Did you know today is Earth Day?
Did you know that because you’ve been swamped with “Go Green” commercials?
Is your TV and Facebook suddenly filled with polar bears and pollution stats?
That’s not what Earth Day is about.
Earth Day was born out of action -- not slogans.
Through the vision of anti-war and environmental activists, Earth Day sprang to life in 1970 across colleges and universities, primary and secondary schools, and countless communities across the country. On that day, more than 20 million people took action and took the streets to support the planet.
Earth Day is about saying enough is enough. We must take meaningful action now.
So today I’m asking you to join us in our most important actions to preserve our forests, protect our climate and defend the human rights of frontline communities.
- Tell Ralph Lauren it’s time get deforestation and human rights abuses out of fashion.
- Urge President Obama to end coal, oil and gas [giveaways?] leases on our public lands and waters.
- After two years, it’s time for PepsiCo to finally eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its snack foods.
- Demand the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Commitment to Not Destroy the Great Barrier Reef through Coal Financing.
- Support the movement for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to adopt dietary guidelines that prioritize the environment.
- Call on the the world’s biggest palm oil traders to enforce an immediate moratorium on the clearance of rainforests and peatlands in the Leuser Ecosystem.
Please Join Us and take action today.
Because from now on, Earth Day is Every Day.
For people and planet,
Brad A Schenck - @BradASchenck
Digital Engagement Director
Five years ago today, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing eleven people and sending some 210 million barrels of oil flooding into the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama called it “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced”.1
Never again. The president can help ensure there are no more disasters like the Deepwater Horizon — and establish his climate legacy at the same time. Call on President Obama to stop leasing our public lands and waters to the fossil fuel industry.
The Gulf Coast is still suffering. The 170,000 workers who cleaned up the spill are at greater risk for cancer, and kidney and liver disease.2 Last year, dolphins and whales off the Louisiana coast died at four times the usual rates.3 And 10 million gallons of oil sit on the Gulf floor in a congealed “bath mat” the size of Rhode Island.4
BP controls more of the deepwater Gulf than any other oil company, with an outrageous 600 leases.5 In the case of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a U.S. judge found BP’s conduct to be “grossly negligent”.6 But — to be clear — when it comes to the fossil fuel industry, gross negligence is business as usual.
So we’re joining our friends at CREDO Action to say: No more Gulf oil spills. No more giving away our public lands and waters to rapacious fossil fuel companies that care only about their profits. Tell President Obama to issue an executive order now.
President Obama wants to be remembered as a climate leader. But he has a huge climate blindspot. While the president has pushed for international agreements to limit carbon pollution, he's also presided over a massive drilling boom on our public lands and in our coastal waters.
That explosive growth is killing the climate. Emissions from federally managed lands and waters cause approximately 24 percent of U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions annually — mostly from coal, oil and gas.7
The solution is simple. If President Obama wants to establish a real climate legacy, he should issue an executive order instructing federal agencies to stop granting new and expanded leases to extract fossil fuels from public lands.
To avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say we must keep between 67% and 80% of the world’s remaining fossil fuels in the ground.8 One quarter of U.S. fossil fuel production happens on federally-managed lands and waters. The president can take a huge step towards stopping climate change — and preventing future Gulf oil spills. Urge him to issue an executive order today.
P.S. Bridge the Gulf, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Idle No More Gulf Coast are among the many organizations fighting for justice and accountability in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On this fifth anniversary of the BP disaster, support them today.
1. "Remarks by the President to the Nation on the BP Oil Spill", White House Office of the Press Secretary, June 15, 2010
2. "BP Oil Spill Cleanup Workers Are At Higher Risk Of Sickness, Cancer", ThinkProgress, Sep. 17, 2013
3. "Science Links Dolphin Deaths to BP Oil Spill – Again", National Wildlife Federation, Feb. 13, 2015
4. "Scientists have found a 10 million gallon 'bath mat' of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico", Business Insider, Feb. 4, 2015
5. "Deepwater Gulf of Mexico", BP
6. "U.S. judge upholds BP 'gross negligence' Gulf spill ruling", Reuters, Nov. 13, 2014
7. "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Energy Extracted from Federal Lands and Waters: An Update", Stratus Consulting, prepared for The Wilderness Society, Dec. 23, 2014
8. "Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets", Carbon Tracker Initiative & Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, 2013; "Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report", Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014.
