Online Stunt Draws Attention to PG&E Bankruptcy and $2.5 million Severance Pay for Former President Geisha Williams

January 23, 2019

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Online Stunt Draws Attention to PG&E Bankruptcy and $2.5 million Severance Pay for Former President Geisha Williams

MEDIA CONTACT: Climate Justice Crew, press@pgecalifornia.com. **Rising Tide does not take responsibility for the stunt.**

San Francisco, CA: Today, the Climate Justice Crew released a fake PG&E website and press release claiming that the former President and Chief Operating Officer, Geisha Williams, donated her complete severance of $2.5 million dollars as her last act in PG&E leadership. The stunt that has since gone viral intended to draw attention to PG&E and Mrs. William’s culpability of the Camp Fire that killed at least 86 people, destroyed more than 18,000 structures, and led to more than $30 billion in potential wildfire liabilities — California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record.

Overwhelming evidence shows that PG&E is solely responsible for starting the recent “Camp Fire” — including PG&E’s own statements. State investigators have also determined PG&E is responsible for at least 16 other fires last fall, 12 of which were deadly, and 11 of which clearly violated laws requiring proper maintenance and safety standards. Yet, the California Public Utilities Commission will soon begin to implement a provision that allows PG&E to pass wildfire costs onto the affected populations instead of the investor-owned San Francisco-based utility — whose net income in 2017 was $1.66 billion and whose former President and Chief Operating Officer, Geisha Williams, recently received $2.5 million in severance despite being in charge during the lethal wildfires of 2017 and 2018.

“We call for PG&E to take complete financial and ethical responsibility for all fires caused by its negligence. The stunt today was meant to draw attention to the spectacular miscarriage of justice that has transpired since the lethal Camp Fire — including the lack of transparency with regards to compensation for victims’ of this tragedy, the way in which PG&E has tried to dodge their debts by proposing a consumer bailout and filing for Chapter 11, and Mrs. Williams’ astronomical severance package,” said the Climate Justice Crew.

The PG&E bankruptcy should serve as a wake-up call for corporations like this to think how about their actions affect masses of people and have contributed towards the climate crisis — a crisis in which we only have 12 years to mitigate.

Climate Justice Crew stands with all residents impacted by the fires and refuses to allow the California Public Utilities Commission President Michael J. Picker and other politicians to bail out PG&E instead of dismantling it. We also recognize PG&E’s role in contributing to the increase in climate catastrophes, like the two-week-long smoke-filled skies over Northern California, by investing in massive fossil fuel infrastructure across California.

“There are alternatives to the monopoly utilities, like the Community Choice Energy project, where the public is in control of the electrical system. We need to democratize energy by putting in the hands of the people, not the corporations driven by profit. If we had decentralized energy — local clean energy — we wouldn’t need the transmission lines that caused the fires in the first place. We’re in a state of emergency where air pollution and climate disasters are more frequently disrupting, displacing, poisoning, and even killing people across the country. We need California to take these issues seriously before it’s too late and that means investing in community-led renewable energy systems that are local and regional — not CEOs and shareholders who make millions and millions in profit no matter what. Left unchallenged, this pattern of institutional and regulatory neglect ensures environmental degradation and climate change hit marginalized groups first and worst,” said the Climate Justice Crew.

Public #NoPGEbailout online petition and statement can be found here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/no-pge-bailout

Photos and video available here from previous #NoPGEbailout protests: bit.ly/nopgebailoutphotos

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Grandfather Scales Tree, Erects Mid-Air Camp To Stop Kinder Morgan Clear-Cutting

Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) – Early this morning Terry Christenson, a 70-year old Grandfather of two, and former Juno nominee, scaled a tree on the inside of Kinder Morgan’s fence (Westridge terminal side) and erected a mid-air camp suspended from its trunk. Terry constructed the high-flying structure to stop Kinder Morgan’s proposed tree clearing which is being done to enable the company’s drilling through Burnaby Mountain.

This pipeline does not have consent of the Indigenous Nations it would pass through. It would endanger the livelihoods and economies of all those that depend on an oil free coast and I for one won’t stand by and let it happen,” said Terry Christenson. “I’m taking this action to protect my grandchildren’s future. I care about this land, this coast and I won’t let it be destroyed all so a Texas oil company can increase its profit share.”

