By Chris D’Angelo for The Huffington Post – A research scholar at New York University has resigned from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s External Citizenship Advisory Panel, citing what she calls the oil giant’s “targeted attacks” on environmental groups under former CEO Rex Tillerson’s watch. In a letter this week to Exxon Mobil Foundation president Ben Soraci, Sarah Labowitz expressed her disgust with the company’s continued assault on organizations investigating whether Exxon covered up the risks of climate change. Labowitz, a co-founder and co-director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, told The Huffington Post that she has studied many companies facing serious public criticism, often in her field of human rights.
By Sue Sturgis for Facing South – In the debate over construction of new oil and gas pipelines, industry representatives have long argued that pipelines are safer than other methods for moving fossil fuels over long distances. Take for example the recent statement a spokesperson for the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana — a project spearheaded by Energy Transfer Partners, the same Dallas-based company behind the highly contentious Dakota Access Pipeline — made to The Advocate of Baton Rouge. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline would carry oil from a terminal in Nederland, Texas, across South Louisiana to refineries and export terminals near New Orleans.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive orders advancing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines, prompting a tsunami of outrage and vows of bold resistance from the Indigenous activists, climate campaigners, and countless others who have fought against these projects. The Associated Press confirmed the orders had been signed after earlier reports citing anonymous officials indicated they were in the works. Many environmental groups who fiercely fought against both projects were quick to condemn the move, declaring, as 350.org did, “We have no alternative but to resist.”Progressive lawmakers and climate groups echoed that promise, issuing a chorus of statements condemning the president for “putting the profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of the planet.”
By Andrea Castillo for McClatchy DC – The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. The chemical is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, which is a waste product from making plastic. TCP was in farm fumigants last used in the 1980s, which were injected into the ground to kill tiny worms called nematodes. A jury on Wednesday awarded the city nearly $22 million, finding that Clovis residents were harmed by the design of the fumigant, that Shell did not prove the benefits of its product outweighed the risks, and that those risks were known at the time it was sold.
By Kevin Grandia for Desmog Blog – Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision this week to approve a major expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has negative implications that go well beyond the borders of the Great White North. Canada is currently the largest supplier of oil to the United States. We export more oil to the US than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico combined. We are a secure, stable and reliable trading partner with the US for a product that can make or break their economy. Right now, Canada has almost zero ability to transport its oil to anywhere other than the United States.
By Sarah van Gelder for Yes Magazine – The last few weeks and months have seen major victories for communities resisting oil trains, coal terminals, pipelines, and strip mines. This is big news at a time of an out-of-control climate crisis—this July and August tied as the hottest months ever recorded. Could these stories represent our best shot at taking on the giant corporations and banks that are trying to build new fossil fuel projects at a time when we need to be phasing out carbon-based fuels?
By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – New York environmental regulators have suspended their review of two proposals to renew and expand operations at a Port of Albany oil terminal until Global Partners LP addresses a laundry list of concerns over environmental, public health, safety and climate change. Officials at the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) told the company in a letter on Sept. 16 it has three months to provide plans for the following…
By Alejandro Dávila Fragoso for Think Progress – A pipeline leak of at least 250,000 gallons of gasoline in a rural Alabama county is expected to affect fuel prices in the coming days across multiple southern states and the East Coast. The leak already prompted two states of emergency Thursday stemming from fuel shortage concerns. The oil leak was first discovered a week ago in rural Shelby County — just southeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
By Indian Country Today Media Network. North Dakota – A group of nearly 100 people crossed onto private land to stop bulldozers that were clearing land for the Dakota Access pipeline on September 1. Construction was shut down for the day on Saturday as private security guards from Dakota Access LLC arrived with barking guard dogs to push back the crowd of water protectors, including women, children and horses. It was reported that company security guards used pepper spray in addition to canine units. In a statement released in a live-stream on Facebook, Red Warrior Camp leaders said that at about 3pm on Saturday September 3, “water protectors successfully stopped pipeline construction as it reached Hwy. 1806 through nonviolent direct action and mass assembly.”
By Ralph Schwartz for Yes Magazine – There’s no such thing as a good place for an oil-train derailment, but this year’s June 3 spill outside Mosier, Oregon, could have been worse if the 16 oil cars had derailed and caught fire even a few hundred feet in either direction. The derailment was just far enough away from populated areas, including a nearby school and mobile home park, that no injuries resulted, and the amount of oil that spilled into the river was limited. If it had happened another mile-and-a-half down the tracks, the damaged tank cars would have tumbled directly into the Columbia river during the peak of the spring Chinook salmon run.
By Sharon Kelly for Desmog – In an open letter sent to Congress today, a coalition of 40 national taxpayer, labor, environmental and other groups called on the federal government to repeal almost $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, calling them wasteful and lambasting Congress for subsidizing activities that will make climate change worse. The groups called on Senators to support the FAIR Energy Policy Act, which would slowly phase out nine special tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry.
By Inequality.org, You have probably seen the work of the Other 98%, but you may not have known who was behind it. Flash mobs at the Target store, guerilla projections at Koch brothers meetings, marching against the Tea Party. Their social media posts and info-graphics, video animations and creative direct actions abound our internet feeds.John Sellers One of the sparks behind this movement is veteran organizer John Sellers. Sellers got his start working with Greenpeace, climbing buildings, hanging banners, and sailing the high seas. Later he co-founded the Ruckus Society, teaching creative direct action skills to campaigners from around the world. Lately, he’s been organizing the “Kayaktivist” protests in the Pacific Northwest against Shell Oil’s arctic drilling. He is co-founder of the Other 98%, a social media and creative action powerhouse with the goal of “Kicking Greedy Corporate Asses for the Harder Working Classes.”
By Mark Hand for Counterpunch. A Prince George’s County, Md., community is more than two-thirds African American, but the coalition of residents rallying against the construction of new power plants in the area is more than two-thirds white. Mike Ewall, founder and director of the Energy Justice Network, a national support group for grassroots community groups fighting polluting energy plants, cites a phenomenon he calls “involvement disparity” for the dominance of whites in certain civic matters. In communities across the United States, white residents, perhaps due to racism, often are the first people notified about potentially controversial projects, leading to them becoming involved in the battles earlier than people of color. Black residents also are resisting the Prince George’s County plants, “so it’s not an all-white group by any means,” Ewall stressed. “But it is more white people than you would expect given the demographics of the area.”
By Matt Krogh for Stand. In the year since five fiery oil train disasters in the US and Canada brought national attention to the threat from trains hauling explosive crude oil, the rail industry has embarked on a high profile public relations exercise to reassure the public that deadly disasters can be averted by emergency responders. In fact, the reality of oil train accidents — and the unanimous opinion of fire officials and federal rail safety experts — proves that there is no fighting an oil train derailment and fire. The scene of a crude oil derailment and fire is an uncontrollable fire. All firefighters can do is evacuate the area and wait for the fire to burn itself out.