Fighting White Supremacy with Rabbi Mordechai Liebling

Once every two weeks, Beyond Extreme Energy hosts a conference call on fighting white supremacy. We invite a speaker from inside or outside our network to share an experience or story about their involvement with the fight against white supremacy.

On Tuesday, September 12th at 7pm ET, we’ll be joined by Rabbi Mordechai Liebling who will talk about his experience at the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. He will also talk about his understanding of the white supremacists and the challenges of developing non-violent direct action tactics in these situations.

After Rabbi Liebling’s talk, we will hold a discussion. All are welcome!

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling is the Director of the Social Justice Organizing Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philly. He serves on the steering  committee of Green Justice Philly, a city-wide coalition of environmental, community and labor organizations. He has been involved in anti-racist work for several decades.

Date: Tuesday, September 12th. 2017
Time: 7pm ET-8pm ET
Call-In: 302-202-1108
Code: 950727

Stop Trump’s Dirty Energy Agenda; The Change Starts Here

We need a big showing at FERC’s September meeting! We’ll have a rally before the meeting begins and then we’ll be inside the meeting, in overflow rooms, outside chanting, and some of us will even go to Capitol Hill to lobby. We’ll be chanting, disrupting, showing solidarity, and lobbying.

thumbnail_September 20 meme_final FERC

Here’s why!

FERC is set to reconvene on September 20th with Trump’s Senate-approved commissioners Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee eager to use their newly minted rubber stamps.

All of this is happening as the Senate and House are moving bills that would expand FERC’s authority. One of the House bills actually strips the president of the border crossing authority used to stop Keystone XL and gives it to FERC. But the worst of the bills is the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, S. 1460. It expands FERC’s authority by requiring other permitting agencies to “give deference” to FERC and it limits FERC’s review of LNG facilities to 45 days.

Haven’t they been reading the headlines? The same problems we’ve been telling them about for more than a year are starting to get some notice.

Pallone & Cantwell Request Expanded FERC Investigation of Rover Pipeline & Its Parent Company

Court Rejects Pipeline Rubber-Stamp, Orders Climate Impact Review

Federal court rejects Constitution Pipeline’s lawsuit against NY

Rushed approvals, refusal to consider climate impacts, approvals with insufficient information. And Congress wants to expand FERC’s authority?

No way! Unacceptable!

Will you help us send that message to FERC and Congress on September 20th?

Here’s how YOU can help!

Organizations – please endorse our action here

Individuals – sign up to attend the rally and the other actions on the 20th here

Everyone – share the Facebook event here

RALLY, 8:30 a.m. at FERC, 888 First St NE, Washington, DC 20426

Program TBA – Stay Tuned!

FERC Meeting,10 a.m.

Lobbying on the Hill, meetings being scheduled – Be sure to indicate that you’re interested in lobbying on the sign-up form.

BXE’s Statement on the Restoration of FERC’s Quorum

Standing alone in the Well of the Senate on Thursday night, just after 6pm and moments before the Senate adjourned for August recess, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski committed a deft coup d’etat on behalf of the oil and gas industry. The vote to confirm Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was anything but un-controversial, and was a serious breach of regular order.

Just hours earlier, seven activists were arrested in front of Senator Chuck Schumer’s office. They had refused to leave until the Minority Leader spoke out about the dangers of FERC nominees and an energy bill that would dramatically expand FERC’s powers. The activists, including several of Schumer’s constituents, had delivered a letter backed by more than 30,000 comments of support asking him to vote no on FERC nominees and no on the energy bill. Hours later, Schumer and every member of the Democratic Caucus, including 3 senators who had previously voted against the nominees in committee, stood silent as Murkowski rammed through the nominations on a voice vote with no other members present, no accountability, and no opportunity for citizens to call or contact their senators to voice concerns.

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For years, we’ve worked to expose and fight FERC’s corruption, the harms it inflicts on communities and the climate,  its ties to the gas industry,  and its arcane procedures that shut out the public and empower corporations. Senators like Schumer, Cardin, Warner, Whitehouse, Sanders, Hirono and Merkley have sympathized and offered statements of support. On Thursday night, August 3rd, when it actually mattered, they stood aside and let violence be done on our communities. As we warned Senator Schumer, they must now expect our growing rebellion. We cannot forgive and will not forget this utter betrayal, and pledge outright resistance in every way we can peacefully muster it to stop FERC from meeting, rubber stamping permits and engaging in further communicide.