A group of Gulf Coast residents staged a sit-in style occupation this morning inside the main entrance to BP’s Houston headquarters. The activists said this is the first of many demonstrations yet to come across the Gulf South leading up to the April 20th five year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill that killed eleven workers and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days.
We have wrapped up our live blog. Thanks for joining us! More events are happening this week. Click here for the full list of events during Gulf South Rising Week of Action.
See below & check out RAN's Twitter account for more.
Got out of jail this morn after sitting in at BP. They cuffed us once we put our signs in window for all to see. BP cares about PR. #BPlies— annerolfes (@annerolfes) April 16, 2015
Six being arrested to mark fifth anniversary of deepwater horizon #bplies— Scott Parkin (@sparki1969) April 15, 2015
A group of Gulf Coast residents are staging a sit-in style occupation this morning inside the main entrance to BP’s Houston headquarters. The activists say this is the first of many demonstrations yet to come across the Gulf South leading up to the April 20th five year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill that killed eleven workers and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days.
Under a four story glass atrium in BP’s central lobby, Gulf Coast residents have unfurled a ten foot banner that reads “NEVER AGAIN: No Sacrifice Zones” as well as other banners and signs reading “Extreme Energy our of our Communities” and “No Kill, No Spill: Keep it in the Ground.”
We'll continue to update this live blog, stay tuned. You can also follow along on RAN's Twitter account
BREAKING: Gulf Coast residents occupying BP HQ in Houston!
The U.S. government’s Export-Import Bank wants to finance a huge coal project that would put Australia’s Great Barrier Reef at risk. We are calling on Fred Hochberg, Chair of the Export-Import Bank, to stop the destruction.
Click the links below to send a tweet and take action:
- .@fredhochberg, will @EximBankUS damage the #GreatBarrierReef by funding Abbot Point coal port expansion? #savethereef
- .@fredhochberg Hi Fred! Will @EximBankUS be financing Adani's coal export terminal in the Great Barrier Reef? #savethereef
Thanks to your pressure last year, many of the world’s largest banks have said “no” to financing a huge coal project that would put Australia’s Great Barrier Reef at risk. But the Reef is still in danger. As you know, news reports have revealed that the U.S. government’s Export-Import Bank is considering financing this destructive project.
Thousands have taken to social media, calling on Fred Hochberg, Chair of the Export-Import Bank, to stop the destruction. Click now to add your voice!
Funding the Abbot Point coal port expansion is a step in the wrong direction. The port expansion and the coal mines that would feed it would gravely damage the Great Barrier Reef and accelerate climate change. The resultant dredging and ship traffic would threaten one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, a global treasure that is under protection as a World Heritage Site. Even Wall Street thinks the coal industry's plan to build a giant coal port in the middle of the reef is too toxic to fund. It’s ridiculous that a U.S. bank supported by taxpayer dollars would even consider funding such a destructive project.
We know that our pressure can help to stop the coal industry’s reef destruction. Thanks to your pressure, major banks have publicly committed not to fund this project, because it would be a disaster for the climate, the reef, and their bottom lines. Not only would this perpetuate climate chaos, the proposed Abbot Point expansion could threaten the breeding grounds of endangered green and loggerhead turtles.
In concert with our allies at the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, 350 and Friends of the Earth, we’ve been ramping up the pressure at the Export-Import Bank about this issue. We need to insure they are hearing loud and clear how dangerous investing in this project would be.
This is the perfect time for us to creatively change how we’re communicating with the bank, and we’ve discovered a great angle. Fred Hochberg, chair of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, is very active on twitter, tweeting nearly every day.
It’s time to amplify our message by tweeting at Fred Hochberg. Right now and through the week, send a tweet to @Fredhochberg about the proposed Abbot Point coal port expansion that the Export-Import Bank is considering financing.
The U.S. government’s Export-Import Bank isn’t used to having citizens weigh in on their decisions and Fred Hochberg isn’t used to having people communicate with him though his Twitter account. We have a great opportunity to impact his decision on whether or not to fund this destructive project. Let’s keep up the pressure so he knows we’ll be petitioning, calling and tweeting until this proposal is off the table.
1. "US Banks baulk at Abbot Point coal port expansion", The Australian, October 28, 2014
2. "Adani lines up $1 bln Indian state bank loan for Australian coal venture", Reuters, November 17, 2014
3. "Great Barrier Reef", United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
The message below comes to you from Patrick Robbins, an ally and activist working to promote wind power for Long Island's energy future for the following petition.
