Monday, March 14, 2016

Why I am withdrawing my support of #BXE Beyond Extreme Energy

(I am publishing this simultaneously on my blog. )

#BXE Beyond Extreme Energy is a group which has done some amazing and necessary work against the rogue and industry-captured Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

They have been regularly disrupting FERC meetings, and have organized two week-long blockades of the FERC office building in Washington DC.

All this is urgent, vital work.

I was a huge early supporter of Beyond Extreme Energy
#BXE, I promoted their events in my public presentations. I was extremely happy and encouraged by #BXE.

Then I saw how they actually operate:

The core organizers of #BXE are bigots who demand that participants agree to a kind of loyalty oath to support other off-topic side issues like climate change and Black Lives Matter in order to join the fight against FERC.

People who do not agree are banned from the listserv, and banned from commenting on the Facebook page.

I know because this happened to me.

While I think most people fighting pipelines agree about the pending global crisis of anthropomorphic climate change, and it is what I would call a tangential issue, IMO this should not be a litmus test in order to join the fight against pipelines. I was on a BXE call once, and someone from Ohio raised the issue that he lived in a conservative area. They were opposed to the NEXUS pipeline, and wanted to join the fight against FERC, however were uncomfortable with info on the website about climate change. His concerns were treated dismissively.

I raised an issue with overt and off-topic support for the Black Lives Matter movement on the BXE Facebook page. (A news article was posted showing a BLM protest where they had closed down a highway. I could see absolutely no connection to extreme energy).

#BLM is a highly charged and controversial movement, and not even remotely tangential to the topic of extreme energy. It's not even on the same page.

I raised this issue, my discomfort with the #BLM movement, and my request that BXE stick closely to the subject matter of getting "Beyond Extreme Energy". And after a BRIEF discussion on the listserv, where NOT ONLY were my concerns not heard, addressed, or treated with respect, but I was mocked, attacked, ridiculed, called nasty names, and ultimately censored and banned.

This no way to run a successful campaign.

We need a BIG TENT approach to fighting FERC and Climate Change (again I feel these two campaigns should only be loosely linked), where anyone who shows up should be welcomed, not treated with hostility and contempt because they have concerns with a completely unrelated side issue.

There are all kinds of important issues of the day, GMO's, Animal Rights, Labor issues, WTO, TPP, LGBTQ, etc. etc. Should BXE take a position on all of these? And more importantly, REQUIRE participants to adhere to a certain view on each of these, or suffer banishment, and censorship as I did?

No, I don't think so. BXE, to be anything more than a fringe group, to become a broad movement encompassing the greatest number of people, should closely stick to it's core mission: Extreme Energy.

What I have seen is that we DO have a successful movement to fight climate change. We DO have growing momentum in fighting FERC and pipelines.

HOWEVER-- I also see how this charge of "environmental racism" is being used to FRACTURE THESE MOVEMENTS.

I believe there are agent provocateurs who are inside our movement trying to subvert, fracture and divide it.
The charge of RACISM is one (very effective) way this is being done.

In response, I submit the following facts:

  1. Science has spoken:
    There is no such thing as Race.
    There is only ONE HUMAN RACE.

  2. Benzene in your drinking water will kill you
    WITHOUT REGARD to skin color.
    Benzene is toxic to whites and blacks equally.

  3. The problem of FERC and Pipelines
    is not White People vs. Black People.

    It's Exxon Mobil, Chesapeake, Kinder-Morgan,
    Williams, Spectra etc. vs. EVERYONE.

I will not be participating or financially supporting or promoting #BXE until such a time as these issues are addressed, with compassion and care, and I am reinstated in good standing.

I encourage others to withdraw financial support of BXE until these issues are addressed.

Furthermore, I am urging EVERYONE in the climate movement, and people fighting fracking and pipelines etc.

I am working to fight for clean air and water FOR ALL PEOPLE
without regard to skin color of the victim.

If there is ONE PERSON suffering due to water contamination from fracking,
or breathing contaminated air downwind from a compressor station,

The color of the victim's skin DOES NOT MATTER
(except to maybe a racist).

Please don't get sucked in to racist and divisive frameworks.

to save the planet FOR ALL PEOPLE
of all skin hues and all other species too.

Bill Huston
Binghamton NY

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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