Flash News: Federal judge puts hold on pipeline lawsuit against South Portland

The South Portland saga, featured in “Down to Earth: Climate Justice Stories” film, continues. The Maine District Court judge has put a hold on the Portland Pipe Line lawsuit against South Portland in order to determine if the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. Details here.

Our friends at Protect South Portland continue to raise funds for the city’s lawsuit. Consider tossing something in the hat here.

SPRING 2017 — Things Mainers can do after seeing Down to Earth Climate Justice Stories

  • Come to the People’s Climate March/Mobilization on Saturday, April 29, from 10am-1pm at the State House in Augusta. Info available at special Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1900909990179657/ Buses to the simultaneous national march in DC are being organized by Sierra Club Maine Chapter.  Call 761-5616 for more info.



  • Workshops on nonviolent direct action are being conducted regularly throughout the state. If you have a group interested in learning about NVDA and hosting a workshop or would like to attend one of the free workshops, contact Larry Dansinger at 262-3706 or Resources for Organizing and Social Change website at  http://resourcesforsocialchange.org/.


  • Activities are on-going to support pipeline protests (Protect South Portland, Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and others), Indigenous rights, divestment from fossil fuels. To get information, updates and contacts, be in touch with Andy Burt at 380-5387 or downtoearth145@gmail.com. She can direct you to Maine contacts.

Protect South Portland

Protect South Portland’s (PSP) citizen-driven campaign to keep tar sands out of their city in order to protect the health of their community was one of the compelling stories featured in the Down to Earth Climate Justice film. Now volunteers have initiated a crowdfunding project to raise money needed to cover costs of a lawsuit the city is engaged in with the pipeline’s owner, a subsidiary of Exxon-Mobil. Please check out the PSP Facebook page and, if you can, toss something in the hat. Stopping the flow of tar sands to Maine’s waters and air is good for everyone!

Here is a recent email from Protect South Portland:




“An anonymous donor, who loves the City of South Portland and its efforts to protect its air with the Clear Skies Ordinance, has offered to be a matching donor for the next $500raised on our crowd funding site between now and 3/1/17. It’s a great  chance to double the power of your gift!

If you LOVE clean air and the right for people to protect their local community, please make a donation now. And if you’ve already given, we thank you!

(one of 3 ways)

1. Go to our crowd funding site to see our video and donate:https://fundrazr.com/notarsandsinsouthportland

2. Donate to the Clear Skies Legal Defense Fund
(direct link to city’s donation site)

3. Send check to:
City of South Portland
Clear Skies Legal Fund
25 Cottage Rd.
South Portland, ME 04106    
(check memo: Clear Skies Legal Fund)

Last week we learned that Big Oil and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are playing an even bigger role in helping Portland Pipeline Corporation sue the city of South Portland. They’ve filed briefs in support of Portland Pipeline’s lawsuit.

With pipeline battles under threat across the country, it’s now more important than ever to protect our ordinance. In South Portland we’ve set a powerful precedent which could allow more cities to protect their own people.

Please do everything you can to support this critical case.


Thanks for your continued support,
From all of us at Protect South Portland”


Maine youth are leading the way!

Youth voices are leading the way. For inspiration from the King Middle School in Portland, Maine, please watch a video of their Climate March and Rally at City Hall in December! These committed youth have a plan for Portland’s neighborhoods to become sustainable and they are determined to achieve their goals by 2025, when many of them would graduate from college.


One of their exuberant cheerleaders is Chloe Maxmin, a storyteller from the Down to Earth Climate Justice Stories film available through this website.  Chloe started her climate activism when she was 12 years old and continues to be a leader for youth involvement in climate justice work. Not only was she a co-founder of Harvard’s Divest from Fossil Fuels campaign, but now as a graduate she writes for The Nation Magazine and is writing a book about climate change and politics.



The Down to Earth Storytelling Project is launching a new film project and needs your help.

Working in partnership with Maine environmental and social change groups and individuals like you, we want to collect photographs of climate solutions taking root across Maine — home by home, community by community.

The photographs will be put together into a fast-paced, 5-minute film that can be widely shared with the general public and elected officials through YouTube and DVDs. We believe that showcasing the sustainability revolution that is already underway in Maine can change hearts and provide hope and inspiration to others to take action in their own lives and communities as well as to enact public policies supporting efforts to build a just, compassionate and environmentally sustainable Maine community and economy.


DTE’s videographer will create a short inspiring film depicting climate solutions from every county in Maine. Each legislator will receive a DVD containing the short film, and a card with background stories about solutions in their own constituent communities. The plan is to complete the film and story handout by early 2017, as next legislative session begins. Deadline for photos is April 1st.


Take high quality photographs that depict climate solutions from your area.

  • Photos might show a community solar farm, residential pv or solar heat system, municipal solar installation, community wind, community gardens, front lawn vegetable garden, innovative energy efficiency/renewable energy production projects, alternative transportation projects such as bike trails, trolleys, trains, electric cars/bikes, electric charging stations, etc.
  • Photos should ideally be high resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels or higher but twice that size would be even better for the videographer to work with). Basically the bigger the picture, the better!  If you take a picture of a unique solution that is not as high quality, DTE may still be able to use it.

Email photos to DTE at downtoearth145@gmail.com. Include in email the name of the town & county where the photo was taken. If you can provide more background information about the photo…even a short paragraph or story that could be included in the handout that will accompany the film…that would be a bonus. And please include your name so we can give you credit for your photograph(s).

Please help us capture on film Maine’s climate solutions and seed inspiration for more!  Spread the word about the film project and invite others you know to snap photos and send them to us!


Anne D. (Andy) Burt


Down to Earth Storytelling Project

PO Box 145

Edgecomb, ME  04556




EXXON KNEW: Maine Petition delivered to Attorney Janet Mills

On Earth Day a small band of activists presented Attorney Janet Mills with the first 450 signatures on the petition asking her to join with other states’ Attorneys General to investigate Exxon. Let’s show her that Mainers want her to look into the biggest crime in living history – knowingly destroying all life on Earth for a few pieces of silver (actually billions of dollars!). Watch the video and then sign the petition below. Thanks!

EXXON KNEW: Maine Petition


Fort McMurray residents flee in the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history

Hilary Clark, one of the storytellers in the Down to Earth film, shares her 2014 summer experience doing the Healing Walk organized by First Nations Peoples in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, where dirty tar sands is being mined and poisoning the land and water. Video of that powerful walk appears with her commentary in the film. For the last two days a wildfire has raged in the Fort McMurray area, where temperatures in the drought-stricken area have reached more than 90 degrees F resulting in evacuation of more than 80,000 local residents. Here’s a link to the story: http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/fort-mcmurray-wildfire-pushed-back-even-as-temperatures-climb

A wall of fire rages outside of Fort McMurray on Tuesday May 3, 2016. TERRY REITH / THE CANADIAN PRESS


EXXON KNEW: Maine Petition


Exxon knew about climate change in the 1970’s. They’ve been lying about it ever since, while spending tens of millions of dollars to cover it up. They robbed humanity of a generation’s worth of time to reverse climate change.

This could be the largest case of fraud in history.

New York State’s Attorney General has already started an investigation, and AGs across the country are thinking about following suit. But they need to know that we’re watching, and that we demand they act now.

Exxon needs to tell the truth in court, and face the consequences of their lies and fraud. Call on your State AG to investigate Exxon.

Please visit 350.org’s EXXON KNEW: Maine Petition to tell Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills to seize this historic opportunity to investigate Exxon—thereby pushing the lies and the deception out into broad daylight and bringing us a step closer to dismantling the power of an industry that’s still recklessly — and knowingly — driving the climate crisis.

Language crafted by 350.org