that this process has gone off the rails.

A coalition of progressive groups is trying to get it back on track – but we need your help to make sure that Biden and his team are listening.

Tell Joe Biden to get back on track by signing our petition now, if you haven’t already. And if you have, click here to back up your signature with a social media post, or a phone call.

Join the digital rally to Stop Line 3

Last week we told you that fossil fuel and pipeline giant Enbridge is already working to construct Line 3 — another toxic tar sands pipeline across Indigenous lands and the fresh water lakes of northern Minnesota.

The pipeline is being challenged fiercely by Indigenous nations and  leaders, grassroots organizations, youth, and environmental groups. But Trump and Enbridge have made clear that their plan is to finish construction before January 20, 2021, and local elected leaders like Gov Walz and Attorney General Ellison have so far failed to block them. 

Please join local and national leaders fighting this pipeline this Wednesday, December 9, at 5 pm PT/ 6 pm MT/ 7 pm CT/ 8 pm ET for a digital rally to stop Line 3.
(You may also RSVP and share on Facebook here)

Line 3 is a new tar sands pipeline that would cross more than 1,000 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. If completed, it will transport 760,000-844,000 barrels of tar sands crude oil from Alberta each day, and release as much global warming pollution as fifty coal fired power plants.

Along the way, it would violate Ojibwe treaty rights and put the state’s water, ecosystems and communities at risk. We cannot allow this new pipeline to be built.

Minnesota based leaders have delayed the project for seven years. They need support now to #StopLine3. Join us and join the fight this Wednesday evening.

It’s time for a non-corporate, fossil free cabinet

For the last four years, we’ve witnessed the unchecked racism, environmental damage, and sheer incompetence of having the White House and Administration run by corporate fossil fuel flunkies.

Thanks to our work and the work of many others to block Trump’s attempts to undermine the election and overturn the results, and thanks to the votes of more than 80 million Americans, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States on January 20th, 2021.

When he does, he’ll need an administration to get to work on day one that will fight for justice, climate action, and a green new deal to build back better. Unfortunately, Biden is under tremendous pressure from corporations and polluters to rehire the same corporate lobbyists, executives, and consultants from the revolving door of failed action on climate and other priorities.

This week is our best chance to convince Biden and his team to hire real, diverse, climate leaders for key positions in the administration. In short, it’s time for a fossil free cabinet. Sign now to tell President-elect Biden and the Senate: appoint and confirm public-minded progressives who will act on climate to the new administration!

Biden faces an un-enviable list of crises on his first day — from the pandemic to climate change to police brutality. To solve those crises, with a focus on those hit first and worst by the impacts, means we need progressive champions in the administration who see the intersection of race, immigration, policing and climate; And are willing and able to act on day one.

I’m talking about a stark difference between nominees for key positions like the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Energy, as well as who will lead the EPA under Biden.

Biden needs people with proven track records of prioritizing the interest of the public and our common home. Moreover, he must decline to nominate or hire corporate lobbyists, top executives of big corporations, and prominent corporate consultants — especially fossil fuel corporations. And if necessary, Biden should use tools like the Vacancies Act and recess appointments to overcome obstruction by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans. Sign here if you agree!

Here’s just a few of the decisions Biden could make this week – having moved quickly to name his nominees to deal with the pandemic and economic crises already:

Any or all of these positions might be announced this week. If we want Biden to pick leaders like Fudge, Haaland, Ali and more, we need to show him and the Senate that the American people demand bold leadership — NOW.

Sign Now to tell President-elect Biden and the Senate should appoint and confirm public-minded progressives to the new administration!

meme image made with thanks to photography by Gage Skidmore (Biden) Martin Falbisoner (White House) and design by Ruliani (fossil)

Call now to stop the Line 3 pipeline

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency just pushed through the final permit for Line 3 pipeline. This means construction could start TODAY, unless the MN Department of Commerce (DOC) supports an emergency stay on construction.

Local tribes and water protectors, including the Red Lake and White Earth Nations have already filed a motion for a stay on construction that almost all parties support — except the DOC. With the Public Utilities Commission reviewing the motion this Friday, the deadline for the DOC to support these motions is TODAY, DEC 2!

Can you call Governor Walz (651-201-3400) and DOC Commissioner Grace Arnold (651-539-1755) today to tell them how much we need a stay on construction?

Your message can be quick and simple:

Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling to tell you how critical it is that the MN Department of Commerce support a stay on construction for Line 3 TODAY. Enbridge must not be allowed to build the pipeline while there are pending legal challenges and a raging pandemic. Rushing construction of this pipeline will spread COVID-19, and irreparably damage our water, land and climate. Please take action now and protect the legal process by supporting a stay on construction.

Voice mail full? Click here to send a quick email in addition/instead:

To: grace.arnold@state.mn.us
Cc: commissioner.commerce@state.mn.us

Dear Commissioner Arnold,

Please support a stay on construction for Line 3.

Enbridge must not be allowed to build the pipeline while there are pending legal challenges and a raging pandemic. Rushing construction of this pipeline will spread COVID-19, and irreparably damage our water, land and climate. Please take action now and protect the legal process by supporting a stay on construction.

I’m urging you to take action today: protect the legal process and the public health by supporting a stay on construction. We know why Enbridge is rushing and it’s not in our best interest.

Thank you for your consideration,

As a reminder, Line 3 is a disastrous, unnecessary tar sands pipeline that would create more pollution than 50 coal plants, threaten hundreds of waterways with oil spills and leaks, and violate the treaty rights of several tribes. That’s why we were so disappointed just weeks ago when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under Governor Tim Walz approved a final water crossing permits for the Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota.

All indications are that Gov. Walz and Enbridge will attempt to start construction before the end of the year, despite the risk out-of-state workers pose during the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple pending lawsuits against the project. Gov. Walz’s Department of Commerce has this one last chance to stand with his agency experts, scientists, and elected officials including his own Lieutenant Governor and listen to the facts.

Activists and water protectors in MN are doing everything they can to stop the pipeline. They’re holding a press conference with health professionals today to discuss the pipeline’s COVID-19 risk. And they’ll be at the MN Public Utilities Commission hearing on Friday, December 4, to push the PUC to rule in favor of the motion for a stay. And, of course, they’re taking non violent, direct action to slow the construction:

The DOC has supported our movement in the past, including refiling their appeal against Line 3 back in August. Supporting a stay would be the logical next step in making sure their appeal is protected and the legal process is upheld. Please contact them — we need this stay to keep the land, waters, and people of Minnesota healthy and safe.

Call Governor Walz and the MNDOC today and tell them to honor the treaties, support the stay, and stop the Line 3 Pipeline – NOW!

PS – Want to do more? You can also Donate to support:

We Decide. Join us Saturday.

Four four years we protested and resisted. This year, we voted. And now we the people have spoken. We decided and elected new leaders.

We made our voice heard loud and clear. Voters rejected Trump and his cronies so that we can make the changes our people need to thrive. Right now, even as you read this email, good people from all over the country are coming together as a united front to say we are ready to count every vote.

If you’re ready to join us, come to a Protect the results rally this Saturday in your town and celebrate our movement’s strength to defend the results.

As expected, an historic number of Americans voted in 2020. And now that more of the ballots have been counted, Biden has pulled ahead in the electoral college, and has already earned more votes than any candidate for President in history.

But last night Donald Trump, again, lied about the election and proclaimed himself the winner. He’s still using lawsuits to try and overturn the results of the election, and has said he will not to concede.

Join us this Saturday and let everyone know, we will count every vote and we will win.

We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of neighbors, friends, and family to COVID-19. And with cases skyrocketing in many communities, a lot of us are struggling to survive.

But remember this summer when protests sprung up all over the country against police violence, and continue today. That movement made our victory possible in Pennsylvania, Georgia and elsewhere. Now is the time to make sure that every vote is counted and then get to work holding our elected officials accountable to all of us!

See you in the streets.