View from the Henry David T. as it approaches the Brayton Point Power Station. (Photo: Courtesy of #coalisstupid)
On Monday, a Massachusetts DA dropped charges, including a conspiracy charge, pending on two men who blockaded a coal shipment with their lobster boat. The DA seemed to accept in advance the activists’ expected “necessity defense” when he came out of the court citing his acceptance of climate change as a very real and present danger for dropping the charges. More useful precedents for all the other climate and anti-fossil fuel activists facing courts?
Massachusetts District Attorney Makes History: Recognizes Necessity of Defending Climate
By Ben Jervey, Desmogblog.com, September 8, 2009.
This morning, a District Attorney in Massachusetts made history as he recognized the “necessity defense” of climate-related civil disobedience, and reduced the charges for two activists charged in their Lobster Boat Blockade.
Read the whole story here!
Democracy Now! also covered it, including interviews!
Peruvian police block the way to people carrying the coffins of three of the demonstrators who died during the protests against the Conga mining project in Celendin, Cajamarca, Peru, on July 6, 2013. Source: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/GettyImages
WW4 reports on a series of violent and deadly attacks on environmental protestors in Peru, at protests against pipelines and mines in particular. This included the death of a 16-year-old boy. The UN has criticized the “disproportionate use of force” against Indigenous protestors.
Peru: deadly repression of pipeline protests
By WW4 Report. September 5, 2014.
The UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Sept. 2 issued a statement expressing “concern” about the “disproportionate use of force” against indigenous protesters in Peru. (Celendin Libre, AIDESEP, Sept. 2) The statement came the same day that a 16-year-old protester, Jhapet Claysont Huilca Pereira, was shot dead by National Police troops at Santa Teresa village in the Valley of La Convención, Cuzco region, during a protest against construction of the Gasoducto Sur Peruano through local lands.
I couldn’t choose just one story for this post: There were three great ones and since they are all related to the fight against extreme energy, here they are.
First, a US judged ruled yesterday that BP was reckless, making “profit-driven decisions” with a “disregard for known risks.” This opens BP up to billions in penalties, particularly civil fines based on the Clean Water Act. Moreover, couldn’t all other extreme energy endeavors be called reckless using similar criteria? The following protests are exactly about other examples.
Next, protesters in Richmond, CA chained themselves to the fence of the Kinder Morgan rail terminal to protest new work taken on there transporting crude oil from trains to trucks.
Finally, check out this story about another protest, this time a banner drop, by Mountain Justice, Rising Tide North America and Radical Action for Mountain’s and Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS) in Roanoke, VA calling out “coal baron” Jim Justice, for “poisoning water, exposing communities to devastating mountaintop removal coal mining operations and leaving central Appalachia a public health disaster.”
As always, looks like the protesters got bail costs or fines associated with their nonviolent protest. Please follow the links to donate!
Yesterday, residents of the Seattle area worked with Rising Tide Seattle to block train tracks right in front of an oil train, stalling it for 8 hours.
Rising Tide did an excellent summary of the dramatic events, also captured on their Twitter feed. Their summary, though, also puts this event into the context of the Northwest fossil fuel industry and the summer of oil train protests.
SEATTLE ACTIVISTS MOUNT TRIPOD – STOP EXPLODING OIL TRAINS
By Rising Tide North America, September 2, 2014.
Five residents of Seattle and Everett, WA, working with Rising Tide Seattle, have stopped work at a Burlington Northern Santa-Fe Rail Yard in Everett by erecting a tripod-structure on the outbound railroad tracks, directly in front of a mile-long oil train.
Seattle resident Abby Brockway – a small business owner, and mother – is suspended from the structure 18 feet above the tracks while four other residents are locked to the legs the tripod. The group is demanding an immediate halt to all shipments of fossil fuels through the Northwest and calling on Governor Inslee to reject permits for all new fossil fuel projects in Washington, including proposed coal and oil terminals.
Click here to read more and find out where to donate to support those involved.
Click here for the Twitter feed.
Over the past weekend Steve Horn published an important analysis of the recent federal decisions by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to not offer guidance to the federal agencies that it coordinates regarding energy policy and climate change. Industry pushback is given as a primary reason that the CEQ has dropped the ball.
Maybe organizers and participants at the September 17-24 Week of Action surrounding the People’s Climate March in New York can find a way to fit an objection into their busy “demands” list!
