Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

4 Arrested Blockading the U.S. First Tarsands Mine in Utah

Energy
4 Arrested Blockading the U.S. First Tarsands Mine in Utah

Dozens of environmental activists have signaled that the expansion of the tar sands in Utah will not happen without a fight.

Yesterday, about 40 protestors disrupted the work on the Utah tar sands strip mine, the first to be built in the U.S., located in the Book Cliffs wilderness area.

A person is pulled by police from atop a tripod during a site-wide work blockade at the U.S. Oil Sands tar sands strip mine Monday. Photo credit: Peaceful Uprising

The activists blocked a road using two tripods trying to stop traffic on the road which the tar sands firm, U.S. Oil Sands, is constructing south east of Salt Lake City.

The company is starting an $80 million construction phase to start to strip mine tar sands rock and turn it into fuel.

The company operates on land traditionally inhabited by the Ute people, which is now managed and leased to private corporations by the state of Utah.

By the end of yesterday, four people had been arrested by police using cherry pickers to evict them. At one stage yesterday, though, the cherry picker itself had to stop work as one activist locked on to the vehicle itself.

All the activists arrested were bailed out by late yesterday.

Melanie Martin from the group behind the protest, Peaceful Uprising, told the local media that they wanted to avoid the wanton destruction of Utah as had happened with the tar sands in Alberta.

“Looking at what’s happening downstream to the Indigenous people in the Athabasca region of Canada has had a major impact on propelling this campaign forward,” she said. “Many people in Utah are very afraid of that happening here and of the impacts it would have on the Colorado river.”

Martin added: “Nothing has reassured us whatsoever that their project would be anything but a toxic mess for the Colorado Plateau region, or the southwest U.S.”

The protest comes as the dangers of mining were reflected recently in the area when one million gallons of wastewater containing lead, arsenic and cadmium leaked into the Animas River in nearby Colorado from a long-abandoned gold mine, turning the river bright mustard yellow for several days.

The response from the tar sands company to yesterday’s protest was farcical, with the CEO of the tar sands mine—Cameron Todd—saying “We’re the environmentalists. We’re the people that are here looking for a sustainable future.”

Todd though was disappointed that no one believes him and the protests are set to continue.

Peaceful Uprising is planning more vigils as well as an action camp.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Massive Mine Waste Spill Reaches New Mexico

Shell Dumps ALEC as Oil Giant Prepares to Drill in Arctic

Last Rush for the Wild West: Tar Sands Mining in Utah


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less