Federal agents have been contacting activists who have participated in anti-Keystone XL and anti-tar sands protests, according to the Canadian Press. The visits have been happening to activists in Oregon, Washington state, and Idaho, and a lawyer working with the activists told the Canadian Press that he has advised them not to talk to the agents.
“It’s always the same line: ‘We’re not doing criminal investigations, you’re not accused of any crime. But we’re trying to learn more about the movement,’” he said. Read More
Washington – The new Republican Congress is headed for a clash with the White House over two ambitious Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are the heart of President Obama’s climate change agenda.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the next majority leader, has already vowed to fight the rules, which could curb planet-warming carbon pollution but ultimately shut down coal-fired power plants in his native Kentucky. Mr. McConnell and other Republicans are, in the meantime, stepping up their demands that the president approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry petroleum from Canadian oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
At this point, Republicans do not have the votes to repeal the E.P.A. regulations, which will have far more impact on curbing carbon emissions than stopping the pipeline, but they say they will use their new powers to delay, defund and otherwise undermine them. Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, a prominent skeptic of climate change and the presumed new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is expected to open investigations into the E.P.A., call for cuts in its funding and delay the regulations as long as possible.
The Republicans’ new majority in the Senate also increases their leverage in pushing Mr. Obama to approve the pipeline, although it is still unclear if he will do so.
The White House vowed to fight back. “We know that there will be attempts to impede or scale back our actions,” John D. Podesta, the senior White House counselor who is leading Mr. Obama’s climate agenda, said in a statement on Monday. But he added, “We’re confident we can prevail.”
Any project that increases greenhouse gasses above expectations at this moment in history, particularly a substantial increase, must be determined an imminent danger to the national interest if the people living in the nation are an interest in this determination.
The United States Department of State called for public comments on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The deadline is April 22, 2013 — Earth Day. Since Keystone is an international project, Secretary of State John Kerry has authority to decide on starting or ending the proposed conduit for toxic oil from the Alberta, Canada tar sands, across the United States, to the Houston area for refining. From there, the oil goes straight to China.
Tar sands oil produces 17% more carbon dioxide per barrel than the average barrel of oil. With China’s intense demand for fuel, the volume of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere will increase at a dangerous rate even beyond the current hazardous rate of pollution. .
I’m not the only person making the arguments that follow. A long list of eminent scientists stand opposed to the project. My comment is likely shorter than theirs and it’s from an ordinary, concerned citizen. Take a look and, if you agree, modify it or send it as is to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your U.S. senators and congressperson a copy as well.
Coping with the outcome of climate change is an extremely serious challenge right now.
Why make it even worse?
Comment on the National Interest Determination – Keystone XL Pipeline
The March 13, 2013 Keystone Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) specifies the influence of Alberta, Canada’s tar sands heavy crude oil on climate change. Tar sands oil produces 17% more greenhouse gasses than the average barrel of oil. (1) While the EIS assessed “Climate Change Effects on the Project,” the impact of increased greenhouse gasses on citizens of United States was not addressed. This impact is the essence of any national interest determination that examines Keystone XL and similar projects.
(Washington, DC 3/22) Today the United States Senate passed the Hoeven amendment 62 to 37, a non-binding amendment that expresses support for building the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
That’s the U.S. Senate, the chamber of Congress with a Democratic majority.
The planned Keystone XL pipeline would bring tarsands oil from its source in Canada to refineries in Texas.
Tarsands oil represents a whole new source of fossil fuel at a time when we need to be moving in the opposite direction, burning less fossil fuel and desisting from pumping planet-warming carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Before the tasands effort, it was just starting to look like oil supplies were dwindling and nature, by removing carbon sources, would force on us the much-needed changes we could not force on ourselves.
(Washington, DC 1/17) The nation’s capital hosted over 40,000 citizens assembled to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The crowd urged President Obama to bring to reality his lofty words on climate change in the inaugural address just days ago. By stopping the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the president would deal a blow to the rogue energy companies who, by their actions, are ready to sacrifice everything to transport oil from Alberta, Canada’s tar sands, across the United States, for refinement in Houston, Texas and shipment to China.
The broader concern of the gathered citizens and march sponsors, 350.org, and the Sierra Club, represents the existential issue of our time. We need to get very real, very soon on the manifest threat to the earth’s climate posed by fossil fuels and the threat to the human species embodied by insane ventures like the Canadian tar sands project. The verdict of science is clear. As leading climate scientist James E. Hansen said, the full exploitation of tar sands oil Read More
By Michael Collins
(Washington, DC 11/29) United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice will face serious and blatant conflicts of interest if nominated and confirmed as United States Secretary of State. Rice has major financial interests in the company extracting oil from Canada’s tar sands, the company building the pipeline that will carry the oil across the U.S., and the Canadian banks financing this deadly project. (Image)
As Secretary of State, Rice would be responsible for the key recommendation to President Barack Obama on lifting the president’s ban on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline imposed in January. She would make the decision knowing that there would be major impact on nearly one third of her (and her husband’s) investments.
According to her 2011 financial disclosures, “Rice and her husband own at least $1.25 million worth of stock in four of Canada’s eight leading oil producers.” These include Enbridge, the oil company extracting the highly toxic tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada’s boreal forest, which are being destroyed to access the oil (boreal forests sequester carbon). Read More
Two members of the Keystone XL blockade who were physically blocking construction of the TransCanada pipeline were tortured yesterday at the request of TransCanada, according to Tarsands Blockade spokesperson Ramsey Sprague.
I spoke with Sprague today about the use of physical force against two protesters, Shannon Bebe and Benjamin Franklin, who handcuffed themselves to equipment being used to cut down trees so that the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline could be built. According to Sprague, Bebe and Franklin began their peaceful protest yesterday at 10:30 am, along with several observers. Sprague indicated that the group’s interactions with the police had been amicable and peaceful until TransCanada representatives showed up and encouraged the police to “run off” the observers.
Once there were no cameras in sight, Sprague says that TransCanada officials huddled with police. Shortly thereafter, the police commenced putting Bebe and Franklin in stress positions by bending their free arms backwards as far as possible and twisting their handcuffed hands backwards, and holding them there for 10 minutes. […]