North Carolina #RiseTogether to stop all pipelines!

North Carolina is ready to #RiseTogether in solidarity with our allies in the Gulf. Things are getting dangerous for our brothers and sisters fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Earlier this week Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Bayou Bridge (BBP) and Dakota Access Pipelines (DAPL), leap frogged ahead of their scheduled pipeline construction to begin cutting trees near a group of water protector tree sits. Read more about it here.

Here in North Carolina we’re showing our solidarity to fight the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines, which threaten dozens of our communities, our clean water, and our climate future. A diverse coalition of activists are organizing two major actions – On July 30 in Charlotte, and July 31 in Raleigh.

Our Demands are:

We invite you to learn more, and invite your friends to join us in person.

Click here to RSVP for the Charlotte action online, or on Facebook:

This event will meet at the Bank Of America Headquarters in downtown Charlotte at 9am (opening time for the bank). We’ll march a short distance (about 1 mile) down Tryon steet to Duke’s headquarters, stopping at Wells Fargo and other points of interest on the way. We’ll convey our message with speakers from impacted communities, props, art, music and theater. Join us on Monday morning to show everyone in Charlotte that our health, safety and climate depend on banks, consumers and our elected leaders acting on these three demands.

Click here to RSVP for the Raleigh action online, or on Facebook:

This event will meet in front of Governor Roy Cooper’s office in the administration building at 11:30 am. We’ll rally with signs, banners and artwork for about an hour to encourage Gov. Cooper to reverse his previous bad decision and suspend the ACP. Shortly after 1pm we’ll march to Wells Fargo at 150 Fayetteville St and demand they stop funding these dangerous pipelines. Finally, we’ll march to Duke Energy’s offices at 411 Fayetteville St just after 1:30 to deliver our demands there. The total distance between these 3 locations is less than 1 mile. We’ll walk back to the administration building at about 2pm and there is ample parking nearby. Join us on Tuesday morning at 11:30am at the Governor’s office!

There are other rallies planned in Asheville and in Virginia, and it’s also not too late to host your own action! Sign up to host or attend a local solidarity action this week or next.

There are dozens of events planned – from simple sign holdings at a bank branch to full on protests and rallies. There are resources available to help you plan, and an event can be as simple as taking a picture at a local bank branch. And we’ve made a packet of materials including a sample call to action, flyers, and other materials just for North Carolina Activists (and their friends). 

More info on the weeks of action:

From July 16-31 communities are mobilizing for the #RiseTogether Weeks of Action. The main targets for the Week of Action are a group of banks that are financing Energy Transfer Partners and other major pipeline companies. For more information on the Weeks of Action, please visit: www.NoBayouBridge.global/risetogether

Update from Louisiana: Rise together to stop the pipelines

Things are getting dangerous for our brothers and sisters in Louisiana fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Earlier this week Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Bayou Bridge (BBP) and Dakota Access Pipelines (DAPL), leap frogged ahead of their scheduled pipeline construction to begin cutting trees near a group of water protector tree sits.

Along with an armed police export, they’ve continued to cut all the remaining trees around the tree-sits. It’s unnecessary and illegal, but more importantly it puts the safety of these brave water protectors at risk – because even a tree cut near their fragile, elevated encampments can come down wrong and smash guide wires and other safety equipment.

As L’eau Est La Vie Camp said on their facebook page:

We are heart broken by this reckless destruction of the basin, but we continue to occupy the tree sits and will continue to resist.

L’eau Est La Vie and leaders on the ground are calling for aid, and there are two specific actions you can take to help us #RiseTogether this week:

  1. Keep your eyes on Louisiana and our allies there. LeLV has been broadcasting live updates from the trees and their support camp nearly every day and we share most of them on our Facebook page as well.
  2. Sign up to host or attend a local solidarity action this week or next. There are dozens of events planned around the country – from simple sign holdings at a bank branch to full on protests and rallies.
    1. We’re supporting several solidarity actions in North Carolina that connect the Gulf and Atlantic coasts in action to stop pipelines and climate chaos. Click here to learn more about those events.

