Tag Archives: israel

Tar Sands bitumen spill: Nexen’s “Green” History

Bitumen Spill in Alberta: Nexen’s “Green” History

Tar sands companies promote offset schemes, gain social license to develop

July 17, 2015

The fact that this major spill comes from Nexen’s pipe, running from the Long Lake plant, is very notable. The process used in this plant was developed in Israel by a company called Ormat, who carried out oil shale research & development with this technology in the Niqab/Negev desert until the Israeli government (under Ariel Sharon) refused to subsidize production.

One of the largest operations for the production of tar sands crude in Alberta is the Long Lake Project. This massive facility, a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operation, is the only major production plant that also operates an on-site upgrader, where the tar-like bitumen is diluted and transformed into a mock crude before further shipping to a refinery built by design to handle tar sands oil.

Long Lake North

From a flyover of the then Opti-Nexen Long Lake North plant in 2008. The plant has doubled in size and multiple times over in production since. It was then already the largest in-situ operation in Canada’s tar sands.

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Tar Sands for the Week (March 6, 2015).

Well, the dog and pony show continued last week. Once Obama’s veto came through the Democrats all but assured that well funded organizations within North America will maintain a pointless loyalty to the now lame duck President– and assure that many will stay within the sphere of the structures of capital yet again. Make no mistake– the organizing, mainly on the ground members of the various coalitions throughout the US that answered some level of the call for climate action– is what saw the end of this particular bill. But it is a rather obvious ploy by an Obama administration that has marched headlong into a fossil fuelled nightmare of accelerating climate change. After a combination of other pipelines, sections of the KXL itself and railcars– along with fracking tight oil, new permits for oil shale (!!) as well as tar sands in Utah & Colorado and more, a pointless veto that shores up “progressive” non-street cred could be issued.

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Tar Sands for the Week (July 22, 2014).

I would like to start this weeks rant with a slightly different tack– tar sands and the ongoing war on Gaza. The Israeli state is currently trying to eliminate resistance and ultimately the people of Gaza entirely; the “war” is not about rockets, nor kidnapped teenagers or anything similar to that, but a combination of forced submission attempts and punishment for Palestinian refusal to simply disappear from the planet and surrender their homeland. In this sense, what Gaza is enduring now is roughly the equivalent of what happened to indigenous peoples with events such as the Trail of Tears, the forced dispossession of children from families to residential schools, and the attempt to crush spirits to the level needed to build a “new” country where other people have lived and always will.

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Tar Sands for the week (January 21, 2014).

So I put together a little sheet on Canada-Israel extreme extraction links below. Why did I do that? Well, it’s been a strange week for tar sands developments, if you’ll pardon that pun. Almost a week ago, and during his Honor the Treaties tour, Neil Young was revealed to currently have booked an upcoming trip that will include playing before an apartheid audience in Tel Aviv. Young’s incredibly successful, powerful concerts and fund raising endeavor on behalf of legal defense for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation concluded on Sunday, which not at all coincidentally now kicks off the second Neil Young, solidarity with indigenous resistance campaign– this time, without him.

The possible damage to the struggle in Palestine is already being celebrated by various advocates for Israeli colonialism. Titles such as “Neil Young Proves the Failure of BDS’s “Cultural Boycott” with screeds denouncing people such as Roger Waters or Alice Walker (who wrote an excellent appeal to Alicia Keys, who played Israel last year in defiance of the boycott) have flooded out already. In one of the initial reports, in fact, Israeli apartheid apologists couldn’t conceal their glee in what was supposedly a simple news story at the Jerusalem Post: “With reports of shows by The Rolling Stones, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga still in circulation, 2014 is shaping up to be one of Israel’s most active for musical imports. Did someone mention boycott?” Continue reading

Colonialism, Mining and Oil Shale: Don’t Let the Genie Out of the Bottle

June 12, 2013
Colonialism, Mining and Oil Shale: Don’t Let the Genie Out of the Bottle

Mongolia, Canada, Israel & the United States

by MACDONALD STAINSBY
originally published in Counterpunch

Ulan Bator: When you get out of the plane and enter the Chinngis Khan Airport just outside of Ulan Bator, you quickly realize that Mongolia is a former Soviet Republic. An incredibly drab and oddly out of date international airport, the walls of the customs area have peeling paint and general disorganization as you struggle to figure out where any line up for customs begins and ends. You can see the stone faced bureaucrats and soldiers in seemingly dated uniforms standing around while you’re getting ready to show off the required prearranged visa. After you stumble your way through that mess, you get to the conveyor belt that jams with luggage bags that are apparently much larger now on average than when it was first constructed. The feeling of being in a time warp lasts– right up until you step outside for the first time.