The National Energy Board approved Kinder Morgan to clear trees from the area and green lighted the company to begin drilling through Burnaby Mountain, flash point of protests against the project. The NEB has said Kinder Morgan needs to clear the area before March 26th to avoid interfering with birds migrating north for the summer. If clearing is not done by that date it would be a major set back for the company and plans could not proceed until after the migrating birds had left.

“We are all in this fight together. We have better options to produce energy and move people around then building another dirty pipeline that the world’s scientific community has said we need to move away from,” asserted Christenson. “It’s time that the Prime Minister got that message and I’ll be doing my best to hang out here until he does.”

This action is the latest in a series of action against Kinder Morgan’s construction plans. It is also just a week after a massive mobilization against the project that brought thousands to the streets of Burnaby.

Click here to donate to the legal support fund.

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Community Members Blockade Oil Train in Downtown Vancouver, WA

Community Members Blockade Oil Train in the Face of Police Presence in Downtown Vancouver, WA with Pop-up Sunflower Garden

On Site Media Contact: Jessie Braverman, (617) 833-9766
Media Contact: Sophie Scholl, (360) 601-7187
Vancouver, WA — Community members blocked an oil train in downtown Vancouver, WA in a creative direct action calling for an end to oil trains, oil terminals, and all fossil fuels. Community activists erected a pop-up garden of sunflowers on train tracks in Vancouver, WA today, even in the face of police presence, to block an oil train. The blockaders locked themselves to large sunflower pots adapted to serve as blockade devices. Three people arrested. Community members are taking non-violent direct action to demand Governor Inslee reject the Vancouver Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal and all other proposed fossil fuel infrastructure in the State of Washington.
Where: 101 W 11th St, Vancouver WA 98660
The train, BNSF unit 5956, is carrying Bakken Crude Oil, a highly volatile oil notorious for derailments and explosions such as the recent derailment and fire in Mosier, OR on June 3rd, 2016. The Mosier oil train derailment ignited a wave of massive public opposition to oil train traffic, including from government officials and train operators. “Our community and our planet are under attack, yet the political response has been amoral and inadequate. We were here on the tracks a year after the Mosier oil train derailment and nothing has changed,” said Jessie Braverman. “The trains are still coming and new fossil fuel projects are still being proposed; we’re in the midst of a worldwide climate emergency and we’re fighting back.”
The derailment and explosion in Mosier is just one manifestation of our society’s dependence on fossil fuels. This incident is not an anomaly, as fossil fuel extraction, production, and transportation continually present a threat to human life and natural ecosystems; we have been subsidizing them not only with money but with lives. In these early days of the sixth great extinction and a devastating climate crisis, community members are reclaiming their power to confront this rogue industry. “It’s now or never. We’re up against the wire and nobody — no politician, no agency, no industry — is stepping up to resolve the climate crisis,” said Mike, a resident of Portland, OR, who is locked to a flower pot on the rail tracks. “It’s time for the people to step up to resolve this crisis before we run out of time.”
Community members are calling on Governnor Jay Inslee to reject the proposed Tesoro Savage Vancouver Oil Terminal, which would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in North America. The terminal would ship out 360,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil and bring up to four additional oil trains into the Columbia Gorge each day. 
Governor Jay Inslee, a self-proclaimed advocate for climate action, has overseen a state government that has failed to craft an emissions reductions strategy, despite being repeatedly ordered to do so by the courts. The Governor is flagrantly endangering the people of Washington state. Washington continues to move towards a dizzying array of new fossil fuel developments. “If I can stop an oil train, Governor Jay Inslee can stop an oil terminal,said Chris, one of two individuals locked down to flower pots on the rail tracks.
 
For on site interviews, contact Jessie Braverman, 617-833-9766. 
    
