Stopping Eminent Domain Abuse

Dear Friends,

When I spoke at the Rockefeller Fund Conference on Pipelines and Eminent Domain last week, I emphasized that if we’re going to argue against the abuse of eminent domain for a pipeline, we truly have to get to know the landowners and tribes who sit in a pipeline company’s crosshairs. (Read the full text of my speech here.)

I also spoke about how in Iowa we are down to the wire in our fight against the Bakken Pipeline. Over 400 people have signed the Pledge of Resistance, and I encouraged attendees at the conference (and I encourage you!) to read the Pledge, consider signing it, and share it with others.

Looking beyond this pipeline battle, I reminded people that Donald Trump’s stand on eminent domain could hurt him badly in the general election. I believe Trump can be beat on eminent domain in swing states like Iowa. And I believe this battle against the abuse of eminent domain is a fight that is at the very heart of our identity as Americans. This is about freedom. This is about liberty. This is about people’s right to happiness and prosperity through the responsible use of their land and property, without fear of some big, powerful corporation, working hand-in-hand with corrupt government officials, taking what is not theirs simply to satisfy their lust for money and power.

On that argument, Trump can be beat. And oh, while in Atlanta, our crew of fearless pipeline fighters paid Mr. Trump a visit, and our action was covered by . . . um . . . Alex Jones. See what you think, and  forgive me for being distracted by the guy with the “F*** Trump” t-shirt. Here’s the link.

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April Burch as a delegate at the Iowa Democratic Convention.

Delegate April Burch at the IDP Convention.

Closer to home, major kudos to April Burch for convincing delegates at the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) convention to include The Climate Mobilization‘s language in the Party Platform. In her speech in favor of changing the IDP platform plank from “We support Renewable Energy Standard Requirements (40% by 2020; 50% by 2030; 100% by 2050)” to “We support Renewable Energy Standard requirements of 100% by 2025,” April said:

“While it appears that the majority of Iowa democrats support the idea of reducing carbon emissions to 350 parts per million (ppm) alongside Bill McKibben of 350.org, we cannot and will not even approach scaling back to 350 ppm in our lifetimes unless we immediately fight for the most aggressive climate change measures imaginable.

“This requires the Iowa Democratic Party to send the strongest message possible that we are serious about averting the climate crisis. The Climate Mobilization pledge to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2025 allows us to soundly reject new fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Bakken Pipeline as well as the horrors of bomb trains, catastrophic oil spills, and fracking.

“Please vote to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2025 for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.”

The change passed on a voice vote! Way to go, April!

*******

On today’s Fallon Forum, we talk with:
– Jonas Magram with the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition about his arrest at the recent Break Free From Fossil Fuel action at the refinery in Whiting, Indiana.
– Cherri Foytlin of Bold Louisiana about efforts to prevent further oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
– Wally Taylor, attorney for the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, about concerns raised over the IDP’s invitation to North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp to speak at the IDP’s annual Hall of Fame Dinner.
– Megan Holleran of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, whose family lost the battle to stop their maple trees from being cleared, but won the battle against the Constitution Pipeline, which was never built.

Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Letter to Sanders on Urgency of Climate

Bernie: Mobilizing Against Climate Catastrophe Is Your Greatest Opportunity for Heroism Yet

Senator Sanders,

The movement you have inspired for economic, social, and environmental transformation could not have arrived at a more significant moment in human history. Your emergence as the great American populist of the early 21st century comes at a time in which heroic political leadership, above all, is required to avert the collapse of civilization.

Abrupt global warming threatens to destabilize the climate system for tens of thousands of years, sending the Earth into a hot state inhospitable to humanity. If business as usual continues for much longer, a chain reaction of proliferating droughts, famines, and subsequent state failures will cause the unraveling of an organized human community. Furthermore, the global economy’s overshoot of the planet’s limits has initiated the 6th mass extinction of species, which threatens to wipe out much of life on Earth within this century. If allowed to unfold, it could take some 10 million years for life to fully recover.

The legendary biologist E.O. Wilson compares humanity’s collective impact to the 9-mile wide asteroid that 65 million years ago slammed into the Chicxulub coast of Yucatan at a speed of 45,000 miles per hour, exterminating the non-avian dinosaurs and causing the 5th mass extinction of species. While humanity has become a force of destruction on the scale of the Chixculub asteroid, Wilson argues that there is a small window of time left to prevent a full-blown “biological holocaust.”

The truth is that you now have it within your power to catalyze the process that will prevent the collapse of civilization and the holocaust on all life. Whether you become president or not, your incredible success fomenting a genuine political revolution across America has made it possible for you to lead the movement to save life on Earth.

It’s now well understood that what’s needed to stop this unfolding apocalypse is an emergency transformation of the global economy — a WWII-scale mobilization to rapidly restore a stable climate and reverse ecological overshoot.

