“It can get worse — and with [President Biden’s] decisions — it is getting worse.”
*LISTEN TO CALL HERE*
(Washington, DC) — Today, September 9th, the Build Back Fossil Free campaign held a press call with environmental and Indigenous leaders in response to President Biden’s recent comments that the climate crisis is a “code red” situation and called on the administration to declare a climate emergency and stop all fossil fuel projects.
[LISTEN TO THE FULL CALL HERE]
The following are portions of the speakers’ statements from today’s call:
Jane Kleeb, President & Founder, Bold Alliance, Bold Nebraska
“President Biden has acknowledged that the climate crisis is here. In fact, to quote him, he said ‘Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives and our economy, and the threat is here.’ He said, “It’s not going to get any better. The question is, can it get worse?’ All of us who work with frontline communities are here to answer President Biden’s question: It can get worse — and with his administration’s decisions — it is getting worse.
President Biden has the full authority right now — without Congress — to hit a pause button on all proposed fossil fuel projects. If President Biden believes this is an actual “code red” situation, he should treat it as such by declaring a climate emergency immediately through an executive order and stopping all fossil fuel projects.”
Rachel Rivera, Board Member, New York Communities for Change
“I am a mother of six kids. I have suffered from Hurricane Sandy, and my family and I suffer from PTSD because of it. I just want to know, since President Biden is claiming ‘code red’ for climate, what is he going to do about these pipelines? Climate change is happening now and New York cannot sustain another hurricane like Sandy. Families like mine are suffering because of these storms. He is saying ‘code red’ but still allowing these pipelines to continue.”
Cesar Aguirre, Central California Environmental Justice Network
“Our local politicians have been captured for generations by the oil and gas industry. If you’re an oil and gas operator, you can be as irresponsible as you would wish to be, and when you get caught, you get nothing less than a small slap on the wrist for something that could have potentially made you millions or of dollars.
Stopping future and current oil projects, and creating a setback, a distance, from new and existing oil projects that are near where people live, play, eat and breathe — that’s what’s necessary to fight this climate crisis at the source. Not fighting the symptoms, but making sure that the cause of it is stopped right now so that things don’t continue to get worse.”
Tara Houska, Founder, Giniw Collective
“Over 800 of us have been arrested fighting against the Line 3 tar sands expansion project, and to hear President Biden talk about the climate emergency as ‘code red’ yet knowing that he has said absolutely nothing about the brutalization that’s occurred of Water Protectors, and the collaboration between state and private interests in this fight, is hypocrisy.
Where is the action to meet those words? Where is the real substantive response to those words? It would be powerful and send a message to the fossil fuel industry to cancel immediately, or at least suspend and review, the line 304 water crossing permits for Line 3. That would be leadership. It would be powerful. And it would be an action, not words. In the face of the climate crisis, we should not be expanding the fossil fuel industry and allowing the government to subsidize and hand off funds to the fossil fuel industry. It’d be good to see action, not words.”
Build Back Fossil Free is a campaign led by hundreds of grassroots and national groups across the country. They are coming together to ensure Biden becomes the climate president he promised to be. That means acting now to end the era of fossil fuel production, protect communities from the climate emergency, and repair the harm caused by fossil fuels.
Following this call, Build Back Fossil Free will be hosting a kick off webinar for activists at 7pm ET tonight to prepare for an October action called “People vs Fossil Fuels: Biden’s Test”. For more information go to: https://peoplevsfossilfuels.