treadle pump

A treadle pump is a human-powered suction pump that sits on top of a well and is used for irrigation.[1] It is designed to lift water from a depth of seven metres or less. The pumping is activated by stepping up and down on a treadle, which are levers, which drive pistons, creating cylinder suction […]

Treadle_pump_GB_drawing

A treadle pump is a human-powered suction pump that sits on top of a well and is used for irrigation.[1] It is designed to lift water from a depth of seven metres or less. The pumping is activated by stepping up and down on a treadle, which are levers, which drive pistons, creating cylinder suction that draws groundwater to the surface.

water crises

Last year, news broke that Nestlé, the largest bottled water producer in the world, had been extracting water from the drought-stricken San Bernardino National Forest on a permit that was supposed to expire in 1988 — and hadn’t been re-evaluated … Continue reading

Last year, news broke that Nestlé, the largest bottled water producer in the world, had been extracting water from the drought-stricken San Bernardino National Forest on a permit that was supposed to expire in 1988 — and hadn’t been re-evaluated by the U.S. Forest Service in nearly 40 years!

Now, the Forest Service is proposing to renew Nestlé’s permit for another five years, even as drought conditions persists in the western U.S.1

That’s unacceptable. But our pressure can make a difference. The latest Forest Service plan comes after intense public pressure on the agency, including petitions from more than 190,000 CREDO activists. In a major step forward, the proposal triggers a re-evaluation of the impact of Nestlé’s water withdrawals under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We have to make sure the review is as comprehensive as possible, which will show that Nestlé’s water extraction must be put to a stop.

Tell the U.S. Forest Service: Conduct a comprehensive review and put a stop to Nestlé’s water extraction in the San Bernardino National Forest. Submit a comment now.

Nestlé has been taking a self-reported 25 million gallons a year from the forest’s Strawberry Creek — which is only at 10 percent of its 90—year average level.2 As the water level drops over the summer, Nestlé’s continued withdrawals pose a risk to the creek ecosystem by making water levels even lower.

Incredibly, Nestlé pays only $524 (yes, five hundred and twenty four dollars!) each year to draw out the tens of millions of gallons it sells to the public under the Arrowhead Mountain label.

But this isn’t just about Nestlé or the San Bernardino National Forest — it’s a symbol of a much deeper problem in federal lands management that continues to prioritize corporate profits over protecting and preserving public resources.

Sally Jewell, secretary of the Department of the Interior, recently laid out a vision for re-evaluating our federal lands management to prioritize protection and preservation.3 But the U.S. Forest Service, which is under the Department of Agriculture, controls a full 25 percent of federal lands.

Pushing for the Forest Service to stop rubber-stamping Nestlé’s corporate water profiteering sends an important signal in the fight to preserve our public lands and resources.

Submit a comment now urging the Forest Service to stop Nestlé’s water extraction.

Thank you speaking out.

Elijah Zarlin, Director of Climate Campaigns
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Take action now ?
  1. Agency proposes 5-year Nestle bottled water permit,” Desert Sun News, 3/18/16.
  2. After years, review of Nestle water permit to begin,” Desert Sun News, 8/24/15.
  3. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is calling for ‘a major course correction’ in the way the nation conserves its public lands,” Associated Press, 4/19/16.

The questions is: What happens when a military superpower and 1,5 billion desperate people start running out of water?


Future Impact of Climate Change Visible Now in Yemen

November 24, 2014

Water conflict is a term describing a conflict between countries, states, or groups over an access to water resources.[1][2][3] The United Nations recognizes that water disputes result from opposing interests of water users, public or private.[4]

A wide range of water conflicts appear throughout history, though rarely are traditional wars waged over water alone.[5] Instead, water has historically been a source of tension and a factor in conflicts that start for other reasons. However, water conflicts arise for several reasons, including territorial disputes, a fight for resources, and strategic advantage.[6] A comprehensive online database of water-related conflicts—the Water Conflict Chronology—has been developed by the Pacific Institute.[7] This database lists violence over water going back nearly 5,000 years.

These conflicts occur over both freshwater and saltwater, and both between and within nations. However, conflicts occur mostly over freshwater; because freshwater resources are necessary, yet limited, they are the center of water disputes arising out of need for potable water and irrigation.[8] As freshwater is a vital, yet unevenly distributed natural resource, its availability often impacts the living and economic conditions of a country or region. The lack of cost-effective water supply options in areas like the Middle East,[9] among other elements of water crises can put severe pressures on all water users, whether corporate, government, or individual, leading to tension, and possibly aggression.[10] Recent humanitarian catastrophes, such as the Rwandan Genocide or the war in Sudanese Darfur, have been linked back to water conflicts.[1]

A recent report “Water Cooperation for a Secure World” published by Strategic Foresight Group concludes that active water cooperation between countries reduces the risk of war. This conclusion is reached after examining trans-boundary water relations in over 200 shared river basins in 148 countries,[11] though as noted below, a growing number of water conflicts are sub-national.


No Wars for Water

Why Climate Change Has Not Led to Conflict


From California to the Middle East, huge areas of the world are drying up and a billion people have no access to safe drinking water. US intelligence is warning of the dangers of shrinking resources and experts say the world is ‘standing on a precipice’

Perhaps this chapter from THE WORLD’S WATER Volume 8 The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources will be of interest (you should have heard of this book – The World’s Water is the most comprehensive and up-to-to date source of information and analysis on freshwater resources.)

The Syrian Conflict and the Role of Water

‘Starting in 2006, however, and lasting into 2011, Syria experienced a multi-season extreme drought and agricultural failures, described by Shahrzad Mohtadi as the “worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago” (Mohtadi 2012).

Robert Worth of the New York Times noted that this drought contributed to a series of social and economic dislocations (Worth 2010). The United Nations estimated that by 2011, the drought was affecting 2–3 million people, with 1 million driven into food insecurity. More than 1.5 million people—mostly agricultural workers and family farmers—moved from rural regions to cities and temporary settlements near urban centers, especially on the outskirts of Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus, and Dara’a.

A research paper published in 2012 suggested that climate change is already beginning to influence long-term droughts in the region including Syria by reducing winter rainfall (Hoerling et al. 2012). That study suggests that winter droughts are increasingly common and that human-caused climate change is playing a role. Martin Hoerling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory, one of the study’s authors, stated, “The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone” (NOAA 2011).

If the international community wants to reduce the risks of local and international political conflicts and violence over water, more effort will have to be put into recognizing these risks and improving the tools needed to reduce them. ‘

—-

other reports have also shown the link between climate change and the war in Syria. For example,

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150302-syria-war-climate-change-drought/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-hastened-the-syrian-war/

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/11/3241.abstract

the last of these states ‘We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.’

A leading panel of retired generals and admirals, the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board, recently labeled the impacts of climate change “catalysts for conflict” in vulnerable regions. The Pentagon concluded similarly in last year’s Quadrennial Defense Review that the effects of climate change are “threat multipliers,” enabling terrorism and other violence by aggravating underlying societal problems.

The CNA report states:

‘The nature and pace of observed climate changes—and an emerging scientific consensus on their projected consequences—pose severe risks for our national security. During our decades of experience in the U.S. military, we have addressed many national security challenges, from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to political extremism and transnational terrorism in recent years. The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as any challenges we have faced. ‘

—-

The Pentagon report states:

‘Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.’

and on the Turkana in northern Kenya:

Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (chapters 4-6 look at Kenya)

http://www.amazon.com/Tropic-Chaos-Climate-Geography-Violence/dp/1568587295

Climate Change and the Turkana and Merille Conflict

http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/turkana-merille.htm

Climate Change and Violent Conflict in Kenya: A Two-way Relationship.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/262984122_Climate_Change_and_Violent_Conflict_in_Kenya_A_Two….

The video here might also help http://e360.yale.edu/feature/when_the_water_ends_africas_climate_conflicts/2331/

I hate it

Published on Oct 9, 2012 [HD] Campaign Fisrt WORLD PROBLEMS READ BY THIRD WORLD PEOPLE. The First World Problems read by Third World People A new ad campaign from charitable organization Water is Life features Haitian children and adults reading … Continue reading

Published on Oct 9, 2012
[HD] Campaign Fisrt WORLD PROBLEMS READ BY THIRD WORLD PEOPLE.
The First World Problems read by Third World People
A new ad campaign from charitable organization Water is Life features Haitian children and adults reading the everyday gripes and minor irritations first world citizens post on Twitter with the popular #FirstWorldProblems hashtag.

Entitled “First World Problems Anthem,” the 1-minute video features “complaints” like this one, read by a woman standing outside a house: “I hate it when my neighbors block their wifi.” Or this one, read by a young boy standing among pigs and chickens: “I hate when I tell them no pickles, and they still give me pickles.”

Produced by ad agency DDB NY, the spot by for Water for Life is meant to raise awareness of the nonprofit’s efforts to provide clean drinking water in countries like India and Haiti.

Clean, potable water is scarce in many areas of the world.

“Access to water will be one of the most critical challenges of our time,” actor Matt Damon said in a statement to USA Today in December. “There are a lot of ways to tackle it, but for me, ensuring that every human being has access to safe drinking water and the dignity of a toilet … is one of the most urgent and pressing causes in the world today.”

According to UNICEF, the lack of safe water and sanitation is the world’s single largest cause of illness, with young children and the elderly at particular risk.

Water is Life’s special project is called “The Straw,” a $10 a portable water filter/purifier that the organization says can be used in any water source to provide clean, safe drinking water for a year.

The video’s concept — taking what has become a popular meme theme and using it to expose the irony of the #FirstWorldProblems Twitter hashtag — is interesting and potentially unique.

This is the first time an advertiser has attempted to eliminate, rather than promote a trending hashtag, according to a press release from DDB NY.

DDB NY and a film crew travelled to Haiti to film a variety of locals reading aloud a series of #FirstWorldProblem tweets and providing brief commentary on the Twitter users’ “struggles.” Each resulting response video is now being tweeted to the original #FirstWorldProblems author with a simple call to action: Donate to help solve real problems.
DDB NY, a division of a global adverting agency, has done other unconventional work for Water is Life in the past. In March the company organized a pro-bono campaign designed to coincide with World Water Day.

Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer of DDB NY, told Fast Company that his company is happy to support an organization like Water is Life.

“It’s something that we are passionate about. I love doing work that can make the world a better place–it’s a nice change from selling burgers,” he said. “I’m hoping that [people who discover the campaign] will go to waterislife.com and get involved in some way, or at the very least donate at their website.”

defending our water from fracking

The Center for Environmental Health links fracking to miscarriage, as well as to impaired learning and impaired intellectual ability, in children who are exposed to the air and water near fracking wells.


ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson just became the highest-profile anti-fracking activist in the world.
Even though he is the CEO of one of the largest fracking companies in the world, Tillerson is suing to block a fracking development near his Texas horse ranch because it would create a “noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”1 2

The situation is rich with irony, but the truth is that Rex Tillerson is right: He shouldn’t have to cope with the horrendous local impacts of fracking. Nobody should. And as the CEO of America’s largest natural gas producer, he has tremendous power to protect communities across the country from fracking.
Tell ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: Fight fracking everywhere, not just in your backyard. Click here to sign the petition automatically.
Tillerson’s lawsuit concerns a water tower near his property which, if built, would supply nearby fracking operations. Tillerson and his neighbors are suing to block the construction of the tower, arguing that the presence of heavy trucks hauling water to fracking sites would devalue their properties.3
Tillerson’s ranch is in Bartonville, in Denton County right outside of Forth Worth, on top of the infamous Barnett shale. Fracking operations in North Texas’, many of them owned by ExxonMobil, have had devastating effects on the health and safety of Tillerson’s neighbors. It’s no surprise, then, that Tillerson isn’t the only Texan fighting to protect his home from fracking.
In the city of Denton, where some fracked wells are less than 200 feet from suburban homes, residents are organizing to place a fracking ban on the city’s ballot.4 5 Dallas residents passed a de facto ban on fracking, preventing XTO, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, from fracking in the city limits.6 Hundreds of North Texas residents have stormed Texas Railroad Commission hearings to demand that the commission shut down fracking wastewater injection wells that residents believe are causing earthquakes.7
But instead of using his considerable wealth and political influence to help his neighbors fight fracking, Tillerson has vocally backed fracking — unless, of course, it might impact the market value of his multimillion-dollar horse ranch. Tillerson’s hypocrisy is truly shameful. And the best way to call it out is to admit that he’s right: Not even Rex Tillerson deserves to be fracked.
Tell ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: Fight fracking everywhere, not just in your backyard. Click here to sign the petition automatically.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Automatically add your name:
Sign the petition ►
1. Rebecca Leber, “Exxon CEO Comes Out Against Fracking Project Because It Will Affect His Property Values,” ThinkProgress, February 21, 2014
2. Amy Silverstein, “Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is Suing to Stop a Fracking Development Outside Dallas,” Dallas Observer, February 21, 2014
3. Daniel Gilbert, “Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking Concerns,” Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2014
4. Julie Dermansky, “Welcome to Gasland: Denton, Texas Residents Face Fracking Impacts From EagleRidge Energy,” DeSmogBlog, December 5, 2013
5. Denton Drilling Awareness Group 6. Andrew Breiner, “Did Dallas Just Ban Fracking?” ThinkProgress, December 5, 2013
7. Nicholas Sakelaris, “Railroad commission will not halt injection wells in Azle area,” Dallas Business Journal, January 21, 2014


A dangerous new Coast Guard policy would allow the fracking industry to ship millions of gallons of toxic and radioactive waste from Pennsylvania and West Virginia down the Ohio River to Ohio and down the Mississippi to Texas and Louisiana, where it would likely be disposed of in earthquake-causing injection wells.1 2 3
A barge accident could spill dangerous wastewater directly into these rivers, which provide drinking water for millions. Further, by making it less expensive to dispose of fracking wastewater, the policy would incentivize more fracking.
The Coast Guard is accepting public comments on its policy until November 29. We need to tell the Coast Guard to reverse course on the proposed policy and not put our water at risk to help the fracking industry dump its toxic waste.
Tell the Coast Guard: Don’t open our waterways to radioactive fracking wastewater. Click here to submit a public comment.
Fracking in Pennsylvania and West Virginia produces gargantuan amounts of toxic wastewater — and the fracking industry is running out of places to dump it.4Fracking wastewater contains a slew of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals used during fracking, as well as radioactive material that naturally occurs in shale and returns to the surface with the water and chemicals used for fracking. Conventional wastewater treatment facilities can’t remove many of the toxins in fracking wastewater and, in some cases, they even make it more dangerous!5
But despite the terrifying threat of a major spill, the Coast Guard has refused to conduct a rigorous, comprehensive environmental review, instead baselessly declaring that it doesn’t expect the policy to have any substantial environmental impact. The Coast Guard even plans to allow the fracking industry to keep secret the toxic chemicals in its wastewater — making it dramatically harder to safely contain and clean up a spill if it occurs.
Even if the wastewater gets to its intended destination without spilling, it still poses a major threat to communities that will become a dumping ground for fracking waste. Wastewater injection wells can cause dangerous earthquakes and drinking water contamination.6 7
Activists across the country are waging pitched battles to shut down the fracking industry. The Coast Guard shouldn’t help the fracking industry contaminate our water, pollute our air, and accelerate climate change by opening our rivers to toxic fracking waste.
Tell the Coast Guard: Don’t open America’s waterways to radioactive fracking wastewater. Click here to submit a public comment.
Thanks for fighting fracking.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Take action now ►
1. Sharon Kelly, “Coast Guard Proposal to Allow Barges to Haul Fracking Wastewater Draws Fire From Environmentalists,” DeSmogBlog, November 9, 2013
2. Mike Ludwig, “Coast Guard Moves to Approve Barging of Hazardous Fracking Waste on Major Rivers,” TruthOut, November 13, 2013
3. Emily DeMarco, “U.S. Coast Guard publishes proposed policy on moving frack wastewater by barge,” PublicSource, November 1, 2013
4. Bob Downing, “Pennsylvania drilling wastes might overwhelm Ohio injection wells,” Akron Beacon Journal, January 23, 2013
5. Bill Chameides, “Fracking Water: It’s Just So Hard to Clean,” National Geographic, October 4, 2013
6. Abrahm Lustgarten, “Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us,” ProPublica, June 21, 2012
7. Ryan Grenoble, “Oklahoma ‘Earthquake Swarm’ May Be Linked Wastewater Disposal From Fracking,” Huffington Post, October 24, 2013


Climate Activist—

Protect our national treasures from substandard oil and gas operations.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to pass the so-called “Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act” (HR 2728), a bill that would block federal environmental standards of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.

A companion bill has been distributed in the Senate by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it—this is a terrible idea. At a time when, with your support and activism, we’ve been working so hard across the country to protect communities by establishing tougher environmental and public health standards on the natural gas industry, this bill would put the air, water, and wildlife on federal lands at grave risk from substandard oil and gas operations.

It is crazy for Congress to strip the federal government of any right to take action to protect our public lands. These special places don’t belong to the oil and gas companies—they belong to all of us and to future generations of Americans. And we must stand together to protect them.

When we last wrote to you about the House bill a little more than a week ago, 27,678 of you took action by sending emails to your U.S. Representatives. Thank you for speaking out against this outrageous bill.

Now, I’d like to ask you to take action again—this time by helping us stop this foolishness in the Senate.

Please email your Senators today to oppose the Hatch bill. Tell your Senators we need to work together to promote stronger standards on the natural gas industry to protect our communities and our natural environment. The last thing we should be doing is gutting the protections we already have.

Please take action today.

Jim MarstonThank you for your standing with us,
JimMarstonSignature
Jim Marston
Vice President, US Climate and Energy


Several years ago, gas companies set up fracking operations near the Hallowich family farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Soon after, the Hallowiches started experiencing health problems like nosebleeds, sore throats, and unexplained headaches. They were forced to abandon their home and to sue the gas companies, eventually reaching a settlement that includes a standard gag order.
But in an unprecedented move, the gas companies insisted the gag order extend to the Hallowiches’ children, age 7 and 10 years old at the time, legally barring them from talking about what happened to them — and fracking — forever.
As a parent, I am outraged that these dirty fracking companies have stooped to a new low by going after children. That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDO Mobilize that allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Range Resources, Mark West Energy Partners, and Williams Gas, asks the following:

Stop silencing children. Take immediate legal action to remove the Hallowich children from the gag order placed on their family, and ensure your company does not include children in any future gag orders related to fracking.

The Hallowich children suffered unexplained illnesses and were forced to move from their childhood home. They will be processing these traumatic experiences for the rest of their lives. Children should not be forced by fossil fuel corporations to remain silent about issues that affect their health and well-being.
The Hallowiches’ story is just the latest example of how fracking and other extreme energy extraction are affecting families across the country. Families are battling air and water contamination — some people have even been able to light their tap water on fire. And every day we see more news of droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather fueled by climate change, caused by carbon pollution from projects like these. Far too often, it’s children who bear the brunt.
When pressed by the media, Range Resources Corporation, one of the companies involved in the lawsuit, told reporters it will not enforce the application of the gag order if the children decide to speak out. But, the family’s lawyer says the gag order, as currently written, could land the kids in legal trouble if they talk publicly about what happened to them — or the impacts of fracking — in the future. In order to protect the Hallowich kids, all three of the companies involved must take the legal steps necessary to remove the children from the gag order.
Will you join me and add your name to my petition telling Range Resources, Mark West Energy Partners, and Williams Gas to legally remove the children from the gag order — and commit to never go after kids again?
Thank you for your support.
Corinne Ball


September 5, 2013

Wow. Last week, CREDO and 275 allied organizations delivered more than 600,000 public comments—including yours and more than 120,000 others from CREDO activists—telling the Obama administration to ban fracking on federal lands.
You may not have known it when you submitted your comment (I certainly didn’t!), but you were participating in what may be the single largest display of opposition to fracking ever to take place in the United States.
This huge push to tell President Obama not to frack America couldn’t come at a more important time. Since he unveiled his Climate Action Plan, President Obama has bravely spoken out about the need to confront climate change. But, as admirable as many parts of his plan are, President Obama has continued to endorse fracking for oil and gas as part of his Climate Action Plan, even though fracking is a major threat to the climate and to countless American communities.
We don’t know how the Obama administration will respond to our comments. What we do know is that what has worked so far to stop fracking is relentless grassroots pressure.
In the last few years, grassroots activists from New York to California have waged and won campaigns to protect their communities from fracking. The hundreds of thousands of comments we delivered to President Obama are the direct result of that local and statewide organizing, which has drawn huge numbers of ordinary people into the anti-fracking movement.
We need to keep building momentum to ban fracking at the local level if we want to ever see change in Washington, D.C. And there’s an easy way to do it. CREDO recently launched CREDO Mobilize, which allows activists like you to start petitions to make progressive change in your community. Already, dozens of local campaigns have been started to ban fracking.
Click here to find and sign the petition to ban fracking where you live. Or if one hasn’t been started where you live, start your own. We’ll support you every step of the way and, if your petition takes off, we’ll send it to other CREDO activists to help you get more signatures.
If you’re starting your own petition, the more local your petition is the better. For example, it’s often easier to pressure your city council to act than it is to pressure your governor. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Tell your local elected officials to ban fracking in your city or county.
  • Tell your state legislator or your member of Congress to publicly endorse a ban on fracking.
  • Start a petition opposing a proposed fracking infrastructure project—a pipeline, a compressor station, a natural gas power plant, water withdrawal permits, a silica sand mine, a wastewater injection well, etc.

We have a hard fight ahead of us and the way forward won’t always be clear. The fracking industry has an awful lot of money and influence, and many of the most powerful people in the country—including President Obama—continue to claim that fracking is necessary.
But, as last week’s comment delivery shows, there are also an awful lot of us fighting to stop the fracking industry from poisoning our water and air. And, as the successful fights to keep fracking out of New York, Maryland, and dozens of communities on the frontlines of the fracking boom show, we are increasingly winning the fights we pick.
Thank you for everything you do.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


The Environmental Protection Agency released a progress report Friday that reiterated its support for increasing natural gas development in the United States.

“As the administration and EPA has made clear, natural gas has a central role to play in our energy future,” the agency said in a press release. “The administration continues to work to expand production of this important domestic resource safely and responsibly.” 

EPA outlined several steps it’s taking to assess the impacts fracking — short for hydraulic fracturing — has on the nation’s water supply, as directed by Congress in 2009.
Steps include:
— Analyzing existing data from natural gas companies on chemicals and practices used
— Modeling how discharging waste might impact the water
— Lab testing on water discharge
— Testing fracking chemicals for toxicity
— Testing groundwater in five regions near drilling activity
As expected, the study contained no new data or conclusions. The final results are not expected until late 2014.
Related: World’s 10 most expensive energy projects 

 
Some see the lack of data or negative comments in Friday’s progress report as a positive for the industry.
“It signals that the Obama administration has no real appetite for additional federal regulations until 2014 at the earliest,” said Nitzan Goldberger, a natural gas analyst at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. “That’s good news for the oil and gas guys.”
The Obama administration has tightened some rules around fracking, but for the most part has left regulation up to the states.
Fracking involves injecting massive amounts of water, sand and some chemicals deep underground in a bid to crack shale rock and ease the flow of oil and natural gas.
The process has unleashed an energy boom in the United States, creating thousands of jobs, driving down the price of oil and natural gas and cutting energy imports to levels not seen in decades.
But it’s also raised serious concerns over its effects on the environment, including air pollution from trucks and wells, its links to earthquakes and fears that it is contaminating drinking water.
For environmentalists, the negatives seem to outweigh the positives.


