Democracy, like water, is fluid. Waterspirit’s advocacy work has always been rooted in finding solutions to right the wrongs inflicted upon Mother Earth and all Creation. Ongoing monetary gain for fossil fuel companies poisons the way of life on Earth for all living beings. Fossil fuel industry operations are to blame for rapid acceleration of warmth in our atmosphere, and the ancillary storms, tornadoes, fires and other climate emergencies with which we are increasingly grappling. The major storm events we have been experiencing on the East Coast have been produced by fossil fuel byproducts, which remain largely subsidized.

When as recently as September 9th, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairpersonship was utilized as a revolving door for industry wealth holders yet again, (White House Nominee Has Deep Ties to Fossil Fuel and Utility Industries), it is hard to justify to young livable-future advocates why this caricatured illustration remains status quo. There are economic gains to be realized from a wholehearted approach to renewable energy and a just transition away from fossil fuel. Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, is warning about an approaching default that will take place next month. (Yellen Warns US on to Default in October)

We breathe. We organize. We coalesce and take the opportunity for meetings to engage directly with decision makers, highlighting the transparency allowing for ultimate accountability toward Mutli-solving next steps.

In May of this year, an Executive Order on Climate Related Financial Risk was issued. In response to this, organizers wrote this letter to the Biden Administration. Organizers, such as Doug Norlen of Friends of the Earth, followed up to learn more. Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), a coalition partner of Waterspirit, led by Erika Thi Patterson orchestrated a meeting with the Treasury Department. I, Rachel Dawn Davis, Public Policy & Justice Organizer for Waterspirit, was fortunate enough to partake alongside Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Ground Campaign Organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network, Jackie Fielder, Activist with StopTheMoneyPipeline, Osprey Orielle Lake Founder and Executive Director of Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN), Tracey Lewis, Policy Analyst for 350.org, Clair Brown, Economics Professor, RL Miller, Political Director of Climate Hawks Vote, Lena Rodriguez, Indigenous Youth and elder Caretaker, and Amy Gray, Activist Leader with 350.org Colorado. We met with the Climate Counselor, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Secretariat, and officials working in the areas of Domestic Finance, Climate and Energy Economics. Naturally, concerns were shared in writing beforehand and stories were shared during the meeting. After West Coast based people spoke emotionally about the fires, we talked floods and stormwater being an obstacle for existing power plants to be sourced by 100% renewable energy. We took on the connection of Hurricane Ida which was about to land in New Jersey at the time, 1st September 2021.

Waterspirit, alongside water protectors throughout Turtle Island, asked for the Treasury Department to stop funding dirty energy and instill confidence in the public communities across this land by creating a robust, transparent plan. We requested that such a plan include clear, independently audited measurements with communicated benchmarks along the way, such as phasing out investments in fossil fuel by 2026 while concurrently increasing investments in renewable energy jobs for frontline communities. We requested they act to ensure investments are prioritized for BIPOC communities and that they explicitly help to begin to heal the harm caused by environmental racism.

Here are the resources we shared:

· Hoodwinked in the Hot House: Resist False Solutions to Climate Change Report

· Carbon Unicorns Report: The Deception of Carbon Markets and Net Zero

· Too Many (Loop)holes in the Net: “Net Zero” Promises Ring Hollow Without “Zero Fossil Fuel” Pledges

· Fractured: The Body Burden of Living Near Fracking

· Gendered and Racial Impacts of the Fossil Fuel Industry in North America and Complicit Financial Institutions

· 2021 Congressional Briefing on the Abuses of FERC and Needed Reforms

The US will benefit from investments in 100% renewable energy and a just and stable labor force transition, starting now. We look forward to ongoing dialogue fostering the solutions that must be implemented, such as those included in the potential budget reconciliation package. We will keep you apprised of updates.

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Waterspirit

Waterspirit

A center of ecology and spirituality inspiring all people to deepen their consciousness of the sacredness and interdependence of all creation waterspirit.org