Category Archives: Tar Sands

Doubling Tar Sands production for Imperial War

The Geopolitical Outlook of Giant New Pipelines

Doubling Tar Sands production for Imperial War

by MACDONALD STAINSBY

The continuation of the North American master plan for energy continues unabated. The newest pipeline– along with the corridor pipeline through Toronto to Montréal and the Atlantic Coast in Maine that Line 9 is a component part of–could facilitate the doubling of tar sands crude available to distribute daily in a short number of years. Well over a million barrels a day (1.1 according to the proposals) alone would flow through the “Energy East” pipeline to a Saint John terminal –including the refinery owned by Irving, the traditional oligarchy that believe they own large sections of the Maritimes.

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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

Tar Sands for the week (January 7, 2014)

In thinking about a new rant on the tar sands to begin 2014, thinking of trying to sum up the previous year seems nearly impossible. So that, really, is a summation. Let me explain.

 

In previous eras of tar sands resistance we had a few flash points. This, of course, is in the time since it began to get attention beyond the families it ravaged through disease, or families it kept separate through cross-country employment. Since the call of climate change made attention to tar sands inevitable the “flag” of tar sands resistance has sprung up in such a varied, continent-wide and even international manner that even betrayals from Big Green would likely not do much more than wound resistance that has sprung up in locale after locale.

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Tar Sands World for the week (November 26, 2013).

Perhaps the biggest news in extreme extraction in the last week comes from a tiny country. Estonia, the lone veteran nation-state of converting kerogen oil shale into mock fuel, has joined the International Energy Agency. A body that is only open to OECD countries, Estonia has not been a part of the organization in the past. Given requirements of 90 day stockpiling and the ability to implement 10% consumption “restraint” as a part of membership, Estonia– whose oil shale industry accounts for over 90% of local energy (both shale fired power plants as well as kerogen shale into oil)– is likely banking this “normalizes” oil from kerogen and shale-fired electricity.

The IEA coordinates energy policy, including stocks, & integrates energy across member countries to a large degree. Estonia is doing in Europe much the same as Canada’s tar sands lobbyists (otherwise known as the Harper Government). Advocating against the Fuel Quality Directive, Estonia has also argued against the inclusion of clauses that Canada is desperately trying to avoid.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Foundation Funding

Weekend Edition October 25-27, 2013
Inside the Big Green Machine

What We Talk About When We Talk About Foundation Funding

by MACDONALD STAINSBY
This was originally written as part four of a four part series for Counterpunch.org

When discussions begin among environmentally concerned people about foundation funding and how it offsets resistance, a common complaint is that such a discussion is unnecessarily negative. With all of the world at stake, so goes the argument, we need to involve as many “diverse” views and strategies to stop climate chaos as possible. Rather than “being divisive,” we need positive thinking.

While Big Capital and Big Green are trying to propose they are building a bridge to a better, healthy planet– whatever you do, don’t look down. The bridge is faulty, and you’re already half way over the chasm. Just trust the bridge– and keep walking.

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Fracking Indigenous Country

Big Green, Sun Media and Elsipogtog

Fracking Indigenous Country

by MACDONALD STAINSBY
October 21, 2013
This was originally written as part three of a four part series for Counterpunch.org

 

If anyone doubted that it’s a good thing that Sun News in Canada has been both going broke and also denied the ability to force their way onto Canada’s basic cable system (vastly expanding their audience and getting themselves included in most homes with television subscriptions by default), the racist rantings of Ezra Levant in response to the recent RCMP attack on the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog ought to clear it up.

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How Tides Canada Controls the Secret North American Tar Sands Coalition

Repeat This Aloud

How Tides Canada Controls the Secret North American Tar Sands Coalition

by MACDONALD STAINSBY
October 16, 2013
This was originally written as part two of a four part series for Counterpunch.org.

Before Tzeporah Berman began her current position as head of the North American Tar Sands Coalition, Tides Canada had already established these structures to create near-total control over budgets– and therefore, most decisions– for staggering numbers of organizations. Berman was around at the time, working for PowerUp pushing forward offsets garnered by river destruction. Some of the participant organizations already had working partnerships with multiple tar sands producers. The over-whelming majority were already greased by primarily high donors and foundations. Thus, joining the NATSC meant, essentially, double dipping.

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Corroding Our Democracy

Tzeporah Berman Silences Environmentalists, Targets Corporate Deal in Tar Sands Push
October 14, 2013
originally published as part one of a four part series on Counterpunch.org

Corroding Our Democracy

by MACDONALD STAINSBY

On September 23, 2013 Democracy Now and Amy Goodman conducted an interview with Tzeporah Berman on the issue of Canada’s government and their extreme over-reach in attacks on science and all manner of environmentalists. Focusing intently on the tar sands, the interview did well to highlight the more than dubious moves of the current Conservative government to promote tar sands in particular at all costs.

I don’t dispute much of what was said during the interview. The title of the interview describes the deeply authoritarian moves of the federal Conservatives in forcing through the interests of big energy: “Corroding Our Democracy: Canada Silences Scientists, Targets Environmentalists in Tar Sands Push.” The tale of Conservative overreach in attacks on even mild, corporate sympathetic environmentalists and almost all scientific research into climate is sordid, and becoming more and more known.

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Tar Sands for the week (Nov 26, 2013).

Let’s see– Premier Christy Clark has done a predicted about face, and instead embraced Alison Redford, made up publicly and called for construction of the Enbridge Gateway tar sands pipeline. While predicted, it is depressing in a few ways.  Members of high-financed ENGO’s  had sought to “embrace” Christy Clark when the province of BC entered a non-consequential and symbolic “opposition” to Enbridge’s plans, after surprisingly winning the provincial election. The move had no authoritative power and was seen by many to be a simple move to garner public support (it was a major item of discussion during the electoral campaign).

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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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