WHO WE ARE
People vs. Fossil Fuels is a coalition of over 1,200 climate justice, Indigenous, Black, Latino, social justice, economic justice, progressive, youth, faith, and other organizations working together towards a common goal of ending the era of fossil fuels. Together, we represent millions of people across the United States and are allied with millions more around the world.
People vs. Fossil Fuels originally was formed as Build Back Fossil Free, which came together after the 2020 Presidential Election to urge President Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop the federal approval of all new fossil fuel projects. The name was a reference to Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda and the reality that the only way we were going to build back “better” is if we built back without any fossil fuels.
Our coalition laid out an Executive Action Blueprint for how Biden could become a “climate president” with three clear categories of demands: protect and invest in the Black, Indigenous, Brown, and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution and climate disaster; reject new fossil projects, eliminate giveaways to oil, gas, and coal corporations, and end the era of fossil fuel production; and launch a national climate mobilization to Build Back Fossil Free, delivering jobs, justice, and opportunity for all.
Despite a few promising first steps, such as rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden has failed to make good on his promise to treat the climate crisis as a “code red” emergency and leverage a “full government” response to move the country away from fossil fuels. During his first year in office, Biden failed to stop major fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, refused to declare a climate emergency, and greenlighted the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in US history.
Outraged by the lack of action and determined to fight back, Build Back Fossil Free organized a week of direct action at the White House in October 2021. Led by our Indigenous and frontline allies, “People vs. Fossil Fuels” mobilization brought together fossil fuel fighters from across the country to sit-in at the White House and organize other acts of civil disobedience around the Capitol. Thousands of people took part in the mobilization and more than 650 were arrested.
Since last October, we’ve kept up pressure on the Biden Administration and supported our coalition members in their fights to stop major new fossil fuel projects, from the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Appalachia to LNG export facilities in the Gulf. Increasingly, this work has taken place under the banner of “People vs. Fossil Fuels,” a slogan that has been picked up from coast-to-coast and online, where it acts as the name of our coalition social media accounts.
Meanwhile, President Biden has continued to fail to act on fossil fuels and his “Build Back Better” agenda has floundered in Congress, leading the White House to abandon the motto and much of the agenda that it stood for. With “Build Back Better” out of the picture it no longer makes sense for us to be named “Build Back Fossil Free.” Far better to embrace the identity and call to action the best represents our collective struggle against the fossil fuel industry: People vs. Fossil Fuels!
With our new name and identity, we will continue the fight for climate justice!