Communities of the Gulf Coast refuse to be a sacrifice zone any longer.
- Historically, the Gulf Coast has been a location of powerful community resistance against the adverse impacts of not only fossil fuel extractions and industries that threatens our lands and waters, but also of the theft of land, people and labor and our seeming designation as a sacrifice zone to the rest of the country.
- Our region is home to many workers who are without jobs, due to continued investment and governmental support for a dying industry, which has also systemically denied them participation in the current and growing world shift toward renewable and clean energy economies. Meanwhile, over 27,000 leaking and abandoned wells and oil infrastructures are in need of remediation, and fence line refinery community members continue to bear the health, ecological and economic burden of ineffective regulation and lack of political will for protection. This lack of response and vision on the part of our leaders, perpetuates the continuing cycle of generational poverty to which this region has already suffered from for far too long.
- This is our home, not a sacrifice zone. We demand a just transition now.
For a sustainable climate and environment, we want to see:
- A halt to the expansion of offshore drilling projects in the Gulf South, and cancelling of all new oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Louisiana is home to the Isle de Jean Charles, the occupants of which have been designated as the “first climate refugees in North America.” Through hurricanes like Katrina and Rita, and the recent catastrophic floods, Louisiana communities have known both devastating climate impacts and the despicably slow and often inadequate responses those impacts receive from our country’s leaders. Further, low wealth and communities of color, who are consistently hit first and hardest by the impacts of climate change, continue to face abandonment through disasters and an otherwise unsure future.
- True climate justice means doing everything possible to prevent climate disasters from happening. Climate scientists have repeatedly stated that keeping fossil fuels in the ground in integral to this. For those we cannot prevent, we must have a sustainable plan of support and equal protection for all of our communities.
- Our goal is to stop the expansion of the fossil fuel industry: no new tar sands pipelines, no new coal mines, no new offshore drilling, no new fracking, and no new leases of public lands for fossil fuel extraction of any kind. We must create opportunities for change through a re-investment of capital into a clean energy economy and the needs of our communities.
- As part of the Paris Climate agreement, the US officially committed to keeping warming well below two degrees Celsius — selling off Gulf Coast waters to the highest bidder for new fossil fuel extraction projects is inconsistent with that bare-minimum commitment.
- Earlier this year, Shell spilled 90,000 gallons of oil from offshore drilling infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. The true and lasting effects of the BP Drilling Disaster of 2010, continues to plague our people, industries and ecosystem. These types of accidents are devastating, dangerous, and inevitable if offshore drilling continues in the Gulf.
- Currently lease sales have been low in participation and bid amounts. Why shackle Louisiana and the Gulf Coast to this dying industry, and for pennies on the dollar? By allowing continuing leases for offshore drilling, the Obama administration extends the offering of the Gulf South region as a sacrifice zone for the fossil fuel industry.
President Obama has a historic opportunity to take bold action on our interdependent fights for justice and stand with our Gulf coastal communities. In his last days in office, President Obama can take bold action on many issues, and we call for his executive action on our struggles in this region and stand in solidarity:
For healthy, safe and vibrant communities, we want to see:
- An immediate end to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youth.
- Federal recognition of Indigenous tribes in Southeast Louisiana, and beyond.
- An end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs.
- An end to the war on immigrants including the repeal of the 1996 crime and immigration bills, an end to all deportations, immigrant detention, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids, and mandated legal representation in immigration court.
- An end to the war on trans, queer and gender nonconforming people, including their addition to anti-discrimination civil rights protections to ensure they have full access to employment, health, housing and education.
- An end to the mass surveillance of communities, and the end to the use of technologies that criminalize and target our communities (including IMSI catchers, drones, body cameras, and predictive policing software).
- The demilitarization of law enforcement, including law enforcement in schools and on college campuses.
- An immediate end to the privatization of police, prisons, jails, probation, parole, food, phone and all other criminal justice related services.
- Until we achieve a world where cages are no longer used against our people we demand an immediate change in conditions and an end to public jails, detention centers, youth facilities and prisons as we know them. This includes the end of solitary confinement, the end of shackling of pregnant people, access to quality healthcare, and effective measures to address the needs of our youth, queer, gender nonconforming and trans families.