Power Beyond Extraction

Power Beyond Extraction


A Programming Series and Day of Action on the occasion of the Shale Insight gas and petrochemical Conference

At Multiple venues in Pittsburgh, PA
October 23 – 26, 2019

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“Defend The Water” Day of Action
October 23, 2019

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Join Native leaders from across the country, former miners and steelworkers, youth activists and frontline community members for a day of action outside the Shale Insight gas and petrochemical conference.

12pm, Native-led Water Ceremony
1pm, March
2pm, Rally and Music



Decolonizing Green Power
Wednesday, October 23rd, 7pm
@ Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Garden

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Renewable energy is a new frontier for economic growth. Facing increased global pressure to curb emissions, the companies most responsible for planetary global warming are erecting wind farms, building solar panels, and expanding renewable energy infrastructure without reducing their investments in the extraction economy. These companies are not the only ones investing in the power of the sun. Building on centuries of Indigenous knowledge about the sun’s power to give life, Indigenous communities across the continent are modeling a solar energy future that breaks from the profit motive. This panel considers green energy as a site for decolonization, asking how Indigenous activists are advancing an alternative future for green energy by connecting green technology development to the grassroots movements resisting fossil fuel expansion.

Moderated by Judith LeBlanc (Caddo), Director of Native Organizers Alliance.

Phyllis Young (Lakota), Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council Member (former), #GreenTheRez
Henry Red Cloud (Lakota), Founder, Lakota Solar Enterprises
Mark Tilsen (Oglala Lakota), NDN Collective and Extinction Rebellion
Melina Laboucan Massimo (Lubicon Cree), Sacred Earth Solar



Power Beyond Extraction: A Buried History
Thursday, October 24th, 6pm
@ Carnegie Museum of Art + Natural History

6:00–6:30pm: live performance of old miners movement songs from Appalachia by Joe Uehlein
6:30–8:30pm: panel discussion

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The history of Appalachia is tightly bound to the history of coal, and the material and sentimental attachments to this history presents a predicament for the environmental movement. On one hand, the history of coal is a history of exploitation of both land and labor. On the other, it is the history of the struggle of workers to organize for dignified work, fair pay, and safe working conditions. How should the environmental movement relate to workers whose livelihoods are tied to fossil fuel extraction? One answer has emerged with the concept of a just transition, which holds that in the transition to clean energy, no worker will be left behind. What can be learned from the buried history of labor militancy borne inside the mine? By approaching the history of coal as a history of labor, this panel asks how the long struggle for work with dignity can inform a just transition.

Moderated by Steve Lyons and Beka Economopoulos of The Natural History Museum.

Shaun Slifer, Creative Director, West Virginia Mine Wars Museum
Kipp Dawson, former coal miner, union member, teacher
Joe Uehlein, Founding President, Labor Network for Sustainability
Veronica Coptis, Executive Director, Center for Coalfield Justice



Fire Underground: Animated Film Screening and Discussion
Saturday, October 26th, 2pm
@ Carnegie Museum of Art + Natural History

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Fire Underground is an animated film by artist Nick Crockett, built in a game engine, which presents an alternative version of the 300 million year history of coal. Hovering between homage and parody, fantasy and documentary, cinema and simulation, it pitches labor history and natural history against the confused representations of Appalachia in popular culture today.

Nick Crockett, artist and filmmaker
Steve Tonsor, Director of Science and Research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Steve Lyons, art historian and curator, Not An Alternative / The Natural History Museum