Wow. On Sunday, the heat scorching the streets of DC was palpable. But, even more so, was the passion and power of our movement. THANKS to everyone who turned out to say NO to fracking, NO to gas exports at Cove Point, NO to runaway climate change, and YES to real clean energy solutions.
We know the gas industry is all about division — blasting apart the rock beneath our earth, running pipelines through our towns, and further disrupting our fragile climate — now to ship the gas overseas for higher profit.
On Sunday, we showed that our movement is all about unity. We converged from New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Louisiana, and beyond. We marched as people living upstream, downstream, and everywhere in between along the chain of impacts that would come from exporting fracked gas. Together, we made local and national news headlines1 — and we made history: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has, hands-down, NEVER seen over 1,000 people protesting at their doorstep! We sent a loud and clear message to President Obama and FERC that climate leaders don’t frack — and that we’ll be back.
Then, early the next morning, 25 brave activists added their own punctuation mark. After peacefully blockading the entrances to FERC headquarters for two hours, they were arrested demanding that FERC reject the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility proposed at Cove Point.
After such an inspiring few days of action, what’s the next step? First off, you can join the families of Calvert County, Maryland and demand an independent “quantitative risk assessment” of the worst-case explosion dangers of Dominion’s proposed Cove Point facility. FERC has refused to do this type of standard human risk study. Add your name to the petition calling on Governor Martin O’Malley to step in immediately and order one himself.
Beyond today, the immediate Cove Point campaign is likely to get tougher. We know it will take more than one or two powerful protests — or the record affordability of wind and solar power — to change the status quo at FERC or convince President Obama to reverse course on gas exports. This fight will almost certainly land in the courts, and involve more direct action in the streets. Stay tuned.
Ultimately, as we keep fighting together — and rocketing more stones of justice in Goliath’s direction — we do believe that we are winning. Ruth Tyson, the youngest speaker from the stage on Sunday, perhaps put it the best:
When I look out into this crowd, I see something a million times stronger than any current. I see something that Dominion [the company proposing to build Cove Point] should be afraid of. I see passion, commitment, hope, and love. … And because we all chose to stand up to a system of bullies and doubters and cowards, the direction of our current is changing.
–Much love from Mike Tidwell, Shilpa Joshi, Ted Glick, and the entire team at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network