November 9, 2016

Stephen Kretzmann, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Oil Change International responds to the election of Donald Trump: “Our movement has real power because it is based on people, and nothing about last night changes that.”

In response to the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, Oil Change International Executive Director Stephen Kretzmann released the following statement:

While President-elect Donald Trump won the election last night, we stand firm in our deep conviction that the vast majority of Americans are not racists, misogynists, or climate deniers. This is a frightening time for many of us, but we still believe in the American people, and we know we are better than this.

If there is one clear message from this election, it is that elites and the Washington consensus are dangerously out of step with the will of the people. This disconnect opened a path for President-elect Trump, which he exploited.

The distance between Washington policy elites captured by corporate power and our nation’s heart is not news to the climate justice movement. Elites said we couldn’t – and we shouldn’t – stop a pipeline, but we did. Elites said we should support natural gas as a bridging fuel, ignoring community and climate concerns, but we refused. Elites said we couldn’t build a movement, but we have.

Our movement has real power because it is based on people, and nothing about last night changes that.

Across the United States, in states both blue and red, grassroots leaders fighting for their communities and our climate will not be deterred by politicians and bureaucrats bought and paid for by Big Oil. Native water protectors, farmers, ranchers, and young people all around the United States have built a movement against new fossil fuel infrastructure – and for a clean energy future.

They will fight new fossil fuel projects, and we will fight by their side. They will fight for a just transition, for jobs, and for their communities in the clean energy economy we must build, and we will fight by their side. Together, we will demand a Separation of Oil & State.

Not all the news from the election last night was bad. Florida voters rejected a polluter-backed ballot initiative that would have made rooftop solar less competitive in the Sunshine State. And everywhere that voters were given the chance to raise the minimum wage, they did.

At Oil Change International, we’ve built an international organization and community of strategic nonviolent campaigners who operate from their hearts. We’ve sought to build and inform real grassroots power at every turn. We have more than 150 years of collective experience fighting fossil fuel interests on staff. We know we will eventually win, because we refuse to believe that greed is stronger than hope and love. We will plant our feet on the ground, look danger in the eye, and start pushing back. Because this is who we are.

Game on.