Pages tagged "'action"


Demand BLM Protect Chaco's Sacred Sites From Fracking

New Mexico’s beautiful Chaco Canyon region is home to ancient ruins that are sacred to the Pueblo and Navajo people. Now, the government wants to let fossil fuel companies frack millions of acres of land in the area—putting this priceless cultural heritage at grave risk. The next four days are a crucial window to tell the Bureau of Land Management that's unacceptable. Send a message: don’t frack near Chaco Canyon! More than a thousand years ago, Chaco Canyon was the spiritual, economic and political center of a vast civilization that stretched across much of the American southwest. Without modern tools or wheels, the ancient Anasazi people built huge ceremonial Great Houses in and around Chaco Canyon and connected them to spiritually significant places with massive roads, astonishingly straight and as wide as two-lane highways. Chacoan civilization left no written texts, so these feats of architecture and engineering are a uniquely valuable inheritance from that vanished culture, considered sacred to this day by the Pueblo—the descendents of the Chacoans—and Navajo. GFC_Chaco_300x200

Now that priceless legacy is under threat.

Fossil fuel companies are moving in around Chaco Canyon, as risky new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology makes it increasingly possible to exploit shale deposits throughout the San Juan Basin. It’s bad enough that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) already allows extraction in the region—but now it's moving toward approving hundreds of new permits for oil and gas companies to frack and drill millions of acres. The area threatened by fracking includes 35 Chaco Great Houses and a vast network of ancient roads. Tell the BLM: that’s an outrage. The BLM is currently revising its land use plan for the Chaco region. They could greatly strengthen protections for these invaluable cultural treasures—if enough of us speak up.

In the next few days, we have a valuable window: the BLM is taking public comments on environmental impact until next Wednesday, May 28. Rainforest Action Network is part of a coalition of groups—including the Solstice Project, Earthworks and CREDO Action—fighting to protect Chaco from fracking. Together, let’s tell the BLM that fracking in the Chaco Canyon region is one extraction project that the public won’t just rubber-stamp. The legacy of Chacoan civilization is a national and world treasure—Chaco Canyon is an official National Historical Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If we won’t protect the Chacoan inheritance, then nothing is sacred. Will you add your voice?

P.S. Our friends at the Solstice Project are working on a beautiful new PBS documentary about the archaeological riches of Chaco Canyon. In response to the fracking threat, they’ve released a four-minute excerpt of this work in progress. See just how important it is to protect Chaco here: Fracking Threatens Chaco's Sacred American Heritage (WOTL) from matt dibble on Vimeo.


From Appalachia to London, Barclays Bank Takes Heat for Coal Financing

There is nothing quite like giving one of world's biggest banks a bad day. A bad week is even better.

Today, protestors swamped Barclays' annual shareholder meeting in London, calling out all sorts of nefarious deeds committed by the bank: speculating on food prices, supporting tax havens, ridiculous executive bonuses and its outrageous financing of the world's dirtiest fuel, coal. BarclaysEagle

Our friends at World Development Movement showed up as well-dressed eagles to spoof the bank's logo and call Barclays out for being the world's largest financier of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) in Appalachia.

Paul Corbit Brown, an Appalachian native and president of Keeper of the Mountains, drove the message home when he testified at today's Annual General Meeting about how MTR goes beyond just leveling mountains. It poisons communities and causes devastating health problems wherever it is practiced.

Since last Thursday, Rainforest Action Network members have sent more than 19,000 messages to Barclays and demanded the bank immediately start moving away from financing mountain destruction.

Our pressure appears to be working. World Development Movement reports that Barclays has agreed to meet with Paul for a further discussion of MTR.

Photo Credit: World Development Movement


Why Washington University in St. Louis Should Ditch Peabody Coal

This article first appeared in Washington University in St. Louis' Student Life on April 10, 2014.  On April 30, the UN’s International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the best available scientific report on global warming and the likely consequences of continued carbon pollution. Based on 12,000 peer-reviewed studies, the IPCC’s report describes a terrifying future where dramatic climatic warming brings about “breakdown of food systems,” severe shortages in drinking and irrigation water, massive flooding, and social violence. Most importantly, the IPCC’s report stressed that decisions being made now will have a massive impact on the severity of climate change’s impacts. Without immediate and dramatic action to curb emissions, the report warns, the harms of global warming could spiral “out of control,” past the point where human action could avert catastrophe.  In order to prevent such a scenario, the top UN climate official warned, “three quarters of the fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground.” washUoccupation Greg Boyce, a member the board at Washington University in St. Louis, disagrees with the global scientific community; he thinks what the world needs to burn much, much more coal. As CEO of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, Boyce may have the largest carbon footprint of any living private citizen (coal-fired power is the single largest source of global climate changing emissions). According to Boyce, climate change isn’t a problem. “For too long,” says Boyce, “we’ve been focused on the wrong priorities…the greatest crisis we confront is not an environmental crisis.”  Instead, Peabody Energy has determined that inadequate access to energy is "the world's number one human and environmental crisis," and Boyce has hired the world’s largest PR company to cast Peabody Energy as a kind of international aid organization that trots around the globe benevolently building coal plants for the world’s poor (according to the Guardian, Peabody’s PR consultant is infamous for serving “governments with poor human rights records and corporations in trouble;” its former clients include the tobacco industry.) We are asked to presume that Peabody’s huge advertising budget reflects primarily Boyce’s zeal for serving the global poor and ignore the fact that a “more coal ASAP” policy is enormously for Peabody. Never mind that, according to the IPCC, building more coal infrastructure will cook the planet, create new “hotspots” of poverty and hunger, and increase the gaps between rich and poor. Boyce and his mouthpieces, like Washington University’s Chancellor Mark Wrighton, are hoping that we will choke down their inevitability argument about global coal expansion if they slather it with phony smarm about caring for vulnerable populations (you should be able to watch Wrighton recite his lines this week). Do you really believe that Greg Boyce’s coal expansion dreams are motivated by empathy instead of a desire to lock in profitable coal infrastructure before carbon regulations set in? Speaking of carbon regulations, Greg Boyce and Peabody Energy are explicitly against them. On Peabody’s website, you can find a toolkit replete with anti-EPA talking points alleging that carbon regulations will have “no impact” on climate change and brilliantly observing that that U.S. coal contributes “only a fraction” of global emissions (in 2010, coal-fired power contributed 28.3% of U.S. carbon emissions in a country with the highest per-capita carbon totals). Under Greg Boyce, Peabody is not only pushing for suicidal investments in new coal infrastructure, the company is actively campaigning against any government action that would begin to constrain carbon pollution. Shamefully, Boyce has been able to purchase Washington University’s academic integrity in order to advance his deadly farce. For $5 million from Peabody Energy (with matching grants from Arch Coal and Ameren), Washington University has been willing to lend its academic credibility to the misleading advertising slogan “clean coal,” a misnomer for carbon capture and sequestration technologies that don’t exist. In a September 2013 press release, Peabody Energy obliquely referred to Washington University’s research into carbon capture technology as a justification for opposing common-sense carbon regulations. Peabody Energy argued coal’s carbon emissions should not be regulated until pie-in-the-sky carbon capture technologies are available, even while admitting that these options are “simply not commercially available and not able to satisfy America's need.” With this cynical ploy, Greg Boyce’s exploitation of our university reached a new, shameful low. Simply put, Peabody Energy is a rogue corporation bent on undermining science, damaging the climate past the point of no return, and blocking meaningful action that could avert climate catastrophe. Maintaining Gregory Boyce as a member of the University’s board is beyond the pale, and continuing to associate with Peabody Energy is unconscionable for Washington University. Clearly, Peabody Energy is beyond reform, but Washington University in St. Louis may not be. Boyce has only been member of our board since 2009 (back when Peabody successfully conspired to defeat an early climate bill). Students at the Brookings sit-in understand that their action won’t solve climate change, but they are telling the truth: Greg Boyce is undeserving of reward or recognition for his criminal behavior. Through their action, students are taking a stand against what amounts to a university-sanctioned war on ecology and society by Greg Boyce and Peabody Energy. The students have drawn a bright moral line, which means neutrality is no longer an option at Washington University. Do you stand with the students, or with the CEO of Peabody Energy, Greg Boyce?

