Archive | August, 2013

Report: Toxic Fracking Fluids Killed Rare Fish in Kentucky

29 Aug

by the Center for Biological Diversity

Blackside dace photo by Richard G. Biggins, USFWS.

Blackside dace photo by Richard G. Biggins, USFWS.

LEXINGTON, Ky.— A federally protected fish called the blackside dace was among numerous fish killed in Kentucky’s Acorn Fork creek by a small spill of hydraulic fracking fluid that caused the fish to develop liver and spleen damage and gill lesions, according to a federal study released this week. The report documenting the 2007 incident, which comes a month after reports that a natural gas company repeatedly dumped polluted fracking water directly into the Big Sandy River, highlights the threat to wildlife and water quality posed by even small amounts of the toxic chemicals used to extract natural gas from fracking wells.

“These two sickening incidents in Kentucky make clear the growing threat that fracking poses to endangered species, public health and drinking water supplies across much of the country,” said Tierra Curry, a scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.  Continue reading

Three Arrests as Maine Earth First!, 350.org Protest Oil Trains

29 Aug

10004601_H11122317-600x491

By Mark LaFlamme / Sun Journal

The way Jessie Dowling sees it, getting arrested is the very least she can do.

“We need to put our bodies on the line,” the 32-year-old Unity woman said, just before being led into a police van for the short ride to jail. “We don’t want another Lac-Megantic.”

And there, in one simple sentence, was the thrust of the event.

Continue reading

Oregon Call to Action: White Castle Treesit Needs Your Help

29 Aug

from Cascadia Forest Defenders

whitecastleSince the beginning of June this year, we have been occupying Unit 8 of the White Castle Timber Sale. We are tree-sitting and physically blockading logging of this ecosystem because we are opposed to the destruction of native forests in the name of bad science, clearcutting and what this timber sale proposes for the future of forestry practices in Oregon.

The BLM is proposing a closure that would restrict access to the timber sale. For more information about the closure, read this. We are asking for people to send comments to the BLM voicing their opposition to the closure by writing to: BLM_OR_RB_Mail@blm.gov. Thank you!

We will stay until the timber sale is dropped and the forest is protected. The weather and law enforcement are likely to get less friendlier but we will persevere. Too much is already gone to not fight for what remains. And we need your help! We need folks to join us in the woods, help us collect and transport supplies and we need folks to keep spreading the word.

If you want to come out to the woods or support us get in touch by emailing us at forestdefensenow@gmail.com. We have open weekly meetings Mondays at five in the Owens Rose Garden in Eugene, OR, which all are invited to attend if you are interested in finding out more of what we are about or want to find a way to plug in.

The White Castle Variable Retention Harvest (VRH) or the Roseburg BLM Pilot Project is 190 acre clearcut near the town of Myrtle Creek in southern Oregon. All of the timber sale is within area proposed as critical habitat for the survival of the Northern Spotted Owl and is in the home range of five different owl pairs. Located in between the ‘dry eastside’ and ‘moist westside’ forests, White Castle has incredible biodiversity, with Western Red Cedars and Sugar Pines, swamp ecosystems beside poison oak patches. White Castle is also located within the watershed of Myrtle Creek and the surrounding communities.

To view the Timber Sale prospectus ( the document that the BLM produces giving you all the information about logging plans and ecosystems of a given timber sale) follow this link

Continue reading

Third Fur Farm Raid in One Month: 2,000 Mink Released in Illinois

29 Aug

by Peter Young / Animal Liberation Frontline

Aerial view of the Morris, IL fur farm

Aerial view of the Morris, IL fur farm

Local media is reporting 2,000 mink were released on August 14th from a fur farm in Morris, Illinois. Police state they received a call at 5am on August 14th from the farm owned by Bob Dodeghero. 2,000 mink had been released, two trucks had been doused with paint stripper, and a barn had been spray painted with “Liberation is love.”

The farm is one of the smallest mink farms in the country. A farm of its size (as shown in the photo below) is typical of a farm that can hold somewhere in the range of 2,000 animals, making it likely that every animal was freed.

The ALF’s “freedom summer” continues

This is the 6th major US action of the summer, which has seen a horse slaughterhouse arson, two releases of birds from game farms, and three releases of animals from fur farms.

Continue reading

Why You Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Clear-cutting

28 Aug

by Earth First! News

 

OK, forget what you’ve known in your heart, what you’ve learned in ecology class and what Earth First! has been fighting against for decades. A new video by ForestInfo.org, an offshoot of Dovetail Partners, Inc, wants to sell you a heaping helping of bullsh*t wrapped in green capitalist forest industry toilet paper.  

You’ll hear all about the virtues of clear-cutting, which according to the video, is the most ecologically sound logging method because it helps trees and wildlife thrive.  

Should you love or hate this video, it might be nice to call these hacks up at their office at 612-333-0430 or email them at info@forestinfo.org.  

You might also try contacting Dr. Sarah Stai, a so-called ecologist working with ForestInfo.org. Her email address is sarah@ecosmithconsulting.com. Ask her why she is using her degree to support the profits of the logging industry.

Forestinfo.org claims to be “your source for environmental information which is understandable, unbiased, accurate, and available in a wide variety of formats.” You can “friend” them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DovetailPartners and their office address is 528 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN. Pay them a visit sometime.

South Africa Shale Pits Shell Against Sheep Farmers

28 Aug

by Paul Burkhardt / Bloomberg

Shell applied for permission in 2011 to drill 24 exploratory wells in the Karoo. GO!/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Shell applied for permission in 2011 to drill 24 exploratory wells in the Karoo. GO!/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)s shale gas drilling plans for South Africa’s Karoo semi-desert are pitting the government and its energy goals against farmers and conservationists like billionaire Johann Rupert who say the land will be spoiled.

The government estimates enough gas can be discovered to generate 1 trillion rand ($100 billion) of sales within three decades and help bring a country that imports 70 percent of its crude oil needs closer to supplying its own energy demand. Landowners are lining up against the water-intensive drilling techniques that Europes biggest oil company intends to use.

“People don’t see what will happen,” Izak van der Merwe, a 59-year old sheep farmer, said as he sipped a beer while walking down a line of freshly slain antelope at the Murraysburg Hunting Competition, 620 kilometers (385 miles) northeast of Cape Town. “The people at Shell don’t realize the kind of ecosystem we have.”

Continue reading

Another No Nuke Victory: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant to Close in 2014

28 Aug

by Laura Beans / EcoWatch

The Vermont Yankee Power Plant is a boiling water nuclear reactor located in Vernon.

The Vermont Yankee Power Plant is a boiling water nuclear reactor located in Vernon.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the nuclear energy sector has seen a downturn, enduring bad press and changing financial trends as well as racking up a running list of safety issues in plants around the world. 

Nuclear energy opponents have seen a series of successes recently, from the closing of San Onofre in California to the Paducah plant in Kentucky in May. Yesterday, Entergy Corp. announced it would decommission Vermont Yankee in 2014, the state’s only nuclear power plant.

The decision to close and dismantle the plant ends a nasty legal battle between Entergy and the state of Vermont, and is another win for the growing anti-nuclear energy movement. Global electricity generation from nuclear power dropped by seven percent in 2012, after a four percent decline in 2011, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

Continue reading

Undercover at the Tar Sands: What It’s Really Like Working for Big Oil

28 Aug

An anonymous worker reveals conditions at ground zero for Canada’s controversial pipelines

from Rolling Stone

082813-tar-field-600-1377705294

from Getty Images

Editor’s Note: In recent months, many climate activists have focused their efforts on Canada’s tar sands and the companies set on extracting fossil fuels from them. With the debate raging louder than ever, Rolling Stone is in contact with one of the workers helping to build a pipeline to bring oil from the tar sands to the U.S. Read on for that anonymous correspondent’s second dispatch from one of the world’s most controversial jobs.

On its surface, Fort McMurray, Alberta, looks like any other small Canadian city, with rows of new houses, condo developments and a Wal-Mart. Recycling bins line the streets, and residents schlep cloth bags to the store because the community banned plastic bags. But there’s one big difference between Fort Mac and other towns: This is ground zero for Canada’s controversial tar sands operations. Like tens of thousands of others, I saw green in the tar-like bitumen-drenched sand, and I came here to cash in. (I’m writing anonymously to protect my colleagues, my friends and myself.)

Read Our Undercover Correspondent’s First Dispatch from the Tar Sands

The majority of oil-related work happens north of town. Follow Highway 63 for about 20 minutes and you’ll see a sprawling series of smoke stacks at the Syncrude Canada Ltd. processing facility. You can smell the oil in the air, and smog hangs across the otherwise crisp northern horizon. Drive further, and things get even worse. Koch Carbon’s giant pile of petroleum coke in Detroit is nothing compared to what the oil companies have up here. Shell, Imperial Oil, Exxon, Encana, Husky, BP, Suncor Energy, CNR, Southern Pacific and Petro-Canada all have a stake in this game, and there’s an estimated 170 billion barrels of crude on the line.

Continue reading

Ecologists Say Fire Suppression Efforts Left Century’s Worth Of Fuel for Rim Fire

28 Aug
Rim Fire_pho_2013233_lrg

Photo by NASA

SACRAMENTO (AP) – Unnaturally long intervals between wildfires and years of drought primed the Sierra Nevada for the explosive conflagration chewing up the rugged landscape on the edge of Yosemite National Park, forestry experts say.

The fire had ravaged 282 square miles by Tuesday, the biggest in the Sierra’s recorded history and one of the largest on record in California.

Containment increased to 20 percent but the number of destroyed structures rose to 101 and some 4,500 structures remained threatened. The types of lost buildings were not specified. Firefighters were making stands at Tuolumne City and other mountain communities.

The blaze was just 40 acres when it was discovered near a road in Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17, but firefighters had no chance of stopping it in the early days.

Fueled by thick forest floor vegetation in steep river canyons, it exploded to 10,000 acres 36 hours later, then to 54,000 acres and 105,620 acres within the next two days. On its 11th day it had surpassed 179,400 acres, becoming the seventh-largest California wildfire in records dating to 1932.

Continue reading

Megaload Ban Could Cost General Electric Millions

27 Aug

4d7653aa55b00.preview-300

Cross Posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Today’s hearing postponed until next week; Omega Morgan won’t move any loads until September 18

A subsidiary of the General Electric Company (GE) could lose millions of dollars if megaload shipments are banned or even significantly delayed on U.S. Highway 12, according to court documents.

Resources Conservation Company International (RCCI), a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate, has asked to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United (IRU) that seeks to compel the U.S. Forest Service to stop the shipment of megaloads across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

Continue reading