February 21 2015 Email Blast

Mining, tar sands, oil trains, divestment, students: we DO have the power!


Time (and environmentally)-Sensitive PRIORITY: write, call and show-up!

Many 350 Maine and other environmental activists worked quite hard over the last two years to defeat legislation in support of mountaintop removal in Maine. Now, the exact same mining rules are back at the legislature for reconsideration (LD 146) and a public hearing is set for Wednesday, February 25th at 9:00 a.m. in room 216 of the Cross buildingnext to the statehouse in Augusta. For more information: see this link (including a carpool link).

Please write the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee ASAP (see a suggested make-it-your-own letterhere; being specific about the bill’s flaws vs. just voicing appropriate anti-mining sentiment would be best) and attend the hearing. Here’s an information link from NRCM and a simple mechanism to contact your individual legislator. And here’s a petition to sign in opposition to the bill.



Tar Sands Update

  • Keystone XL pipeline (KXL): we are anticipating that Congress will send their Keystone XL pipeline bill to President Obama next week. See this video forwarded from 350.org which includes "one of the best explanations....of why the President needs to give Keystone XL the 'one-two punch' by rejecting the pipeline after he vetoes Congress' bill."

  • South Portland sued by the oil industry — update: consistent with 350 Maine’s position on this issue, here's the key thing to consider in any dialogue related to this fossil fuel bullying =  "We support the Clear Skies Ordinance" (CSO). Keep it that simple...with any other references potentially fueling Big Oil's propaganda and legal arguments. Remember: the CSO is about protecting AIR quality....

  • Our next Tar Sands Team meeting needs YOU! Please complete the Doodle poll for our next meeting - on 2/28 or 3/1.



More Oil Train Explosions

In addition to the explosive oil train derailment in West Virginia, there were recently two derailments in Canada. The derailment in West Virginia was one of three with “safer” tank cars - with the industry indicating that further upgrades would be too costly. It’s past time to accept that there is no safe way to transport these killer fuels; please sign this petition calling on President Obama to stop this exploding trains.


Divestment Are Us!

Global Dive$tment Day was a huge success around the globe —  and in Maine! —  with divestment from fossil fuels and investment in renewables continuing to grow. See these links for reports on events in Maine and internationally:

  • “Vittles and Videos”: this 350 Lincoln County event included people viewing a film of Maine divestment activists, sharing their own experiences and passions over soup and bread - and planning for the future.

Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM is also In the divestment/investment news:  The WERU Board of Directors decided on February 16, 2015 at its monthly meeting to invest the organization's $60,000 endowment in a socially responsible manner, a decision that the Board believes reflects the values of WERU. For additional information about this impressive choice, see this link.


We DO Have the Power

The 21st annual “Changing Maine” program (coordinated by Resources for Organizing Social Change/ROSC) took place on Saturday, February 14 at the University of Maine in Augusta. Titled “We DO Have the Power — Local Organizing Against Corporate/Industrialized Projects”, the event was well-attended with numerous presentations, breakout groups and planning for local and statewide organizing and action. Please see the 350 Maine photo album here and some additional photos from Roger Leisner here.


Students Plan to Take-On Augusta

Notoriously hostile to solar energy, wind turbines, and all manner of climate friendly laws, Governor Paul Lepage has vetoed more legislation than any other Maine governor ever. Maine Students for Climate Justice (MSCJ) is getting ready to push back: wanting to change history, it is determined to make history.

Supporters of MSCJ are doing a tremendous job developing the “Generation Climate Rising: You Can’t Veto ME” event scheduled for April 11 (Facebook Page here). With the goal to haveover 1000 students assembling in Augusta to stand up for their future and insist that Maine government do the same, we need YOUR help. MSCJ is hoping for a strong contingent of high school students among that number.

Here is the ask: If you know high school students or staff or faculty, reach out to them. Alert them to this action. Invite them to initiate organizing in their school by getting a capable, committed individual or small group of individuals to contact MSCJ via this form. If you are willing to support 350 Maine in our efforts to stand with MSCJ, be in touch with Michelle Fournier and Lee Chisholm — and see additional information here


Save-The-Date: See this Calendar link for information related to upcoming events across the state. mnHere's some key items to consider: 

  • Monday, February 23: Credo Pledge of Resistance Training, Unity College, Students Activity Building, Parsons Wing 205, 6 - 9:00 pm. Contact Read Brugger or Dawn Walls.
  • Wednesday, March 4: "Un-Grounded, Un-Earthed, Un-Believeable! Tar Sands Mining and Its Effects on a People, a Place, A Planet". Osher Hall, Maine College of Art (MECA), 522 Congress St, Portland. 6:00pm. FMI: Hilary Clark; (207) 363-8128

  • March 13-15: Jay O'Hara of the Brayton Point "Lobster Boat Coal Blockade" is coming to Maine; see more information here.

Please engage in our 350 Maine regional node efforts, including with upcoming meetings; see specific information here. 350 Maine processes are guided by our Spokes Council approach, where representatives from our regional nodes and campaign teams communicate regularly - and you’re invited! Here’s information about some upcoming opportunities to connect:

Be sure to join Climate Vigils including in:

If you are interested in hosting a Tar Sands Healing Walk presentation in your area, please contact Lee Chisholm, Sarah Lachance or Hilary Clark.  See a video of a 11/23/14 presentation in Damariscottahere.

If you are interested in hosting a presentation related to the “Clear Skies Ordinance” win in South Portland, please contact Bob Klotz.


Suggested Media:

Portland Press Herald: Renewable energy faces close scrutiny at State House

Bangor Daily News: LePage joins governor coalition that’s working to expand offshore drilling

Rolling Stone: The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk  

The Guardian: World's biggest PR firm calls it quits with American oil lobby

Common Dreams: Tar Sands Activists Being Targeted by FBI

Team 350 Maine