Tag Archives: coal

Colombia security firm continues blockade of coal mine over contract dispute

By Nina Damsgaard, June 26, 2014. Source: Columbia Reports


Photo by Miningne.ws

Workers from a private security firm have blocked the facilities at a coal mine in northeastern Colombia for five consecutive days over a contract dispute, a statement from the mining company read on Wednesday.

The workers, who are mainly from the indigenous Wayuu group, are protesting because of the termination of the contract between their security firm, Sepecol, and Colombia’s largest coal mining company, Cerrejon.

The contract was changed after a bidding round conducted by the mining company, the statement from Cerrejon read. Continue reading

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‘We draw the line’: Coal-impacted Lummi Nation and Northern Cheyenne unite in solidarity

By , Oct 9, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Photo by Paul AndersonPhoto by Paul Anderson

Offering solidarity to Indigenous Nations, last month five Carvers from the Lummi Nation House of Tears set out on a journey up the Pacific North West Coast hoping to send a message of Kwel’Hoy, or ‘We Draw The Line’ to the resource extraction industry. With them, lain carefully on the flat bed of a truck, the Lummi carried a beautifully-carved 22-foot cedar totem pole for Indigenous communities to bless along the way. Their journey gained international attention as a pilgrimage of hope, healing and determination for the embattled Indigenous Nations they visited.

The rich prairies and clear streams of Otter Creek, Montana, land of the Northern Cheyenne, were the first stop on the Totem Pole’s profound journey. Both the Lummi carvers who made the 1,200 mile trip inland and the Northern Cheyenne who received them, currently face major, interconnected threats from proposed coal mining developments. Bound by this common struggle the meeting of these Peoples resonated with a deep significance that replicated along the rest of the Lummi’s spiritual trail. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Mining, Pollution

Northwest tribes fight for treaty rights in the face of coal-transport plan

By Terri Hansen August 15, 2012. Source: Indian Country Today

Fall Chinook salmon run
Photo: U.S. Department of Justice website

Treaty fishing rights are meaningless if there are no healthy fish populations left to harvest, say Pacific Northwest tribes, fishers and tribal environmental organizations.

But that is exactly what is happening on the Columbia River in Washington State as habitat degradation has led to a decline of salmon and diminished the treaty harvest to levels not seen in nearly 40 years. And a proposal to transport coal through these sensitive waterways threatens to undermine the salmon population even more, tribal leaders say.

Tribal fishers like Billy Frank Jr. fought hard battles to uphold the tribes’ treaty right to fish. When the 1974 Boldt federal court decision established tribal co-management of Washington State fisheries and affirmed the affected tribes’ treaty rights to half the harvestable salmon, their harvest finally increased.

Now the coal industry is seeking to export millions of tons of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal to lucrative Asian markets through six proposed shipping terminals on Oregon and Washington waterways. If the coal companies prevail, it will degrade salmon and cultural-foods habitat as well as affect treaty rights, say organizations like the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC); the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Tribal Lands Program; tribal nations including the Lummi in northwest Washington and the Yakama in eastern Washington, and tribal voices such as Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs elder Bruce Jim.

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Non-violent activists arrested and beaten for action to stop mountaintop removal coal mining

Source: RAMPS (Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival)

Twenty people were arrested and are currently jailed in West Virginia for a courageous act of non-violent civil disobedience against mountaintop removal mining last weekend.  These folks are currently under a bond of $25,000 per person, and this excessively high bond means that the protestors cannot be released until the funds are raised to bail them out.  We do not have anything close to this amount of money, so we need your help.

Please donate to help raise bail for these activists   http://bit.ly/mj-legal

Last week, as part of a massive “Mountain Mobilization” organized by RAMPS – Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival, folks walked onto Patriot Coal’s Hobet mountaintop removal mine as a non-violent protest against this form of coal mining, where coal companies blast the tops off the Appalachian Mountains, destroying the forests and every living thing on the mountain.  Over 500 mountains in Appalachia have already been flattened by this form of mining.  Coal companies dump enormous amounts of mining waste rock and debris into precious headwater mountain streams in mountaintop removal, and the landscape is permanently altered.

Burning coal is the largest source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is the leading contributor to global warming.

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Coal protest movement hits Wyoming

By JEREMY PELZER Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cross-Posted from  Star-Tribune

CHEYENNE— It started as street theater in Cheyenne on Thursday, but by the end of summer, the group organizing the event said it will likely lead to confronting mine operators and law enforcement in Campbell County.

Anti-global warming activists from Wyoming and around the region say they’re planning a number of confrontational civil disobedience protests this summer against coal mines in the Powder River Basin.

The goal, said a High Country Rising Tide leader, is to interrupt business at the mines with “arrestable” activities designed to win publicity for its cause and cut into coal companies’ bottom lines.

High Country Rising Tide is the Wyoming chapter of the national group Rising Tide, which co-organized a rally and a series of protests last month in Washington, D.C., that resulted in dozens of arrests.

On Thursday morning, about 10 activists from the group protested outside the Bureau of Land Management’s Cheyenne office while the agency auctioned off a 243-acre coal-rich land tract in the Thunder Basin National Grassland. As people filed in for the auction, the sign-wielding protesters staged a street theater performance starring “King Coal.”

But the group soon plans do to more than performance art to advance its cause, said High County Rising Tide co-founder Kristen Owenreay, a University of Wyoming graduate student.

Organizers are currently planning a demonstration at a Powder River Basin coal mine sometime in July, Owenreay said. While they haven’t yet exactly decided what they’ll be doing, she said, they plan on doing activities designed to spark a police reaction and interrupt work at the mine.

In August, the group is planning a larger event — a week-long “radical change camp” in Campbell County that Owenreay said will attract environmental activists from around Wyoming and neighboring states.

During the “West by Northwest” camp from Aug. 2-10, attendees will be trained in civil disobedience, hold protests at area coal mines, and pitch in with community service projects, she said.

In particular, Owenreay said the group is targeting proposals to build several deep-water ports in the Pacific Northwest that would allow Powder River Basin coal to be shipped to energy-hungry Asian markets.

The goal, Owenreay said, is to eventually bring to a halt any usage of coal, one of the world’s primary sources of carbon dioxide emissions.

Such an objective is a tough sell in Wyoming, the top coal-producing state in the nation. But Owenreay said her group hopes to show coal companies, investors, and other associated industries that coal isn’t worth it economically.

“Everything that we do is aimed at either mobilizing public support or directly affecting their bottom line in a way that communicates that this is a poor investment,” she said. “This [BLM protest] is the first tiny piece in what’s going to be a big summer for us.”

Wyoming Mining Association Assistant Director Travis Deti said that while activists have a right to do what they want, it’s “disappointing” that they are trying to destroy an industry so vital to Wyoming.

“It’s important to our state, it’s important to our economy, it provides jobs in our state, and they’re just trying to shut us down,” he said.

Read more: http://trib.com/news/local/coal-protest-movement-hits-wyoming/article_f9868ef5-a78c-59ee-8a65-e15a469ecc8b.html#ixzz1vEpz9XFe

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MayDay Action: Peabody Coal Shareholder Meeting Disrupted

Cross-Posted from St Louis Today
Protesters target Peabody Energy's shareholders meeting

At least seven times, protesters stood up at the meeting to yell “Peabody pay up” and other slogans as they were escorted out by company representatives and police. No arrests were reported.

Afterward, more than 100 people — many affiliated with labor unions or the Occupy Movement — demonstrated outside the Peabody Opera house, where the meeting was held.

For the most part, Greg Boyce, the company’s chairman and chief executive, ignored the protesters’ shouts as he conducted the annual meeting, attended by about 100 shareholders.

“In our view, we certainly pay our fair share,” he told shareholders.

In a statement, Peabody said that in 2011 it paid $1.4 billion in taxes, fees and royalties, including more than $200 million in federal, state and local taxes.

Peabody paid Boyce $10.2 million last year, including a $2.6 million bonus that was close to the maximum allowed in his compensation plan. His total pay was up 6.5 percent from 2010.

After the meeting, Peabody released another statement that said last year marked the best financial results — including a $958 million profit — and strongest safety performance in the company’s 129-year history. Boyce said in the statement that the “global supercycle for coal was alive and well, with rising electricity generation and steel demand in China and India driving strong demand for coal.”

In comments to shareholders, Boyce described Peabody’s commitment to St. Louis, its decision to keep and expand its downtown headquarters and its support of the St. Louis Zoo. He noted the meeting’s location at the Peabody Opera House, after the company paid an undisclosed amount in 2010 to the rename the former Kiel Opera House, which reopened last fall after a $78.7 million renovation and restoration.

Every few minutes, protesters — singly or in small groups up to six people — rose to interrupt Boyce. Other shareholders and Peabody directors, seated in a row next to Boyce on the meeting room’s stage, sat quietly as the still-shouting demonstrators were led away.

Boyce’s comments about Peabody’s corporate citizenship made no impression on protesters, who decried what they said was Peabody’s failure to pay its fair share of taxes. Many in the noisy crowd outside the opera house waved signs as they chanted “We pay taxes, so should you” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Police kept demonstrators behind temporary metal barricades set up along the sidewalk in front of the opera house.

Michelle Witthaus, an Occupy St. Louis member among the protesters escorted from the shareholders meeting, later joined the demonstrators outside. Citing a report last year by Citizens for Tax Justice, a public-interest research group, she said in an interview that Peabody shortchanged city public schools by paying no state income taxes in 2008 or 2010.