You recognized this truth in one of the finest moments of your campaign so far, your April debate with Hillary Clinton at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on the eve of the New York primary. You denounced the Paris climate agreement as a disastrously incremental approach to the climate emergency and called for a World War II-scale effort instead:

“In 1941, under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we moved within three years, within three years to rebuild our economy to defeat Nazism and Japanese imperialism. That is exactly the kind of approach we need right now.”

Ian Dunlop, a global sustainability leader, hailed your call for WWII-scale climate mobilization as historic: “This is the first time I’ve heard anybody politically, honestly starting to talk about what the problem really is and the type of speed of reaction we have to make,” he said. “Finally, we’re getting the truth.”

Your courageous statements of climate truth have been greatly energizing to the nascent movement for emergency climate mobilization. However, the climate emergency has not been the primary focus of your presidential campaign or your career. Your unwavering dedication to economic and social justice has been.

We are writing to implore you to make the immediate commencement of a WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe climate your overriding priority in the coming months and years. All of our ideals and goals – a fair economy and a functioning democracy that empowers ordinary Americans to participate in the governance of our nation – will be for naught if we fail to stop the climate catastrophe.

Prioritizing a climate mobilization provides the most immediate path to social, economic, and environmental justice. As with the WWII home front mobilization, the climate mobilization will create full employment and drastically reduce inequality, with the principle of fair and shared sacrifice embraced by all Americans. In 1944, top marginal tax rates were raised to 94% on incomes above $200,000 (about $2.7 million in 2016 dollars) and unemployment dropped to 1.2%. All Americans received “fair shares” equal rations of food and energy. Women, African-Americans, and workers made large gains as Americans came together to defeat the Axis powers. A few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt even unsuccessfully pushed for a 100% tax rate on incomes above $25,000 (about $350,000 in today’s dollars) in the name of wartime equality! A full-scale climate mobilization would heed Pope Francis’s directive to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor!”

During the last great crisis of American life, FDR faced a similar imperative to shift priorities to combat the existential threat of fascism. At a 1943 press conference, a reporter asked the President to address a rumor that he no longer liked the term “New Deal.” He responded that a physician, Dr. New Deal, had remedied America’s “grave internal disorder” during the ‘30s. But the attack on Pearl Harbor had “broke his hip, broke his leg in two or three places, broke a wrist and an arm, and some ribs; and they didn’t think he would live, for a while.” Dr. Win-the-War had since stepped in, and Patient America was now on the road to recovery: “He has given up crutches. He isn’t wholly well yet, and he won’t be until he wins the war.”

Just as FDR shifted his approach to defeat fascism, it is an absolute moral imperative that we all pivot comprehensively to fight off the existential threat of civilizational collapse and biological holocaust. You have been “Dr. New Deal” your entire career. But now, at this late hour, humanity badly needs you to become “Dr. Win-the-War.”

You and your supporters face immense pressure to endorse Secretary Clinton and her “politically realistic” yet scientifically catastrophic climate plan in order to defeat Donald Trump and his “America First” (sound familiar?) energy plan. But, as Stephen Hawking recently said, runaway climate change poses “a more immediate danger” to America and the world than even Trump’s neo-isolationism.

Secretary Clinton, like the vast majority of the public, politicians, and the media, is still stuck in the mentality of “carbon gradualism.” While the need for an emergency, WWII-scale climate mobilization is a hidden consensus among climate leaders and thinkers, not even the mainstream climate movement is fully prepared to demand one. Instead, they appear paralyzed by the enormity of the task, unable to integrate scientific reality into their advocacies and organizational strategies.

You are in a unique position to change that. Your millions of supporters are anxiously looking to you to hear what comes next in the political revolution. In the coming weeks and months, you will face a series of tremendous opportunities to rouse America from the trance of carbon gradualism and climate denial, and onto the war footing we so desperately need. You could, for example:

1) Demand that a WWII-scale climate mobilization appear on the Democratic Party platform.

2) Make the need for an emergency, WWII-scale climate mobilization the theme of your convention speech.

3) Demand that Hillary Clinton advocate an emergency, WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe climate in exchange for your endorsement, if you do not win the nomination.

4) Lead a march on Washington calling on President Obama to declare a climate emergency and gear up for the climate mobilization. You could occupy the National Mall with hundreds of thousands of Americans until the president declares a climate emergency.

5) All of the above

Whether or not you are nominated, we implore you to take up the banner of climate mobilization. You have fought your entire career to protect Americans from exploitation and destitution. Once again, Americans sorely need your protection and leadership. We need a heroic leader to build an enormous movement for an immediate climate mobilization and we need him or her to step up very soon. We can overcome the climate emergency, but we need Dr. Win-the-War to step up with great haste.

