As this hottest year in human history winds towards its close, I’m writing to ask for your help with what may be the single biggest climate fight left on planet earth. And it’s right here at home.

The US is planning to quadruple the export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the Gulf of Mexico over the next few years—there are plans for 20 huge export terminals to add to the seven that already exist. If they are built, the emissions associated with them will be as large as all the emissions from every home, factory, and car in the EU. The emissions associated with them will wipe out every bit of progress the U.S. has made on reducing carbon and methane since 2005.

And along the way it will hurt not only the people who have to live and breathe near these monstrosities, but also all American consumers—because exporting gas abroad drives up the price at home.

If you want a short primer, here is something I wrote this week, and another piece I wrote for the New Yorker.

Happily, we have a realistic chance at stopping this. Which is why I hope you’ll break out your stationery box and roll of stamps. The final decision will be made by the Department of Energy, which can grant or deny export licenses to these companies depending on whether they’re in the public interest. Please please please write a letter this week to:


The Honorable Jennifer Granholm
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington DC 20585


Here are some key points you can include in your letter:

  1. These plants are carbon and methane bombs. In the hottest year of human history it’s obscene to be putting up more of them
  2. We’re already the biggest gas exporter on earth, and have more than enough capacity to meet the needs of the Europeans in the wake of the Ukrainian war
  3. When we export all this gas, we drive up the price for those Americans who still rely on it for cooking and heating. Rejecting this project will fight inflation, which will help get the president re-elected.
  4. It’s an environmental justice travesty—as usual, these projects are set for poor communities of color
  5. They’re planned for smack in the middle of the worst hurricane belt in the hemisphere
  6. So rewrite the criteria (they’re currently using a Trump-era formula) for figuring out if such plans are in the national interest.

If you thought you were getting off without one high-tech task, though, you’re wrong. Could you also take a picture of the letter on your smartphone and email it to, so we can keep track of what’s happening.

Remember, the penmanship you learned long ago is a secret weapon. Bureaucrats are used to getting email petitions; they’re not used to getting old-school letters. They know it takes effort, and they pay attention.

I think we can win this fight, and if we do it will be the biggest win on the climate front since we sunk the Keystone pipeline. But we can only do it if we act right now.


Thank you,

Bill McKibben

Founder, Third Act


P.S. As I was writing this, the first snow of the season started to fall in Vermont. That’s got to be a good sign!

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is a founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 to work on climate and racial justice. He founded the first global grassroots climate campaign,, and serves as the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. In 2014 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel,’ in the Swedish Parliament. He’s also won the Gandhi Peace Award, and honorary degrees from 19 colleges and universities. He has written over a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature, published in 1989, and the forthcoming The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at his Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened.