Don’t let Dominion exec’s off the hook for the ACP

Like all of you, we cheered big hearty cheers when the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was finally abandoned by Duke and Dominion. We’d been fighting that racist, climate-killing, ratepayer-busting pipeline for years.

And for all the time we were fighting the pipeline, the people who stood to profit were the corporate executives at Duke and Dominion. No one person was more culpable for the ACP, or more directly associated with it than Dominion Energy’s Tom Farrell. Now he must resign. Sign here if you agree.

You’ve already heard, over and over, how the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an environmental and human rights disaster:

  • It would have generated more than 67 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants.
  • It would have required 38 miles of mountaintop removal and damage thousands of acres of farm and forest land.
  • And the ACP would disproportionately harm poor, African-American and Indigenous communities all along the route. The plan included building an enormous fracked gas compressor stations in Union Hill — an African-American community of great historical and cultural significance in Virginia. And thirty thousand Native peoples live in the project area across North Carolina.

Behind this project that terrorized communities in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and threatened our climate was Dominion Energy, one of the most powerful monopolies in America. And Dominion’s leader, Tom Farrell, continued to push this project for years despite the potential consequences. As recently as May of this year, dozens of us attended Dominion’s online shareholder meeting to protest the ACP, and Farrell was still defending the ACP and repeating the lie that it was a ‘clean’ and ‘cost effective’ solution to our energy needs.

Rev. William J. Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign and Vice President Al Gore have already called Farrell’s legacy a “reckless, racist, ripoff.” But Farrell has found another way to dodge responsibility for his actions.

A few weeks ago, Dominion announced that Farrell will become the company’s executive chair, effective Oct. 1, 2020 and continue to serve as chair of the Board of Directors. Day-to-day operations will be run by Robert Blue, Farrell’s former operating officer, who will still report to Farrell.

Farrell has proven himself to be a bad corporate executive. By relying on a business model built on extraction, environmental injustice, and political corruption, he cost ratepayers and shareholders billions of dollars. But instead of firing him after the entire ACP debacle came crashing down, Dominion promoted him!

It’s important to pipeline fighters everywhere that we don’t just let Farrell walk away from the wreckage of the ACP without consequence. If he can get away with it, there’s nothing to discourage Robert Blue, or Duke CEO Lynn Good for that matter, from reviving the ACP in the future. Just as important, there’s no message to corporate leaders and lenders everywhere that betting big on fossil fuels is as dangerous for your career as it is for our communities and climate.

Let’s make an example of Farrell, like we made a symbol out of the ACP. Sign the petition to demand that Tom Farrell resign in disgrace as Executive Chair of Dominion Energy.

Virtual Rally: Rise with the Wet’suwet’en!

For the last few weeks, we’ve been honored to follow the indigenous leadership of the Wet’suwet’en people fighting the Coastal Gaslink pipeline on the frontlines of the COVID and climate crises.

Tomorrow, May 7, we’re gathering online for a #ShutDownKKR virtual rally and communications blockade where we’ll deliver more than 200,000 signatures (including yours!).Join us!

We’ve already told you how despite the pandemic, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) — the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline — is still sending workers to build the Coastal GasLink pipeline. TC Energy staff, backed by armed police are invading Wet’suwet’en lands without consent, putting Indigenous elders and land defenders that already don’t have easy access to healthcare at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. Workers are living by the hundreds in “man camps” that are also breeding grounds for violence against Indigenous women.

But pipeline construction can’t continue without investors funding the project — and the biggest Coastal GasLink pipeline investor of all is KKR, a New York-based equity firm.

KKR still has still time to walk away from the pipeline, if they want. So our plan is to flood KKR with calls, emails, and tweets and make it clear that nobody will ever do business with them again if they invest in genocide, colonization and climate chaos!

Join our event on Facebook tomorrow and we’ll share easy and accessible tools to email, call, and post on KKR’s social media accounts. While the COVID-19 pandemic may keep us from gathering in the streets, it will not stop us from being defiant and uncompromising in our opposition to fossil fuel profiteers.

