Tag Archives: NoKXL

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

BREAKING: Construction of KXL Pump Station Shut Down in Oklahoma

24 Jun

Eight lock down to construction equipment in largest action yet by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance.

from Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

pumpstation2

Protesters locked down to construction equipment. Photos from @iamed_nc

[UPDATE: Nine people have been arrested. You can donate to their bail fund at http://gptarsandsresistance.org/donate/ and share this around. They managed to shut down the site until a volunteer firefighter reportedly injured one of the lockdowners, who is in the ambulance currently and whose injuries are unknown to us. Folks soonafter unlocked out of concerns for their safety.]

Seminole, OK – Early this morning, eight individuals blocked construction of a pump station for TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Seminole land-by-treaty by locking on to equipment in the largest action yet by the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. The group took action today, physically halting the construction process, as a part of an effort to prevent the Great Plains from being poisoned by inherently dangerous tar sands infrastructure, as well as demonstrate the necessity for direct confrontation with industries that profit off of continued ecological devastation and the poisoning of countless communities from “Alberta, CA” to the Gulf. This action comes during the first day of a nationwide week of coordinated anti-extraction action under the banner of Fearless Summer.

Continue reading

TransCanada Is Briefing Police About KXL Protests and Urging Terrorism Prosecutions

12 Jun

by Will Potter / Green Is The New Red

TransCanadaPowerpoint1 New documents show that TransCanada, the corporation behind the $5.3 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline, has been briefing police about non-violent protesters and urging prosecutors to consider them “terrorists.”

Environmentalists have waged a diverse campaign against the 2,000-mile pipeline that has included civil disobedience at the White House, tree sits and blockades, and a new lawsuit by the Sierra Club saying the U.S. State Department’s environmental review of the Keystone XL is “plagued by conflicts of interest.”

The tactics are working. In response, TransCanada is filing lawsuits across the country in hopes of deterring opposition; in Oklahoma, they recently filed a restraining order against protesters.

New documents show that TransCanada is also working behind the scenes with local police, providing cops with names and photographs of dozens of activists, warning of non-violent tactics, and urging terrorism prosecutions.

Continue reading

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse – Part II

4 Jun

Illustration courtesy of Stephanie McMillan, Minimum Security

Cross Posted from WrongKindofGreen

by Cory Morningstar / Counterpunch

On April 8, 2013, PRWatch asked the question: “Seven State Keystone XL Resolutions – Where Are the Environmentalists?” The author reported the following observations:

The cleanup is still underway from a massive pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, but you don’t hear anything about it at public hearings across the nation dealing with the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. Resolutions supporting the controversial KXL pipeline have now been introduced in seven states, but while TransCanada, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Chamber of Commerce have been lobbying in force for the bills to pass, there have been few opposing voices by either Democrats or environmentalists at public hearings dealing on the measures….

In February, CMD reported on state resolutions calling for the approval of the KXL pipeline project in MississippiMichiganMinnesota, and Missouri. The language in three of these resolutions closely matched a “backgrounder” from TransCanada. The forth resolution, introduced in Missouri, mirrored a resolution from the American Legislative Exchange Council….

In the last few months, OhioKansas, and Indiana have introduced very similar resolutions, which also feature paragraphs from TransCanada’s own materials. Although these resolutions are non-binding, they will be showcased by industry lobbyists as evidence about how state legislators (and by extension the public) feel about the pipeline project in an attempt to influence the pending State Department decision on KXL. While opponents of KXL have been active on many fronts, their absence from state legislatures nationwide has been notable….

Continue reading

Fourth Generation Oklahoman, Founder of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Locks Himself to KXL Construction Equipment

13 May

Cross Posted From Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance
Follow this developing story at GPTSR’s website
photo

Wewoka Oklahoma-Monday, May 13th, 7 am

Early this morning Bob Waldrop, 60,
fourth generation Oklahoman and prominent Oklahoma City community member
walked onto an active construction site for the Keystone XL pipeline in Seminole County and
locked himself to an Excavator, a piece of heavy machinery used in the
construction of the pipeline. Waldrop took a stand today in defense of the
land and the human and non-humans that depend upon it to survive.

