Food & Water Action-Endorsed Sarah Trone Garriott Ousts Sitting Senate President Jake Chapman

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For Immediate Release

Last night, Food & Water Action-endorsed candidate Sarah Trone Garriott ousted sitting Senate President Jake Chapman in Senate District 14.

The victory is retribution for Chapman’s prioritization of corporations over his constituents. During his time as Senate President, Chapman repeatedly placed the interests of corporate donors above those of his constituents, intervening on behalf of carbon pipeline companies to block multiple bills last session that would have stopped the pipelines from moving forward.

In the 2022 legislative session, groups rallied to pass legislation in the State House to prohibit eminent domain takings for the hazardous carbon pipelines proposed around the state. However, Chapman’s State Senate blocked the legislation, despite it being placed on the agenda for a key committee.

In response, Food & Water Action spent $50,000 to fire Chapman. The group knocked on 7,000 doors, holding thousands of conversations with swing voters. They also sent three mailers to these households, educating them on Jake Chapman’s prioritization of pipeline companies over Iowa working families.

Trone Garriott is a staunch advocate for Iowans, not corporations. Her opposition to the use of eminent domain for hazardous carbon pipelines proves this.

Food & Water Action Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit issued the following statement:

“Iowans are ready for politicians who will listen to the people, not corporate profiteers. Nowhere is this more obvious than with the hazardous carbon pipelines proposed for our state, which put all the risk on everyday Iowans and give all the reward to the projects’ corporate backers. Sarah Trone Garriott’s victory is a warning to Iowa politicians who put the interests of the companies bankrolling their campaigns over the needs of their constituents. Let Jake Chapman’s ousting be a reminder to the Jack Whitvers and Pat Grassleys of the world that we the people put them in office — and that we demand results.

“The next legislative session will be critical to stop the unwanted carbon pipelines proposed for our state. We are proud to work with Sarah Trone Garriott and her colleagues in Des Moines to stop these dangerous projects from taking root in Iowa. We’ll be fighting alongside her in the Capitol to ensure legislative leaders know what they have to do on day one of next year’s legislative session: stop the carbon pipelines.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

Hochul Elected to First Full Term as Governor of New York

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For Immediate Release

Tonight, Governor Kathy Hochul was elected to her first full term as Governor of New York, thanks in large part to progressive turnout from climate organizations like Food & Water Action. Her victory over Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, brought climate policy into stark focus: Zeldin relied on baseless industry talking points to call for renewed fracking in New York, while Hochul pledged to uphold the state’s fracking ban law, safeguarding public health, safety, water and climate.

Since day one, the climate movement has pushed Governor Hochul to stop the construction of two new fracked gas plants in the Hudson Valley and New York City, to deny key permits for a fossil fuel powered crypto-mining facility in the Finger Lakes, and to make real steps toward banning fossil fuels in new buildings statewide. Her budget, due in January, will be key for continuing this climate action.

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

“In Governor Hochul’s first term, New York has taken serious strides to move off fossil fuels. With the strength of New York’s voting majority now behind her, she can finish what she started.

“Hochul’s first full term must be one of bold policies to break our state’s destructive reliance on fossil fuels. That should start with signing the fossil-fueled crypto-mining moratorium sitting on her desk, and the inclusion of the All Electric Building Act in her budget due next year.

“We were proud to send our members to the polls to vote for Hochul. Now, let’s get back to work moving New York off fossil fuels.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

Frack Checking Zeldin’s Inaccurate Claims

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For Immediate Release

One week from Election Day, fracking is on the ballot in the New York gubernatorial election. Anti-fracking activists are rallying behind Democrat Kathy Hochul, as Republican Lee Zeldin seeks to reverse New York’s fracking ban. Zeldin’s fracking endorsement echoes industry lies and talking points from as far back as 2014, when then Governor Cuomo enacted New York’s fracking ban. 

Governor Hochul has pledged not to take New York backwards on its fracking ban, which safeguards public health, safety, water and climate.

Food & Water Action breaks down Zeldin’s inaccurate fracking claims.

Fracking Jobs Numbers Are Dangerously Inflated

For years, the oil and gas industry has been wildly inflating estimates of direct and indirect jobs created by the fracking industry. Numbers from the oil and gas trade association American Petroleum Institute (API) range from 2.5 million to 11 million for industry jobs nationwide. But a Food & Water Watch analysis from January 2022 – which is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – debunks these claims, showing that the industry employs far fewer workers than it claims: About 541,000 nationwide, or less than 0.4 percent of all jobs.

What’s more, industry employment is on the decline, suffering losses even as oil and gas production has increased. Total oil and gas employment nationwide has fallen 33 percent since 2014. Over the same period, production has risen 32 percent. Zeldin’s fracking job creation claims are dangerously inaccurate.

Fracking Brought Economic Devastation to Pennsylvania, Not Success

Contrary to Zeldin’s claims, fracking has not brought economic development and jobs to neighboring Pennsylvania. In fact, Pennsylvania is a case study of the dangers of doing the dangerous fracking industry’s bidding. Just under 25,000 workers are employed in the state’s oil and gas industries, a mere 5% of what API claims. Last year, employment in those fields shrank by 20 percent, though record amounts of gas were produced.

Indeed, a February 2021 Ohio River Valley Institute report found that Pennsylvania’s top fracking counties see declines in personal income, jobs, and population at higher rates than non-fracking counties. For example, while Pennsylvania saw a 1.5% population increase, fracking counties saw a 2.6% decline. These are indicators of economic devastation, not success, and Zeldin’s desire to replicate these results in New York is dangerous.