Sincerely,

Jean Arnold, Development Director, Association for the Tree of Life

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Chairperson, Buddhist Global Relief

Ryan Brill, Co-Founder, The Climate Mobilization

Myron Buchholz, Congressional Candidate, Wisconsin CD-03

Stan Cox, Author, “Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing” (2013)

Wesley Clark, Jr., Veteran; Host, The Young Turks

John Davis, Candidate for Iowa State Legislature; Iowa Climate Advocate, Bernie Sanders for President 2016

Laura Dawn, Founder, ART NOT WAR

Laurence L. Delina, Author, “Strategies for Rapid Climate Mitigation: Wartime Mobilisation as a Model for Action?” (2016); Citizen, The Philippines; Visiting Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Ian Dunlop, Former Chair, Australian Coal Association; Member, The Club of Rome

John Ellis, Founder, Bernie2016.tv

Ed Fallon, Director, Bold Iowa

Grace Feldmann, Founder, Lead Organizer, Santa Barbara County for Bernie 2016

Heidi Harmon, Director, 350 San Luis Obispo; Bernie Sanders delegate, 24th Congressional District of California

Nicole Harris, Deputy Director, The Climate Mobilization

Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Coordinating Lead Author, Oceans, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Michael Hoexter, Research Scholar, Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity; Campaign Volunteer, Bernie Sanders 2016

Lee-Sean Huang, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Foossa

Veronica Jacobi, Santa Rosa City Council Emeritus; Founder, OurGreenChallenge.org

Bruce Jones, Climate Activist; Pledged Delegate for Bernie Sanders, 14th Congressional District of California

David Kaiser, Author, “No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War” (2014)

Andy Kunz, President & CEO, U.S. High Speed Rail Association

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine

Kelsey Lopez, Director of Operations, Transit Oriented Development Institute

Mary Lupien, Delegate, 25th Congressional District of New York; Steering Committee Member, Monroe County for Bernie Sanders

Patrick Mazza, Sustainable Solutions Co-Facilitator, 350 Seattle; Member, Delta 5 Direct Action Team

Abigail McHugh-Grifa, Ph.D., Founder & Lead Organizer, Rochester Climate Action

Brian D. McLaren, Board Chair, Convergenceus.org

John McLeod, Founder, ResistClimateChange.org

Michael Mielke, Strategist, Association for the Tree of Life

Stephen Mulkey, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Unity College

Trevor Neilson, Founder, i(x) investments

Adam Sacks, Executive Director, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Margaret Klein Salamon, Ph.D., Founder & Executive Director, The Climate Mobilization

Ashik Siddique, Co-Founder, The Climate Mobilization

Ezra Silk, Co-Founder and Director of Policy & Strategy, The Climate Mobilization

David Spratt, Co-Author, “Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action” (2008)

David Suzuki, Co-Founder, David Suzuki Foundation

Alina Valdes, M.D., Congressional Candidate, Florida CD-25; Proud Progressive & Bernie Sanders Endorser

Lise Van Susteren, Advisory Board, Center For Health And The Global Environment, Harvard School Of Public Health*

Marie Venner, Chair, National Academies’ Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability

Ken Ward, Co-Founder, Climate Disobedience Center

* Institutional affiliation listed for identification purposes only

www.TheClimateMobilization.org

Down to the wire in Bakken fight

Dear Friends,

I hate being confined, trapped, imprisoned. I’d rather beat myself to a pulp walking across continents than spend time behind bars.

But the hour has come in the fight to stop the Bakken Pipeline when mass civil disobedience is needed. If you haven’t yet signed the Pledge of Resistance, please read it over and sign today.

If you have signed, please share the Pledge with your networks, as we need 1,000 people committed to risking arrest if our show of force is to be credible and effective.

We no longer have a lot of time or options in this fight. Other strategies have delayed the pipeline and deepened public opposition. Hundreds of patriotic Iowans who value life, liberty and our land have fought this battle through every available venue. Ten brave holdout landowners continue to pursue legal redress through the courts.

But even that won’t stop Dakota Access from tearing up Iowans’ farmground, forests and river bottoms. A ruling on the lawsuit will work its way through the legal system slowly. In the meantime, Dakota Access is poised to push forward with construction.

We need President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to step forward to do what’s right, to put an end to the madness of this unprecedented expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure, enabled by an abuse of eminent domain that violates the very heart of the U.S. Constitution.

We need the President and the Corps to make the right policy decision, and we need them to do it NOW.

Important policy changes often come only after a dramatic show of force by large groups of committed people defiantly and nonviolently breaking the law. That’s why YOU signing the Pledge of Resistance is so important.

