Tag Archives: tar sands

Blockade Started on Enbridge’s Line 9

20 Jun

tumblr_moozqtju6v1swoxk6o1_500from Root Force

Hamilton, ON — As this statement is released, we are digging in and occupying Enbridge’s North Westover Pump Station in the Beverly Swamp. We have done this to stop construction in preparation for the reversal of their Line 9 Pipeline to carry toxic diluted bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands through our communities and watersheds, likely for export.

For the past year, we have organized in our communities across Southern Ontario to raise awareness of Enbridge’s plan to reverse Line 9. Increased awareness quickly lead to concern and to a desire from our communities to at the very least make our voices heard about our opposition to this project. What we found was a rigged game, where the political party most indebted to the oil industry had taken spectacular measures to remove the usual environmental oversights from Line 9 and other pipeline projects. The Line 9 reversal is, from the perspective of the powerful, a foregone conclusion and they have insultingly offered only the most meaningless opportunities for public engagement.

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4th Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk

13 Jun

healingwalk

A Different Way to Protect our Land, Air, Water and Climate from Tar Sands Expansion

The tar sands are growing out of control, destroying the climate for all Canadians and poisoning the water of everyone living downstream.

On July 5th and 6th, people will come together from coast to coast to join First Nations and Metis in the Healing Walk, a gathering focused on healing the environment and the people who are suffering from tar sands expansion.

Let’s call on the Alberta and Canadian governments to stop the reckless mismanagement of these resources. We need our governments to work with First Nations and bring people together to make wise choices about stewarding the land in ways that are sustainable and fair.

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Our Last Best Hope to Save our Water, Air and Earth

30 May

by Clayton Thomas-Muller /Canadian Dimension

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Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Clayton is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute as well as a volunteer organizer with the Defenders of the Land-Idle No More national campaign known as Sovereignty Summer.

The Rise of the Native Rights-Based Strategic Framework

Years ago I was working for a well-known Indigenous environmental and economic justice organization known as the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). During my time with this organization I had the privilege of working with hundreds of Indigenous communities across the planet who had seen a sharp increase in the targeting of Native lands for mega-extractive and other toxic industries. The largest of these conflicts, of course, was the over-representation by big oil who work— often in cahoots with state, provincial First Nations, Tribal and federal governments both in the USA and Canada—to gain access to the valuable resources located in our territories. IEN hired me to work in a very abstract setting, under impossible conditions, with little or no resources to support Grassroots peoples fighting oil companies, who had become, in the era of free market economics, the most powerful and well-resourced entities of our time. My mission was to fight and protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from toxic contamination and corporate exploration, to support our Peoples to build sustainable local economies rooted in the sacred fire of our traditions. Continue reading

Indigenous Activists Living In “Chemical Valley” Disrupt Pro-Tar Sands Conference

27 May

speakforthetreesgrass

Stop The Tar Sands – No Line 9 (The Media Co-Op)

by Amanda Lickers (Onondowaga Haudenosaunee) / Coalition Against Line 9

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The impacts of industrial development in the area now known as Chemical Valley are deep. The relationship between the 63 petrochemical industries and the occupied lands they are on is not a coincidence. The devastating affects corporations like Imperial Oil, Enbridge and Polysar have had on the environment, through contamination and corporate irresponsibility disproportionately impact bordering, and downstream Indigenous communities such as Aamjiwnaang and Walpole First Nations. The SunCor Energy refinery alone is responsible for processing 85,000 barrels per-day of gasoline, kerosene, jet and diesel fuels.

The Aamjiwnaang & Walpole First Nations are across the U.S.-Canadian border from Port Huron, Michigan.

killingmygeneration

Vanessa Gray, an inspiring Anishinabe-kwe, community organizer and member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation successfully disrupted a pro-tar sands conference, in Sarnia, Ontario. During the conference, “Bitumen Adding Value: Canada’s National Opportunity”, Vanessa took over the stage while the keynote presentation was being given and unfurled a banner reading, “YOU ARE KILLING MY GENERATION”.

In the face of already environmentally devastating conditions in a political context of apartheid against Indigenous peoples, those already impacted by Chemical Valley now seek to say No to further industrial expansion – the proposed Line 9 reversal which will bring Tar Sands crude project much further East.

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For a Future that Won’t Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising

27 May

by Kristine Moe / Yes! Magazine

Melina Laboucan-Massimo stands next to logs from clearcuts at a proposed tar sands site north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jiri Rezac.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo stands next to logs from clearcuts at a proposed tar sands site north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jiri Rezac.

There’s a remote part of northern Alberta where the Lubicon Cree have lived, it is said, since time immemorial. The Cree called the vast, pine-covered region niyanan askiy, “our land.” When white settlers first carved up this country, they made treaties with most of its original inhabitants—but for reasons unclear, the Lubicon Cree were left out. Two hundred years later, the Lubicon’s right to their traditional territory is still unrecognized. In the last four decades, industry has tapped the vast resource wealth that lies deep beneath the pines; today, 2,600 oil and gas wells stretch to the horizon. This is tar sands country. Continue reading

Greenpeace FOIA Exposes Exxon Lies About Mayflower, AR Spill

26 May

The cove of Lake Conway which Exxon claimed was “oil-free”

Cross Posted From GreenPeace Blog

On March 29 ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the world, spilled at least 210,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil from an underground pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas. The pipeline was carrying tar sands oil from Canada, which flooded family residences in Mayflower in thick tarry crude. Exxon’s tar sands crude also ran into Lake Conway, which sits about an eighth of a mile from where Exxon’s pipeline ruptured.

