We, the undersigned, come to you from the frontlines of the fight to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We come to you in solidarity with all those who fight oil wells, pipelines, refineries, plastic plants and more. We are impacted Indigenous, Brown, Black, and low-income communities living on the frontlines of this climate emergency.
For more than 10 years, we have fought this pipeline from hilltop to holler. Neighbor to neighbor. Tree top to river bottom. We have written thousands of messages to politicians, attended countless hearings, testified hundreds of times, and have placed our bodies on the line when needed, all the Biden Administration continues to steer us toward climate catastrophe.
The Biden administration is once again double-dealing.
On the same day as President Biden’s environmental justice executive order, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm issued a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. A few days later, the US Forest Service allowed the MVP to cross the Jefferson National Forest based on a new Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The Bureau of Land Management has now issued a Record of Decision granting MVP an amended Right of Way and permit for construction across 3.5 miles of the Jefferson National Forest. The company cannot start construction on forest service lands until they have all federal and state authorizations for the project. All of these disastrous decisions have happened under Biden’s approval.
To say this administration has let us down is an understatement. For communities who are on the frontlines of this project, these decisions have visceral consequences. The MVP threatens the wellbeing of people, endangered species, streams, rivers, farms, national forests, and the planet. The MVP is Joe Biden’s pipeline now, and just like Keystone XL, he can stop it.
But this is the hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from the Biden administration. Biden promised to be a climate president – yet under his watch, the U.S. continues to be the biggest producer of oil and gas in the world. In the first few years of his term, he approved more lease sales for new oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters than Trump. And his administration has approved new oil and gas projects, like the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska and multiple oil and gas export terminals in the Gulf. Frontline communities & global scientists have been abundantly clear – we cannot avoid the very worst impacts of the climate crisis if we allow for any more fossil development.
We are calling all water protectors, land defenders, climate and environmental justice advocates young and old to stand with us in solidarity—and risk arrest—at the White House on June 8. We will take action as part of the People Vs Fossil Fuels actions to demand Biden use his executive powers to end the era of fossil fuels and declare a climate emergency.
If we don’t stand together now, no matter where we live, all of us —you, your children and grandchildren will all eventually live in sacrifice zones of drought, record temperatures, wildland fires, hurricanes, floods, food shortages, pandemics and more.
This year, United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres called Biden and other world leaders’ approvals of new oil and gas projects a “death sentence” for the planet. In September, he’s hosting a global Climate Ambition Summit in New York City where the “ticket to entry” for global leaders will be action to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We’re going to mobilize from June 8 in DC through September in NYC to make sure he follows through, and we need you to join us.
We know that participating is a big request. This would be a sacrifice of time, money, energy and freedom. But we also know the despair many of you feel, the anxiety of this moment, seeing environmental devastation and human rights abuses around you, but not knowing how to help.
If you have ever marched, rallied, called your representatives, lobbied, signed petitions to urge governmental leaders to act — we call on you to take the next step. Nonviolent civil disobedience is a time-tested tactic for change. And we will support you in every way we can as you step into the risk of disobedience, and out of the risk of inaction.
Dr. Emily Satterwhite, impacted MVP community member in Virginia
Dr. Crystal Cavalier Keck, impacted MVP Southgate community member in North Carolina
Becky Crabtree, impacted MVP community member in West Virginia
Lisa Finn, Coordinator for Third Act Northern Virginia (in solidarity with the frontlines)
Deborah Kushner, Third Act leader in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia (in solidarity with the frontlines)
Bill McKibben, Founder of Third Act (in solidarity with the frontlines)
Maria Gunnoe, Goldman Environmental Prize winner from Appalachia (in solidarity with the frontlines)
Jane Fonda, Actor, Activist, Founder, Jane Fonda Climate PAC (in solidarity with the frontlines)