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'Petro Pete is a coward': Buttigieg chased off stage by climate activists demanding he 'end fossil fuels'
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

'Petro Pete is a coward': Buttigieg chased off stage by climate activists demanding he 'end fossil fuels'

During a speaking event in Maryland on Tuesday evening, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was chased off the stage by a group of climate activists who demanded that he "end fossil fuels."

Climate Defiance, a left-wing youth-led organization, crashed an event at Baltimore's Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall hosted by Baltimore Banner earlier this week to make a statement about the use of fossil fuels.

Over a dozen activists stormed the stage while Buttigieg was speaking and ran him out of the event. The protesters demanded that the transportation secretary end two proposed oil transport projects that the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration is reviewing.

One of the projects, the Sea Port Oil Terminal, consists of onshore and offshore facilities in the coastal region of Houston, Texas, and is estimated to start operations by late 2027, Offshore Magazine reported in June. The other project, the Texas GulfLink, is a proposed crude oil export terminal located 30.5 miles off the Texas Gulf Coast.

Climate Defiance aims to "end fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and waters," according to its website. The group also hopes to "make support for any fossil fuels as unacceptable on the left as opposing abortion or gay marriage." The organization plans to achieve these goals by engaging in "nonviolent disruption."

On Tuesday, the group crashed Buttigieg's event, chanting "stop Petro Pete." The rowdy activists interrupted Buttigieg's talk and joined him on stage.

"Your DOT just approved the Seaport Oil Terminal, a project that will have 80 coal plants' worth of greenhouse gas emissions and will worsen air quality in areas that already live in cancer clusters," an activist told Buttigieg. "This is about environmental racism, and it's about climate impacts this project will have. Will you commit to stopping these projects?"

Buttigieg noted that he respected "where they're coming from." When asked to explain the projects, Buttigieg replied that he did not want to "say anything off the cuff."

After the activists took over the stage, the transportation secretary was forced to flee the event.

Following Buttigieg's exit, the disruptive protesters held signs and sang, "Which side are you on, Pete? Which side are you on?"

Climate Defiance shared a video of the event on X, formerly Twitter.

"We just chased Secretary Pete Buttigieg off the stage at the Meyerhoff Symphony," the group wrote on Tuesday. "Petro Pete is a coward. As we write he is ramming down our throats the Sea Port and GulfLink oil terminals - each worse than Keystone. We must resist him with all we've got. And we will."

On Thursday, the group shared some additional "reflections on our recent decision to chase Pete Buttigieg off a stage," calling the transportation secretary a "finger-to-the-wind politician."

"Direct action is the fastest and most efficient way to spur change. 30 of us took over Pete's speech and it made a bigger impression than 1000s signing petitions or protesting on a sidewalk would have," it added.

The group promised it would "ravage" anyone's reputation to end the use of fossil fuels.

"We are explicitly committed to ending the careers and decimating the reputations of those who disagree with us," Climate Defiance stated.

"I get the urgency. By the time my kids are old enough to ask, we're going to have a really good answer to get out of climate change," Buttigieg stated, according to the Baltimore Banner.

"But my hope also is that some of those folks who are just here saw what happened when I was in front of the Transportation Infrastructure Committee two weeks ago trying to persuade or help the members of Congress [understand] that the seasons changing is not the same thing as climate change," he added. "And if this literally came up, and so we've got literal climate deniers … who can't be bothered to admit that climate change is real."

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