Resisting Exxon and Peabody's Dark Age

Forget the reign of Tywin Lannister and his bloodthirsty brood of children, grandchildren and henchmen raping and pillaging their way through the fantastical land of Westeros while hapless Starks are beheaded and scattered to the winds. Our own world’s fate is similarly imperiled by the fossil fuel empire's own game of thrones, power and profit at the expense of the "smallfolk," eco-systems and the climate itself. The Lannisters have nothing on Rex Tillerson and Greg Boyce. These dark lords of the carbon economy are raping and pillaging their way through our planet’s vital life systems and climate. Companies like Exxon and Peabody Coal have created a dark age that has been marked by the extraction, transportation and combustion of oil, coal and natural gas. The Lannisters may have dropped “the big one” on Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark and Robb’s beloved dire wolf Grey Wind at the Red Wedding, but Big Oil and Big Coal perpetrate the slaughter of a thousand Red Weddings every day. three kings Examples include:
  •  Coal Mining. For over forty years, coal companies have strip-mined Appalachia for the last remaining seams of coal while ending the power of organized labor by reducing workforces through mechanization. The regulation of strip-mining opened up loopholes that allowed coal companies to literally explode the tops off of mountains. To date over 500 mountains have been destroyed by mountaintop removal. Countless creeks, rivers and other water sources have been poisoned. And thousands of people have been exposed to the worst effects of dirty air and dirty water from mountaintop removal. In the interior west, Big Coal is further mining huge coal reserves in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming.
  •  Natural gas and fracking. For the past decade we've seen the proliferation of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), which stimulates wells drilled into gas and coal-bed methane. This process has had a huge human impact and created a toxic legacy on the environmental landscape as well as local community health. Large-scale fracking operations are spreading across North America.
  •  Oil infrastructure. The biggest environmental fight since the forest wars of the 1990s has manifested around the Keystone XL pipeline. But Keystone XL is only the beginning as Big Oil is building a network of pipelines throughout Canada and the United States. Spills and leaks are growing concerns as Big Oil weaves this spider web of death and destruction across the continent.
  •  Fossil fuel exports. The coasts are also becoming hot spots of attention as dozens of oil, gas and coal proposals are on the table in the Pacific Northwest and a fight is growing over a fracked-gas export terminal on Chesapeake Bay. Industry doesn’t just want to use mined and fracked fossil fuels for domestic energy production, they also want to export dirty fuels for big profits to Europe and Asia.
Finally, top scientists with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) released the mother of all climate reports. It included dire warnings around drought, famine, social unrest and melting icebergs. While the House of Lannister’s wars may have left Westeros in a shambles, the Houses of Exxon and Peabody, with the compliance of craven politicians, are leaving our world in a world of shit. [caption id="attachment_23623" align="alignright" width="300"]robb Robb Stark and Grey Wind[/caption] But don’t despair! As Jon Snow and Arya Stark are discovering in “Game of Thrones,” direct action is the antidote to the gloom and doom crushing down on us. People realizing the true weight of fossil fuel extraction’s impact on the climate, the land and communities have become a thousand flowers blooming new resistance from Alaska to Appalachia. In our world, bold and effective organizing replaces sword play and barrels of wildfire to fight back against the dark lords of the fossil fuel economy. In 2012, an alliance of climate activists and Texas landowners launched the Tar Sands Blockade, which organized a number of daring actions up and down the route of the southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. This included an 80-day tree blockade that stood directly in the path of pipeline construction. Tar Sand Blockade activists faced brutal police violence, felony charges for non-violent actions and civil suits from TransCanada. In 2013, the Michigan Coalition against Tar Sands, or MICATS, organized similar actions against Enbridge pipeline and tar sands processing operations in Detroit. Three of the MICATS spent over a month in jail while awaiting sentencing. And things aren’t slowing down in 2014. The heartland and both coasts are fighting back against the robber barons of coal, oil and gas. In southern Illinois and St. Louis, Peabody Coal is feeling the heat. Not only has a ballot initiative trying to get a $60 million tax break in the city of St. Louis revoked been putting pressure on Peabody, but students at Washington University at St. Louis have begun a sustained occupation of their campus calling for Peabody CEO Greg Boyce to be removed from the Board of Trustees.  At coal mines in the Shawnee Hills in southern Illinois, a community has begun fighting back against Peabody’s pillaging of the land. In South Dakota, native bands are establishing camps along the route of the northern leg of Keystone XL. To date, at least three camps have been established. Lakota leaders have vowed that TransCanada will only build that pipeline if they are “dead or in prison.” In the Marcellus Shale, Earth Firsters have joined with local farmers and landowners in campaigns against natural gas extraction. In the west, Rising Tide activists in Oregon, Idaho and Montana are supporting Indigenous allies and local communities against the tar sands megaloads. The megaloads are house-sized shipments of tar sands refining equipment bound for Alberta. Finally, the growing fight against a proposed fracked-gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, aka Cove Point, has started waves of grassroots organizing and civil disobedience to prevent its construction. Potentially a huge fight led by local communities, small environmental organizations and grassroots direct action groups, Cove Point is a choke point for overseas natural gas exports. Closing it down could have huge impacts on the viability of gas markets domestically and abroad. More fights are brewing this year against fossil fuel terminals in the Pacific Northwest, against the Energy East tar sands pipeline in eastern Canada and New England, against continued mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia and against the final decision of the Keystone XL pipeline. Like the heroes and heroines of Game of Thrones, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

