Category Archives: Ending the Era of Extreme Energy

Black Mesa Navajo face ‘scorched earth campaign’ spurred by coal mining interests

Black Mesa banner during impoundments,(WNV / NaBahe Kateny Keediniihii)

Black Mesa banner (WNV/NaBahe Kateny Keediniihii)

In Waging Nonviolence, Liza Minno Bloom reported on recent federal campaigns to forcibly impound sheep herded by Navajo living in the Hopi Partition Lands (HPL) of Black Mesa in NE Arizona. (Yep, impound, like a car, for us city folk.)

The government claims that the livestock were impounded because there are too many and they were overgrazing and harming the land, but the weight of history and the violence of what’s currently happening suggests a different reason.

The sheep being impounded from the communities on Black Mesa indicate the continued use of scorched earth policies by the federal government and the continued use of Black Mesa as a resource colony for ever more unsustainable Southwestern cities.

More specifically, Minno explains the history and current state of Peabody Energy on the land, going back to the 1970s when the Partition Lands were created, forcing relocation off of the HPL and ushering the way for a grab of the coal-rich land. The herders facing the pressure continue to live on these lands despite the forced relocation.

She also clarifies that Peabody Energy now wants to expand mining into the areas used by the Navajo herders that are being targeted.

The three families targeted so far need to pay about $1000-2000 to get their sheep back, but also have to sign a condition of release and sell the majority of the sheep right away.

Minno writes,

Currently, Peabody seeks to combine the Kayenta Mine [their current coal mine] and the NGS [Navajo Generating Station] leases under one renewal permit that would allow the facilities to continue operating past their 2019 deadline for expiration. Since, according to the Department of the Interior, the Kayenta Mine lease area will provide only enough coal to power NGS until 2026, part of the lease renewal includes expanding mining into the lands adjacent to the Kayenta Mine and reopening the defunct Black Mesa Mine — the equipment for which remains intact on Black Mesa. Instead of calling it a re-opening of the Black Mesa Mine, however, they are referring to the expanded permit area as the Kayenta Mine Complex. Were this approved, it would mean further incursion into the HPL, which is occupied by the Dineh relocation resisters and their sheep. This explains the impetus for the impoundments.

The history Minno gives going back to the 1974 Navajo-Hopi Settlement Act is definitely required reading, but most important is what’s going on right now and the work needed to keep the coal in the ground and the herders on the land.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs

Australian climate protesters halt first coal train from Maules Creek mine


Newcastle, Australia: A peaceful blockade has halted the first train load of coal coming from the controversial Maules Creek coal mine on its way to Newcastle’s Kooragang Island coal export terminals this morning.

A group of 22 people met the train this morning. Eight people have occupied and stopped the train and are refusing to leave.

20141215_061108-e1418609338604The train was stopped during the night and delayed for over 6 hours by a protestor who locked onto locomotives needed to push the coal over the Great Dividing Range. The 58 year-old protestor, Bruce, from Northern Rivers, was arrested. Speaking about why he took action, Bruce said:

“Australia’s response to climate change is headed completely backwards. If we can stop this new coal mine we set a precedent for the rest of Australia to stand up.”

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Filed under Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Trees won’t be our carbon sink saviors after all (good for them!)

shutterstock via grist article linked below

Shutterstock via Grist article linked below

So, shockingly, nature again won’t do what we want.

A new study challenges hopes that tropical rainforest trees will grow faster with rising CO2 and mitigate climate change.

The study concludes that the “widespread assumption of a Co2-induced stimulation of tropical tree growth may not be valid.” The authors focused on tree rings, and it’s possible that added growth might be in new trees or in other parts besides the trunk, making for increased density, but it still puts the brakes on one line of wishful thinking.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Forests, Forests and Climate Change

Obama wins legacy points by dissing KXL, even as clone opens for business

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.

Lost in the comments President Obama offered this week on The Colbert Report about the future of the northern leg of Keystone XL, which excited some, is another pipeline system he’s permitted into existence.

That is, the one DeSmogBlog calls Enbridge’s “Keystone XL Clone,” which is now open for business and has hundreds of thousands of barrels of tar sands flowing through it straight to the Gulf of Mexico.

As Steve Horn writes at the end of this important piece: “Whether it’s called Keystone or Enbridge or something else, a tar sands export pipeline by any name is a fuse to a carbon bomb the world cannot afford.” We’d add to this that ANY tar sands export mechanism is such a fuse.

Obama Signals Keystone XL “No” on Colbert Report As Enbridge “KXL Clone” He Permitted Opens

By Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog, 11 December 2014

In his December 8 Colbert Report appearance, President Barack Obama gave his strongest signal yet that he may reject a presidential permit authorizing the Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma northern leg of TransCanada‘s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Yet just a week earlier, and little noticed by comparison, the pipeline giant Enbridge made an announcement that could take the sails out of some of the excitement displayed by Obama’s “Colbert Report” remarks on Keystone XL North. That is, Enbridge’s “Keystone XLClone” is now officially open for business.

Read the full article here!

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Pipeline, Tar Sands

Nature Rights Tribunal finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty

The UN Climate Conference’s alternative spaces and events are much more interesting that the supposed main event.

Here’s a major example:

Last Friday and Saturday (December 5 & 6) in Lima, Peru, the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature judged twelve international and domestic cases, examining the violation of the rights of peoples and nature committed by corporations, the United Nations, and government entities. The judgments reference the legal framework of the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth made in Bolivia in 2010.

Report from Indigenous Rising:

According to Alberto Acosta, president of the tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, the rights of nature must have a universal validity. “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature.”

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Filed under Climate Justice, Court Decision, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Fracking, Indigenous Peoples, REDD

Update: Charges Dropped for 64 Arrested at VT Governor’s Office Sit-In

Image of action from Aljazeera's story, taken from 350 Vermont Twitter feed.

Image of action from Aljazeera’s story, taken from 350 Vermont Twitter feed.

(Montpelier, Vt.) – Vermont State Police today announced that all charges have been dropped against the 64 Vermonters who occupied Governor Peter Shumlin’s office on October 27, to demand an end to the fracked gas pipeline and a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure.

The Governor was the focus of the sit-in due to his continued support of the pipeline, which would transport dirty, climate-disrupting fracked gas from Alberta Canada through Addison County, underneath Lake Champlain to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, Ny., and eventually to Rutland.

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Filed under Demands, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, Frontline Communities, Pipeline, Vermont, Victory!

Report from Huexca, Mexico: The fight against a transnational natural gas mega-project

CIP Americas Program

CIP Americas Program

In the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, a massive natural gas project is underway, complete with two plants and a pipeline. The project – The Morelos Integral Project, or PIM – is a transnational venture, of course, with heavy investment from the Mexican government. The people of Huexca, a central town for the project, are waging a fierce struggle against the project.

In 2012, the women of Huexca, for example, organized a blockade of the plant’s construction.

The women maintained this presence throughout the summer of 2012, halting construction on the plant. “We were there 24 hours. We gave everyone breakfast and lunch each day. There were just two of us cooking. And yes, again it was the women,” observes Sonia.

Martha Pskowski is a writer and researcher based in Mexico City. She is a member of the CIP Americas Program team at Octavio Morales is a Mexico-based writer. Here’s their report.

In the land of Zapata, a community fights natural gas development
By Martha Pskowski and Octavio Morales, Americas Program. 15 November 2014

General Emiliano Zapata would roll over in his grave. The Morelos Integral Project, or PIM for its initials in Spanish, is a 160-kilometer natural gas pipeline and two thermo-electric plants in the heart of Mexico’s fertile central valleys, and in the shadow of an active volcano, Popocatépetl. The PIM, a partnership between the federal electricity agency, CFE, and Spanish and Italian energy companies, has been pushed through without community consent on the lands of 60 campesino and indigenous communities in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.

Read the whole article on the CIP Americas Program website.


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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Natural Gas, Pipeline

DeSmogBlog report on the rapid approval of LNG export terminals


Photo from EcoWatch: Top 5 Reasons Why LNG Exports are a Very Bad Idea

Truly horrifying new report on the rapid approval of liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals, the dominant role LNG industry lobbyists have in decision making, and the revolving door between the federal government and the LNG industry.

Introducing “Natural Gas Exports: Washington’s Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat

By Steve Horn and Lee Fang, DeSmogBlog, 19 November 2014

Current law dictates that LNG export terminals must face broad environmental and public interest review by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, the Obama administration has pledged to hasten the regulatory process, while Congress has placed renewed pressure on regulators to streamline approvals. And LNG export applicants face lower regulatory barriers when exporting to countries that have free trade agreements with the United States.

Connecting U.S. natural gas to the global market through LNG exports will raise the price of natural gas for U.S. consumers and provide a powerful new market incentive for expanded domestic fracking. The climate and ecological consequences of such a pursuit are unquestionably dangerous. But most policymakers in Washington have ignored that element of the
debate. Instead of conducting a sober analysis of the costs and benefits of expanding LNG exports, regulators and lawmakers have followed the lead of a multi-tentacled lobbying campaign managed by the shale gas industry.

We’re only about halfway done over here, so there might very well be a part two to this post, or some tweeting in the days to come!

Read the whole this along with us here! 

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