Food & Water Action Endorses Elizabeth Guzman For Virginia State Assembly

August 12, 2019

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2019
Contact:
 Jorja Rose, [email protected], 202-683-2483

Richmond, VA– Food & Water Action, the political arm of the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, is endorsing Elizabeth Guzman for reelection to the Virginia State Assembly in the 31st District.

Throughout her time in the state assembly, Del. Guzman was a leader in passing Medicaid expansion in Virginia.  She has also been a fierce advocate for workers and setting a minimum wage.

Guzman has also supported transitioning Virginia towards 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035. She’s opposed to efforts to build out pipelines and expand fracked gas infrastructure, which run rampant in the state of Virginia thanks to special privilege shown to corporations like Dominion Energy. We need voices like Guzman’s actively objecting to these projects, which put our air, water, and health on the line.

“Delegate Guzman is the environmental advocate we need representing Virginia’s 31st assembly district,” said Jorge Aguilar, Food & Water Action’s Southern Region Director. “She is prioritizing the clean and renewable energy industry that will position Virginia as a jobs leader while opposing gas pipelines in Virginia.  Del. Guzman is fighting for this future because she knows Virginia must move away from the industrial pollution and climate chaos caused by fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

For too long, Virginia’s communities have seen their own health and safety sidelined by government officials who take corporate money and serve those self-interests once in office.  Now two new proposed pipelines in Virginia, including a pipeline in Guzman’s own district in Prince William County, threaten to expand Virginia’s dependence on fracked gas. Electing candidates like Guzman can change that the direction Virginia is heading.”

In Virginia, companies like Dominion Energy have spent huge amounts of money on campaign contributions and lobbying to influence legislators and officials to pass policies favorable to big business. But Guzman has pledged not to take any Dominion money because of her strong belief in the need for campaign finance reform and her determination to hold companies like Dominion accountable for their poor environmental record and continued investment in fossil fuels. Instead, she is pushing for the most ambitious renewable energy plan the state has ever seen,  which will address climate change and halt fossil fuel projects.

 

Dem Candidates Must Respond to the DOE’s New & Nightmarish Petrochemical Plan to Destroy Appalachia

July 26, 2019

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 26, 2019
Contact: Jackie Filson, [email protected], 202-683-2538

Dem Candidates Must Respond to the DOE’s New & Nightmarish Petrochemical Plan to Destroy Appalachia

Washington, DC – The Department of Energy (DOE) just gave testimony urging the prioritization of petrochemical buildouts in Appalachia, including tapping “wet” gas reserves in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Together, these three states are now predicted to be the third-largest natural gas producer in the world.

On June 19, the House of Representatives passed an amendment filed by Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) stating that funds used by the DOE clean energy program cannot be used to support any projects that do not decrease greenhouse gas emissions. As this amendment moves towards the Senate, the presidential candidates who are also US Senators and want to tout environmental agendas, have an obligation to announce support for this amendment and opposition to projects like the Appalachia buildout.

In response, Food & Water Action Executive Director Wenonah Hauter released the following statement:

“The West Virginia legislature and US energy officials are hoping to increase production of petrochemicals, right when we need to be stopping it. The DOE’s negligence towards the people of Appalachia and the environment is now more blatant and repulsive than ever before. As they urge national investment in a ‘petrochemical Renaissance’ what they’re really calling for is the destruction of these states, communities, people, and families. The science has made it very clear: you can not develop gas without causing serious health crises to surrounding communities and degrading the water, air, and land. No promises of jobs or economic vitality offset the subsequent harm.

“Many Democratic presidential candidates continue to cite ‘the environment’ and ‘climate change’ as part of their most important policy positions. Several of the leading candidates are senators whose voice and vote against these dirty projects could make a tremendous difference. At the debates this week, we urge them to discuss and clearly oppose this maddening new plan and commit to climate change solutions that will put an end to petrochemical buildouts like this.

“Without an urgent, if not instant, real and comprehensive Green New Deal, under-the-radar plans to sacrifice large parts of our country for petrochemical production will continue. Each candidate must commit to moving our country 100% off of fossil fuels and 100% on to clean, renewable energies. Anything less than a national fracking ban and a plan to stop other dangerous fossil-fuel related projects, will deepen our climate crisis and wreak havoc on public health.”

