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25 National and Local Organizations Launch Extreme Weather Ads Calling for an End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies

by Tyler Kruse

August 23, 2021

“The infrastructure and budget bills are a once in a lifetime opportunity for Sen. Kelly, Sen. Sinema, Sen. Coons, Sen. Tester, Sen. Hassan, and Sen. Manchin to invest in a just transition to renewable energy, racial and economic justice, and working-class communities.”

Washington, D.C. — Every year the federal government gives over $15 billion worth of taxpayer funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The current infrastructure bill contains $25 billion in potential new subsidies. In conjunction with today’s start of the End Fossil Fuel Subsidies week of action, 25 organizations — including Greenpeace USA, Our Revolution, Public Citizen, Indigenous Environmental Network, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Food and Water Watch, and the Sunrise Movement — are calling on Sen. Kelly (AZ), Sen. Sinema (AZ), Sen. Coons (DE), Sen. Tester (MT), Sen. Hassan (NH), and Sen. Manchin (WV) to stop giving taxpayer money to fossil fuel companies in full page ads placed in their state newspapers.[1] 

The senators were selected based on their connections to Big Oil lobbying efforts that were discovered earlier this year in a Channel 4 video

The ads feature artwork from Hannah Rothstein’s 50 States of Change collection which use a reinvented retro aesthetic to make a gut-punch statement about what America will become if climate change is left unchecked. The artwork will also be used in an interactive story map set to launch this Wednesday on the Greenpeace USA website. From extreme drought to sea level rise, the map uses Rothstein’s artwork to underscore a state-by-state breakdown of current and future state level impacts of the fossil fuel driven climate crisis. 

Anusha Narayanan, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Manager, said:

“This month’s UN report showed the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels will kill us all. Everyone saw the video where a Big Oil lobbyist named these six Democrat senators as key to their plan to delay climate action. Members of Congress like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have the fossil fuel industry on speed dial, while they keep the rest of us on hold. That’s a disaster for the future of the planet and its people. It’s time for Congress to stop taking over $15 billion from hard working Americans and giving it to billionaire fossil fuel CEOs. Despite what these companies say, subsidies don’t actually lead to jobs and most subsidies go to profits.[2] 

“The infrastructure and budget bills are a once in a lifetime opportunity for Sen. Kelly, Sen. Sinema, Sen. Coons, Sen. Tester, Sen. Hassan, and Sen. Manchin to invest in a just transition to renewable energy, racial and economic justice, and working-class communities.”

Hannah Rothstein said:

“What is wrong with our politicians? Why do they continue to support Big Oil and coal when it’s clear these industries are causing natural disasters that harm everyday Americans? California’s increasingly rampant wildfires, Texas’ unprecedented February 2021 snowstorm, and the current water shortages in Arizona, Montana, and New Mexico are only a few examples of the unshakably clear evidence that we need urgent climate action ASAP.

“We can lessen, reverse, and prevent many of the issues depicted in 50 States of Change, but we need to act now, starting with an immediate and expedited shift away from burning fossil fuels. This can’t be done solely on a consumer level. We need our elected officials on our side.”

Notes:

[1] Full page ads will be appearing in The Arizona Republic (AZ), The Dover Post (DE), The Billings Gazette (MT), The Union Leader (NH), and Charleston Gazette-Mail (WV) starting Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

[2] House Environment Subcommittee Hearing: “The Role of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Preventing Action on the Climate Crisis” 

Link to the 50 States of Change artwork by Hannah Rothstein: https://www.hrothstein.com/50-states-of-change

End Fossil Fuel Week of Action Events: https://www.mobilize.us/ourrevolution/map/?tag_ids=9934
https://events.greenpeaceusa.org/calendars/greenpeace-events-1

Contact: 

Chris Greenberg, Communications Coordinator, Greenpeace International: [email protected]

Tyler Kruse

By Tyler Kruse

Tyler Kruse is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy.

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