Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

No New Fossil Fuel Facilities

Resolution unanimously passed by ECRI February 4, 2019 for NWF re: No New Fossil Fuel Facilities.

Pub Date: 
Monday, February 4, 2019

Whereas anthropogenic climate change causes hotter temperatures and ever more powerful storms,1 threatens ecosystems, wildlife,2 and natural landscapes,3 and puts human communities at grave risk, and

Whereas the National Wildlife Federation has already stated that climate change is a clear and present danger to wildlife populations in its strategic plan4 and in its report “Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards"5 and

Whereas CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen from 280 ppm to 403 ppm in the last 250 years6 due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and

Whereas communities across America and around the world are resisting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure,7 and

Whereas electricity consumption per capita in the United States continues to decline8 and overall consumption has plateaued, demonstrating a reduced demand for new fossil fuel infrastructure, and

Whereas, energy efficiency and renewable power sources such as solar and wind provide alternative forms of meeting our energy needs that do not contribute to further climate change,9 and

Whereas climate models indicate that we have about two decades to reach zero emissions if we are to avoid the most extreme climatic disasters, and - given this need - new fossil fuel infrastructure will soon be made obsolete by the accelerating transition to renewable energy, resulting in stranded assets and unnecessary burdens on communities and ecosystems,

Be it therefore resolved that the National Wildlife Federation commits itself to seeking a complete stop to the construction of any new fossil fuel infrastructure including, but not limited to, pipelines, export facilities, and power plants, and

Be it further resolved that the National Wildlife Federation strongly supports efforts that reduce carbon dioxide emitted by human activities to zero.

1 U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Report Findings: Extreme Weather,” National Climate Assessment, 2014, available at https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/extreme-weather.
2 U.S. Department of the Interior, “9 animals that are feeling the impacts of climate change” (blog), accessed at https://www.doi.gov/blog/9-animals-are-feeling-impacts-climate-change on 20 February 2018.
3 U.S. Geological Survey, “Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park,” accessed at https://www.usgs.gov/centers/norock/science/retreat-glaciers-glacier-national-park on 20 Februry 2018.
4 National Wildlife Federation, “Strategic Plan - Saving America’s Wildlife: Toward a Common Agenda,” FY2018 - 2021, https://www.nwf.org/-/media/NEW-WEBSITE/Shared-Folder/PDFs/2017_NWF-Strategic-Plan_interactive.ashx.
5 Small-Lorenz, S.L., W.P. Shadel, and P. Glick, “Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards,” The National Wildlife Federation, 2017, https://www.nwf.org/-/media/PDFs/Global-Warming/NWF_FINAL_BESCCH_070517.ashx.
6 NASA, “Graphic: The Relentless Rise of Carbon Dioxide,” Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet, 15 February 2018, https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/.
7 Natasha Geiling, “Northwest communities seek to build a ‘green wall of resistance’ against fossil fuels,” Think Progress, 13 November 2017, https://thinkprogress.org/northwest-communities-fossil-fuel-infrastructure-bans-0a4a9b1dbf85.
8 Lucas Davis, “Evidence of a Decline in Electricity Use by U.S. Households” (blog), Energy Institute at Haas, University of California Berkeley, 8 May 2017, https://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/evidence-of-a-decline-in-electricity-use-by-u-s-households.
9 Timothy J. Skone, U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, “GHG Emissions Profiles for Power Production” (Slide 17), Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Natural Gas and Power Production, 15 July 2015, https://www.eia.gov/conference/2015/pdf/presentations/skone.pdf.