Activists Released on Bail After Protesting BP's Fracking Lease Event
Bail for two of the three protesters arrested for sounding the alarm on the BP land grab in Trumbull County was raised by supporters today. Jonathan Sidney, Annie Lukins and Jeremy Bingham shut down a lease-signing event yesterday, April 15. They were backed by two-dozen residents who wanted to alert landowners of the risks of leasing their land to a company with a proven track record of water contamination and willful safety violations, and the dangers of hydrofracking.
Lukins was released the morning of April 16, and Bingham and Sidney are expected to be released on bond later Monday evening. The three activists are set to appear in court this Thursday in Mahoning County.
Lukins, a Cleveland resident, held a press conference on the steps of the Mahoning County Jail, and then she rejoined protesters outside the leasing event at the former South Range Middle School in Greenford, Ohio.
“We’re showing that arresting us won’t make the problem go away. We won’t stop and we won’t allow the real criminals like BP to destroy Ohio like they did the Gulf coast. Safe fracking is a myth,” Lukins said.
Lukins and Bingham are committed to stopping hydrofracking in Ohio, a process known to cause surface and groundwater contamination, that is rapidly spreading throughout the state. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), currently, there are 47 horizontal wells drilled in Ohio; the ODNR estimates that by the end of 2012, we will have approximately 250 horizontal wells drilled; by the end of 2013, approximately 750 horizontal wells will be drilled; by the end of 2014, approximately 1,500 horizontal wells will be drilled, and by the end of 2015, approximately 2,250 horizontal wells will be drilled.
Last fall the two blockaded an injection well in Youngstown where toxic wastewater, a byproduct of fracking, was being injected into the ground which was found to have caused the 12 earthquakes that hit the region last year. These wells were later shut down by the ODNR after a 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck Ohio's Northeast region on New Years Eve. Anti-fracking activists believe their actions impacted the states decision to put a moratorium on five of the suspected injection wells.
Many Northeast Ohio residents believe that the situation of fracking will only get worse if more land and companies with a track record as poor as BP's buy up land in Ohio.
“Just two years ago BP caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history, and destroyed a huge section of the Gulf Coast. Now they intend to frack 84,000 acres of land in Trumbull County without holding a single public hearing, and with absolutely no opportunity for residents to object," said Mary-Claire Erskine of Lorain County. "We cannot let Ohio become the next Gulf Coast. We want BP and other fracking companies to know that we will not give up until Ohio is safe from hydrofracking."
To read yesterday's article concerning the protest and three arrests, click here.
Here's a news report from WKBN-27:
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."
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Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
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.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
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.
Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
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