–Drew Hudson and the Beyond Extreme Energy crew

RESISTANCE GROWING AS 180 GROUPS CALL FOR A “NO” VOTE ON TRUMP’S FERC NOMINEES

RESISTANCE GROWING AS 180 GROUPS CALL FOR A “NO” VOTE ON TRUMP’S FERC NOMINEES

FERC’s Industry Bias Puts Communities at Risk From Pipeline Explosions. Over 200 Groups Call for Senate Hearings on FERC Rubber Stamping of Pipelines

Washington DC//June 28, 2017 – Faced with the growing scourge of pipeline expansion nationwide, 180 groups — including Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, Green America, the Center for Biological Diversity, and community-level organizations — are calling for the full Senate to vote “no” on President Trump’s nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  The full list of 180 groups is available online at http://bit.ly/2r1xSSk.

The coalition of organizations is opposing the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson because both nominees would increase FERC’s bias towards the fossil fuel industry and further marginalize communities that oppose pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure that damage people’s homes, livelihoods and communities.

Natural gas pipelines and infrastructure represent a clear danger to communities nationwide, and in just the past two years, explosions at transmission pipelines have caused 12 deaths and 10 injuries, as well as extensive property damage (http://bit.ly/2tSeI0h). In addition, the construction process puts communities at risk. Recently, the Rover pipeline, under construction and approved by FERC, resulted in two million gallons of drilling fluids leaking into Ohio wetlands.

Community opposition to pipelines, based on data documenting the real risks, is regularly rejected by FERC, which has approved all but one pipeline under review in the past 30 years. FERC’s rubber stamping of industry pipelines has been documented in a People’s Dossier: FERC’s Abuses of Power and Law created by Delaware Riverkeeper Network that has been presented to all US Senators (http://bit.ly/DossierofFERCAbuse).

In a related development, over 200 groups nationwide are calling on senators to hold hearings into FERC’s rubber stamping of natural gas pipelines and infrastructure nationwide and the need for reforms (http://bit.ly/2sOmUQN).  With the White House designating this week as Energy Week, including a renewed call for US “energy dominance” in fossil fuels, and increased fracking and natural gas exports, communities nationwide face increased threats to their lives and livelihoods. Members of these groups, representing millions of people nationwide, have been calling their senators and took part in two days of lobbying in May to raise awareness of FERC’s failure to regulate pipelines.

“While Democrats and Republicans in the Senate bemoan the lack of a quorum at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Beyond Extreme Energy joins with frontline communities across the nation that are fighting fracked gas pipelines, compressor stations and gas export terminals [CUT to celebrate] [ADD in relief] that no new infrastructure can be approved without that quorum,” said Melinda Tuhus of Beyond Extreme Energy.  “We carried out non-violent direct action every month at FERC for more than two years, interrupting its rubber stamping meetings, and we did it again at both the Senate hearing and the committee vote for Trump’s two nominees. This is a climate crisis and a health and safety crisis for frontline communities and we will not accept the status quo.”

“Communities in the crosshairs of natural gas infrastructure projects get educated very fast about the potential adverse impacts, yet their valid concerns are ignored by FERC,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.  “When disasters occur like the Texas Eastern pipeline explosion in Pennsylvania last year that nearly killed a man, they are reflections of not only problems with the infrastructure itself, but of problems with the process that allowed the infrastructure to be built in the first place. It is that broken process that has brought hundreds of organizations together to pressure Congress to vote no on two FERC nominees who will make one of the worst Commissions much worse.”

“FERC is a regulator in name only,” said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Green America. “The reality is that FERC routinely ignores the very real risks of pipelines to communities and approves pipelines and infrastructure that can cause death, injury, and millions of dollars in property damage, all while accelerating fracking in the [ADD periods U.S.] and contributing to the climate crisis. That is why the Senate needs to vote “no” on FERC nominees and instead hold hearings into FERC’s abuses.”

Media Contacts:  

Natalie Watson, (703) 276-3256 or nwatson@hastingsgroup.com.

About the Groups:

Paul Gierosky is a successful businessman and homeowner in Medina, OH, who is a leader of the Coalition to Reroute Nexus (CoRN), a group focused on re-routing the Nexus pipeline away from vulnerable homes.

Marvin Winstead is a farmer in NC whose farm is bisected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) is a nonprofit membership organization working throughout the four states of the Delaware River Watershed including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. DRN provides effective environmental advocacy, volunteer monitoring programs, stream restoration projects, public education, and legal enforcement of environmental protection laws. http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/.  

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides economic strategies and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org.

Beyond Extreme Energy is an activist network of organizations and individuals that came together in the summer of 2014 to organize a successful, week-long nonviolent direct action campaign in Washington DC from November 1-7. Through those campaigns and other actions, we can build the people power that leads to a political tipping point that seriously sets back the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to keep the world dependent on fracking, nuclear reactors, mountaintop removal coal extraction, tar sands oil and other dirty and dangerous forms of energy. https://beyondextremeenergy.org/.

Berks Gas Truth is a grassroots citizens’ group fighting to bring an end to unconventional natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Press Release: Three Arrested Attempting to Block Fast-Tracked FERC Commissioner Approvals

Image may contain: 8 people, wedding and indoor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jimmy Betts, info@BeyondExtremeEnergy.org, 515-708-2463

Three Arrested Attempting to Block Fast-Tracked FERC Commissioner Approvals

WASHINGTON, DC: The week following Trump’s announcement that he will pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, three individuals representing a coalition of nearly 170 groups opposing Trump’s nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) disrupted a committee vote to advance the candidates. Three individuals were arrested during the committee vote.  They stood up and spoke out about FERC’s abusive practices and disregard for the environment.

The coalition, made up of local and national groups focused on various issues, is demanding that senators vote no on Trump’s nominations until the Senate holds investigations into FERC’s the abuses of power and law. The campaign has been building for more than five months and has included call-in’s, letter-writing drives, Twitter storms, lobby days, and civil resistance focused on educating senators and pressuring them to oppose the nominations. The coalition has extensive documentation of FERC’s abuses of power and law to back up their demands.

So far, the Senate has showed an unwillingness to protect the public from pollution, climate change, and eminent domain seizures of land that result from FERC’s mandate to rubber stamp fracked-gas infrastructure. Now that Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, the coalition says it’s even more unacceptable for senators to approve Trump’s nominations, one of whom, Mitch McConnell energy staffer Neil Chatterjee, is a climate denier.

This disruption followed a similar one the coalition carried out two weeks ago when the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources  met to question Trump’s nominees. The coalition has vowed to continue the fight to Resist FERC and the abusive, exploitative world it represents and perpetuates.  

“As a New York City resident I am outraged by FERC,” said Jess Rechtschaffer, who was arrested this morning. ”It is criminal that that FERC approves wholesale land grabs so that the fossil fuel industry can install pipelines via eminent domain in the vicinity of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.  FERC has never seen a dirty energy project they didn’t like from the Dakotas to NY.”

“FERC approves fossil fuel infrastructure; fossil fuels worsen climate change; the world loses and the fossil fuel industry profits. The Senate needs to overhaul FERC.” said Sid Madison from New Jersey, also arrested this morning for disrupting the vote to call attention to FERC practices.

“Climate leaders don’t support fracking or fracking infrastructure buildout, and true conservatives don’t support eminent domain for corporate gain,” said Ted Glick, an organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy and another who was arrested for disrupting the committee vote. “Senators should vote no on both of Trump’s FERC nominees, big supporters of 20th century energy sources in the 17th year of the 21st century. We need a Federal Renewable Energy Agency, not a fossil fuel industry-controlled FERC.”

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https://beyondextremeenergy.org/2017/06/06/press-release-three-arrested-attempting-to-block-fast-tracked-ferc-commissioner-approvals

Images & Video from this action (check for updated content throughout the day):

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9au4UKSykxhN2ZxSnUtSTI5aEk

 

Call-Out for LTE’s on Upcoming FERC Vote in the Senate!

The more we can throw FERC into the limelight and put our senators on the spot for their unacceptable acceptance of business as usual, the better. To that end, please take a few moments this week to submit a Letter to the Editor (LTE) to your local paper regarding the FERC Vacancies Campaign.

Todd Larsen from Green America provided the FERC Vacancies Coalition with advice and a template for writing an LTE in opposition to Trump’s FERC nominations. Please take a look at the below material, and consider sending in your own LTE to local press outlets.