Immediately upon getting outside, in the dark and on a chilly night reminiscent of northern Canada despite the date being in the middle of May, I was confronted by a man from my home province of British Columbia, Canada. Skipping the usual opening conversation about the ongoing hockey playoffs I normally attempt with ex-pats carrying the same passport as I, he told me immediately that he was working for one of the large mining companies.

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Combining revolution with art

Combining revolution with art

| September 9, 2004

Originally published in Rabble.ca

When the world learned of the death of Aisha El-Zaben, 55, a participant in the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners held by the state of Israel, it was a sobering reminder of the tragedy of the struggle in the Middle East. So too, is the music of Al-Awda, a band from Palestine whose members were on a North American tour when the death was announced.

Having just recently finished the Canadian wing of the tour — to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto — the traditional as well as modern musical band is enthralling audiences with powerful songs from Egypt, Jordan and of course, Palestine itself from across the history of the 20th century. Once they began to play the audience was hooked with powerful rhythm, even before a note was sung.

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Oil Rich Gulf Co-operation Council Grows

Oil Rich Gulf Co-operation Council Grows

Extreme extraction could prove to be the meaning of GCC membership for Morocco and Jordan

by Macdonald Stainsby

November 21, 2011

originally published in the Media Co-op and The Dominion.

graphic by Dru Oja Jay.
graphic by Dru Oja Jay.

 

AMMAN, Jordan–The Arab Spring sent shock waves through the regimes of the Middle East and North Africa, and in the face of demands for popular accountability alongside bread and butter issues, states throughout the region have devised strategies to try and avert popular upheaval.

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Oil in the Desert (Jordan)

Oil in the Desert

Will water be sacrificed to oil in Jordan?

by Macdonald Stainsby

November 13, 2011

originally published in the Media Co-op and The Dominion.

Oil in the Desert

AMMAN, Jordan–In March of 2011, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan jumped headlong into unconventional oil extraction, and signed a deal with Karak International Oil (KIO), a subsidiary of Jordan Energy and Mining Limited (JEML–a British company) for the commercial mining of oil shale approximately one hour’s drive from the capital of Amman. Unlike most countries in the region, if you fill up your gas tank in Jordan, you are using imported oil— but the Kingdom is touting a future when extreme extraction will change that, and soon.

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Extreme Extraction (Morocco)

Extreme Extraction

Oil production plans could reshape Morocco’s economy and environment

by Macdonald Stainsby

November 17, 2011

originally published in the Media Co-op and The Dominion.

Extreme Extraction

RABAT, MOROCCO– Many well-known voices trying to address the climate crisis on a global scale have posited that less developed countries without a full-blown industrial base can skip industrialization all together and transition away from fossil fuels. Ideally, the development that will take place in this scenario would result in the construction of infrastructure for a post-fossil fuel society.

But if Morocco is any indication, the complete opposite scenario looks more likely. Instead of skipping to climate friendly energy developments, Morocco is poised to begin extracting crude oil from unconventional deposits, the dirtiest fuel available. Mining rock for oil in Morocco would leave massive craters in post-fossil, green energy hopes.

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Apartheid Oil

Apartheid Oil

Crude trapped in shale could transform Israel into energy powerhouse

by Macdonald Stainsby

November 10, 2011

originally published in the Media Co-op.ca and The Dominion.

Apartheid Oil

JERUSALEM– Major offshore gas strikes in 2009 and 2010 may soon convert converted Israel into a gas exporting country with self-sufficient energy. But perhaps more important than the gas under the sea is the mock crude trapped in husk dry sands and rock hard shale, reserves which could push Israel into the upper echelons of recoverable oil on the planet. Israel has long had a weakness economically and militarily because of their reliance on others for energy supplies.

What promises to be the most energy intensive form of oil recovery on the planet could reinforce Israel’s military might, while presenting a new threat to scarce water resources and the climate.

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