CREDO Members: Vote for RAN this April!

250x250_DonationsGreat news! RAN has been selected as one of three nonprofit groups that will receive funds from CREDO in April 2014. How much funding we receive depends on you: the more votes we receive, the greater our share of funding. Voting ends April 30th, so if you're a CREDO member, vote today! CREDO is a progressive activist network and a provider of mobile and long distance phone services, as well as the CREDO credit card. They donate a portion of their revenue to a wide range of nonprofit groups. In 2013, they raised $2.6 million, including nearly $70,000 for RAN. Since 1985, CREDO has raised more than $76 million. Each month, they ask CREDO/Working Assets members to vote for the groups they think should receive the funding. CREDO is not just a donor to RAN but they are also an important ally! Together with CREDO, we have collected more than 169,000 comments to the State Department urging Secretary Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and we've brought together over 90,000 people to sign the Pledge of Resistance committing to peaceful, civil disobedience if Sec. Kerry recommends that the president approve Keystone XL. Thanks for supporting RAN's work, CREDO!

"Without clean water, we cannot survive."

RAN is proud to be an original supporter of ClearWater, which has launched an incredible new website today. Here are a few words from our friends at Amazon Watch about the important work ClearWater is doing and how you can get involved. "Without clean water, we cannot survive," Emergildo Criollo told me recently. You may have heard of Emergildo. An indigenous leader of the Cofan Nation in Ecuador's northern Amazon, he has been a relentless advocate for his people, speaking out about oil giant Chevron's toxic legacy in his territory. But today, even as he continues the fight to hold Chevron accountable, Emergildo isn't waiting for a cleanup that seems always on the horizon. Emergildo is taking matters into his own hands, helping to bring clean water to thousands of Indigenous people who have suffered without for decades. Rainforest Action Network is proud to stand with Emergildo, and the other Indigenous leaders who are part of an effort to address that dire need. It's called The ClearWater Project.

