Quantcast

The Movement to Stop Fossil Fuel Development Is Winning

Energy

Colorado's high court today struck down the rights of Coloradans to enact local fracking bans. It's no surprise, given the massive sway of the oil and gas industry in the state. The suit was brought against Longmont (which passed a popular fracking ban in 2012) by Gov. John Hickenlooper and his industry cronies. While it's easy to be discouraged by this decision, the fact is, it will help activate citizens to pass statewide ballot measures to ban fracking in November.

And let's not forget: The movement to stop fossil fuel development just keeps winning.

On Earth Day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put a stop to the Constitution pipeline, a dangerous project to shipped fracked gas from Pennsylvania into New York, intersecting almost 300 bodies of water. His action sent a clear message that protecting the safety of the state's drinking water was more important than expanding Big Oil's profits. And the move didn't come out of nowhere; the same grassroots pressure that successfully pushed Cuomo to ban fracking in 2014 pushed him to reject this dirty fracked gas pipeline.

It wasn't just Earth Day that brought good news for the planet. Two days before, the Kinder Morgan energy behemoth canceled a gas pipeline that would have run through parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The company faced stiff opposition from activists and residents of the towns where the pipeline would have been constructed.

While it's good to see Big Oil pull the plug on a bad idea, citizens must put pressure on their elected officials to make sure fossil fuels stay in the ground. That's what the residents of Prince George's County in Maryland did this month, convincing the county council to pass a resolution banning fracking. The vote was unanimous.

Even government regulators that are accustomed to green-lighting dirty energy projects are changing their tune. Last month in Oregon the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said no to a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Coos Bay. The battle against the Jordan Cove terminal and more than 200 miles of pipeline goes back over a dozen years—proving once again that dedicated, sustained activism is what will win the fight against corporate greed. And then the Oregon LNG company announced that it's ending its plan to build an export terminal and pipeline in the state.

The fact is, activism—when we apply enough pressure to our decision makers—works. We've seen it in New York, where Gov. Cuomo banned fracking in 2014 and stopped the Port Ambrose LNG facility. While Cuomo has emerged as a climate hero, other Democratic governors haven't been as responsive to their constituents on climate matters, even though the Democratic establishment is feeling the activist pressure to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Despite his rhetoric, Gov. Jerry Brown in California continues to frack even in the face of the huge climate disaster in the Porter Ranch community. In addition to Governors Hickenlooper in Colorado, Tom Wolf and Gina Raimondo (Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, respectively) continue to support the fracking industry and related infrastructure despite mounting opposition in those states.

While some politicians and regulators are finally catching up with the science, Big Oil isn't going to give up without a fight, of course, but they are clearly worried that the narrative on dirty energy is shifting.

What's the next step? Keep up the pressure—and amp it up a few volts. The March for a Clean Energy Revolution will hit the streets of Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention this summer—where Democratic leaders around the country will convene—to call for a ban on fracking, to keep fossil fuels in the ground, to stop dirty energy and make a swift, meaningful transition to renewable energy.

We're winning—and we plan on continuing to do so. We'll see you in Philadelphia.

This piece was originally featured on Food & Water Watch.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds State Power, Says Cities Can't Impose Fracking Bans

Is Fracking Causing the Epidemic of Horse Birth Defects at Breeding Farm?

Watch: River Explodes Into Flames From Methane Coming From Nearby Fracking Sites

10 Years of Fracking: Its Impact on Our Water, Land and Climate

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

belchonock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Hrefna Palsdottir, MS

Coconut oil is an incredibly healthy fat.

Read More Show Less
Wesley Martinez Da Costa / EyeEm / Getty Images

By David R. Montgomery

Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
skaman306 / Moment / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a cruciferous vegetable that originated in Asia and Europe (1Trusted Source).

Read More Show Less
Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less
During the summer, the Arctic tundra is usually a thriving habitat for mammals such as the Arctic fox. Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Reports of extreme snowfall in the Arctic might seem encouraging, given that the region is rapidly warming due to human-driven climate change. According to a new study, however, the snow could actually pose a major threat to the normal reproductive cycles of Arctic wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Vegan rice and garbanzo beans meals. Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Read More Show Less