As soon as tree cutting began, local supporters flooded the Sheriff’s department with calls. They even went down to the precinct and waited for hours to file an official complaint with the seemingly non-plussed officers. But the pattern of the last few weeks has been clear – every time the pipeline company puts lives and property in danger, people rise up to stop or slow them with peaceful, non-violent direct action. The local police and sheriff’s offices are complicit in the crimes, because they’re not only protecting the pipeline, they’re actively harassing the water protectors by walking canine units through their support camp, showing up armed to the pipeline route, and refusing to respond to legitimate appeals for human and civil rights protections for impacted people.

ETP has a despicable track record of attacking water protectors with dogs, water cannons, flyover surveillance and more. But they always pull back when people are watching. Just like at Standing Rock, the more of us watching and calling in to local sheriff’s departments to tell them we’re watching, the safer our water protectors will be.

But while your witness is vital, so is your action. As our friend Cherri said earlier this week: If you’re able to see this message, watch these live-streams or read these emails – you’re connected to a phone or a computer. That means you have the means to make yourself heard.

So please, don’t just watch or check in on Facebook: sign up now to host or attend a local solidarity event. There are resources available to help you plan, and an event can be as simple as taking a picture at a local bank branch. If you register an event here, and let us know, we’ll do everything we can to help promote it to our networks online and recruit others to join you. Now is the time to #RiseTogether

Rise together – Divest, no new pipelines, clean energy now.

All week we’ve been glued to the news – not the news from Helsinki (well, ok, that too) but the news from Louisiana where our friends fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline are entering a critical phase of the campaign.

In case you need a refresher, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP) is the tail end of the black snake we call Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If completed, BBP is the final link that connects dirty oil from the American tar sands in North Dakota to refineries and export terminals in Louisiana.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the same company that siced dogs on water protectors at Standing Rock, has been ignoring court orders and human rights in a frantic rush to complete the pipeline. But our friends at the L’eau Est la Vie Camp have stood strong. For months they’ve continuously interrupted, delayed and stopped work.

But last week, a judge overruled an earlier decision, and basically gave ETP a green light to finish construction by this fall. This is especially dangerous for the residents of  a town called St. James right in the heart of cancer alley and adjacent to the terminal where the BBP ends — and a town which still has no evacuation plan, meaning that when (not if) there is a serious accident or explosion on the BBP, or any of the other dozens of petrochemical plants nearby, they have no way out.

This is the critical moment to rise together, and local leaders in Louisiana are calling for our aid. Here’s how to help:

From now until the 31st, frontline resistance campaigns across North America are taking action to stop pipelines and extreme energy projects in solidarity with the fight in Louisiana. We’re encouraged to take action targeting the banks funding these pipeline projects, or by joining the frontlines and taking action directly with us.

Across Turtle Island, Indigenous people and frontline communities are leading the fight to stop oil and fracked-gas pipelines. These pipelines and all fossil fuel extraction endangers the communities they pass through, contaminate the air and water, contribute to global climate change and continue the colonization of native lands.

Water protectors in the Bayou are holding strong. In the last week they’ve deployed a new line of tree sits to slow or stop construction, and they’ve chased Louisiana’s governor all over the state, demanding he meet with residents of St James and other impacted communities. In exchange for their bravery and resolve, they’ve been beaten, arrested, and harassed by police and ETP’s private mercenaries.

The L’eau Est La Vie camp, and front line resistors all over North America, need our support if they’re going to continue the fight. They’re calling on all of us to #RiseTogether in the next two weeks. Can you help?

 

Cracks between the FERC commissioners

I’ve been fighting with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for years now. Most of the time, they seem pretty monolithic: in all the years they’ve existed, they’ve only said no to two (2) pipeline applications. And they’ve always steadfastly refused to acknowledge the damage that fracked gas does to our climate.

That’s why, for the last four years or so, I’ve been working with Beyond Extreme Energy to resist FERC, tell the Senate not to confirm their commissioners, and generally shut down this rubber stamping agency. But now, for the first time I can remember, we are beginning to see cracks develop between the FERC commissioners:

Just a few days ago, the two (minority) Democratic commissioners, Richard Glick and Cheryl LaFleur, voted to void the  FERC permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. There have also been news reports that the two Democrats are demanding a more thorough review of climate impacts – including one time LaFleur took it upon herself to just “do the math” without her Republican colleagues’ permission.

