The recent dive in oil prices is undermining oil company earnings, projects and stock prices—at least for now—giving new ammunition to climate action groups pushing pensions, universities and others to purge their fossil fuel holdings. By themselves, the lower oil prices aren’t likely to convince institutions to divest from fossil fuels, especially since price swings are common in oil markets. But the unexpected dip could help the cause by casting doubt on the investment case for keeping them, according to Jamie Henn, communications director at 350.org, a leader in the growing divestment campaign. “The primary reason to divest remains the moral and political one—that if it’s wrong to wreck the planet, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage,” said Henn.
Friends of the Earth has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn a secret decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to illegally alter the operating license for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant allowing Pacific Gas and Electric to hide the fact that the reactors are vulnerable to earthquakes stronger than it was meant to withstand. The secret revision of Diablo Canyon’s license was revealed in NRC documents rejecting a dissent by the plant’s former senior resident inspector. The inspector, Dr. Michael Peck, defied his superiors in saying that Diablo Canyon was operating in violation of its license and should be shut down unless and until new seismic information was addressed.
When the original thirty-four people started walking from Port of Wilmington, Los Angeles, they had no idea that walking across the country would turn into a life-changing experience. Traversing major cities, hiking the Appalachians, trekking the Plains, and crossing the proposed KXL pipeline route gave them eight months to consider their purpose for marching. Walking 3,000 miles has been cathartic for all of them. During the first weeks of the March, they learned to overcome the physical challenges of walking 15-25 miles a day–8 to 10 hours each day, resting one day a week. The core group stayed together from the beginning; not one person dropped out, according to Jimmy Betts, an organizer and participant.
This morning, a group of students stood in protest against Governor Shumlin’s fossil fuels infrastructure policy after a night of massive civil disobedience that saw some 64 people arrested. Yesterday’s demonstration consisted of more than a hundred community members staging a mass sit in at Shumlin’s office on the top floor of the Pavillion Building, accompanied by a dance party on the bottom floor. The sit in lasted several hours. Shumlin was not present, but requested that everyone act respectfully, stating, “While I agree that climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our state, nation, and world, I disagree with the protesters’ position on the natural gas pipeline, which I believe will help hasten our state’s transition away from dirtier fuel oil and help our economy.”
The Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest are the traditional canoe pullers. They are the cedar people. The salmon nation. Their nearly 60,000 people have lived along the coasts of Oregon and Washington State, and in British Columbia, Canada for more than 10,000 years. They are united by language, culture and the Salish Sea. And now, in addition, they are united in their opposition to oil giant Kinder Morgan’s proposed $5.4 billion expansion of its existing Trans Mountain tar sands oil pipeline, which links the Alberta oil sands fields to a shipping terminal in Burnaby, near Vancouver, B.C. The new pipeline would nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000, increasing by sevenfold the number of tankers carrying diluted tar sands bitumen through the Salish Sea in Washington and Canada.
The new edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) was released by Germanwatch and CAN Europe in Warsaw at the UN climate talks today. The results show emissions worldwide have climbed to a new peak and no single country is yet on track to prevent dangerous climate change. “Unexpectedly, for the first time our Index also draws a cautious picture of hope”, says Jan Burck, the author of the Index that ranks the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide. “We see positive signals towards a slow down in the increase in global CO2 emissions. And China – the world’s biggest emitter – improved its performance in climate protection.” Canada and Australia are the worst performers of all the industrialised countries, also Japan dropt several ranks.
It happens, we know. You’re picking up a friend, waiting for a food order or just trying to warm up your car on cold morning—and you leave it running for a little while. It’s easy to let those minutes tick by, but getting into the habit of turning your car off when you’ll be idle for more than 10 seconds can make a big difference. Here’s why: 1. It saves gas: If you idle for 5 minutes warming up your car in the morning, 3 minutes at the bank drive-thru and 4 minutes listening to the end of an NPR story in your driveway, you’ve burned enough gas to drive 24 miles. 2. It saves money: Americans spend a whopping $13 million every day on unnecessary idling. (That’s 3.8 million gallons of fuel, wasted!) Also, idling is actually illegal in some states, and violators can pay steep fines if caught. . .
