13 Arrested Protesting Keystone XL at TransCanada's Houston Headquarters
Thirteen activists were arrested while staging a peaceful sit-in at the Houston TransCanada Headquarters in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Dozens of Texans rallied nearby in support of the activists who risked arrest at Monday's protest.
Activists rallied across the street in Market Square Park with signs before marching to the TransCanada office and staging a sit-in in protest of the foreign oil company's efforts to build a giant pipeline through American soil so it can export the tar sands oil to China.
This is the third civil disobedience action organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network and the Other 98% to maintain pressure on President Obama and the State Department to reject Keystone XL once and for all.
"Plain and simple, TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is not in our country's interest," said Amanda Starbuck, the energy and finance program director for Rainforest Action Network. "If President Obama approves the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline he will be sending the message that the financial interests of companies like TransCanada take priority over the health and safety of the American people. I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to do that."
“TransCanada’s first crude pipeline leaked 100 times more than the company expected within the first year of its operation," said Susan Baerst, a former financial analyst for a pipeline company in Houston, who participated in the protest. "The company’s business model depends on a ‘least cost’ solution to spills that shifts the burden for clean up onto American taxpayers, and will ruin our environment in the process.”
"We are here today to send a message that we won't stop protesting the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline until President Obama rejects it," said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO. "This foreign oil company only wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline through American soil so it can export some of the dirtiest oil on the planet to China."
"The health of our climate, and landowners from Texas on up to Nebraska, will pay the price for TransCanada's greed if President Obama doesn't act swiftly and reject Keystone XL," said Bond.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently made a desperate attempt to convince President Obama to approve the pipeline, offering “joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” if that is what is required to win the project’s approval.
The State Department is currently investigating the contractor that drafted the latest controversial environmental analysis of the pipeline for failing to disclose ties with TransCanada, and with the powerful oil lobby, the American Petroleum Institute.
More than 75,000 people have signed a Pledge of Resistance to risk arrest in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience if President Obama’s administration issues a draft National Interest Determination recommending approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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