It’s a tough decision, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As you weigh the decision of whether or not to sign, consider this:

– The large protests at farm foreclosure auctions in the 1980s inspired broader public empathy for family farmers and led to Congress adopting Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code in 1986, which “brought some helpful and much-needed relief to many financially-distressed farmers,” according to Donald Swanson in The 1980s Farm Crisis: Some Lessons Learned.

– The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act passed only after mass mobilizations and thousands of arrests by African Americans and others in the 1960s.

– The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote passed after years of protest, agitation and nonviolent civil disobedience by brave women and their enlightened male allies.

We’re at that point in the battle to stop Big Oil from running roughshod over farmers, landowners, tribal communities, our water and our land. In Iowa and across the country, patriotic Americans are fighting back against pipelines, fracking and drilling.

The tide is turning in our favor, as pipelines were recently stopped in Georgia, New England, New York and elsewhere. With enough of us standing side by side with landowners who continue to resist, we can stop Bakken!

So please, sign the Pledge today!

*******

This week’s Fallon Forum is a pair-of-docs, as doctors Charles Goldman and David Drake fill in for me while I’m speaking in Atlanta at the Rockefeller Fund Strategy Session on Pipelines and Eminent Domain.

Call-in to the show on Monday from 11:00 – 12:00 noon with your own thoughts and comments at (515) 528-8122. Writes Charles about the intended conversation: “In an era where the Republicans believe that a primary qualification to ‘lead the Free World’ is who has the biggest ‘hands’ and presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton continues to channel the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, (or is it Dick Cheney?) in regards to foreign policy, is there room to give peace a chance? We’ll speak with co-host Dr. David Drake about his greater than two decades involvement in the peace and anti-nuclear movement.”

Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Pipeline Fighters Needed on Monday!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, June 5, 2016

Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa ed@boldiowa.org, (515) 238-6404
Adam Mason, Iowa CCI adam@iowacci.org, (515) 282-0484

BROKEN HEARTLAND” RALLY OPPOSES PIPELINE

Des Moines, IA
 – With the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) meeting on Monday, June 6 to possibly decide to allow construction of the Bakken Pipeline in Iowa, Bold Iowa, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition are set to rally on Monday, June 6 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the far west side of the west Capitol Terrace, on the large granite county map of Iowa, at E Locust and E 7th streets.

The groups will ask the IUB not to reverse its March 10 order requiring Dakota Access to secure all necessary permits and authorizations for the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline, set to cross 18 Iowa counties and all of Iowa’s major waterways. Participants will present a creative, visual representation of the potential impact of the pipeline on Iowa’s watersheds, with statements being shared by landowners in each of those watershed areas.

Since the March 10 ruling, Dakota Access has still not received the needed Army Corps of Engineers’ authorizations. On May 25, the US Fish & Wildlife Service revoked an Iowa DNR-issued Sovereign Lands permit after discovering a historic and culturally significant Native America site in the pipeline’s path in Lyon County.

Iowans remain concerned about the project’s impact on soil, water, property rights and economic interests.

Bold Iowa, Iowa CCI and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition will continue building their “Summer of Resistance” against the Bakken Pipeline. At the granite county map of Iowa on the State Capitol grounds, seven Iowans will speak out about their ecosystems and communities that the pipeline imperils, against the backdrop of a huge patchwork heart in this “Broken Heartland” action.

Who:  Bold Iowa, Iowa CCI and Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition
What: Rally and creative political theater against the Pipeline
Where: Map on the West Capitol Terrace, E Locust & E 7th 
When: Monday June 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Bold Iowa and Iowa CCI are part of a growing number of organizations, landowners and everyday Iowans across the state committed to stopping the proposed Bakken Pipeline. Both groups work closely with and are members of the 30-member Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Visit www.nobakken.com.

Bold Iowa is part of the national Bold Alliance, now in five states and building unlikely alliances to fight fossil-fuel infrastructure expansion projects and promote renewable energy. Visit www.boldnebraska.org/tag/bold-alliance.

Iowa CCI is a statewide, grassroots people’s-action group that uses community organizing to win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics and polluters. CCI has fought to put people first for 40 years. Visit www.iowacci.org.

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Endorsements

Dear Friends,

Due to multitudinous requests for more detail about the candidates I’m endorsing . . . .

220px-Bernie_SandersPRESIDENT: BERNIE SANDERS – This is relevant if you live in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota, or if you have friends who live in those states. In other words, it’s relevant for all of you!

This race is not over. Not even close. If Sanders wins next Tuesday, the Democratic convention in Philadelphia is going to be, well . . . . HUGE! Any American who understands that a Donald Trump presidency couldn’t lead to fascism should be fighting as hard as possible for the candidate best able to defeat Trump in November. Nearly every single poll shows Sanders trumping Trump by significant margins. Hillary Clinton either wins by margins that are sometimes too close for comfort or, in some key states, actually loses to Trump.

A Trump presidency is a risk we can’t take.

I dislike polls as much as anybody. But as I learned when I ran for Congress, professional polls are remarkably accurate. Democrats supporting Clinton need to face the fact that Sanders is the strongest candidate to avert what could be the greatest threat ever to our liberty and freedom.

So, tell your friends and their friends in the states listed above to vote for Bernie Sanders on June 7. If you want to get even more involved, in a brilliant piece of campaign strategy, the Sanders campaign has launched a coordinated effort to ask supporters across the country to call voters in these states. Click here to get on the phone for Bernie.

Rob Hogg from iContactU.S. SENATE: ROB HOGG – I have good friends who are supporting Bob Krause or Tom Fiegen. I respect that. I would be content with either of them as my U.S. Senator. But Hogg has absolutely distinguished himself as one of not just Iowa’s but America’s most vocal and effective advocates for serious climate action. With Hogg in the Senate, the U.S. Congress will no longer be able to ignore the climate crisis. He feels that strongly about it, and understands it that thoroughly.

And now, to utter words that the Iowa Democratic Establishment dreads . . . . I will not vote for Patty Judge in November. I will vote for Hogg, Fiegen or Krause if any of them wins the nomination. But not for Judge, and I know there are lots of Iowans who feel the same way. The last thing the U.S. Senate needs is another pawn of corporate interests. On this account, Judge has a long and distinguished record. My interests, and I suspect your interests, will be not be those that drive Judge as a U.S. Senator. As when she was Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Lt. Governor, it will be corporate donors who have her ear, not us.

So, not only is Hogg the best candidate to fight the climate crisis, he’s also the best candidate to beat Judge in the primary and Chuck Grassley in November. Want to learn more from the man himself? I’m hosting a house party and concert for Rob at 735 19th St in Des Moines this Sunday, June 5th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Donations to Rob’s campaign appreciated but certainly not required. Here’s the link to the Facebook invitation.

Vernon_Monica_circle - Version 2U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 1: MONICA VERNON – The First District is the northeast quadrant of the state. Honestly, I don’t know Monica Vernon that well. I’ve met her a few times, like her well enough, and hear good things about her. But I know Pat Murphy really well, and when I think of people I enjoyed serving with at the Statehouse, Murphy is not on even on the long list. He was difficult to work with, and often opposed me and others on progressive legislation that the vast majority of voters supported.

This primary election is pretty much a repeat. Murphy won last time, only to lose in the general election in a district that is overwhelmingly Democratic. He had his chance and blew it. I say it’s time to give Vernon a shot.

Desmund Adams orignal from net - Version 2U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 3: DESMUND ADAMS – The Third District includes Des Moines, Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa. I’ve been crystal clear that Desmund Adams is my guy. (Click here to see the video from my house party for him.) Adams is a fast study on issues, and as our Congressman, he’d be Iowa’s lone progressive voice in Washington. (Someone pass that along to Congressman Loebsack for me.)

The other Democratic candidates are Mike Sherzan and Jim Mowrer. I’ve only met Sherzan once and don’t have a good sense of his priorities, though I could conceivably vote for him in November.

But as with the U.S. Senate race, I’ll make it perfectly clear that, should Jim Mowrer win the Democratic primary, I will not vote for him in the fall. The last thing Washington needs is another foreign policy hawk whose main claim to political viability is a tenacious ability to rake in money from special interests.

Besides, in terms of winning the general election, Adams presents the greatest contrast with Rep. David Young — and contrast is never a bad thing in a swing district such as the Third.

Rep. , Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA HOUSE DISTRICT 29: DAN KELLEY – Dan Kelley has done an excellent job over the last six years representing Jasper County at the Statehouse, where he’s admired for his sincerity, integrity and hard work. He’s been Iowa’s most vocal opponent of the Bakken Pipeline — which is, I suspect, one reason he has a primary opponent from . . . you guessed it: The Democratic Establishment.

More than anything, Dan needs boots on the ground, so to speak. Come join me in Newton on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. to knock on doors for Dan so we can send him back to the State Capitol where he has done so much good for his constituents and for all of Iowa. Click here for detail on Saturday’s door knocking event.

EddieMauro - Version 2IOWA HOUSE DISTRICT 41: EDDIE MAURO – I first met Eddie Mauro when I was helping deliver meals to the homeless along the Des Moines River one day. No, Mauro wasn’t homeless. He was delivering meals, too. That impressed me, and suggested that he has the heart and sense of compassion needed of a true public servant. So, if you live in Sherman Hill, southwest Des Moines or west-central Des Moines, please consider giving Mauro your vote.

