By Scott Learn, May 8, 2013. Source: The Oregonian
A coal mine in Wyoming’s section of the Powder River Basin. Photo: Scott Learn, The Oregonian
Terminal developer Kinder Morgan on Wednesday dropped its proposal to export coal to Asia from a Columbia River port near Clatskanie.
The company’s decision means three of the six coal export terminals originally proposed in Oregon and Washington have gone by the wayside. It also significantly reduces the potential for coal train traffic through Portland.
Together, the three abandoned projects represent up to $550 million in investment, 305 permanent jobs — and nearly 50 million tons of Montana and Wyoming coal destined for Asian ports.
Kinder Morgan spokesman Allen Fore blamed site logistics for stopping the project, not the intense controversy over exporting coal from the green Northwest. Continue reading
Note: Join Global Justice Ecology Project, the Dogwood Alliance, Earth First! and the STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign from May 26-June 1st in Asheville, NC as we tell the GE trees industry NO WAY to plantation of GE trees for biofuels. Visit: treebiotech2013.org and view the call to action here.
-The GJEP Team
April 24, 2013. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
In conjunction with an action in London today outside of the Drax power plant, organisations and networks from around the world released an Open Letter expressing opposition to plans by UK utility Drax to burn nearly 16 million tonnes of mostly imported biomass (wood), in a coal power station.
Drax is one of several European companies converting older power stations from burning coal to burning wood pellets or pellets combined with coal (“cofiring”). US and Canadian energy companies are also investing in biomass power stations and co-firing of coal with wood. This trend, supported by renewable energy policies, is establishing massive new demand and international trade in wood pellets, and represents a huge additional threat to forests, biodiversity, climate and communities.
Lacking forest resources to meet their own demand, European energy companies like Drax seek to import pellets especially from the southeastern US and British Columbia, Canada. In the longer term, they plan to invest in pellets made from industrial tree plantations in South America and/or Africa.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean
Dustin White, an organizer from Boone County, West Virginia, discusses recent actions targeting the EPA’s failure to address the grave impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on rural communities. Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.
April 18, 2013. Source: Reuters
MAPUTO – Hundreds of protesters blocked the entrance to Vale’s biggest coal mine in Mozambique on Wednesday, saying the Brazilian mining giant had not paid them adequate compensation for relocating them five years ago.
Vale said the protest did not affect production but the rally underscored a lingering problem for the mining firm from poor Mozambicans angry at what they feel are heavy-handed tactics to move them in order to exploit coal deposits.
“All access to the company was blocked. The workers had to sneak out of smaller exits,” a Vale worker who asked not to be named told Reuters by phone.
The protest, which began on Tuesday, broke out after more than a year of negotiations between the company and the protesters, who were resettled in 2008 to make room for the Moatize coal mine in the northwest of the southern African country.
In January 2012, about 700 families resettled about 60 kms (40 miles) from the Moatize site protested against what they said was a lack of water, electricity and fertile agricultural land at their resettlement area.
Vale has said it managed relocations in a fair and equitable manner.
Vale and global mining giant Rio Tinto have invested heavily in the Moatize region, attracted by the 23 billion tonnes of coal estimated to sit there.
By John F. Burns, April 16, 2013. Source: NY Times
Neil Wale, a former miner, at the site of what was the Whitwell mine, which closed in 1986. Photo: Jonathan Player for The New York Times
The old miner walks with a stick now, depleted in body and spirit, but with a pool of resentment that still surges whenever talk turns to the losing battle nearly 30 years ago to save the local coal mine from the economizing zeal of Margaret Thatcher.
“Ten million pounds for a funeral! That’s disgusting,” he said as he picked his way across the rubble-strewn wasteland that was once the Whitwell colliery, contemplating the elaborate, $15 million rites planned on Wednesday for Mrs. Thatcher, the former prime minister, who died last week at the age of 87. “Ten million pounds! And not 10 pounds for people like me who did all the dirty work here!”
In death as in life, Mrs. Thatcher, whose union-busting battle to close unprofitable coal mines in 1984 and 1985 was one of the hallmarks of her 11 years in power, has proved a deeply polarizing figure — so much so that the funeral pomp itself, scheduled to play out in the streets of central London, has become a matter of bitter dispute.
Having committed to rites on a scale not seen for a prime minister since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965, the Conservative-led government of Prime Minister David Cameron has said it will not disclose the costs until after the funeral is over. But senior officials have said $15 million is a reasonable estimate.
Note: Joe Solomon is a good friend and ally of Global Justice Ecology Project, and a former member of GJEP-sponsored Rising Tide Vermont.
-The GJEP Team
April 15, 2013. Source: Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival
Today two protesters disrupted the first symposium held by the Appalachian Research Initiative in Environmental Science (ARIES), a coal industry funded research consortium. Joe Solomon and David Baghdadi marched into the opening session of the “Environmental Considerations in Energy Production” Symposium, locked themselves together, and started chanting “Coal kills, science lies.” They also played recordings of the late Judy Bonds and Larry Gibson, long-time leaders in the fight against strip-mining. The plenary panel included the top state mining regulators from West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, including WV Dept. of Environmental Protection. Joe and David said they would unlocked if even one West Virginia citizen was allowed to speak on the panel. Symposium organizers chose instead to clear the room, call the Charleston Police and have the two arrested. More protesters outside the symposium sought to highlight the questionable nature of research produced with coal industry money.
