Joint statement by Former Vice President Al Gore and Bishop William Barber II on the decision to cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project

For too long, communities of color have been systematically deprived of the economic and political power to defend themselves against the fossil fuel industry. Power companies have historically chosen to build in low income neighborhoods because property values are low, and they count on these communities not having the means to fight back.

Today’s victory against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is testament to the power that exists in frontline communities across our nation. The courageous leadership of impacted community members who refused to bow in the face of overwhelming odds is an inspiration to all Americans.

This project represented a dangerous web of injustice—the injustice of race, the injustice of ecological devastation, the injustice of poverty. Today’s victory reminds us of the power of a fusion movement – that when we come together, we win.

We have the power to stop projects that are dangerous to the most vulnerable among us, represented by elevated cancer risks, and higher mortality rates from asthma and other viruses, including COVID-19. Let this win empower Americans calling for the end to white supremacy and systemic racism across our country right now.

Today we see a victory for environmental justice, but the larger environmental and climate crisis can only be addressed by a movement that understands that if we are to continue to win on climate, we must win against poverty. If we are to continue to win on environmental justice, we must win against systemic racism. Forward together is the only way.