Divest from Fossil Fuels Amid Climate Disasters

Reverend Lennox Yearwood into the conversation, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, from Shreveport, Louisiana, originally, former Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign, also U.S. Air Force veteran. As the president hails the ending of the War in Afghanistan, something that you have protested against, as well as the War in Iraq, you are dealing with your home state, Louisiana, in a kind of other war, not to mention the Delta in the Delta, COVID in the Delta. Can you talk about what you’re learning about what’s happening and what needs to happen now, after Hurricane Ida?

We know who is causing these storms. We know who is causing the climate crisis. They’re right there in Louisiana with us: It’s the fossil fuel industry. So we’ve got to stop it. So, the reality right now is that from 16 years ago, from Katrina, to now, is that we need to move past fossil fuels. That’s it. It has to end right now. We have wildfires, droughts. We have hurricanes. We have folks who are displaced, who are hurting, because of this. And so, the time is right now to stop this madness. It’s time to stop this madness and move beyond fossil fuels. No more talk. No more negotiations. It’s time to move on.

You know, this storm was called Hurricane Ida. And for Chevron and BP and Exxon, it should be “Ida one that caused all this mess.” Yeah, “Ida one” — they the one that caused all this mess. And so, we’ve got to move on, Amy. This is ridiculous. And so, it’s time for us to get serious about this climate crisis. The time of playing games with politics, either Democrat or Republican, the time for playing games with this climate crisis is over. It’s time to put humanity first.

— source democracynow.org | Aug 31, 2021

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XL Pipeline Absurd $15 Billion NAFTA ISDS Claim

TransCanada Energy (TC Energy) announced on July 2, 2021 that it would be filing a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, seeking US$15 billion in compensation for the Biden administration’s revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit. While the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced NAFTA, gutted ISDS between the United States and Canada, the parties agreed to allow a three-year post-termination period for “legacy” claims arising from investments that predate the entry into force of the USMCA. This is the basis for TC Energy’s claim. So, while it is demanding $15 billion in compensation from U.S. taxpayers, TC Energy actually took a financial hit of US$0.8 billion from the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. the $15 billion reflects what the corporation in some way gauges to be its expected future profits.

— source | Aug 05, 2021

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Lawyer Who Sued Chevron over Amazon Oil Spills, Marks 2 Years Under House Arrest

Protests across the United States are calling for the immediate release of environmental and human rights lawyer Steven Donziger, who has been held under house arrest in New York for two years after being targeted by the oil giant Chevron. Donziger sued the oil giant in Ecuador on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people for dumping 16 billion gallons of oil into their ancestral lands. Ecuador’s Supreme Court ordered Chevron to pay $18 billion a decade ago, a major victory for the environment and corporate accountability. But Chevron refused to pay or clean up the land, and instead launched a legal attack targeting Donziger in the United States. A federal judge in July found Donziger guilty of six counts of criminal contempt of court after he refused to turn over his computer and cellphone. In an unusual legal twist, the judge appointed a private law firm with ties to Chevron to prosecute Donziger, after federal prosecutors declined to bring charges. “This is a broader threat to our society,” says Donziger. “We cannot allow in any rule-of-law country, or any country, private prosecutions run by corporations.”

You know, it wasn’t a trial as trials are commonly understood. There was no jury. The judge, who had already locked me up pretrial — I’m the only lawyer in American history ever locked up pretrial on a misdemeanor. I want to emphasize: This is a misdemeanor case, a petty crime case. And I assert my innocence, but even if I were guilty, it’s a very minor case. No one’s ever been locked up pretrial but me. So the same judge who locked me up now for two years — I haven’t, you know, been sentenced to anything — is the judge who denied me a jury and alone decided my supposed guilt or innocence.

It was intended, really, to be sort of a show trial, where a decision that had previously been made by the Chevron prosecutor — the judge, Judge Preska, allowed a private law firm, Seward & Kissel, which has Chevron as a client, to prosecute me, after the government refused to prosecute me. It was all just precooked. And you kind of felt it watching it in the courtroom. During the trial, Judge Preska was reading the newspaper during witness testimony. All the main witnesses were Chevron lawyers. They testified that Chevron

— source democracynow.org | Aug 06, 2021

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Big Oil spent $10 million on Facebook ads last year — to sell what, exactly?

Online advertisers are always trying to sell you something, and in the case of slip-on sneakers or leather handbags, that something is pretty clear. But other times, the motive behind a sponsored post is less transparent. Why, for instance, are oil companies buying prime space in your social media feed to prattle on about “innovative” climate solutions and visions of a “lower-carbon future”?

A new report makes the case that the oil and gas industry is trying to sell you a story — one that casts these companies as paragons of sustainability and seeks to delay policies that would address climate change. Last year, the oil and gas industry spent at least $9.6 million on ads on Facebook’s U.S. platform, according to an analysis by the think tank InfluenceMap. Just over half of this spending came from one company, ExxonMobil.

“The oil and gas industry is engaging in this really strategic campaign using social media and the tools available, particularly these targeting tools on Facebook, to reach a

— source grist.org | Kate Yoder | Aug 05, 2021

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Lawyer, Who Sued Chevron over Amazon Oil Spills, Blasts Contempt of Court Conviction

A federal judge has found environmental and human rights lawyer Steven Donziger guilty of six counts of criminal contempt of court after he refused to turn over his computer and cellphone. The case stems from Chevron’s unprecedented legal campaign against Donziger over his role in winning an $18 billion settlement against Chevron for dumping 16 billion gallons of oil into the Ecuadorian Amazon. In an unusual legal twist, the judge appointed a private law firm with ties to Chevron to prosecute Donziger, after federal prosecutors declined to bring charges. Donziger, who has been under house arrest for almost two years, condemned the judge’s ruling.

