Category Archives: Tar Sands

Earth Day greenwash: API front group sponsors pro-Keystone XL event

By Steve Horn, April 22, 2014. Source: DeSmog Blog

Gen. James Jones; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Gen. James Jones; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The political carnival that is the prelude to the Iowa caucuses has started over a year and a half early. At the center of it this time around: a game of political hot potato over the northern leg of TransCanada‘s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

American Petroleum Institute (API) deployed one of its paid consultants — former Obama Administration National Security Advisor General James “Jim” Jones — to deliver an Earth Day address in the home state of the presidential caucuses at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

James Jones used his time on the podium to promote the KeystoneXL tar sands pipeline, which another James — retired NASA climatologist James Hansen — once called a “fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet.”

“General James Jones…will discuss the benefits of the pipeline initiative, including more jobs, less dependence on foreign oil, and cheaper energy costs for Americans,” explained an April 15 Drake University press release promoting the event.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Tar Sands

Horses, teepees arrive on Mall for KXL protest

By Darren Goode, April 22, 2014. Source: Politico

Horses, Daryl Hannah, sacred fires and Neil Young — these are some of the things you’re likely to see on the National Mall starting Tuesday as part of the latest protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Keystone Pipeline Protest

Things kick off Tuesday morning with a short 24-horse ride from the Capitol. Photo: AP Photo

The “Reject and Protect” protest is a weeklong event hosted by the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, a group of ranchers, farmers and leaders of seven Native American tribes. Protesters said activists also plan to project anti-pipeline messages onto the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday night, hold an interfaith ceremony outside the Georgetown home of Secretary of State John Kerry and stage an unspecified “bold and creative” bit of civil disobedience.

They’re estimating that as many as 5,000 activists will take part in a march past the Capitol on Saturday. The rest of the week is expected to be more intimate.

Things kick off Tuesday morning with a short 24-horse ride from the Capitol to a reserved area near the Reflecting Pool. The Indigo Girls will perform two songs as a ceremonial teepee is erected “that will have a clear message to the president on it,” promised Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, the state’s leading anti-pipeline group.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Tar Sands

Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline

By David Lauter and Lisa Mascaro, April 18, 2014. Source: LA Times

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) calls for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline at a news conference in March on Capitol Hill. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images / March 25, 2014)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) calls for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline at a news conference in March on Capitol Hill. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images / March 25, 2014)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has delayed a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, perhaps until after November’s midterm election.

A further delay in the evaluation of the pipeline, which already has lasted more than five years, is necessary because of a Nebraska state court decision in February that invalidated part of the project’s route, the State Department said in a statement.

Shortly after the court ruling, administration officials had said the Nebraska case would not have an impact on their deliberations. But in the new statement, the State Department said federal agencies could not evaluate the pipeline’s impact until the “uncertainty created by the ongoing litigation” is resolved.

That could take awhile. Nebraska officials have appealed the case to the state Supreme Court but have said they do not expect a ruling until late this year at the earliest. Continue reading

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Canadian corporation plans tar sands strip mining in Trinidad and Tobago

By Macdonald Stainsby, April 11, 2014. Source: Upside Down World

Photo: Upside Down World

Photo: Upside Down World

‘Mining tar sand will destroy Govt’ read the headline in April of 2012. The statement was made to Trinidad and Tobago’s Express newspaper by well-known environmental campaigner Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh to the news that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had made statements about working with Canada’s Harper Government to start development of tar sands for oil in Trinidad’s southwest peninsula. If anyone could make such a bold statement stick in Trinidad and Tobago, it would be Kublalsingh, a veteran of multiple struggles against what he and community members believe to be ill-advised industrial projects.

Oil is hardly new to the twin island nation. Trinidad was among the very first oil producing countries in history. Industrial developments have been the driving force of Trinidad and Tobago being the richest country (per capita) in the Caribbean. However, concerns over environmental and social impacts have led mobilizations that involved Kublalsingh to ultimately prevent the construction of two aluminum smelters, a steel mill, and proposed industrial ports. Over the last couple of years, perhaps the greatest test for the current coalition government has been the Highway Re-route Movement (HRM). HRM is a group made almost entirely of families fighting eviction, as well as wetland disruption, for a segment of an industrial highway into the oil-rich region. Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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