Water And Oil, Death And Life In Louisiana

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By Nora Belblidia for Uneven Earth – Six months ago, a routine public hearing was scheduled in a nondescript gray government building in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Normally these hearings go over really quietly,” said Scott Eustis, the Wetlands Specialist for Gulf Restoration Network (GRN). “Usually it’s me, my associates, and like ten people.” Instead, over 400 people showed up to the Baton Rouge hearing, and stayed for nearly six hours. The debate centered on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a proposed route that would run 163 miles from Lake Charles to St. James, forming the “tail” of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and effectively connecting oil fracked in North Dakota to Louisiana refineries. If built, Bayou Bridge would cross 11 parishes, 600 acres of wetlands, 700 bodies of water, and the state-designated Coastal Zone Boundary. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is behind both the Bayou Bridge project and the more infamous DAPL, but the parallels run deeper than a mutual stakeholder. Just like in DAPL, those who resist the project are drawing connections between past wrongdoings, conditions today, and a future climate. Residents cite safety concerns, environmental racism, pollution, and threats to the region’s wetlands and seafood industries as reasons to oppose its construction.

Gas-Powered Cars Will Vanish In 8 Years, Big Oil Will Collapse: Stanford Study

Rick Wood A stead stream of Uber cars dropped fans off at Summerfest Wednesday, on day 1 of a three-day strike by county bus drivers.

By Staff of Anti-Media – The reason for this, as he explains in thorough detail, is that the market for self-driving electric vehicles (EVs) is simply growing too fast. “What the cost curve says is that by 2025 all new vehicles will be electric, all new buses, all new cars, all new tractors, all new vans, anything that moves on wheels will be electric, globally,” Professor Seba writes in his report. It’s a matter of economics and innovation, Seba says. EVs are cheaper and easier to manufacture, their few moving parts require almost zero maintenance, and they can actually outperform their fossil fuel guzzling counterparts. “The electric drive-train is so much more powerful,” writes Seba. “The gasoline and diesel cars cannot possibly compete.” The professor says the only thing currently stopping this grand shift to electric is consumer price. Seba says the “tipping point” will come in the next few years when the cost of an EV will be down to around $30,000. But by 2022, when low-end models are $20,000, the changing tide will be unstoppable. In the near future, only nostalgics like car collectors will have a use for the old models, Seba predicts.

Trump Trade Pact Pushing Natural Gas To China

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By Audrey Fox for Friends of the Earth – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump administration announced today it has reached an agreement to promote natural gas exports and to lower food safety standards related to Chinese cooked chicken and similar products. In response Friends of the Earth Senior Political Strategist Ben Schreiber issued the following statement: It’s no surprise that Donald Trump is yet again sacrificing American’s health for fossil fuel profits. Increasing natural gas exports means more fracking that will poison our water and add fuel to our ever-worsening climate crisis. Trump continues to push the dirty fossil fuels of the past as the rest of the world moves towards clean renewable energy.

Gusher In The Lobby

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By Reverend Billy Talen for The Stop Shopping Choir – Why is the stain of the oil giving us such a jolt? We all notice it. Today when Amadeus lay back on the floor of the bank and the crude oil stains her, the security guard shouts into his walkie-talkie like she’s a new species of vampire. Al is rumbling in his low voice, “Take your money out of TD. They put 360 million into the Dakota Access Pipeline…” David pours the anointing oil, the blood of the Earth on the vampiress… An investor at a desk in the corner sat there with his head in his hands like he’s going to be sick. Police cars drive by on 14th Street; no-one gets out. The bank manager accuses us of defacing her bank with our flyers. But the tellers – they are smiling. And we are harmonizing, “Earthalujah! This is our fourth Oily Banking action, and we invite you to try it. We leave in under ten minutes, cleaning up after, throwing a coat over our walking drip painting. The action is a sticky gash in hushed altar of banking. That blind gap between us and the fatal crimes that our money becomes is religiously maintained. It is an information gap but it is also a deadening of our feelings. It is a virulent form of fundamentalism.