A new batch of documents received by Greenpeace in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revealed that Exxon downplayed the extent of the contamination caused by the ruptured pipeline. Records of emails between Arkansas’ DEQ and Exxon depict attempts by Exxon to pass off press releases with factually false information. In a draft press release dated April 8, Exxon claims “Tests on water samples show Lake Conway and the cove are oil-free.” However, internal emails from April 6 show Exxon knew of significant contamination across Lake Conway and the cove resulting from the oil spill.

When the chief of Arkansas Hazardous Waste division called Exxon out on this falsehood, Exxon amended the press release. However, they did not amend it to say that oil was in Lake Conway and contaminant levels in the lake were rising to dangerous levels, as they knew to be the case. Instead, they continue to claim that Lake Conway is “oil-free.” For the record, Exxon maintains that the “cove,” a section of Lake Conway that experienced heavy oiling from the spill, is not part of the actual lake. Exxon maintains this distinction in spite of Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel saying unequivocally “The cove is part of Lake Conway…The water is all part of one body of water.” Furthermore, Exxon water tests confirmed that levels of Benzene and other contaminants rose throughout the lake, not just in the cove area.

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Sarnia Pro-Tar Sands Conference Disrupted

24 May

by Amanda Lickers (Onondowaga Haudenosaunee) / Toronto Media Co-Op

The impacts of industrial development in the area now known as Chemical Valley are deep. The relationship between the 63 petrochemical industries and the occupied lands they are on is not a coincidence. The devastating affects corporations like Imperial Oil, Enbridge and Polysar have had on the environment, through contamination and corporate irresponsibility disproportionately impact bordering, and downstream Indigenous communities such as Aamjiwnaang and Walpole First Nations. The SunCor Energy refinery alone is responsible for processing 85,000 barrels per-day of gasoline, kerosene, jet and diesel fuels.

In the face of already environmentally devastating conditions in a political context of apartheid against Indigenous peoples, those already impacted by Chemical Valley now seek to say No to further industrial expansion – the proposed Line 9 reversal which will bring Tar Sands crude project much further East. In the spirit of standing ground and speaking out, local First Nations and Sarnia-settler community members as well as supporters from other regions, gathered together at Sarnia’s City Hall at 11am on Tuesday May 21st, 2013. Mike Plain, Anishinabe, Elder, and Aamjiwnaang community member opened the day’s events with an acknowledgement to all of Creation, reminding us that we are not separate from the natural world. Corrine Tooshkenig, Anishinabe-kwe, Elder, and member of Walpole First Nation, spoke to the importance of involving youth in the protection of Mother Earth and resistance to injustices. She led a water acknowledgement, reminding us of our connection to and the importance of water in our lives. Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants were invited to offer tobacco to the water with a spirit of gratitude and healing. She spoke of our relationship with our water, how water takes care of us, and how we have a responsibility to speak for the water now. Next Sam Elijah, Anishinabe-kwe, mother and member of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation spoke to the importance of inter-generational responsibility. Sam expressed her concerns about the ongoing and devastating impacts of the contamination and toxification of the land-base for both our current and future generations.

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Tar Sands Waste Piling Up in Detroit

20 May

by Ian Austen, Cross Posted from The New York Times

PILEWINDSOR, Ontario — Assumption Park gives residents of this city lovely views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline. Lately they’ve been treated to another sight: a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block on the other side of the Detroit River.

Detroit’s ever-growing black mountain is the unloved, unwanted and long overlooked byproduct of Canada’s oil sands boom.

And no one knows quite what to do about it, except Koch Carbon, which owns it.

The company is controlled by Charles and David Koch, wealthy industrialists who back a number of conservative and libertarian causes including activist groups that challenge the science behind climate change. The company sells the high-sulfur, high-carbon waste, usually overseas, where it is burned as fuel.

The coke comes from a refinery alongside the river owned by Marathon Petroleum, which has been there since 1930. But it began refining exports from the Canadian oil sands — and producing the waste that is sold to Koch — only in November.

“What is really, really disturbing to me is how some companies treat the city of Detroit as a dumping ground,” said Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan state representative for that part of Detroit. “Nobody knew this was going to happen.” Almost 56 percent of Canada’s oil production is from the petroleum-soaked oil sands of northern Alberta, more than 2,000 miles north.

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Sovereign Nations Walk Out of Meeting With U.S. State Department Unanimously Rejecting Keystone XL Pipeline

17 May

Cross Posted from Huffington Post

The State Department, still with “egg on its face” from its statement that Keystone XL would have little impact on climate change, sunk a little lower today as the most respected elders, and chiefs of 10 sovereign nations turned their backs on State Department representatives and walked out during a meeting. The meeting, which was a failed attempt at a “nation to nation” tribal consultation concerning the Northen leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline neglected to address any legitimate concerns being raised by First Nations Leaders (or leading scientific experts for that matter).

Tribal nations added probably the most critical danger of the pipeline which is to the water. Their statement is below:

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TransCanada Reps Kicked Out of Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation

16 May

Cross Posted From Tar Sands Blockade

“You’re not welcome here… We’ve said no from day one.”

And with these firm words the TransCanada representatives were kicked out of Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation last week. The seemingly aloof TransCanada officials showed up at the Tribal Office in Eagle Butte, South Dakota in an attempt to win the tribe over to the pipeline, but were met with a swift, firm response. Robin LeBeau, Cheyenne River Sioux Councilwoman for District 5, saw them in the parking lot and promptly told them off.

The encounter was caught on video:

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