Without question the unrelenting pressure of our movement has had much to do with this, and we need to keep it up. FERC is still accepting public comments on their pipeline review process. And on Monday June 25, we’re going to deliver a big, noisy message to FERC’s front door. Can you support us? You can join me and our BXE friends in DC to take action on Monday, OR you can just sign this petition and we’ll deliver your name along with thousands of others on Monday.


While there have been several dissents from the Democrats over the last nine months since a quorum was restored to FERC, they have not been enough to actually stop any pipeline or permit. And Republican Chairman Kevin McIntyre has made it plain he’s more interested in ‘streamlining’ the approval process than raising new questions or rejecting pipeline applications.

But while we’re not yet on pace to truly reform or “fix” FERC, I do think there’s reason to be optimistic in this moment. The recent comments from Glick and LaFleur show that our pressure has changed some minds already. And we know from past experience that when we show up in force to shut FERC down, commissioners often scurry for the exits, or even retire altogether. If we can force one more commissioner to change their position, or step down and replace them with someone who takes climate change seriously, we’ll have a majority. And THAT is worth fighting for.

PS – Monday’s action will be big, bold, beutifle and memorable. BXE has already laid out thousands of dollar to build art and props, provide food and housing for all of the participants (including me!) and many other logistics. If you can’t make it on Monday, but want to support the action or watch along online, I know they’d also appreciate a donation – anything helps, but a gift of $1.98, $19.80, or $198 is especially nice and let’s them know you’re with us. Thanks.

Update on the #NoBBP week of action

Wow! There has been SO MUCH happening this week on the fight to stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (#NoBBP) this week (and other stuff too). Here’s a quick roundup of just SOME of the week’s events, and a reminder that it’s NOT TOO LATE to plan an action at a local bank branch, ACOE office, or another target in your town.

As a reminder, this week (Feb 24-Mar 4) we’ve all been asked and invited to host actions in solidarity with the L’eau Est La Vie Camp in Louisiana. That’s the base-camp for resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP), and you should definitely check out their Facebook page for lots of updates.

The week kicked off with an action in Louisiana led by LA bucket Brigade, 350 NOLA and other local groups and activists. They shut down the construction site for most of the day, and three people were eventually arrested for refusing to move out of the way. Here’s a live stream from part of that action.

Those three activists were released later the same day. You can chip in to support their legal support fund here.

ETP defying federal court injunctionA big focus of the LA activists has been training people to monitor the pipeline construction for possible violations of their air, water, and other permits. As it turns out, a court injunction late last week was supposed to stop construction on the pipeline, at least in the Atchafalaya Basin. But on Tuesday morning, a boat full of pipeline monitors saw the company (the notorious Energy Transfer Partners, ETP, the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline and many other environmental atrocities) working on the route with heavy equipment. Monitors called in the observed violation to local police and legal observers, and the court wrangling is continuing all this week. Just TODAY, March 1st, there is another action at the Governor’s mansion to reveal documents that show collusion between the LA government and ETP.

But it’s not just going down in the Bayou. In solidarity with the L’eau Est la Vie Camp and all the water protectors in Louisiana, activists have been taking actions to target the major financiers of the BBP – banks like Wells Fargo, investors like Morgan Stanley and others. These actions are an extension and continuation of the #DefundDAPL and #DefundPipelines actions many of us took last year in solidarity with the Standing Rock protest encampment.

Here’s an action targeting Morgan Stanley in Rhode Island:

and one in Vermont targeting Goldman Sachs:

And there have been lots of others – in Connecticut, Virginia, California, Washington and all over the country. And it’s not too late to join or host an action this week. Grab a few friends this weekend, head down to a local branch of one of these banks, and make some noise! You can hand out flyers, encourage people to close their accounts, and tell the story of the #NoBBP resistance all over the country. If you register your event on this map, we’ll help support you by inviting activists who live nearby and sharing and amplifying your message on social media (check out those posts above, they’ve reached tens of thousands of people).

Act now to Stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Construction has begun on the Bayou Bridge pipeline (BBP). This is the pipeline at connects at the very end of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to bring fracked-oil from North Dakota to export terminals near St. James, Louisiana.

bayou bridge mapAlong the route, the BBP crosses over 700 bodies of water, threatening our water and the local economy. It also lights the fuse on a massive carbon bomb in the Bakken oil formation — America’s Tar Sands — by connecting the dirtiest oil in America to international export market fueled by corporate greed.

