Category Archives: Tar Sands

Take action to stop the Energy East pipeline!

April 15, 2014. Source: Idle No More

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013. (TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013.
(TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

Last year, TransCanada announced their intention to build a 4,500 km pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, already devastating many Indigenous communities, to New Brunswick, where communities like Elsipogtog had to fight to stop dangerous fracking last year.

A group of concerned Indigenous activists recently met in Winnipeg to discuss how Indigenous Peoples across Canada could work together to stop this pipeline (watch them on APTN here).

This pipeline passes through major cities including Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal, but also through the territory of over 150 Indigenous communities.Mi’qmaq women took action against the #EnergyEast pipeline proposal and shut down the Maritime Energy Association meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 31, with the support of hundreds of young peoples who were converging for the  PowerShift Atlantic conference. Check out the photos here and read their press release here. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Cleaning dirty gas enabling CO2 sales to dirtier oil producers

Note: This sentence pretty much sums it all up: “He’s betting hydrocarbon consumers will increasingly opt to trap emissions from natural gas, if not to help the environment then to duck potential government sanctions — or to sell CO2 at a profit.

Capturing carbon from gas used to extract tar sands–and using that gas to extract more tar sands!  We wish this one was for April Fools.

-The GJEP Team

By John Lippert, April 1, 2014. Source: Bloomberg

Drillers burn off the natural gas that surfaces with oil on a farm in North Dakota. Photo: Spencer Lowell/Bloomberg Markets

Drillers burn off the natural gas that surfaces with oil on a farm in North Dakota. Photo: Spencer Lowell/Bloomberg Markets

Andre Boulet, chief executive officer of Inventys Thermal Technologies Inc. in Burnaby, British Columbia, holds up a 6-inch piece of charcoal, showing how light passes through toothpick-sized air shafts. He says the crevices in this filter offer a cheap way to capture carbon dioxide before it ascends into the atmosphere and haunts future generations.

Boulet, who has spent $12 million on his seven-year-old company, predicts Inventys’s sales may reach hundreds of millions of dollars in five years — driven in part by North America’s natural gas boom, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its May issue.

President Barack Obama calls gas a bridge fuel for the U.S. economy. Power plants, factories and refineries are jumping onboard, lured by a 73 percent plunge in U.S. prices from 2005 to March 31. The country generated 28 percent of electricity with gas in 2013, up from 22 percent six years earlier, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Buoyed by gas, the fossil-fuel industry is trying to bask in a newfound green image.
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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydrofracking, Tar Sands

BP doubles initial size estimate of Lake Michigan oil spill

By Steve Horn, March 27, 2014. Source: DeSmog Blog

Using vacuum trucks to pick up oil. Photo: U.S. EPA

Using vacuum trucks to pick up oil. Photo: U.S. EPA

Three days after spilling crude oil into Lake Michigan, BP has doubled its spill estimate to between 470 and 1228 gallons. The leak happened at its refinery in Whiting, Ind.

Although some of the oil has been cleaned up, it’s unclear how much is left in the lake, a drinking water source for about seven million Chicagoans.

Located just across the Illinois-Indiana state border, Whiting is home to the sixth largest refinery in the U.S. The refinery just went through a $4 billion “modernization project,” giving it “the capability of processing up to about 85 percent heavy crude.” That’s up from its original 20 percent, says BP’s website.
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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil, Pollution, Tar Sands, Water

Victory! Cheyenne River Warriors force another megaload off their land

By Joye Braun, March 26, 2014. Source: Censored News

Photo: Oyate Media Network Facebook

Photo: Oyate Media Network Facebook

In the windy cold of the night Unci Maka warriors from Cheyenne River stood their ground to have Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s megaload law enforced last night March 25, 2014.

It was reported about 6 pm that evening that a megaload was parked at the Cheyenne River Sioux Motel. Several people checked on the load, and at first thought that they would confront the driver the following morning as they knew he was probably in his room and his South Dakota permit wouldn’t allow him to move during the evening hours. However a young warrior Joseph White Eyes saw the truck on his way home from work and told his ride to whip into the parking lot and he decided he would make a stand to watch over the load.

