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Texas Unions, Community, and Climate Groups Release Statement on HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub

By staff - Texas Climate Jobs Project, October 25, 2023

HyVelocity is poised to receive $1.2 billion to build Texas Gulf hydrogen hub

Houston, Texas – Today the Texas Climate Jobs Project, Commission Shift, Air Alliance Houston, West Street Recovery, the Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, Sunrise Movement ATX, Texas AFL-CIO, and the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation released the following statement in response to the Department of Energy’s decision to move forward and negotiate with HyVelocity to award $1.2 billion to build a hydrogen hub in the Texas Gulf:

“We are deeply distressed by the Department of Energy’s decision to advance the HyVelocity hydrogen application in Texas. Through the Department of Energy Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program, the Biden administration is poised to transfer $1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars to HyVelocity, whose application sponsors include ExxonMobil and Chevron, and whose supporting partners include Amazon, Governor Greg Abbott, and the Texas Railroad Commission.” 

“Our organizations are on the front lines of environmental justice, labor organizing, and community work to reduce carbon emissions and improve living conditions across the Texas Gulf, and HyVelocity’s lack of transparency and refusal to make adequate concrete commitments leave us concerned. We urge the Department of Energy to compel HyVelocity to resolve its differences with our organizations before choosing to move the applicant further in the process.” 

“This includes, at a minimum: prioritizing projects that use renewable energy like wind and solar to help reduce overall carbon emissions; binding community workforce agreements for construction workers with strong Justice40 commitments; and binding labor peace agreements to ensure a just transition for fossil fuel workers.”

As UAW Strike Heats Up, Allied Groups Plan National Day of Action, Activating Members to Rally Alongside Workers

By Public Citizen - Common Dreams, October 2, 2023

Environmental, advocacy, consumer, and civil society groups, including Public Citizen, Labor Network for Sustainability, Greenpeace USA, Jobs with Justice, Sunrise Movement, Democratic Socialists of America, 350.org, Working Families Party, Evergreen Action, and Green New Deal Network, today announced plans for a national day of action on October 7, aimed at supporting striking auto workers and urging the Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis—to meet the demands of 150,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Participating groups will rally their supporters to advocate alongside UAW members for a fair contract that protects worker rights and prioritizes workers in the United States as the vehicle fleet transitions towards electric vehicles.

“The transition to EVs must not be a race to the bottom that exacerbates harm to workers and communities,” said Erika Thi Patterson, auto supply chain campaign director for Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “We need a just transition to EVs that protects our planet and people. That’s why 130+ groups representing millions of people are ready to partner with UAW in a national day of action to stand with auto workers. The implications of this strike could drastically raise standards across the auto industry and broader supply chain.”

The national day of action, planned for October 7, 2023, will mobilize members and grassroots activists to attend active picket lines where UAW members are on strike, and to join the UAW’s nationwide “community canvass,” where advocates will offer the public informational leaflets about why they support the auto workers in front of Big Three auto dealerships.

“Now is a decisive moment in whether the Green New Deal’s promise of creating millions of good-paying, union jobs will be fulfilled–or not.” said Sydney Ghazarian, a Labor Network for Sustainability organizer who has been coordinating UAW solidarity work. “UAW’s fight for an economically and socially just EV transition is our fight too.”

GOP, Corporate Media Attempt to Manufacture Conflict Between Autoworkers and Climate

The Green New Deal from Below and the Future of Work

Why the Climate Movement Is Supporting Auto Worker’s Fight for a Just Transition

By Sydney Ghazarian - Labor Network for Sustainability, August 17, 2023

Welcome everyone! My name is Sydney, I am an organizer with the Labor Network for Sustainability, and I am honored to facilitate tonight’s Solidarity Call for United Auto Workers Union, which is currently bargaining for a fair contract with the Big 3 Automakers- Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. 

What makes tonight’s call so special is that it’s a solidarity call by and for the climate movement because we recognize that UAW’s fight is our fight too.

What I love about the climate movement is that we are fighters. And our fight has spanned decades and across generations, and for the last several years, hundreds and thousands of us have rallied, door knocked, made calls, and done sit ins and direct actions to fight for a Green New Deal– which is a society-wide mobilization and just transition to decarbonize the economy while repairing historic harm and creating millions of high-paying, union jobs.

And I want to be clear: Without us fighting for a Green New Deal, there would be no Inflation Reduction Act and its historic investments in clean energy. But we also know that the IRA is not a Green New Deal, and falls desperately short of the Green New Deal’s vision of the world we are trying to build. Rather than massive investments in the public sector, frontline communities, and good, green, union jobs that uplift working people, the IRA invests primarily in private corporations– often the same ones responsible for perpetuating the climate crisis in the first place. 

Unlike the IRA, the Green New Deal understands that the implementation of climate policy, and how resources are distributed to achieve it, are key to ensuring climate justice and ensuring that millions of people are equipped to take that leap of faith away from fossil fuels and into a green economy. 

To The CEOs of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis:

By various - Labor Network for Sustainability, et. al., August 16, 2023

(Mary Barra, Jim Farley, and Carlos Tavares)

We, the undersigned climate, environmental, racial, and social justice organizations, stand in solidarity with auto workers and their union the United Auto Workers (UAW) in their upcoming contract negotiations with the “Big 3” automakers: General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. We firmly support the UAW members’ demands and believe that the success of these negotiations is of critical importance for the rights and well-being of workers and to safeguard people and the environment. Only through meeting these demands will the United States ensure a just transition to a renewable energy future.

