Court Date on May 13th for Protestors Arrested During Anti-Fracking Action in North Carolina, Funds Needed

 

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On May 13th, ten protestors arrested during an anti-fracking action in July will be going to court to face charges for their resistance to fracking in NC.  The protest made dozens of local and national news stories and is still being covered in articles to this day (with the latest included in a photo gallery of worldwide actions).    In order to take any of these charges to trial, the defendants must raise approximately $4,000 to pay for a lawyer to represent the group.  Please help by donating at the the link to the right, or at the CEF! Legal Fund here.  Check back here to stay up to date on what you can do to support these folks.

This past summer hundreds of Earth First! protestors blockaded a Momentive chemical plant in Western North Carolina to protest fracking. Momentive is one of the largest worldwide distributors of “resin coated proppants,”  a necessary component for fracking. Each fracturing stage requires approximately 136 tonnes of proppants. People from North Carolina were joined by people from around the country who also oppose shale gas extraction nationwide in this action at the conclusion of the 2013 Earth First! Rendezvous.

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Genetically Engineering Poplars for Paper and Biofuels Condemned

Apr 10, 2014 by Indigenous Environmental Network

Industry Hype & Misdirected Science Undercuts Real Energy/Climate Solutions

Genetically Engineering Poplars for Paper and Biofuels Condemned

 NO-GMO-POPLARWashington, DC–Scientists and environmentalists today condemned a recent press release by researchers at the University of British Columbia announcing they have created genetically engineered (GE) poplar trees for paper and biofuel production, opening the prospect of growing these GE trees like an agricultural crop in the future. [1] Continue reading

Call Out to Defend Redwood Grove on Ground Breaking Day for Jacobs Institute

 

 

EF fistby Save the Ridge Redwoods / IndyBay

UC Berkeley cut down the support foliage, including oaks, at the redwood grove behind Soda Hall. As well, the larger redwoods have been severely pruned and smaller redwoods have been removed entirely. Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm wants the lot for a $20,000,000 privatized tech design institute, named after himself. The UC and Paul Jacobs have been ignoring overwhelming public demand to save the trees. Furthermore, by cutting down a protected species, the design institute goes against its own founding principals, expressed by Paul Jacobs, that that project minimize any negative impact to the environment.

Wave of Action Protest – APRIL 12th, 10AM 

Ridge Road and Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley
Defend trees in Berkeley

1. INTRO

The ground breaking ceremony for the Paul Jacobs Design Institute is on Cal Day, April 12th at 10AM behind Soda Hall. Continue reading

2014 EF! Rendezvous in Cascadia this Summer

Reposted from 2014RRR.org

2014 Earth First! Rendezvous: Klamath Knot

 July 1st-7th 2014

To whom it may concern (biocentric activists, dissidents, dreamers, doers, rabble rousers, and trouble makers, etc.):

We are pleased to announce that this summer’s Annual Earth First! Round River Rendezvous will be held in Southern Cascadia (Western Oregon-California border region) from July 1st-7th. Save the date!

This is a critical time for our movement in the Pacific Northwest. To the North, coal and oil companies are trying to use the Columbia River– a major artery of our bioregion– to export fossil fuels abroad and ship gargantuan, earth-destroying machinery to the Alberta Tar sands. In the far reaches of Southern Cascadia, the road builders are clearing ancient oak trees and draining the wetlands of Little Lake Valley– all in the name of convenience. And, as always, from the Redwood Coast to the Cascade Mountains, chainsaws threaten to destroy the fragile biodiversity of our region’s forests.

Yet, in the spirit of Cascadia, we are fighting back: sitting in trees, blocking the roads, marching in the streets, howling in the offices and courtrooms, and standing in solidarity with our friends who are fighting for their indigenous lands. Come for the rondy week, stay for a Cascadian summer and plug into regional campaigns!

With respect for the enormous span of our region, the 2014 Round River Rendezvous will be hosted by a coalition of activists hailing from multiple hometowns and biocentric organizations. Our scouting team is still out and about, but we will most likely gather somewhere in the geological region known as “the Klamath Knot”. The Klamath Knot, which contains 11 wilderness areas and an amazing diversity of endemic plant species, is appropriately the meeting place of three major mountain ranges: the Southern Cascades, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Coast Range. It is also rumored that the wandering lone wolf “OR-7” is currently residing somewhere in the Klamath Mountains.

We will post more info come spring, directions by mid-June. If you’ve never been to a Rondy’ before, come expecting fireside song and story, hikes in the wilderness, workshops, group meals, friendship, and all kinds of rowdiness. Cascadia loves to party, and we can’t wait to host!

For the Wild and Rowdy,

The 2014 Round River Rendezvous Organizing Crew

rondyflier

Bidder 70 Film Showing

Bidder 70 Film, global warming, climate change, climate justice

When: April 25th 7pm

Where: Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowshp 

4907 Garrett Road, Durham, NC 27707

Bidder 70 centers on an extraordinary, ingenious and effective act of civil disobedience demanding government and industry accountability. In 2008, University of Utah economics student Tim DeChristopher committed an act which would redefine patriotism in our time, igniting a spirit of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice.

​Follow Tim, Bidder 70, from college student to incarcerated felon. Redefine justice for yourself. Choose your side.

Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas plan pipeline into NC

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are seeking proposals to build and operate a second major natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.

Duke has increasingly relied on gas as prices fell and coal-fired power plants shut down in the face of looming environmental standards. Piedmont’s customer growth last year was the highest since 2008 and continues to climb.

North Carolina is now served by Transco, a 10,200-mile pipeline owned by Williams Partners L.P. that sends Gulf of Mexico gas from south Texas to New York City. The line runs toward the Northeast in a diagonal route through Western North Carolina, including Mecklenburg County.

Massive new gas supplies are being developed in Pennsylvania and other northeastern states as the drilling technique called fracking taps shale-gas deposits.

Duke and Piedmont offer few details but say they have a “strong preference” for an interstate pipeline with a different route from the Transco line.

“Aside from knowing it’s going to end in North Carolina … the other terminus we won’t know until we get the proposals back,” said Piedmont spokesman David Trusty.

The companies’ solicitation to pipeline builders says they want expanded access to “competitive, secure, diverse and abundant supplies” with increased reliability for future gas deliveries.

It’s not clear who would own a new pipeline. The solicitation says Duke and Piedmont will consider a joint venture, ownership interest, strategic partnership or other financial arrangement.

“We’re leaving it wide open and evaluating a wide range of options,” said Duke spokesman Dave Scanzoni.

Edward Jones utilities analyst Andy Smith said Duke and Piedmont might prefer to own at least part of the new pipeline, allowing them to recover their investment through customer rates.

“It seems to make sense on the surface,” Smith said. “Duke has built a bunch of new gas-fired power plants, and they need supply. Piedmont has a growing customer base.”

Charlotte-based Piedmont owns a 24 percent stake in the new Constitution pipeline, now under construction, that will run from northern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale drilling region to northeastern markets.

Florida Power & Light last year chose proposals by Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy to expand gas capacity in that state. A pipeline will run from southwestern Alabama to south Florida by 2017.

Duke and Piedmont want an initial pipeline capacity into North Carolina of up to 900 million cubic feet a day. Transco moves up to 9.8 billion cubic feet a day.

A proposal is expected to be selected by the end of 2014, with completion of the pipeline by late 2018.

The project would need approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates interstate natural gas pipelines, and Carolinas utilities commissions.

Duke has opened five natural gas-fired power plants in the state since 2011 and proposed another in South Carolina. Its latest planning forecast projects a continuing shift to gas, which burns more cleanly than coal.

Piedmont pipes gas to each of those plants, and last June completed a 128-mile line from Iredell County to Duke’s Sutton power plant in Wilmington.

Piedmont, which serves the Carolinas and Tennessee, added 14,200 customers in 2013. Customer growth for the first quarter of this year was 13 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2013.

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Haw River Makes Most Endangered List

  • America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2014

    No. 1 — San Joaquin River, Calif.

    No. 2 — Upper Colorado River System, Co.

    No. 3 — Middle Mississippi River in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky

    No. 4 — Gila River, N.M.

    No. 5 — San Francisquito Creek, Calif.

    No. 6 — South Fork Edisto River, S.C.

    No. 7 — White River, Co.

    No. 8 — White River, Wash.

    No. 9 — Haw River, N.C.

    No. 10 — Clearwater/Lochsa Rivers, Idaho

     

A fragile and in places modest waterway, the Haw River has run its 110-mile course through decades of environmental battering from industries and cities.

