Tag Archives: natural gas

Global Climate Movement Celebrates as Ireland Set to Become First Country to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels

“Countries the world over must now urgently follow Ireland’s lead.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-12-2018

Fossil fuel divestment activists displayed a sign outside the lower house of Ireland’s legislature. (Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland/Trócaire/350.org)

Climate activists across the globe celebrated Thursday after the lower house of the Irish legislature passed a divestment bill with support from all parties, effectively ensuring that Ireland will become the first nation in the world to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry.


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What’s Really Happening With Saudi Arabia and Qatar Will Not Be Televised

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 6-7-2017 by The Anti-Media

Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and the Maldives — spearheaded by Saudi Arabia — have severed almost all of their ties with Qatar. The move comes just days after hacked emails from the Hotmail account of a wealthy, prominent UAE ambassador, Yousef Al-Otaiba, showed that a number of countries were conspiring to denigrate relations with Qatar (and Iran).

The official justification for Saudi Arabia’s rift with Qatar is that the latter country aligns with terrorists and threatens national security. However, both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been alleged to support ISIS, and Saudi Arabia’s history of support for terrorist organizations surpasses that of almost any other state in the world (with the exception of probably the U.S.). In fact, the British Home Office is currently refusing to release a report on terrorist funding — commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron — because it focuses too heavily on Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

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Turkey Looks to Join Russia-China Alliance, Snubbing the US and Europe

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 11-22-2016 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Emre Uslu/Twitter

Photo: Emre Uslu/Twitter

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently said Turkey does not need to join the European Union “at all costs.” Instead, he is looking to become part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a Eurasian political, economic, and military bloc originally founded in Shanghai by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Although Turkey is a member of NATO, 11 years of negotiations aimed at the country’s entrance into the E.U. have almost fallen flat. A proposal for Turkey to take a certain number of refugees from Europe with hopes this would lead to E.U. membership failed earlier this year. Continue reading

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As Major Parties Embrace Fracking, Report Shows Natural Gas ‘Bridge to Climate Disaster’

‘Currently planned gas production expansion in Appalachia would make meeting U.S. climate goals impossible,’ says Oil Change International

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-22-2016

It is widely expected that production in the Appalachian Basin region will double over current levels by the early 2030s, leading to an inevitable "pipeline rush." (Photo: Oil Change International)

It is widely expected that production in the Appalachian Basin region will double over current levels by the early 2030s, leading to an inevitable “pipeline rush.” (Photo: Oil Change International)

As the Democratic Party comes under fire for not taking a strong enough stance on fracking, and Donald Trump considers drilling tycoon Harold Hamm for Energy Secretary in his hypothetical cabinet, a new report out Friday details how proposed natural gas expansion in the U.S. stands to undermine national climate goals as well as public and environmental health.

A Bridge Too Far: How Appalachian Basin Gas Pipeline Expansion Will Undermine U.S.Climate Goals (pdf), from Oil Change International (OCI) in partnership with 11 other organizations, “shows that current projections for U.S. natural gas production—fueled by a boom in the Appalachian basin—will lock in enough carbon to bust through agreed climate goals,” according to a press statement from OCI.  Continue reading

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Turkey-Israel Pact Betrays Gazans, Grants Immunity for 2010 Flotilla Attack

Normalized relations allow Israel to maintain siege on Gaza and raise the prospect of a mutually-beneficial natural gas deal

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-27-2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he was "not willing to compromise" over Israel's protracted siege on Gaza. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he was “not willing to compromise” over Israel’s protracted siege on Gaza. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Abandoning Palestinians and its pledge to fight Israel’s protracted blockade of Gaza, the Turkish government on Monday announced an agreement to normalize relations with the Middle East powerhouse—reportedly just in time for a new, lucrative natural gas deal.

The two countries have been engaged in a bitter dispute since 2010 when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) attacked the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara, which was carrying humanitarian supplies to the people of the Gaza Strip, killing nine people at the time and and fatally injuring a tenth. Continue reading

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How Not To Be Awakened

TransCanada Building, Calgary. Photo by Qyd (talk · contribs) (Own work (Own photo)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

TransCanada Building, Calgary. Photo by Qyd (talk · contribs) (Own work (Own photo)) CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

In case you’ve never noticed (or if you’re new here), we write a lot about pipelines. Like any other addict who knows that his or her habit is bad for their health, but continues with it anyways, we as a society are dependent on our fossil fuels. As with any other addiction, there’s an infrastructure in place for getting the product (in this case, oil and/or gas) into the hands of the addict. And, just as in the drug trade, there’s often what the military calls “collateral damage” among the residents of the area where such infrastructure is operating.

On Tuesday, we saw a prime example of this in Benton Township, Michigan. Sometime around 2 AM, a natural gas line operated by TransCanada (yes, the same company whose oil is the prime mover of the Keystone XL proposal) started leaking. This in turn led to an evacuation of residents within a one mile area of the leak  – such a wonderful thing to wake up to, no?

Vic Rogers, who lives on the property where the leak occurred, described what happened; “If you ever hear lightning strike and hear the big boom afterwards that’s what it sounded like. After that it was like a train or a jet engine roar. Everything started to shake and vibrate I looked out the window and I could see this plume of black debris.”

15 hours later, the approximately 500 people who had evacuated were allowed to return home. Yesterday, TransCanada went into full damage control mode. TransCanada spokesperson Gretchen Krueger said; “Our focus right now is on the community and on people, Yesterday was responding to the event and today is responding to the community and we want to be here for them to answer those questions.” It seems to us as if we’ve heard this exact same script recited by the gas and oil companies before – I wonder if TransCanada has the walrus listed in their response plan too. But, I digress…

Pipelines leak. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when and how much. TransCanada doesn’t have a stellar record as far as safety goes, either. In late 2012, the Canadian national energy-industry regulator (NEB) announced that it was performing a major audit of TransCanada’s Canadian operations after confirming a whistleblower’s story documenting repeated violations of pipeline safety regulations.

Last summer in testimony before a Canadian Senate committee, Evan Vokes, a pipeline safety whistleblower and materials engineer, said that TransCanada “has a culture of non-compliance,” which he blamed on a “mix of politics and commercial interests that has resulted in false public claims of exceptional industry practice when the reality is that industry struggles to comply with code and regulation.” In other words, business as usual.

Accidents like this are a prime example of why Keystone XL is a bad idea. We can’t trust TransCanada to be proactive as far as the environment goes, and their safety record is lackadaisical, to put it mildly. The pipeline has no upside for America whatsoever; we’d be carrying Canadian tar sands oil down to the Gulf refineries to be processed and exported on the global market. The reduced refinery capacity brought about by the tar sand oil having priority could lead to higher gas prices here ion the US. And, the profit goes back to Canada, while we assume all the risk.

Does that sound like a good deal to you? We thought not…

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