Dear Friend,

Across the country, the risky method of gas drilling known as “fracking” is causing polluted air, explosions, earthquakes and even flammable tap water.

But incredibly, as frackers rush to expand the practice, it remains totally unregulated by federal health and safety officials.

The Obama Administration has begun the process of passing some rules, but it’s clear they are bowing to pressure from the gas industry at every turn.

Last week, the Department of Interior released a draft rule to regulate fracking on federal lands, and like a number of opportunities before it, the Obama Administration caved to the gas industry to allowing major loopholes that fail to protect us from the dangers of fracking. The agency is now accepting comments on the rule, and we need to urge them to protect public land, water and health — not the gas industry.

I just sent a message urging the Department of Interior to protect our water — not the gas industry. Join me and add your name here.


The Obama Administration has begun the process of passing some rules, but it’s clear they are bowing to pressure from the gas industry at every turn.
You know that when American Petroleum Industry president Jack Gerard is crowing about how closely the administration is listening to the natural gas industry, and a lobbyist from the American Chemistry Council says “It took a while for the administration to realize the role it could play…What we’ve seen is an evolution in thinking,” we are in trouble.2
But after months of pressure from industry3 the latest Interior rule represents another in a string of recent concessions by the Obama Administration, including weakening a draft rule to reduce air pollution from fracking, refusing to take action to ban diesel fuel from fracking fluid, and even downplaying EPA studies which found water contamination from fracking in Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
Fracking, involves pumping millions of gallons of water and a largely secret mix of toxic chemicals, deep underground at high pressure, to literally fracture the rock and release trapped pockets of natural gas.
One fifth of all fracking happens on federal lands, so the Interior Department rule could be an opportunity for the administration to fill the void for strong national standards to at least force companies to disclose the toxic chemicals they are pumping through our groundwater, and set strong standards for safe disposal of the fracking fluid.
But the rule fails to do even that — and we need to urge the Department of Interior to substantially strengthen it.
Rather than set strong standards for chemical disclosure and water treatment, the new rule opens up key loopholes on both.4
This allows gas drillers to keep secret until after they drill the toxic mix of chemicals in their fracking fluid — making it far easier for them to avoid accountability in cases of water contamination.
Additionally, the rule continues to allow dangerous open evaporation pits drillers use to dispose of the huge volumes of toxic fracking wastewater that is recovered after fracking. The open chemical mixture goes airborne, unleashing toxic air pollution in the surrounding area. These pits can also leak this toxic fluid into land and water, and pose a major spill risk from floods or storms.
As the gas industry rapidly scrambles to expand fracking all over the country, it isn’t waiting for states or the federal government to adequately fill the regulatory void that was created when Dick Cheney exempted fracking from federal regulation in his 2005 energy bill.
It is clear that the Obama Administration has been hearing from the gas industry. Now they need to hear from us too — there is no time to waste to pass strong rules to protect us from the substantial dangers posed by natural gas fracking.
Thank you for defending our water from fracking.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

The Center for Environmental Health links fracking to miscarriage, as well as to impaired learning and impaired intellectual ability, in children who are exposed to the air and water near fracking wells.


ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson just became the highest-profile anti-fracking activist in the world.
Even though he is the CEO of one of the largest fracking companies in the world, Tillerson is suing to block a fracking development near his Texas horse ranch because it would create a “noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”1 2

The situation is rich with irony, but the truth is that Rex Tillerson is right: He shouldn’t have to cope with the horrendous local impacts of fracking. Nobody should. And as the CEO of America’s largest natural gas producer, he has tremendous power to protect communities across the country from fracking.
Tell ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: Fight fracking everywhere, not just in your backyard. Click here to sign the petition automatically.
Tillerson’s lawsuit concerns a water tower near his property which, if built, would supply nearby fracking operations. Tillerson and his neighbors are suing to block the construction of the tower, arguing that the presence of heavy trucks hauling water to fracking sites would devalue their properties.3
Tillerson’s ranch is in Bartonville, in Denton County right outside of Forth Worth, on top of the infamous Barnett shale. Fracking operations in North Texas’, many of them owned by ExxonMobil, have had devastating effects on the health and safety of Tillerson’s neighbors. It’s no surprise, then, that Tillerson isn’t the only Texan fighting to protect his home from fracking.
In the city of Denton, where some fracked wells are less than 200 feet from suburban homes, residents are organizing to place a fracking ban on the city’s ballot.4 5 Dallas residents passed a de facto ban on fracking, preventing XTO, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, from fracking in the city limits.6 Hundreds of North Texas residents have stormed Texas Railroad Commission hearings to demand that the commission shut down fracking wastewater injection wells that residents believe are causing earthquakes.7
But instead of using his considerable wealth and political influence to help his neighbors fight fracking, Tillerson has vocally backed fracking — unless, of course, it might impact the market value of his multimillion-dollar horse ranch. Tillerson’s hypocrisy is truly shameful. And the best way to call it out is to admit that he’s right: Not even Rex Tillerson deserves to be fracked.
Tell ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: Fight fracking everywhere, not just in your backyard. Click here to sign the petition automatically.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Automatically add your name:
Sign the petition ?
1. Rebecca Leber, “Exxon CEO Comes Out Against Fracking Project Because It Will Affect His Property Values,” ThinkProgress, February 21, 2014
2. Amy Silverstein, “Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is Suing to Stop a Fracking Development Outside Dallas,” Dallas Observer, February 21, 2014
3. Daniel Gilbert, “Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking Concerns,” Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2014
4. Julie Dermansky, “Welcome to Gasland: Denton, Texas Residents Face Fracking Impacts From EagleRidge Energy,” DeSmogBlog, December 5, 2013
5. Denton Drilling Awareness Group 6. Andrew Breiner, “Did Dallas Just Ban Fracking?” ThinkProgress, December 5, 2013
7. Nicholas Sakelaris, “Railroad commission will not halt injection wells in Azle area,” Dallas Business Journal, January 21, 2014


A dangerous new Coast Guard policy would allow the fracking industry to ship millions of gallons of toxic and radioactive waste from Pennsylvania and West Virginia down the Ohio River to Ohio and down the Mississippi to Texas and Louisiana, where it would likely be disposed of in earthquake-causing injection wells.1 2 3
A barge accident could spill dangerous wastewater directly into these rivers, which provide drinking water for millions. Further, by making it less expensive to dispose of fracking wastewater, the policy would incentivize more fracking.
The Coast Guard is accepting public comments on its policy until November 29. We need to tell the Coast Guard to reverse course on the proposed policy and not put our water at risk to help the fracking industry dump its toxic waste.
Tell the Coast Guard: Don’t open our waterways to radioactive fracking wastewater. Click here to submit a public comment.
Fracking in Pennsylvania and West Virginia produces gargantuan amounts of toxic wastewater — and the fracking industry is running out of places to dump it.4 Fracking wastewater contains a slew of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals used during fracking, as well as radioactive material that naturally occurs in shale and returns to the surface with the water and chemicals used for fracking. Conventional wastewater treatment facilities can’t remove many of the toxins in fracking wastewater and, in some cases, they even make it more dangerous!5
But despite the terrifying threat of a major spill, the Coast Guard has refused to conduct a rigorous, comprehensive environmental review, instead baselessly declaring that it doesn’t expect the policy to have any substantial environmental impact. The Coast Guard even plans to allow the fracking industry to keep secret the toxic chemicals in its wastewater — making it dramatically harder to safely contain and clean up a spill if it occurs.
Even if the wastewater gets to its intended destination without spilling, it still poses a major threat to communities that will become a dumping ground for fracking waste. Wastewater injection wells can cause dangerous earthquakes and drinking water contamination.6 7
Activists across the country are waging pitched battles to shut down the fracking industry. The Coast Guard shouldn’t help the fracking industry contaminate our water, pollute our air, and accelerate climate change by opening our rivers to toxic fracking waste.
Tell the Coast Guard: Don’t open America’s waterways to radioactive fracking wastewater. Click here to submit a public comment.
Thanks for fighting fracking.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Take action now ?
1. Sharon Kelly, “Coast Guard Proposal to Allow Barges to Haul Fracking Wastewater Draws Fire From Environmentalists,” DeSmogBlog, November 9, 2013
2. Mike Ludwig, “Coast Guard Moves to Approve Barging of Hazardous Fracking Waste on Major Rivers,” TruthOut, November 13, 2013
3. Emily DeMarco, “U.S. Coast Guard publishes proposed policy on moving frack wastewater by barge,” PublicSource, November 1, 2013
4. Bob Downing, “Pennsylvania drilling wastes might overwhelm Ohio injection wells,” Akron Beacon Journal, January 23, 2013
5. Bill Chameides, “Fracking Water: It’s Just So Hard to Clean,” National Geographic, October 4, 2013
6. Abrahm Lustgarten, “Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us,” ProPublica, June 21, 2012
7. Ryan Grenoble, “Oklahoma ‘Earthquake Swarm’ May Be Linked Wastewater Disposal From Fracking,” Huffington Post, October 24, 2013


Climate Activist—

Protect our national treasures from substandard oil and gas operations.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to pass the so-called “Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act” (HR 2728), a bill that would block federal environmental standards of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.

A companion bill has been distributed in the Senate by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it—this is a terrible idea. At a time when, with your support and activism, we’ve been working so hard across the country to protect communities by establishing tougher environmental and public health standards on the natural gas industry, this bill would put the air, water, and wildlife on federal lands at grave risk from substandard oil and gas operations.

It is crazy for Congress to strip the federal government of any right to take action to protect our public lands. These special places don’t belong to the oil and gas companies—they belong to all of us and to future generations of Americans. And we must stand together to protect them.

When we last wrote to you about the House bill a little more than a week ago, 27,678 of you took action by sending emails to your U.S. Representatives. Thank you for speaking out against this outrageous bill.

Now, I’d like to ask you to take action again—this time by helping us stop this foolishness in the Senate.

Please email your Senators today to oppose the Hatch bill. Tell your Senators we need to work together to promote stronger standards on the natural gas industry to protect our communities and our natural environment. The last thing we should be doing is gutting the protections we already have.

Please take action today.

Jim MarstonThank you for your standing with us,
JimMarstonSignature
Jim Marston
Vice President, US Climate and Energy


Several years ago, gas companies set up fracking operations near the Hallowich family farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Soon after, the Hallowiches started experiencing health problems like nosebleeds, sore throats, and unexplained headaches. They were forced to abandon their home and to sue the gas companies, eventually reaching a settlement that includes a standard gag order.
But in an unprecedented move, the gas companies insisted the gag order extend to the Hallowiches’ children, age 7 and 10 years old at the time, legally barring them from talking about what happened to them — and fracking — forever.
As a parent, I am outraged that these dirty fracking companies have stooped to a new low by going after children. That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDO Mobilize that allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Range Resources, Mark West Energy Partners, and Williams Gas, asks the following:

Stop silencing children. Take immediate legal action to remove the Hallowich children from the gag order placed on their family, and ensure your company does not include children in any future gag orders related to fracking.