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This advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists is helpful:  http://www.ucsusa.org/action/writing-an-lte.html#.WNfI-jvyvIU

It is best to write in response to an article that was run in the paper/new source and reference that article in the first sentence, keep the LTE short (200 words is ideal and no more than 300), and provide full contact info at the end.

TEMPLATE LETTER

[Insert leading sentence or two regarding a previous article or connecting your letter to local interests/recent events]. As early as next week, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources could vote to approve climate denier Neil Chatterjee and friend of the industry Robert Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the most powerful agency many people are likely to know little or nothing about. This agency is responsible for rubber stamping fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure projects that damage the land, air, and drinking water of communities nationwide, as well as the global climate. In the past 30 years, FERC has sided with the fossil fuel industry repeatedly and has rejected only one pipeline. Currently, FERC only has two commissioners and thus lacks a quorum, preventing the agency from approving new projects. That’s why nearly 170 organizations nationwide are using this moment to demand that the Senate reject both Chatterjee and Powelson, and thereby prevent FERC’s approval of any more pipelines until Congress holds hearings on the agency’s pro-industry bias and refusal to listen to the legitimate concerns of communities. Congress needs to take steps to replace FERC with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels. Holding hearings would be a first step. Senators [XX and XX – of your state] need to take a strong stand to oppose Chatterjee and Powelson. Let’s call our senators and make sure they know we want them to vote no!

FULL NAME
ADDRESS
CONTACT EMAIL
CONTACT PHONE

(Newspapers will need to contact you to ensure that you actually wrote the LTE and approve of publication.  They may also want to edit the piece and run edits by you)

Press Release: FIVE PROTESTERS DISRUPT FERC COMMISSIONER HEARING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jimmy Betts, 515-708-2463, info@beyondextremeenergy.org 

lee getting arrested

Lee Stewart is dragged out of the hearing room.

 

FIVE PROTESTERS DISRUPT FERC COMMISSIONER HEARING

Four people arrested.  Hearing disrupted for 20 minutes.

WASHINGTON, DC – Once accustomed to operating in the shadows, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and its controversial role in permitting harmful and unnecessary fracked-gas infrastructure was thrown into the limelight on Thursday morning when five people disrupted the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s confirmation hearing for President Trump’s nominations to the Commission, causing delay while speakers tried to proceed.  After the hearing was called to order, and introductions occurred, protesters methodically, yet unpredictably, loudly exclaimed  “FERC hurts families, Shut FERC down!” and “FERC hurts families, FERC hurt towns” and “The future is watching”. One protester said “I am compelled to interrupt this because I have seen the damage of climate change”. The protesters were ejected, four arrested and one detained. FERC has been debilitated since January when Commissioner Norman Bay resigned and left the Commission without the quorum of three it needs to issue permits. Protesters also spoke out: “FERC is killing Pennsylvanians.”  

The disrupters represent a coalition of more than 160 organizations that have pledged to fight Trump’s nominations to FERC. Their message is simple: Until Congress investigates the agency’s abuses of power and law, the Senate must not approve new FERC Commissioners. Until now, their opposition has come in the form of call-in’s, letter-writing campaigns, and lobby days focused on educating the Senators and pressuring Senators to vote against all of Trump’s FERC nominees. The coalition has extensive documentation of FERC’s abuses of power and law and has presented it to the Senators over the last few months. Thursday’s action marked an escalation in the campaign. In addition to delaying a restoration of FERC’s quorum for as long as possible, the action was meant to show the increasingly potent political consequences if the Senate allows FERC to continue hurting communities, the environment, and global climate.

“FERC is an arm of the oil and gas industries,” said Lee Stewart, an organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy and one of those arrested in the hearing room. “Their rubber-stamping of fracked gas permits disregards the harms such projects inflict on communities, towns, and the climate. Because of the great violence FERC inflicts on the world, it’s important to do everything possible to stop or delay them. Until FERC is replaced with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels and to an exploitation-free energy system based on localized, renewable energy, business as usual is unacceptable.”

Randy Fenstermacher of Massachusetts said, “History will show that the oil crisis of the 1970’s led to the evolution of FERC in its current state, and pales in comparison to abrupt global climate change already underway.  We need a new organization of the energy sector.  To Congress, we say, ‘Don’t nominate, innovate.’  FERC is not positioned to transition to renewable, non-exploitative systems of localized energy generation.”  

ACTION IMAGES & VIDEOS:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9au4UKSykxhNnlYd2FRWDlhWXM