This week the GOP leadership, once again, has sided with Big Oil against the will of the American people. They are trying to circumvent President Obama’s decision to further investigate the impacts of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. GOP leadership is instead advocating for granting the permit now, or else they will hold up important legislation meant to benefit real people’s real lives.
They want you to believe it’s about jobs, but that’s not what the facts bear out. Just take a look.
If you haven’t been over to the Politico blog yet today, you might want to head over and check out the brewing debate started by Redford’s comments on Obama’s lackadaisical stance on environmental issues, which originally appeared on the Huffington Post. Politico’s short version of Redford’s longer piece is:
One reason I supported President Obama is because he said we must protect clean air, water and lands. But what good is it to say the right thing unless you act on it? Since early August, three administration decisions – on Arctic drilling, the Keystone XL pipeline and the ozone that causes smog – have all favored dirty industry over public health and a clean environment. Like so many others, I’m beginning to wonder just where the man stands.
In 2008 a young environmental activist named Tim DeChristopher bid on 13 parcels of land quietly put up for auction by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the waning days of the Bush Administration. This land was part of a larger offering by the BLM of federal public land in an attempt to open it up to oil and gas exploration. The majority of the land was near national parks in southern Utah.
As the world struggles to absorb the devastating implications of the oil spill currently glugging untold barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, while the companies involved point fingers at each other and decline to fully admit their mistakes, another oil-related drama has been playing out in a federal court in New York.
Chevron, the oil giant at the center of Joe Berlinger’s documentary CRUDE, which opened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009, has petitioned the court to allow it to subpoena more than 600 hours of footage shot for his film. The film tells the story of a group of Ecuadoreans who are suing the oil company, contending that it poisoned their people by dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into their rivers and onto their land in what has become known as “Amazon Chernobyl.”
Chevron is seeking a dismissal of the suit, which has dragged on for years, and believes that the footage may help its case. But Berlinger’s attorneys have argued that the director should be offered the same privileges that all investigative journalists receive, allowing them to protect confidential sources and information. They insist that forcing him to turn over the footage would violate his rights under the First Amendment and constitute a breech of the confidentiality agreements he’d established with the people who appear in the film.
Imagine receiving a lucrative offer from an energy company to drill for natural gas on property you own. Would you take it? What would that drilling mean in terms of environmental quality for the land itself and the surrounding community? Filmmaker Josh Fox received such an offer, and his documentary GASLAND, which has its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, explores the impact of gas extraction, especially the process of “fracking,” and the environmental consequences that can come from the quest for this “clean” energy source.
G-20 government leaders today concluded the Pittsburgh Summit with a commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term while providing targeted support for the poorest households. The leaders said that this unprecedented move is expected to encourage energy conservation, improve energy security, and kick-start their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The concept of July 4th as “Oil Independence Day” or “Energy Independence Day” has been floating around for several years: everyone from bloggers to magazines to the Speaker of the House has touted the concept. This July 4th, New York-based artist Michael D’Antuono will add his voice to the debate with the unveiling of the…