Photo from FOEI
Legal Case: White House Argues Against Considering Climate Change on Energy Projects
By Steve Horn, DeSmog Blog. August 31, 2014.
Just over a month before the United Nations convenes on September 23 in New York City to discuss climate change and activists gather for a week of action, the Obama White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) argued it does not have to offer guidance to federal agencies it coordinates with to consider climate change impacts for energy decisions.
It came just a few weeks before a leaked draft copy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest assessment said climate disruption could cause “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”
Read the whole article here
Demand System Change!
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Hydrofracking, Keystone XL, Media, Oil, Political Repression, Politics, Pollution, Tar Sands, Uncategorized, War, Waste, Water, World Bank, WTO
from the MICATS twitter feed
The MICATS protested Enbridge’s Line 6B yesterday (Monday, August 25). Two members locked themselves to a construction truck leaving a storage facility in Oxford, Michigan, which caused a bottleneck of all the other trucks behind it. According to the MICATS Youtube page of the protest:
At 7:30am on the morning of Monday, August 25th, 2014, two protestors with the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands locked themselves with bicycle U-locks to a truck while it was exiting a pipeline storage facility ran by Precision Pipeline. Precision was hired to work on the expansion of Enbridge Line 6B, the same pipeline which ruptured in 2010, spilling 1 million gallons of toxic tar sands into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo river. That spill is now commonly known as the largest in-land tar sands spill in US history.
Instead of choosing to double-down on clean-up efforts for that spill, 4 years later the spill is still not clean and Enbridge is dragging their feet. Meanwhile, Enbridge is expeditiously expanding its tar sands pipeline infrastructure throughout the midwest as well as all over the continent. Today, Duncan and Dylon took action in opposition to Enbridge’s criminal dealings with dirty tar sands. Direct action is a crucial tactic that must be utilized when the common systems of governance fail to protect us or recognize our basic rights.
Check out their video of the protest!
Common Dreams also ran a great story on the protest, the history of Line 6B, and the MICATS demands.
Earth First! Newswire ran the MICATS statement, which includes a link to their Donate page.
Maria Gunnoe and mountaintop removal via EcoWatch
On Friday, Jeff Biggers for EcoWatch reported on a federal judge ruling that the US Army Corps of Engineers does not have to consider studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal when issuing permits.
Biggers notes that this comes just a couple of weeks after Maria Gunnoe, an organizer for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, sent a letter to Obama urging him to renew funding for exactly such studies that were being conducted by the USGS, until funding was withdrawn last year.
Gunnoe Appeals to President … Judge Dismisses Health Studies on Mountaintop Removal
By Jeff Biggers, EcoWatch. August 22, 2014.
In a breathtaking but largely overlooked ruling this week, a federal judge agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may disregard studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining in its permitting process, only two weeks after Goldman Prize Award-winning activist Maria Gunnoe wrote an impassioned plea to President Obama to renew withdrawn funding for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research on strip mining operations and redouble federal action to address the decades-old humanitarian disaster.
Read the whole article and Maria Gunnoe’s letter here.
Find out more about Maria Gunnoe and the New Voice’s Speakers Bureau on GJEP’s website.
Image used by Columbia Riverkeeper
Oregon’s Department of State Lands denied Ambre Energy a permit needed for a proposed coal terminal to export coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia. While a range of environmental groups helped put pressure, the state agency singled out the damage that would have been caused to tribal fisheries by the terminal.
Oregon Department of State Lands rejects Ambre Energy coal export permit, dealing major blow
By Rob Davis, The Oregonian. August 18, 2014.
Oregon’s Department of State Lands on Monday dealt a serious blow to Ambre Energy’s proposed coal terminal, denying a key permit needed for a project to export 8.8 million tons of coal annually to Asia.
The state agency said despite a two-year review, Australia-based Ambre Energy hadn’t done enough to analyze alternatives that would avoid harming tribal fisheries at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, where the company had proposed to build a dock to load coal onto barges.
Tribes that rely on Columbia River fisheries had opposed the terminal, saying it would destroy protected tribal fishing areas. The state concurred, saying a “small but important long-standing fishery” at the project site would be harmed.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat and the project’s most prominent opponent, praised the decision.
“Columbia River tribes have fundamental rights to these fisheries,” he said, “and projects that may interfere with these rights or affect important public resources are held to appropriately high standards.”
Tribes also applauded the rejection.
Read more at The Oregonian.
The image comes from Columbia Riverkeeper: Read more from them here.