Tag Archives: big oil

Ecuador tribe winning in court, but still losing at home

An anecdotal article by freelance writer Alexander Zaitchik puts a sad reality to a very real truth — defeating Big Oil in court doesn’t get your land back, doesn’t clean your water and doesn’t revive lost lives.

Photo: Alexander Zaitchik

Photo: Alexander Zaitchik

The Indigenous Peoples of Guiyero, Ecuador, fought and beat Chevron in New York courts after the oil company left behind massive amounts of oil and toxic wastewater when it pulled out of the town in the mid-1990s. The Guiyero’s land and water became another casualty of corporate greed, a giant sludge of pollutants and slime.

Meet the Amazon Tribespeople Who Beat Chevron in Court—but Are Still Fighting for Clean Water

by Alexander Zaitchik, Take Part World, 30 October 2014

One day in early August, I took a long and lazy canoe trip down the Río Tiputini in northeastern Ecuador. My destination was the village of Guiyero, a remote dot of an Indian community more than a hundred miles downriver from the oil city of Lago Agrio. The riverside hamlet is at the eastern edge of territory deeded to the Waorani, one of the largest tribes in the region. Situated where some of Ecuador’s last unspoiled wilderness meets its oil frontier, it is a good place to see what a resource extraction boom entering its sixth decade can do to a rainforest.

It can be easy to forget the surrounding presence of industry during the slow river ride to Guiyero. As we floated around the bends and buckles of the Tiputini, the jungle beyond the banks looked lush, vast, and untouched, the only sounds bird cries and insect hums. Wooden dugouts tied up along the way suggested the persistence of an undisturbed pre-Columbian culture. But while a fraction of the Indian population along the Tiputini has escaped history, retreating ever deeper into shrinking tracts of forest, the number of theseno contactados is minuscule and falling.

Get the rest of the story.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Oil

Los Angeles Oil Spill Sends 10,000 Gallons Of Crude Into City Streets

Great comment by Jill Press to the story on Huffington Post. She ends: “If the media gave the in-depth coverage to every oil spill that they give to every reckless celebrity outburst, the American people would be demanding oil companies be classified as domestic terrorists.” The mainstream media won’t, but that’s why there’s an alternative media. We’ll do what we can and support the work of others.

AP, May 15, 2014. Source: Huffington Post

Newsreel TV

Newsreel TV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crews have vacuumed up most of about 10,000 gallons of crude oil that sprayed into Los Angeles streets after a high-pressure pipe burst.

Fire Capt. Jaime Moore says oil spilled early Thursday over approximately half a mile and was knee-high in some parts of the industrial area of Atwater Village near the border of Glendale.

A handful of commercial businesses were affected, as well as a strip club that was evacuated.

Moore says four people at a medical business were evaluated with respiratory complaints, and two people were transferred to a hospital.

An environmental cleaning company is sopping up the remaining oil and will use high-pressure hoses to wash the streets. Officials previously said 50,000 gallons had spilled.

Moore says the pipe burst at a transfer pumping station along a pipeline that runs from Bakersfield to Texas.

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Filed under Climate Change

Big Oil’s bid to crush small town stand against tar sands

Industry cash and lobbyists pour into coastal Maine town in effort to defeat residents’ initiative to block dirty oil project

By Sarah Lazare, October 28, 2013. Source: Common Dreams 

Big Oil is sparing no expense in its bid to crush efforts by residents of South Portland, Maine who are taking the fossil fuel industry head-on to save their waterfront from tar sands.

Campaign finance reports revealed Friday that the oil industry has poured over $600,000 into a campaign to defeat the Waterfront Protection Ordinance­a land-use zoning ordinance up for referendum in the November election, that is backed by grassroots organizations and would block oil industry efforts to build a tar sands export facility.

“Clearly they have all the money. We are talking about some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. They do not want a community to stand up for itself. They are going to do everything they can to squash our initiative.”
–Robert Sellin, Protect South Portland

The oil industry is likely to break all records on campaign spending in this coastal town of 25,000 people, out-spending local environmental and community groups six-to-one.  Continue reading

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

The surprising connection between food and fracking

By Tom Philpott, January 30, 2013.  Source: Mother Jones

Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr

Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr

In a recent Nation piece, the wonderful Elizabeth Royte teased out the direct links between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the food supply. In short, extracting natural gas from rock formations by bombarding them with chemical-spiked fluid leaves behind fouled water—and that fouled water can make it into the crops and animals we eat.

But there’s another, emerging food/fracking connection that few are aware of. US agriculture is highly reliant on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, and nitrogen fertilizer is synthesized in a process fueled by natural gas. As more and more of the US natural gas supply comes from fracking, more and more of the nitrogen fertilizer farmers use will come from fracked natural gas. If Big Ag becomes hooked on cheap fracked gas to meet its fertilizer needs, then the fossil fuel industry will have gained a powerful ally in its effort to steamroll regulation and fight back opposition to fracking projects.