Local organizers have been preparing for this moment for months creating the L’eau Est la Vie camp in the path of the proposed pipeline, writing letters, calling elected officials, attending hearings and suing the company to stop this atrocity.5 Now, those on the frontlines of the #NoBBP fight are calling for aid, and we need to respond.

From February 26 – March 4, You are invited to take action along with communities across the globe in solidarity with those fighting the Bayou Bridge on the frontlines. Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind Bayou Bridge and also behind DAPL, must be held accountable. Click here to learn more and sign up to host an action​.

TONIGHT! February 15 at 5:30 PT / 8:30 ET you’re also invited to join a conference call to hear from organizers and residents who are resisting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on the frontlines. Click here to RSVP and get the call in number so you can hear updates from the ground and learn more about how to plan an action that supports the frontlines.

If you can’t make it tonight, I suggest checking in with nobayoubridge.global to learn more about the financiers and politicians targeted during the week of action​. Lots of you have already signed on to petitions and letter asking these banks to divest. And many of you have attended big days of action targeting these banks (US Bank, Wells Fargo, and others) over the last few months. Even if you can’t plan or attend an event you can close a bank account, hold a rally or just withhold your business and consent from any of these institutions to show solidarity.

But the best thing to do ​right now​ is put up an event on that map – we’ll follow up with more information, sample fliers and more. And of course we’ll send multiple ​emails (along with all the other solidarity partners) to make sure that you get a crowd to back you up. But until someone, like you, steps up to host an event at a local bank branch or similar location, we can’t invite all your neighbors to show solidarity with this important week of action.

So click here to get started hosting your own #NoBBP action between Feb 26 and March 5.

US Bank broke its promise – Defund Pipelines

If you’re one of the nearly 200,000 people who signed a petition calling on the biggest Wall Street Banks to stop financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all fossil fuel infrastructure, you need to see this.

US Bank, which had promised to stop funding DAPL and similar pipeline projects, just made millions of dollars guaranteeing a massive credit deal with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind DAPL, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and dozens of other dirty pipelines across America.

Will you sign this petition to US Bank CEO Andrew Cecere to keep his promise to end financial support to oil and gas pipelines with our allies at Climate Truth? If you sign today, they and activists in US Bank’s home town of Minneapolis, MN, will deliver it this week.

Last April, a ton of us praised US Bank when they agreed to demands from Indigenous and climate activists (like us) to stop financing major oil and gas pipelines like DAPL. We warned at the time that US Bank was hedging its bets and hadn’t promised to Divest, yet.

But in the closing weeks of 2017, US Bank committed a major betrayal: They signed onto a $5 billion credit arrangement with ETP, the notorious human-rights abusing, climate destroying, pipeline company behind DAPL and some of the dirtiest pipeline on earth.

The decision is as baffling as it is frustrating. Big banks and finance institutions, from New York City’s pension funds to the World bank are divesting from dirty fossil fuels. European banks like ING and BNP Paribas have announced major divestment moves in the weeks since US Bank’s initial announcement. There’s no reason for US Bank to backslide now.

But there is a good reason to turn up the pressure right now: Next month Super Bowl LII is being played in US Bank stadium in Minneapolis. So we’re working with our friends at Climate Truth and local organizers like MN350 and the folks who organized a banner drop at the stadium more than a year ago, to deliver this message bank executives at a high-profile event during Super Bowl week.

Sign the petition now and we’ll deliver it again during US Bank’s biggest publicity event of the year.

198 methods to [do what exactly?]

Last week I told you about why I think it’s important to start 198 methods as another non-profit, environmental advocacy group (Missed it? Click here for the refresher, 5 charts and 2 maps). This week, I’m all about how we win.

I lay out some specific examples, strategies, and ideas below. But the TL;DR is this: It costs about $100 a week to keep all this going, and we want to scale UP the project in 2018. So I’m looking for about 50 people to donate $1.98 a week for the next 6 months. Can you help​?

more “198 methods to [do what exactly?]”

Equator Banks Acted

First of all, thanks so much for taking action with us and our partners as part of the Equator Banks Act campaign. Over 110,000 people (including many of you) signed a petition calling on the biggest banks in the world to stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights. Even better, hundreds of you showed up at more than 50 #DivestTheGlobe actions in cities and towns around the world. Some of the highlights:

  • Mazaska Talks #DivestTheGlobe action by the numbers
    Click to see larger

    Seattle activists visited or shut down over 100 branches of the big banks in 3 days of action.

