Stop the Willow Oil Project

7 mins read

We simply must defend the livability of our climate—increasingly, not only for our descendants, but for ourselves. Under President Biden, we’ve made some great progress: last Congress, we were inspired by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which delivered the federal government’s largest investment in climate and clean energy in our history. We saw billions allocated to weaning our country off fossil fuels.

But even a good president needs to be reminded of his commitments. On March 16, when climate voters heard President Biden had approved a new iteration of the Willow Oil Project in Alaska, they protested outside the White House to stop it and remind President Biden of his promise that there would be no more drilling on federal lands “period. period. period!” That is a tough promise to uphold, against the fading but still formidable influence of Big Oil, but it is critical at this stage in the global climate emergency.

Those pushing the Willow Oil Project make two claims in support. First, that it has been scaled back from its original scope. This is not enough: even at its reduced size, the Willow Project would wipe out the emissions cuts provided by renewable energy developments over the next decade, adding the equivalent of two million new gas-guzzling cars to the roads. Second, supporters claim that it’s a national security measure to reduce our dependence on imported oil. This doesn’t hold water: the project can’t help with our short-term energy needs because crude production isn’t expected to begin until 2029. By then our clean-energy economy should be robust enough to make the Willow Project output unnecessary. It might not even affect our use of domestically produced oil because the leases don’t prevent Big Oil from exporting the oil produced on federal lands. Moreover, we need to get off oil as much as we can as quickly as we can, not simply trade one source of it for another.

Thirty years ago, the kinds of incremental compromises clawed back for the Willow Project from Big Oil (three wells vs five, and prohibition on further Arctic drilling) might have been commendable. Today, they are one more deadly compromise we cannot afford.

Tell President Biden: Stop the Willow Oil Project!

Last week to comment: public comment on privacy rights in California

As required by the California Privacy Rights Act passed in 2020, California will implement and enforce regulations on businesses and organizations regarding the use of consumers’ personal information. Areas of regulation include cybersecurity audits, assessing the risk to consumers’ privacy, potential for algorithmic discrimination, and more. You can participate in the process of regulation by submitting your ideas in a public comment.

The California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) has issued an invitation for public comment and a description of the areas on which the public is asked to weigh in.

Comments are accepted by mail or email through 5 PM on Monday, March 27, 2023. See the CPPA website for details. 

Public comment to end penalties on SSI beneficiaries receiving food aid

Currently, around 5 million people who are impoverished, disabled, or seniors rely on the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) administered by the Social Security Administration. This income amounts to $914 a month, but can be reduced by about a third if a beneficiary is receiving food aid. This is because food aid is considered “in-kind support and maintenance” (ISM).

The Social Security Administration is proposing a rule change that would remove food from ISM, so that SSI beneficiaries are not penalized for getting help with food.

Submit a Public Comment Directly at the Federal Register. Comments are due by April 17, 2023.

Lawyer and advocate Matthew Cortland made a blog post on Patreon explaining the details of this rule change and how to most effectively comment on it. Remember, comments written in your own words are the most effective.

If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens.

Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, March 23, 7:30–9 PM. Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. Register here!

Swing Left East Bay Virtual Letter Writing Parties for Wisconsin: Saturday, March 25, 2:30–4:30 PM. Vote Forward is launching its letter-writing campaign for the Wisconsin Supreme Court election the week of February 20, so we’ll be springing into action. Join Swing Left for a letter-writing party, where we’ll be writing letters using this award-winning, proven tactic to reach potential voters. RSVP on Mobilize.

Virtual Phone Banks to Flip the Wisconsin Supreme Court with Call 4 Change: Sunday, March 26, 3–5 PM. Phone Bank with Call 4 Change and help us flip the Supreme Court election Wisconsin in April. RSVP on Mobilize.

SURJ SF Dialogues: Sunday, April 2, 12–2 PM. SURJ SF Dialogues invites you to join us in a year-long exploration of the SURJ Values so we can reflect, grow, and continue working toward personal and collective liberation in alliance with BIPOC. Sign up for this bimonthly event via EveryAction.

About this week’s photo

If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.

Today’s image is a photo of protesters holding up a banner saying “Stop the Willow Oil Project” in front of the White House. The photo was taken by Bryan Olin for the Guardian.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Since the January 2017, more than 4,000 San Franciscans have united as Indivisible SF to march in the Women's Marches, protest the Muslim Ban, meet regularly with our Members of Congress, and make thousands of phone calls to their offices to pressure them to do everything in their power to counter the policies and politics of Trumpism. There is much work in progress and many actions to come.

Members of Indivisible SF are defined by our action and find solidarity in our shared opposition to Trump and Trumpism. Each of us explicitly reserves our individual stances on specific issues for other forums as we believe resisting Trump is more important than any single issue. We adhere to a Code of Conduct that welcomes and respects everybody.

Members of Indivisible SF come from all kinds of backgrounds and political persuasions. Some of us are first-time activists and others have been at this for decades. We are citizens and non-citizens. Most importantly, we are all patriots that want the best for our country and are willing to work for it.

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