//www.youtube.com/embed/J7yt54MQleE

ClearWater began with a big goal: provide safe, sustainable access to clean water for every Indigenous family in the region, whose ancestral waterways have been poisoned by oil production and ensuing industrialization. In just two years, ClearWater has installed more than 500 family-sized rainwater harvesting and filtration systems that serve thousands of people in communities that have long suffered an epidemic of cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses that numerous health studies in the region blame on a lack of access to safe sources of water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. Our efforts have been able to make this impact because, from the beginning, ClearWater has been a collaborative partnership between the five indigenous nationalities here—the Cofan, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa, and Waorani—and international supporters, such as water engineers, humanitarians, activists, and philanthropists. ClearWater believes in collaborative, integrative, community-led solutions, where someone like Emergildo is coordinating amongst the different Indigenous nationalities to install new water systems, local youth are using GPS to map their biological and cultural resources, and frontline leaders are learning new media techniques to broadcast their concerns to the world. Clean water, health, and dignity. From this foundation, Emergildo and the Indigenous people of Ecuador's northern Amazon are building a movement for rainforest protection and cultural survival. I’m proud that Rainforest Action Network is a founding partner in this project, and I hope you’ll join us, too. Explore ClearWater's impact by navigating around this cutting-edge interactive map designed by another Amazon Watch family member, Gregor MacLennan, now Digital Democracy's Program Director. Learn more about ClearWater on our website or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
han-headshot   Han Shan is an Amazon Watch Advisory Board Member.

The People vs. Big Oil - 24 hours to speak out against Keystone XL

It’s been one month since the State Department opened the last official public comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline. There are only 24 hours left till the closing bell! This is your last chance to be officially heard on the pipeline—which has made the public comment period one of the biggest face-offs of the year. On one side you have Team Climate. More than 40 progressive groups have organized 980,000 people to submit comments calling for the President to reject Keystone. We’ve got momentum and could easily pass a million comments by the deadline. We also have truth on our side: Keystone XL would significantly increase tar sands development. And as all-star climate scientist James Hansen has put it, burning all of Canada’s tar sands oil is “game over” for the climate. On the other side, you have Big Oil, and like you might have guessed, they play dirty. They’ve also got one big advantage: oil money. The American Petroleum Institute has been using this cash to fund deceptive robo-calls to citizens along the pipeline route asking them to submit comments. They’ve also been advertising on television. I’m not going to show you Big Oil's ad—instead, check out this amazing “truth-remix” of the ad from our friends at The Other 98 Percent:

//www.youtube.com/embed/Nn-Io0KIPXQ

Team Climate can still come out ahead in this showdown and convince the President to reject Keystone XL. We just have to obliterate the number of comments submitted by Big Oil and proponents of Keystone XL. Let’s turn on Beast Mode for the climate. take_action_button_130x45    

STAPLES: Don't Jump the Gun with APP

Strawberry at StaplesActivists with Rainforest Action Network staged a direct communication today at office-supply giant Staples. Displaying a banner that read, “Staples: It’s Too Soon to Buy from APP,” a group of activists voiced their opposition to the company’s recent decision to resume purchasing paper from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). One of Indonesia’s most notorious deforesters, APP’s history of broken promises, rainforest destruction and human rights abuses in Indonesia is well documented and extends across an area almost the size of Massachusetts. After numerous contract cancellations from major customers over APP’s ties to deforestation and land grabs, the company issued a Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February 2013 promising broad reforms and a halt to further rainforest destruction. To its credit, APP has extended a moratorium on further rainforest clearing and conversion across all of its concessions and those of its suppliers. RFP_Staples_Diagonal1But APP is still in the early stages of implementing the environmental and social commitments in its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP). And though an auditor has been agreed on, there has been no independent verification of APP’s performance in implementing the FCP. Furthermore, APP has yet to develop credible plans for addressing key gaps in the FCP—for example, on restoring some of the extensive landscapes it has devastated—which have been summarized in the Environmental Paper Network’s “Performance Targets and Milestones for APP” endorsed by Greenpeace, WWF, RAN and Indonesian NGO WBH, among others. Based on past experience, RAN maintains that companies are more motivated to undertake robust implementation of commitments if rewarding such implementation comes after, not before, it is carried out and independently verified. Although Staples is jumping the gun by purchasing from APP, the circumstances could be far worse. Staples has put in place environmental and social performance requirements as part of its contract with APP. It's also starting small and phasing its purchases. Those safeguards are something that all paper purchasers should require after APP’s FCP has been fully implemented and verified. This conditional purchasing reflects a strategic approach, but still leaves Staples open to risk of APP defaulting on its commitments. Finally, Staples and all paper buyers must not let the fact that APP is undertaking reforms undermine or replace their purchases of recycled and FSC certified paper and wood products. Contractual requirements and verification of performance on APP’s Forest Conservation Policy are not equivalent to the comprehensive, multi-stakeholder agreed standards and accredited verification apparatus that underpin FSC certification. While we remain optimistic that APP’s commitments will be fully implemented, at the moment it is simply too early to tell, and too early to buy. RFP_Staples_Diagonal3

