SkyTruth is a nonprofit organization using remote sensing and digital mapping to create stunning images that expose the landscape disruption and habitat degradation caused by mining, oil and gas drilling, deforestation, fishing and other human activities. Our vision is a world where all people can see and understand the environmental consequences of human activity everywhere on Earth, and are motivated to take action to protect it. Our mission is to motivate and empower new constituencies for environmental protection through illuminating the issues that impact our planet.
Ongoing protests in British Columbia to stop a tar sands pipeline project by fossil fuel giant Kinder Morgan escalated on Thursday night after 26 protesters were violently arrested. Those arrested also included protesters who refused to comply with an injunction issued earlier in the week ordering them to move from their encampment on the mountain. In response, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan promised that he was ready to fight a “war” in the courts with the federal government. “This is going to be a war, and it’s going to be one that carries on for a number of years,” Corrigan told the Province.
The Dene people of Ducharme, who have made a living from the land for centuries, have found access to their trap lines blocked by security gates. Life-long trapper, Don Montgrand, reported, “When I drove up to my trap line, a helicopter followed overhead of me, all the way. That’s 106 km.” On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, a road block [was] established 8 km north of La Loche, Saskatchewan to prevent numerous oil companies road access to exploration camps beyond that point. Trappers are making a stand because for the past 6 ½ years, there has been a mad rush on mineral and oil exploration.
On November 19, 2014, we sued the Harvard Corporation to compel it to withdraw its investments from fossil fuel companies. As seven Harvard students organized under the name “Harvard Climate Justice Coalition,” we allege that the Corporation’s funding of global warming harms its students and future generations, and that Harvard’s leaders have a duty to divest the university’s endowment from the reckless activities of the oil, gas, and coal industries. We’re bringing this case by ourselves, without lawyers, because we believe that we have a responsibility to confront global warming. Climate change has arrived, wrecking the planet and posing serious dangers to the most vulnerable among us.
State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation. Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA. “It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.” California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.”
DeSmogBlog’s Steve Horn and Republic Report’s Lee Fang have co-written an in-depth report on the influence thegovernment-industry revolving doorhas had on Big Oil’s ability to obtain four liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits since 2012 from the Obama Administration. Titled “Natural Gas Exports: Washington’s Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat,” the report published here on DeSmogBlog and on Republic Report serves as the launching pad of an ongoing investigation. It will act as the prelude of an extensive series of articles by both websites uncovering the LNG exports influence peddling machine.
Nine people were arrested Thursday morning for trespassing at Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility gates on the shore of Seneca Lake. These arrests follow nine arrests primarily of business owners on Wednesday, eight on Tuesday and 10 on Monday as the ‘We Are Seneca Lake’ civil disobedience campaign continues a fourth week of blockades to stop the gas storage facility. In total, 61 arrests involving 56 unique individuals have now occurred at the gates of Crestwood since the campaign began Oct. 23. “I love the Finger Lakes and I’m a firm believer in alternative energy, I’ve lived off the grid for 25 years,” Clark said. “I just feel committed to it, so I’m living it. If I’m not here, I just feel like I would not be doing my job.” Rodgers marks the third member of the Seneca Lake 12, a group who were arrested in March of 2013 for blocking Crestwood’s gates, to return and be re-arrested in the We Are Seneca Lake movement. The other two are Michael Dineen, 65, of Ovid, who was arrested Nov. 18, and Sandra Steingraber, 55, of Trumansburg, who was arrested Oct. 29. Steingraber, along with fellow arrestees Colleen Boland and Roland Micklem, went to jail last night after pleading guilty to trespass and refusing their fines. Micklem is being kept at the Schuyler County Jail in Watkins Glen, while Steingraber and Boland have been sent to the Chemung County Jail in Elmira. They were each given the maximum sentence of 15 days.
After TransCanada proposed its Energy East tar sands pipeline, the energy giant tapped the world’s largest public relations firm to help blunt opposition—the kind that upended its Keystone XL project. More than 50 pages of leaked campaign strategy documents from PR firm Edelman show the energy company desperate to confront and overcome organized resistance to tar sands development mounted by environmentalists and other activists. Energy East would open a massive artery for the flow of tar sands oil to Canada’s eastern coast and abroad. This week Greenpeace provided the documents to InsideClimate News and other media. The documents from May to August 2014 identify “new realities” facing companies looking to develop major pipelines in North America. These includes a “permanent, persuasive, nimble and well-funded” opposition that frames all new development projects in the context of climate change, and that is aiming for a world free of fossil-fuel pollution.
