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.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make DC the 51st state – and win climate justice

This is one of my ideas that sounds crazy, but it’s actually really not: Make DC the 51st and deliver climate justice for all.

Like how a Green New Deal that ends fossil fuels would create jobs, rebalance the economy on behalf of millions of working Americans and stop climate catastrophe. Or how chocolate + peanut butter are two great tastes that taste better together. DC statehood is actually a simple, just, good idea – that actually might be a key to solving the climate crisis.

I’ll explain more, but if you’re already on board – Sign here to tell Congress: Make DC the 51st state, and deliver climate justice for all.

Here’s the simple facts: More than 700,000 people, most of them black and brown, live in the District of Columbia. They vote, pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, and are responsible for maintaining the roads, safe drinking water, breathable air, and police that serve and protect every member of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House — but they get no vote in Congress, have no say in federal policy, and cannot even stop armed federal troops from attacking their citizens. They are the very definition of “taxation without representation” which the founders of America fought a revolution over.

But this Friday, June 26, Congress will vote on whether to make DC the 51st state for the first time since 1993. And if they vote to approve DC statehood, we could gain more than a 51st neighbor and ally – we could get 2 more votes in the US Senate to affirm a Green New Deal, and end to fossil fuels, and a real, just, response to the climate crisis.

The fight for DC statehood became all the more urgent this month. On June 1, Donald Trump sent federal troops into DC neighborhoods to round up nearly 200 people protesting police violence in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and hundreds of other Black people across the country

While Trump has been clear he hates DC statehood, his actions may have galvanized the new the civil rights movement, and lent new urgency to our cause.

Sign and send the petition to your member of Congress: Demand they pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

D.C. residents serve on juries, in the U.S. military, pay taxes, and work hard to build safe, strong communities where they live. But they have no vote on any decisions our Congress makes every day.

And that’s too bad for the climate, as well as civil rights. In the last few years DC has banned plastic bags, considered an aggressive carbon tax, and shut down coal plants and gas pipelines. These people are our allies in the fight for climate justice – and we’ll never have a better chance to add 3/4 of a million votes in favor of our values than right now.

There’s more energy now than ever in Congress to ensure DC residents have direct representation federally. A few weeks ago, the House Oversight Committee voted in favor of legislation supporting DC statehood, and H.R. 51, the Washington, DC Admission Act, has over 223 cosponsors. 

This Friday, the full house will vote on H.R. 51 to recognize DC as the 51st state, and we must ensure that lawmakers pass this overdue civil and climate rights bill for DC residents.

Sign and send the petition: Urge Congress to pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

Earth Day Live 2020

This week, millions will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It should have been a day of rallies and protests, concerts and action in the streets. But, as we’ve explained, this year, however, is anything but normal.

Instead of mass protests, from April 22 to 24 we’re joining a massive online action for Earth Day Live. That plan is for a three-day live stream focused on climate action, with each day hosting a different theme: Strike. Divest. Vote.

Each day will include training sessions, performances, and appearances to keep people engaged, informed, and inspired. There will be panel discussions, call in days, art builds, divestment, and lots and lots of social media with celebrities, politicians, scientists, and youth activists.

Click here to join us live online at EarthDayLive2020.org.

The coronavirus has laid bare the brutality and injustice of our current system. Millions of people have lost their jobs, are no longer able to pay their rent, student loans, credit card bills, utilities, or healthcare costs. That’s why we’re coming together for online action at a scale the climate movement has never done before.

Here’s an overview of what’s happening each day:

Wednesday, April 22, is a day to demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Originally a day of mass mobilization, we are leaning into healing and togetherness to provide comfort and inspiration during this time of unknown and are centering the voices of frontline, Indigenous, and POC leaders. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Thursday, April 23, we will target financial institutions across the country. Led by the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition, this day of action will bring urgent public attention to the fact that banks, insurance companies, and asset managers are complicit in funding, insuring, and investing in the climate crisis. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.

Friday, April 24, we will focus on political change with a nationwide voter registration day. We need leaders who will address this existential threat, and for this to happen, we need people to show up at the polls this year. We will be holding a digital, relational voter registration challenge to see which region of the country can register the most voters, and call on elected officials to support our demands. Click here to stay engaged and learn more.As the 24th is the first day of Ramadan, organizers will be working with the Muslim community to make sure events are accessible for those who are observing and use it as an opportunity to educate people on the holiday.

Click here to find out more about Earth Day Live and take part in one of the biggest days of digital action the climate movement has ever seen.

Online or offline, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is a day to demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean collective disengagement.

See you online at Earth Day live 2020