 

 

*******

Check out podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum:

1. Trump Watch
2. Pipeline Grinds to a Halt
3. Allergies Worsen in New Climate Era
4. Veggie Thumper
5. Soylent Beef

Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Hold Exxon accountable for climate change coverup

Dear Friends,

2015-05-22 ed arrested 13492_10153321632537500_6688470756927352338_n

Photo by Troy Church, May 18, 2015

A year ago today, I was arrested by my friends with the Iowa State Patrol because Governor Branstad refused to hear the stories of landowners I’d met during my 400-mile walk along the Bakken Pipeline route. Thanks to a coalition of landowners, farmers, tribes, property-rights advocates and environmentalists, this fight is still on. For a handcuffed-stroll down memory lane, from my visit to the Governor’s office to the Polk County Courthouse, click here, here, here and here.

In other news, Bold Iowa has joined the national mobilization to hold Exxon accountable. Click here for the op ed I wrote as it appears in today’s Des Moines Register, or continue reading . . .

Democrat or Republican. Cubs or Cardinals. Tea or coffee. Regardless of where you come down on life’s biggest decisions, here’s a simple concept we all should be able to get behind:

When people behave badly, they need to be held accountable.

Since corporations are people, as we learned from Mitt Romney a few years ago, corporations who behave badly likewise need to be held accountable.

Alas, by now I should know better. Yet, it still surprises me when tough-love politicians — i.e., those who favor corporal punishment, the death penalty, drug testing of welfare recipients, etc. — want to let corporate offenders off the hook with a slap on the wrist, or more commonly, a slightly-smaller tax handout.

Exxon-Bold graphicAmong corporate bad-boys, Exxon Mobil, America’s largest oil company, recently moved to the top of the list, ahead even of Big Tobacco, Big Bank and the NFL.

How badly has Exxon behaved? Well, if you thought Big Tobacco was deceitful for lying about its product while destroying enough lungs to kill 100 million people in the 20th century alone, that pales alongside Exxon’s assault on every lung on the planet.

Last fall, a brilliant piece of investigative journalism conducted by InsideClimate News revealed shocking truths about what Exxon knew about “the emerging science of climate change. The story spans four decades, and is based on primary sources including internal company files dating back to the late 1970s, interviews with former company employees, and other evidence…”

Forty years ago, Americans were mostly one big, happy family of climate deniers. Who could fault us? With little information available to the average person, climate change appeared to be but a muddled theory, potentially no more valid than spontaneous generation or canals on Mars.

But back then, there were those who knew exactly what was happening, including the top brass at Exxon. Like Big Tobacco, instead of dealing responsibly with the findings of its own scientists and researchers, Exxon worked “at the forefront of climate denial. It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions. It helped to erect a vast edifice of misinformation that stands to this day,” the report found.

Americans should be outraged. And the investigation launched by InsideClimate News last year should be just the beginning.

And it is just the beginning. Attorneys general across the nation are conducting their own state-by-state investigations. To his credit, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has expressed interest as well. Hundreds of Iowans have signed petitions encouraging Miller to investigate Exxon with the same tenacity he brought to bear with the tobacco lawsuit several years ago.

(On May 25 at 11 a.m., a coalition of Iowa organizations plans to present Miller with petitions calling for such an investigation. Details here. Please join us!)

Of course, not all Iowans agree. Just as Big Tobacco had its friends, so does Exxon.

Enter Iowa Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison. In his recent guest column, Holt defends Exxon, arguing against “using the legal system to silence businesses that do not subscribe to government’s conclusions on climate change.”

Silencing Exxon? Hardly. We want them to speak loudly — and truthfully — about everything they knew about climate change, and when they knew it. And we want them to speak before a court of law, if it comes to that.

These state-by-state investigations are not about suppressing dissent. From the perspective of an attorney general, charged with being the chief legal advocate of the public good, an investigation of this nature is about consumer protection, about holding accountable businesses that mislead the public.

Over the years, Iowa Attorney Tom Miller has done an admirable job in that role. Here’s hoping he’ll rise to the challenge again when it comes to Exxon.

*******

Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Running for their lives

Dear Friends,

It was a great honor to be invited to speak in Omaha last week at the conclusion of “Run For Your Life,” a 500-mile relay organized by tribal youth in opposition to the Bakken Pipeline. I was deeply inspired by the commitment and passion of these young people.

 

Run for your life video screen shot on new laptop 5-3-16

Please take six minutes to watch this video — Run for Your Life Relay Against Dakota Access — produced by my coworker, Shari Hrdina. I hope you’ll take an additional minute to share it with others.

Here’s an abridged version of the speech I gave:

“Iowan pipeline fighters have come here today to stand with you in opposition to the Bakken Pipeline. We are from many groups, including Bold Iowa, the Bakken Resistance Coalition and the Meskwaki People.

