One thing the industries didn’t count on: A new wave of citizen activism in places as far apart as Longview, Wash., and upstate New York. This movement — a patchwork of movements, really — has kept fracking out of New York, and delayed (perhaps indefinitely) the construction of coal ports on the West Coast. It’s rallied Nebraskans against the Keystone XL pipeline, and complicated the gas industry’s attempt to take over California. What should really be worrying fossil fuel companies is that some of the strongest resistance comes from towns like Longview. Places that few people would have predicted would become hotbeds of environmental activism are now some of the best organized and most vocal communities fighting fossil fuels anywhere in the country. Every fracking well placed near a city’s water supply and every coal train rolling through a small town gives some community a reason to hate fossil industries. And by failing to notice this, oil, gas and coal companies may be digging their political graves.
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