The Hallowich children suffered unexplained illnesses and were forced to move from their childhood home. They will be processing these traumatic experiences for the rest of their lives. Children should not be forced by fossil fuel corporations to remain silent about issues that affect their health and well-being.
The Hallowiches’ story is just the latest example of how fracking and other extreme energy extraction are affecting families across the country. Families are battling air and water contamination — some people have even been able to light their tap water on fire. And every day we see more news of droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather fueled by climate change, caused by carbon pollution from projects like these. Far too often, it’s children who bear the brunt.
When pressed by the media, Range Resources Corporation, one of the companies involved in the lawsuit, told reporters it will not enforce the application of the gag order if the children decide to speak out. But, the family’s lawyer says the gag order, as currently written, could land the kids in legal trouble if they talk publicly about what happened to them — or the impacts of fracking — in the future. In order to protect the Hallowich kids, all three of the companies involved must take the legal steps necessary to remove the children from the gag order.
Will you join me and add your name to my petition telling Range Resources, Mark West Energy Partners, and Williams Gas to legally remove the children from the gag order — and commit to never go after kids again?
Thank you for your support.
Corinne Ball


September 5, 2013

Wow. Last week, CREDO and 275 allied organizations delivered more than 600,000 public comments—including yours and more than 120,000 others from CREDO activists—telling the Obama administration to ban fracking on federal lands.
You may not have known it when you submitted your comment (I certainly didn’t!), but you were participating in what may be the single largest display of opposition to fracking ever to take place in the United States.
This huge push to tell President Obama not to frack America couldn’t come at a more important time. Since he unveiled his Climate Action Plan, President Obama has bravely spoken out about the need to confront climate change. But, as admirable as many parts of his plan are, President Obama has continued to endorse fracking for oil and gas as part of his Climate Action Plan, even though fracking is a major threat to the climate and to countless American communities.
We don’t know how the Obama administration will respond to our comments. What we do know is that what has worked so far to stop fracking is relentless grassroots pressure.
In the last few years, grassroots activists from New York to California have waged and won campaigns to protect their communities from fracking. The hundreds of thousands of comments we delivered to President Obama are the direct result of that local and statewide organizing, which has drawn huge numbers of ordinary people into the anti-fracking movement.
We need to keep building momentum to ban fracking at the local level if we want to ever see change in Washington, D.C. And there’s an easy way to do it. CREDO recently launched CREDO Mobilize, which allows activists like you to start petitions to make progressive change in your community. Already, dozens of local campaigns have been started to ban fracking.
Click here to find and sign the petition to ban fracking where you live. Or if one hasn’t been started where you live, start your own. We’ll support you every step of the way and, if your petition takes off, we’ll send it to other CREDO activists to help you get more signatures.
If you’re starting your own petition, the more local your petition is the better. For example, it’s often easier to pressure your city council to act than it is to pressure your governor. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Tell your local elected officials to ban fracking in your city or county.
  • Tell your state legislator or your member of Congress to publicly endorse a ban on fracking.
  • Start a petition opposing a proposed fracking infrastructure project—a pipeline, a compressor station, a natural gas power plant, water withdrawal permits, a silica sand mine, a wastewater injection well, etc.

We have a hard fight ahead of us and the way forward won’t always be clear. The fracking industry has an awful lot of money and influence, and many of the most powerful people in the country—including President Obama—continue to claim that fracking is necessary.
But, as last week’s comment delivery shows, there are also an awful lot of us fighting to stop the fracking industry from poisoning our water and air. And, as the successful fights to keep fracking out of New York, Maryland, and dozens of communities on the frontlines of the fracking boom show, we are increasingly winning the fights we pick.
Thank you for everything you do.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


The Environmental Protection Agency released a progress report Friday that reiterated its support for increasing natural gas development in the United States.

“As the administration and EPA has made clear, natural gas has a central role to play in our energy future,” the agency said in a press release. “The administration continues to work to expand production of this important domestic resource safely and responsibly.” 

EPA outlined several steps it’s taking to assess the impacts fracking — short for hydraulic fracturing — has on the nation’s water supply, as directed by Congress in 2009.
Steps include:
— Analyzing existing data from natural gas companies on chemicals and practices used
— Modeling how discharging waste might impact the water
— Lab testing on water discharge
— Testing fracking chemicals for toxicity
— Testing groundwater in five regions near drilling activity
As expected, the study contained no new data or conclusions. The final results are not expected until late 2014.
Related: World’s 10 most expensive energy projects 

 
Some see the lack of data or negative comments in Friday’s progress report as a positive for the industry.
“It signals that the Obama administration has no real appetite for additional federal regulations until 2014 at the earliest,” said Nitzan Goldberger, a natural gas analyst at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. “That’s good news for the oil and gas guys.”
The Obama administration has tightened some rules around fracking, but for the most part has left regulation up to the states.
Fracking involves injecting massive amounts of water, sand and some chemicals deep underground in a bid to crack shale rock and ease the flow of oil and natural gas.
The process has unleashed an energy boom in the United States, creating thousands of jobs, driving down the price of oil and natural gas and cutting energy imports to levels not seen in decades.
But it’s also raised serious concerns over its effects on the environment, including air pollution from trucks and wells, its links to earthquakes and fears that it is contaminating drinking water.
For environmentalists, the negatives seem to outweigh the positives.


Dear Friend,

Across the country, the risky method of gas drilling known as “fracking” is causing polluted air, explosions, earthquakes and even flammable tap water.

But incredibly, as frackers rush to expand the practice, it remains totally unregulated by federal health and safety officials.

The Obama Administration has begun the process of passing some rules, but it’s clear they are bowing to pressure from the gas industry at every turn.

Last week, the Department of Interior released a draft rule to regulate fracking on federal lands, and like a number of opportunities before it, the Obama Administration caved to the gas industry to allowing major loopholes that fail to protect us from the dangers of fracking. The agency is now accepting comments on the rule, and we need to urge them to protect public land, water and health — not the gas industry.

I just sent a message urging the Department of Interior to protect our water — not the gas industry. Join me and add your name here.


The Obama Administration has begun the process of passing some rules, but it’s clear they are bowing to pressure from the gas industry at every turn.
You know that when American Petroleum Industry president Jack Gerard is crowing about how closely the administration is listening to the natural gas industry, and a lobbyist from the American Chemistry Council says “It took a while for the administration to realize the role it could play…What we’ve seen is an evolution in thinking,” we are in trouble.2
But after months of pressure from industry3 the latest Interior rule represents another in a string of recent concessions by the Obama Administration, including weakening a draft rule to reduce air pollution from fracking, refusing to take action to ban diesel fuel from fracking fluid, and even downplaying EPA studies which found water contamination from fracking in Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
Fracking, involves pumping millions of gallons of water and a largely secret mix of toxic chemicals, deep underground at high pressure, to literally fracture the rock and release trapped pockets of natural gas.
One fifth of all fracking happens on federal lands, so the Interior Department rule could be an opportunity for the administration to fill the void for strong national standards to at least force companies to disclose the toxic chemicals they are pumping through our groundwater, and set strong standards for safe disposal of the fracking fluid.
But the rule fails to do even that — and we need to urge the Department of Interior to substantially strengthen it.
Rather than set strong standards for chemical disclosure and water treatment, the new rule opens up key loopholes on both.4
This allows gas drillers to keep secret until after they drill the toxic mix of chemicals in their fracking fluid — making it far easier for them to avoid accountability in cases of water contamination.
Additionally, the rule continues to allow dangerous open evaporation pits drillers use to dispose of the huge volumes of toxic fracking wastewater that is recovered after fracking. The open chemical mixture goes airborne, unleashing toxic air pollution in the surrounding area. These pits can also leak this toxic fluid into land and water, and pose a major spill risk from floods or storms.
As the gas industry rapidly scrambles to expand fracking all over the country, it isn’t waiting for states or the federal government to adequately fill the regulatory void that was created when Dick Cheney exempted fracking from federal regulation in his 2005 energy bill.
It is clear that the Obama Administration has been hearing from the gas industry. Now they need to hear from us too — there is no time to waste to pass strong rules to protect us from the substantial dangers posed by natural gas fracking.
Thank you for defending our water from fracking.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Tar sands danger

By Kiley Kroh on October 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

Petroleum coke, a byproduct of tar sands refining, is building up along Chicago’s Calumet River and alarming residents, reported Midwest Energy News.
Petroleum coke is a high-carbon, high-sulfur byproduct of Canadian tar sands that are shipped from Alberta to the U.S. to be refined and is rapidly becoming a cause for concern in Chicago. “It’s growing by leaps and bounds,” Southeast Environmental Task Force member Tom Shepherd, told Midwest Energy News. “It’s coming at a breathtaking rate.”
The pet coke is owned by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch whose operations drew similar outrage from residents and elected officials in Detroit earlier this year. In July, a large black cloud of pet coke dust was spotted over the Detroit River and caught on camera by residents across the border in Windsor. Members of the communities in close proximity to the piles were complaining of respiratory problems as the thick, black dust was blowing off the piles and into their apartments.


Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township), whose district includes the Detroit waterfront where the piles were building up, said the tar sands waste “is dirtier than the dirtiest fuel” and demanded a federal study into the impacts of the product on public health and the environment.
In August, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing ordered the removal of the pet coke piles — after which they reportedly became Ohio’s problem.
Detroit’s pet coke piles were produced by Marathon Refinery but owned by Koch Carbon, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. In Chicago they are owned by KCBX, an affiliate of Koch Carbon, which has large parcels of land along the Calumet River and, according to Midwest Energy News, expanded its presence in the area last year. And it’s not just the Koch piles area residents have to worry about; just across the border in Indiana, BP Whiting’s refinery is undergoing a $3.8 billion upgrade which includes construction of the world’s second largest coker. Not only does petroleum coke pose a serious risk to nearby air and water supplies, but the product can also be used as a cheaper — and even dirtier — alternative to coal. Since most power plants in the U.S. and Canada won’t burn pet coke due to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, the companies often ship the waste product to developing countries with looser pollution restrictions.
And as companies look to expand their pipeline network to keep pace with the increased production of tar sands in Alberta, petroleum coke piles could be appearing in more U.S. communities that contain refineries, such as the Midwest and the Gulf Coast.
(HT: Midwest Energy News)


January 08, 2013

A coalition of more than 70 environmental groups released an open letter urging President Obama to meaningfully confront climate change in his second term. The letter urges Obama to begin by rejecting the Keystone XL, saying: “The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.”


Texas blockade to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Learn more about how you can get involved with the Tar Sand Blockade, and join the pre-action training July 27-29th in East Texas.
Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
As the Obama Administration rushes through approval of the southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipleline, Texas landowners and activists may be our best chance to block this disastrous project.
That’s why our friends at Rising Tide North Texas are organizing the Tar Sands Blockade — a serious civil disobedience action to blockade TransCanada from building their dirty pipeline.
Participating and supporting this action is definitely not for everyone. But we wanted to let you know about it in case you or someone you know wants to join the Tar Sands Blockade and put your body on the line to stop the pipeline.
Tar Sands Blockade is looking for activists who would be willing to participate in the blockade and risk arrest, activists who could support those in the blockade, and also activists who may want to organize their own non-violent direct actions in Texas.
For those interested in joining the action, the Tar Sands Blockade is holding a three-day training near Tyler, Friday July 27th — Sunday, July 29th.
Those participating in the blockade training will be camping outside, and should be prepared to be outdoors in the heat. Once again, this isn’t for everyone — and if you can’t join the training, there will be other ways to help fight this in Texas, including helping to promote the blockade once it begins.
The exact timing of the blockade action will depend on when TransCanada gets final approval from President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers. The project has already received approval from two district offices and we expect approval from the third any day now.1
Then TransCanada will begin seizing Texans’ land to dig their pipe to bring the Canadian tar sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries — where it can be exported and sold overseas.
No part of that benefits the U.S. — but it leaves the people, land and water of Texas and Oklahoma vulnerable to toxic oil spills, like the country’s biggest on-land oil spill that happened almost exactly two years ago on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.2
President Obama has failed to stand up and protect us from this disastrous project. So it’s up to the people of Texas to block it.
Learn more about the blockade and RSVP to join the training:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6915555&id=43700-5154581-N5ItVKx&t=7
We wish it didn’t have to come to this. And we are grateful to any brave souls who are able to participate and support the blockade, whether or not they risk arrest.
If you can’t participate, there will (unfortunately) be plenty more to do, and we’ll let you know when you can help.
Thanks for everything you are doing.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets
P.S. — If you can’t participate, a great way to support the action is with a small donation. This Tar Sands Blockade is being organized on a very small budget, so every contribution makes a difference. If you’d like to chip in, you can do so here.


Dear Friend, 

In the same week that record June heat blanketed the southeast, Minnesota tried to recover from record flooding, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral. 

