Tell the Senate: People not Polluters

The Senate is scheduled to vote TODAY on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The bill is intended to speed deployment of testing and the vaccine, and to provide assistance to Americans who are economically struggling.

But Republican Senators are planning to offer “infinite” amendments that are intended to help the fossil fuel industry, attack immigrants, LGBTQ Americans and more.

Most amendments can be blocked by the Senate Parliamentarian or a 40-vote filibuster. But in February, a dangerous number of Democrats betrayed their President, party, and commons sense by voting to support or even introduce pro-polluters amendments.

Click here to send your Senators a message that COVID relief should help people, not polluters.

Every time the Senate votes on a bill through the Reconciliation process – like this bill – something called a Vote-A-Rama happens. Time for debate is limited, but the number of amendments is not – resulting in a an all-night session where Senators offer lots of amendments and have very little time to consider them before voting. Right now the Senate is scheduled to hold vote-a-rama on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Friday March 5.

And Republican Senators have already succeeded in using procedural gimmicks to slow dow the process and express their disdain for the President, Democrats, workers, immigrants, LGBTQ Americans and more. Senator Rand Paul evens says he wants to offer “infinite” amendments to block the bill.

Republican intransigence is no surprise – but in a February Vote-a-rama on an earlier version of this same bill, up to seven Senate Democrats supported Republican amendments that backed the Keystone Pipeline, fracking, and other fossil fuel bailouts.

With Republicans opposed to any COVID relief, we need all 50 Democrats to remain committed, and not vote to support any extraneous, pro-polluter amendments. Will you write your Senators now and tell them to pass a “clean” COVID relief bill that helps people, not polluters?

Tell FERC: No more variances, time’s up on the MVP!

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is back at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking, once again, to be allowed to bend the rules to the breaking point so they can keep building a fracked gas pipeline nobody wants or needs during the pandemic.

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

For years resistance has built against the MVP — including countless community rallies, several long-standing tree sits, and blockades by activists. Due in part to that diligent work, the MVP is behind schedule and $2 billion over budget.

Sign here to tell FERC: No more variances, waivers or special exceptions. Time is UP on the MVP!

This time, they are asking for special permission – a variance, in legal parlance – to drill under dozens of streams and rivers – a risky plan that could pollute hundreds of communities downstream. Not to mention the fact that the plan will require bringing in dozens of work crews, many from out-of-state, while the pandemic is surging in South Eastern Virginia – putting unnecessary strain on essential workers in food service, transportation, and other industries while over-taxing an already busy health care system.

They need FERC’s permission because a federal court has “stayed” the company’s Clean Water Act permit already – just one of dozens of fines and delays that are raising real questions about whether MVP is accurately reporting how much of the pipeline has been built. The MVP owners are afraid, if FERC doesn’t let them bend the rules so they can continue construction by drilling under all these streams and waterways, investors will get cold feet and abandon the project.

That’s exactly what happened to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline earlier this year. And that’s why it’s so important that FERC not grant this variance right now: Not only is it irresponsible and dangerous to let MVP construction continue during the pandemic right now, but saying no at this critical juncture could just stop the pipeline for good!

Help us stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline by signing this petition demanding that FERC deny Equitrans the variance to cross waterways!

All signatures received before December 21 will be included in official comments to FERC, and once you sign you’ll be redirected to a page with instructions on how to back up your signature with a hand-written comment. 

Join the #ShutDownKKR communications blockade!

For five years, TC Energy (formally Trans Canada), the same company behind the KeystoneXL pipeline, has been trying to build the Coastal GasLink pipeline on sovereign Wet’suwet’en land. We’ve told you before about how they are doing this despite opposition from the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en, whose rights and title require their consent, not merely consultation for a project like this.

The project is being driven by KKR, a US-based private equity firm, that purchased 65% of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. But there’s still time to pressure them to pull out of the deal. Last week, KKR tried to shut our movement down by having our Facebook page, and dozens of allies, banned from posting right before a planned action. Our account has been un-frozen, for now, but it’s clear the pressure is getting to KKR.

Can you join our communications blockade today?