“This is just another example of the coal industry cynically trying to muddy the waters, distort the science and delay the inevitable,” said Junior Walk of Boone Co., WV who attended the protest, “Truly independent scientists and Appalachian citizen’s daily experiences both have proven strip mining damages community health, local economies and local watershed. It’s time for action.”
The protesters today were acting in solidarity with Appalachian residents that are at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regions 3 and 4 in Philadelphia and Atlanta today to demand the EPA issue a “conductivity rule”. Over three years the EPA released independently reviewed science clearly linking higher conductivity from strip mines with damage to overall stream health. Citizens’ groups across Appalachia have been calling on the EPA to translate this science into an enforceable, numeric limit.
Note: A special “economic zone” in China is unveiling the country’s first emissions trading scheme. Considering the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme or the CDM, this newly created market is bound to be a failure of epic proportions, and will do little to reduce actual emissions from the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Another market-based solution, and another false impression of doing anything to seriously address climate change.
-The GJEP Team
April 5, 2013. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Shenzhen, a Special Economic Zone designed to promote market policies in China, will start emissions trading on June 17, the first announced start date among the country’s regional carbon exchanges.
Mayor Qin Xu announced the schedule in an interview with the Shenzhen Daily newspaper. While Beijing and Shanghai may also start their carbon markets in June, Shenzhen is the first to set a specific date, according to analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
China, the world’s biggest emitter, has approved pilot programs to cap and trade emissions in seven manufacturing centres as part of its plan to reduce emissions per economic unit by as much as 45 per cent before the end of the decade. The nation will regulate 800 million to 1 billion metric tons of emissions by 2015 in the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program outside of Europe, New Energy Finance forecasts.
“This is a clear sign that Chinese carbon-trading regions are actually starting their programs, paving the way for more to begin this year,” said Milo Sjardin, the Singapore-based head of Asia-Pacific analysis for New Energy Finance.
By John Vidal, March 11, 2013. Source: The Guardian
New Delhi children take anti-smog precautions. Photograph: Sanjeev Verma/Getty
India‘s breakneck pace of industrialisation is causing a public health crisis with 80-120,000 premature deaths and 20m new asthma cases a year due to air pollution from coal power plants, a Greenpeace report warns.
The first study of the health impact of India’s dash for coal, conducted by a former World Bank head of pollution, says the plants cost hospitals $3.3-$4.6bn (£2.2-£3.1bn) a year — a figure certain to rise as the coal industry struggles to keep up with demand for electricity.
The Delhi and Kolkata regions were found to be the most polluted but Mumbai, western Maharashtra, Eastern Andhra Pradesh and the Chandrapur- Nagpur region in Vidarbha were all affected.
The study, which took data from 111 major power plants, says there is barely any regulation or inspection of pollution. “Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved, and millions of asthma attacks, heart attacks, hospitalisations, lost workdays and associated costs to society could be avoided, with the use of cleaner fuels, [and] stricter emission standards and the installation and use of the technologies required to achieve substantial reductions in these pollutants,” said the report. “There is a conspicuous lack of regulations for power plant stack emissions. Enforcement of what standards [which] do exist, is nearly non-existent,” it says.
Attackers blow up trucks at Colombia’s biggest coal exporter
By Jack Kimball, February 24, 2013. Source: Reuters
Photo: World Bulletin
BOGOTA - Unknown assailants blew up four trucks belonging to Colombia’s largest coal exporter, Cerrejon, on Sunday in the latest attack against the mining sector in the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter.
Cerrejon – a joint venture between Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Xstrata – said it had suffered “a terrorist attack” at its Mina Sur mining area in the northern province of Guajira.
“There were no casualties, but four company trucks were seriously affected, which were idle as a result of the strike affecting the company for 17 days,” it said in a statement.
The assault comes a day before Cerrejon and workers, who have been on strike since Feb. 7, plan to restart stalled wage negotiations to try to end a walkout that costs Colombia $1 million in royalties and a 100,000 tonnes in lost output daily. Continue reading
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Annual spring break outings aimed at educating and training environmental activists will focus this year on the downsides of coal mining in Virginia and gas drilling in West Virginia.Mountain State Justice Spring Break targets college students who want to learn about extractive industries. But it’s open to any concerned citizen. It explores why Appalachia is a rich land with poor people.
The first event is March 1-10 in the historic mining town of Appalachia, Va., in a region heavily affected by mountaintop removal coal mining.
The West Virginia spring break follows March 10-17 near West Union in Doddridge County, an area surrounded by gas-drilling operations.Both events offer education, community service, lectures, hiking, music and the chance to engage in direct action.
West Virginia: http://mjsb.org/