White Eyes called the Cheyenne River Police but at first the police refused to contact the driver or allow anyone else to contact the driver at the motel. The police left and White Eyes was posting updates on the Facebook.

Joye Braun heard about the situation at the motel, and decided she would go and support this young warrior and try and get the megaload off the reservation. She bundled up in blankets and parked herself in front of the truck while White Eyes sat under the bumper of the truck in front of the wheels refusing to move until the truck was escorted off the reservation.
Other members of the tribe started showing up to show their support and also refused to leave until the truck was removed from the reservation.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Tar Sands

BP confirms tar sands spill into Lake Michigan from Whiting refinery

By Michael Hawthorne, March 25, 2014. Source: Chicago Tribune

Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune

Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune

Less than a year after BP started up a new unit to process Canadian tar sands at its Whiting refinery, the company reported today that a malfunction allowed a slug of crude oil into Lake Michigan a few miles away from the Chicago city limits.

It remains unclear how much oil spilled into the lake or how long the discharge continued. Workers at the refinery reported an oil sheen on the water about 4:30 p.m. Monday, and an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the leak was plugged by the time he arrived at 9 p.m.

Mike Beslow, the EPA’s emergency response coordinator, said there appeared to be no negative effects on Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for 7 million people in Chicago and the suburbs. The 68th Street water intake crib is about eight miles northwest of the spill site, but there were no signs of oil drifting in that direction.

Initial reports suggest that strong winds pushed most of the oil toward a sandy cove on BP’s property between the refinery and an Arcelor Mittal steel mill. A flyover Tuesday afternoon revealed no visible oil beyond booms laid on the water to prevent the oil from spreading, Beslow said.

“There is no known impact to wildlife or human health at this time,” Beslow said.

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil, Pollution, Tar Sands

KPFK Earth Watch: US’s first tar sands mine facing opposition in Utah

kpfk_logoMelanie Martin, with Peaceful Uprising, discusses growing opposition to tar sands mining in eastern Utah, and the disproportionate impact of Salt Lake City’s oil refineries on communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK radio for a weekly Earth Minute and Earth Watch interview.

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Filed under Earth Radio, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, KPFK, Tar Sands

While America spars over Keystone XL, a vast network of pipelines is quietly being approved

By Katie Valentine, March 20, 2014. Source: Think Progress

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After countless marches, arrests, Congressional votes, and editorials, the five-and-a-half year battle over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is nearing its end. If a recent ruling in Nebraska doesn’t delay the decision further, America could find out as soon as this spring whether or not the pipeline, which has become a focal point in America’s environmental movement, will be built.

But while critics and proponents of Keystone XL have sparred over the last few years, numerous pipelines — many of them slated to carry the same Canadian tar sands crude as Keystone — have been proposed, permitted, and even seen construction begin in the U.S. and Canada. Some rival Keystone XL in size and capacity; others, when linked up with existing and planned pipelines, would carry more oil than the 1,179-mile pipeline.

With the public eye turned on Keystone, some of these pipelines have faced little opposition. But it’s not just new pipelines that worry Carl Weimer, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust. Weimer said companies are beginning to revamp old pipelines by expanding their capacity or reversing their flow, changes that can be troubling if proper safety measures aren’t put in place.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Hydrofracking, Tar Sands

Take action against Enbridge’s Line 9

Note: For more background on Enbridge’s Line 9 tar sands pipeline and the recent approval it received by Canadian regulators, click here.

-The GJEP Team

March 17, 2014. Source: Reclaim Turtle Island

Photo: Adam Carter/CBC

Photo: Adam Carter/CBC

#Line9IndustrialGenocide

Without surprise, the National Energy Board has approved the reversal of the Line 9 pipeline. This pipeline crosses every single tributary that flows into Lake Ontario, and cuts up the north shore of the St. Lawrence river….