Now substantially restored from its worst years, the Haw still faces significant threats from polluted water runoff, degrading sewer pipes and health hazards in Jordan Lake that the state has been slow to clean up.

That’s why a national clean-river advocacy group has named the Haw as No. 9 on its list of the Top 10 most endangered rivers in the country. American Rivers will announce this year’s list on Wednesday.

It’s not a list of the most polluted rivers in the country. Rather, it’s a public-relations tool for local activists to use to try to save rivers that can realistically benefit from help before it’s too late.

“It’s to encourage people to take the threat to heart, and take action so it’s no longer a problem,” Peter Raabe of the American Rivers North Carolina office said Tuesday. “In particular, for the Haw, the solution is relatively simple: Reinstate the cleanup plan.”

The Haw is a tributary of Jordan Lake, a dammed reservoir that is a major recreation area and the drinking water supply for five counties. In 2009, state legislators wrapped up four years of efforts and wrote a plan to clean the lake by installing wetlands, retention ponds and other stormwater controls in development projects upstream. But upstream municipalities have balked at the huge costs involved.

The General Assembly has put most of those rules on hold, and decided to try out new technology — floating rotation devices to clear the lake of harmful algae — to see if that will be a far cheaper solution than the hundreds of millions of dollars it would cost to implement the full cleanup plan. Environmentalists argue the only way to clean things up is to focus on the source of pollution by enacting all of the rules.

But there has been little motivation to tackle an expensive problem that only gets attention when something goes wrong, as it did in February when a sewer line crack in Burlington spilled 3.5 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Haw River.

“Most of it is underground,” Raabe said. “Whether you’re flushing the toilet or watching water go into the drain, you don’t have to think about it again. It’s not a pot hole you’re running over in your car every day. It’s really easy to put it in the back of your mind and not have to worry about until there’s a major break or kids swimming become sick because there’s too much algae.

“We need a crisis to move some of these discussions forward. We’re not in crisis mode yet, but if we keep going down the path we have been there will be a crisis.”

Saving what you love

Joe Jacob has been paddling the Haw for the past three decades. A former biologist for the Nature Conservancy, he now runs a canoe and kayak outfitter in Saxapahaw.

Jacob says the river looks better than it did before the federal Clean Water Act of 1972 started improving waterways like the Haw. But it’s the less visible effects that build up over time that worry him.

“If humans lived to be 300 years old we would see the impacts of what we do,” Jacob said Tuesday. “Nature isn’t working in cycles of 60 or 70 years.”

Jacob said he started his riverside business to encourage people to care about what happens to the Haw. “If you don’t love and care about something you’re less like to defend it,” Jacob said. “That’s what we’re about.”

Jacob hopes the American Rivers list will further that goal.

“I am glad it’s getting this kind of attention,” he said. “It may hurt business but it may help save the river. … Conservation is good for businesses – not necessarily so in reverse.”

Jacob says the role of government is to do the things that individuals can’t.

“Right now, the North Carolina legislature and governor’s office is failing to take care of our natural resources,” he said. “If they don’t change that perspective the river is going to get worse and worse and worse and worse and worse.”

But a spokesman for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says it is already implementing part of the Jordan Lake rules by testing and monitoring the lake to make sure that nutrients from development don’t exceed a specific limit. And if the floating devices work, that would be a big savings for taxpayers.

“The governor and DENR’s No. 1 priority is to ensure that the lake remains a safe and reliable drinking water supply for existing and projected demand, and that the lake meets federal standards under the Clean Water Act for recreation and fishing,” spokesman Jamie Kritzer said.

The legislature is supposed to decide what to do next in late 2015. Raabe says the Haw is on the national list because it could be saved within the next year and a half.

 Twitter: @CraigJ_NandO

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Some Good News: Drilling Leases Are Expiring DON’T RESIGN!

Early speculators let drilling leases lapse as NC fracking prospects remain uncertain

jmurawski@newsobserver.comApril 8, 2014 

Four years after North Carolina’s initial fracking boomlet, less than half of Lee County’s drilling leases remain under contract as those legal agreements expire and are not being renewed.

Initial energy speculators are losing interest in North Carolina and moving on to surer prospects in other states where fracking is already underway.

