Tag Archives: coal

Activists Blocking Coal Train in Germany

31 Aug

from Linksunten Indymedia

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Rhineland Coalfield – Germany: Around 200 activists are occupying the coal train tracks which is the main way to transport coal between the open-cast coal mine “Hambach” to the big power plants which emit 100 millions tons of CO2 per year. The action is happening in solidarity with the Climate and Reclaim the Fields Camp that is taking place from August 23 to September 6 2013 in the Rhineland coalfield.

The activists went onto the tracks at around 1pm. At the time of writing (5.30pm), they are still there, surrounded by a lot of police. The fire fighters have arrived to fell trees, to make way for the police. It is expected that the occupation is going to be evicted within the next hours.

Already in the last two years, there have been blockades like this. The tracks are an extremely vulnerable point in the coal complex ca. 40km west of Cologne, which consists of three open cast lignite mines and four coal-fired power plants. Usually, wagons loaded with coal run here every 15 minutes to supply the power plants. The plants have storage capacity for only two days.

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Activists Boat onto Sludge Pond; Confront Gov. Tomblin on Dangers of Coal Sludge

21 Aug

from RAMPS

Charleston, W.Va. – This morning at 7:30 a.m. two activists paddled out onto the 2.8 billion gallon Shumate slurry impoundment in Raleigh County with banners reading, “Slurry Poisons Appalachia” and “Gov. Tomblin, Put Health Over Profit.”  Later this morning, one activist locked himself to a barrel of black water in front of Gov. Tomblin’s mansion in a Tyvek suit reading “Locked to Dirty Water”.   Activists are calling attention to the failure of the state government to protect its citizens from the abuses of the coal industry and the threats posed by coal slurry disposal.

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Fracking, Climate Change Stressing U.S. Energy Infrastructure

13 Jul

from Root Force

Power lines downed by Hurricane Sandy (Photo: Arlington County/cc/flickr)

Power lines downed by Hurricane Sandy (Photo: Arlington County/cc/flickr)

The combination of fracking and global warming-driven drought is placing an increasing strain on U.S. energy infrastructure, which depends on water for cooling power plants, the Department of Energy has warned. And that’s not all.

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Victory! Grassroots Organizing Stops Massive Strip Mine in VA

23 Jun

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By Skyler Simmons, Southern Appalachians EF! Newswire Correspondent

It has been a long, hard fight but residents of the small coalfields town of Appalachia, VA can breathe a little easier after the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) for the second time rejected a mountaintop removal mine permit for Ison Rock Ridge. The massive strip mine, proposed by A&G Coal would have leveled over 1000 acres of Ison Rock Ridge and filled in four valleys on the outskirts of Appalachia and Inman.

“I am so pleased to finally see the DMME stand up for the people they are supposed to represent,” said Sam Broach, president of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS). “The people living in the areas affected by surface mining can sleep well tonight knowing that the mountains above them won’t be blown up, and the air they breathe will be a little bit cleaner.”

SAMS, along with the Sierra Club and Blue Ridge Earth First! fought the DMME for years to stop the permitting of new MTR sites in this isolated corner of Virginia with little success. It appears that their years of community organizing, protests, and direct action are finally paying off with the rejection of the Ison Rock Ridge Permit. Continue reading

Lobster Boat Blockades Coal Barge at Massachusetts Powerplant

15 May

Cross Posted From CommonDreams

Steering a lobster boat called the Henry David T., two climate activists on Wednesday attempted to blockade a shipment of West Virginia coal from arriving at Brayton Point Power Station in Massachusetts, New England’s largest coal-fired power plant.

The coal freighter, the Energy Entreprise, is believed to be carrying coal from a mountain top removal operation in Appalachia to the terminal in Massachusetts, setting up a ‘David vs. Goliath’ visual in which the activists in their tiny lobster boat put themselves between the massive coal ship and the power plant’s terminal.

Updates from the site indicate that the Henry David T. and its occupants have been detained by the US Coast Guard.

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Abolish the Fossil Fuel Industry

11 May

by Henia Belalia, Cross Posted from Peaceful Uprising

CANADA TARSANDS ALBERTA

How do activists use social movement history? What lessons can be learned from past movements for social change in our fight to stop climate change? We often rely on lessons and tactics from the U.S. Civil Rights movement. We think this might be the best source for our lessons from the past.

Think again.

How about the Abolition of the Slave Trade? As an activist, I fight for climate justice. As an historian and a scholar of law and history, I study slavery and the slave trade.

The movement for civil rights—certainly the mainstream movement—was based on the perceived need to have equal rights in an existing system. The right to vote, the right to fair housing. An end to segregation. Integration into the existing status quo at every level. And none of these things are bad things. Having equal rights is better than not having equal rights. But even the more radical wing of the civil rights movement questioned this strategy. S.N.C.C. members often asked, “Do we really want to die for the right to vote?”

The movement for climate justice is different. We are demanding “system change, not climate change.”

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A Call For More Meeting Disruptions!

24 Apr

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire

As the saying goes: dress for the job you want [to undermine], not the one you have [been].

Lately, environmental activists have been shedding the flannels and camo and straightening their ties in order to infiltrate meetings, conferences and symposiums, disrupting dirty energy projects at the point of decision. Not only can you stop a lot of bulldozers by interrupting the executives who order the bulldozers—you also get to see the looks on those execs’ faces as they realize that all their power and money suddenly appear insubstantial in the face of passionate cries and steel bicycle locks.

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Just yesterday, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported, protesters fed up with mountaintop removal coal mining crashed PNC Financial Services Group’s annual shareholder’s meeting. According to participants, PNC is one of the nation’s largest financiers of mountaintop coal mining. The activists, most of whom were from the Earth Quaker Action Team, called out the names of board members and asked them to state their position on mountaintop removal. PNC’s chairman and CEO, James Rohr, tried to continue the meeting in spite of the disturbance, but finally gave up, calling the meeting off about 15 minutes after it started.

[Update: Read George Lakey’s personal account of the action here]

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ALEC leads attack on North Carolina clean energy with Duke Energy funding

21 Jan

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From those same motherf**kers that brought us Arizona’s SB 1070, Stand Your Ground, and countless other rapacious “laws” comes yet another attack on the earth from the American Legislative Exchange Council:
By Connor Gibson, Greenpeace

Corporate polluters are taking aim this year at states with renewable energy laws, starting with an attack on North Carolina’s clean energy economy by a corporate front group known as ALEC with support from Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries.

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NAACP Study “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People”

18 Nov

By: Jenée Desmond-Harris

(The Root) — It’s not news that coal-fired plants cause pollution, and it’s not surprising that it’s low-income people and people of color who tend to live closest to them. But “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People,” a new report released this week by the NAACP, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, breaks down the numbers to communicate just how bad the environmental injustice is.

The organizations ranked 378 coal-fired power plants in the nation based on their Environmental Justice Performance, a score based on the plants’ toxic emissions as well as the demographics of their surrounding areas (things like race, income and population density). The results led NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous to conclude, “Coal pollution is literally killing low-income communities and communities of color … There is no disputing the urgency of this issue. Environmental justice is a civil and human rights issue when our children are getting sick, our grandparents are dying early, and mothers and fathers are missing work.”

Here’s some of what they found: The 6 million Americans living near coal plants have an average income of $18,400, compared with $21,857 nationwide, and 39 percent are people of color. That’s especially troubling news for those who can’t afford to live elsewhere, because pollutants emitted by coal plants have been linked to asthma attacks, lung inflammation, chronic bronchitis, irregular heart conditions and birth defects. According to the Clean Air Task Force, coal pollution is estimated to cause 13,200 premature deaths and 9,700 hospitalizations per year across the United States. Continue reading

Hey I just met you, and this is crazy… we’re all locked down, so please don’t taze me*

3 Nov

Reflections from the EF! coal plant blockade during the Tampa RNC 2012

[*TECO blockader-modified version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s radio hit, as quoted in Tampa Bay Times]

by panagioti, Earth First! Newswire

As the orgy of public relations nightmares for current and aspiring politicians comes to a crescendo of cacophony, nauseating and near impossible to escape, I find myself staying sane by reminiscing on my favorite direct action memories which stand as stark contrasts to the farce of electoral politics. Of course there’s the WTO in Seattle, and the forest defense campaigns of the Northwest, World Bank summits in DC, the anti-NAFTA I-69 roadblocks in Indiana, the FTAA in Miami, the initial days of Occupy Wall Street, the general strikes in Athens… And contrary to my initial expectations, I’m going to have to add this Summer’s RNC in Tampa to that list. Many of both the seasoned and newbie protestors who experienced the convention may not share the positive, uplifting experience. But I would guess that’s because they missed out on the Earth First! action at the end of the week. I think it’s a story worth telling. So, here’s my version, hyperlinks ‘n all:

I have to say, I’m glad I heeded Clinton Tyree’s call for Everglades Earth First! to join with the RNC protests in Tampa Bay this Summer. Even if the whole shindig would have gotten cancelled for a hurricane, I’d have had no regrets. I came ready to strap myself alongside Skink (Tyree’s forest name) and face that storm head-on from the peak of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

But that moment never came. For better or worse, Tampa was not clobbered by Isaac the Avenger. And I was left antsy to strap myself to something… Could a u-lock on a gypsum struck from the local coal plant do?

After four days of practically non-stop marches in Downtown Tampa and St. Pete, the mobilization’s low energy level was waning further still. While enthusiasm was high, our numbers and energy in the streets were low. The redundancy of marching and rallying amidst swarms of police was getting old, stagnant. I know, you’re shocked by this revelation. Things clearly needed to be shaken up a bit. Luckily I was amidst a handful of other Earth First!ers who were sharing the feeling (ok, so maybe the hand wasn’t quite full). We decided to get busy, and make our small numbers count.

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