Environmentalists are working tirelessly to defeat the energy industry and are fighting against the Trump administration’s pro-energy agenda. Environmental groups understand that under this administration, the likelihood of the energy industry being hit with heavy regulations that would harm it is slim.
After careful analysis of environmental groups’ efforts, one can conclude that they’ve chosen to focus on three key vehicles to fight back against the energy industry: record-setting fundraising, a robust grassroots movement that includes new candidates running for office and endless litigation.
Environmentalists’ efforts to fight against the energy industry could be detrimental to the midstream industry and Americans across the country.
The first way in which the environmental groups are fighting against our industry is through fundraising. The 2016 presidential election turned the tide for them in terms of fundraising. “[No] community of interest has been more impacted than environmentalists—and since the election, environmental groups have seen a surge in volunteers and donations,” Larry Kaplan wrote in Nonprofit Quarterly.
In one example, Bloomberg BNA broke down the environmental groups’ successes in an article published in 2017: The Sierra Club enjoyed a rise in donations, a 700% increase in fundraising from Election Day to the last day in January 2017 by 30,000 new monthly donors, according to Trey Pollard, a spokesman for the Sierra Club.
Second, environmental groups are raising awareness and amplifying their message through marches; increasing volunteer grassroots numbers, especially among younger Americans; and promoting new candidates for public office. On April 29, 2017, the 100th day of President Trump’s administration, “protestors backing action on climate change” gathered for the People’s Climate March in the nation’s capital, CNN reported. In addition to that one, numerous other marches were held across the country.
Anger toward the energy industry has spread to young Americans, who are participating in the grassroots movement by taking matters into their own hands and organizing their own marches.
Zero Hour is organizing a march this July in Washington, D.C., “to build collective youth power,” according to the organization’s website. The group was founded by a 16-year-old, “a fierce climate justice advocate” who was “frustrated by the inaction of politicians and the fact that youth voices were almost always ignored in the conversation around climate change and the profound impact that it would have on young people.”
The organization says that in July, it “will march on the National Mall and speak to our elected representatives in Congress directly in an advocacy day. At the same time, youth will hold distributed actions—marches, rallies and advocacy days—in cities all across the world.”
The third way environmentalists are fighting against the energy industry and the Trump administration is through litigation.
Earthjustice’s Marty Hayden told Bloomberg BNA in an article, “Times like this are what this organization was made for. If they step out of the bounds of the law, we will see them in court, just like we did in the Bush era. And we sued the Obama administration quite a bit as well.”
The Sierra Club, Earthjustice, the Environmental Defense Fund and many other environmental groups have filed numerous lawsuits against the government. In March, the Sierra Club “filed two lawsuits challenging the [California] County of San Diego’s latest iteration of its Climate Action Plan, which again fails to set forth concrete, enforceable measures that adequately reduce the climate change impacts of development in the county,” according to its website.
Earlier this year, “on behalf of Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth,” Earthjustice “filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Anchorage on Feb. 2 challenging federal lease sales that pave the way for expanded oil and gas drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska,” according to Earthjustice’s website.
One crucial issue for GPA Midstream’s members is ensuring we get a workable methane regulation. We’ve been challenged in court every step of the way by the environmental groups that continue to work against us.
There’s no doubt the environmental community is stepping up its game, has more resources to fight the energy industry, and will continue building its grassroots and political movement and its aggressive litigation efforts. While we can’t stop these groups from attacking the midstream industry, we can be prepared by actively engaging in the political process, both in Washington and through grassroots efforts. We can be prepared to engage in litigation where needed.
GPA Midstream is working hard to ensure our industry is engaged at all these levels.
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