5 Ways Our Network Is Saving the Planet

nokxl sf vigilDear friends, Early in the New Year, I received a text concerning my two nieces that read, “We are all safe but leaving town—state of Emergency declared in Charleston as a result of coal chemical spilled into river.” Although I’m very aware of the impacts coal has on the health of people and planet, the reality of it hitting so close to home has me more fired up than ever about the work Rainforest Action Network has to do this year. So far the chemical spill in West Virginia is a story about a completely preventable accident, but it’s my belief that it will also be a story of organizing, resisting corporate control and bringing the end of coal even closer. It was a spill that happened just weeks before the release of the State Department’s final environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline which gives President Obama all the room he needs to prevent the disasters that we will see should he approve the Keystone XL pipeline. I believe in my core that the only way we can tackle the challenges we face is by fully leveraging our entire network. This year, I’m committed and excited to share RAN’s thinking, listen to your input and find ways for you to engage more deeply in our work. In 2014 we will work harder than ever to keep fossil fuels in the ground, forests standing and communities thriving. This year we are resolved to focus on five key areas that are vital for our planet: 1) Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline We will not accept the development of a pipeline that threatens to lock in an estimated one billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime. Last year, RAN teamed up with CREDO and The Other 98% to launch the “Pledge of Resistance,” making clear their opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. To date, over 76,000 people have pledged to take peaceful direct action in their communities to resist the Keystone XL pipeline, and RAN has helped to train and build a community of hundreds of action leaders across the country.  And it doesn’t end with President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. At RAN we believe this level of engagement must be the new norm for our movement to ensure that not only do we stop this project, but that we are prepared to stop dirty energy projects that would follow. 2)   Remove Conflict Palm Oil from our Food In rainforests half a world away, orangutans are making their last stand against extinction — scientists believe that they could be extinct in the wild in our lifetime. But the threat to their survival lies much closer to home. You’ll find it hidden in the snack food aisle of your local grocery store — and in your shopping cart. To grow cheap palm oil, America’s snack food brands are driving the last wild orangutans to extinction, enslaving children and destroying rainforests that are critical to maintaining a stable climate. As thoughtful consumers, we have the power to make them listen. Our strategy is working. This year we will continue negotiating with consumer brand companies to develop or improve palm oil procurement policies for 100% traceable and responsible palm oil and will continue to push for improvements from the largest U.S importer of palm oil, Cargill. Every time we sign a petition or sticker foods that contain Conflict Palm Oil, we bring more attention to this incredibly important issue, and we give more power to our movement. 3)   Challenge Bank of America to Stop Financing Climate Change. The five largest American banks are among the most significant global underwriters of the coal industry, and therefore global climate change emissions. In spite of the human and environmental costs of coal as well as the growing financial risks associated with investments in the coal industry, Bank of America alone has invested billions and maintained its position as the largest funder of coal. Bank of America and other U.S. banks have been slow to address this risk, lagging behind their European counterparts. We will work to pressure banks to account for their financed emissions by adopting climate policies at least as strong as the European banks. This autumn, we worked with students on 35 campuses to challenge Bank of America graduate recruitment programs. Hundreds of students showed up at 65 information sessions and interviews to declare, “We won’t work for climate chaos.” Now that we have the bank’s attention, we’re working to improve its policies and move funding away from climate-destroying enterprises. 4)   End the Use of Paper Made from Rainforests Last year, one of the largest paper companies in the world, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) released its rainforest protection commitments, a major first step for a company that has a history of destructive practices when it comes to rainforests and human rights. Over the past year, RAN has helped to strengthen APP’s commitments while working with groups on the ground to make sure that implementation is happening in the forest. While a policy on paper is an important step, we are working to make sure that the bulldozers remain idle and communities are given a voice in decisions about their lands. Until APP implements changes that can guarantee rainforests and communities are protected, we will use our market leverage to ensure large corporate customers understand that it is too soon to resume business with APP. 5)   Provide Small Grants to Local Communities Fighting for the Planet Over the past ten years, RAN’s Small Grants program has distributed more than a million dollars to Indigenous-led and local grassroots organizations to help secure protection for millions of acres of traditional territory in forests around the world and to help defend their communities and their environment from the fossil fuel industry. In 2014 we hope to expand our Small Grants program and increase the amount of money going directly to communities. This year our goal is to distribute $173,000 to communities fighting to defend our planet. At RAN we know we need to set ever-more audacious goals if we’re going to advocate for forests, the climate and communities. Which is why I’m asking you to join us on our ambitious journey into 2014, because we can’t accomplish any of these things without your support.  Visit our Take Action page to learn more about how you can be a part of this important movement. You are the Network that gives me strength to sit across the table from CEOs of corporate giants like Bank of America and Cargill and demand more than modest or incremental changes. This is the time for bold action, and I’m drawing you closer because you’re crucial to us accomplishing what is necessary for forests, people and planet. Now that I’ve shared what I want to fight for in 2014, I’d like to ask you to share what you are committed to doing for people and planet this year. Tweet me your ideas at @lrallen. I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of us this year, and am honored to be on this journey with you. For people and planet in 2014, Lindsey