In Norway, A Growing Movement Builds An Oil-Free Future

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By Truls Gullowsen for The Leap – As a Norwegian, I admit to being kind of proud to see Norway at the top of the UN’s latest global happiness index. And the ranking makes sense: We’re blessed with snow, water, and mountains, effective public education and health care systems, plentiful jobs in a well-regulated economy, and a free and open democracy not too hobbled by fake news or Trumpian bluster. However, it seems our beautiful country has become complacent in its happiness. In spite of the climate crisis and the ever-growing need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, last year the Norwegian government—for the first time in 20 years—opened up a new oil frontier in the melting and vulnerable Barents Sea above the Arctic Circle. And last month, the government announced yet another push for Arctic oil, inviting oil companies to bid for 93 new licenses. The happy Norwegian government knows that burning oil causes climate change. They know there’s already more oil in existing fields than we can afford to burn. They know that burning oil melts Arctic ice and fuels extreme weather events like typhoons and droughts, causing immense suffering around the world.

Government’s “Ministry Of Oil” Charges Russel Norman And Two Other Greenpeace Swimmers

Pump jacks are seen at the Lukoil company owned Imilorskoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Kogalym

By Staff of Green Peace – “Three of us who got in the water yesterday in front of a climate-destroying oil ship have been charged. We have been charged, not by the police, but by “The Ministry of Oil” (the petroleum division of MBIE) – the Government’s ministry responsible for supporting, subsidising and propping up the oil industry here in New Zealand, using public money. The science of climate change is unequivocal. It tells us that if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change we cannot burn even known fossil fuel reserves, let alone new oil – which is exactly what The Amazon Warrior is looking for. The oil industry is the most powerful industry in the history of humanity and they have huge influence on governments. Ours is no different.

Oil Drillers Face An Angry Mob In Mexico’s Guerrilla Country

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By Adam Williams for Bloomberg – When an angry mob torched City Hall in the southern Mexican town of Tecpatan last month, it sent a warning flare across a country already thrown into turmoil by Donald Trump. The outrage was over oil, specifically the government’s plan to auction off a swath of land around their farming community to private drillers. The locals say they weren’t informed that a date—July 12—had been set. When they found out, they set fire to the two-story town hall, which now sits charred and abandoned, its windows smashed and the iron gate chained shut. The clock on its tower stopped at 10:55. In some ways, the unrest set clocks all the way back to the 1990s, when Zapatista rebels were roaming the region and declaring war on Nafta. But the fact that today’s target is the government’s energy policy could spell trouble ahead. President Enrique Pena Nieto is trying to revive Mexico’s struggling oil industry by bringing in foreign capital—that’s why the land around Tecpatan is up for grabs. The frontrunner in next year’s presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is vowing to roll back the changes.

Utility Survey: Trump Will Not Stop the Clean Energy Transition

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By Gavin Bade for Utility Dive. Today, President Trump is poised to release a long-anticipated executive order to roll back the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature climate initiative. The order is expected to be accompanied by directives to lift a moratorium on federal land coal leases and to cease the use of the social cost of carbon — all part of a broad campaign to dismantle environmental regulations on the power sector that Trump blames for the decline of the coal economy in the United States. But while rescinding the rules could help slow coal power’s decline in the short term, analysts say it is unlikely to reverse its long-term downturn, mostly due to the economics of natural gas and renewables. That attitude is shared not just by market observers, but by electric utilities themselves.

Southern Communities Brace For Impact Of Big Oil’s Expansion Plans

Exxon Mobil's expansion plan means more than jobs — it also means more pollution for fence-line communities. (Photo of Exxon Mobil's Baton Rouge refinery by Jim Bowen via Flickr.)

By Sue Sturgis for Facing South – President Donald Trump kicked off this week with a Monday morning tweet hailing — and seeming to wrongly take credit for — Exxon Mobil’s plan for a $20 billion expansion of its refineries, chemical plants and liquefied natural gas operations along the U.S. Gulf Coast. “We are already winning again, America!” Trump tweeted after the Texas-based company released the latest details of a plan first announced in 2013 in response to rising natural gas supplies. He went on to tweet, “Buy American & hire American are the principals at the core of my agenda, which is: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.” The company says the expansion, which includes projects at 11 proposed and existing sites in the region…

Oklahoma Tribe Sues Oil Companies In Tribal Court Over Earthquake

One of five banners entitled The Worker in the New World Order, painted for the founding convention of ICEM (International Confederation of Chemical, Energy, Mine & General Workers’ Unions–now merged into INDUSTRIALL). Dedicated to then-imprisoned Nigerian oil workers. Copyright © 1995.  Mike Alewitz

By Shaun Murphy for Global News – OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma-based Native American tribe filed a lawsuit in its own tribal court system Friday accusing several oil companies of triggering the state’s largest earthquake that caused extensive damage to some near-century-old tribal buildings. The Pawnee Nation alleges in the suit that wastewater injected into wells operated by the defendants caused the 5.8-magnitude quake in September and is seeking physical damages to real and personal property, market value losses, as well as punitive damages. The case will be heard in the tribe’s district court with a jury composed of Pawnee Nation members.

