Category Archives: Ending the Era of Extreme Energy

Obama’s policies of extreme energy extraction take another step

A number of news sources reported this weekend on the White House approving the use of underwater sonic blasts to pinpoint oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean. This is a step in the process to large-scale offshore oil drilling in federal waters.

The Washington Post reported:

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will be harmed but ultimately decided to approve this exploration in the outer continental shelf from Delaware to Florida.

The sonic blasts are, of course, just the very start.

Energy companies need the data as they prepare to apply for drilling leases in 2018, when current congressional limits expire.

Offshore Oil Rig. Reuters.

Offshore Oil Rig. Reuters.

Oil companies, with the government’s blessing, plan to drill offshore all along the East coast, with only the North East off limits.

A quote by an engineer for American Petroleum is particularly ominous:


“One thing we find is, the more you get out and drill and explore to confirm what you see in the seismic, you end up finding more oil and gas than what you think is out there when you started,” Radford said.

Florida communities have pushed back, in particular:

Florida has already felt the devastating effects of an uncontrolled oil release with the Deepwater Horizon event, of which cleanup efforts are still ongoing,” said John Morris, a county commissioner whose constituency includes the beach town.

However, the drilling would happen on federal waters, outside of reach from any local ban. While the article emphasizes the devastating effects of sonic booms on marine life and possible pollution from drilling, the dangers of such deepwater drilling extend even further. The thoughtlessness is mind-boggling, unless the whole thing is seen as desperate attempts in the era of extreme energy.

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US pushing tar sands into Europe despite EU proposed block

IPS reports on US efforts to push tar sands oil into the EU despite resistance in Europe.

Newly publicized internal documents suggest that U.S. negotiators are working to permanently block a landmark regulatory proposal in the European Union aimed at addressing climate change, and instead to force European countries to import particularly dirty forms of oil.

Thousands of acres of trees and plants, in an area the size of Florida, must be stripped away and the ground torn apart to mine for tar sands oil.

Thousands of acres of trees and plants, in an area the size of Florida, must be stripped away and the ground torn apart to mine for tar sands oil.

Current negotiating texts for the TTIP talks are unavailable. But critics say the negotiations are forcing open the massive E.U. market for a particularly heavy form of petroleum known as tar sands oil, significant deposits of which are in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The oil industry has repeatedly expressed concern over the European Union’s potential tightening of regulations around transport fuel emissions, first proposed in 2009 for what’s known as the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). Yet according to a report released Thursday by Friends of the Earth Europe, the sector now appears to have convinced the U.S. government to work to permanently block the implementation of this standard.



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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Mining, Tar Sands, Uncategorized

Breaking Action Alert: Enbridge Blockaded

17 July 2014.  Source: Swamp Line 9 via Earth First! newswire


Individuals from Six Nations and their allies have interrupted work on a section of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. The work stoppage began around 10am this morning. Individuals involved asked workers to leave, asserting that the land is Haudenosaunee territory guaranteed under the Haldimand deed, and that Enbridge’s workers were present without consent or consultation.

Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Tar Sands, Uncategorized

12 more opposed to shale gas arrested as RCMP turn violent on National Aboriginal Day

By Miles Howe, June 21, 2014. Source: Halifax Media Co-op

Segewaat, who has been tending the sacred fire for over a week, was among the first to be arrested Photo  by M. Howe

Segewaat, who has been tending the sacred fire for over a week, was among the first to be arrested Photo by M. Howe

12 more people were arrested today in their attempts to stop SWN Resources Canada from conducting seismic testing along highway 126, in Kent County, New Brunswick.

At about 1:15pm, a convoy of cars parked themselves on River Lane, near the town of Kent Junction, about 100 metres from the thumpers. About 40 people then stationed themselves on the side of the road adjacent to the 3 thumpers, and began drumming and singing. The thumpers stopped their procession, and a group then stationed themselves in front of the trucks, blocking their paths.
RCMP forces then arrived, and a confrontation – as happened last Friday morning when 12 people were arrested attempting to halt the thumpers – ensued. The RCMP approached the gathered crowd in a line formation that spanned the highway. The crowd in front of the thumpers thinned to about ten people while the remainder of the crowd moved to the shoulder of the highway and continued to drum and sing. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression

Vermont Gas seeks waiver to begin construction staging for pipeline

By John Herrick, June 17, 2014. Source: VT Diggers

Photo by Rising Tide Vermont

Photo by Rising Tide Vermont

Vermont Gas Systems has asked state regulators for permission to begin preparing for the construction of its Addison County pipeline extension before it secures a federal wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This is the final permit needed by Vermont Gas Systems, which is a subsidiary of Gaz Metro with a Vermont headquarters in South Burlington, before it begins construction of the 41-mile pipeline extension from Chittenden County to Middlebury. The pipeline will temporarily impact about 23 acres of wetlands, the largest area of Vermont wetlands ever reviewed by the Corps.

The company is required to obtain all necessary permits before beginning construction or site preparation as a condition of its certificate of public good granted last December. Continue reading

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Fracking

Will the U’was be forced to threaten to commit mass suicide again?

By David Hill, June 17, 2014. Source: The Guardian

Photograph from Asou'wa

Photograph from Asou’wa

Say ‘Gibraltar’ to many people in the UK and the first thing they’ll think of is a ‘British Overseas Territory’ at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Say it to one of the 7,000 indigenous U’wa people in north-east Colombia and the reaction would be very different: Gibraltar is a well cluster in U’wa ancestral territory which became the focal point of their opposition to oil operations in the late 1990s and early 2000s involving, among other things, threatening to commit mass suicide and being clubbed, tear-gassed, threatened with rape, evicted, arrested and harassed by Colombian military and police.

The first reported suicide threat came in early 1995 when the operating company was Occidental, partnered by Shell and Colombia’s state oil and gas firm Ecopetrol. Repeated other threats were voiced – to the rest of Colombia, to the media, even to Occidental executives. Continue reading

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Unist’ot’e​n clan refuse all pipeline projects

June 18, 2014. Source: Reclaim Turtle Island

Photo from Reclaim Turtle Island

Photo from Reclaim Turtle Island


[Unist’ot’en Territory - near Smithers, BC]    Amid threats of a raid and impending pipeline approvals, the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are prepared to continue to defend their territories against the incursion of government and industry. A soft blockade was erected in 2009, which remains today, to insure that pipeline projects which violate Wet’suwet’en Law would not trespass onto Wet’suwet’en territories to develop projects without their consent.

Yesterday the Federal government approved the Northern Gateway Pipeline, but the Uni’stot’en Camp still remains in the path of the proposed pipe as well as several others. The Northern Gateway is intended to expand the Athabasca Tar Sands facilitating the export of bitumen to international markets via supertankers off the West Coast. Continue reading

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BREAKING: Rising Tide Vermont, Addison county residents, stage sit-in

Global Justice Ecology Project works closely with Rising Tide Vermont and stands in solidarity with pipeline resistance. -The GJEP  Team

June 9, 2014. Source: Rising Tide Vermont

Photo by Rising Tide Vermont

Photo by Rising Tide Vermont

Montpelier – Landowners and climate activists opposed to the Vermont Fracked Gas pipeline staged a sit-in today at the Department of Public Service, calling on the agency and the Public Service Board to suspend pipeline construction until they address possible widespread hazardous soil and water contamination along the proposed pipeline route.

“We’re here to let the Department and the Board know that without adequate intervention, pipeline construction threatens to disturb soils contaminated with hazardous chemicals,” said Jonathan Shapiro, of Rising Tide Vermont.

The demonstrators, including several Monkton landowners who live along the proposed pipeline route, are concerned that pipeline construction along the VELCO corridor could expose more people and water to contaminated soils. Continue reading

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy

Obama climate plan: too little, too late

By Bill Weinberg, June 5, 2014. Source: WW4 Report

Photo by

Photo by

For the first time, the US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to limit emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. The response has been predictable. Environment News Service notes: “Democrats and public health and environmental groups rejoiced in the proposal of a measure they have advocated for years to fight climate change, but Republicans cried doom, warning that the rule would destroy the American economy.” The New York Times writes: “[E]nvironmental advocates praised the proposed rule for its breadth and reach while the coal industry attacked it as a symbol of executive overreach that could wreak economic havoc.” The Daily Beast‘s Jason Mark dubbed the program “Obamacare for the Air” because both plans are “numbingly complex,” “based on a market system,” “likely to transform a key sector of the economy,” and “guaranteed to be intensely polarizing.” In other words, a market-based plan is being attacked by the right as green totalitarianism. This would be perverse enough if the plan’s goals were anywhere close to sufficient to actually address the climate crisis—which, again predictably, they are not.

Power plants that burn fossil fuels account for roughly one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. There are currently no national limits on carbon dioxide emissions, although limits are in place for levels of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution emitted by power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as it is being called, allows states various ways to meet its proposed carbon dioxide emissions cuts, including market-based carbon-trading programs such as those already in place in 10 states. The target for the cuts is 30% nationwide below 2005 levels by 2030. Continue reading


Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Politics

Colombia: protest, rebel attacks depress oil output

May 31, 2014. Source: WW4 Report

Photo: El Espectador

Photo: El Espectador

Colombian crude production sank to a 20-month low of 935,000 barrels per day in April as guerilla attacks and community protests curbed output. Technicians from parastatal Ecopetrol were barred for over a month by indigenous protesters from repairing the Caño-Limon pipeline after it was damaged in a March 25 guerilla attack. Ecopetrol was forced to declare force majeure on at least 25 delivery contracts due to the stoppage. U’wa indigenous at Toledo municipality, Norte de Santander, agreed to lift their blockade May 1 after the Mines & Energy Ministry agreed to suspend  the nearby Magallanes gas exploration project to evaluate its environmental impacts and to despatch a team to demarcate the boundaries of U’wa territory. But the very next day, the pipeline was blown up again, at Cubará muncipality, Boyacá. The first attack was attributed to the FARC rebels, now in talks with the government. The second one was blamed on the ELN guerillas, which may be hoping to pressure the government to similarly open talks with them. There were 33 pipeline attacks in the first quarter of this year and a total of 259 in 2013. (UDW, May 28; El Tiempo, May 8; InfoSur Hoy, Bloomberg, May 6; EBR, May 5; Reuters, May 2)

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil