*Everywhere. We are reaching peak water. Water is a finite resource and its availability of increasing concern, thanks to overconsumption, misuse, poisoning by industry (including extractive and agribusiness ones). What’s the best response to this crisis?
Haida Raid: Save Our Waters
*USA. 73% of US voters support renewable energy tax credits “‘so that investment in wind energy can continue.’” The Koch brothers dump tons of money into promoting dirty energy. Meanwhile, the Production Tax Credit for renewables has been extended in the House only through tomorrow. Wonder why.
*USA. 35 fewer oil and gas rigs operational this week (1840) than last (1875), and 80 fewer than on Dec 5th (1920). It’s a bit worse in Canada.
*USA. States where oil and gas revenues are highest—AK, LA, OK, TX—are “growing increasingly anxious about the ripple effect that falling oil prices may have on their local economies.”
*AZ. Still reeling from the craven give-away of sacred Apache land to Rio Tinto mining corp? Wait’ll you hear about the copper and lime mine in Christmas, AZ, where mining halted in 1884 when its copper deposits were found to lie “inside of the San Carlos [Apache] Indian reservation.” Solution? Simply change the reservation’s boundaries by executive order, and — voila! — mining resumed. Bill Moyers and Robert A. Williams Jr. explore how and why such things happen here in the US of A:
*KY. Hard-hit by major retraction in coal mining, residents of Harlan County are looking forward to a “top tourist attraction,” the Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area, a result of reclamation of surface mining area. 302.38 acres to be revegetated, excepting permanent roads and parking areas.
*KY. Patriot Coal is “idling” Highland and Dodge Hill mines, therefore “idling” about 670 people. They’re blaming the price of natural gas and the EPA, of course, for the “idlings.”
*MI. The settlement between Enbridge and Michigan for the 2010 oil pipeline
spill spew of 800,000+ gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River was reportedly $6.75 million. Turns out, it was $6.25 million.
*MT & ND. Intense fracking in the Northern Plains has led to a population boom which, in turn, has led to the need “for services ranging from roads to sewage treatment to affordable housing.” This has come to the attention of politicians eager to address those needs, including both Govs. Steve Bullock (D-MT) and Jack Dalrymple (R-ND).
*ND. Corruption on the Fort Berthold (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) Indian Reservation is becoming increasingly obvious, with a very few getting wealthy off the oil and the poor becoming more concerned “about the long-term costs to our land and the future generations of our people.”
*NV. The local coal-fired power plant scheduled for decommissioning, the Moapa Paiute Tribe is seeking approval from the NV Power Commission for a solar power project, a very time-consuming process. The tribe does not want another coal- or gas-powered plant. It is collaborating with “environmental groups, the labor lobby and NV Energy, a major electric utility” in developing solar power for the reservation.
*RI. Class action suit filed by Rhode Island against Brazil’s “state-run oil company Petrobras over investor losses due to a corruption scandal.” Currently, some 39 people have been indicted for “corruption, money laundering and racketeering”—including some $3.9 billion in “‘atypical’ financial transactions.” RI’s suit names chief executives, by the way.
*TX. The Seaway Twin oil pipeline is ready to transport 400,000 barrels/day of Canadian crude from Cushing, OK to refineries on the TX gulf, setting up direct competition with Mexican and Venezuela crude oil suppliers which “have traditionally fed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.” Gee, wonder who’ll win.
*Canada. De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds have signed “an impact benefit agreement (IBA) with the Deninu Kue First Nation for the proposed Gahcho Kue diamond mine” in the Northwest Territories They’ve also signed an IBA with the Northwest Territory Metis Nation. Such agreements are meant to ensure cooperative working relationships between the mine owners and First Nation members for the life of the mines.
*Canada. Bloom Lake General Partner must pay $7.5 million for dumping “‘non-compliant mining effluent and ferric sulfate’ into fish-bearing waters and failure to comply with an inspector’s direction in 2010.” The iron-ore mine is southwest of Labrador City, N.L.
*Canada. The Yukon Supreme Court has ruled that “the pristine, fragile Peel Watershed [is now protected] from mining.” Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus and Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation Chief Ed Champion emphasize the importance of preserving such treasures. Another victory, as the federal government was cited for failure to consult with the Alberta First Nation Mikisew Cree, as required, on “changes that affect water and fisheries laws.”
*Canada. Meanwhile, West Moberly First Nation is fighting hard to stop the flooding of treaty lands by the $8.8 billion Site C dam in British Columbia’s Peace River valley. So far, they’ve filed five lawsuits, with a sixth in the works, and will be filing “injunctions to block the thousands of permits that BC Hydro needs to start work.”
*Costa Rica. Land once comprising a huge cattle ranching operation, shut down 45 years ago, has since reverted to a rainforest. Certainly cause for celebration, but there is now fear that the entire country will be cleared, this time by pineapple agribusiness.
*Venezuela. Something’s afoot. President Maduro has moved Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez to Venezuela’s UN envoy position from his former positions as Energy Minister and director of PDVSA, the state oil company.
*Peru. Their lands overrun by illegal loggers and the drug war, the Mascho-Piro people of the Peruvian Amazon have taken to raiding small villages in Monte Salvador for food.
*Brazil. Brazil’s economy is in such a lull that “an expansion of just 1% across 2015” is predicted. In response, they’re debating an overhaul of how mining permits are obtained, among other things. There’s also interest in raising royalties.
*Russia. Another pipeline has burst, sending Rosneft oil into the Tuapse River and on to the Black Sea. Officials say there’re 8.4 cubic metres of the stuff; environmentalists say it could be 100 times greater.
*Russia. Coal and electricity are scheduled to be shipped from Russia to Ukraine “as a good will gesture from President Vladimir Putin.”
*Saudi Arabia. So, how long will this go on? “Saudi Arabia announced a 2015 budget with a huge deficit [$38.6 billion] as the world’s largest crude exporter begins to feel the impact of its own decision not to shore up oil prices.”
*Libya. Libyan conducted air strikes against armed Islamists for shelling Es Sider, the largest oil port. Libya Dawn rebels used speedboats and rockets to attack from Misrata. 850,000 barrels of oil were lost in storage tank fires, and Libya’s oil output fell to 352,000 barrels/day.
*Algeria. Now Algeria is telling OPEC “to cut production and raise the price of oil.” Will Saudi Arabia oblige?
*Israel. “[E]xperimental drilling for oil on the Golan Heights can resume”—but for no more than just a few barrels. Fracking “could pollute the groundwater and the streams that feed Lake Kinneret, Israel’s main source of fresh water.”
*India. Remember yellow cake? Well, it’s getting harder to mine in India these days, though a recent agreement will increase uranium production somewhat. India’s reliance on nuclear power, and its decreased uranium mining has led to increased imports from Kazakhstan, Russia and—soon—Australia.
*Burma (Myanmar). Police have killed one and wounded other protesters against the Letpadaungtaung mine run by Chinese operator Myanmar Wanbao Mining Copper Ltd. 500+ villagers in Aunden protested “construction of a 1,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant” earlier this month because of “extensive and irreversible environmental damage.”
*China. China has scheduled the closure of 2,000 coal mines in 2015. Worker safety, particularly in smaller mines, is cited as a concern, with 28 deaths and 50 injuries from a coal mine fire in November alone.
Crossposted from MyFDL.
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.