WASHINGTON DC, USA – In a bold protest demonstration, environmental activists from Climate Defiance stormed an interview with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday, May 18, 2023, during the Politico Energy Summit held at the Renaissance Hotel in Washinton DC.
Their demonstration was aimed at expressing their opposition to the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline project, a planned 303-mile gas pipeline set to span West Virginia and southern Virginia.
Security guards swiftly acted as the protestors began chanting, “No MVP, No LNG, Granholm you are killing me.”
Two activists who tried to ascend the stage with Granholm were intercepted and forcibly removed from the venue in a flurry of commotion.
The sudden eruption of dissent momentarily disrupted the live feed at the 7 minute 50 seconds mark, with an on-screen message assuring viewers that the “program will resume shortly.”
Protesters just disrupted Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaking at the Politico Energy Summit, rushing towards an on-stage conversation happening in DC. Several climate activists chanted “No MVP, no LNG, Granholm you are killing me” and were quickly removed from the event pic.twitter.com/k2qbo7TYyH
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) May 18, 2023
The feed resumed roughly two minutes later.
In a statement released after the event, Climate Defiance criticized the authorities’ response, describing it as a “militarized response unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”
They alleged that “multiple vulnerable people were carried out, almost completely upside-down, suspended in the air by their feet, one misstep away from a catastrophic injury.” The statement also claimed that one activist was “besieged to the point of vomiting.”
During the summit, Granholm stood her ground, maintaining her support for the gas pipeline project. She recently endorsed the project in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Expected to pump nearly two billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, the Mountain Valley Pipeline has garnered criticism for its potential environmental impacts.
Addressing the concerns of the protestors, Granholm stated, “To the point of the protesters here, these are really hard decisions. We are in this transition. We want to be able to ensure that our allies can turn on the lights,” making a veiled reference to the geopolitical situation in Ukraine.
As the dust settles from Thursday’s dramatic protest, the Mountain Valley Pipeline controversy continues to stir conversation on the future of energy infrastructure and its environmental implications.