We believe that the ongoing climate crisis necessitates bold and aggressive action. We cut campaigns and issues that operate on the intersection of climate justice and economic justice because both have the same root cause - corporate power.
We focus most of our climate work in St. Louis around the 5 coal corporations that are headquartered here: Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Foresight Energy, Armstrong Coal and Patriot Coal. In particular, MORE has been engaged in a campaign for several years now around Peabody Coal, the world's largest coal corporation. In 2010, Peabody received tax breaks on $61 million of purchases from our city government--$2 million of which was meant for the St. Louis Public Schools. The plants around the city that burn Peabody’s coal are a leading cause of St. Louis’ high asthma rates. Last summer, St. Louis experienced climate change firsthand in the form of triple-digit heat waves, drought, and dozens of deaths. Unfortunately, our city government subsidizes Peabody’s impacts on St. Louis, while Peabody itself silences dissent by funding places like the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. To change energy and economic systems in St. Louis and nationally, we need to end Peabody’s influence over local institutions and politics and stop the taxpayer subsidization of climate change.
We are engaged in a direct action campaign around Peabody to educate citizens and challenge Peabody’s power. Our actions have focused on St. Louis and on people from Black Mesa in Arizona, Appalachia, and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Some of our larger actions have included Midwest Rising in 2011, the 99% Spring at the Peabody Shareholder's Meeting in 2012, the Post-Peabody St. Louis week of action in 2012, the MORE-RAMPS-BMIS Winter Action Camp and Stop Peabody action in January 2013, and an action at the Peabody Shareholder Meeting in Gillette, Wyoming in April 2013.
In 2013, we also led the Take Back St. Louis coalition, running a ballot initiative to reclaim tax dollars from Peabody. The initiative would change the St. Louis city charter to assert residents’ right to a sustainable energy future, stop the city from giving money to unsustainable companies, and require a plan to invest in and open land for renewable energy and sustainability initiatives. We collected over 36,000 signatures of voters in the city of St. Louis and were granted ballot verification for an election in April 2014. In spite of growing public support for the initiative, a group represented by a former Peabody lobbyist successfully sued to keep the measure off the ballot. As part of that coalition we are committed to the struggle for climate justice and democracy in St. Louis.
To learn more about Take Back St. Louis, check out www.TakeBackStLouis.com.
To get involved in MORE's climate work, call Caitlin at 314-329-7667 or email email@example.com.