Keep Calm and Frack On

by Aaron Johnson, Manager of Communications on March 28, 2016 - 7:32am

Keep Calm and Frack OnThe Keep-It-in-the-Ground movement was created after Keystone XL protesters won that battle and needed something else to occupy their time. Many have turned their attention to protesting quarterly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease sales, and they’re revved up for the May auction in Colorado. Their protest is planned as part of several events taking place around the world in what’s being called Break Free 2016.

Growing the Movement
From May 4th - 15th, anti-fossil fuel protests are planned across six continents. In the United States they’re planned for Albany, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington D.C. The movement’s website promises, “A global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.”

By mass actions, they mean civil unrest. The page boasts, “Fighting climate change requires the courage to confront polluters where they think they are most powerful.” Organizers are recruiting people willing to be arrested for acts of civil disobedience with a special checkoff box on their registration page.

Keep It in the Ground

If you think the escalation of environmental protests is starting to resemble recent protests of political campaigns, it’s no coincidence. Many of the anti-fossil groups are also partnering with, which is funded by billionaire-activist George Soros and reportedly behind the riotous atmosphere that shut down a Donald Trump rally in Chicago recently. Organizations like Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch and WildEarth Guardians are joining MoveOn and hundreds of other eco-left groups.

The protests we’re seeing in the West are just pieces of the larger, highly-coordinated movement.

Government Watch List
These protesters have BLM on high alert. During a recent congressional hearing, BLM Director Neil Kornze equated the activities of militiamen with Keep-It-in-the-Ground protesters as a reason BLM was extra cautious in canceling the November Utah lease sale. (Watch at the 54:30 mark of this video.) The government is not taking environmental extremism lightly and views it as a potential danger to federal employees and daily operations.

There is a solution that can prevent the spectacle of protesters disrupting or shutting down sales. Western Energy Alliance has urged BLM to use online auctions, which were approved last year by Congress. During the same testimony, Director Kornze, responding to questions, said that BLM plans to hold at least three online auctions later this year, which is welcome news.

To the anti-fossil fuel activists who seek to create unrest this spring, we suggest you tone things down and remember to Keep Calm and Frack On.