Dustin White of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition also responds:

“To seriously tackle the issue of climate change, we must identify all the root sources. It isn’t enough just to look at how we generate electricity. We must also stop the expansion of petrochemicals and plastics manufacturing that is already occurring in places like the Gulf Coast and new proposed projects like the over 500 square mile petrochemical mega-complex, the Appalachian Storage and Trading Hub, proposed for the Ohio River Valley of Appalachia.

“These projects not only create more economic disparity but long term human health risks to those who live in these areas while exacerbating climate change globally.  We must end these fossil fuel sacrifice zones in order to give current and future generations clean air and water along with a world free of plastic pollution and climate chaos.”

CO Organizations Call Out Hickenlooper, Invite Candidates to See Fracking Firsthand

July 25, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2019
Contact: Patricia Garcia-Nelson, [email protected], (337)532-0135

Colorado Organizations Call Out Hickenlooper’s Debate Statement, Invite Presidential Candidates to See Harms of Fracking Firsthand

Ahead of Democratic Presidential Debate in Detroit next week, frontline communities who have experienced fracking under former Gov. Hickenlooper state that he is not the climate leader he says he is 

Denver, CO – Colorado grassroots organizations sent a letter to all of the presidential candidates addressing the statements that former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made about natural gas, fracking, and climate change at the first Democratic debate. The organizations issued an invitation to the presidential candidates to come to Colorado, meet with them, and see firsthand the disastrous impacts drilling and fracking is having in their communities. They pointed to the fact that the overwhelming majority of more than 1,500 peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrate that drilling and fracking pose serious risks and harms to public health and the environment.

A copy of the letter is available here: https://www.foodandwateraction.org/sites/default/files/july_25.pdf

In the debate, Hickenlooper pointed to methane controls in Colorado, and by extension fracking and natural gas, as a climate solution. As the letter states, “This is wrong. Science is clear that the cumulative greenhouse gas implications of fracking, including drilling, necessary infrastructure such as pipelines and compressor stations, and the ultimate combustion of natural gas make it disastrous for the climate. It is as bad, or possibly worse, as coal, given the extremely high potency of methane released throughout the process. The methane controls the governor referred to are equivalent to putting filters on cigarettes. Yes, they help a little, but they won’t stop us from climate catastrophe, or from getting cancer.”

The letter to the presidential candidates concludes, “We invite you to come to our state and our communities to meet those of us harmed by fracking, see the impacts on our lives, and to recognize the science demonstrating that it is disastrous for the climate and cannot be part of any serious climate plans.”

“In continuing to spin dangerous, untruthful assertions about the inherently hazardous, climate-killing process of fracking, Governor Hickenlooper has now firmly planted himself on the wrong side of history,” said Food & Water Action Colorado Organizer Jason Harrison. “Any Democrat serious about winning the presidential nomination would be wise to acknowledge the realities of public health and climate disaster with regard to fossil fuels, and clearly call for a ban on fracking everywhere, now.”

“A recent Harvard study showed that the dangerous spike in global methane levels – a powerful greenhouse gas – is largely originating in the US during the same timeframe as the US fracking boom has emerged,” said 350 Colorado Action Board Member Micah Parkin. “The methane emission rates we see in Colorado and most other places across the nation are worse for the global climate than burning coal, so Hickenlooper is dead wrong about any fracking benefits to our global climate.”

“For too long old-line Dems have walked the oil industry tight rope hoping that climate and continued large scale oil development are compatible,” said whistleblower Phil Doe, formerly of the US Bureau of Reclamation. “Well, the scientific evidence overwhelmingly says they aren’t.  Fossil fuels are killing us, and it is time for responsible Dems to step up to the plate and admit it, without hysterics or caterwauling. It’s a life or death matter.”

Patricia Garcia-Nelson, impacted resident from Greeley, CO said, “For years, Hickenlooper gave the industry free reign to operate in our state, while ignoring public health and safety. Coloradans have decided enough is enough. We are now fighting to clean up the mess left by his administration. No other industry would be permitted to build a massive, toxic site a few hundred feet from a school like they are doing with the fracking wells at Bella Romero in Greeley. We can no longer allow oil and gas to put our children and future at risk. We are running out of time to act.”

Patricia has been featured in the New York Times and the Daily Show, among others, about the terrible environmental injustices from fracking at Bella Romero, where her son attends school.