Sometimes you have a choice that’s just a no-brainer. Right now, Long Island is considering whether or not to lease part of the ocean off of its south shore for wind power. This area could generate up to 700 MW of energy for New York homes, and would be far enough offshore that most residents would never see it. The wind power companies are ready to go, and studies indicate that such a project would generate many thousands of jobs. Sounds great, right?
Here’s the thing—there’s also a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port being considered in the exact same location. This is Liberty Natural Gas’s Port Ambrose project, a dirty energy project that would take offshore wind in this area off the table. Port Ambrose would present a security and explosion risk by bringing giant tankers of liquefied natural gas into one of our country’s most heavily trafficked ports. It would be destructive to the marine environment both during construction and operation—according to the company, construction for the mainline alone would impact 197 acres of ocean floor. This would impact the bottom-dwelling species that make the ocean floor their home, with consequences all the way up the food chain.
Finally, Port Ambrose would lead to further fracking up and down the northeast. While the company claims that Port Ambrose will be for import only, this claim doesn’t stand up—the market trend for American shale gas right now is for exports, and the same company is currently working on another project in the U.K. where they could get far higher prices. Once Port Ambrose allows fracked gas to reach foreign markets, drilling suddenly becomes much more profitable, and measures like New York’s hard-won fracking ban begin to look much more tenuous. We know that fracking impacts our soil, our water, our air, our health and our climate in ways that we cannot allow. These are some of the reasons why the coastal community of Long Beach, which would be most directly impacted by Port Ambrose, has unanimously opposed the project, and why more and more elected officials are opposing Port Ambrose every week.
Fortunately, the choice isn’t settled yet. Both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have veto power over this project. We can make our voices heard by commenting on the Port Ambrose environmental impact statement, by signing this petition calling for Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie to veto the project, or by reaching out directly to Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie here.
Tell them to choose wind over LNG—because really, how easy a choice is that?
Patrick Robbins is the Communications and Development Coordinator for Sane Energy Project. He is an activist and author based out of Brooklyn, New York.
Last week we sent a strong statement with petitions to the U.S. government’s Export-Import Bank, telling them to stay away from the Great Barrier Reef coal port expansion — a deal that would wreck the Reef and cook the climate!
Now it’s time to amplify our message by making a call to the bank. Here’s how you can help:
Call this number: 1-800-565-EXIM (or 1-800-565-3946)
The line is open from 8am-8pm Eastern time.
Leave a message if your receive a recording. If you get a live operator, politely tell them why you called:
“I’m calling to tell the Ex-Im Bank not to finance Great Barrier Reef destruction! Please pass the following message on to chairman Hochberg. The proposed Abbot Point coal port in Australia would damage the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage site, and cook the climate. It’s too dirty for Wall Street, and it’s too dirty for Ex-Im Bank. Don’t finance reef destruction!”
Fred Hochberg, chair of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, recently launched a brand new customer support hotline. So far, this new line has only been receiving about 30 calls a day, and Hochberg has said he wants to get more people using this number. Let’s set a new record for daily calls, and send a clear message: don’t finance reef destruction!
The bank isn’t used to having citizens weigh in on their decisions. But when it comes to protecting the Great Barrier Reef and preventing climate change, we can’t afford to remain silent. Let’s make sure that the U.S. Export-Import Bank knows we'll fight to stop them from financing reef destruction.
Our petition got their attention: they know the public is watching what they will do on this issue. Now drive the point home by making a personal phone call to the bank’s hotline.
1. "Great Barrier Reef protection plan 'ignores the threat of climate change'", The Guardian, October 27, 2014
2. "Fred Hochberg, Chairman & President, Export-Import Bank", Federal News Radio, December 4, 2014
For immediate release: February 3, 2015
contact: Claire Sandberg, 646-641-6431, email@example.com
EPA gives the president everything he needs to reject Keystone
In response to comments by the Environmental Protection Agency released today regarding the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline, Rainforest Action Network Climate Program Director Amanda Starbuck issued the following statement:
“The EPA’s comments today on Keystone XL confirm what we’ve long known to be true: that this pipeline would be an utter disaster for the climate. For a president who has pledged to reject the pipeline if it fails the climate test, these comments should be the final verdict on the matter. We look forward to President Obama heeding the EPA’s words and putting this pipeline to rest once and for all.”