Most recently, Whitmar Exploration walked away from drilling rights to 2,716 acres, according to filings made last week with the Lee County Register of Deeds. Continue reading

Spectra Seeks Approval to Send Gas Pipeline into the Southern Swamps

Posted on the 06 April 2014 by Earth First! Newswire
Cypress tree in the Green Swamp, which includes approx 500,000 acres of public forests. Photo by Mac StoneCypress tree in the Green Swamp, an area threatened to be bisected by the Sabal Trail pipeline. The Green Swamp includes approx 500,000 acres of public forests and wetlands. Photo by Mac Stone

by Panagioti / Earth First! Newswire

What would you do if a corporation got permits to build a time bomb on your land?

Rural communities across Alabama, Georgia and Florida are joining the chorus of people asking this all-too-familiar question.

The issue of oil and gas transport has been forced into the minds of many people these days as the energy empire expands its frenzy for dirty and desperate extraction techniques.

This image is from an explosion in Nov 2013. It was one of several dozen reported, including several in Florida.

This image is from an explosion in Texas, Nov 2013. It was one of dozens reported in the last year along, including several in Florida.

But resistance to proposed fossil fuel pipelines has been growing… almost as frequent as the steady stream of disasters from existing pipelines.

New York, VermontPennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, MichiganB.C., Ontario… Each of these places could tell pipeline battle stories from the frontlines of the eco-wars, ranging from depressingly tragic to courageously inspiring.

Now the swamp-dwellers of the southeastern US are jumping into the fray, and in a big way—1.1 billion cubic feet of gas per day kind of big.

Last week marked the end of a series of public hearings held by FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to solicit input for preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on three pipeline projects seeking approval under the title Southeast Market Pipeline Project (SMP). The largest of the three is the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

Though the hearings have come to a close for the time being, the scoping period is open until April 20 for comments, questions and rage to be sent to FERC.

A total of thirteen hearings were conducted, starting on March 3 in Albany Georgia and ending in Clermont, FL on March 27. A group calling itself SpectraBusters popped up along the route to coordinate opposition to the permitting of the pipeline and hundreds of people turned out for the hearings, primarily local residents in opposition to having a pipeline through their homes, farms and forests.

This map gives a general sense of the route for Sabal Trail, though it does not include the southern most section in Martin County which are also being considered in the EIS.

Several corporations are tied to the SMP project, but the largest of them are Spectra and FPL—both companies who have faced ongoing scrutiny and full-fledged campaigns against them up and down the east coast.

While the multi-pipeline permitting process is no doubt being conducted in a streamlined fashion at the behest of industry interests, another reality is also surfacing as landowners and environmental groups along the entire route of these pipelines are uniting their opposition and realizing that a failed or stalled EIS for this project could mean victory on several fronts.

The current SMP project covers 650 miles of gas pipeline and nine compressor stations, though these permits are known to expand in “phases,” allowing companies like Spectra to add additional phases without the requirement of a full EIS. (This was done in a previous pipeline partnership between Spectra and FPL called the Gulfstream Pipeline which was heavily contested by Earth First! activists in South Florida in 2008.)

Voices against Sabal Trail

“We own 30 acres in Center Hill and we adamantly oppose the pipeline,” said Diane Cochran, speaking at a hearing in Clermont, FL.

“This big company, wanting to build this pipeline, has turned our dream into a nightmare.” The Cochran’s property would be cut in half by gas transmission line. It would be located only 121 feet from the couple’s water well and less than that from their backyard fire pit. “My family and I will never feel safe on our property, and will never feel safe having our children and grandchildren visit us on our property, and that rocks me to my core.”

“Here we are trying to save our property from a big corporation whose sole intent is to make billions of dollars, while our land is forever destroyed if it’s put there,” Cochran said.

Frank Atkins, age 85, was one of 150 people who attended a hearing in Dunnellon, FL to speak against Spectra’s pipeline on the land of his family’s cemetery. “I don’t want that through there. Enough’s in there by having the electrical line, and now they coming with a gas line.”

The last time an energy company installed its lines across Atkins’ family’s property, grave markers in a family-owned cemetery were displaced. He said that after Florida Power Corp. came through in the 1960s, he could not find the burial plot holding his mother, who died giving birth to him.

Now that a natural gas pipeline is slated to pass through his Citrus County land, Atkins said he’s concerned the one-acre cemetery, where more family members are buried, might be affected again.