  • Nearly 100 faith and ethics groups joined the call to action, demanding that Bank of America, TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other big banks stop funding fossil fuel projects.
  • There were amazing, beautiful actions in cities all over the world including Columbia, South CarolinaLausanne, SwitzerlandNew Haven, CTOakland, California; and many many more.
  • Check out the feed below from Mazaska Talks which was made live on the first day of action.

Even, better (and worth waiting for) — I’ve got breaking news to share from the actual Equator Banks meeting itself in Brazil. Just to re-cap: 90 of the world’s largest banks met in Brazil October 23-26 to recommit to the Equator Principles, a set of rules guiding which big infrastructure projects they will and won’t finance. Our petitions and actions were intended to pressure these “Equator Banks” or EQIFs banks to rewrite and revisit their own (voluntary) commitment to those principles: Specifically the fact that Equator Banks had financed disasters for our climate AND indigenous rights like the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Agua Zarca hydro project, where Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for leading Indigenous resistance.

Well, just today we got word that it worked! The Equator Banks released a statement saying that they will “start a process of updating the Equator Principles” with a special focus on the “important implications of the Paris Agreement” and “application of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in different jurisdictions”. 

Let’s be clear, this is EXACTLY what we asked for from these 90+ Equator Banks. And it is 100% a result of the pressure and publicity YOU helped put on them with your signatures, actions, events and more.

congratulations: minions cheering
Congrats

It’s also not, obviously, the end of the story. The Equator Banks process is planned to take more than 18 months, and hasn’t officially started yet. And we’ve already seen that even when banks promise to do the right thing, they often exempt current project, make caveats or otherwise backslide almost immediately.

Your continued diligence and follow up will be absolutely essential – and we promise to help by staying connected to Mazaska Talks and other indigenous, direct action, and pipeline fighting groups around the world. We’ll let you know the next time there’s an action, petition or event you can participate in on this campaign.

IN the meanwhile, what now? Well, if you like winning, and enjoyed this whole arc of emails from me and 198 methods (I’m the only person who works here) – then consider leaving us a tip. I love it when people chip in $1.98/week because it gives us the money to keep working week in and week out on projects like divest the globe, while paying a minimum (less than $1 a month) in credit card processing fees (for everything else, there’s Mastercard). I’d also point out that this action is exactly the sort of thing I started 198 methods to do: A big, digitally supported day(s) of action with over 100,000 people signed on, dozens of actions around the world, and a clear result (#winning) at the end.

I’m psyched, let’s do this again, soon.

Thanks,

Drew and the 198 ways to take direct action and divestment is one, crew.

Oakland Action Photo by Jake Conroy / RAN

Big French Bank Defunds Pipelines – Sign now to #DivestTheGlobe

I’ve got more good news this week: French Mega-bank BNP Paribas announced this that it’s cutting its funding for extreme oil and fracked gas projects in the US and Canada. While we (and our friends in France) will need to monitor the implementation and details, the news is REALLY GOOD.

Specifically: BNP Paribas will not fund new exploration, production, transportation and export projects related to Tar sands, fracked gas and the Arctic, nor the companies involved in more than 30% of their activities; The announcement includes a ban on funding Keystone XL and TransCanada, Line 3 and Enbridge, a Texas fracked gas export facility and any future gas export terminals in the Gulf; and more!

It’s a really big deal and I hope you’ll share the news in the footnotes to spread the word. But I also noticed that you haven’t signed on to our petition calling on 90+ of the biggest banks in the world to Divest from fossil fuels. Can you sign on now?
Ran Action Calling on BNP to Divest, and they did!

I need your signature this week because we’re already planning a big, global day of action to deliver all the signatures October 23-25. All over the world, activists will be showing up at local bank branches and demanding to know if companies like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others will follow BNP Paribas’ lead and #DivestTheGlobe. You can sign up to host or attend an event in your town, but first — click here to sign on to our petition and tell the biggest banks to stop finding climate chaos and respect indigenous rights.

Thanks, Drew and the team

Photo by Toben Dilworth / RAN