Climate Activists Mobilize To Say Keystone XL Fails Obama’s Climate Test

NOKXL BostonGame on. Today, the State Dept. released its long awaited final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline. Unfortunately, the EIS fails to fully address how catastrophic Keystone XL is for the climate. This assessment is critical. In June President Obama said that he will not approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline if it “significantly exacerbates the problem of carbon pollution.” No matter what the EIS says, President Obama has the facts he needs to make his decision. Keystone XL will increase tar sands oil production, which generates at least three times more carbon pollution than conventional oil, it will poison communities from Alberta to the refineries of the Gulf Coast and is destroying part of Canada’s Boreal forest. In other words, the pipeline is the fuse to the largest carbon bomb in North America….and what are we going to do about it? On Monday (Feb. 3), we’ll start with hundreds of vigils to make sure President Obama cannot ignore the fact that Keystone XL fails his climate test. We need you to host a vigil or join one in your neighborhood. The decision to build the pipeline is up to the President and the President alone. Within 90 days he will release a National Interest Determination. We can influence that decision if we get out into the streets and make President Obama understand that if he truly wants to look into the eyes of his grandchildren and say he did what he could to make a safer world, he needs to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Already, over 76,000 people have signed the Keystone Pledge of Resistance. Already dozens have already taken action and risked arrest in Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago and Houston with the message to Obama: No Keystone XL! Over 100 actions are planned at strategic targets across the United States with a network of tens of thousands ready to take bold dignified acts of civil disobedience. The clock is now ticking and we need to do everything in our power to make Obama reject the pipeline. That can start this Monday with vigils across the country. We'll continue with the Keystone Pledge of Resistance and waves of non-violent civil disobedience leading up the Obama's final decision. But it won’t happen without you.

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