In a single week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to a coal company for virtually nothing, and promised to lease more arctic offshore areas for oil drilling. 

Now, the Canada to Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline – which would turn up the spigot on deadly, “game over for the climate” tar sands production – is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision. 

Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave when a decision is made in 2013 – if he is re-elected. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision. 

Please join me in urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/extreme_xl/?r_by=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&rc=confemail


Stop Keystone XL. Again!
Rejected by President Obama in Janaury, Keystone XL is being considered again by the State Department, which is now accepting public comments. Submit a comment telling the Obama Administration to reject this disastrous pipeline.

Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
In the same week that record June heat blanketed the country, an massive summer storm wreaked havoc from Indiana to Washington, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral.
Last week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,1 gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to Peabody Energy for virtually nothing,2 and promised to lease more Arctic offshore areas for oil drilling.3
Now, the Canada-to-Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline — which would turn up the spigot on deadly, “game over for the climate” tar sands production — is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision.
Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave if he is the one making the decision in 2013. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision for our present and future climate.
Today’s weather is a scary prelude of things to come. And it’s clear that our leaders can’t take the heat.
Our leaders are simply not confronting the abundantly obvious, terrifying realities of escalating climate change. The present Congress is simply hopeless. And the Obama Administration consistently undermines any progress it might have made. We can’t depend on our leaders. But we can take action.
We must make sure the State Department considers the full climate impacts of Keystone XL when determining if it’s in our national interest.
Stopping Keystone XL won’t reverse the spiral of our heating climate. But as one of the single largest projects to turn up the spigot on the dirtiest form of energy in the world, it will stop us from making the problem much worse for our future. And so we must stop it.
Tell the Obama Administration: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. Click below to submit a comment to the State Department: 
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6905050&p=extreme_xl&id=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&t=7
Thanks for taking action — somebody has to.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets


Oil sands, tar sands or, more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. The oil sands are loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing naturally occurring mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen (or colloquially tar due to its similar appearance, odour and colour). Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many countries, but in particular are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.[1][2] Other large reserves are located in Kazakhstan and Russia. Total natural bitumen reserves are estimated at 249.67 billion barrels (39.694×109 m3) globally, of which 176.8 billion barrels (28.11×109 m3), or 70.8%, are in Canada.[1]

Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world’s oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable them to be profitably extracted and upgraded to usable products. They are often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, in order to distinguish the bitumen extracted from oil sands from the free-flowing hydrocarbon mixtures known as crude oil traditionally produced from oil wells.

The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as “petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of crude oil, so heavy and viscous (thick) that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses“.[3] The World Energy Council (WEC) defines natural bitumen as “oil having a viscosity greater than 10,000 centipoises under reservoir conditions and an API gravity of less than 10° API”.[1] The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela is sometimes described as oil sands, but these deposits are non-bituminous, falling instead into the category of heavy or extra-heavy oil due to their lower viscosity.[4]
Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil differ in the degree by which they have been degraded from the original crude oil by bacteria and erosion. According to the WEC, extra-heavy oil has “a gravity of less than 10° API and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10,000 centipoises”.[1]

Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates two to four times the amount of greenhouse gases per barrel of final product as the “production” of conventional oil.[5] If combustion of the final products is included, the so-called “Well to Wheels” approach, oil sands extraction, upgrade and use emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gases than conventional crude.

Bituminous sands are a major source of unconventional oil, although only Canada has a large-scale commercial oil sands industry. In 2006, bitumen production in Canada averaged 1.25 million barrels per day (200,000 m3/d) through 81 oil sands projects. 44% of Canadian oil production in 2007 was from oil sands.[21] This proportion is expected to increase in coming decades as bitumen production grows while conventional oil production declines, although due to the 2008 economic downturn work on new projects has been deferred.[2] Petroleum is not produced from oil sands on a significant level in other countries.[20]

The Alberta oil sands have been in commercial production since the original Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor Energy) mine began operation in 1967. A second mine, operated by the Syncrude consortium, began operation in 1978 and is the biggest mine of any type in the world. The third mine in the Athabasca Oil Sands, the Albian Sands consortium of Shell Canada, Chevron Corporation, and Western Oil Sands Inc. [purchased by Marathon Oil Corporation in 2007] began operation in 2003. Petro-Canada was also developing a $33 billion Fort Hills Project, in partnership with UTS Energy Corporation and Teck Cominco, which lost momentum after the 2009 merger of Petro-Canada into Suncor.[22]

In the Republic of the Congo, the Italian oil company Eni have announced in May 2008 a project to develop the small oil sands deposit in order to produce 40,000 barrels per day (6,400 m3/d) in 2014.

Conventional crude oil is normally extracted from the ground by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir, allowing oil to flow into them under natural reservoir pressures, although artificial lift and techniques such as water flooding and gas injection are usually required to maintain production as reservoir pressure drops toward the end of a field’s life. Because bitumen flows very slowly, if at all, toward producing wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in-situ techniques, which reduce the viscosity by injecting steam, solvents, and/or hot air into the sands. These processes can use more water and require larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction, although many conventional oil fields also require large amounts of water and energy to achieve good rates of production.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of the Alberta oil sands are too far below the surface to use open-pit mining. Several in-situ techniques have been developed.

Since Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) started operation of its mine in 1967, bitumen has been extracted on a commercial scale from the Athabasca Oil Sands by surface mining. In the Athabasca sands there are very large amounts of bitumen covered by little overburden, making surface mining the most efficient method of extracting it. The overburden consists of water-laden muskeg (peat bog) over top of clay and barren sand. The oil sands themselves are typically 40 to 60 metres (130 to 200 ft) deep, sitting on top of flat limestone rock. Originally, the sands were mined with draglines and bucket-wheel excavators and moved to the processing plants by conveyor belts. In recent years companies such as Syncrude and Suncor have switched to much cheaper shovel-and-truck operations using the biggest power shovels (100 or more tons) and dump trucks (400 tons) in the world.[25] This has held production costs to around $27 per barrel of synthetic crude oil despite rising energy and labour costs.[26]

After excavation, hot water and caustic soda (NaOH) is added to the sand, and the resulting slurry is piped to the extraction plant where it is agitated and the oil skimmed from the top.[27] Provided that the water chemistry is appropriate to allow bitumen to separate from sand and clay, the combination of hot water and agitation releases bitumen from the oil sand, and allows small air bubbles to attach to the bitumen droplets. The bitumen froth floats to the top of separation vessels, and is further treated to remove residual water and fine solids.

About two tons of oil sands are required to produce one barrel (roughly 1/8 of a ton) of oil. Originally, roughly 75% of the bitumen was recovered from the sand. However, recent enhancements to this method include Tailings Oil Recovery (TOR) units which recover oil from the tailings, Diluent Recovery Units to recover naptha from the froth, Inclined Plate Settlers (IPS) and disc centrifuges. These allow the extraction plants to recover well over 90% of the bitumen in the sand. After oil extraction, the spent sand and other materials are then returned to the mine, which is eventually reclaimed.

Alberta Taciuk Process technology extracts bitumen from oil sands through a dry-retorting. During this process, oil sand is moved through a rotating drum, cracking the bitumen with heat and producing lighter hydrocarbons. Although tested, this technology is not in commercial use yet.[28]

Four oil sands mines are currently in operation and two more (Jackpine and Kearl) are in the initial stages of development. The original Suncor mine opened in 1967, while the Syncrude mine started in 1978, Shell Canada opened its Muskeg River mine (Albian Sands) in 2003 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd opened its Horizon Project in 2009. New mines under construction or undergoing approval include Shell Canada’s,[29]Imperial Oil‘s Kearl Oil Sands Project, Synenco Energy’s Northern Lights mine and Suncor’s Fort Hills mine.

Mining Canada's Oil Sands.ogv

Satellite images show the growth of pit mines over Canada’s oil sands between 1984 and 2011.

Oil sands extraction is generally held to be more environmentally damaging than conventional crude oil.[47] It can affect the land when the bitumen is initially mined, water by its requirement of large quantities of water during separation of the oil and sand and the air due to the release of carbon dioxide and other emissions.[48] Heavy metals such as vanadium, nickel, lead, cobalt, mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc are naturally present in oil sands and may be concentrated by the extraction process.[49] The environmental impact caused by oil sand extraction is frequently criticized by environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Climate Reality Project, 350.org, MoveOn, League of Conservation Voters, Patagonia, Sierra Club, and Energy Action Coalition.[50][51] The European Union has indicated that it may vote to label oil sands oil as “highly polluting”. Although oil sands exports to Europe are minimal, the issue has caused friction between the EU and Canada.

Between 2 to 4.5 volume units of water are used to produce each volume unit of synthetic crude oil in an ex-situ mining operation. According to Greenpeace, the Canadian oil sands operations use 349 million cubic metres per annum (12.3 × 109 cu ft/a) of water, twice the amount of water used by the city of Calgary.[62] Despite recycling, almost all of it ends up in tailings ponds. As of 2007, tailing ponds in Canada covered an area of approximately 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi). However, in SAGD operations, 90–95% of the water is recycled and only about 0.2 volume units of water is used per volume unit of bitumen produced.[63]
For the Athabasca oil sand operations water is supplied from the Athabasca River, the ninth longest river in Canada.[64] The average flow just downstream of Fort McMurray is 633 cubic metres per second (22,400 cu ft/s) with its highest daily average measuring 1,200 cubic metres per second (42,000 cu ft/s).[65][66] Oil sands industries water license allocations totals about 1.8% of the Athabasca river flow. Actual use in 2006 was about 0.4%.[67] In addition, according to the Water Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca River, during periods of low river flow water consumption from the Athabasca River is limited to 1.3% of annual average flow.[68]

In December 2010, the Oil Sands Advisory Panel, commissioned by former environment minister Jim Prentice, found that the system in place for monitoring water quality in the region, including work by the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program, the Alberta Water Research Institute, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association and others, was piecemeal and should become more comprehensive and coordinated.[69][70] A major hindrance to the monitoring of oil sands produced waters has been the lack of identification of individual compounds present. By better understanding the nature of the highly complex mixture of compounds, including naphthenic acids, it may be possible to monitor rivers for leachate and also to remove toxic components. Such identification of individual acids has for many years proved to be impossible but a recent breakthrough in analysis has begun to reveal what is in the oil sands produced waters.[71]

In October 2009, Suncor announced it was seeking government approval for a new process to recover tailings called Tailings Reduction Operations, which accelerates the settling of fine clay, sand, water, and residual bitumen in ponds after oil sands extraction. The technology involves dredging mature tailings from a pond bottom, mixing the suspension with a polymer flocculent, and spreading the sludge-like mixture over a “beach” with a shallow grade. According to the company, the process could reduce the time for water reclamation from tailings to weeks rather than years, with the recovered water being recycled into the oil sands plant. In addition to reducing the number of tailing ponds, Suncor claims that the process could reduce the time to reclaim a tailing pond from 40 years at present to 7–10 years, with land rehabilitation continuously following 7 to 10 years behind the mining operations


Dear Friend,

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands extraction is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of forest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for killing thousands of wolves.1
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2
It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, wolves, woodland caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. A paper released by the National Wildlife Federation reports that The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: tar sands oil extraction is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including promoting the Keystone XL Pipeline to export refined tar sands bitumen all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.3
The Ministry of the Environment has not yet begun this planned wolf kill. With enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands development.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5532375&id=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&t=10
Thank you for fighting tar sands and all their devastation.
Elijah zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Tell the Canadian government: 

Stop your tar sands wolf kills!

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.1
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop Canada’s planned wolf killings!
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2

It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop your planned wolf killings! Preserve wolf and caribou habitat, and stop the irresponsible development of tar sands oil which threatens all of us.

This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: Tar sands development is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.

