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Global Frackdown on Saturday Calls for Worldwide Ban on Fracking

Energy

Global Frackdown is an international day of action calling for a ban on fracking. This year's event on Saturday, Oct. 11 will send a message to elected officials across the globe that the future should be powered by clean, renewable energy, not dirty, polluting fossil fuels.

Climate scientists warn that continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic climate change. A report released in September by Food & Water Watch, The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking, shows how huge amounts of methane are released during the fracking process, which traps 87 times more heat pound for pound than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. 

Participants in Global Frackdown will organize events in their communities united around a common mission statement that calls for a ban on fracking and investment in renewable energy.

The mission statement reads:

Fracking for oil and gas is inherently unsafe and the harms of this industry cannot be fully mitigated by regulation. We reject the multi-million dollar public relations campaign by big oil and gas companies and urge our local, state and national officials to reject fracking. We stand united as a global movement in calling on governmental officials at all levels to pursue a renewable energy future and not allow fracking or any of the associated infrastructure in our communities or any communities. We are communities fighting fracking, frac-sand mining, pipelines, compressor stations, LNG terminals, exports of natural gas, coal seam gas, coal bed methane and more. Fracking is not part of our vision for a clean energy future and should be banned.

The first Global Frackdown in 2012 culminated in 200 community actions in more than 20 countries. Last year's event included 250 actions in 30 countries spanning six continents. Global Frackdown was initiated by Food & Water Watch.

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Protesters gathered outside US Bank and Wells Fargo locations around the U.S. to protest investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline on Dec. 1, 2016. This photo is from a protest outside US Bank in south Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Jake Johnson

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.


Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."


The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.

"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.

As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."

"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

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