It was anticipated that this information be released on March. 19th. Instead the rubber-stamping came early.

Indigenous peoples whose territories are being attacked by this project have been silenced throughout this process. It is our communities, and other communities of colour, who primarily live fenceline with the tar sands, its mining, infrastructure and refineries. It is our Sacred sites that are being desecrated by the shady movements of corporate imperialists and colonial-capitalists.

Line 9 shows us exactly what environmental racism looks like, from Aamjiwnaang to Jane & Finch – telling us that bodies of colour and Indigenous bodies are expendable for the larger project of profit. Line 9 is but expanded infrastructure to move the Athabasca tar sands eastward – it is an embodiment of the slow industrial genocide that is being committed by TransCanada, Enbridge, Suncor, and the Government of Canada, to name a few.
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Victory! Albany, NY bars tar sands processing expansion

By Mary Esch, March 12, 2014. Source: Associated Press

Railroad oil tanker cars lined up at Global Partners at the Port of Albany, N.Y. Albany County has issued a moratorium on expansion of crude oil processing at the Port of Albany on the Hudson River, pending a public health investigation. The order issued Wednesday, March 12, 2014 says Global Partners' plan to heat rail tankers of dense crude to liquefy the contents has raised questions about potential public health hazards. Photo: Mike Groll, AP

Railroad oil tanker cars lined up at Global Partners at the Port of Albany, N.Y. Albany County has issued a moratorium on expansion of crude oil processing at the Port of Albany on the Hudson River, pending a public health investigation. The order issued Wednesday, March 12, 2014 says Global Partners’ plan to heat rail tankers of dense crude to liquefy the contents has raised questions about potential public health hazards. Photo: Mike Groll, AP

ALBANY, N.Y. — The expansion of crude oil processing at the Hudson River Port of Albany, which has become a major hub for rail shipments of volatile North Dakota crude to coastal refineries in the last two years, will be halted by a moratorium issued Wednesday by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

The order requires a health impact study by the county before Waltham, Mass.-based Global Partners is allowed to add facilities to heat rail cars to liquefy thick crude like that mined in western Canada’s tar sands. That plan, along with Global’s major increase in rail shipments through the city, has drawn intense criticism from port-area residents, environmental groups and local politicians.

“Big Oil is accustomed to getting its way, and today’s action could be the first of its kind in the country which signals to the industry they cannot ride roughshod over our communities without consequence,” Environmental Advocates Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz said. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Pollution, Tar Sands

Lakota vow: ‘Dead or in prison before we allow the KXL pipeline’

By Camila Ibanez, March 13, 2014. Source: Waging Nonviolence

Lakota members marched during the annual Liberation Day commemoration of the Wounded Knee massacre. People carried American Indian Movement flags and shot rifles into the air as part of the celebration.  Photo: Deep Roots United Front/Victor Puertas

Lakota members marched during the annual Liberation Day commemoration of the Wounded Knee massacre. People carried American Indian Movement flags and shot rifles into the air as part of the celebration. Photo: Deep Roots United Front/Victor Puertas

On February 27, Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement activists joined in a four-directions walk to commemorate Liberation Day, an event to mark the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. As they do each year, four groups gather to the north, south, east and west and then walk eight miles until converging on top of Wounded Knee, where they honor the fallen warriors and the tribe’s rich history of resistance.

“It is an acknowledgement of the resiliency of who we are as a people,” explains Andrew Iron Shell, an organizer and activist of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. “It gives permission and courage for our up-and-coming generations to face the challenges of their time.”

The history of the occupation began with a massacre more than 100 years ago. On a cold day in December 1890, the United States army killed 300 Lakota men, women and children in a massive shoot out after a member of the First Nations refused to give up his arms. It marked the first bloodshed on Wounded Knee – although there had been many massacres of First Nations people by the colonialists before it. The event was also considered the end of the Indian Wars. Continue reading

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