Baytown, United States — Twenty-two Greenpeace USA climbers have formed a blockade on the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown, Texas, United States, shutting down the single largest fossil fuel thoroughfare in the United States. The climbers intend to remain secured in place for 24 hours, preventing the transport of all oil and gas through the channel.
“I grew up in the East Texas Oil Field, a place where the oil industry touches everything. I know how much power oil executives have in our society. That’s why I’m taking action to shut down the Houston Ship Channel, the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare in the United States. The oil industry has spent millions of dollars to convince the world — including the community I grew up in — that we can’t thrive without them. This just isn’t true. We are here because we believe a world beyond oil is possible, we just have to fight for it,” said Greenpeace USA Activist Mike Herbert, one of the 22 climbers occupying the Houston Ship Channel.
“To the presidential candidates gathered in Houston today, we need you to know there is no middle ground to stand on. Will you champion a Green New Deal and ensure a just transition away from fossil fuels? Or will you side with the corrupt billionaires trying to wreck the planet for their profit? Millions of Americans are waiting on your answer.”
The shores of the 83-kilometer Houston Ship Channel in Texas are home to the second-largest petrochemical complex in the world. On an average day, 700,000 barrels of oil pass through the location the climbers have blocked.  This challenge to business as usual for the fossil fuel industry comes after activists twice stopped a coal shipment unloading in the port of Gdansk. It comes as the Bahamas faces the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and the Amazon fires continue. These protests and climate emergencies set the stage for next week’s international youth climate strike. On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in New York City, millions of people across the world will participate in youth-led strikes to demand transformative action to address the climate crisis.
“We’re in a climate emergency created by fossil fuel CEOs and made worse by Trump. We can either take bold action to combat the climate crisis today or suffer the consequences — more floods, more mega-storms, and more fires — for years to come,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard.
“Here’s what can happen when we finally choose renewable energy over fossil fuels: We can create millions of high-paying, union jobs. We can keep our air and water clean and safe. And we can safeguard our climate against catastrophe. We can’t afford to screw this up, and we won’t let oil executives do that for us.”
Tonight in nearby Houston, 10 candidates vying to represent the Democratic party in the 2020 US presidential election against Trump are gathered for a debate. Greenpeace USA is calling on those candidates to support a Green New Deal and say no to fossil fuels. 
Photo and video (continuously updated): Here
Bayland Marina, 2651 TX-146, Baytown, Texas 77520. Interviews are available in English and Spanish.
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