Waldrop, as a founding member of the Oscar Romero Catholic Workers House,
is a part of Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a growing coalition of
groups and individuals dedicated to stopping the expansion of Tar Sands
infrastructure throughout the Great Plains. His action follows an
escalating number of work-stopping actions, of which there were five in
April alone, in Oklahoma.

Continue reading

“Lockdown”: Tar Sands Blockade vs. Keystone XL Pipeline (Video)

6 May

 

From YouTube: “LOCKDOWN,” is a ten minute documentary by Mutual Aid Media on the Tar Sands Blockade–a group of activists and landowners in Texas who have built a campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. This short doc follows activists as they plan an action camp, lead workshops, and execute a lockdown. We hope that this piece can be used to help promote direct action as well as gain support for Tar Sands Resistance campaigns.

To get involved visit: tarsandsblockade.org , gptarsandsresistance.org , nokxl.org
For more information about Mutual Aid Media, please visit our website at: mutualaidmedia.com

Canada’s Aboveground Environmental Activists Seen as ‘Threat to National Security’

30 Apr

by Stephen Leahy, Cross posted from The Guardian

Environmental activists opposed to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project protest

Monitoring of environmental activists in Canada by the country’s police and security agencies has become the “new normal”, according to a researcher who has analysed security documents released under freedom of information laws.

Security and police agencies have been increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies, said Jeffrey Monaghan of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

The RCMP, Canada’s national police force, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) view activist activities such as blocking access to roads or buildings as “forms of attack” and depict those involved as national security threats, according to the documents.

Protests and opposition to Canada’s resource-based economy, especially oil and gas production, are now viewed as threats to national security, Monaghan said. In 2011 a Montreal, Quebec man who wrote letters opposing shale gas fracking was charged under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act. Documents released in January show the RCMP has been monitoring Quebec residents who oppose fracking.

Continue reading

Two Activists Lockdown to Protect Cross Timbers from Tar Sands

29 Apr
Cross posted from Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance[Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a chronology of today’s events, and be sure to visit www.gptarsandsresistance.org and donate to these folks bail funds! Oh yeah, did we mention that this is the 5th action in Oklahoma in the past month?]

429enb

________________________________________

Spaulding, OK- Monday, April 29th, 6:15 AM– Earlier this morning two Texas residents locked themselves to machinery being used to construct TransCanada’s dangerous and controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Spaulding, OK through Muscogee Creek Nation land by treaty. Continue reading

Tar Sands Pipeline Oil Spill in Minnesota

25 Apr

Cross posted from Indigenous Environmental Network

by Marty Cobenais

The Enbridge pipeline in Viking, Minnesota

The Enbridge pipeline in Viking, Minnesota

Viking, MN – The small northern western Minnesota town of approximately 100 people was the site of the latest Alberta Canada tar sands pipeline oil spill.  Enbridge Energy made the initial report that 600 gallons (15 barrels) of oil was released at the Viking Station, from line 67.  This is also known as the Alberta Clipper pipeline, which was completed in 2011.  Enbridge is currently seeking permission to increase the amount of oil from 450,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels per day, but was added another application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to increase the flow to the maximum of 880,000 barrels.  This is the same diameter of pipeline the TransCanada Keystone XL, 800,000 barrels per day, which is under great scrutiny in its Presidential Permit application.

An Enbridge official on the scene stated that the leak was detected by workers doing maintenance. The official said the workers smelled oil and upon inspection, they discovered the leak.  The leak was determined to be at a “Transmitter”.  The transmitter is the unit that measures the amount of pressure in the pipeline.  This leak was small enough to not signal the main terminal that there was a leak.  The transmitter is at the end of a 2-inch pipe that is screwed into the main pipeline. The Enbridge employee stated that the leak was in the threads.  He stated that it was Line 2 and not Line 67, but after further questions as to other parts he was unsure of what pipelines locations were. Continue reading

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.

pnc-protest_original

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]

Continue reading