Take one minute right now to RSVP join the May 7th #ShutdownKKR virtual rally and communications blockade on Facebook.

Dirty, Dishonest Dominion can’t duck divestment online

Dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy – the principal company backing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – is holding their annual shareholders meeting (AGM) online tomorrow, May 6. They hope that because the meeting is online this year, due to the pandemic, that we’ll stay home and not pressure them to stop investing in fossil fuels, especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, like we have in the past

Dominion’s wrong – and we’re showing up online tomorrow right before the shareholder meeting to give them a piece of our mind. Can you join us?

Here’s what’s going on: Last year, Dominion held their shareholders meeting in my hometown of Columbia South Carolina. We worked with a team of activists from SC, NC, VA and beyond to show up and hold a protest outside the meeting while a crew of activist shareholders went inside to lobby Dominion to divest from fossil fuels and especially the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

In the year since, things have not gone well for Dominion and the ACP. The pipeline has been mired in court over legal objections to their plan to cross the Appalachian Trail on US Forest Service Land. That court case landed at the US Supreme Court in late February, and we were there as part of a street protest and Non violent civil disobedience action lead by North Carolinian’s impacted by the project.

While the pipeline has been stopped (for now) by the courts, the costs haven’t stopped going up. In fact, a new report out today from our friends at NC Warn and Friends of the Earth found that sticking with the ACP will increase energy costs $30 billion across VA, NC and other impacted states.

But while the news is mostly-bad for the pipeline, it has been mostly good for Virginians who want to invest in clean power. In March, Virginia passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which mandates that the state’s utilities, including Dominion, switch to pollution-free energy by 2045.

That one decision basically makes the ACP un-viable. But the pandemic, combined with a major drop in oil and gas prices have pushed fracking and pipeline companies to the brink of bankruptcy and dramatically slashed demand for gas pipelines and power plants. While Trump and co are angling to bail out big oil and gas producers, it would take months or years for that money to trickle down to utilities like Dominion.

Faced with all these headwinds, you’d think that Dominion would drop its support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But instead, they’ve been doubling down on their support – taking on more investment in the pipeline and lobbying to get around the Virginia law and scuttle clean energy requirements in North Carolina and South Carolina.

So, tomorrow, before their shareholders meeting, we’ll gather online and make some noise telling Dominion and their shareholders that it’s time to divest from fossil fuels and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Join us tomorrow (May 6) at 8:30 am before the shareholders’ meeting on zoom to take action. Together we’ll post on social media, call executives and take online action! We’ll hear reports and briefings from experts and shareholder advocates and give you all the info and talking points you need.

PS we’ll also be meeting at 11am on Thursday May 7 before the Duke Energy Shareholders meeting. Join us for that one too!

Sign Now: Wet’suwet’en solidarity in the face of disaster capitalism

As I type this, in the midst of a pandemic, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Canada is under attack by the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline.

We’ve seen this again and again over the last few days: Billionaire oil CEOs and industry lobbyists see the corona virus crisis as an opportunity to push through fossil fuel infrastructure and demand massive government bailouts while they think the world is looking the other way.

Today, it’s happening in Canada as TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is pushing ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, putting communities and their workers at even more risk. The investment firm KKR is in the process of buying 65% of Coastal GasLink. If we can stop the sale, we can help stop the pipeline from being built.

That’s why today, March 23rd, we’re joining allies and friends across North America (turtle island) to flood the inbox, phone lines, and twitter feeds of this projects financiers with messages telling them to respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately!

Take a moment to sign our #ShutDownKKR petition and tell all your friends to do the same! If you’ve already signed (more than 140,000 of us have as I type this), click here to take the next steps by writing, calling, and/or tweeting at KKR.

Here’s the back story, if you’re just learning about the Wet’suwet’en today:

The same company that wanted to build the KeystoneXL pipeline, TC Energy, is about to start building a 417-mile, multibillion dollar fossil fuel pipeline in northern British Columbia, Canada. It’s set to cut right through Wet’suwet’en lands without the consent of the hereditary chiefs. To protect their sovereignty and defend their lands, different camps were built along the pipeline route where land defenders have been living for over 6 years.