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Gov. Inslee Would Ban Fracking – So Might Nine Other Candidates, and Counting

June 25, 2019

For Immediate Release– June 24, 2019
Contact: Seth Gladstone – [email protected], 917.363.6615

Washington, D.C. – Gov. Jay Inslee today released a climate and energy plan that, among other things, would institute a national ban on fracking. Additionally, nine other Democratic presidential candidates claim to oppose fracking. On this topic, Food & Water Action Climate & Energy Program Director Mitch Jones issued the following statement: 

Governor Inslee’s intention to ban fracking across America is precisely the type of bold, smart action we need to address the deepening climate and public health crises extreme fossil fuel extraction has created. The nine other candidates that claim to oppose fracking now need to talk in specific detail about exactly what they would do to halt the process as soon as they take office. And the candidates that haven’t yet publicly opposed fracking need to pull their heads out of the sand, and get on board with the will of most Americans.”

Background:

Washington, D.C. (June 3, 2019) – A presidential candidate survey released by The Washington Post indicates that ten Democratic candidates – Booker, Buttigieg, de Blasio, Gabbard, Inslee, Messam, Sanders, Swalwell, Warren and Williamson – support a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the U.S. Meanwhile, a poll last year from the Pew Research Center indicates that a majority of Americans – 58% – oppose fracking. The same poll indicated that 65% of “moderate Democrats” and 83% of “liberal Democrats” oppose fracking. In response to the Post’s candidate survey, Food & Water Action Climate & Energy Program Director Mitch Jones issued the following statement:

“Given that most Americans oppose fracking, for good reason, it’s not surprising that more and more presidential candidates are coming to the prudent conclusion that fracking simply must be banned. Front-line communities across the country are dealing every day with the human health and environmental risks that fracking inherently brings. Fracking poisons air and water, and makes people sick. Americans know it, and finally Democratic candidates are beginning to get the picture.”

Food & Water Action is the political arm of Food & Water Watch. At Food & Water Action, we hold our elected officials accountable and ensure that those who represent us reflect and embody our core values of universal access to safe food, clean water, and a livable climate.

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Beacon City Council Candidates Endorsed by Food & Water Action

June 21, 2019

Rhodes, Aymar-Blair earn support based on opposition to Danskammer plant

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2019

Food & Water Action, the political arm of the national advocacy group Food & Water Watch, is endorsing Air Rhodes and Dan Aymar-Blair for Beacon City Council.

The pair earned the endorsement based on their strong advocacy for bold clean energy policies, including their firm opposition to the plan to build the massive Danskammer fracked gas power plant in Newburgh.

“Meeting the challenge of the climate crisis requires strong leaders at every level of government, and the state’s new climate law means we must stop fossil fuel projects like the Danskammer fracked gas plant,” said Food & Water Action organizer Andrew Pezzullo. “Air Rhodes and Dan Aymar-Blar have already shown that they are ready to lead on the most crucial issues of our time.”

Food & Water Watch was one of the lead organizations in the successful statewide campaign to ban fracking, and the group’s organizers and volunteers spearhead campaigns to shut down fossil fuel infrastructure projects. In 2018, Food & Water Action made its first endorsements in New York, deploying its statewide power to send strong climate champions to Albany.

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Food & Water Action Endorsed Candidate Loraine Lundquist Makes it to L.A. City Council Runoff

June 5, 2019

For Immediate Release—June 5, 2019
Contact: Walker Foley, (323) 843-8448, [email protected]

Los Angeles, CA- Efforts by Food & Water Action and others paid off last night when Loraine Lundquist made it into the top two vote getters in a special election in L.A. City Council District 12. Lundquist, a Democrat and sustainability professor at Cal State Northridge, will face Republican John Lee in a runoff on August 13.

Food & Water Action knocked on 11,000 doors since its April endorsement. Volunteers and staff made almost 5,000 phone calls and the organization sent over 2000 mail pieces.

Food & Water Action did this with a small and dedicated team who worked tirelessly and who kept volunteers energized week-after-week.

In response to the Lundquist win, Food & Water Action Senior Organizer Walker Foley issued this statement:

“This is a powerful message— the Aliso Canyon community is not going to sit around and wait to see what crumbs it is offered by wavering politicians. We’re going to fight until City Council and other elected offices are filled with bold leaders who aren’t afraid to take action to shut down the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility.”

Lundquist faces an uphill battle in the runoff, but Food & Water Action will continue to help clear a path to her election.

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Food & Water Action mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold & uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.