OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
12:57 PM – Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Climate activists crashed an event where Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was speaking, demanding that he stop fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
On Tuesday night, a Maryland policy forum was taking place at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall when protestors interrupted abruptly.
Members of the group, also known as “Climate Defiance,” took control of the stage where Buttigieg was speaking, chanting “Stop Pedro Pete” and “End Fossil Fuels Pete.”
One of the climate activists addressed Buttigieg directly, calling on him to reject two proposed oil transport projects — the Sea Port Oil Terminal and Texas GulfLink — which are under review by his agency’s Maritime Administration.
“Your DOT just approved the Seaport Oil Terminal, a project that will have 80 coal plants worth of greenhouse gas emissions and will worsen air quality in areas that already live in cancer clusters. This is about environmental racism and it’s about the climate impacts this project will have,” the unidentified protestor said.
After the activist finished his remarks, Buttigieg maintained that he did not want to say anything “off the cuff” but that he still “respected” the climate activists’ agenda.
The Seaport Oil Terminal project, proposed several years ago, would consist of an offshore pipeline network along the Gulf of Mexico’s Texas coast that would reportedly facilitate increased U.S. oil exports.
It is slated to commence operations in 2025.
The project secured initial approval from the Maritime administration last year, however it is still pending a license. Similarly, the Texas GulfLink crude oil export terminal is also situated off the Texas coast and is awaiting approval from the Maritime Administration.
Environmental advocacy groups have been vocal in their opposition to both projects, primarily due to concerns regarding the anticipated indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil transportation.
In January, organizations led by the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity initiated a lawsuit challenging the record of decision for the Seaport Oil Terminal project, with Buttigieg listed as a defendant.
When Buttigieg finally left the stage at the event, protestors attempted to follow him but were stopped by discreet security personnel.
In a social media post, Climate Defense showed footage of their protest, calling Buttigieg a “coward.”
Buttigieg, the former Democrat mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was the first openly homosexual presidential candidate in 2020. However, he dropped out of the Democratic race after a crushing loss in the South Carolina primary.
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