TransCanada, the multinational corporation hoping to build the controversial northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, spent over $280,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, according to lobbying disclosure records. In addition to the $250,000 paid to Paul Elliott…
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- Barack Obama
- Climate Change
- Daniel Kessler
- Do the Math,
- Hillary Clinton
- Keystone Kops
- Kinder Morgan
- Koch Brothers
- Mark Fiore
- Morning Open Thread
- Naomi Klein
- Natural Gas & Oil Drilling
- Paul Elliott
- Pegasus pipeline
- President Barack Obama
- State Department
- Tar Sands
- TransCanada Corporation
- Van Ness
- White House
- civil disobedience
- climate justice
- fossil fuel industry
- oil sands
- pipe construction
- planet earth
- tarsands blockade
Good morning, introducing Tar Sands Timmy, your guide to the Keystone XL project and dirty oil extraction in Alberta, Canada! See what Timmy has in store for the USA and points beyond. Video animation by Mark Fiore.
Your morning open thread begins below...
This article is cross-posted at DeSmogBlog.
Arkansas' Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has contracted out the "independent analysis of the cleanup" of the ExxonMobil Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill to Witt O'Brien's, a firm with a history of oil spill cover-ups, a DeSmogBlog investigation reveals.
At his April 10 press conference about the Mayflower spill response, AG McDaniel confirmed that Exxon had turned over 12,500 pages of documents to his office resulting from a subpoena related to Exxon's response to the March 29 Pegasus disaster. A 22-foot gash in the 65-year-old pipeline spewed over 500,000 gallons of tar sands dilbit through the streets of Mayflower, AR.
McDaniel also provided the media with a presser explaining that his office had "retained the assistance of Witt O’Brien’s, a firm whose experts will immediately begin an independent analysis of the cleanup process."
Witt O'Brien's describes itself as a "global leader in preparedness, crisis management and disaster response and recovery with the depth of experience and capability to provide services across the crisis and disaster life cycle."
But the firm's actual performance record isn't quite so glowing. O'Brien's has had its hands in the botched clean-up efforts of almost every high-profile oil spill disaster in recent U.S. history, including the Exxon Valdez spill, the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, the Enbridge tar sands pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River, and Hurricane Sandy.
Most troubling of all, Witt O'Brien's won a "$300k+ contract to develop a Canadian-US compliant Oil Spill Emergency Response Plan for TransCanada’s Keystone Oil Pipeline Project" in Aug. 2008.
Thus, if the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline inevitably suffered a major spill, Witt O'Brien's would presumably handle the cleanup. That should worry everyone along the proposed KXL route.
The author of a new report on U.S. carbon billionaires give a tour of the Kochtopus — a map of the empire of Charles and David Koch. The Kochs run oil refineries and control thousands of miles of pipeline, giving them a massive personal stake in the fossil fuel industry. Democracy Now! is joined by Victor Menotti, executive director of the International Forum on Globalization.
Read the new report at KochCash.org
Full transcript after the jump.
Via Tar Sands Blockade:
UPDATE: 5:30 pm – Police pulled so hard on the barrel that one of the chains broke
Update from Glen in jail: the blockaders did not unlock voluntarily. Police pulled so hard on the barrel that the chain on his wrist broke. Glen doesn’t think anything is broken, but the extent of his injuries has not yet been determined.
UPDATE: 3:00 pm – Charges filed against blockaders
Glen Collins, Matt Almonte, and Isabel Indigo Brooks are all being charged with three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, criminal trespassing and illegal dumping. Show your appreciation for their efforts with a donation to their bail fund!
UPDATE: 1:30 pm – For more photos of the action, visit our Flickr page.
UPDATE: 1:00 pm – Third blockader arrested
Isabel Indigo Brooks, who was inside the pipe providing assistance for Glen and Matt, has also been removed from the pipe and arrested.
Demonstrate your support with a generous donation to the bail fund for these courageous blockaders.
UPDATE: 12:45 pm – Glen and Matt arrested and loaded into police van
Demonstrate your support with a generous donation to the legal fund for these brave blockaders.
BREAKING: 12:30 pm – Blockaders forcibly extracted from pipe
Police brought an ambulance to the scene and then began pulling on one of the barrels. The crowd surged onto the easement to protect Glen and Matt from this dangerous extraction, but they were chased away by the police. Both barrels and the two blockaders have been removed from the pipe.
Meanwhile, a team of blockaders are stopping a nearby excavator machine from digging the pipeline trench.
UPDATE: 12:05 pm – Two police officers enter the pipe, emerge a few minutes later
Glen and Matt are still locked inside the pipe; the police have been completely unable to extract them but continue to threaten various extraction techniques which would endanger the blockaders’ lives, such as cutting into the pipe.
Join the fight against Keystone XL by coming to our next Mass Action Camp starting on January 3, one month from today!
UPDATE: 11:20 am – Police attempting to block view of pipe and move supporters further from scene
Police have moved several trucks and vans in order to obstruct the view of the pipe in which Glen and Matt are locked. They have threatened arrest and forced supporters off the property immediately adjacent to the pipeline easement, despite the fact that the homeowner gave protesters explicit permission to be in her yard. Police are also forcing protesters to move further along the public road along which they were standing.
Thousands of environmentalists marched outside the White House on Sunday, armed with banners and signs, chanting and voicing their opposition against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The rally, organized by 350.org, calls for U.S. President Barack Obama to show his commitment to the environment by rejecting the pipeline project, which would run from Alberta to Texas.The demonstration followed a “Do the Math” climate event at Washington, DC’s historic Warner Theater earlier in the day.
"Do The Math" is a 21-city nationwide tour by 350.org, headlined by 350 co-founder Bill McKibben and author Naomi Klein, and is designed to galvanize the climate justice movement in the wake of the election. The tour is helping to launch an unprecedented campaign to cut off the fossil fuel industry’s financial and political support by divesting our schools, churches and government from fossil fuels.
Daniel Kessler with 350.org told CTV News on Sunday that the White House rally was one of a number of stops on a tour across the U.S., talking about climate change and environmental concerns.
“We broke 17,000 temperature records around the globe this year. What we’re seeing is really extreme weather and really extreme temperature. “We’re seeing what the scientists are predicting around climate change,” Kessler said.
“The pipeline would lead to huge amounts of emissions and make the situation worse.”
The "Do the Math" tour picks up where Bill McKibben’s landmark Rolling Stone article left off, and everyone who comes will be asked to join a growing movement that is strong enough to stand up to the fossil fuel industry.
To attend a "Do the Math" event, you can purchase tickets here.
Yesterday, after a weekend training in nonviolent civil disobedience, protesters from the Tar Sands Blockade jubilantly swarmed the Keystone XL pipeline's construction site in Winnsboro, Texas. Keystone XL pipeline opponents have tried petitioning the government, filing lawsuits, and bringing their issues to the media's attention, but with Obama's recent endorsement of the southern leg of the pipeline, the Tar Sands Blockade feels justified to resort to civil disobedience.
Here, protesters emerge from a “sit-in” 70 feet in the air, in trees which stood in an area already cleared to make way for the pipeline. Protesters holler and cheer as they flood into the construction site, scrawling “blood for oil” on the machinery and holding up a banner that read: “All pipelines leak, all markets peak”. Some people locked themselves to pieces of equipment and others stood, defiantly, in the way of the dirty oil machines.
Eight were arrested yesterday but six of those were released from jail today on charges of criminal trespass. The two who chained themselves to Keystone XL machinery will be in court today.