In January, activists rejoiced as President Obama made the tough decision to deny the Keystone XL pipeline permit. It was a victory in which, for the first time in a long time, we felt like our interests were being represented in Washington. It’s not surprising that this decision has been attacked, and attacked hard, by Legislators from around the country – Legislators who gladly accept millions from the Big Oil industry (to learn how much your Representative takes from the Dirty Energy industry, check out

That’s why in the past couple of weeks, activists have been coming out in droves to protect our Representative Democracy by calling “FOUL!” on our Legislators. Climate crusaders from North Carolina to Colorado, from Minnesota to New Mexico, and from New Hampshire to Ohio are showing their stripes and decrying their legislator’s profitable connections to the fossil fuel industry. Dressed in Referee shirts and holding penalty cards, whistle-blowing activists are working to break the political influence of dirty energy money with these viral protests.

Click here to plan your own Referee Event.

Since 2010, when the Supreme Court declared that corporations were entitled to pour unlimited money into political elections, we’ve seen a shift in Washington. Legislators like Colorado’s representative Gardner (accepted $301K from dirty energy companies) and Minnesota’s Representative Kline ($208K), have turned their backs on clean energy solutions. Instead, we have seen them bending over backwards to promote dirty energy interests, contributing to Big Oil’s record-breaking profits and King Coal’s stranglehold on our energy portfolio.

In North Carolina, Community leader Alan Burns lamented, “I travelled all the way to Washington, DC last August and November to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. When Rep. Myrick accepted $284,000 from the fossil fuel industry and then supported the pipeline, I stopped trusting her to put her constituents and the environment before her dependence on dirty energy money.” Sue Myrick’s support of dirty energy in North Carolina is characteristic of a breed of politicians who consistently place personal gain before the public interest.

According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the 112th Congress has been the most anti-environment Congress in history, with an unbelievable 191 votes against environmental protections. It’s not a coincidence that this congressional bad behavior comes on the heels of the 2010 citizens united decision. Our legislators are being paid to fight against the health of Americans and our planet.

Bill McKibben sums it up following this Super Bowl Sunday with a common-sense analogy: “Look, I’m a Patriots fan, but if Bill Belichick was caught paying off the refs for the Super Bowl I’d be outraged and so would everyone else. So why, really, is it okay that members of Congress take huge sums from companies and then vote on their interests?”

Game on!

For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram