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People power vs. carbon capital

Cutting ties to a system of death and destruction


Stop Dirty Banks die-in at 14th St NW and New York Ave in front of a Chase branch.

This afternoon at 6 PM, climate activist and writer Bill McKibben, who organized the elder generation’s Stop Dirty Banks protests around the nation yesterday, helps out the younger generation by headlining a DC fundraiser for Climate Defiance, the youth climate activists planning to blockade the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29th.

For the first time, the coal-fired power plant in Bow, New Hampshire has failed to win funding from an annual program designed to guarantee future electricity supplies, a sign the last coal plant in New England is increasingly unneeded.  Activists with No Coal No Gas, who have repeatedly blockaded coal shipments to the plant, are now seeking a shutdown date for the plant.

A powerful sign of the effectiveness of this form of activism is the extreme response by the state, as Grist’s Naveena Sadasivam writes. “In Utah, protests that hinder the functioning of fossil fuel infrastructure could now lead to at least five years in prison. The new rules make Utah the 19th state in the country to pass legislation with stiffer penalties for protesting at so-called critical infrastructure sites, which include oil and gas facilities, power plants, and railroads. The new laws proliferated in the aftermath of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2017.”

Similar bills are pending in at least five other states, including Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Idaho, and North Carolina.

Supporters of the legislation are lumping climate activists engaging in non-violent civil disobedience against fossil-fuel projects with extreme-right militants launching destructive attacks on electric substations and thieves stripping facilities of copper wire, a worrisome assault on peaceful First Amendment protests.

Participating in the rocking-chair blockade of a Chase branch, climate scientist Rose Abramoff reads Ted Glick’s Burglar For Peace as Ted and Bill McKibben check their phones.

At 10 am, Senate Budget chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) holds his latest climate hearing on the effect of fossil-fueled weather disasters on insurance markets. Witnesses range from the corporate (Eric Anderson, President, Aon) to the GOP-invited climate-science denier (Dr. Judith Curry). Wharton professor Benjamin Keys, has explored how sea level rise has already disrupted housing markets, and actuary Nancy Watkins specializes in climate resilience insurance planning.

Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee chaired by Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) holds a hearing on improving rail safety in response to the East Palestine derailment, with Ohio’s senators and governor Mike DeWine (R), followed by a panel including Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw and National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy.

At 11:30 am, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) lead a press conference at the House Triangle to re-introduce the Environmental Justice for All Act, now named in honor of the bill’s recently passed co-sponsor, Rep. Donald McEachin. Many prominent environmental justice advocates will also be on hand. (Livestream here.)

Cabinet members are also heading to the Senate to discuss President Biden’s proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget: EPA Administrator Michael Regan; U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore; Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; and Small Business Administration administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. Check out Hill Heat’s detailed post on the budget hearings for more.

DC Police protect the street from an old man with a paintbrush. They arrested one of the painters.

FIGHTING BACK: On Monday, activists with ShutDown DC prevented White House climate advisor Ali Zaidi from speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’s Future of U.S. Climate & Energy Leadership event. The activists protested the White House decision to grant ConocoPhillips the Willow oil project in Alaska, chanting “Keep your promise, no new drilling,” for several minutes. ConocoPhillips is one of many fossil-fuel donors to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Residents of a Louisiana’s St. James Parish, at the heart of Cancer Alley, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday for civil rights, environmental justice and religious liberty violations for the approval of several petrochemical factories in the two Black districts of the parish.

Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president, has dramatically increased his country’s reforestation goals to 1.85 million acres by 2026 as part of a bold climate agenda.

“Cut it up!” Credit cards destroyed by climate activists participating in DC’s Stop Dirty Banks protest.

More than 100,000 Californians are still without power after the twelfth extreme storm this year hit their state Tuesday, this one a powerful extratropical cyclone. Intense thunderstorms struck San Francisco Bay as 100-mile-per-hour winds hit southern California, with three inches of rain recorded in Los Angeles. In San Joaquin Valley, a levee holding back floodwaters was intentionally breached with a backhoe, flooding the small, low-income, Black and Latino community of Allensworth. Five more feet of snow piled up in the Sierra Nevadas, presaging a long and catastrophic flood season ahead.

A post shared by Jorma Pulkkinen (@pulkkinenjorma)

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