In the last month, militarized police have raided the Wet’suwet’en camps with assault rifles, dogs, sound cannons, and helicopters while Indigenous elders and youth stood by in shock. Now, all eyes are on Wet’suwet’en — and their hereditary chiefs are urgently calling out for massive global support. 

Here in the U.S., you can help by calling out the largest funders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, JPMorgan Chase and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). Their plans to invest in the pipeline aren’t final and there’s still time to stop them.

Sign the petition to protect Wet’suwet’en & demand climate chaos profiteers JPMorgan Chase and KKR to stop financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

photo credit Michael Toledano

Join the Wet’suwet’en Strong day of action!

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, TC Energy is still going ahead with construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, putting communities and their workers at even more risk.

We need all eyes on the Wet’suwet’en frontlines right now. Billionaire oil CEOs and industry lobbyists will see this crisis as an opportunity to push through whatever they can when the world is looking the other way.

That’s why on Monday, March 23rd, we’ll be flooding KKR’s inbox, phone lines, and twitter feeds with messages telling them — respect the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately! KKR is currently one of the pipeline’s biggest financiers.

Will you take one minute right now and join the online day of action. Here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Email KKR with our easy message tool
  2. Call KKR at 1-888-593-5407 and follow the instructions. Talking points:
    1. I am calling to demand you respect Indigenous rights and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately.
    2. The Coastal GasLink project would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas.
    3. Building Coastal GasLink would disregarding the lack of consent by Wet’suwet’en community and the impacts to climate, air, water.
    4. All pipeline construction poses risks to indigenous women by allowing man camps to be built along the route. The problems with missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada and the US are well documented
  3. Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them to drop Coastal GasLink

Thanks again for taking action! You can also share this post, and graphic to spread the word!

Fossil Fuel Divestment Day #F2D2

2020 is shaping up to be the year of Divestment, and today is a great day to join in the fun! Right now, students at more than 50 college and university campuses are taking action today for Fossil Fuel Divestment Day and online using the hashtags hashtags #fossilfueldivestmentday & #F2D2. They’re taking a stand and fighting for climate justice by calling on their universities to divest — or withdraw their assets — from fossil fuel corporations. (You can read their op-ed announcing the action in TeenVogue here)

If you’re a student, faculty or administrator at a college or university, we hope you’ll get out and join the #F2D2 actions today. But for everyone else (and everyone in general) there’s another divestment campaign you can support as well – Divestment of our local, state, and federal employees’ pension funds. Click here to write to your local elected officials and demand they divest our public pensions in honor of Fossil Fuel Divestment Day!

Every single one of us is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry with our tax dollars, and we don’t even know it! That’s because nearly all public pension funds in the U.S. are invested in fossil fuel companies. That’s the retirement savings of every public school teacher, every local fire fighter, and all of our Mayors, County clerks, and other hard-working state and local officials being used to prop up the profiteers of climate chaos.

In many cases, the same first responders on the front lines of responding to climate chaos have their retirement funds invested in fossil fuel companies causing the problem.

To make matters worse, state pension funds’ investments in fossil fuels actually place our those workers’ retirement at risk. Fossil Fuel companies are already underperforming compared to the rest of the market. And when the “carbon bubble” bursts, it could cause losses greater than the 2008 financial crisis, according to a recent study.

The Big California pension funds CalSTRS and CalPERS, which represent nearly three million retired teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public employees, lost more than $17 billion already, costing an average teacher or firefighter $5,572 – $6,072.

That’s probably why “Mad Money” creator Jim Cramer (no friend of the climate movement) recently said, “I’m done with fossil fuels. They’re done.”

One essential step in solving the climate crisis is to move our collective money – bank accounts, retirement funds, insurance coverage all of it – away from the fossil fuel companies that are causing the climate crisis, and instead invest in a just transition to a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy and green jobs. State Treasurers, Governors, and local elected officials have the power to divest these massive state and local pension funds. But they wont act unless we speak out together, and in support of bold youth-led movements like today’s.

