Tag Archives: energy

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

Activists From Innu First Nation To Protest Governors’ Conference in Vermont

26 Jul

More than a dozen protesters from Quebec’s Innu First Nation are due to arrive in Vermont this weekend to protest the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, being held in Burlington. They are protesting against the construction of a new hydroelectric dam on the Romaine River by Hydro-Québec, which they say would destroy their entire way of life. Vermont purchases the vast majority of its power from the Canadian utility giant and Gov. Peter Shumlin currently chairs the New England Governors’ Conference.

To read full article follow below or see source as cross-posted from here Continue reading

Climate Activists Disrupt UK Energy Summit

8 May

cross posted from IndyMedia UK

Borisaurus Rex – Fossil Free Future

On May 3rd,  hundreds of protesters from climate and anti-cuts groups across the country teamed up to block the UK Energy Summit in the City of London. [1] They descended on the conference venue at 11.45 am, saying they intended to remain there to disrupt the UK Energy Summit. At least 300 protesters targeted all of the main entrances to the Summit venue, attempting to push past police to enter the conference.
The UK Energy Summit [2] involves CEOs of the Big Six energy companies, who have recently come under widespread criticism for drawing in record profits whilst one quarter of UK households have been pushed into fuel poverty. [3] The event took place at The Grange Hotel, near St Paul’s Cathedral.

The protest congregated at four locations before descending on the summit: Tate Modern, St Paul’s, City Thameslink and Canon St. En route to the summit venue, protesters used “any means necessary” to get their message out by using stickers, chalk and noise to draw attention to the protest. Once they arrived at The Grange Hotel, they attempted to enter the hotel building with banners and giant model dinosaurs as a reference to the outdated “dinosaur technology” of fossil fuels. Reports have been of police violence when at least two people were arrested, with one protester possibly knocked unconscious by police.

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B.C. Economist Blocks Coal Trains In White Rock

6 May

Demonstrators gathered on the tracks where coal trains pass on a regular basis. About a dozen protesters, including one of Canada’s leading energy-environment economists, were arrested Saturday after setting up a blockade on train tracks in White Rock, B.C., aimed at stopping U.S. coal trains from reaching local ports.

About a dozen protesters, including one of Canada’s leading energy-environment economists, were arrested Saturday after setting up a blockade on train tracks in White Rock, B.C., aimed at stopping U.S. coal trains from reaching local ports.

Mark Jaccard, a professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was arrested along with several others late Saturday evening following a day-long protest in the 15000 block of Marine Drive.

“Thirteen protesters were arrested without incident and were respectful of the police and the process that was … a result of their actions,” said RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen.

The protesters, 12 men and one woman, were each served with a $115-ticket for trespassing under the Railway Safety Act. All were subsequently released from police custody.

In a written statement released before the protest, Jaccard said he was prepared to be arrested.

“Putting myself in a situation where I may be accused of civil disobedience is not something I have ever done before,” he said.

“But the current willingness of especially our federal government to brazenly take actions that ensure we cannot meet scientifically and economically sound greenhouse gas reduction targets for Canada and the planet leaves me with no alternative.”

To read full article go to source as cross-posted from here

See related article here

No Coal Eugene Banner Drop

20 Feb

(EUGENE, Ore.) – Yesterday at approximately 1:36 PM members of No Coal Eugene dropped a banner reading “STOP THE COAL TRAIN” from the parking garage on 10th and Oak in Eugene, Oregon.

This action was done in solidarity with Rocky Mountain Powershift and to bring attention to the coal trains that will soon be coming through Eugene.

In October 2011, the Port of Coos Bay signed a contract with an anonymous company to ship coal out of their harbor. Coal will be coming from the Powder River Basin in Montana through several cities, including Eugene, to be exported out of Coos Bay to Asian markets.

An estimated 15,000 tons of uncovered coal will be on every train. The Sightline Institute estimates that 500 lbs to a ton of coal can escape from a single loaded car. With one or two trains coming through Eugene everyday, Eugenians will be inhaling an unsafe amount of coal dust.

No Coal Eugene is in opposition to the coal trains for three reasons: We support the community of Coos Bay which is already impacted by environmentally destructive industries – including strip mining, deforestation, dredging and pollution.

We are opposed to the use of fossil fuels as a non-renewable energy source because of its effect on the global climate and global health. We are also opposed to large coal companies using public money for their own profits.

 

We are opposed to the use of fossil fuels as a non-renewable energy source because of its effect on the global climate and global health.

Van Eck Launches ‘Fracking’ Energy Exchange Traded Fund

16 Feb

hydraulic fracturing Van Eck Global, a New York-based money management firm with $35 million in assets from dirty energy, today launched an energy Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) focused on companies that look for and produce “unconventional” sources of oil and gas, such as oil sands. The New York Stock Exchange name chosen for this “Market Vectors Unconventional Oil and Gas ETF” is “NYSEArca: FRAK”.

Van Eck defined unconventional oil and natural gas as oil shales, tight sand, coal-bed methane and shale gas, among other sources. It said such resources may be geographically extensive or deeply embedded in underground rock formations and can be difficult to extract without the “use of developing technologies.”

The “developing technologies” include hydraulic fracturing—often referred to as “fracking”—as well as horizontal drilling.  Hydrofracking for gas injects toxic laden fresh water and sand at extremely high
pressure into rock layers to shatter the stone and release the gas. In over 30 states, hydrofracking has generated immense environmental problems, including contaminated drinking water, toxic waste ponds, drilling fluid leaks, and flammable tap water.

Shawn Reynolds is a senior analyst with Van Eck Global Hard Assets Fund. “It doesn’t stop with natural gas,” said Reynolds. “That is really where a lot of the excitement is—in using some of those technologies to unlock new oil plays.” What a sick fuck.

Indeed, according to Reynolds, in 2005, oil production in the United States was about 7.3 million barrels a day, and in 2011 averaged about 8.3 million barrels.

Fund Details

The new fund tracks a proprietary Van Eck index of the same name, and will normally invest at least 80 percent of its assets in companies primarily engaged in a variety of activities related to the exploration, development, extraction, production and/or refining of unconventional oil and natural gas, the company said in a recent regulatory filing.

Van Eck’s Senior Management includes Jan F. van Eck, CEO. He is a heavy campaign financer to Randy Altschuler, Republican for Congress, whose platform includes expansion of domestic offshore drilling.

Van Eck headquarters are located at:

335 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10017
800.826.2333.

Strip Coal Mines Resurfacing in Nova Scotia

16 Feb

strip mining

Almost six years after Nova Scotia imposed a moratorium on 13 surface coal mining projects in Cape Breton, the province is about to release a report that can reopen operations.

Next month, the ministers of environment and natural resources will be handed a study –  produced by the government and university scientists – that allows a surface mine in Cape Breton to proceed as a case study.

The study and the moratorium started in 2006 due to public opposition to the provincial government’s decision to grant a surface mining permit to Pioneer Coal Ltd. of Antigonish.

The company was told it could begin mining 1.6 million tons of coal from close to the surface of the former Prince mine near Point Aconi, the last operating underground mine in Nova Scotia, which closed in 2001.

Two years later, the province issued a call for proposals to restart development of the Sydney Coalfield — the largest coal operation in Eastern Canada. The result was 14 surface mining proposals and a single seven-year permit for Pioneer.

The operation has moved into a reclamation phase that includes cleaning up the old Prince mine site and restoring the land and its vegetation. The work is supposed to be completed within a year of the mine’s closure, expected in 2013.

Local residents say the Pioneer project has been a disaster from Day 1.

“How would you like to have a bulldozer in your backyard all night long?” said Brian Gerrow, who lives within a kilometre of the mine site.

“All summer, we can’t open the windows because of the noise and the dust. You can’t get a breath of air. . . . This has been going on since they started.”

Officials with Pioneer did not respond to two requests for an interview.
Continue reading

In the Path of the Mining-Energy Locomotive–Resisting Colombia’s Quimbo Hydroelectric Project

9 Feb
By: Entre Aguas

While the tone of Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, is much more diplomatic than his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, the state policies of militarizing territories to facilitate resource extraction under the guise of economic development and counter-insurgent security have not changed. The forced displacement of inhabitants that it spurred has also not abated.

Santos, the Minister of Defense under Uribe, assumed the presidency in August 2010. He kicked off his administration by naming four focus areas as the “locomotives” of his government´s economic development, one of these being mining-energy generation.

Already inhabiting the projected path of this “locomotive” are thousands of Campesino and Afro-descendent populations, over 100 distinct First Nations as well as some of planet Earth´s most scarce and vital sources of fresh water, cultivable land and endemic species.  In the wake of this locomotive´s “development” is a mass of open pit mines laden with toxic chemicals, hundreds of thousands of hectares of agro fuel plantations, and environmentally disastrous oil and gas extraction. The latter has created a web of pipelines that divide ecosystems and communities. Finally, there are the hydroelectric dams that create colossal reservoirs and kill rivers and the communities that rely on them.

Nationally, this collection of extraction projects is part of the prior government´s neoliberal Colombia 2025 project, which details the timeline for selling off the country piece by piece starting in the early 2000s through the end of the first quarter of the 21st century.  Internationally they are part of the continental mega infrastructure projects of Project Mesoamerica and the South American Regional Infrastructure Initiative (IIRSA). Continue reading

Rainforest Action Network: Eight Arrested During Protest at Bank of America Headquarters

16 Nov

Photo Credit: Rainforest Action Network

Eight people arrested protesting Bank of America’s reckless financing practices, including the banks role as the lead financier of coal. Two people were arrested after unfurling a banner reading “Not with Our Money” from atop two 50-foot flagpoles at the entrance of Bank of America’s headquarters in downtown Charlotte. Six more were arrested below: two while supporting the climbers, and four while blocking the main entrance to the bank’s headquarters.

“As the authorities attempt to evict Occupy protestors from public spaces, they are going to start showing up at Bank of America doorsteps across the country. Bank of America is in the center of the Occupy Movement because of its reckless financial practices that put profit before people and planet,” said Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network’s Energy and Finance Campaign Director. “If Bank of America would like to regain the trust of the 99 percent, it must adopt sound economic and environmental policies that reflect the values of its customers. Bank of America can start by getting out of bed with the coal industry, and shifting its funding toward renewable energy sources that will have long term benefits for our environment, our health and our economy.”

“Bank of America is foreclosing on our neighbors and it’s foreclosing on our climate. To be honest, I’m embarrassed that I’m still a customer,” said Jamie Trowbridge, an Appalachian State University student who was one of the two climbers arrested at today’s protest. “Coal is dirty at every stage in its lifecycle. No longer will Bank of America fund coal with my money. When I get back to school, I’m going to cut up my BoA debit card, and help other students do the same.”

In the past two years alone, Rainforest Action Network has found that Bank of America has pumped $4.3 billion into the U.S. coal industry; $1.3 billion more than other top banks. With today’s protest, environmentalists have joined the mounting outrage at Bank of America’s reckless financing practices, a critique which has been on display with the Occupy Movement and with the record transfer of customer accounts to credit unions. According to the Credit Union National Association, 700,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions since Sept. 29 and credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts.

Bank of America funds every sector of the U.S. coal industry, including companies that operate the most controversial coal-fired power plants and the most devastating forms of strip mining, including mountaintop removal coal mining. Today’s action comes only a month after RAN announced its Not One More Dollar for Campaign, which asks Bank of America customers to close their accounts until Bank of America stops subsidizing the coal industry.

The international environmental group has garnered the support of thousands of Bank of America customers, who in the last few weeks have pledged to close their accounts, citing the bank’s insistence on underwriting the coal industry. Coal is responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and the U.S. is the world’s second largest coal producer. Coal-fired energy generation is responsible for pollutants that damage cardiovascular and respiratory health and threaten healthy child development.

For full article see source as cross-posted from here

Another related article here

Nigeria: Ogonis Protest Non-Implementation of UNEP Report

8 Nov

Cross-posted from here

More than 2,000 Ogoni people in Rivers State yesterday staged a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt against the non-implementation of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the oil impacted sites in Ogoniland.

The UNEP had conducted an environmental assessment of the oil impacted sites in Ogoniland and submitted the report to the Federal Government on Aug. 4, 2011.

The report called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to clean oil impacted sites in Ogoniland to save the lives of the people.

Mr Ledum Mitee, the President, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), said during the protest, that the Ogonis wanted immediate implementation of the report to safeguard their lives.

He urged the Federal Government to commence the clean-up of oil impacted sites in Ogoniland to save the environment from further deterioration.

He said the Ogonis believed in using a non-violence approach to seek redress.

“These are ways by which the Ogonis show that they can resolve issues in the Niger Delta by peaceful means. And that is why we have come today to say that we are tired and to ask how long our people will continue to drink this poisoned water before we hear from the Federal Government.

“We thought that consistent with our own methods of demand, we have to take a letter of protest to the President and pass it through your Excellency to him to say that our people need attention.

“We have taken Shell to court abroad and we want to know those in the Federal Government delaying these issues.”

Mitee said MOSOP would not hesitate to take necessary action against those whose inactions had made the Ogonis to continue to suffer.

He said that in spite of a unanimous resolution passed by the National Assembly calling for the implementation of the UNEP report, government had done nothing.

In his speech, Mr Tele Ikuru, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, said that the government was aware of the negative effect of the environmental pollution in Ogoniland.

He said that the state government would ensure that the movement’s message was sent to the Federal Government (NAN).