Marching at Omaha Rally 5-3-16

Relay runners lead the march to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Omaha.

“We represent farmers, landowners, tribes, environmentalists. Many of us have been in this fight for almost two years. In Iowa, we continue to stand strong against the Bakken Pipeline. And we honor the strong men and women who have accomplished something great — this run of 500 miles.

“Thirty years ago, I came here with another group of Iowans to greet 600 people with the Great Peace March, who had walked from Los Angeles on their way to Washington, DC. Two years ago, I came to Omaha from the other direction, on foot myself this time, walking from Los Angeles with 35 others on the Great March for Climate Action.

“It seems that every time I come to Omaha it has something to do with walking or running. This run you have done is truly a great thing. You sent a message to the Corps and to the President. You sent a message that was heard across the Missouri River and beyond.

“Last year, when I walked the Iowa portion of the pipeline route, I got to meet the people who live and work directly in its path. I talked with hundreds of farmers, landowners and residents of nearby towns. Very few of them want this pipeline. Even most landowners who signed an easement don’t want this pipeline.

Omaha Rally Bobbi speaks 5-3-16

Bobbi Jean Three Legs, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, addresses the Army Corps of Engineers and the crowd at the rally.

“I heard story after story of people who were lied to by Dakota Access, who felt cajoled, pressured, even harassed. The company reps would say that the oil was going to stay in the U.S. They would lie about the safety of pipelines, and   about how landowners would get very little compensation if the company had to come after them using eminent domain.

“There was even one farmer in southeast Iowa who refused to grant the company an easement. Well, they offered him teenage prostitutes if he would sign their papers. This company has no moral compass.

“That southeast Iowa farmer is still standing strong. And many others continue to stand strong. In Iowa, over 150 landowners refuse to sign away their land to Dakota Access. Nine landowners are part of a lawsuit that makes a very, very strong case that eminent domain cannot be used by a private, for-profit company.

“In Iowa, we continue to fight. Every week, there are multiple actions happening across the state, including a vigil last week in Des Moines in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. And soon, I will send a letter to President Obama signed by over 20 Iowa organizations, the same letter we delivered to the White House two weeks ago and signed by Jane Kleeb, Dallas Goldtooth, Frank James and me, a letter asking the President to tell the Corps to do its job.

“Yes, we remain strong. But this great thing you have done, this run of 500 miles, makes us stronger. It inspires us to continue to fight the Bakken Pipeline in court, through pressure on the Corps of Engineers, through the media — and if it comes to it, through standing in front of the bulldozers when they come to tear up our land. Farmers who’ve never even had a speeding ticket tell me they’ll stand with us to block the bulldozers.

“The writing is on the wall. Pipeline companies are losing. Just in the past month, people standing together stopped the Constitution Pipeline in New York, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline in New England, and the Palmetto Pipeline in Georgia.

“So, rest, tired runners. But only for a day or two. Because we need you. We need your strength, your vision, your minds to win.

“And we win when we stand side by side.

“We win when we are broad, diverse, and united.

“We win when farmers, ranchers, tribes, city folk, environmentalists and climate activists work together, walk together, run together, and if necessary, get arrested together.

“So again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done. Thanks to all who helped organize this run and this rally. And thank you for gifting me the honor of speaking here on behalf of Iowa’s thousands of pipeline fighters.”

*******

Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Bold Iowa Blasts Dakota Access For Attempting to Bypass Corps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 5, 2016

Contact:
 Ed Fallon, 515-238-6404, ed@boldiowa.org

Bold Iowa Blasts Dakota Access For Attempting to Bypass Corps

Des Moines — In response to a request made this morning by Dakota Access to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), asking the IUB to allow it to begin construction without waiting for final permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, Bold Iowa issued its own response to the IUB challenging the legitimacy and even legality of Dakota Access’ request.

“Throughout this process, Dakota Access has bullied landowners,” said Bold Iowa director, Ed Fallon. “Now they are trying to bully the IUB. In doing so, they’re hoping for an end-run around the Army Corps of Engineers — the entity rightfully charged with a full, objective analysis of the wide range of potential impacts of this pipeline.”

The Corps just recently reassured all parties that it was neither pro- nor anti-pipeline, making it clear that it intends to fulfill its responsibility to the Corps’ stated mission to protect and manage the nation’s water and land resources with a blind eye to political consequences. Nonetheless, the Corps has come under strong criticism in recent months for failing to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed pipeline. Some of the strongest critics have been the Tribal Nations who live along the path of the pipeline, who argue that the Corps has largely ignored them.

