Two pipelines a week

Last week the Army Corps of Engineers gave preliminary approval to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP). A few days earlier, the Virginia Water Control Board (VaWCB) voted 4-3 to approve the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), but required a final review of several environmental studies. That second one is actually considered a partial victory, since the week before the VaWCB had voted to approve the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) — another, shorter, fracked gas pipeline — with no such condition.

This not to mention the FCC ripping apart #NetNeutrality and the Republican Congress poised to ram through a tax bill that will steal our healthcare, deport our neighbors and drop a depth charge on the middle class from a luxury yacht. So, yeah, the last week wasn’t great.

But here’s the thing, in moments of crisis this climate justice movement rises to the occasion in ways that never fail to startle and inspire me. So, short version – Can you chip in to support what we’re doing? Even $1.98 helps a lot, and there’s a ton of other (including non-monetary) stuff you can do to help that we’re supporting or participating in below.

Ok – how to help. First, if you haven’t already, you need to sign up to show up. Both the #NoBBP and the #NoKXl movement have launched “pledge to protect” campaigns that encourage you ti sign up to show up – when asked, that’s really important – to support thee campaigned with civil disobedience and direct aid.

If we stop the pipelines, and lose the economy, our democracy, and all our immigrant neighbors though, it wont count for much. So we also need to sign up to show up and stop congress this week. Some of the best organizing going right now is to stop the tax bill, or derail it by forcing a big fight about the DREAM act. All week long, brave young dreamers, people who rely on the Affordable Care Act have been showing up in force. If you can get to D.C. or a local rally and support them you should.

Coincidentally, putting pressure on the Senate might also be the best way to save #NetNeutrality, which some 8,822 (yes we keep count), of you signed up to protect. The FCC voted to shred net Neutrality last week, but the short version is that we can fix it — IF two bulwarks hold:

  1. The lawsuits already introduced in New York, Massachusetts and a bunch of states to overrule the FCC decision because the comment process was to flawed;
  2. Congress votes (in accordance with some 70% of their constituents wishes) to overrule them with a powerful tool called the Congressional Review Act. The CRA gives Congress 60 legislative days to overturn a rule issued by a federal agency with a “resolution of disapproval,”  and it is NOT subject to a filibuster, so it can pass the Senate with just 51 votes.

Last, I want to talk about California, and all the places recently ravaged by climate-fueled super-storms. The fires, now among the largest in California history, are being driven by strong winds and new evacuation orders were issued in the last 24 hoursOne firefighter, Cory Iverson, 32, has been confirmed dead. And like Puerto Rico, we expect the actual toll to be much much worse than the public account.

Some friends have been strategizing about Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and I think there’s potential fir us to help. But to do so we’ll need a lot of logistics. Training, supplies, some sort of micro-grid on wheels. We need to get ready, and the climate chaos isn’t waiting.

If you chip in now, we’ll put 100% of the funds towards staging actions, protests and relief efforts where they matter. Even better, 100% of your gift is now tax-deductible as we apply for charitable status from the IRS. But I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring — whether there will be another disaster to respond to, another pipeline permitted, or whether the Trump team will order the IRS to disregard all new applications towards protecting the environment the way they told the CDC to stop using words like “fetus” and “science-based” last week.

What I do know is that, together, we can make a difference. But only if we show up however we can. Click any of the links in this email to get connected and show up to say #NoKXL, #NoBBP, #StopGOPTaxScam, clean #DreamActNow, or do stand in solidarity with the victims of #ThomasFire and ALL the #ClimateChanged disasters of the last few months.

Or, click here to chip in and help us fight back.

Photo Credit: Brandon Wu

Taking action while waiting for Keystone.

I hate waiting for news. And this morning, we were waiting on a doozy of an update: A few days after a massive oil spill on the keystone 1 pipeline, the the Nebraska Public Service Commissions (PSC) was to decide whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline route. (See this post if you want to catch up on the spill.) They did, with a really important caveat. And now I’m thinking about what’s next.

But as fortune would have it, I wasn’t stuck home alone, worrying about the vote; Or out at work trying to stay busy while clicking the refresh button on my news feed every few minutes. I was in Pittsburgh at the People Vs Oil & Gas conference, surrounded by pipeline fighters from British Columbia, Canada, South Texas, New York, California and everywhere in between.

So when a couple friends from the local Rising Tide chapter asked me to pitch in (and do what 198 methods does — digital communications support for direct action campaigns), I said yes in a heartbeat; Even if it meant getting up really, really early this morning.

Which is how I ended up holding my cellphone with shivering hands to film, tweet and share a cold, late November morning from Southpointe, PA. I was there to support a brave group of 5 local activists, each of whom had been touched directly by the fracking, coal mining, and extraction industries that have run roughshod over the shale fields and coal fields of that part of western PA, West Virginia, and too many of our communities.

In freezing weather lit by headlamps and watery pre-dawn light they erected two twenty foot tall tripods, dangled themselves from the apex and locked their bodies to the base. All of it to block an entrance to a local office park that is home to some of the biggest, richest and most destructive fossil fuel extraction companies in America. Frackers, Pipeline builders, Injection well profiteers and petro export barons all rub elbows and share office space on the plush Southpointe campus. Heck, even Halliburton rents a suite there.

I think it was a really perfect Counter-pointe to the waiting. While the drillers, frackers and polluters showed up expecting “another day at the often” we did something beutifle, creative, and a little bit crazy to disrupt their morning commute and make it clear #WeWontStop. You can read all about it, and check out my epic, shaky-shivering, 3.5 hour live stream of the whole action, at the Rising tide Facebook page. You can also chip in a few dollars to support the legal defense fund of the two climbers who were arrested here.

And that’s how it needs to be with Keystone XL too. Today’s decision isn’t a defeat — for us or Transcanada, the pipeline builder either. It’s a sort of detente, a “game on” moment that we need to rise to with creativity, love and a powerful spirit of action. You don’t need a giant tripod or a beutifle banner, or even to run out in the street and stop traffic where you live (yet). But you DO need to be willing to speak up and take action when the moment is right. And that’s why we’re encouraging everyone to sign the “promise to protect” today.

Lead by Nebraska landowners and local tribal nations and indigenous leaders, the promise asks you to be ready, to get trained, make a plan, recruit some friends. And when the moment is ripe as a late-July ear of corn, to be ready to take action to protect our country, our communities, and our climate from the Keystone XL pipeline (or whatever else they think of). Will you sign on?

Let’s get to that decision, because it’s a little confusing but here’s the gist:

The Decision is BAD because it’s basically saying the Keystone Xl pipeline can get built, despite all the protests, problems, and last week’s massive oil spill. On the other hand it’s GOOD because the “alternate route” they approved is hundreds of miles longer and needs new and different land to be taken by eminent domain — none of which has been vetted by the EPA and other federal agencies before.That gives us an opportunity to sue, demand more information, and otherwise gum up the works until they do. Because of all that, and the fact that the price of oil has been crashing (undercut by the price of renewable energy, but mostly by cheap fracked gas), a lot of economists and investors think that KXL will simply never be built.

For now, the best thing to do to help is to dig in and get ready to fight this pipeline (and lots more like it) with everything you’ve got. And you can start with the Promise to Protect.

Together, we can stop all of the pipelines, export terminals, compressor stations and more. But only if we promise to take action.

Will you join us?

The Keystone spill and what comes after

By now, I expect you’ve heard about the massive oil spill in Keystone 1 – the older tar sands Pipeline that Keystone XL is meant to expand and replace.1 More than 200,000 gallons of oil are still on the ground just miles from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate reservation.2

This is all happening at a critical moment. On Monday, the Nebraska Public Service Commission will decide a crucial local permit for Keystone XL. A denial of that permit, or even a decision to permit it with significant restrictions or re-routing could make the Pipeline too expensive to build, or create years of additional delay we can exploit to protest, organize, and eventually stop this disastrous project.

I don’t know what will happen on Monday. But I’ve spent the whole weekend with an amazing coalition of frontline activists and pipeline fighters, fossil fuel export exterminators and other fabulous people at the #PeoplevsOilGas summit. It’s given me hope and made me believe that together we can stop these pipelines — all of them. From the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines (and others) in the East; to Keystone, Dakota Access, Line 3 and Rover pipelines (and others) in the midwest, to the Trans Mountain pipeline and Jordan Cove export terminal (and others) on the west coast. I encourage you to follow along on our Facebook page and on the hashtag #peoplevsOilGas on twitter where we’re posting tons of updates from panels and conversations you can’t find anywhere else.

Together, we can stop all of the pipelines, export terminals, compressor stations and more. Monday, we’ll learn more about how the Keystone XL fight will continue.

Also on Monday, hundreds of us from this conference will take to the streets and visit the home-offices of some of the biggest fracking, pipeline and polluting companies in America. They all share office space a few minutes outside Pittsburgh, one of the reasons we picked this city to host our conference (in the belly of the beast, so to speak). This, too, gives me hope that we can rise up – stronger, more unified, and more defiant no matter what happens on Monday.

For now, I just wanted to send you a quick update, invite you to follow along on our Facebook page and on the hashtag #peoplevsOilGas on Twitter. If you haven’t yet (or even if you have) it’s a great idea to share the news about the Keystone 1 spill on Facebook and Twitter. The more attention this spill gets, the harder it will be for the Nebraska PSC to approve it on Monday.

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