Steven Donziger: “This is an outrageous decision. I see it as an attack on human rights lawyering, an attack on the very notion of corporate accountability for the fossil fuel industry. And I’ve already been locked up in my home awaiting this decision for almost two years on a misdemeanor. I’m the only lawyer in American history, as far as we can tell, who’s spent even one day, prior to trial, locked up. I’ve been here now 720 days. This is an outrage. It’s a violation, I believe, of the rule of law. It’s terrible for our democracy, and it’s terrible for the planet. The United States cannot become a country that begins to lock up its human rights lawyers, its environmental advocates, its Earth protectors.”

— source democracynow.org | Jul 27, 2021

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Militarized Crackdown on Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Protests

Nearly 600 water protectors have been arrested during ongoing protests in Minnesota against the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline at the Shell River, which the partially completed pipeline is set to cross in five places. On Monday, authorities arrested Indigenous leader Winona LaDuke and at least six others. She was just released from jail yesterday and spent three nights in jail. LaDuke describes how the Canadian multinational corporation Enbridge, which is building the pipeline, has funded more than 40 police squads from around the state to crack down on protests, saying, “It is a civil crisis when a Canadian multinational controls your police force.” LaDuke is executive director of Honor the Earth. She says Enbridge’s efforts to finish construction come as investors are increasingly pulling out of the fossil fuels sector. “Who wants to have the last tar sands pipeline? It’s the end of the party.”

I was arrested because I wanted to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 from crossing the Shell River. I’ve been appointed guardian ad litem for Shell River by the 1855 Treaty Commission and by my tribe. And Enbridge is trying to finish this line. And along with — it’s now 600 people have been arrested. But we stood there in front of the police for quite a while with our people and, you know, our horses and our children. And they arrested seven of us.

Enbridge Line 3 is owned by the Enbridge Corporation, the Canadian multinational that also owns the pipe under the Straits of Mackinac. And, you know, it’s a really risky Canadian corporation, 225 subsidiaries, with all the money kept in Canada. And they’re shoving this pipeline down our throat.

And about a month ago, the Minnesota DNR, which is probably the most corrupt agency in the state of Minnesota, allocated 5 billion gallons of water to Enbridge in the middle of a drought. They knew about the appropriation request in November. In December, they began under — studying it. And they didn’t even notify the tribes until May. And then they issued the permit in

— source democracynow.org | Jul 23, 2021

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Exxon lobbyists paid the 6 Democrats named in sting video nearly $333,000

Exxon Mobil Corp. lobbyist Keith McCoy listed six Democrats the oil giant saw as key allies to push its legislative agenda in the Senate in a secretly recorded sting video Greenpeace UK published late last month. Today, Exxon Mobil funds trade associations that lobby against climate policies while offering a rhetorical contrast to oil giants that advocate for politically unpopular proposals unlikely to reach fruition in a bid to look like responsible actors. But a 2017 Ohio State University study indicates the donations have a measurable effect, particularly as they enter the five-figure range. For every $10,000 a lawmaker received from a major industrial polluter like Exxon Mobil, their probability of voting for pro-environmental legislation decreased by 2%, according to the study of donations between 1990 and 2010 published in the journal Environmental Politics. For Democrats, the effect of the donations was even stronger, reducing likelihood of a pro-environmental vote by 3%.

— source grist.org | Jul 16, 2021

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As Big Oil Execs Roam Free, Climate Activist Gets 8 Years in Prison

Environmentalists in recent days expressed outrage over the eight-year prison sentence handed to Jessica Reznicek—a nonviolent water protector who pleaded guilty to damaging equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa—while calling the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the climate emergency the real criminals who should be held to account. United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger last week sentenced Jessica Reznicek to eight years behind bars, $3,198,512.70 in restitution, and three years’ post-prison supervised release after the 39-year-old activist pleaded guilty to a single count of damaging an energy facility. In September 2019 Reznicek and 31-year-old Ruby Montoya were each indicted on nine federal charges including damaging an energy facility, use of fire in the commission of a felony, and malicious use of fire. Each of the women faced up to 110 years in prison. Montoya has yet to be sentenced.

— source commondreams.org | Jul 5, 2021

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Exxon Lobbyists exposes Climate Obstruction

yesterday Greenpeace’s investigative journalism outfit, Unearthed, released video of two high-ranking ExxonMobil lobbyists (one current, one recently left the company) saying the quiet part out loud about Exxon’s ruthless political efforts to stall progress on the climate crisis and protect its own bottom line. First reported by the U.K.’s Channel 4, the statements came by way of a sting operation by Unearthed, in which they recorded zoom conversations that were staged as discussions with a fake headhunting firm seeking candidates for a fictional new position. What Keith McCoy, a senior director of federal relations for Exxon Mobil, and Dan Easley who served as White House lobbyist for Exxon while Trump was in office, admit that the company did indeed fight against the science of climate change, and supported “shadow groups” to undermine public understanding of the issue.

— source commondreams.org | Jul 3, 2021

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