Witthaus, 35, said she had seen the effect of inadequate funding as a teacher in a city elementary school. She said her school lacked a sufficient number of computers and other equipment to help children get ready for a high-tech world.

“Our kids in the city of St. Louis will not be prepared for the future,” she said.

At the close of the meeting, the company announced that shareholders had voted to retain Boyce and all other board members, who had sat in a row of chairs across the stage of an ornate meeting room. Shareholders rejected a proposal by Sister Barbara Jennings, coordinator of the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, to require Peabody to disclose more details of its lobbying activities.

Jennings said shareholders learned only from media reports that Peabody is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which had a role in persuading more than 20 state to enact “stand your ground” laws. Florida’s “stand your ground” law is a focus of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by a member of a neighborhood watch group.

Boyce replied that the company believed its existing disclosure rules are adequate.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/business/energy/occupy-protesters-target-peabody-shareholder-meeting-in-st-louis/article_8d5d8d68-93b7-11e1-9559-0019bb30f31a.html#ixzz1tp1pTnRW

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Action Alert! Help Stop Mountaintop Removal Spruce Mine!

From our allies at I Love Mountains:

Courtesy ILoveMountains.org

We won a major victory for Appalachia last year when the Environmental Protection Agency decided to veto the Spruce Mine in West Virginia — one of the largest mountaintop removal mines ever proposed.

Now that historic victory is in jeopardy.

In a controversial decision, a federal court overrode the EPA’s veto of the mine, despite the fact that it will dump 110 million cubic yards of mining waste into local waterways, generate toxic pollutants, and bury over six miles of streams — a clear violation of the Clean Water Act.

Now it is time for The White House to step up and stop the Spruce Mine.

Take action and urge the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to save our mountains and stand up for the Clean Water Act! 

  The EPA vetoed the mine because they know that destroying mountains and dumping waste in Appalachian communities’ streams is wrong. They know that having access to clean water and living in a safe environment is a basic human right.

Last week, the EPA vowed it would not let the court’s ruling interfere with its commitment to protect Appalachian communities and their access to clean water. 2

Tell the White House CEQ to support the EPA’s efforts and stop the Spruce Mine.

Last year you helped us send over 10,000 messages to the EPA urging them to veto the mine. Together we won. We can’t back down now!

Send a message to the White House CEQ today and save Logan County, WV from destructive mountaintop removal mining. 

For the Mountains,

Matt Wasson

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Historic Victory Won with Retirement of Chicago’s Two Coal Plants!

A decade-long grassroots campaign against two of the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the nation

Today, Midwest Generation, a subsidiary of Edison International, will announce the retirement of its Fisk and Crawford coal plants, two of the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the nation. The announcement marks a historic victory for a decade-long grassroots campaign to protect Chicago residents from the harmful impacts of coal pollution. According to an agreement signed by Midwest Generation, the Clean Power Coalition, and the City of Chicago, the Fisk coal plant in Pilsen will shut down in 2012 and the Crawford coal plant in Little Village will shut down by 2014.

For over ten years, thousands of Little Village residents have called on government officials and Midwest Generation to shut down the Fisk and Crawford plants. Community organizations in Pilsen and Little Village joined with environmental, health, faith, and labor groups to form the Clean Power Coalition, launching a groundbreaking grassroots campaign to make Chicago a coal-free city. In the last year, thirty five aldermen and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel joined on the cause.

The agreement also calls for the creation of a community advisory council to address issues such as the toxicity and future use of the sites. This is a major victory for the residents of the Pilsen and Little Village communities.

“For over ten years our communities have been fighting for the right to breathe clean air, clean land and clean water. Today we are ending over 100 years of pollution for profits and showing the power of community. This fight was more than just about a right to breath, this continues with ensuring the land left behind is properly cleaned to avoid leaving our community with another contaminated piece of industrial land and another struggle for environmental justice in Little Village” says Kimberly Wasserman of LVEJO.

The retirement of Fisk and Crawford will deliver substantial public health benefits. Researchers from the Clean Air Task Force found that pollution from Fisk and Crawford causes 42 premature deaths, 66 heart attacks and 720 asthma attacks each year. One in four Chicagoans live within a three-mile radius of the smokestacks.

The Chicago Clean Power Coalition is a growing group of organizations fighting for clean air, including: Chicago Youth Climate Coalition, Eco-Justice Collaborative. Environmental Law and Policy Center, Environment Illinois, Greenpeace, Faith in Place, Illinois Student Environmental Coalition, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Nuclear Information Service, Pilsen Alliance, Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, Protestants for the Common Good, Rainforest Action Network Chicago, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, SEIU, Sierra Club, and the Southeast Environmental Task Force.

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