Thanks to your pressure, several of the world’s largest banks have said “no” to financing a huge coal project that would put Australia’s Great Barrier Reef at risk.1 But now, news reports have revealed that the U.S. government’s Export-Import Bank is considering financing this destructive project.2
This is an outrage: The U.S. government should be investing in climate solutions, not throwing coal a financial lifeline and trashing a global treasure such as the Great Barrier Reef. Even Wall Street thinks the coal industry's plan to build a giant coal port in the middle of the reef is too toxic to fund; late last year, thanks to your activism, Rainforest Action Network secured commitments to steer clear of the project from four of the biggest investment banks on Wall Street. Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs all provided RAN with written promises to stay away from this climate- and reef-killing project.3 If this project is beyond the pale for Wall Street's biggest banks, there's no excuse for the U.S. government to commit taxpayer money to destroy the reef and turbocharge climate change.
We know that our pressure can help to stop the coal industry’s reef destruction. Thanks to your pressure, major banks have publicly committed not to fund this project, because it would be a disaster for the climate, the reef, and their bottom lines. Not only would this perpetuate climate chaos, the proposed Abbot Point expansion could threaten the breeding grounds of endangered green and loggerhead turtles.4 Now, it is time to use our voices to prevent the U.S. government from financing reef destruction.
Momentum is building to stop the coal industry from damaging the Great Barrier Reef. President Obama recently spoke out at a summit, urging Australia to protect the reef.5 Hundreds of thousands of global citizens have spoken out against reef destruction, and a group of ten European and U.S. banks has already walked away from the project. Now we need to make sure the U.S. government says “no” to coal port expansion in the Great Barrier Reef.
As an agency of the U.S. federal government, the Export-Import Bank’s mission is to finance the sale of U.S.-made products, not to finance foreign-owned coal ports across the world. If we speak up, Export-Import Bank chairman Fred Hochberg will hear us. Late last year, Hochberg urged the public to submit feedback about how the bank is doing. Now is the time to send a clear message that the taxpayer-supported Export-Import bank needs to stay away from the coal industry’s Great Barrier Reef destruction.
1. "US Banks baulk at Abbot Point coal port expansion", The Australian, October 28, 2014
2. "Adani lines up $1 bln Indian state bank loan for Australian coal venture", Reuters, November 17, 2014
3. "US banks vow not to fund Great Barrier Reef coal port, activists say", The Guardian, October 27, 2014
4. "Great Barrier Reef", United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
5. "Barack Obama confronts Australia over climate change", The Telegraph, November 15, 2014
I am alarmed at reports that the U.S. Export-Import Bank is considering funding Australia’s Abbot Point coal port expansion. The port expansion and the coal mines that would feed it would gravely damage the Great Barrier Reef and accelerate climate change. The resultant dredging and ship traffic would threaten one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, a global treasure that is under protection as a World Heritage Site. The deal would pave the way to double coal production in Australia -- already one of the world’s biggest coal exporters -- in the midst of a climate emergency. Under no circumstances should U.S. taxpayer dollars fund this reckless and destructive project. Please make a public commitment not to bankroll the Abbot Point coal port expansion and associated rail and mine infrastructure.
The coal industry is embarking on a project that would do grave damage to the Great Barrier Reef by massively expanding the port at Abbot Point and building new coal mines in Queensland, Australia. The resultant dredging and ship traffic would devastate this delicate ecosystem, a global treasure that is under protection as a World Heritage Site. Additionally, the proposed Abbot Point expansion could threaten the breeding grounds of endangered green and loggerhead turtles.
The climate impacts would be catastrophic, as building out Abbot Point would mean a dramatic expansion of coal mining in Australia's Galilee Basin, one of the world's largest stores of carbon. The planned mega-mines would be among the largest in Australia, and would dramatically increase greenhouse gas pollution.
The coal industry needs international bank funding to make their reckless new project happen. Many global banks have already said “no” to financing the project. As a result of campaigning from Rainforest Action Network, U.S. banks Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have already ruled out financing for Abbot Point. Leading European investment banks, including HSBC, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank have made similar commitments.
Call on the U.S. Export-Import Bank to do the same.
Adani lines up $1 billion SBI loan for Australian coal venture, Reuters, November 17 2014
Great Barrier Reef protection plan 'ignores the threat of climate change', The Guardian, October 27 2014
Great Barrier Reef, Unesco
“This decision does nothing to alter the fundamental facts on Keystone. Not only does the pipeline present dire threats to Indigenous communities, ranchers, and the Ogallala aquifer, it miserably fails the administration’s own climate test. The millions of people who have joined the movement to stop this pipeline are looking to President Obama right now to choose the only option compatible with a stable climate: immediate rejection.”