Protestors dressed as referees assembled on Capital Hill to throw a flag on fossil fuel subsidies.
Football season may be coming to a close, but on January 24th opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline gathered to call "foul" on Congress. Donning referee uniforms and bearing penalty flags, protestors "blew the whistle" on members of Congress who accept "dirty energy money" from the same companies they vote to subsidize. The rally, which travled from Capitol Hill to the American Petroleum Institute, aimed to shed light on the connection between campaign contributions from the coal, oil and gas industries and congressional support of the Keystone XL pipeline.
A collaborative effort, the campaign was organized by a number of enviromental organizations, including 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Energy Action Coalition, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, and the Sierra Club. By exposing the influence of the fossil fuel industry on members of Congress, the rally's participants want to spread the message that these subsidies are harming the country's transition to renewable energy.
Read an analysis of the campaign from Climate Access member Shayna Englin (Englin Consulting, LLC).
UPDATE: We caught up with 350.org's communications director and co-founder Jamie Henn in April 2012 to learn about the campaign's impact on public awareness and support for an end to oil subsidies. Henn describes how the events "lit a spark for a growing movement to stand up to the fossil fuel industry." Read the full Q&A for more about the campaign's successes and challenges, and for Henn's advice on how to organize an effective campaign. (Exclusive for members)