Austin Sierra Club Joins Frontline Communities to Protest Offshore Oil Terminals

A long yellow banner reading "Please Pete! STOP S.P.O.T. No Fossil Fuel Exports!" is unfurled from a balcony.

By Bob Hendricks

The fossil fuel industry is scrambling to try to build more oil and gas plants and infrastructure. They know that before long, enough people will wake up to the senselessness of still more greenhouse gases and stop this madness.

On Sept. 22, the Sierra Club joined other organizations in a protest against more of this dirty infrastructure. As the Texas Tribune reported: “Before [Pete] Buttigieg took the stage at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, climate activists from the Texas Gulf Coast demonstrated across the street, calling on Buttigieg to reject permits for six proposed fossil fuel export terminals along the Texas and Louisiana coasts — which he has the authority to do — on the grounds that the resulting pollution would harm residents’ health, drive up energy costs and exacerbate climate change.” 

The Austin Chronicle described what happened next: “Near the end of the Texas Tribune Festival’s opening-night keynote with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, a murmur rolled through the Paramount Theatre and heads craned to house left. From the balcony, a bright yellow banner unfurled that read “Please Pete, Stop S.P.O.T. No Fossil Fuel Exports.” To learn more, go to

This was just one action that is in line with a new resolution passed by the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter. On Sept. 19, 2022, the chapter’s Executive Committee, unanimously passed a resolution affirming support of Gulf Coast residents in fossil fuel sacrifice zones. A sacrifice zone is an area with high levels of air or water pollution caused by fossil fuel plants and infrastructure. Although the Inflation Reduction Act does take significant measures to cut greenhouse gases, the compromise required to pass it included provisions to open up much more oil and gas drilling in the Gulf. 
Here's a few excerpts from the resolution:

  • “We oppose sacrifice zones in all forms, where historically marginalized communities are burdened with a disproportionate amount of pollution and harm caused by the fossil fuel industry.”
  • “The Sierra Club commits to … work with our members along the Gulf as well as partner organizations, especially those that work with frontline communities, to bring legal, financial, and organizing tools to fight offshore oil and gas leasing, and any future oil and gas leasing on federal lands in Texas.”

You can read the full resolution here.