One of 350 Montana’s priorities this year is remaining flexible and fast, able to react to developments affecting the climate movement with lightening speed and commitment.

Right now, there are two things we know for sure: 1. The new administration is resurrecting two abysmal tar sands pipelines and 2. Both Montana’s Senators are cheering the administration on. Oh, and there’s a third thing: retired NASA climate scientist James Hansen calls the full development of the Alberta tar sands “game over for the planet.”

We hope you can join us for a demonstration. The first test of our flexibility and speed of deployment gets underway this Friday, January 27, with a demonstration that begins at noon in front of Senator Jon Tester’s office in Missoula at 130 West Front. At 12:30, we’ll move to Senator Steve Daines’ office at 218 East Front. 

By way of background, the nominee for Secretary of State, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, brings great conflicts of interest to our future relationships with other nations. Over a third of Exxon’s liquid assets lie in the tar sands of northern Alberta. He and his company have known about the damage climate change would do since the late 1970s, and the only thing Exxon, under Tillerson, has done is put the pedal to the metal digging and burning fossil fuels.

Now, climate scientists tell us to preserve a livable climate and live up to our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, 80 percent of identified fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground (to keep temperatures under 1.5 C).

By resurrecting the Keystone XL and DAPL pipelines, our two Senators are doing the heavy lifting for Exxon, rewarding Exxon’s last 40 years of climate denial, obfuscation, and degrading done to the climate. They are ensuring deep damage to Montana’s rivers and streams and forests as we sustain higher average temperatures. One of our Senators is a climate denier. The other says he recognizes that the climate is changing. On this issue — making the development of the dirtiest oil on the planet easier — there is little difference.

For background, here’s a good article on Exxon’s tar sands assets:

There is still time for Senators Tester and Daines to stand up for the climate and vote against the four horsemen of the apocalypse nominated for Secretary of State (Tillerson), EPA Administrator (Scott Pruitt), and heads of the Departments of Energy (Rick Perry) and Interior (Ryan Zinke). Actions speak louder than words.

We hope you can join us on Friday.

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana