The Eyes Have It at the Climate March
The day was the exclamation point to three earlier days of activity that included leafleting on Capitol Hill about our campaign to convince senators not to approve any nominations Trump may make to FERC, which has been operating since early March with just two out of five commissioners and thus doesn’t have a quorum to approve any gas infrastructure projects. We want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Our asks are that Congress conduct an investigation into corruption at FERC and make necessary changes in how the agency operates before confirming any new commissioners. Trump is under a lot of pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to fill the vacancies, but he hasn’t even nominated anyone yet.
Later that day we lobbied a dozen senators, some in person, about our campaign, or met with their staffers.
We also went to the Supreme Court, where 14 of the 21 youth plaintiffs in a lawsuit by Our Children’s Trust against the federal government for not taking action on climate change announced that they have changed the name of the defendant from Obama to Trump. The fossil fuel industry has successfully petitioned to join the suit on the side of the federal government. It’s very exciting that two federal judges in Oregon have ruled that the lawsuit can proceed, which the plaintiffs hope will happen by the end of this year. Whoever loses will appeal to the Ninth Circuit (which Oregon is part of), and whoever loses there will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to several short speeches by some of the youth and by their two attorneys, each of the plaintiffs read some of the most compelling statements from the Judge Ann Aiken’s ruling. You can listen to them, plus an interview with the lead plaintiff, in my next post.
On Friday morning about 60 of us went to FERC to hand out bags of sweet potatoes from eastern North Carolina and slices of sweet potato pie to illustrate the dangers to agriculture in the state if the fracked gas Atlantic Coast pipeline is allowed to run through it. I was afraid people wouldn’t take the sweet potatoes from perfect strangers, but many of them did, along with a flyer explaining the situation. We gave away almost half of the half-ton of sweet potatoes we brought to D.C. (We gave the rest away to a soup kitchen and to the fabulous Seeds of Peace cooking collective, who were cooking for us while we were in D.C., and who made the fabulous pies.) People from impacted communities from New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Maryland as well as North Carolina spoke. Click here for a short video montage of the action.