But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including with the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation, to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.2

The Ministry of the Environment has not yet moved forward with this planned wolf kill. And with enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil fields.
1. “Tar Sands Development to Lead to Poisoning of Wolves,” National Wildlife Federation, February 6, 2012
2. “Tar Sands,” Friends of the Earth
3. “Monitoring plan would bolster oilsands image, federal documents show,” Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2012


Tar sands oil is a high carbon fuel strip-mined from beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. Fuel from tar sands represents an increasingly significant portion of the fuel used in cars in the United States. To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that oil into transportation fuel. Tar sands mining and production harm the boreal forest’s fragile ecosystem, waste enormous amounts of water, and disrupt the lives of indigenous people in the area.

Our primary tar sands campaign objective at present is to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Climate Impacts

Tar sands oil extraction and production emits three times more carbon dioxide than average from production of conventional oil consumed in the United States. If we expand our use of dirty tar sands, we could jeopardize the gains we make combating climate change via fuel economy standards and the use of clean energy sources as vehicle fuels.

Ecosystem Destruction

Tar sands extraction requires total destruction of pristine areas within the Canadian Boreal forest, one of the few large, intact ecosystems on Earth. The forest is clear cut, the wetlands are drained, and living matter and soil are hauled away to expose the tar sands. Oil companies remove and dump four tons of sand and soil for every one barrel of oil they get from tar sands. Oil companies have so far failed to deliver on their promises to mitigate some of this destruction by refilling tar sands mines and planting new vegetation.

Water Waste

Extracting the fossil fuels in tar sands from the sand, silt, and clay requires enormous amounts of water. It takes about three barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil. More than 90 percent of this water, 400 million gallons per day, ends up as toxic waste dumped in massive pools that contain carcinogenic substances like cyanide.

Disruption of Native People

The tar sands are being mined in a region home to many native people. They have trouble practicing their cultural traditions because of the destruction caused by tailing ponds and strip mining operations. The people downstream from the toxic tailing ponds have high rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. Indigenous groups have organized and protested to stop the expansion of tar sands operations. This opposition is shared by the majority of Albertans, with 71 percent supporting a moratorium on new projects in a recent survey.

What We Can Do

The majority of tar sands oil is exported to the United States.  Tar sands already make up four percent of the crude oil we use and our tax dollars are already subsidizing pipelines and refineries that would allow oil companies to quadruple that amount. Also, the president must approve any new pipelines (like the Keystone XL pipeline) that the tar sands industry wants to build to the U.S. So far, the Canadian government and oil companies have not found any buyers of tar sands oil outside of the United States. As a result, stopping U.S. permits and taxpayer subsidies for new pipelines and upgraded refineries will go a long way towards ending oil companies’ exploitation of this dirty fuel and the havoc wrought on the local environment and indigenous people’s livelihoods in the process.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===

Thanks for taking action.

Here are some ways you can spread the word to build pressure on Canadian officials to abandon this cruel plan and stop their rapid expansion of tar sands mining which threatens all of us.

If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall.

If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell Canadian Prime Minister Harper and @ec_minister Peter Kent: Stop your planned tar sands #wolf kills! http://bit.ly/xRSXlC @pmharper

You can also send the following e-mail to your friends and family. Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you — spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

–The CREDO Action Team

Here’s a sample message to send to your friends:


Subject: Stop Canada’s planned tar sands wolf killings!
Dear Friend,

If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.

To make up for the fact that extracting tar sands oil is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.

This plan is both cruel and deeply misguided.

I just signed a petition telling Canada’s Prime Minister Harper to Stop Canada’s planned tar sands wolf killings. Learn more and add your name here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/tar_sands_wolves/?r_by=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&rc=confemail 

By Kiley Kroh on October 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

Petroleum coke, a byproduct of tar sands refining, is building up along Chicago’s Calumet River and alarming residents, reported Midwest Energy News.
Petroleum coke is a high-carbon, high-sulfur byproduct of Canadian tar sands that are shipped from Alberta to the U.S. to be refined and is rapidly becoming a cause for concern in Chicago. “It’s growing by leaps and bounds,” Southeast Environmental Task Force member Tom Shepherd, told Midwest Energy News. “It’s coming at a breathtaking rate.”
The pet coke is owned by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch whose operations drew similar outrage from residents and elected officials in Detroit earlier this year. In July, a large black cloud of pet coke dust was spotted over the Detroit River and caught on camera by residents across the border in Windsor. Members of the communities in close proximity to the piles were complaining of respiratory problems as the thick, black dust was blowing off the piles and into their apartments.


Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township), whose district includes the Detroit waterfront where the piles were building up, said the tar sands waste “is dirtier than the dirtiest fuel” and demanded a federal study into the impacts of the product on public health and the environment.
In August, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing ordered the removal of the pet coke piles — after which they reportedly became Ohio’s problem.
Detroit’s pet coke piles were produced by Marathon Refinery but owned by Koch Carbon, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. In Chicago they are owned by KCBX, an affiliate of Koch Carbon, which has large parcels of land along the Calumet River and, according to Midwest Energy News, expanded its presence in the area last year. And it’s not just the Koch piles area residents have to worry about; just across the border in Indiana, BP Whiting’s refinery is undergoing a $3.8 billion upgrade which includes construction of the world’s second largest coker. Not only does petroleum coke pose a serious risk to nearby air and water supplies, but the product can also be used as a cheaper — and even dirtier — alternative to coal. Since most power plants in the U.S. and Canada won’t burn pet coke due to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, the companies often ship the waste product to developing countries with looser pollution restrictions.
And as companies look to expand their pipeline network to keep pace with the increased production of tar sands in Alberta, petroleum coke piles could be appearing in more U.S. communities that contain refineries, such as the Midwest and the Gulf Coast.
(HT: Midwest Energy News)


January 08, 2013

A coalition of more than 70 environmental groups released an open letter urging President Obama to meaningfully confront climate change in his second term. The letter urges Obama to begin by rejecting the Keystone XL, saying: “The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.”



Texas blockade to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Learn more about how you can get involved with the Tar Sand Blockade, and join the pre-action training July 27-29th in East Texas.
Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
As the Obama Administration rushes through approval of the southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipleline, Texas landowners and activists may be our best chance to block this disastrous project.
That’s why our friends at Rising Tide North Texas are organizing the Tar Sands Blockade — a serious civil disobedience action to blockade TransCanada from building their dirty pipeline.
Participating and supporting this action is definitely not for everyone. But we wanted to let you know about it in case you or someone you know wants to join the Tar Sands Blockade and put your body on the line to stop the pipeline.
Tar Sands Blockade is looking for activists who would be willing to participate in the blockade and risk arrest, activists who could support those in the blockade, and also activists who may want to organize their own non-violent direct actions in Texas.
For those interested in joining the action, the Tar Sands Blockade is holding a three-day training near Tyler, Friday July 27th — Sunday, July 29th.
Those participating in the blockade training will be camping outside, and should be prepared to be outdoors in the heat. Once again, this isn’t for everyone — and if you can’t join the training, there will be other ways to help fight this in Texas, including helping to promote the blockade once it begins.
The exact timing of the blockade action will depend on when TransCanada gets final approval from President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers. The project has already received approval from two district offices and we expect approval from the third any day now.1
Then TransCanada will begin seizing Texans’ land to dig their pipe to bring the Canadian tar sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries — where it can be exported and sold overseas.
No part of that benefits the U.S. — but it leaves the people, land and water of Texas and Oklahoma vulnerable to toxic oil spills, like the country’s biggest on-land oil spill that happened almost exactly two years ago on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.2
President Obama has failed to stand up and protect us from this disastrous project. So it’s up to the people of Texas to block it.
Learn more about the blockade and RSVP to join the training:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6915555&id=43700-5154581-N5ItVKx&t=7
We wish it didn’t have to come to this. And we are grateful to any brave souls who are able to participate and support the blockade, whether or not they risk arrest.
If you can’t participate, there will (unfortunately) be plenty more to do, and we’ll let you know when you can help.
Thanks for everything you are doing.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets
P.S. — If you can’t participate, a great way to support the action is with a small donation. This Tar Sands Blockade is being organized on a very small budget, so every contribution makes a difference. If you’d like to chip in, you can do so here.


Dear Friend, 

In the same week that record June heat blanketed the southeast, Minnesota tried to recover from record flooding, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral. 

In a single week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to a coal company for virtually nothing, and promised to lease more arctic offshore areas for oil drilling. 

Now, the Canada to Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline – which would turn up the spigot on deadly, “game over for the climate” tar sands production – is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision. 

Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave when a decision is made in 2013 – if he is re-elected. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision. 

Please join me in urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/extreme_xl/?r_by=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&rc=confemail


Stop Keystone XL. Again!
Rejected by President Obama in Janaury, Keystone XL is being considered again by the State Department, which is now accepting public comments. Submit a comment telling the Obama Administration to reject this disastrous pipeline.

Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
In the same week that record June heat blanketed the country, an massive summer storm wreaked havoc from Indiana to Washington, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral.
Last week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,1 gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to Peabody Energy for virtually nothing,2 and promised to lease more Arctic offshore areas for oil drilling.3
Now, the Canada-to-Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline — which would turn up the spigot on deadly, “game over for the climate” tar sands production — is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision.
Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave if he is the one making the decision in 2013. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision for our present and future climate.
Today’s weather is a scary prelude of things to come. And it’s clear that our leaders can’t take the heat.
Our leaders are simply not confronting the abundantly obvious, terrifying realities of escalating climate change. The present Congress is simply hopeless. And the Obama Administration consistently undermines any progress it might have made. We can’t depend on our leaders. But we can take action.
We must make sure the State Department considers the full climate impacts of Keystone XL when determining if it’s in our national interest.
Stopping Keystone XL won’t reverse the spiral of our heating climate. But as one of the single largest projects to turn up the spigot on the dirtiest form of energy in the world, it will stop us from making the problem much worse for our future. And so we must stop it.
Tell the Obama Administration: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. Click below to submit a comment to the State Department: 
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6905050&p=extreme_xl&id=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&t=7
Thanks for taking action — somebody has to.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets


Oil sands, tar sands or, more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. The oil sands are loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing naturally occurring mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen (or colloquially tar due to its similar appearance, odour and colour). Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many countries, but in particular are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.[1][2] Other large reserves are located in Kazakhstan and Russia. Total natural bitumen reserves are estimated at 249.67 billion barrels (39.694×109 m3) globally, of which 176.8 billion barrels (28.11×109 m3), or 70.8%, are in Canada.[1]

Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world’s oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable them to be profitably extracted and upgraded to usable products. They are often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, in order to distinguish the bitumen extracted from oil sands from the free-flowing hydrocarbon mixtures known as crude oil traditionally produced from oil wells.

The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as “petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of crude oil, so heavy and viscous (thick) that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses“.[3] The World Energy Council (WEC) defines natural bitumen as “oil having a viscosity greater than 10,000 centipoises under reservoir conditions and an API gravity of less than 10° API”.[1] The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela is sometimes described as oil sands, but these deposits are non-bituminous, falling instead into the category of heavy or extra-heavy oil due to their lower viscosity.[4]
Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil differ in the degree by which they have been degraded from the original crude oil by bacteria and erosion. According to the WEC, extra-heavy oil has “a gravity of less than 10° API and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10,000 centipoises”.[1]

Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates two to four times the amount of greenhouse gases per barrel of final product as the “production” of conventional oil.[5] If combustion of the final products is included, the so-called “Well to Wheels” approach, oil sands extraction, upgrade and use emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gases than conventional crude.

