“Ride for the Future” Begins in New Orleans
11 Cyclists will travel to Exxon’s HQ in Dallas to End Oil Subsidies
New Orleans, LA: This week, 11 young adults from around the United States began Ride For the Future, a 1,000-mile journey from New Orleans to Dallas aiming to eliminate the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted annually on subsidies for energy companies and to highlight communities transitioning to a secure energy source and a more resilient lifestyle beyond fossil fuels. They believe that government subsidies should be redirected to address the problems caused by the disproportionately high presence of the fossil fuel industry in the Gulf.
The riders will expose the impacts of the production, refining, and consumption of fossil fuels on Gulf Coast communities. Local pollution and the broader, less predictable consequences of climate change including extreme weather events harm the health, economy, and environment of the communities that power America. “We have learned a lot from New Orleans residents. People wounded by fossil fuels and the external costs of this industry want their sacrifices to be included in the companies’ ledgers,” Skye Kelty, a cancer researcher at Rice University, shared about the team’s experiences with Louisiana residents.
When asked why she decided to participate in this program, Lisa Purdy, a rising junior at Brandeis University, replied that after learning about the challenges facing the Gulf Coast, and the “global implications of burning fossil fuels, [she] couldn’t go about [her] life as if everything was fine and just the way things should be.”
The team is hosted by houses of worship, with a food budget of $5 per person per day. They stayed at All Soul’s Episcopal Church, in the Lower Ninth Ward, for a week while training. The group spent their second week in New Orleans at the Carrollton United Methodist Church, working with groups such as Project Greenlight, the Gulf Restoration Network, Nola to Angola, the 9th Ward Guerilla Garden, and the Louisianna Bucket Brigade.
The Ride for the Future riders view fossil fuel companies as energy companies, believing they should invest in renewable energy and help address the twin challenges of pollution and extreme weather events. In Dallas, the team plans to meet with an executive at the headquarters of Exxon-Mobil, the most profitable energy corporation in the world, to demand a dedication to investment in renewable energy and communities suffering the effects of severe weather and pollution. Their other main stops in Louisiana include Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Mossville.
Ride for the Future is organized by the Better Future Project, a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts focused on building a future free from the harms of consuming fossil fuels and full of stronger and more resilient communities. For more information, like them on facebook and follow them on twitter and tumblr.