Yesterday, about 80 activists formed a blockade to halt construction of a tar sands strip mine in the Book Cliffs of eastern Utah. The mine is being built by US Oil Sands, a Canadian company, and would be the first in the US. The action was led by the Climate Justice Summer Camp, which was holding a two-week direct action camp nearby.
The mine is located on traditional Ute hunting lands and in the Colorado River Basin, which provides drinking water to 40 million people. As Peaceful Uprising argues,
Tar sands and oil shale mining and refining, if allowed to begin in the U.S., would rob us of our water rights. The Colorado’s flow is diminishing, not increasing, and these mining and refining processes require massive amounts of water. This inescapable reality would cause widespread conflicts over water, as water rights were seized from farmers and communities. We will not allow tar sands and oil shale profiteers to seize the water that rightfully belongs to everyone.
During the protest, those locked to equipment were arrested along with other supporters, leading to 21 arrests total, and protesters were faced with police brutality. To follow the events of the blockade and give support, go to the twitter feed for Utah Tar Sands Resistance and donate on their website: http://www.tarsandsresist.org/ or here.
For background, check out our KPFK interview from March with Melanie Martin, from Peaceful Uprising.
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.
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.
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.
May 30, 2014. Source: Utah Tar Sands Resistance
Photo: Utah Tar Sands Resistance
PR SPRINGS, UTAH–Land defenders have established a permanent protest vigil inside the boundaries of a planned tar sands strip mine in the Book Cliffs of Utah. The Canadian company behind the controversial plan intended to begin construction of the mine this summer, but people have vowed to stop it.
U.S. Oil Sands, of Calgary, Alberta, holds leases on 32,000 acres of land traditionally inhabited by Ute people but now controlled by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising and Canyon Country Rising Tide–as well as supporters from throughout the Colorado Plateau–have endorsed the protest vigil.
“These beautiful lands that US Oil Sands plans to destroy have been enjoyed by Utahns for decades and were the home for Ute people for hundreds of generations,” said Jessica Lee, on behalf of the land defenders. “This tar sands strip mine would cause swift obliteration of multiple ecosystems and severe contributions to climate-change related disasters.” Continue reading
By Shawn McCarthy, May 20, 2014. Source: The Globe and Mail
TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling expects the Energy East pipeline to easily pass regulatory muster. Photo: Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS
First Nations activists are turning their attention to TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East project, vowing to mount the same kind of public opposition that threatens the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States andEnbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway in British Columbia.
Some 70 First Nations leaders met in Winnipeg recently to plan a strategy they hope will block TransCanada’s ambitious plan to ship more than 1 million barrels a day of crude from Western Canada to refiners and export terminals in the East, despite widespread political support for the $12-billion project.
TransCanada has been holding consultations with communities across the country, including some 155 First Nations, to inform them of the Energy East project and seek their support. The company has hired Phil Fontaine, former chief of the Assembly of First Nations, to represent it in meetings. But one leading activist says the company has a tough sell.
“In this era of the Harper Conservative government, there is dramatic pressure that has been placed on the shoulders of First Nations peoples, with our constitutionally protected rights, to defend Canada’s air, water and earth from the agenda of Big Oil and other extractive industries like the mining sector and the forestry sector,” Clayton Thomas-Muller, a Manitoba Cree who helped organize the Winnipeg session, said in an interview. Continue reading
Note: CBC press coverage and photos here.
-The GJEP Team
May 20, 2014. Source: Swamp Line 9
No Integrity, No Digs!
Traditional Mississauga Territory (Burlington, Ontario)
This morning at 7am area residents blockaded the access road to an
exposed section of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. The blockaders intend to
hold their ground — 1 hour for every 1,000 anomalies that are reported
to exist on the line. For 12 hours, they say, they are not going anywhere.
This is a site of a so-called “integrity dig” but, as one blockader puts
it, “it’s clear Enbridge has no integrity. The work on the line is just
a band-aid, a flimsy patch over the most outrageous flaws in the Line 9
The National Energy Board approved the reversal of Line 9B in March
after having heard testimonies that there has been no proper
consultation by First Nations communities and that the structure of the
pipeline is outdated and deeply flawed.
The National Energy Board refused to require hydrostatic testing of the
Many of the blockaders point to the disastrous spill from Enbridge’s
line 6b into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010, where millions of
litres of oil spilled and have so far proven impossible to clean up. But
many of them emphasize that their opposition to Line 9 goes beyond
By Steve Horn, May 5, 2014. Source: DeSmogBlog
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
TransCanada admitted for the first time that tar sands oil is now flowing throughKeystone XL‘s southern leg, now rebranded the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project. The company confirmed the pipeline activity in its 2014 quarter one earnings call.
Asked by Argus Media reporter Iris Kuo how much of the current 530,000 barrels per day of oil flowing from the Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas pipeline is tar sands (“heavy crude,” in industry lingo), TransCanada CEO Russ Girling confirmed what many had already suspected.
“I don’t have that exact mix, but it does have the ability to take the domestic lights as well as any heavies that find a way down to the Cushing market, so it is a combination of the heavies and the lights,”said Girling. “I just don’t know what the percentage is.”
The Keystone Pipeline System — of which Keystone XL‘s northern leg is phase four of four phases — is and always has been slated to carry Alberta’s tar sands to targeted markets. So the announcement is far from a shocker. Continue reading
Filed under Oil, Tar Sands
By Kristin Moe, May 2, 2014. Source: Waging Nonviolence
Tribal leaders gather at Reject and Protect in Washington, D.C., last week. (WNV / Kristin Moe)
It began with a dream, and a memory.
Faith Spotted Eagle slept. In her sleep, she saw her grandmother, lying on a table, wrapped in a blanket with her white braids on her chest.
Her sister appeared. “What’s going on?” Spotted Eagle asked.
“I don’t know. They told us to come.”
A door opened; a room full of people, ancestors, stared silently. She felt in their stares a sadness, but also a strength. Another door opened to another room with the same scene. She knew that if she were to keep opening doors, all the rooms in the house would be filled with those watchful, silent ancestors.
Spotted Eagle closed her eyes, unsure of what do to, but knowing that it was impolite to stare back. Then her grandmother’s voice came to her. Continue reading
Note: Tom Goldtooth is a good friend of Global Justice Ecology Project. Indigenous Environmental Network is on the Steering Committee for the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees.
April 28, 2014. Source: CCTV
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) speaks at St. Michael’s College on the vast destruction of the air, water and land (including many indigenous lands), taking place all over the world and what his organization and other native communities and organizations are doing to stop it. He shares stories and his perspective as a Native American and sings a traditional song.
Watch the video here
By Steve Horn, April 28, 2014. Source: DeSmog Blog
On March 29, 2013, ExxonMobil‘s Pegasustar sands pipeline ruptured in Mayflower, Arkansas, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of diluted bitumen (“dilbit”)pouring down the town’s streets.
Now, just over a year after the massive spill, devastation has come to Mayflower and neighboring towns again, this time in the form of a lethal tornado. On the evening of April 27, the twisterdestroyed huge pockets of the town of just over 2,300 citizens in a wholesale manner, with 14 confirmed dead and likely many more still not counted.
“Sadly, we don’t expect it to stay at 14,” tweeted Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe. At least 10 died in Faulkner County alone, which houses Mayflower, according to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
The National Weather Service in Little Rock has given the tornado that hit Mayflower an EF-3 rating on a preliminary basis. EF3 (the highest rating is an EF5)equates to 136–165 mile per hour winds and KATV weatherman Todd Yakoubian tweeted that National Weather Service will have its final rating in by April 30.
On the whole, Arkansas Geographic Information Office has reported that 3,200 addresses in Faulkner County have had various levels of impact.