The section that could pass through Atkins land is Sabal Trail’s 24-inch-wide, 24-mile-long offshoot, intended to carry fuel to a new Duke Energy power plant that’s expected to be operating by 2018… That is, if the pipeline isn’t stopped.

Another pipeline opponent, Tamara Robbins, noted that maps of the proposed route did not delineate bodies of water or waterways.

“Your experts should have already studied the geology of Florida,” she said. “You should know about the land of a thousand springs. And if you did, I can’t imagine you not recommending denial to the commission on a project that is not needed.”

Indigenous Opposition to the pipeline

Spectra Seeks Approval to Send Gas Pipeline into the Southern Swamps

Bobby C. Billie, Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation, speaks against oil and gas drilling, March, 2014 in Collier County, FL. Photo by Corey Perrine, Naples News

Among opponents who have spoken against the project is Bobby C. Billie, a representative of the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation. Billie, who is a spiritual and clan leader among the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation, spoke of the pipeline fueling greed and further development in lands that were never legitimately owned by the US to begin with. Seminoles did not sign a treaty during the US-lead wars in the mid-1800s which failed in multiple attempts to remove them entirely from Florida, due primarily to a strong, successful resistance effort and the vast swampy terrain that the military was unaccustomed to.

Also in attendance at the Clermont FERC hearing was a representative of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Big Cypress Reservation. The Seminole Tribe, who exist as a separate entity from the Independent Traditionals, may be taking interest in the pipeline as it relates to their opposition to the construction of a 3,750 megawatt gas-fired FPL power plant in Hendry County, on the border of their reservation lands.

The FPL plant is currently facing legal challenges from the Tribe to the zoning change needed to accommodate it.

Spectra and FPL have not disclosed any plans for this pipeline project to connect directly to the massive Hendry County power plant proposal thus far, but it would appear as the prime candidate for this similarly massive quantity of gas into the region.

Give ‘Em Hell, Preferably Before April 20

FERC representative John Peconom did little to assuage critics when he confirmed that FERC staff had never recommended denial of a pipeline project. Nor did it help influence opponents when he acknowledged that FERC is funded by fees paid by the companies it regulates.

According to data from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, there have been about 8,000 “significant incidents” reported since 1986, resulting in more than 500 deaths and more than 2,300 injuries. News from many of these incidents can be found here.

FERC representative say people have until April 20 to submit comments at www.ferc.gov. You can email John Peconom with questions: john.peconom@ferc.gov, or call (202) 502-6352.

You can also file a paper copy by sending mail to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, FERC, 888 First St NE, Room 1A, Washington DC, 20426.

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Support the Jailed Mi’Kmaq Warriors: Court Roundups & Fundraising

The Mi’Kmaq stopped the seismic testing in preparations for fracking on their land by a U.S. company

reposted from:

[http://reclaimturtleisland.com/2014/04/03/support-jailed-mikmaq-warriors-court-roundups-fundraising/]

The Mi’kmaq Warriors, Germaine Jr Breau & Aaron Francis who have been held in custody since the day of the raid on Oct 17th, are now facing trial in Moncton courts. They are currently facing indictable charges for being true to their inherent responsibilities as L’nu people by protecting the lands and waters against corporate imperialists, SWN. We are unsure how much longer Aaron & Jr will have to sit in jail, having already served over 5 months without conviction. The financial burden of supporting imprisoned warriors has been carried solely by the family and loved ones and it’s time that changed. Again we are uncertain as to the outcomes of sentencing, but Jr & Aaron have plead to a number of charges. Support funds will be used for canteen, phone calls (which are both collect & long distance), gas for visits, etc. Please donate here http://www.gofundme.com/jailedwarriors Thanks to everyone for their ongoing and continued support to date!! 

new-brunswick-dec-2-fire-flag-drumFor a full update on all of the charges (those that were dropped, plead to and now on trial) please go here. To get a feeling of how court is going so far, check out the court roundups from the Halifax Media Coop,  RCMP Tactical Officer Cross Examination: “My function is not to negotiate”, and Crown’s first eyewitness, RCMP ERT member “My report writing is just sub-standard.”. To continue to follow the trials, follow @mileshowe on Twitter as he is releasing daily courtroom roundups and @defendourlands #WarriorsCourt for sneaky-live-tweeting and other updates.