Chip in for another 50 days of bold climate action. Biden Style!

Yesterday, on Joe Biden’s 54th day as President, Deb Haaland was confirmed as Interior Secretary by the US Senate. It’s a capstone on what has been, by all accounts, a wildly successful first half of of President Biden’s first 100 days. And it sets and even higher bar for the next 50 days which will set out President Biden’s level of ambition on climate change, and include major decisions on tar sands Pipelines, clean energy, and more.

Can you chip in $1.98 or more here to fund the next 50 days of bold climate action?

Here’s some of what we’ve done over the last 50 days, and some of what we need to do next:

Even before Biden was sworn in as President, we’ve been pushing him to appoint climate champions to his cabinet. Deb Haaland was one of our first suggestions, and the most powerful climate hawk nominated — now Senate confirmed — to serve in Biden’s cabinet. These fights have been essential because of the old saying “personnel is policy.” But not all of the people Biden picked for his cabinet are as strong on climate as Deb Haaland. And even the strongest advocates will need our support over the next 3 years to make sure Biden delivers the transformative change we need on climate change.

Haaland’s new post at Interior is a great example – later this week the department she now leads is holding a first public hearing on President Biden’s order to pause, but not yet to cancel or amend, the US government’s practice of allowing fracking, drilling and fossil fuel mining on publicly owned lands. It’s a dirty deal that cheats us as taxpayers and poisons our climate at the same time. Pausing those leases – hopefully ending them permanently – was a big victory of the first climate policies Biden announced on Jan 26. But now it’s up to Haaland to see the process through.

Because policy is policy too. Haaland’s confirmation today locks in one of the last cabinet-level posts in the Biden Administration’s climate team. And now that we know who we’re dealing with, it’s time for these folks to get to to work! A new report out from the United Nations a few weeks ago confirms what we’ve known for yearsEven as Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement with great fanfare on Jan 20, nations are “nowhere close” to the level of action they promised in that treaty, let along what’s needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius necessary to avert the worst, most deadly, impacts of climate chaos.

That could start to change next month as President Biden announces his climate action plan, and gets serious about a big infrastructure plan he calls “Build back better,” but which we all want to be #BuildBackFossilFree. Here’s some of what will happen over the next 50 days and what we plan to do about it, if we have the means and support to do so:

  1. On Earth Day, April 22, Biden is holding a big summit at the White House on climate action. Between now and then, he’ll announce his plan for what the US will do to reduce emissions in accordance with the Paris climate agreement, and try and rally world leaders to do the same.
    1. But President Biden’s goal for climate pollution cuts isn’t yet set. Reports like that one from the UN above indicate that the US needs to pledge big cuts, fast – like a 70% reduction in global warming pollution by 2030. But early indications are that Biden may only re-state the climate goals of the Obama administration – which were less than half that. And weaker ambition in the US can lead to weaker commitments from allies in Canada (where the Tar Sands comes from) and around the world,
  2. Around the same time – Late April to Early May – he’ll unveil his plan to invest trillions of dollars in US infrastructure and fulfill his promise to “build back better.” Whatever goal President Biden sets in April, it will be up to this infrastructure package to deliver it in new wind farms, solar panels, electric cars, and more.
    1. Again, early indications are mixed: Several bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to invest in renewable energy and reduce global warming pollution. But almost all of them still invest in fracked gas, and some of them still back dangerous and backward ideas like geo-engineering, clean coal, or carbon capture. And while he’s taken action to block the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, President Biden still has not spoken out to stop Line 3 – which is the exact same diameter as KXL – or the Dakota Access Pipelines. Those are some big examples of infrastructure you just can’t build, permit, or invest in if you’re going to cut US global warming pollution over the next 10 years.

So, what were we going to do about it and why should you chip in? Here are a few examples and ideas:

And of course – if you can’t donate there’s still loads you can do to help! Share this article with your networks to start!

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Convict, Expel, stop Trump and his enablers

Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate continues today, with House Impeachment managers expected to wrap up their presentation. In a crucial, early, vote six Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in voting that the trial is constitutional and should proceed. We’ve got just a few more days to convince 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump.

That’s the whole agenda: We have a few days to convince 11 more Republicans to join six of their fellow partisans that this process is appropriate, and furthermore that Trump is guilty – That he incited a mob to attack the capitol and disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes in an attempted coup that killed multiple people, including one Capitol Police officer, injured many more, and terrorized the entire country.

Call your Senators now at (866) 455-3498 and tell them to vote to convict Trump, and prevent him from running for office ever again and deter future coup attempts. (Can’t call right now? Please chip in if you can to keep this toll-free line open and fund our fight against fossil fueled fascists in the future.)

A lot of pundits and politicians are saying that the evidence in this case doesn’t matter. That there’s nothing that will convince Republicans to convict Trump. That it’s time to move on and focus on President Biden’s plans to build back better and build back fossil free.