The potential for the growth of fracked nitrogen (known as “N”) fertilizer is immense. During the 2000s, when conventional US natural gas sources were drying up and prices were spiking, the US fertilizer industry largely went offshore, moving operations to places like Trinidad and Tobago, where conventional natural gas was still relatively plentiful. (I told that story in a 2010 Grist piece.) This chart from a 2009 USDA doc illustrates how rapidly the US shifted away from domestically produced nitrogen in the 2000s.
Continue reading

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Filed under Hydrofracking, Industrial agriculture

Video: Fractured Land

January 21, 2013.  Source: Fracturedland.com

Fractured Land tells the story of a young Dene warrior from northeastern BC, taking on Big Oil and Gas to protect his land and people from the ravages of neocolonialism – all the while learning to accept the role he was born for, as one of Canada’s next generation of leaders.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Hydrofracking, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Tar Sands, Youth

Parts of Alberta oil spill may never be cleaned up

By Nathan Vanderklippe, cross-posted from The Globe and Mail

June 12 – A sunny break from heavy wind and rain allowed crews to come out in force to battle an oil spill that has stained one of Alberta’s most important rivers – one that, environment officials warn, is likely to never be completely cleaned up.

Rough weekend weather and a flooded Red Deer River had impeded efforts to clean up a spill of 160,000 to 480,000 litres from a Plains Midstream Canada pipeline. But on Tuesday, a response team of nearly 200 workers set to work skimming, vacuuming and absorbing the spill.

It was difficult work, made worse by the high water that is hampering access to the 25 pools of oil that Plains crews have identified in back eddies along the 30 kilometres of river that stretch between the ruptured pipe and Lake Gleniffer, a reservoir whose dam has helped contain the spill.

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Filed under Energy, Oil, Pollution

The Jon Stewart Show- The Spilling Fields – BP Ad Campaign

Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Spilling Fields – BP Ad Campaign

BP denies the existence of giant oil plumes, while Kevin Costner and Chuck Grassley come up with their own solutions.

Click here to Watch the Show -The Spilling Fields- BP Ad Campaign

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Filed under Climate Change

The Truth Behind Big Oil Exposed

Immediate Release

May 19, 2009


Diana Wu; +1.510.333.3889; dianapeiwu@gmail.com (English / Spanish / French / Portuguese)

Sangita Nayak; +1.414.412.4518; emailsangita@gmail.com (English)


Unprecedented Global Network of Chevron-Affected Communities Releases

“True Cost of Chevron: an Alternative Annual Report.”

- Interviews Available Now with Report Authors/Frontline Oil Community Leaders

San Francisco, CA – As public outrage at the oil industry intensifies and questions on how to reign in the industry abound, an unprecedented global coalition of communities harmed by – and fighting back against – the industry present both a groundbreaking report, “The True Cost of Chevron: an Alternative 2009 Annual Report,” and a landmark organizing model for taking on Big Oil.

Written by dozens of community leaders from sixteen countries and ten states across the United States where Chevron operates, the 60-page report encompasses the full range of Chevron’s activities, from coal to chemicals, offshore to onshore production, pipelines to refineries, natural gas to toxic waste, and lobbying and campaign contributions to greenwashing.

From the coalfields of Alabama to the oil fields of Indonesia, the report reveals Chevron operations mired in accusation of extreme human rights abuse (Angola, Burma, Indonesia, Chad, and Nigeria); mass environmental and human health devastation (including Ecuador, Kazakhstan, and Canada); toxic abuse of its neighbors (including Alabama, California, Mississippi, Texas, Thailand, and the Philippines); abuse of its workers (including Utah); threats to endangered species (including Australia and the U.S. Gulf Coast); and, in Iraq, intensifying the violent insurgency and putting the lives of U.S. and Iraqi service members at greater risk.

All the while, Chevron continued to promote itself as a ‘green’ energy company while, the report reveals, expanding its coal operations (it was recently named as operating one of the most dangerous mines in the U.S., the Kemmerer, WY mine), offshore, and Canadian Tarsands operations; being named California’s single largest stationary Greenhouse Gas emitter; and being identified by Barrons as one of the ‘oiliest’ of the world’s major oil companies.

“Chevron spent less than 2% of its total capital and exploratory budget on green energy in 2009, its lowest rate in any year since at least 2006,” explained Antonia Juhasz, lead author and editor of the report and author of The Tyranny of Oil: the World’s Most Powerful Industry-And What We Must Do To Stop It.  “Chevron’s misrepresentation of its actual business practices translates across Chevron’s operations and is the reason why it is the focus of one of the largest and most unique networks of communities organizing to hold the oil industry to account.”

On May 25, forty report authors will appear in Houston at a press conference to address the true cost of Chevron’s operations in their communities. On May 26, they will deliver the report directly to Chevron inside the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) while supporters rally outside.

The 2009 report has gained even greater import in the wake of the BP/Transocean explosion as it exposes Chevron’s role as the largest leaseholder in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and its role at the forefront of lobbying to expand offshore drilling across the U.S. and around the world. Chevron also contracts with Transocean for its massive offshore operations.

Report author, Bryan Parras, of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) in Houston, explained, “The oil industry operates with impunity here in Houston and across the Gulf Coast. It is critical that our communities work together to hold these companies to account.”

For more information on the authors, fact sheets, visuals and a schedule of Houston events, go to:


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Organizations Contributing to The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report: Amazon Watch, Black Warrior River Keeper, Coalition for a Safe Environment, Communities for a Better Environment, Cook Inletkeeper, CorpWatch, Crude Accountability, Dooda Desert Rock, EarthRights International, Environment California, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Environment Texas, Filipino-American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI), Global Exchange, Gulf Coast Sierra Club, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Justice in Nigeria Now, Kebetkache Women Resource and Development Centre, Organizacion Wayuu Munsurat, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Powder River Basin Sierra Club, Project for Ecological Awareness Building, Rainforest Action Network, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Surfrider Foundation, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Trustees for Alaska, Turtle Island Restoration Network, West County Toxics Coalition, The Wilderness Society of Western Australia

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change