Spanish navy boats protecting an oil drilling ship rammed Greenpeace boats during a protest, leaving one activist with a broken leg and another with minor cuts. Dramatic footage filmed off the Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura on Saturday shows the moment when a navy rhib – a fast rigid hull inflatable boat – appeared to deliberately collide with a Greenpeace rhib which was approaching the oil ship Rowan Renaissance. Matilda Brunetti, a 23 year-old Italian, can be heard screaming in pain in the video as her leg was broken and she was thrown into the water. According to a colleague, she then received cuts to her legs from a propeller, before she was taken by the Spanish navy to a hospital in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, where she is now recovering. Spain has seized and detained the Greenpeace boat, Arctic Sunrise, that they rammed earlier this week. Neither the captain or crew are being detained. Spain was protecting oil drilling from a non-violent direct action by Greenpeace against the oil ship Rowan Renaissance, owned by the company Repsol, which has been approved by Spain to drill for oil in the Fuerteventura and Lanzarote islands. The Spanish government is investigating the captain of the ship for an “infringement against marine traffic rules.”
A coalition of climate and social justice organizations and artists held a silent presence and unveiled a large landscape which depicts the devastation caused by Canadian tar sands outside the Canada Europe Energy Roundtable this morning. “Communities from across the UK have come together to make this banner to show our solidarity with those communities on the front lines of tar sands who have lived for generations in close relationship with the land” said Amanda Cid, a community artist “it is important to make visible the animal species and cultures that are being pushed to extinction because of decisions being made behind closed doors between industry and government.”
Today, Greenpeace released leaked documents detailing TransCanada’s secret public relations and “grassroots advocacy” strategy for its Energy East tar sands pipeline proposal. Greenpeace says the documents show the embattled pipeline company is planning to adopt the tactics employed by the U.S. oil industry to attack environmental advocates in Canada. The strategy was prepared for TransCanada by Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world. “TransCanada is a multibillion-dollar corporation with the backing of the Canadian government, yet with all that in its favor, they still need Daniel Edelman’s campaign of distraction, disruption, and dirty tricks to go forward with this pipeline.” Greenpeace USA Research Director Mark Floegel said.
CAMPO MARIPE, Argentina, Nov 18 (IPS) – The boom in unconventional fossil fuels has revived indigenous conflicts in southwest Argentina. Twenty-two Mapuche communities who live on top of Vaca Muerta, the geological formation where the reserves are located, complain that they were not consulted about the use of their ancestral lands, both above and below ground. Albino Campo, logko or chief of the Campo Maripe Mapuche community, is critical of the term superficiary – one to whom a right of surface occupation is granted “ which was used in the oil contracts to describe the people living on the land, with whom the oil companies are negotiating. We are the owners of the surface, and of what is above and below as well. That is the ˜mapu’ (earth). It’s not hollow below ground; there is another people below, he told IPS.
On November 13, over 600 people filled the Lakeshore High School gym for a public hearing on a drilling permit for the first hydraulic fracturing site in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. According to Patrick Courreges, a spokesman for Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it was the first public hearing for a drilling permit that anyone can remember. DNR isn’t used to opposition to drilling permits and rarely rejects such industry requests. But since April when Helis Oil and Gas announced plans to frack in St. Tammany Parish, 45 miles outside of New Orleans, public opposition has grown steadily in an effort to stop the company’s operations before they start.
Ten people were arrested earlier today for blockading Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility gates on the shore of Seneca Lake. This marks the fourth week of the ‘We Are Seneca Lake’ civil disobedience campaign to stop the gas storage facility, which has seen a total of 35 people arrested so far, including Dwain Wilder who just finished serving 8 days in jail after refusing to pay the fine following his arrest. There have also been multiple rallies with hundreds of people and numerous winery owners, local businesses and health professionals. Beth Peet of Hector, NY, said, “My government is not standing up for me. I am here, taking a personal day from work, because my government has failed me.”
TransCanada chose Environmental Resources Management Group (ERM) as one of its contractors to conduct the environmental impact statement forKeystone XL on behalf of the U.S. State Department. ERM Group also happens to have green-lighted a gold mining project in central Asia that is now melting glaciers. ERM Group has a penchant for rubber-stamping projects that have hadtragic environmental and public health legacies. For example, ERMformerly worked on behalf of the tobacco industry to pitch the safety of its deadly product. A January 2014 study about Keystone XL’s climate change impacts published in the journal Nature Climate Change paints a drastically different picture than ERMGroup’s Keystone XL tar sands study.