Activists Rally Against Mountain Valley Pipeline at Virginia Gubernatorial Debate

September 28, 2021

Activists Demand Candidates Pledge to Stop Fossil Fuel Project

For Immediate Release

Alexandria, VA — Tuesday evening, activists from Food & Water Action, Our Revolution and Mothers Out Front rallied at the Northern Virginia gubernatorial debate in Alexandria. The debate was the second meeting of Youngkin and McAuliffe, both vying for the top elected position in Virginia.

Activists picketed the event demanding candidates pledge to stop the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline project from polluting Virginia’s waters and contributing climate-warming greenhouse gases to the worsening climate crisis. Activists also urged candidate commitments to reforming Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The agency’s negligence has been at the heart of controversy around MVP key water permits, with recent news breaking of agency pressure to steal authority from a citizen board tasked with voting on an upcoming water permit in December. The move came despite Environmental Protection Agency warnings about the “significant degradation of the waters” the project would impart, moving them to recommend denial of another similar water permit.

The fight to stop the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline has been ongoing for seven years, widely opposed by environmental organizations, and thus far unobstructed by Virginia elected officials. Neither candidate for governor has yet taken a stance on the controversial fossil fuel project, which would emit 90 million metric tons of greenhouse gases — the equivalent of adding 23 new coal-fired plants onto the grid.

As Governor, McAuliffe’s administration approved the project, despite public outcry, and his campaign has yet to speak to his current position on the project. Youngkin, meanwhile, has remained silent on climate change entirely, suggesting in the candidates’ first debate that Virginia should walk back its existing clean energy commitments in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

“Any candidate for Virginia’s next governor must commit to moving our state off the fossil fuels that are destroying our environment, health, water and climate,” said Jolene Mafnas, Virginia Organizer with Food & Water Action. “Mountain Valley Pipeline is inconsistent with the steps our state and nation need to take to avoid climate catastrophe and protect our waterways. Virginia’s next governor must pledge to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline and curb our reliance on fossil fuels.”

“With pipelines, it’s not a matter of debate if the pipeline will crack or break, but when,” said Our Revolution Virginia State Organizer Kristin Hoffman. “Virginians deserve clean water and unpolluted soil. And this construction has dramatically impacted our rural communities. Our Governor must represent all Virginians, not just the wealthier, urban areas”

“A newly released study has shown that if we continue on the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, our children will “live through roughly three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents,” said Mothers Out Front Virginia Senior Organizer Tiziana Bottino. “The Mountain Valley Pipeline would be responsible for emitting the same amount of greenhouse gases as 26 US coal plants or 19 million passenger vehicles per year. Methane gas also causes a myriad of adverse health impacts, especially on young children’s lungs. We can’t afford to continue investing in fossil fuel infrastructure and borrow resources from our children’s future; the time to invest in renewable energy is now.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action, [email protected]

Tampa Youth and Climate Activists Hold Code Red For Humanity Climate Day of Action

September 24, 2021

Taking Place Across the State and Nation, Climate Strikers Call on Government Officials to Recognize and React to the Climate Crisis and IPCC Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2021

Last month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released their sixth assessment report, which warned that climate change is now a “code red for humanity.” This report calls for acting with an urgency never seen before, and climate groups in Tampa Bay have responded to this call.

On September 24th, Sunrise PHS, Food and Water Action, and other members of the Tampa Bay Climate Alliance co-hosted a climate day of action strike outside Tampa City Hall. Other represented groups included FIREE, ACE, the Tampa PSL, and the CLEO Institute. Strikers focused on local, state, and federal governmental officials, demanding that they take necessary action in response to the warnings of the IPCC report on climate change. Activist demands include encouraging the city to declare a climate emergency, creating plans to divest from fossil fuel usage and subsidization, setting plans to reach net-zero emissions, and employing climate justice in the fight against climate change. 

The Tampa march is part of the annual national Climate Day of Action in alignment with Fridays for Future (affiliated with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg). The strike is a chance to demand change before it is too late.

“Climate change is not an issue of the future. It is happening here and now,” said Caitlin Hagney, Sunrise PHS Co-Founder and Sunrise Movement Youth Organizer. “Whenever adults applaud me for taking action at such a young age I explain to them I don’t have a choice. If we don’t fight now, and don’t enact the legislation we need to cut emissions drastically within the next few years at most, global warming will be what collapses my generation, and my future.”

Tampa’s strike was one of four events across Florida with other events in Miami, Tallahassee and Orlando, all working in a unified effort to combat climate change. Attendees across Florida wore red to call attention to the IPCC report’s “code red” designation.

“As youth, we have the largest stake and we can no longer be silent,” said Anisa Nanavati, an Action for Climate Emergency organizer. “In Tampa, we are seeing the effects of climate change firsthand and the future of our city is at stake. I want a world where my four younger siblings and future generations can enjoy the place that we call home.”

“To learn that our government officials are putting our lives at stake for the sake of profit is disheartening to learn as a teen,” said Julia Perrigault-Eng, Sunrise PHS Co-Founder. “As youth, our voices aren’t represented in the legislation that decides the future of our planet. The time to act is now because the effects of climate change are not slowing down anytime soon. Our politicians must listen to the voices of Generation Z and declare a Climate Emergency immediately.”