  1. Email KKR today by using our easy messaging tool by clicking here.
  2. Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them just how awful they are for ignoring Wet’suwet’en concerns about their rights, the climate, land, air and water. Need some tweet inspiration? Click here!
  3. Call KKR by dialing 1- 212-750-8300 and following the instructions you hear from us. Click here for some talking points for your call.
    1. UK callers: Call KKR by dialing (+44) 020 7839 9800 then asking the switchboard to patch you through to Johannes Huth, KKR’s Managing Director.

We know this kind of investor pressure can work: In the last few years, a number of strategic investors have pulled out of so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, including Chevron, Woodside Petroleum, and even ExxonMobil. In March 2020 Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway pulled out of a LNG project in Quebec following several weeks of rail blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

KKR hasn’t made the same decision, yet. But the fight is getting more urgent and important by the day.

As COVID-19 ravage our communities, wildfires devastate the west coast and Hurricanes pummel the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, TC Energy has continued to push onwards with Coastal GasLink pipeline construction, sending workers into “man camps” and militarized police officers onto Wet’suwet’en territories. Construction and over-policing of pipelines put these communities at greater risk. Just a week and a half ago, there was a confirmed COVID-19 case at a Coastal GasLink worksite.

Last week, Facebook blocked the accounts of hundreds of affiliated people to the #ShutDownKKR campaign, just hours before we had initially planned to host this online day of action. Although accounts have been restored, many questions are left unanswered. Today, we give KKR a reminder that we will not stop fighting to shut them down, despite their censorship tactics.

KKR must be held accountable for ignoring the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, putting the Wet’suwet’en land and water at risk, endangering Indigenous women and two spirit people by building man camps along the route, and fueling the climate crisis. Click here to send a letter, and then come back to this page and take action by phone or on social media!

KKR has a lot to answer for: They’ve invested in militarized police forces even as black Americans call to #DefundPolice and invest in our communities. They profited off tear gas, and crowd suppression in some of the most violent anti-democracy protests of the last decade, and only stopped in response to pressure from us and other allies. And they denied thousands of Toys ‘R’ Us workers severance pay in a shocking display of vulture capitalism.

We must hold KKR accountable for all of this violence. Join our online communications blockade today and stand with indigenous communities to stop the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline!

ShutDownKKR communications blockade

Once you’ve sent your letter, use the tools on this page to support our #ShutDownKKR communications blockade and stand with indigenous leaders to stop the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline!

Can’t call or tweet today? Chip in $1.98 to keep us fighting.

Need more info? See the previous post.

ShutDownKKR Call Script

  • Call KKR by dialing 1- 212-750-8300 and following the instructions you hear from us.
    • UK callers: Call KKR by dialing (+44) 020 7839 9800 then asking the switchboard to patch you through to Johannes Huth, KKR’s Managing Director.

“Hello KKR, I am calling to demand you respect the Indigenous sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately. The Coastal GasLink project would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas, disregarding the lack of consent by Wet’suwet’en community and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to Indigenous women by man camps built along the route. Furthermore, you are further entrenching police brutality by supporting the NYPD through investing NYPD pensions to increase their value, allowing murderous cops to comfortably retire. You are also fuelling imperialism around the world by funding Ingersoll Rand, a corporation that globally supplies hydraulic pumps to US military bases. This violence must stop.”

ShutDownKKR Sample Tweets

Tweet at @KKR_Co

  • During the entirety of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, @TCEnergy has pushed ahead with @CoastalGasLink pipeline construction, sending more workers onto Wet’suwet’en territories, putting communities at risk of COVID-19. @KKR_Co, respect Indigenous sovereignty now! #WetsuwetenStrong
  • Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are being removed from their land so @TCEnergy can build the @CoastalGasLink pipeline, despite having rights and title to the land since time immemorial! @KKR_Co, is it typically your policy to invest in Indigenous rights violations..? #ShutDownKKR
  • Hey @KKR_Co, your Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Responsible Investment Policy, and commitment to the @UN_SDG goals doesn’t seem to fit with kicking the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs off their territory by investing in @CoastalGasLink’s pipeline. Care to explain? #KKRGlobalImpact
  • .@KKR_Co investments in NYPD pension funds protect murderous cops, and @KKR_co’s investments in Ingersoll Rand, a corporation that globally supplies hydraulic pumps to US military bases, fuels western imperialism #ShutDownKKR
  • Last week, @Facebook blocked hundreds of accounts affiliated with the #ShutDownKKR campaign and has stated “no third party intervention” but timing is suspect. @KKR_co, do you believe in silencing tactics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop the North Brooklyn Fracked Gas Pipeline & LNG depot

