Independence Day — A fossil-free future is an American future

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Every year on Independence Day, Americans all over the country celebrate the values that this country was founded on. While the usual 4th of July festivities, like barbecuing, watching fireworks, and being with family, are all timeless traditions they aren’t the only way to celebrate American values. One important way is to get involved and take action to bring our communities to a fossil-free future.

Equal rights for all American citizens is a key tenet of our country’s values. This includes the right to own land, as well as the right to clean water and a healthy environment.

Unfortunately, oil and gas companies are threatening these rights of citizens all over the country with unwanted and unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure. In Virginia and West Virginia, two massive fracked-gas pipelines — the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipeline — are threatening the water, safety, and property rights of communities in their path. In Maryland, TransCanada wants to build a fracked-gas pipeline right underneath the Potomac River and C&O canal, threatening the drinking water source for millions.

Every day, American lives and values are threatened by large gas and oil companies who propose the building of these new pipelines. They are threatening the safety, freedom and security of the American people.

What does independence from fossil fuels really look like? It looks like a world run on renewable sources of energy like wind, solar, and geothermal. It looks like strong, progressive climate action. It looks like a country with healthy communities and thriving economies in a clean energy future.

Working for climate action is an inherently patriotic act. It shows a dedication to protecting your fellow citizens. It is for these reasons that hundreds of veterans descended on Standing Rock in North Dakota to protect indigenous tribes from the Dakota Access pipeline. And it is why 13 Virginia veterans recently released a letter opposing the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley fracked-gas pipelines. All across the country, Americans are coming together to protect our citizens from the greed of fossil fuel corporations.

So this year, I’ll be building on the courage of those Virginia veterans to stand for Americans and their independence from dangerous fossil fuels.

Here’s how you can help:

It’s time to celebrate our independence and freedom by saying NO to pipelines and YES to a fossil-free future.

Happy Fourth!

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Photo at the top from Flickr user m01229 with a Creative Commons license.