“All of the Above” Energy Is No Climate Fix

Zeldin told the New York Times that he is an “all-of-the-above energy guy,” outlining a policy stance incompatible with avoiding the worst of the climate crisis. A 2022 Food & Water Watch report reveals that a decade of impressive growth in clean energy nationally was matched by increases in fossil fuel production – showing that any meaningful climate policy must focus on measures to stop new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.

An “all of the above” pro-fracking Governor would take New York backwards and torpedo Governor Kathy Hochul’s climate progress.

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

“For eight years, New York’s fracking ban has kept New Yorkers safe and healthy, preserving our air, water and climate for a livable future. Lee Zeldin wants to undo all of that. His reckless, uninformed policies are reflective of a candidate concerned with fear mongering over reality, talking points over action.

“Under Governor Hochul, New York has stopped the construction of two new fracked gas plants, denied key permits for a fossil fuel powered crypto-mining facility, and made real steps toward banning fossil fuels in new buildings including passing a city-level ban in New York City last year. This is the direction New York needs to go — forward not backward.

“Fracking’s day in New York is over. We can’t let Zeldin restart the clock.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

Katie Muth Endorsed by National Environmental Organization

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Food & Water Action, the political arm of the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, is endorsing Katie Muth in the race for Pennsylvania’s Senate District 44, which includes parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties.

Muth’s Republican opponent has received thousands of dollars from pipeline corporation Energy Transfer. 

Food & Water Action Pennsylvania State Director Megan McDonough released the following statement:

“Senator Muth is a lifelong Pennsylvanian who understands the importance of protecting our communities and families from corruption and corporate greed. As a state senator, Katie has been a true champion in the fight for clean water and a healthy environment for all, and we are proud to endorse her for another term fighting for the people of Pennsylvania. 

“We got to know Katie through the work she did in her community to stop Sunoco’s disastrous Mariner East 2 pipelines. She helped lead her neighbors in a fight against a powerful international corporation and the politicians who failed to protect residents from water contamination, sinkholes and property damage. Katie Muth is exactly the kind of fighter we need in Harrisburg.”

Food & Water Action Endorses Michelle Hinchey for New York State Senate District 41

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For Immediate Release

Today, Food & Water Action, the political arm of the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, endorsed Michelle Hinchey in the race for New York’s 41st Senate District, covering portions of Greene, Ulster, Dutchess and Columbia Counties.

Michelle won the endorsement based on her impressive record on climate and other environmental issues. Hinchey is firmly committed to the fight to move New York to 100 percent renewable energy, stopping fossil fuel infrastructure projects and protecting publicly-owned water systems from corporate takeover. 

With the endorsement, Food & Water Action Organizer Emily Skydel issued the following statement:

“Michelle Hinchey is a true climate leader, and the fighter the Hudson Valley needs. Last year, she worked alongside Food & Water Action and the climate movement in the successful fight to stop the proposed Danskammer fracked gas power plant. In one legislative battle after another she has proved her mettle, championing the All-Electric Building Act and Build Public Renewables Act, standing up to polluters and standing up for the Hudson Valley.

“Michelle understands the urgency of the climate crisis and is committed to moving New York off fossil fuels. We are proud to endorse Michelle Hinchey and get to work to send her back to the Senate.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

Food & Water Action Endorses 11 Candidates for Iowa State Legislature

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For Immediate Release

Today, the national environmental group Food & Water Action endorsed 11 candidates for Iowa state legislature:

Molly Buck (HD-41)

Molly Donahue (SD-37)

Monica Kurth (HD-98)

Kay Pence (HD-70)

Michelle Servadio Elias (HD-96)

Art Staed (HD-80)

Sharon Steckman (HD-59)

Phyllis Thede (HD-94)

Sarah Trone Garriott (SD-14)

Deb VanderGaast (SD-41)

Jessica Wiskus (SD-42)

The slate of candidates are committed to bold energy and agriculture policies that ensure a livable future for all.

All endorsed candidates oppose eminent domain for carbon pipelines. As the threat of private land condemnation for three proposed hazardous carbon pipelines grips the state, candidate opposition to eminent domain for private gain is a rallying cry among voters. Food & Water Action polling conducted in April by Change Research found that 73% of voters are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported using eminent domain to build carbon pipelines.

All endorsed candidates support a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms. A Food & Water Watch report found that factory farms’ meteoric rise in Iowa has come at the direct expense of farmers and local economies. From 1982-2017, Iowa lost nearly 90% of its hog farms, as factory farms expanded. As a result, today’s farmers earn $2 less per pound of pork than they did 40 years ago. All endorsed candidates support a transition to a just, sustainable model of agriculture that gives power to Iowans, not multi-billion dollar corporations.

With the endorsements, Food & Water Action Senior Iowa Organizer John Aspray issued the following statement:

“So much is at stake in Iowa’s midterms. Shady developers are scheming to seize private land for their hazardous carbon pipelines, and corporate factory farms are wreaking havoc on our air, water and communities. At the ballot box this fall, Iowans must come together to cast our votes against the corporate profiteering pillaging our state.

“Food & Water Action is proud to endorse a slate of progressive champions committed to fighting for a livable future for all Iowans, united against eminent domain for carbon pipelines and factory farms. Buck, Donahue, Kurth, Pence, Servadio Elias, Staed, Steckman, Thede, Trone Garriott, VanderGaast, and Wiskus are the bold leaders Iowans deserve in Des Moines.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]