Right now, corporate utility National Grid is expanding a massive fracked gas transmission pipeline in North Brooklyn. This project is not a replacement of leaking pipelines, it is an expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, in the middle of a pandemic, and at the cost of our climate, communities and

And worse, we have to pay for all this pollution and destruction! National Grid wants to charge New York rate-payers millions of dollars through rate hikes for this pipeline. That money will fill their shareholders pockets, and keep us locked into fossil fuels when we want to change to affordable and clean renewable energy like geothermal, solar, wind and energy efficient buildings.

Fortunately, elected leaders in New York City have the power to stop this project through denying key permits needed by the company. Can you join our friends at Sane Energy in New York and tell them to stop the Brooklyn fracked gas pipeline?

National Grid’s toxic and dangerous North Brooklyn Pipeline is being built predominantly through Black and Brown neighborhoods without community consent.

National Grid also wants to expand its Greenpoint fracked gas depot on Newtown Creek by adding two new liquefied fracked gas (LNG) vaporizers and LNG trucking capabilities. National Grid has done no assessment of the climate impacts of these projects, as is required by NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and and is ignoring or down-playing local impacts on public health and the environment.

These unnecessary projects run contrary to New York city and state’s climate goals and laws. These communities have suffered for decades from the health impacts of environmental racism and injustice, and they should not be forced to pay to build new fossil fuel infrastructure that will continue that polluted legacy for generations to come.

To add insult to injury, they are asking for an unjustified rate hike of hundreds of millions of dollars to build these unnecessary projects that will lock us into decades of fossil fuels and exorbitant stranded assets.

Click here to sign on with our allies in New York City to Demand the following:

  1. Revoke any permits already granted to National Grid from The City of New York for their Metropolitan Reliability Infrastructure project AKA North Brooklyn Pipeline and immediately halt construction.
  2. Deny any permits needed by National Grid to expand their Greenpoint LNG depot.
  3. Deny any permits and variances for National Grid’s plans for LNG trucking on NYC streets, which is currently illegal.

Sign here to stand with communities on the frontline and tell New York elected leaders to reject any permits, and exercise their powers to stop National Grid’s fracked gas projects.

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.

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!

Stop Dirty Duke Energy’s Rate Hike!

Duke Energy is seeking approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for a $290.8 million rate hike. If approved, the electric bill of a typical residential customer will rise by nearly $100 a year — all to pay for more dirty power, fracked gas, and pollution.

A series of hearings are planned for the next few weeks, and we’re asking you to show up and speak out in opposition to this plan. Click here to RSVP for the Charlotte Rate Hike hearing Thursday, January 30. If you can’t make it (or even if you can) click here to send an email to the NCUC and tell them No Rate Hikes for Dirty Energy!

Duke Energy Wants to Raise your bills!

More Background: 

This is our chance to speak directly to NC Utilities Commissioners, the ones who oversee and regulate Duke Energy. They need to know how raising rates affects our climate and communities, especially people on fixed incomes and struggling families trying to make ends meet! 

The best way to show them is to show up! Join us at the Mecklenburg county courthouse to learn more and speak out against Duke Energy’s Dirty Energy Rate Hike. 

If you want to speak out, but aren’t sure what to say, check out our letter writing page, which is chock-full of talking points, facts, and links to other documents. You are also invited  attending should come to our PREP MEETING on Monday, January 27th @6:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte (234 N. Sharon Amity Rd.) in the Conference Room. At the Prep Meeting you can get more talking points, what to expect at the hearing, how to give good testimony and how to write Letters-To-The-Editor and Letters-To-The-Commissioners.

Thanks!