Bituminous sands are a major source of unconventional oil, although only Canada has a large-scale commercial oil sands industry. In 2006, bitumen production in Canada averaged 1.25 million barrels per day (200,000 m3/d) through 81 oil sands projects. 44% of Canadian oil production in 2007 was from oil sands.[21] This proportion is expected to increase in coming decades as bitumen production grows while conventional oil production declines, although due to the 2008 economic downturn work on new projects has been deferred.[2] Petroleum is not produced from oil sands on a significant level in other countries.[20]

The Alberta oil sands have been in commercial production since the original Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor Energy) mine began operation in 1967. A second mine, operated by the Syncrude consortium, began operation in 1978 and is the biggest mine of any type in the world. The third mine in the Athabasca Oil Sands, the Albian Sands consortium of Shell Canada, Chevron Corporation, and Western Oil Sands Inc. [purchased by Marathon Oil Corporation in 2007] began operation in 2003. Petro-Canada was also developing a $33 billion Fort Hills Project, in partnership with UTS Energy Corporation and Teck Cominco, which lost momentum after the 2009 merger of Petro-Canada into Suncor.[22]

In the Republic of the Congo, the Italian oil company Eni have announced in May 2008 a project to develop the small oil sands deposit in order to produce 40,000 barrels per day (6,400 m3/d) in 2014.

Conventional crude oil is normally extracted from the ground by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir, allowing oil to flow into them under natural reservoir pressures, although artificial lift and techniques such as water flooding and gas injection are usually required to maintain production as reservoir pressure drops toward the end of a field’s life. Because bitumen flows very slowly, if at all, toward producing wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in-situ techniques, which reduce the viscosity by injecting steam, solvents, and/or hot air into the sands. These processes can use more water and require larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction, although many conventional oil fields also require large amounts of water and energy to achieve good rates of production.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of the Alberta oil sands are too far below the surface to use open-pit mining. Several in-situ techniques have been developed.

Since Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) started operation of its mine in 1967, bitumen has been extracted on a commercial scale from the Athabasca Oil Sands by surface mining. In the Athabasca sands there are very large amounts of bitumen covered by little overburden, making surface mining the most efficient method of extracting it. The overburden consists of water-laden muskeg (peat bog) over top of clay and barren sand. The oil sands themselves are typically 40 to 60 metres (130 to 200 ft) deep, sitting on top of flat limestone rock. Originally, the sands were mined with draglines and bucket-wheel excavators and moved to the processing plants by conveyor belts. In recent years companies such as Syncrude and Suncor have switched to much cheaper shovel-and-truck operations using the biggest power shovels (100 or more tons) and dump trucks (400 tons) in the world.[25] This has held production costs to around $27 per barrel of synthetic crude oil despite rising energy and labour costs.[26]

After excavation, hot water and caustic soda (NaOH) is added to the sand, and the resulting slurry is piped to the extraction plant where it is agitated and the oil skimmed from the top.[27] Provided that the water chemistry is appropriate to allow bitumen to separate from sand and clay, the combination of hot water and agitation releases bitumen from the oil sand, and allows small air bubbles to attach to the bitumen droplets. The bitumen froth floats to the top of separation vessels, and is further treated to remove residual water and fine solids.

About two tons of oil sands are required to produce one barrel (roughly 1/8 of a ton) of oil. Originally, roughly 75% of the bitumen was recovered from the sand. However, recent enhancements to this method include Tailings Oil Recovery (TOR) units which recover oil from the tailings, Diluent Recovery Units to recover naptha from the froth, Inclined Plate Settlers (IPS) and disc centrifuges. These allow the extraction plants to recover well over 90% of the bitumen in the sand. After oil extraction, the spent sand and other materials are then returned to the mine, which is eventually reclaimed.

Alberta Taciuk Process technology extracts bitumen from oil sands through a dry-retorting. During this process, oil sand is moved through a rotating drum, cracking the bitumen with heat and producing lighter hydrocarbons. Although tested, this technology is not in commercial use yet.[28]

Four oil sands mines are currently in operation and two more (Jackpine and Kearl) are in the initial stages of development. The original Suncor mine opened in 1967, while the Syncrude mine started in 1978, Shell Canada opened its Muskeg River mine (Albian Sands) in 2003 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd opened its Horizon Project in 2009. New mines under construction or undergoing approval include Shell Canada’s,[29] Imperial Oil‘s Kearl Oil Sands Project, Synenco Energy’s Northern Lights mine and Suncor’s Fort Hills mine.

Mining Canada's Oil Sands.ogv

Satellite images show the growth of pit mines over Canada’s oil sands between 1984 and 2011.

Oil sands extraction is generally held to be more environmentally damaging than conventional crude oil.[47] It can affect the land when the bitumen is initially mined, water by its requirement of large quantities of water during separation of the oil and sand and the air due to the release of carbon dioxide and other emissions.[48] Heavy metals such as vanadium, nickel, lead, cobalt, mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc are naturally present in oil sands and may be concentrated by the extraction process.[49] The environmental impact caused by oil sand extraction is frequently criticized by environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Climate Reality Project, 350.org, MoveOn, League of Conservation Voters, Patagonia, Sierra Club, and Energy Action Coalition.[50][51] The European Union has indicated that it may vote to label oil sands oil as “highly polluting”. Although oil sands exports to Europe are minimal, the issue has caused friction between the EU and Canada.

Between 2 to 4.5 volume units of water are used to produce each volume unit of synthetic crude oil in an ex-situ mining operation. According to Greenpeace, the Canadian oil sands operations use 349 million cubic metres per annum (12.3 × 109 cu ft/a) of water, twice the amount of water used by the city of Calgary.[62] Despite recycling, almost all of it ends up in tailings ponds. As of 2007, tailing ponds in Canada covered an area of approximately 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi). However, in SAGD operations, 90–95% of the water is recycled and only about 0.2 volume units of water is used per volume unit of bitumen produced.[63]
For the Athabasca oil sand operations water is supplied from the Athabasca River, the ninth longest river in Canada.[64] The average flow just downstream of Fort McMurray is 633 cubic metres per second (22,400 cu ft/s) with its highest daily average measuring 1,200 cubic metres per second (42,000 cu ft/s).[65][66] Oil sands industries water license allocations totals about 1.8% of the Athabasca river flow. Actual use in 2006 was about 0.4%.[67] In addition, according to the Water Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca River, during periods of low river flow water consumption from the Athabasca River is limited to 1.3% of annual average flow.[68]

In December 2010, the Oil Sands Advisory Panel, commissioned by former environment minister Jim Prentice, found that the system in place for monitoring water quality in the region, including work by the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program, the Alberta Water Research Institute, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association and others, was piecemeal and should become more comprehensive and coordinated.[69][70] A major hindrance to the monitoring of oil sands produced waters has been the lack of identification of individual compounds present. By better understanding the nature of the highly complex mixture of compounds, including naphthenic acids, it may be possible to monitor rivers for leachate and also to remove toxic components. Such identification of individual acids has for many years proved to be impossible but a recent breakthrough in analysis has begun to reveal what is in the oil sands produced waters.[71]

In October 2009, Suncor announced it was seeking government approval for a new process to recover tailings called Tailings Reduction Operations, which accelerates the settling of fine clay, sand, water, and residual bitumen in ponds after oil sands extraction. The technology involves dredging mature tailings from a pond bottom, mixing the suspension with a polymer flocculent, and spreading the sludge-like mixture over a “beach” with a shallow grade. According to the company, the process could reduce the time for water reclamation from tailings to weeks rather than years, with the recovered water being recycled into the oil sands plant. In addition to reducing the number of tailing ponds, Suncor claims that the process could reduce the time to reclaim a tailing pond from 40 years at present to 7–10 years, with land rehabilitation continuously following 7 to 10 years behind the mining operations


Dear Friend,

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands extraction is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of forest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for killing thousands of wolves.1
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2
It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, wolves, woodland caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. A paper released by the National Wildlife Federation reports that The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: tar sands oil extraction is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including promoting the Keystone XL Pipeline to export refined tar sands bitumen all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.3
The Ministry of the Environment has not yet begun this planned wolf kill. With enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands development.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5532375&id=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&t=10
Thank you for fighting tar sands and all their devastation.
Elijah zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Tell the Canadian government: 

Stop your tar sands wolf kills!

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.1
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop Canada’s planned wolf killings!
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2

It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop your planned wolf killings! Preserve wolf and caribou habitat, and stop the irresponsible development of tar sands oil which threatens all of us.

This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: Tar sands development is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.

But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including with the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation, to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.2

The Ministry of the Environment has not yet moved forward with this planned wolf kill. And with enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil fields.
1. “Tar Sands Development to Lead to Poisoning of Wolves,” National Wildlife Federation, February 6, 2012
2. “Tar Sands,” Friends of the Earth
3. “Monitoring plan would bolster oilsands image, federal documents show,” Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2012


Tar sands oil is a high carbon fuel strip-mined from beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. Fuel from tar sands represents an increasingly significant portion of the fuel used in cars in the United States. To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that oil into transportation fuel. Tar sands mining and production harm the boreal forest’s fragile ecosystem, waste enormous amounts of water, and disrupt the lives of indigenous people in the area.

Our primary tar sands campaign objective at present is to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Climate Impacts

Tar sands oil extraction and production emits three times more carbon dioxide than average from production of conventional oil consumed in the United States. If we expand our use of dirty tar sands, we could jeopardize the gains we make combating climate change via fuel economy standards and the use of clean energy sources as vehicle fuels.

Ecosystem Destruction

Tar sands extraction requires total destruction of pristine areas within the Canadian Boreal forest, one of the few large, intact ecosystems on Earth. The forest is clear cut, the wetlands are drained, and living matter and soil are hauled away to expose the tar sands. Oil companies remove and dump four tons of sand and soil for every one barrel of oil they get from tar sands. Oil companies have so far failed to deliver on their promises to mitigate some of this destruction by refilling tar sands mines and planting new vegetation.

Water Waste

Extracting the fossil fuels in tar sands from the sand, silt, and clay requires enormous amounts of water. It takes about three barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil. More than 90 percent of this water, 400 million gallons per day, ends up as toxic waste dumped in massive pools that contain carcinogenic substances like cyanide.

Disruption of Native People

The tar sands are being mined in a region home to many native people. They have trouble practicing their cultural traditions because of the destruction caused by tailing ponds and strip mining operations. The people downstream from the toxic tailing ponds have high rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. Indigenous groups have organized and protested to stop the expansion of tar sands operations. This opposition is shared by the majority of Albertans, with 71 percent supporting a moratorium on new projects in a recent survey.

What We Can Do

The majority of tar sands oil is exported to the United States.  Tar sands already make up four percent of the crude oil we use and our tax dollars are already subsidizing pipelines and refineries that would allow oil companies to quadruple that amount. Also, the president must approve any new pipelines (like the Keystone XL pipeline) that the tar sands industry wants to build to the U.S. So far, the Canadian government and oil companies have not found any buyers of tar sands oil outside of the United States. As a result, stopping U.S. permits and taxpayer subsidies for new pipelines and upgraded refineries will go a long way towards ending oil companies’ exploitation of this dirty fuel and the havoc wrought on the local environment and indigenous people’s livelihoods in the process.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===

Thanks for taking action.

Here are some ways you can spread the word to build pressure on Canadian officials to abandon this cruel plan and stop their rapid expansion of tar sands mining which threatens all of us.

If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall.

If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell Canadian Prime Minister Harper and @ec_minister Peter Kent: Stop your planned tar sands #wolf kills! http://bit.ly/xRSXlC @pmharper

You can also send the following e-mail to your friends and family. Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you — spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

–The CREDO Action Team

Here’s a sample message to send to your friends:


Subject: Stop Canada’s planned tar sands wolf killings!
Dear Friend,

If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.

To make up for the fact that extracting tar sands oil is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.

This plan is both cruel and deeply misguided.

