FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2017
Contact: Thistle Pettersen, 608- 316-5822, firstname.lastname@example.org for MAMA; Ben Peterson, (410) 980-4660, email@example.com for 350-Madison Climate Action Team.
Pipeline Fighters’ Benefit Extravaganza
The nation’s attention has been riveted on the courageous acts of the Standing Rock Sioux to protect the waters of the Missouri River from Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline crossing it. While continued construction of that pipeline has been halted temporarily, a pipeline expansion with similar threats to bodies of water right here in Wisconsin is currently taking place. Enbridge Energy, the $42 billion Canadian company which operates Line 61, is tripling the capacity of that line from the original 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million bpd. Some of the same troubling facts that faced the tribe in North Dakota have now arrived on Wisconsin’s doorstep and an opposition movement is growing.
Inspired by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies, local activists from Madison Action for Mining Alternatives (MAMA) and 350 Madison Climate Action Team will host the Pipeline Fighters’ Benefit Extravaganza on February 4, 2017 at the Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St. in Madison. This family friendly event is intended to raise awareness of the Enbridge pipeline expansion through Wisconsin and to build the legal defense funds to stop it.
Enbridge’s plans don’t stop with Line 61. Plans are under way to “twin” Line 61, creating a new line (66) in the same corridor, to carry 800,000bpd. This means that 2 million barrels of toxic tar sands, by and large destined for export, would flow through Wisconsin each day.
“We know the dangers and inevitability of tar sands spills,” said Ben Peterson of 350 Madison. “It’s no longer a matter of “if” there will be a spill, but “when” and then we’ll be left with pollution to our air and waterways and the price of clean-up. It’s an all risk, no reward situation. We believe that the more citizens learn about the facts at an event like the Pipeline Fighters Benefit Extravaganza, the better chance we’ll have to stop these irresponsible actions before it’s too late.”
The event will kick-off with an Art Build at 10:00am. Anyone interested in making political posters, banners, and cardboard critter hats is welcome! Space is limited though so signing up in advance with Phyllis Hasbrouck at firstname.lastname@example.org is recommended.
A fun-filled afternoon program starts at 5:00pm with a welcome and opening ceremony followed by a meal of foods that would be threatened by a pipeline spill. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early; only the first 100 will be able to be served.
Speakers include Ronni Monroe, founding member of the Wisconsin Tar Sands Action Coalition, and Peter Anderson of 350 Madison Climate Action Team.
Diverse and dynamic musical acts will then take the stage until midnight. Performances include the local talents of Tani Diakite and the Afro-Funkstars, Thistle & Thorns, the Solidarity Singers, Chandraya Dance Collective, Solidarity Singers, Raging Grannies, and 350 Madison Players’ production of Walker’s Bribery Game.
A silent auction will run throughout the event and guests will be able to bid on crafts and other items from local artists and businesses. Representatives of grassroots environmental groups will be on hand with literature and ways to get involved. A fun game of Environmental Jeopardy and a piñata smashing for kids will round out the day.
The suggested donation is $25 at the door and $10 for students and limited-income. Children under 8 are free.
MAMA is a Madison coalition supporting communities struggling against mining in Wisconsin. 350 Madison Climate Action Team is the local branch of 350.org, an international grassroots organization that is mobilizing a global climate movement. 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.