For all of us who love wild things and the planet, this is a a final straw, not unexpected; But amounting to a statement that no animal or plant or person is worth as much as a single dollar of polluter greed.
Trump and team won’t listen. They don’t care about people or the planet. But our comments in the public record can help stop this stupid, cruel, and disastrous rollback of our most popular environmental law. We have to believe that our voices count, and can be raised in chorus to drown out hate and extinction.
First enacted in 1973, the Endangered Species Act has become one of the United States’ most popular laws and has been prevented several species, including the bald eagle, grizzly bear, and gray wolf, from going extinct. We need the Endangered Species Act to protect the most vulnerable plants and animals.
The implications of mass extinction are grave and we cannot afford to wait for the next president to undo Trump’s dangerous action that puts profit over people and the environment. And that’s where our actions, together, right now, can make a difference.
Democrats in Congress and outside advocacy groups are promising to challenge the new rules in Congress and in court. Action now that clearly shows the public is opposed to the Trump team’s rollback in protections is essential. If we speak up now, our arguments can be used by Congress to defund the DOI plan, and as evidence in court proceedings to overturn the Trump plan. But silence now is complicity in the death and extinction of countless of our plant and animal neighbors.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Washington, DC – For the past 30 years FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has voted in favor of 398 out of 400 applications for mostly fracked gas interstate pipelines and related projects. Fracked gas is at least 95% methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is 100 times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide over a 10-year period. Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have 11 years left to avoid unstoppable climate catastrophe.
These facts are top of mind as FERC commissioners hold their next regular monthly meeting on July 18 – the last meeting for Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, who is stepping down after eight years. Over her tenure she has moved toward considering the climate impacts of these fracked gas projects and has occasionally voted against them. But as recently as April, she voted to approve not one, not two, but three huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, which would super-charge fracking around the country as well as global methane emissions.
Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) and their allies held a press event outside the building at 9:30 AM to call on LaFleur to use her final meeting to stand on the right side of history, to throw aside her convoluted rationales that allow her to both call for consideration of climate impacts and to still approve these projects that will be spewing climate-and community-wrecking emissions for the next 40 years – well past the time the U.S. and the world need to transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy.
BXE will also announced the next steps in our campaign to transform FERC into FREC, the Federal Renewable Energy Commission, as part of future Green New Deal legislation. In support of our call for LaFleur to vote to block new fossil fuel projects and FERC to transform into an agency dedicated to a just transition away from all fossil fuels Statements were read from a variety of impacted communities:
“Twice FERC had all the information necessary to make the correct decision to deny the Jordan Cove Energy Project.” said Deb McGee 350Eugene Volunteer/Director. “The only thing that has changed is that Green House Gasses in our atmosphere have risen to 415ppm, causing more extreme weather, more fires, and making every reason to deny the permit even clearer and more profound. If we are to survive we must build no new fossil fuel infrastructure! Keep it in the Ground!”
“After years of extreme storms, polluted water supplies and devastating fires, FERC has fueled climate change and poisoned our planet,” said Donna Chavis, senior fossil fuel campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “If we want to stop climate change, FERC should commit to a policy of no more fossil fuel infrastructure and put an end to projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”
“Three and one half years ago we learned that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cut our property in half with over 3,000 feet of 42 inch pipeline, coming within 600 feet of our home,” said Bill Limpert, who lives with his wife in a retirement home and property in Bath County, Virginia. “We have since learned that the 3M Scotchkote Fusion Bonded Epoxy 6233 coating used on the pipes for the ACP contains carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic properties. Manufacturer 3M states that this product degrades and chalks. FERC has said they are investigating this but that is not enough; they should issue a stop work order immediately for the ACP.”
“FERC continues to pillage our community in New York City and global climate health by approving more fracked gas infrastructure by facilitating rather than regulating,” said Kim Fraczek, Director of Sane Energy Project. “We are now facing yet another fracked gas pipeline, the Williams NESE pipeline, approved by FERC against the will of the community, and against our state law, and twice denied by our Department of Environmental Conservation, and without consensus of FERC commissioners, considering Commissioner Richard Glick’s dissent surrounding this pipeline’s approval. We understand that FERC won’t get paid unless they approve pipelines, and today, we are here to insist on a complete revision of an agency that is in charge of interstate energy infrastructure since the DNA of FERC is a captive agency controlled by the very industry its assigned to regulate. There is a national consensus from communities that we can never expect to see justice from FERC in its current form.”
“The State of Oregon and communities impacted by the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and pipeline are sending a strong message to FERC that they must consider the full climate impacts of a project before approval,” said Allie Rosenbluth, Campaigns Director at Southern Oregon-based community group Rogue Climate. “By standing up against new fracked gas projects and ensuring FERC considers climate before permitting new projects, Commissioner LaFleur has an opportunity to leave a climate legacy at the agency.”
“Not only is the Jordan cove project a thirty five year commitment to fossil fuels hobbling the change to clean energy but after 14 years the project still is terrorizing landowners like us.” said Larry and Sylvia Mangan, North Bend Oregon, landowners along one of the routes of the pacific gas connector. “A Canadian corporation should not be allowed to use eminent domain against US citizens for private gain.”
We’ve told you a lot about FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. And there’s a good reason: for the past 22 years the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has voted in favor of 522 applications for fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure. It has rejected only two.
Fracked gas is at least 90% methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is 100 times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide over a ten-year period. Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have 11 years left to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.
These facts are very relevant as FERC commissioners hold their regular monthly meeting on July 18. This will be the last meeting for Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur who is stepping down after eight years of approving nearly every application.
That’s why I’m headed to Cheryl’s last chance meeting. Can you back us up?
Call LaFleur at 202-502-8961 to tell her that we need all our elected leaders, and especially Democrats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to oppose new fossil fuel projects.
LaFleur is not your typical commissioner. Over her tenure she has repeatedly argued in favor of considering climate impacts and has occasionally voted against projects. While we were disappointed when, as recently as May, she voted to approve not one, not two, but three liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals that would super-charge fracking and global methane emissions. And she did it while I was sitting on her roof asking her not to, that’s just plain rude.
That’s whey I wanted you to know that I’ll be at Cheryl LaFleur’s last FERC meeting in DC tomorrow, and will be delivering your comments and concerns alongside allies from Beyond Extreme Energy and other friends. We are calling on all FERC commissioners, but especially Cheryl LaFleur to vote NO on all dockets and to set a record of opposing fossil fuel projects because of their climate impacts that future commissioners can use.
Tomorrow we’ll post the press release, a video from outside the hearing, and other info you can use to keep fighting. Stay tuned!
Piedmont Natural Gas – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy – is requesting a rate hike from the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The rate hike will increase prices and fund the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when we need a Green New Deal and a rapid transition to 100% clean energy.
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.
So yes “freedom gas” is a hilariously dumb idea, and yes it’s real. But mostly it is the policy of U.S. Department of Energy to hurt you, steal from you and/or kill you and call it freedom. And the chairman of FERC is now signed on to enact that policy.
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.
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.
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.