I still think that’s wrong for two important reasons:

  1. The coup attempt didn’t end on January 6. Trump is still out there. The FBI confirms that his supporters planned the Jan 6 insurrection in advance, and are planning future violence to this day. And at the same time, Republican leaders in Congress like Kevin McCarthy are plotting with him to re-take political power in 22 months. And it’s worth remembering that the members of the “Sedition Caucus” who are still defending trump are funded by the fossil fuel industryto the tune of $8.8 million dollars last year.
  2. Truth still matters. Lots of ‘very serious people’ spent 4 years telling us Trump was not a fascist, until the coup attempt on Jan 6,2021. And while many of us are eager, if not desperate, to look forward rather than backward we can’t do that until there is a reckoning with what happened on Jan 6. And that reckoning can’t happen without accountability for Trump and his enablers. If you haven’t already, check out the videos of the chaos and violence on Jan6 that house Impeachment managers are using to make their case – it’s a sobering reminder of what happened, and why the country needs this moment of reckoning.

Under our current laws and Constitution that reckoning and accountability starts (doesn’t end) with impeaching and convicting former President Trump. That vote is supposed to be shaped by what we the people tell our Senators about this moment.

That’s how Democracy wins – not just by citizens voting in a new president and “moving on,” but by citizens staying engaged and demanding that our elected officials hold the people who tried to incite a bloody coup against our government are held accountable.

Hey DC – Join us EPA on Feb 11 to #BuildBackFossilFree

This week activists all over the country are taking action to show President Joe Biden that to build back better, he’s got to #BuildBackFossilFree.

In DC, a crew of our old are getting together Thursday afternoon, February 11, to show the new Administration that we support the actions they’ve already taken to stop Keystone XL and pause fossil fuel leases on public lands. Can you join us at the EPA in Downtown DC Thursday, February 11th, at 12 noon?

Our action will be fun, socially distant, COVID safe, and will encourage President Biden and his team to invest in further #BuildBackFossilFree action by:

  • Stop Line 3, DAPL and all fossil fuel projects
  • Invest in and protect frontline communities
  • End the era of fossil fuels
  • Launch a climate emergency mobilization
  • & More

Join our socially distanced event in dc:

Thursday, Feb 11, noon
EPA Headquarters:
301 12th street NW

Register here

PS – can’t make it to DC on Thursday? RSVP to take action from home or closer to home next week as part of the national Build Back Fossil Free week of action.

Next week – join us to build back fossil free!

We told President Biden that to build back better he has to build back fossil free, and the first few weeks of his administration have been even better than we’d hoped!

President Biden blocked the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement on day one – January 20. On January 28, he went further with a series of Executive orders and appointments to stop fossil fuel drilling on public lands and waters, marshal the full resources of the US government to fight the climate crisis, and centering the voices of impacted communities – especially black, brown and indigenous communities.

Those big victories are the result of years of organizing and struggle by our movements. And each announcement came after a day of action and solidarity mobilized by the national network to Build Back Fossil Free. Our day of action Jan 19 preceded the KXL announcement. Our Jan 26 digital rally was quickly followed by the climate executive orders.

Our campaign to convince Joe Biden to Build Back Fossil Free is working! But we have a lot more work to do. Will you join the Week of Action February 8-13 and help us keep building momentum to build back fossil free?

Our coalition has made a list of the executive actions Biden must take to meet moment of climate crisis. So far, he’s made some excellent choices and progress. But we need more. Now that he’s canceled KXL, we need him to block Line 3, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and more. Now that he’s paused drilling leases on public lands, and called for an end to the Big Oil Bailout, we need him to make the change permanent and ban fossil fuel extraction on public lands and end all subsidies to polluting industries.

We’ve made a detailed list of 25 key executive actions Biden can take to protect and invest in communities, end the era of fossil fuel production, and #BuildBackFossilFree. Each action comes with strong labor standards to protect workers’ rights and meaningful consultation with Indigenous peoples, workers, frontline communities, and other affected constituencies.

With the first members of Biden’s climate cabinet getting hearings and confirmation votes this week, not to mention the ongoing negotiations on a next-round of COVID relief, now is the perfect time to turn up the pressure on Biden’s team to take further action on climate change and fossil fuels.

Join our week of action to take easy, safe, actions that make a big difference to the Biden Administration. We’ve got a sample sign you can print out calling for Biden to #BuildBackFossilFree. After you sign up, we’ll send you ideas and help coach you through finding a location to take a picture where the Biden team will notice like:

  • A local fossil fuel project;
  • A local congressional or senate office;
  • An iconic landmark, intersection, or overpass;
  • Or just take a photo of yourself and your sign and share it online with #BuildBackFossilFree! 

From stopping KXL to ending fossil fuel subsidies, our movement has already shown we can push Biden into action. Now, our job is to push him beyond his first executive actions and convince him that to #buildBackBetter, you have to #BuildBackFossilFree.

Sign up now to host a #BuildBackFossilFree action next week.

Join us Tuesday to Build Back Fossil Free

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

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

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

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

Details:

Tell Biden to Build Back Fossil Free

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

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

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

Sign on now to endorse our demands:

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

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

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

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

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

How to stop a coup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)