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.

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)

HOLD THE LINE: Don’t let corporate polluters get away with murder

Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans already gave more than $3 billion of COVID response money to fossil fuel polluters. Now, they’re planning another big oil bailout as part of a Coronavirus response bill they’re negotiating.

This time they don’t just want to give away our money: they want to let fossil fuel companies get away with murder. 

Call your Senators at (800) 914-0328 and tell them to hold the line against McConnell’s liability shield and make sure COVID response funds benefit people, not polluters!

For weeks, we’ve been telling you about the #BigOilBailout where fossil fuel companies got access to literally billions of dollars of public money that was supposed to help main street employers and workers. The House passed a package weeks ago that’s a good start — called the HEROES Act — and we’ve been pressing McConnell to take that bill up, and give our allies in the Senate a chance to make it even better by banning direct payments to the fossil fuel industry.

Instead of doing that, McConnell is pushing something called a “liability shield” which would protect corporations against lawsuits from workers who get Covid-19 because of unsafe conditions.

We don’t need to encourage corporations to be even more reckless with their workers’ safety and health. And that’ why nobody wants this liability shield, except for Senate Republicans and corporate billionaires like the fossil fuel industry. Doctors don’t want it; Major League Baseball doesn’t want it; low-income workers of color who are doing many if not most of the “essential” jobs in the pandemic as nurses, delivery drivers, certainly don’t want it.

McConnell’s plan will put frontline communities at risk, as fossil fuel companies and others spread disease from their facilities. 

It gets worse: corporations would have these protections for the next five years and they are likely to try using them to block all sorts of lawsuits, including those who are trying to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their fatal pollution and climate lies.  

We can stop this cynical attempt to let corporations put our lives at risk. 

The White House has already said they may be willing to drop the liability shield in negotiations over the stimulus. If we can generate a massive public outcry over the next 24 hours, we may be able to stop it for good. 

Please call your Senators at (800) 914-0328 and tell them to kill the liability shield and make sure this stimulus protects people, not polluters. 

When you’re on the phone with your Senators, remind them that the fossil fuel industry has already received billions of dollars in tax breaks and bailouts. Meanwhile, tens of millions of people are still out of work. Nearly 30 million Americans reported they went hungry last week. Black, Brown and Indigenous communities continue to be the hardest hit. 

Call at (800) 914-0328 and tell your Senators to drop McConnell’s deadly plan, and bail out people, not polluters.

#SenateFail: Fossil Fuels got bailed out, we got sold out

We call it a #SenateFail: It’s been more than a month since the House passed a $3 trillion COVID relief package called the HEROES act. But the Senate has failed to so much as hold a hearing – and chose instead to go on a 2-week, 4th of July vacation.

Since they took off for summer break, new cases of the virus are spiking all over the country, with more than 3 million US cases diagnosed so far. And thanks to demands from House oversight panels, we learned this week that fossil fuel corporations got their dirty hands on at least $3 billion of taxpayer money intended to help keep workers afloat.

Please join us TODAY to make sure senators feel massive pressure to get it right when they come back in session on July 20 by taking up the HEROES act and making sure bailouts help people and essential workers, not polluters:

  1. Call your senator by dialing toll-free 1-833-868-8109;
  2. Send an email to your Representative and Senators asking them to take action!
  3. Tweet at your Senators using these free tools from Greenpeace.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell decided it was time for a break while Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing, and without taking action to address systemic racism and Police brutality, protect essential workers, help struggling families or fund public schools. At a moment when senators should be doing their jobs, it’s a colossal #SenateFail.

When senators go back to DC, they will have less than two weeks to extend unemployment insurance, provide financial relief to struggling families, support essential services, including public schools, COVID testing and contact tracing, and ensure that every vote is counted in the November election. 

Taking up the HEROES act, and improving it, is a great place to start. There’s already some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support. And by adding in protections like the REWIND act to stop further fossil fuel bailouts, they can make it stronger!

While they are on vacation, Congress need to hear loud and clear that we expect them to get back to DC and do their jobs. Can you join us and take action today?