I just signed a petition telling Canada’s Prime Minister Harper to Stop Canada’s planned tar sands wolf killings. Learn more and add your name here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/tar_sands_wolves/?r_by=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&rc=confemail 

elixir of life

Vasanth Mysoremath Many believe that there will be future wars over water. Humans consume hardly 5 litres of water for drinking and about 20 litres for cooking. For bathing, washing etc., water treated according to standards prescribed is required…

Vasanth Mysoremath 

Many believe that there will be future wars over water. Humans consume hardly 5 litres of water for drinking and about 20 litres for cooking. For bathing, washing etc., water treated according to standards prescribed is required. Further, water supplied through municipal taps is also old, used and recycled. Some facts: Water, “elixir of life” is a natural resource and has existed since millions of years and there is no extraordinary arrangement for getting water from anywhere from the space and existing water continues to be circulated within the atmosphere around the earth. This available water must be shared equitably between all living beings on earth. Those authorized to handle water are only its trustees and not owners and they have no right to sell or alienate or impound beyond a limit. Around 3/4th of the earth is water of which 97 per cent is saline and unfit for human consumption. Two per cent of the remaining water is frozen. Half the rest is in rivers, streams, rivulets etc., while the balance exists in the form of groundwater. So, there is enough water for everybody for millions of years. Nature has no other system to pump water into the earth from outer space since it may not exist. Water does not vanish and cause deficit. It evaporates, crystallizes, becomes cloud or snow, moves around the earth’s atmosphere and depending upon hot or cold atmospheric pressure, it pours as rain and the entire cycle resumes. Some rain or snow pour over the sea but whatever falls on the ground can be useful to all if harvested properly. Water circulates within the earth’s atmosphere.
Countries that tried to commoditize water unsuccessfully are reverting to the municipal supply system to ensure equitable distribution of this priceless natural resource. But some people are still trading in it. Current water consumption pattern reveals that we must rejig our requirements/priorities and innovate to protect and harvest/conserve/reuse/recycle either good water or bad water. While people are struggling for minimum quantity of water, many are seen wasting it or use it in excess. Further, some industries use potable water for industrial purposes and let out toxic waste water that becomes permanently unusable. Many farmers also overuse water without adopting scientific methods that prescribe minimum need based water usage for different crops or drip irrigation. The run-off from irrigated lands contains several chemicals from fertilisers and pesticides sprayed. Bottom line: Earth’s natural supply system will ensure continuous supply to all living beings because it does not get exhausted nor can it vanish/escape into outer space.
The poor worldwide, traverse miles to fetch even minimum quantity of water. Many diseases are attributed to water-borne impurities. An outbreak of water borne diseases prompts health authorities to advise boiling water. People who consume municipal piped water believing it is pure are affected the most. Hence, even those who cannot afford have started buying bottled water for fear of contracting diseases through municipal water.

the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians

How Economic Growth Has Become Anti-Life

By Vandana Shiva

01 November, 2013
The Guardian

An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable – the value of life lies outside economic development

Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves.

The concept of growth was put forward as a measure to mobilise resources during the second world war. GDP is based on creating an artificial and fictitious boundary, assuming that if you produce what you consume, you do not produce. In effect , “growth” measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities.

Thus nature’s amazing cycles of renewal of water and nutrients are defined into nonproduction. The peasants of the world,who provide 72% of the food, do not produce; women who farm or do most of the housework do not fit this paradigm of growth either. A living forest does not contribute to growth, but when trees are cut down and sold as timber, we have growth. Healthy societies and communities do not contribute to growth, but disease creates growth through, for example, the sale of patented medicine.

Water available as a commons shared freely and protected by all provides for all. However, it does not create growth. But when Coca-Cola sets up a plant, mines the water and fills plastic bottles with it, the economy grows. But this growth is based on creating poverty – both for nature and local communities. Water extracted beyond nature’s capacity to renew and recharge creates a water famine. Women are forced to walk longer distances looking for drinking water. In the village of Plachimada in Kerala, when the walk for water became 10 kms, local tribal woman Mayilamma said enough is enough. We cannot walk further; the Coca-Cola plant must shut down. The movement that the women started eventually led to the closure of the plant.

In the same vein, evolution has gifted us the seed. Farmers have selected, bred, and diversified it – it is the basis of food production. A seed that renews itself and multiplies produces seeds for the next season, as well as food. However, farmer-bred and farmer-saved seeds are not seen as contributing to growth. It creates and renews life, but it doesn’t lead to profits. Growth begins when seeds are modified, patented and genetically locked, leading to farmers being forced to buy more every season.

Nature is impoverished, biodiversity is eroded and a free, open resource is transformed into a patented commodity. Buying seeds every year is a recipe for debt for India’s poor peasants. And ever since seed monopolies have been established, farmers debt has increased. More than 270,000 farmers caught in a debt trap in India have committed suicide since 1995.

Poverty is also further spread when public systems are privatised. The privatisation of water, electricity, health, and education does generate growth through profits. But it also generates poverty by forcing people to spend large amounts of money on what was available at affordable costs as a common good. When every aspect of life is commercialised and commoditised, living becomes more costly, and people become poorer.

Both ecology and economics have emerged from the same roots – “oikos”, the Greek word for household. As long as economics was focused on the household, it recognised and respected its basis in natural resources and the limits of ecological renewal. It was focused on providing for basic human needs within these limits. Economics as based on the household was also women-centered. Today, economics is separated from and opposed to both ecological processes and basic needs. While the destruction of nature has been justified on grounds of creating growth, poverty and dispossession has increased. While being non-sustainable, it is also economically unjust.

The dominant model of economic development has in fact become anti-life. When economies are measured only in terms of money flow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the rich might be rich in monetary terms – but they too are poor in the wider context of what being human means.

Meanwhile, the demands of the current model of the economy are leading to resource wars oil wars, water wars, food wars. There are three levels of violence involved in non-sustainable development. The first is the violence against the earth, which is expressed as the ecological crisis. The second is the violence against people, which is expressed as poverty, destitution and displacement. The third is the violence of war and conflict, as the powerful reach for the resources that lie in other communities and countries for their limitless appetites.

Increase of moneyflow through GDP has become disassociated from real value, but those who accumulate financial resources can then stake claim on the real resources of people – their land and water, their forests and seeds. This thirst leads to them predating on the last drop of water and last inch of land on the planet. This is not an end to poverty. It is an end to human rights and justice.

Nobel-prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen have admitted that GDP does not capture the human condition and urged the creation of different tools to gauge the wellbeing of nations. This is why countries like Bhutan have adopted the gross national happiness in place of gross domestic product to calculate progress. We need to create measures beyond GDP, and economies beyond the global supermarket, to rejuvenate real wealth. We need to remember that the real currency of life is life itself.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist and eco feminist. She is the founder/director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is author of numerous books including, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as NGOs, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has received numerous awards, including 1993 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.

© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited

How Economic Growth Has Become Anti-Life

By Vandana Shiva

01 November, 2013
The Guardian

An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable – the value of life lies outside economic development

Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves.

The concept of growth was put forward as a measure to mobilise resources during the second world war. GDP is based on creating an artificial and fictitious boundary, assuming that if you produce what you consume, you do not produce. In effect , “growth” measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities.

Thus nature’s amazing cycles of renewal of water and nutrients are defined into nonproduction. The peasants of the world,who provide 72% of the food, do not produce; women who farm or do most of the housework do not fit this paradigm of growth either. A living forest does not contribute to growth, but when trees are cut down and sold as timber, we have growth. Healthy societies and communities do not contribute to growth, but disease creates growth through, for example, the sale of patented medicine.

Water available as a commons shared freely and protected by all provides for all. However, it does not create growth. But when Coca-Cola sets up a plant, mines the water and fills plastic bottles with it, the economy grows. But this growth is based on creating poverty – both for nature and local communities. Water extracted beyond nature’s capacity to renew and recharge creates a water famine. Women are forced to walk longer distances looking for drinking water. In the village of Plachimada in Kerala, when the walk for water became 10 kms, local tribal woman Mayilamma said enough is enough. We cannot walk further; the Coca-Cola plant must shut down. The movement that the women started eventually led to the closure of the plant.

In the same vein, evolution has gifted us the seed. Farmers have selected, bred, and diversified it – it is the basis of food production. A seed that renews itself and multiplies produces seeds for the next season, as well as food. However, farmer-bred and farmer-saved seeds are not seen as contributing to growth. It creates and renews life, but it doesn’t lead to profits. Growth begins when seeds are modified, patented and genetically locked, leading to farmers being forced to buy more every season.

Nature is impoverished, biodiversity is eroded and a free, open resource is transformed into a patented commodity. Buying seeds every year is a recipe for debt for India’s poor peasants. And ever since seed monopolies have been established, farmers debt has increased. More than 270,000 farmers caught in a debt trap in India have committed suicide since 1995.

Poverty is also further spread when public systems are privatised. The privatisation of water, electricity, health, and education does generate growth through profits. But it also generates poverty by forcing people to spend large amounts of money on what was available at affordable costs as a common good. When every aspect of life is commercialised and commoditised, living becomes more costly, and people become poorer.

Both ecology and economics have emerged from the same roots – “oikos”, the Greek word for household. As long as economics was focused on the household, it recognised and respected its basis in natural resources and the limits of ecological renewal. It was focused on providing for basic human needs within these limits. Economics as based on the household was also women-centered. Today, economics is separated from and opposed to both ecological processes and basic needs. While the destruction of nature has been justified on grounds of creating growth, poverty and dispossession has increased. While being non-sustainable, it is also economically unjust.

The dominant model of economic development has in fact become anti-life. When economies are measured only in terms of money flow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the rich might be rich in monetary terms – but they too are poor in the wider context of what being human means.

Meanwhile, the demands of the current model of the economy are leading to resource wars oil wars, water wars, food wars. There are three levels of violence involved in non-sustainable development. The first is the violence against the earth, which is expressed as the ecological crisis. The second is the violence against people, which is expressed as poverty, destitution and displacement. The third is the violence of war and conflict, as the powerful reach for the resources that lie in other communities and countries for their limitless appetites.

Increase of moneyflow through GDP has become disassociated from real value, but those who accumulate financial resources can then stake claim on the real resources of people – their land and water, their forests and seeds. This thirst leads to them predating on the last drop of water and last inch of land on the planet. This is not an end to poverty. It is an end to human rights and justice.

Nobel-prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen have admitted that GDP does not capture the human condition and urged the creation of different tools to gauge the wellbeing of nations. This is why countries like Bhutan have adopted the gross national happiness in place of gross domestic product to calculate progress. We need to create measures beyond GDP, and economies beyond the global supermarket, to rejuvenate real wealth. We need to remember that the real currency of life is life itself.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist and eco feminist. She is the founder/director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is author of numerous books including, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as NGOs, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has received numerous awards, including 1993 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.

© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited

Energy balances in Saudi Arabia

Milk consumption in Saudi Arabia reached 729.4 million litres in 2012 … The Kingdom has already depleted 70% of these sources of water and must now turn increasingly to desalinisation which when factored into the cost of producing fresh milk … Continue reading

Milk consumption in Saudi Arabia reached 729.4 million litres in 2012

The Kingdom has already depleted 70% of these sources of water and must now turn increasingly to desalinisation which when factored into the cost of producing fresh milk is very expensive. Experts have estimated that it takes between 500- 1000 litres of fresh water to produce 1 litre of fresh milk if one takes into around the irrigation required to grow the Rhodes grass or Alfalfa required to feed the cows.

Of Milk Cows and Saudi Arabia

Posted by JoulesBurn on September 10, 2013 – 9:59am
Topic: Supply/Production
Tags: aramco, ghawar, saudi arabia [list all tags]

Under the desert in eastern Saudi Arabia lies Ghawar, the largest oil field in the world. It has been famously productive, with a per-well flow rate of thousands of barrels per day, owing to a combination of efficient water injection, good rock permeability, and other factors. At its best, it set the standard for easy oil. The first wells were drilled with rather rudimentary equipment hauled across the desert sands, and the oil would flow out at ten thousand barrels per day. It was, in a sense, a giant udder. And the world milked it hard for awhile.
However, this article isn’t just about a metaphor; it is also about cows, the Holsteins of Haradh. But in the end, I will circle back to the present and future of Saudi oil production.