    
    
More information via the Shut Down Fossil Fuels- 
Twitter:@shutdownff 
    
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Two Arrested After Shutting Down Kinder Morgan Terminal in Escalating Protests Against Major Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

For immediate release, July 31, 2017

Contact: Laurel Sutherlin, Rainforest Action Network — 415. 246. 0161

For High Resolution Photos, please contact Ayse Gursoz at ayse@ran.org

Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal
Richmond, CA 94804

For Second Consecutive Week Activists Shut Down Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal; Demand Halt to Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline

UPDATE: 8/1/17

The arrestees, Henry and Jean, are out of jail! They were released early this morning.

We’re still waiting for confirmation of what their charges are from the lawyer. We’ll update all when we know. Thanks Henry and Jean ?? And thanks to all the wonderful people who did legal support and jail support. Can’t do it without you!?

And thanks to the other two arrestees from Monday, July 24th’s action at Kinder Morgan – Stardust and Bob ???

DONATE for fines and other legal costs: http://ow.ly/qlvj30e1PYe

7/31/17

Richmond, CA — In a sign of growing escalation, seven protesters locked themselves to steel barrels and blocked three gates of the Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal for the second time in two weeks, demanding that the company halt its new Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada. In what many environmental and Indigenous activists are starting to call the “Standing Rock of the North,” the controversial project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Edmonton, Calgary to Burnaby, British Columbia — an increase to 890,000 barrels per day. This project is based on the extraction of tar sands oil, one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels.

If arrests are made, protesters will need donations for bail ASAP. Watch here for the DONATE link, if it becomes necessary.

“Our First Nations relatives are not going to allow the Trans Mountain pipeline to go through their territories in Canada,” said Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay.  “Investing in any fossil fuel infrastructure is foolish. We all know that we must transition off of fossil fuels in order to prevent catastrophic climate change. Why waste so many resources on a losing proposition?”

The growing Bay Area resistance to this Kinder Morgan pipeline stands with over 140 tribes comprising The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion. The groundbreaking alliance of Indigenous nations formally opposes all tar sands pipelines crossing their traditional lands and waters. The recently elected government of British Columbia also opposes the project.

“Thanks to California’s brand new cap and trade climate bill AB 398, it’s now extremely likely that this very terminal we are blocking today will be a destination point for the tar sands oil that would be piped in by Trans Mountain,” said Andres Soto of Communities for a Better Environment.  “AB 398 is an abomination and a threat to environmental justice worldwide.”

AB 398 passed just two weeks earlier despite opposition from a broad coalition of climate and environmental justice groups. The new law blocks the ability of local air quality agencies from establishing rules limiting greenhouse gases and opens up the door for refining tar sands crude in Richmond, which would worsen air pollution in surrounding communities.

“From the fence-lines of Richmond, we stand in solidarity with the First Nations fighting on the frontlines of tar sands extraction,” said Adrian Wilson of Diablo Rising Tide. “It is time to start fighting back against these oil companies polluting our communities from the cradle to the grave of the fossil fuel death cycle.”

Kinder Morgan, a spin-off from Enron, is one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies. The company claims it will start construction on its 715-mile Trans Mountain pipeline in September despite fierce opposition to the project from numerous First Nations and other communities and cities along its path.

“We salute all the water protectors, coast protectors and climate warriors on the front lines of these pipeline battles, standing up for Indigenous rights, the water and a safe climate,” said Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake on behalf of the Indigenous Nations who have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion. “Resistance to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion tar sands pipeline and tanker project will be strongest in British Columbia, but it won’t stop there: Kinder Morgan can count on fierce resistance all over North America by Indigenous People and their allies.”

“This is clearly just the beginning,” said Patrick McCully of Rainforest Action Network. “This is the second week in a row that activists are blockading this facility — and you can expect protests up and down the West Coast as banks and oil companies continue to try and profit from climate chaos and human rights violations that will be caused by these disastrous tar sands pipelines. Companies like Kinder Morgan are on notice. Banks like JPMorgan Chase are on notice. Get out of tar sands. Get out of extreme oil. Get out of the climate change business and get on the right side of science and history.”

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Diablo Rising Tide is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America. Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer grassroots organizing network in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico who confronts the root causes of climate change with non-violent direct action and grassroots organizing and education. You can find out more at www.diablorisingtide.org

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