Stop Trump’s next Dirty Deal

Earlier this month, we warned you that Trump and team were bailing out fossil fuel companies with money stolen from Congressionally-appropriated funds to help families, workers and small businesses survive COVID-19. And we’ve been fighting ever since to make sure Congress’ next COVID-19 bailout bill protects people, not polluters.

On May 15, the House passed another the $3 trillion relief package, called the HEROES act. There’s some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support.

But in their haste to protect essential workers, House Leadership left out all the stuff that would have stopped Trump from stealing the money, again, and using it to Bailout fossil fuels– including the ReWIND act.

Congress is on a recess for Memorial Day, but when they come back, negotiation over this bill is expected to be their first priority. Will you email your Representative now and tell them to get it right this time – and make sure Congressional bailouts help people and essential workers, not polluters?

The ReWIND Act would prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds from being diverted to fossil fuel companies, making more money available for essential workers and communities. And it’s not as if House leadership doesn’t know about the problem: numerous reports have documented that Trump and his dirty associates are already diverting billions of taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies.

With more than 40 House and Senate cosponsors already, it’s a popular idea with a real chance of being included in the next Congressional relief bill. But Senator McConnell and the Republican-led Senate have indicated they will not consider the HEROES Act, ReWIND, or any form of additional COVID response bill, saying they have “not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately”.  And then he adjourned the entire Senate for two weeks so they could go home and have a vacation.  

We have a lot more work to do. Can you email your Member of Congress and tell them:

  1. Get back to work NOW – take up the HEROEs act negotiation with the Senate ;
  2. Fight to pass, and keep key provisions of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights in the next COVID response bill;, And
  3. Cosponsor the ReWIND Act to stop another fossil fuel industry bailout at the expense of public health crisis and frontline workers, and add it to HEROES during negotiation!

header image by  Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Tell the Senate to get serious about Essential Workers

Essential workers are on the frontlines of this pandemic, and many are working in high-risk conditions without appropriate equipment, safety standards, or job protections. But Mitch McConnell and his Republican Senate say they have “not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. And to prove the point, they just went home for a two-week vacation.

Essential workers are home care workers, grocery and drug store employees, domestic workers, food service workers, government employees, janitorial staff, farm workers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, transit workers, and child care workers. Anyone who has to remain on the job without the ability to telework during this emergency.

These workers put their health on the line when they go to work every day, often without adequate worker protections and benefits. But instead of helping Essential workers, Donald Trump and Senator McConnell have conspired to give hundreds of millions of dollars (and counting) to the fossil fuel companies profiting off climate change. That’s money stolen from Congressionally-approved funds designated to help families, workers and small businesses survive COVID-19.

If you agree that essential workers deserve labor and health care protections, pick up the phone and call your Senators right now at 1-833-933-0204. Tell them to get back to work by taking up the House-passed HEROES act, improving it by keeping the Essential Workers Protections, and adding in key pieces of the ReWIND act as well.

Here’s what’s been happening: Last week, the House passed another the $3 trillion relief package, called the HEROES act. There’s some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights included in the HEROES act would provide $200 billion for hazard pay, paid sick and family leave, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers, and improved collective bargaining. HEROES is also also inclusive of immigrants, which is something that got left out of the initial Congressional response, and broadens the definition of ‘essential’ workers to include people who work in sanitation, grocery stores or as domestic aides.

But in their haste to pass HEROES, House Leadership left out a bunch of other good ideas we support from the bill, – including the ReWIND act that we emailed you about last week. Remember, the ReWIND Act would prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds from being diverted to fossil fuel companies, making more money available for essential workers and communities. And it’s not as if House leadership doesn’t know about the problem:  numerous reports in the last week have documented that Trump and his dirty associates are already diverting billions of taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies.

Most frustrating is that Senator McConnell and the Republican-led Senate have indicated they will not consider the HEROES Act, or any form of additional COVID response bill, anytime soon. And then he adjourned the entire Senate for two weeks so they could go home and have a vacation.  We have a lot more work to do.

HEROES has passed the House, so the first step is to get the Senate back to work, and back at the negotiating table. Some Republicans are beginning to realize they can’t just deny, lie, and dismiss the pandemic like Trump does. So if we we can get them back, and get them talking, we have room to negotiate. And right now the items we want on the table are HEROEs, the Essential Workers Bill of Rights, and ReWIND.

