When the media talks about the climate crisis, there’s a lot of focus on the dysfunction in Congress. That’s understandable, since Congress’s inaction has enormous consequences and it’s critical that our representatives start actively opposing the fossil fuel industry.
But when it comes to the nitty-gritty of stopping the build-out of fossil fuel projects, the elected bodies making these decisions are often much less glamorous. Congress plays a role, but it’s the city councils, port authorities, and Public Utilities Commissions that are regularly making the crucial calls on whether fossil fuel infrastructure gets built – or gets stopped in its tracks.
That’s why we’re renewing our partnership with Lead Locally, a great group dedicated to electing climate leaders unafraid to stand up to industry at the local level. Last year, our supporters volunteered to help elect three local climate champions through this collaboration – and these candidates have since killed plans for an oil export terminal in Washington state and massively delayed a fracked gas pipeline in Pennsylvania.
Volunteering is easy – after signing up, you’ll get plugged into making phone calls and sending text messages from the comfort of your own home. You’ll be joining hundreds of others around the country who are doing the same thing, contacting voters to let them know the facts and asking them to reject the influence of Big Oil’s dirty money in these districts.
It’s high time to reset the definition of “climate leadership” at all levels and get serious about taking on Big Oil, Gas, and Coal. That’s one of our primary goals with launching Oil Change USA – to dig deep into our broken political system and lift up real climate leadership that helps people and planet.
This year we’re working to elect a group of local climate leaders who are willing to stand up to the fossil fuel industry – to reject its money by taking the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, to reject all new fossil fuel projects, and to promote real solutions to the climate crisis.
The candidates we’re supporting include:
Katy Eymann for Coos County Commission (Oregon) – Katy is running to stop the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline and export facility, and to revitalize Coos County with economic opportunity that will last long beyond the fracked gas era. Jordan Cove has donated over $20,000 to Katy’s opponent, incumbent John Sweet, who is in favor of the proposed project.
Christa Yoakum for Public Service Commission (Nebraska) – Christa is running for an open seat on the Nebraska Public Service Commission with a promise to put Nebraskans first. The PSC is the body that approved permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and with Christa on the PSC, there would be a majority opposed to using eminent domain for dangerous pipeline development. Christa’s vision for this seat is focused on protecting the environment, expanding broadband access for all, and protecting consumers from corporate greed.
Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner (New Mexico) – Stephanie is running for New Mexico’s Land Commissioner, a position that oversees methane regulations and public lands in New Mexico. If elected, she is committed to stopping the expansion of fracking and drilling in the Permian Basin, one of the largest remaining oil and gas reserves in the world. Chevron and other industry players have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the primary election season, and we’re expecting them to spend big again for the general election.
These candidates were all early signers of the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, and they’ve worked closely with grassroots organizers to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure and build a brighter energy future with authentic community input.
These are the kind of real climate leaders we need to turn this crisis around, and they’ll have the power to stop fossil fuel projects in their states – if we join Lead Locally in helping them get elected.