The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
On Friday, two activists with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and Cross Timbers Earth First! locked themselves inside a revolving door at the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City, OK in protest of Devon’s involvement in tar sands extraction and plans to increase fracking in Eagle Ford Shale.
Simultaneously, a banner displaying a Mockingjay from the popular Hunger Games series was unfurled from the second story, reading: “The Odds are Never in Our Favor.” Imagery from the Hunger Games was employed to highlight the parallel between industrial sacrifice zones in real life, and the resource colonies (districts) that are subjected to state and economic violence in the series. This action coincides with two days of trial for folks in the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society who were arrested while preventing natural gas exploration on their traditional lands.
“I’m opposed to the industry’s blatant disregard for human wellbeing in the pursuit of profit,” said Cory Mathis of Austin, TX, one of the activists locked down inside Devon. “These industries poison countless communities, often deceive and coerce folks into signing contracts, and when that doesn’t work, they use eminent domain to steal the land."
"Texas and Oklahoma have long been considered sacrifice zones for the oil and gas industry, and people have for the most part learned to roll over and accept the sicknesses and health issues that come with the temporary and unsustainable boost in employment,” Mathis continued.
In 2010, Devon Energy's Jackfish 1 facility on Beaver Lake Cree First Nations territory in Alberata, Canada experienced a failure at one of the wellheads. The failure sent a plume of bitumen-laced, high-temperature steam into the air for nearly 36 hours. Long seen as a responsible and benevolent corporate community member, Devon Energy is a key player in the deadly tar sands industry. And though Devon Energy has been touted as practicing the safest and greenest form of tar sands extraction, the form of extraction that Devon practices, steam assisted gravity drainage, emits 2.5 times the greenhouse emissions as open mining according to the Pembina Institute.
Additionally, since 80 percent of tar sands reserves lie too deep within the Earth to mine, this type of extraction will utilize 30 times more land area than open mining.
“I’m here to try to bring to light the damage being done by tar sands extraction and fracking," said Caroline McNally, the other activist locked down. "These companies have been deliberately hiding and suppressing information from the general public, all-the-while building their public image of being charitable and creating jobs."
"It’s the same story all the way from the Athabasca tar sands to the Gulf—we hear the ridiculous proposition that a company that routinely profits off of poisoning folks is somehow capable of being ‘philanthropic’,” McNally concluded.
CEO Jim Richels sits on the board of TransCanada, developers of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Today's action resulted in the two activists that locked down facing two counts of trespass each. Activists that were arrested for allegedly dropping the banners are facing charges of federal “terrorism hoax,” two counts of trespass and one count of disorderly conduct—the “terrorism hoax” referring to glitter that fell from the banner.
Visit EcoWatch’s TAR SANDS page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."