Call your Senators now at 833-933-0204 and tell them to get back to work by taking up the House-passed HEROES act, fight to keep the Essential Workers Protections, and improve it by adding in key pieces of the ReWIND act.

No Dirty Deals, pass the ReWIND Act instead!

Congress is already negotiating on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, and Trump and his allies are pushing hard for another big bailout for fossil fuels. Alarmingly, some elected leaders are considering a dirty deal where they’d trade another fossil fuel bailout  for good-but-inadequate tools like tax credits for renewable energy and electric cars. 

Fortunately, not everyone is tempted by this devils bargain:  Dozens of Democrats in the House and Senate have signed on to support a new bill called the ReWIND act that would ban fossil fuel bailouts, and give us more control over the +$2 trillion Congress has already appropriated.  

So far, we’ve got more than 30 members of Congress on our side, but we need more than 200 to stop the dirty deal and pass the ReWIND act as part of the next Congressional stimulus bill. Can you write to your member of Congress now?

Now is the time to speak out: Amid a historic shock to energy and fossil fuel marketsthe corrupt Trump Administration and their allies are scrambling for any way to use our tax dollars to prop up the fossil fuel industry. They’ve already tried offering special loans to fossil fuel companies, stopping enforcement of key environmental laws, waiving payments and taxes the oil and gas companies are supposed to pay, and more. Last week the Federal Reserve relaxed allowed more risky and un-profitable fossil fuel companies to get federal bailout dollars, and Republicans in Congress promptly demanded the fossil banks give them a loan.

Trump and his cronies can only get away with all this because Democrats in Congress failed to negotiate tough oversight and restrictions in their last relief bill, called the CARES act. A new bill called the ReWIND Act seeks to fix that and stop future fossil fuel bailouts. The ReWIND Act would block the Trump Administration from using COVID-19 stimulus funds to bail out big polluters, stop many of the schemes Trump has taken or may attempt to benefit the fossil fuel industry, and ensure that the public has a say to protect our health and wellbeing.

With nearly 40 cosponsors already, it’s a popular idea with a real chance of being included in the next Congressional relief bill. But some Corporate Democrats would rather negotiate a dirty deal than stand up to Trump and his corrupt cronies. An internal Morgan Stanley report leaked to the media showed that big banks are working with the fossil fuel industry to trade a fossil fuel bailout for renewable energy tax credits

We can’t let that happen. We need to tell Congress NOW that there’s no time for a dirty deal as part of the next stimulus package​, and that passing the ReWIND Act would stop another fossil fuel industry bailout at the expense of public health crisis and frontline workers. Click here to tell your member of Congress: No Dirty Deals, cosponsor the ReWIND Act and push for its inclusion in the next stimulus bill!

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.

Join us for the Bank of America Shareholder meeting

From April 22-24, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, millions of people around the world are going online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. And on Earth day – Wednesday, April 22 – Bank of America is holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Shareholders.

As shareholders show up online for the meting online, we’ll join allies from across North Carolina to demand they “Stop The Money Pipeline.” Can you join us?

At 9am, we’ll meet up in a video-chat to sign letters, call Bank of America Executives, tweet at them, and leave reviews on their social media accounts! We’ll share a few memes – just for fun 😉 We’ll inform, educate, and welcome new activists!

Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, and is the lead funder of the Atlantic Coast Pipelinea climate and human rights disaster. BofA is also the 4th largest funder of climate-killing fossil fuel projects in the world, having invested $156 billion in the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015.

BofA is ignoring science, public comment, and international law by continuing to fund the ACP and fossil fuels. And with every dollar they spend, they are driving all of us closer to climate catastrophe. Their funding of fossil fuels is also bad for business! With oil prices tanking, and fossil fuels in steep decline across the economy they’re wasting money and momentum that could be used to build a sustainable future.

During their shareholders meeting BofA is especially attuned to public and investor opinion. If we call them out on these destructive behaviors and encourage them to invest in renewables instead, we can make an impact!

Join Us! We need your voice at this moment!

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