Lack of fair wages, job security, and dignified working conditions have left workers and our communities reeling. Worse, in recent months, workers and their communities have experienced unprecedented extreme heat, smoke pollution, flooding, and other disasters. The leaders of your companies have historically made decisions that exacerbated both of these crises over the past few decades — driving further inequality and increasing pollution. That is why we are standing in solidarity with the UAW and all workers and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and the necessary transition.

Within the next few years — the span of this next contract — lies humanity’s last chance to navigate a transition away from fossil fuels, including away from combustion engines. With that shift comes an opportunity for workers in the United States to benefit from a revival of new manufacturing, including electric vehicles (EVs) and collective transportation like buses and trains, as a part of the renewable energy revolution. This transition must center workers and communities, especially those who have powered our economy through the fossil fuel era, and be a vehicle for economic and racial justice. We are putting you on notice: Corporate greed and shareholder profits must never again be put before safe, good-paying union jobs, clean air and water, and a liveable future.

There’s a big pot of climate bill money waiting to be seized: activists can’t miss the opportunity

By Jeff Ordower and Daniel Hunter - Waging Nonviolence, February 22, 2023

The Inflation Reduction Act wasn't written for climate justice, but there’s a ton of money for organizers and movement players to access.

Yes, the Inflation Reduction Act is the most consequential piece of climate legislation in the U.S. Yes, it’s also the only federal legislation. Yes, it’s imperfect. Yes, parts of it are downright vile. Yes, the negotiations exacerbated tensions between insider green organizations and those on the frontlines. 

But let’s be real, nothing more is going to pass at the federal level in the foreseeable future. So now that the IRA is the law of the land, how do organizers and movement players work with it? 

As long-time organizers and climate justice activists, we see organizing opportunities in the roughly $390 billion in climate funding available. As an analysis from Just Solutions points out, the bill was not written for climate justice. But there’s a ton of money that suddenly we can access for poor and disenfranchised communities — and it would be a wasted opportunity to leave that money on the table.

With all its limitations, the IRA can further our campaigns if we use the opportunity.

The Green New Deal: The Current State of Play

By Jeremy Brecher - Labor Network for Sustainability, February 2023

For the past year I have been researching and writing about initiatives around the country to implement the core ideas of the Green New Deal at a community, state, and local level – what I call the “Green New Deal from Below.” I have discovered hundreds of projects, policies, programs, and new laws that embody the principles of the Green New Deal at a sub-national level. But as I begin to tell people about what I am finding, I often get a response that I could paraphrase as “The Green New Deal – isn’t that just last-decade’s fad?” That is often followed with the question, “What’s left of the Green New Deal?” That’s the question I address in this Commentary.

Green New Deal – the Backstory

The Green New Deal is a visionary program to protect the earth’s climate while creating good jobs, reducing injustice, and eliminating poverty. Its core principle is to use the necessity for climate protection as a basis for realizing full employment and social justice. It became an overnight sensation with a 2018 occupation of Nancy Pelosi’s office by the youth climate movement Sunrise supporting a congressional resolution by newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling for a Green New Deal. A poll released December 14, 2018 by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that 40% of registered voters “strongly support” and 41% “somewhat support” the general concepts behind a Green New Deal.[1]

Soon after the occupation of Pelosi’s office, a wide swath of public interest organizations endorsed the Green New Deal, which also instantly became a prime whipping boy for the Right. Its core ideas were embodied in legislation by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edwin Markey, which divided the Democratic Party into pro- and anti-Green New Deal factions. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden convened a Unity Task Force that included Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the head of Sunrise, which came up with a plan incorporating many elements of the Green New Deal but eschewing the name. Biden called his program Build Back Better, and after the 2020 elections this became the nomenclature of Democratic Party and allied climate, jobs, and justice programs. A broad coalition of organizations called the Green New Deal Network, for example, developed and promoted an extensive legislative program, described on its website as “in line with the Green New Deal vision,” which it dubbed the THRIVE Agenda.[2] Supported by more than 100 members of Congress and 280 organizations, the THRIVE Act was introduced in Congress in the fall of 2020.

Sunrise Movement and CWA Announce “Visionary” Union Contract for Climate Workers

By Brett Wilkins - Common Dreams, September 7, 2022

The youth-led Sunrise Movement and the Communications Workers of America union announced Wednesday that they have reached a "visionary, one-of-its-kind collective bargaining agreement" for professional climate campaigners.

"As workers across the country are realizing their power and forming unions, Sunrise Movement management and staff are proud to have reached an innovative and rigorous bargaining agreement with the CWA," the two groups said in a joint statement.

"We are thankful for all of the workers and bargaining members whose vision and drive in these last nine months have made this a reality," they continued. "Strong unions are a core pillar of the Green New Deal. Our commitment to the labor movement and the dignity of all workers is crucial in our fight. We all benefit from a strong, pro-worker contract."

Sunrise and CWA added: "We are especially proud that this contract is one of the most progressive agreements reached by CWA. In particular, our revolutionary nondiscrimination article, voluntary recognition and neutrality details, and our time-off and leave provisions are some of the first of their kind."

Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash said that "I am so damn proud of this visionary collective bargaining agreement that gives our staff dignified and healthy working conditions."

The UK Government's Nuclear Scam

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