Flurry Of State Bills Introduced, Likely Backed By Oil Industry, To Penalize Electric Car Drivers

Photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to assembled members of the United States Congress in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, USA on 3 March, 2015 (AFP)

By Gina Coplon-Newfield and Maggie Newsham for Join The FIght – States across the U.S. have been introducing legislation that would punish people for switching to electric vehicles. Since the start of 2017, six states (Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Montana) have introduced legislation that would require EV owners to pay a fee of up to $180 a year. Sadly, this isn’t the first time people have been penalized for driving green. Wyoming, Colorado, Virginia, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington, North Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, and Michigan have all implemented yearly fees on electric and hybrid vehicles that vary from $50 to $300 per driver per year. Arizona’s and Arkansas’ respective Department of Transportations are also suggesting legislators cast a fee for EV ownership. Georgia, formerly the state with the second most EV sales, used to offer a tax credit of up to $5,000, but replaced the program with a $200 yearly fee that led to an 80 percent drop in EV sales.

Cheaper Renewables To Halt Coal And Oil Demand Growth From 2020

Two workers walk in front of coal accumulated at a thermal power plant in Abono, near Gijon, northern Spain, June 5, 2012. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

By Nina Chestney for Reuters – The falling cost of electric vehicle and solar technology will halt demand growth for oil and coal from 2020, according to research published on Thursday, posing a threat to fossil fuel companies unprepared for the transition. The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and independent think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative analyzed cost forecasts for electric vehicle (EV) and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, government policies and the impact on road transport and power markets, which account for half of global fossil fuel consumption. “Fossil fuels may lose 10 percent of market share to PV and EVs within a single decade.

Mexico In Revolt: What The ‘Gasolinazo’ Can Teach Us About Protest

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By Derek Royden for Nation of Change – At the best of times, Mexico is barely on the radar of its wealthier NAFTA partners, a trend that has continued even as the new American President denigrated the country and its people over the past year. While millions marched in the United States and throughout the world to show their outrage at the election of a wannabe strongman and chauvinist who reportedly called a breast-feeding woman “disgusting”, Mexico was seeing its largest protests since 43 students from a rural teaching college went missing in 2014. These protests are receiving almost no coverage in the mainstream media in either the United States or Canada.

Why Protest Camp In Florida Is Being Called The Next Standing Rock

Opponents of the Sabal Trail pipeline say it is not only harming the natural beauty of the Suwannee river but also doing irreversible environmental damage. Photograph: Richard Luscombe for the Guardian

By Richard Luscombe for The Guardian – At first glance the quiet town of Live Oak seems an unlikely venue for a stand against Big Energy. But in recent weeks it’s become a centre of opposition A north Florida river that attracted the state’s first tourists a century before Walt Disney’s famous cartoon mouse is emerging at the centre of a fight against a contentious 515-mile natural gas pipeline that many are calling America’s next Standing Rock. One section of the so-called Sabal Trail pipeline is being laid beneath the crystal waters of the Suwannee river, whose pure mineral springs were once fabled to cure anything from marital strife to gout.

Wisconsin Tribe Votes To Evict Oil Pipeline From Its Reservation

The success of the Native Americans opposing the Dakota Access pipeline has inspired other tribes, including a band of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin, to oppose other projects on tribal land. Credit: Getty Images

By Phil McKenna for Inside Climate News – The Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians in northern Wisconsin voted not to renew an easement for a major oil and gas pipeline that passes through its reservation. In the wake of the successful protest against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, this decision is the latest example of Native American tribes using sovereignty rights to oppose fossil fuel projects. The Bad River tribal council voted unanimously in early January to revoke rights-of-way that pass through the roughly 200-square-mile reservation and the decision could prove difficult to overturn. Pipeline companies often take ownership of private land through the use of eminent domain.