It’s time to demand that our elected officials act to freeze all investments in fossil fuel companies and divest public funds from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels.

Sign and send a letter to your governor and state legislators urging them to divest pension funds from fossil fuel industries. It is time to stop supporting climate chaos with our retirement money!

Dirty, Dishonest, Dominion Energy #DIVEST!

We had a busy 2 days of action targeting dirty, dishonest, Dominion Energy at their shareholder meeting in Columbia SC this week.

Check out the reportback video on all our actions, or scroll down to read an account of the more than 5 hours of meetings, speeches and actions. Once you see all the stuff we did, I hope you’ll be inspired to chip in $1.98 or more to support us. We’re still about $500 short of our goal for covering costs of all these events.

Here’s a quick budget for your information :

ItemCost
Food for Community supper$100
Bus Transit for Justice First$1000
Flyers, signs and materials$250
previously raised-$143
Donations from other partner groups-$500
TOTAL left to raise:$707

Monday Night – Community forum and supper

Monday night about 50 of us gathered at the historic Zion baptist Church in Columbia (where Dr King once spoke) for a community supper and teach in. We had reports and stories from all over Virginia, South Carolin, North Carolina and beyond about Dominion’s dirty, dishonest past, as well as a briefing on our plans for the shareholder meeting.

Here’s some video clips of the speakers from that night

Mary Cerulli from Mothers Out Front talked about our global power as a movement working with more than $2 trillion in assets to #Divest from fossil fuels and pipelines.

Greg Yost from NC APPPL talked about the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and how the Carolinas (North and South) are connecting to stop this fracked gas pipeline.

Freeda Cathcart, Indivisible VA talked about the importance of coalitions and working together to make change:

And Finally, Rev Leo Woodberry, from the Justice First tour and New Alpha community development corporation brought it all together in a keynote address that had everyone on their feet marching in one big wave of solidarity by the end.

At the end of Rev Woodberry’s keynote, we had a community supper downstairs, where we heard some more about Justice First’s recent trip to Africa helping communities in Liberia and Sierra Leone set up solar power, and from Chief Pete of the Pee Dee Tribe who talked about struggles with environmental justice during and after the flooding from Hurricane Florence, as well as their concerns about the Atlantic Coast pipeline and harvesting of souther forests for biofuel.

Tuesday – the main event!

On Tuesday we gathered outside the Shareholder meeting and 8 shareholders were admitted in with proxies to address the meeting. The rest of us handed out about fliers And held banners outside so everyone knew our demands. At the end of the Shareholder meeting we held a press conference touching on Dominion activity inside and outside the shareholder meeting.

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.

We’ve gone big, now it’s time to bring the message home:

Thanks again for being one of the now more than 100,000 people worldwide (!) who have signed on to demand that the Equator banks stop funding climate disasters and respect indigenous rights. Now, it’s time to deliver:

Can you RSVP to host or attend a delivery event with us next week as our big, indigenous-led coalition delivers our message to banks all over the world? Click here to get started.

TD bank protest

Next week (October 23-25) there will be actions at local bank branches in various places in the world, and we want to show the strength of our numbers. Activists will be showing up at local bank branches, representing the greater audience holding banks accountable, and asking whether companies like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others will follow BNP Paribas’ lead and #DivestTheGlobe.

Dozens of events are already planned that you can attend or participate in. Or, if you don’t see one near you, sign up to host: Our partners at Mazaska talks have made everything easy for you with simple downloadable materials and toolkits, and online event tools. All you have to do is grab a couple of friends, head to the nearest branch of one of our 90+ target banks and deliver a letter. Or, get as creative as you like – plan a rallyshut down 100 banks in a single daymeet with a local Mayor or elected official to talk about divestment — It’s up to you!

Get started now by clicking here to find or and plan your local #DivestTheGlobe event.

See you in the streets,

Drew and the 198 methods to stop a pipeline crew.

PS – It’s not too late to invite friends to sign the petition! Share this link before Monday to make sure everyone’s comment is included in the delivery events: https://petitions.signforgood.com/EquatorBanksAct/?code=198m