ALBANY—A pipeline that will bring more of Pennsylvania’s fracked gas to New York cleared another key federal hurdle on Friday. The Constitution Pipeline will run 124 miles from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania to Schoharie County, which is west of Albany. The 30-inch pipeline would cross through the gas-rich Southern Tier counties of Broome, Chenango and Delaware, which could be the center of a fracking industry if Gov. Andrew Cuomo were to lift the six-year moratorium. On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the final environmental impact statement for the project, which found it would cause minimal environmental damage.
Concerned about security at a “Pitchfork Protest” planned for Wednesday outside Duke Energy Florida headquarters, the utility and the event’s organizers have hired off-duty police officers to oversee safety. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a Tennessee-based nonprofit environmental organization, hopes to bring hundreds to protest Duke’s treatment of its customers in recent years. Protesters plan to wield pitchforks and torches like it’s 1785. Duke has hired an off-duty St. Petersburg police officer and the Southern Alliance has hired two. Sgt. Joseph Pratt, who coordinates the hiring of off-duty officers, said Duke “just felt they wanted an officer there to make sure none of their employees were harmed or none of their rights infringed upon.”
A controversy surrounding a major oil and gas services company’s breast cancer awareness campaign drew protestors to downtown Pittsburgh on Sunday. Football fans packing into Heinz Field for the Steelers-Colts game were met by a handful of people handing out flyers and holding up signs warning passersby to “think before you pink.” At half time, Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead planned to hand over a $100,000 check to Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organizations which funds screenings, treatments and research. The company is also giving out 1,000 hot pink drill bits to its customers around the world, along with breast cancer awareness and screening information.
For the past five months, activists from the Utah Tar Sands Resistance have camped out on the sage-swept, high plateau lands known as PR Springs in eastern Utah. From the site—where the first tar sands mine in the United States is planned, and preliminary clearing work is already underway—you can’t miss the majestic Book Cliffs that tumble from the East Tavaputs Plateau and the canyons full of tall conifers. Book Cliffs is an area cherished by sportsmen and sportswomen—the public lands a place where Rocky Mountain Elk roam free, a place beloved by hunters and anglers and campers and backpackers. Book Cliffs is also an area presently threatened by oil, gas, and tar sands development. Activists with Peaceful Uprising and the Utah Tar Sands Resistance are working to stop the tar sands projects in their tracks.
With an eagle soaring overhead, American and Canadian Coast Salish people gathered on the banks of the Fraser River in Chilliwack, B.C. to do prayers in advance of their presentations to oppose the $5.4-billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at the National Energy Board hearings. “We can’t sustain the continued destruction,” said American Deborah Parker, a councilwoman of the Tulalip tribe from the U.S. state of Washington on Wednesday. “This is heaven! Right here. This is heaven. And if we take care of that heaven. Then she will take care of us.” Texas-headquartered Kinder Morgan is proposing to triple the flow of Alberta oilsands bitumen to B.C’s coast, by crossing rivers and territories considered sacred to indigenous people on both sides of the 49th parallel.
17 hours after police attacked again the ZAD resistance in Testet, south of France, a 21 year old ZADist was found dead. During the clashes, witnesses say they saw a man collapse and noticed the police taking him away. On Saturday, October 25th, 5,000 people from all over France gathered at Testet in opposition to the dam project and the violent repression of the ZAD resistance, which is ongoing for years, and has increased in the past months. Police attacked the protestors to remove them, and some militants battled the cops until late in the night. Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas grenades; several protestors were badly injured. Later in the night, firefighters and police claimed they have found the body of a man in the woods, while eye witnesses who were there say the body was found at police roadblocks.
When House Republicans took up a measure to speed the government’s reviews of applications to export natural gas, a move long sought by energy companies, the unexpected happened: The bill won “yes” votes from 47 Democrats. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), anticipated some Democratic backing, but not that much. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who leads the Democrats’ House campaign arm, was a yes, as was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Both voted in 2012 to restrict oil and gas exports. The energy boom is shaping a new kind of Democrat in national politics, lawmakers who are giving greater support to the oil and gas industry even at the risk of alienating environmental groups, a core of the party’s base.
Brussels – Despite considerable opposition by some governments, in the early hours of Friday morning EU leaders agreed three targets for carbon emission reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency for 2030. But these targets are too low, slowing down efforts to boost renewable energy and keeping Europe hooked on polluting and expensive fuels, said Greenpeace. Next year, the new European Commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, is expected to table legislation which will make these targets a reality in EU countries. This legislation will have a profound impact on energy bills, energy security and efforts to cut emissions across Europe.