“Bold Iowa certainly has an opinion about the Bakken Pipeline,” concluded Fallon. “We don’t want it. And we stand with tribes, landowners, farmers and environmentalists against it. But above all, we expect a fair and open process. Many of Dakota Access’ tactics over the past two years amount to bullying, and we trust that the IUB will stand its ground, and stick with its earlier decision to require ALL permits to be complete before Dakota Access can begin construction.”

Bold Iowa is part of the Bold Alliance, a newly-formed grassroots effort in four states, building unlikely alliances to oppose the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure, protect landowners against the abuse of eminent domain, and encourage investment in renewable energy.

###

Awaiting presidential action on the pipeline

Dear Friends,

The Bakken Pipeline poses serious risks to Iowa’s farmland and waters. Yet the project’s impacts have not been fully assessed by the Army Corps of Engineers, despite what the MAIN Coalition claims in a recent opinion piece in The Des Moines Register [Obama urged to allow pipeline to proceed, April 24] and in a letter MAIN sent to President Obama.

The Corps has a stated responsibility “for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation’s water and related environmental resources” on projects like the Bakken Pipeline. That includes the Corps responsibility to the entire area affected by the pipeline, not merely segments of it.

This charge demands a thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess the full range of impacts, including climate change and tribal cultural resources.

Landowners, advocates and the Tribal Nations are not the only ones urging the Corps to do its job. The Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency stated their concerns as well. Yet the Corps so far has refused to conduct a full and comprehensive EIS.

Without an EIS, the threat to primary water sources for farmers, ranchers, tribes and city dwellers throughout the four-state region and beyond can never be fully assessed.

Without an EIS, the likely impact on climate change won’t even enter the conversation.

Without an EIS, concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribes about potential damage to the Missouri River watershed and other waters of the United States won’t be heard.

From what I can gather, the MAIN Coalition exists solely to promote the Bakken Pipeline. So, it should come as no surprise that fossil-fuel interests dominate MAIN’s membership.

MAIN’s letter to President Obama was sent exactly one week after I sent a letter on the same subject to the president. That letter was co-signed and co-authored by Jane Kleeb of Bold Alliance, Dallas Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network, and Frank James of Dakota Rural Action. The letter has since been signed by over twenty Iowa organizations opposed to the pipeline — organizations that Wiederstein characterizes as “outside groups” and as  “environmental groups opposed to all forms of energy.”

Sorry, but that’s ridiculous. MAIN is on extremely shaky ground to disparage criticism of the pipeline as agitation from “outside groups.” I’ll remind readers that Dakota Access is from Texas.

Furthermore, our letter’s signatories stand with tribal leaders who claim the Corps failed to properly consult with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on the pipeline’s impacts.

The letter reads: “{T}he Corps is mandated to initiate consultation with tribes whose historic properties may be affected by the pipeline route. This includes consulting and coordinating with the aforementioned tribes on the identification of historic and tribal properties that may be adversely affected by pipeline construction and route.”

Not only do we stand with the tribes, but some of us will run with them as well on May 3, when a 500-mile relay led by a young Lakota woman name Bobbi Jean Three Legs arrives at noon at the Corps’ headquarters in Omaha, to tell the Corps that pipelines are not wanted on native lands.

Back to President Obama and his role in the Bakken Pipeline. I’ll quote from our letter:

“Dear President Obama. Your rejection of the Keystone Pipeline was truly historic, and we again commend you for that bold act of foresight and leadership. Your decision sent a strong statement about the importance of protecting land, water and property rights. It also conveyed the message that climate change is a clear and present danger demanding America’s full commitment to ending our reliance on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

“With that frame of reference, we ask you in the strongest possible terms to exert the same clarion leadership with regards to the proposed Bakken Pipeline.”

I wish I were a fly on the wall of the president’s office as he considers our letter and the letter from MAIN. These letters sum up his options.

Will the president tell the Corps to ignore its historic responsibility of “maintaining the nation’s water and related environmental resources,” thus allowing Dakota Access to rush forward on a pipeline that has generated so much public backlash?

Or will he hear the plea of those with no vested financial interest in oil or pipelines, those who will suffer with the destruction of farmland, water and habitat?

Given the legacy President Obama has built, I believe he will side with the people, with our water, our land, our property rights and our planet.

{If you want to see what I wrote above as it appeared in The Des Moines Register on Sunday, go to “Army Corps refuses to assess pipeline’s impacts.”}

On today’s Fallon Forum:
– Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster discusses his film, Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now!.
– Dairy farmer Francis Thicke talks about the confusion over nitrogen pollution, in large part due to Big Ag’s campaign of disinformation.
– Defenders of Exxon’s decades-long campaign of deceit fight back, even as Exxon’s quarterly profits hit a ten-year low.
– Kevin McCarthy with the Iowa Attorney General’s office discusses progress being made to address sentencing disparities for non-violent offenders.

Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live on Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– On KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA) Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. CT
– On WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– On KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon