Tag Archives: keystone xl

Some Oil Spill Damage Can’t Be Cleaned Up

20 Apr

by Grayson / Earth First! Newswire

OilDamageCan'tBeCleaned

Photo from evelynwithoutoil.blogspot.com

A recent article in Newsweek outlines the shocking health problems, including neurological damage, that workers and residents at the 2010 BP oil spill disaster site have suffered in the three years since the incident. Considering the insane amount of oil spills that have taken place in the last couple months, it was too relevant to ignore.

As Newsweek writes, one victim of the spill, Jamie Griffin, was feeding cleanup crews during the disaster. Representatives from BP told Jamie that the oil tracking into her workspace was “safe,” and that she should “just mop it up,” which she attempted to do, having no idea the pain it was going to cause:

Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. . . Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments. By July, unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws. In August, she began losing her short-term memory. . . The right side, but only the right side, of her body “started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled—my ankle would get as wide as my calf—and my skin got incredibly itchy.”

“These are the same symptoms experienced by soldiers who returned from the Persian Gulf War with Gulf War syndrome,” says Dr. Michael Robichaux, a Louisiana physician and former state senator, who treated Griffin and 113 other patients with similar complaints. As a general practitioner, Robichaux says he had “never seen this grouping of symptoms together: skin problems, neurological impairments, plus pulmonary problems.”

Cleanup workers were not the only victims; coastal residents also suffered. “My 2-year-old grandson and I would play out in the yard,” says Shirley Tillman of the Mississippi coastal town Pass Christian. “You could smell oil and stuff in the air, but on the news they were saying it’s fine, don’t worry. Well, by October, he was one sick little fellow. All of a sudden, this very active little 2-year-old was constantly sick.”

Much of this pain and suffering was not caused by the oil alone, but by BP’s response to the spill; as if allowing hundreds of thousands of barrels of deadly crude oil to flow into the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t enough, many of you may remember that BP used a “dispersant” to “clean-up” (read: hide) the oil. The dispersant they used was Corexit, a substance that has now been found to make crude oil 52 times as toxic. Corexit is still a standard dispersant used for oil spill cleanups, as it is approved for use by the Oil Pollution Act. This dispersant likely played a large role in the physical and neurological damage workers and volunteers are still suffering today.

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Same Company Building Keystone and Tennessee Pipelines

11 Apr

From Root Force

michelsTwo projects are currently being fought on the ground (and in the trees) halfway across the country from each other, and various sources (including an article in the Ecologist ) have confirmed that the same company is doing on-the-ground construction of both.

Michels Corp is a construction company that specializes in energy, transportation, telecommunications and utility infrastructure — especially pipelines. While Tar Sands Blockaders are busy stopping Michels from building the Keystone XL pipeline (which would bring more toxic tar sands into frontline communities in Houston), the coalition No Tennessee Pipeline is working to stop the same company from constructing a gas pipeline in Pennsylvania.

That means those of you living far from these pipelines’ construction sites now have twice the reason to get in touch with a Michels location near you and tell them what you think of their business decisions!

The fact that the same company is building these disparate projects draw an obvious connection between seemingly separate struggles. After all, working against a project that would destroy the places you love becomes an act of solidarity when that same company is also destroying the places that someone else loves.

On a deeper level, of course, all our struggles are connected. There are so many reasons to target infrastructure expansion: to act in solidarity with indigenous people across the continent and world; to stop evil corporations from making more money while impoverishing the rest of us; and perhaps most critically, because the very projects that Michels specializes in are the projects  needed to keep this death culture alive. Can there be any better reason for opposing them?

Lakota warriors and Deep Green Resistance call for support on the Great Plains

13 Dec

Activists and warriors have launched a drive for funds and supplies to sustain their ongoing organizing and resistance in the Great Plains region. The following message is from their online drive:

“In 2011 we met and  began working together in a good way. Members of Deep Green Resistance and Lakota warriors and activists joined together to fight on the Great Plains. In 2012 we joined with others to fight against the liquid genocide of White Clay NE, temporarily shutting it down three times. We are fighting and organizing against the Keystone XL pipline. We must protect our sacred water. We joined together in solidarity with Lakota elder Vern Traversie against the racist abuse of Rapid City Regional Hospital. The KKK has reared its ugly head in the sacred black hills and we must stand and fight against them in 2013. We cannot do this work without material support. Besides material support we need bodies willing to join us on the frontlines. Please help us continue fighting in 2013.”

For more information click here or email deepgreenresistancegreatplains@riseup.net

People can also relay this message via Facebook.

For more background on the situation in White Clay and the connections between DGR and Lakota activists, check out the article “Crazy Horse was a Sober Warrior: 31 Notes on the Alcohol Wars at Pine Ridge“, posted September 7 on the EF! Newswire

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FPL brings pipeline wars to Florida’s Everglades

11 Dec

FPL pipeline_mapDespite growing resistance against oil and gas pipelines across North America, energy companies continue to push their plans for expansion.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Spectra, Constitution and Millennium pipelines in New York; the PTP and Enbridge pipelines across Canada; and, of course, the Keystone XL under construction in East Texas…  These pipelines are all specifically aimed at accommodating the extreme extraction practices of shale fracking and tar sands.

Now you can add FPL’s proposed pipeline to the list. Though the plan was already rejected once by Florida’s Public Service Commission, its back again. According to the Palm Beach Post:

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has proposed a multibillion-dollar gas pipeline that would run from Alabama to Martin County, and is seeking bids from companies interested in building what would become the state’s third major pipeline.

Juno Beach-based FPL, which continues to invest billions in power plants that run on natural gas, plans to issue a formal request for proposals to prospective bidders on Dec. 19, spokesman Mark Bubriski said Monday. The new pipeline is projected to begin operating in 2017.

“This pipeline would be designed to access more domestic on-shore shale gas reserves [fracking] from all over the country,” Bubriski said.

A history of recent resistance to FPL

FPL garnered nationwide attention from environmental activists when an Earth First! action shut down a construction site of theirs in 2008. The Everglades EF! group joined the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition in a several year campaign obstructing the plant and its needed infrastructure. Over 50 activists were arrested in occupations and blockades Continue reading

Climate Change Resistance Solidarity Action

17 Nov

Since spring 2010, frontline Northwest activists have been resisting tar sands transportation projects and associated police states in our communities and on our roads, through six court cases, a dozen arrests, and over 50 direct actions. Residents of Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho, Spokane, Washington, Missoula, Montana, and regional rural enclaves have defended our wild places, home towns, and public roadways from the climate-wrecking, industrial ravages of “megaload” equipment transported for ExxonMobil, Weyerhaeuser, and other undisclosed corporations to Alberta destinations and tar sands operations. Our monitoring, protesting, and litigating activities have challenged, stalled, diverted, blockaded, frustrated, cost millions, and forced some of the biggest, wealthiest, most powerful dirty energy purveyors on Earth to boost their security, pay our state, county, and city police officers as escorts, guard their unoccupied stopover and port spaces, dismantle their supposedly irreducible loads, and sneak around us on alternative routes. Continue reading

Tar Sands Blockade Calls For Solidarity Actions November 19th

12 Nov

Alright, eco-warriors, consider yourselves on notice. Tar Sands Blockade is stepping our game up, and we’re calling on you to do the same.

We’ll be throwing down in a big way next Monday, November 19th, somewhere near Nacogdoches, Texas, the heart of outlaw territory in this region for hundreds of years, and we want you to do the same. If you’re close enough or able to travel, of course we’d love to have you here with us, but we also want to see communities rising up and defending their homes from the wanton destruction of extractive industry everywhere.

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Earth First! Journalist popped at Tar Sands Blockade

18 Oct

Why was that cop bumpin’n’grindin’ with the excavator in front of me?! I know that law and industry work hand-in-hand.. But this is too much.

[Yeah, that’s right. We EF! Journalistas occasionally escape the doldrums of office life and get out to the woods to raise some hell. The following is a first hand account, re-posted from TarSandsBlockade.org]

One Blockader’s Story (Day 25)

by panagioti / Earth First! Newswire

Monday’s early morning hike into the site of the tree blockade allowed me to see the lush and mature forest surrounding the Keystone XL construction first-hand. The abundant slash pine trees and beautyberry shrubs gave me a rush of energy that comes with unexpected sense of familiarity. I couldn’t help but think of the flatwoods of my home in Florida (what they call ‘piney woods’ out here).

So when we got to the massive industrial scar that now cuts through the forest, in preparation for a tar sands pipeline, the impact hit me that much deeper. Obvious wetlands and waterways were clearly trashed, and an absurd security force surrounded the aerial blockade site attempting to starve out the on-site resistance.    Continue reading