Celebrity Fractivists and the Company They Keep

Climate Witch Trials - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


Celebrity fractivists are as predictable as the sunrise, showing up wherever there is a cause to co-opt for some free publicity on the backs of progress!

What do Hollywood celebrities do to boost a sagging career? Celebrities who were once “A” list but have sunk to “B” and “C” list status? Celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon found notoriety in supporting the anti-fracking movement. But the problem with “success” when it comes to anti-fracking (a la New York’s ban), is that once you’ve won, what do you do then?

Celebrity fractivists like Ruffalo and Sarandon always need another bogyman – another “cause” to inject (a) notoriety, and (b) meaning into their otherwise meaningless lives. Like a junkie who needs another fix, these people need to be in the news, their face and name plastered everywhere, or they don’t think anyone “loves” them anymore.

Celebrity fractivists

It’s a shame what depths they sink to, really. At least Sarandon has talent – Ruffalo has no talent. Sarandon (or more properly, her agent) has (surprise!) found a new cause to promote – time to prop up that sagging career. Sarandon has thrown in her lot with the crazies opposing the Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project – the massive $5 billion expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline system from Pennsylvania into New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and back into Massachusetts where it will end near Boston.

Sarandon recently issued a statement through the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, whose director, Leigh Youngblood, has been at the forefront of opposing any new pipelines in the Bay State.

Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline Opposition Statements by Susan Sarandon:

November 2015

Massachusetts is being pressured to abandon its leadership in clean energy

You can help stop the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project, planned by Kinder Morgan, to bring gas from the fracking fields in Pennsylvania across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, known as FERC, has accepted comments on the proposed pipeline and will soon rule on whether land for the pipeline may be taken by eminent domain. FERC has a history of ruling in favor of business like Kinder Morgan. If this happens, as is expected, the movement against the pipeline, which has been led by grassroots organization[s] in the Northeast states, will be taken to the courts.

Although it is being marketed as a necessity to bring down prices, there is no proof this pipeline will save money for the people of the region or that more sustainable alternatives have been adequately considered. On the contrary, it appears that the gas is for export and higher prices, enhancing Kinder Morgan’s bottom line with the use of federal eminent domain.

At a time when religious leaders around the world are calling attention to climate change, the 400-mile N.E.D. pipeline would come at the expense of our environment by cutting across ecologically sensitive areas and spanning forests, farms, and neighborhoods along its routes. Residents have the concern of facing 20,000 – 40,000-horsepower compressor stations which would be noisy, emit fumes, and be a safety hazard to the communities where they are sited. The pipeline would take thousands of acres of permanently protected conservation land out of protection, possibly violating the Massachusetts Constitution.

Don’t let this pipedream become a huge, counter-productive investment in infrastructure to support the fossil fuel industry, at exactly the wrong time. Massachusetts has been the most energy efficient state in the nation for five years running and the rest of New England and New York are considering major commitments to renewable energy, commitments which would expand the thousands of jobs already created in solar and wind. These would be wiser choices to power our future.

For more than a year small, grassroots organizations have been leading challenges to the N.E.D. pipeline. The central Massachusetts-based Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust has tenaciously defended the more than 100 public trust lands intentionally targeted by the pipeline company, in just one state.

Ultimately this fight will be fought in the courts where legal expenses of at least $250,000 will be incurred. The Pipeline Awareness Network for the Northeast is a non-profit organization that has hired an energy and regulatory attorney and is conducting a fund raising campaign for legal fees to be incurred in this fight.

Please join me in supporting Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, PLAN-Northeast, the Mass Power Forward Coalition, and the many other grassroots groups that are fighting this pipeline. Learn more and follow them on FaceBook, Twitter, and email. There is still time to act to influence the decision about whether the pipeline project will become a reality for New England.

Together we can make a difference.

My name is Susan Sarandon and I am opposed to Kinder Morgan’s N.E.D. Pipeline project.

It’s obvious Sarandon is simply allowing her name to be used for kook, nutball causes to give her more notoriety. She certainly didn’t author the statement above herself. She likely doesn’t even know what this pipeline is/ever heard of it. She certainly has no dog in this fight – she’s simply supporting a cause because her agent thinks keeping her name in front of people who buy movie tickets will be good for her career. Like we said–sad.

Editor’s Note: The Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is funded by, among others, the Pew Charitable Trusts, which gave it $132,000 in 2012 for “civic life” work. Pew, of course, has been a major funder of fractivism and groups such EarthJustice, PennFuture, NRDC, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, et al. The Trust is also receiving money through a fellow named Duncan Mcfarland, who is a retired (sort of) Wall Street type who has also sat on the board of the Gannet newspaper chain, publisher of such biased media as the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, Ithaca Journal and Elmira Star-Gazette. This is the sort of elitist club that funds most of fractivism and ensures it gets great media coverage.

It’s also worth noting the current status of Sarandon’s career. One of her more recent movies was “The Company You Keep,” a Robert Redford production that largely idealized domestic trust-funder type terrorists along the lines of Bill Ayers. It perfectly fit Sarandon, of course, who is the epitome of the trendy activist. I got a chance to see her in person when the Yoko Ono celebrity fractivist bus tour stopped at Ray Kemble’s junkyard. It was hilarious watching her run behind the bus and into the junkyard to avoid Phelim McAleer’s questions. Here’s the video:

This is the company Sarandon keeps in pursuit of her trendy activism; Ray Kemble (blue plaid shirt and ponytail), motormouth Craig Stevens and, of course, a gathering of sycophant media types anxious to lend a hand. 

As for that movie, “The Company You Keep,” well, Box Office Mojo ranks it No. 5,162 on the all-time domestic movie rankings but No. 143 on the worst opening list. It took in only  $5,133,027 in domestic ticket sales, probably not enough to cover the advertising. No wonder Sarandon’s out there tramping through junkyards and lending a hand to keep the NED Pipeline away from some rich folks’ homes.

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