All the battles being waged against fossil fuel infrastructure are following a single strategy

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Luis Hestres, The University of Texas at San Antonio

(THE CONVERSATION) The activists holding a growing number of protests against oil pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects from coast to coast are winning some courtroom victories.

For example, a federal appeals court recently struck down two key decisions allowing a natural gas pipeline to cut through Virginias Jefferson National Forest, just days before a three-judge panel nixed two permits for another pipeline intended to transport natural gas in Virginia because it would compromise efforts to protect endangered wildlife. At the same time, Oregons Supreme Court declined to revisit a lower court ruling that let Portlands prohibition of big fossil fuel export projects stand.

Just like when activists refuse to leave their treetop perches to stop oil companies from axing an old-growth forest or when they lock their bodies to bulldozers to prevent the machine from making way for a new coal mine, these legal challenges are part of a coordinated strategy I have studied for years while researching the movement to slow down and address climate change.

Their overarching aim is to prevent as much new fossil fuel infrastructure as possible from being built and shutting down as many operations as possible. Its all part of a keep it in the ground strategy with it referencing fossil fuels.


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