The youth-led day of climate action included representation from people of all ages, nationalities, genders, and sexualities coming together to advocate for a better tomorrow. 

“Tampa Bay climate activists of all ages are proud to stand with the youth as we demand a better future for our communities,” said Brooke Errett, Florida Senior Organizer with Food & Water Action. “We call on our Representative Castor to fight for Tampa Bay and stand up to fossil fuel subsidies in the Build Back Better Act. A better future is one that does not pay fossil fuel companies to pollute.”

Photos of the event will be available here.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action, 207-400-1275, [email protected]

FWA Endorses Lujan, Ramos, Johnson and Martinez for Orange County Legislature and Newburgh City Council

June 15, 2021

Newburgh, NY — The environmental advocacy group Food & Water Action is endorsing a slate of candidates committed to bold climate action and stopping the Danskammer fracked gas power plant in Newburgh. The group announced the endorsement for the “Stop Danskammer Slate” at a rally last night.

The “Stop Danskammer Slate” of progressive candidates for Orange County legislative office include Kevindaryan Lujan for District 4, Genesis Ramos for District 6 and Pearl Johnson for District 16. It also includes Giselle Martinez for City of Newburgh city council district for Ward 1.

With the endorsement, Food & Water Action Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“Newburgh needs leadership that stands up to polluting special interests. The candidates on the Stop Danskammer Slate have stood with us in protesting Danskammer’s dirty facility, they stand with Newburgh’s environmental justice community in demanding better policies and investment to uplift the community, not profit off its pollution. We are proud to endorse Lujan, Ramos, Johnson and Martinez as representatives of both the city and town of Newburgh.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action, [email protected]

Food & Water Action Endorses Tasha Young for Greenburgh Town Supervisor

May 28, 2021

Greenburgh, NY — The national advocacy group Food & Water Action is endorsing Tasha Young for Greenburgh Town Supervisor, citing her commitment to bringing the green economy to Greenburgh. Young is committed to a just transition in Greenburgh that will bring rebates, state grants and green jobs to the city.

Tasha Young was born and raised in Greenburgh as the third generation in her family with roots in the community. Her commitment to ensuring the city thrives is deep-rooted and heartfelt. With years of experience serving as a policy expert and Chief of Staff on the New York City Council, Young also has the expertise to generate the bold policies needed to achieve her vision.

With the endorsement, Food & Water Action Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“Tasha Young is a crucial partner to the grassroots climate movement in New York. As Town Supervisor, she will bring an environmental justice lens to everything she does, as she fights to ensure full funding for the volunteer-led sustainability measures that have been won to date. With her leadership, Greenburgh will see the benefits of a just transition to a green economy and set a standard for local green job growth that the rest of the state would be wise to follow.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action, [email protected]

Food & Water Action Endorses Conor Greene, Vanessa Agudelo, Amy Vele and Amy Perlow in Peekskill

May 28, 2021

Peekskill, NY — The national advocacy group Food & Water Action is endorsing the Progress for Peekskill slate of progressive candidates for Peekskill public office, citing the group’s platform prioritization of bold climate policies. The Progress for Peekskill slate includes Conor Greene for Mayor, and Vanessa Agudelo, Amy Vele and Amy Perlow for Common Council.

As the city of Peekskill sees a revitalization boom, Greene, Agudelo, Vele and Perlow are committed to ensuring any city growth is tied to sustainability and positive public health outcomes. The slate of candidates has committed to standardizing environmental impact as a measure for smart city development, including bold commitments to require building efficiencies beyond the state mandated requirements, and streamlining permitting processes for local community-based renewable energy projects.

With the endorsement, Food & Water Action Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“Greener cities are more prosperous and healthy cities. For the Progress for Peekskill slate, sustainability is built into all decisionmaking and underscores all policies. We are proud to endorse Conor Greene for Mayor, and Vanessa Agudelo, Amy Vele and Amy Perlow for Common Council, and look forward to working with them to ensure that Peekskill is a leader in sustainable living that makes serious progress on addressing the climate crisis.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action, [email protected]

Food & Water Action Endorses Mike Hollingsworth for New York City Council District 35

May 24, 2021

New York, NY — The national advocacy group Food & Water Action is endorsing Mike Hollingsworth for New York City Council District 35, citing his track record of community leadership and commitment to a Green New Deal that works for all New Yorkers.

A lifelong Brooklynite, Mike Hollingsworth has a history of building change from the ground up, and winning big on bold issues facing his community. Hollingsworth has shown his commitment time and again to standing up to corporate influence in New York City politics, and is a staunch ally to the Green New Deal movement. A victim of environmental racism and fossil fuel polluter-driven childhood asthma, Hollingsworth is a critical ally in the fight against climate change in New York City.

With the endorsement, Food & Water Action Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“We are proud to endorse Mike Hollingsworth’s candidacy for New York City Council. Brooklyn needs bold leadership to ensure a rapid and just transition off fossil fuels. We are confident in Mike Hollingsworth’s vision and political and grassroots organizing acumen to get the job done.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Action [email protected]