We’re on fire and fossil fuel companies are fanning the flames. Now that this “darkness has been exposed to light,” this is our chance. Demand change now!

(Image from video here.)

This post is dedicated to Lytton, a tiny town in British Columbia, Canada, whose 250 residents experienced temperatures equal to Death Valley’s, before it was consumed by fire. It’s also dedicated to the hundreds of people in normally temperate places who died from a “heat domethis week and to those who won’t survive this weekend as the heat moves eastward. (great article here)

Action #1: Contact Joe and tell him to do the job we sent him to do.

Contact: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Dear Joe,

One of your most exciting campaign planks was the American Jobs Plan, which promised to tackle not only issues such as our care economy, water infrastructure and manufacturing, but also climate change, accelerating our country’s long overdue transition to clean energy and transportation. I was disappointed with your compromise which eliminated the majority of spending on climate change to appease “moderate” Democrats like Manchin and Sinema.

However, some things have happened since then. Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy was recorded describing how he got these legislators to kneecap your vision, paring it down to an old-fashioned “roads and bridges” plan to protect his company’s oil refineries and maintaining their already unfairly low tax rate.

He stated that ambitious action on climate change wouldn’t succeed because it wasn’t an existential threat like the pandemic. Any hopes of getting those issues through in a separate bill will hit this same shadow government of “Exxon” lobbyists and compromised legislators.

Well, a “heat dome” was an existential threat to the hundreds who dropped dead in their homes this week. And Surfside, that FL town you just visited, is a national leader in preparing for when it’s no longer habitable due to rising tides. Do 600k have to die RIGHT NOW from climate change to count? Can we add in the kids who can’t go to schools without cooling systems, businesses slowing down, crops withering and endangered infrastructure to tip the tally towards your original plan?

We’re going to do our part. We’re demanding that our representatives become “fossil-fuel free.” We support Rep. Khanna’s hearings with CEOs of Exxon, Chevron, and other fossil fuel companies.

What we need you to do is to rescind your compromise in the face of the undeniable emergency we’re facing and use this opportunity to accomplish what we sent you to Washington to do. Make Americans’ lives better, now and in the future.

Action #2: Share your letter to Joe with your legislators and tell them to sign the “Fossil-Free Pledge.

Minimal email script: This week I said “ENOUGH!” I watched news of people dying in their homes from extreme heat and listened to an Exxon lobbyist crow over how he manipulates legislators to stop our government from accomplishing viable progress on climate change to protect his company’s bottom line. I’m aware that my town and my state is as vulnerable as any other to a climate-change catastrophe and that my tax dollars are paying for our government’s failure to address this issue. “Last year, some 22 extreme events — from cyclones and hurricanes to drought — cost the U.S. a combined $95 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since 1980, overall damage from some 285 weather and climate disasters cost at least $1 billion each, or a total of $1.9 trillion, according to NOAA.”

We know, that with a government so evenly divided, that it only takes a few legislators listening to the science attacks and disinformation campaigns of the fossil fuel industry, to derail the changes we need to urgently.

Sen. [___], I respectfully request you do the following:

  1. Talk to your colleagues who are now known as the #Exxon11: Kyrsten Sinema Shelley Moore Capito John Cornyn Steve Daines Marco Rubio John Barrasso Senator Joe Manchin III Senator Jon Tester U.S. Senator Chris Coons Captain Mark Kelly Maggie Hassan. The people who will die, or lose all they own in the next few years will be constituents of both parties. This is a slow-motion American tragedy, not a partisan one.
  2. Tell Rep. Ro Khanna that you encourage him to invite (or subpeona, we don’t care) the CEOs of Exxon, Chevron, and other fossil fuel companies to testify before his Environment subcommittee on their climate disinformation campaigns and coordinated attacks on science, and their role in subverting the American Jobs Bill.
  3. If you have not done so already, please sign the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge,” and join other legislators who’ve pledged not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.(Sen. Diane Feinstein has already signed. We did not see Reps. Brownley, Carbajal, or Sen. Padilla on the list.)
  4. Make it known that you’ve closed your door to fossil fuel lobbyists, in whatever guise they appear. They are no friends to your constituents, and even their own shareholders have to breath clean air, drink clean water, and not have their houses burn down.

Here is my letter to President Biden: (copy/paste your letter)

Contacts

  • Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Resources

Additional videos

(4 News) (Can’t link this one here yet but it’s good) Climate scientist and US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse demand changes to lobbying after ExxonMobil lobbyist claims.

From the interview

(4 News) “They’re America’s biggest oil company – committed they claim, to tackling the climate emergency. But tonight this programme can reveal undercover footage of one of Exxonmobil’s top Washington lobbyists – speaking candidly about his efforts to undermine new legislation to protect the environment. The lobbyist was captured on camera by the environmental group Greenpeace UK – boasting of how Exxonmobil has fought climate science, and operated behind closed doors to water down green legislation. Exxonmobil dispute the claims – and accuse Greenpeace of “waging a campaign against them”. In the first part of a series of reports on the secretive world of fossil fuel lobbying – our Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson has this exclusive story.

During the covert recordings, which have been passed to Channel 4 News, Mr McCoy claims:

  • ExxonMobil lobbied key senators to remove and/or diminish climate change measures from President Biden’s US $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs bill as it proceeds through the legislative process
    • Mr McCoy claims that ExxonMobil lobbied Congress to dilute the climate provisions of President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill. “That’s a completely different conversation when you start to stick to roads and bridges. And instead of a $2 trillion bill, it’s an $800 billion dollar bill. If you lower that threshold, you stick to highways and bridges then a lot of the negative stuff starts to come out. Why would you put in something on emissions reductions on climate change to oil refineries in a highway bill? So, people say yeah that doesn’t make any sense, so then you get to the germane of saying that shouldn’t be in this bill.”
  • ExxonMobil uses trade bodies like the American Petroleum Institute as “whipping boys” in order to avoid public scrutiny on Capitol Hill of its own interests.
  • ExxonMobil has aggressively fought science to deny climate change in order to maximise profit and shareholder return.
  • He said that “on the Democrat side we look for the moderates on these issues” in their efforts to stop policies that could hurt the company’s business.
  • ExxonMobil joined “shadow groups” to pursue climate change denial.
  • ExxonMobil supports a “carbon tax” as cover for inertia – “Nobody is going to propose a tax on all Americans and the cynical side of me says, yeah, we kind of know that but it gives us a talking point that we can say, well what is ExxonMobil for? Well, we’re for a carbon tax,”

Other resources

  • (unearthed) Inside Exxon’s playbook: How America’s biggest oil company continues to oppose action on climate change
  • (4news) Revealed: ExxonMobil’s lobbying war on climate change legislation
  • (4news) Climate scientist and US Senator demand changes to lobbying after ExxonMobil lobbyist claims
  • (4news) ExxonMobil lobbyist reveals company’s involvement with ‘forever chemicals’

What we lost in Biden’s compromise.

(WaPo) Which Biden priorities are not included in the bipartisan infrastructure deal?

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