Quantcast

Rick Perry Tells Africa to Drill, Frack and Dig Coal

Energy
Rick Perry / Twitter

By Andy Rowell

Last week, one of the most senior officials in the Trump administration, Energy Sec. Rick Perry travelled to South Africa to represent the U.S. at the Africa Oil Week.

During his time at the Oil Week conference in the coastal city of Cape Town, Perry delivered the keynote address on global energy policy, telling his audience that the Trump Administration was keen on "strengthening our African energy partnerships."


It soon became very clear what he actually meant.

He quickly criticized the Obama Administration for "discriminating" against the nuclear and coal industries.

Not surprisingly, given the agenda of the Trump Administration and given that Perry was governor of oil rich Texas, Perry said they were keen for those partnerships to include fossil fuels.

Perry said he was a "big fan of fossil fuels" and it was time to break the global "culture of shame" around their use.

He was also keen on the formation of "a global clean coal alliance" including traditional coal powers such as the U.S., India, Australia and South Africa.

Commentators see Perry's speech as a clear indication that the Trump Administration is taking its pro-fossil fuel agenda to Africa.

One press outlet reported Perry as saying, "If you admit you support fossil fuels, it's like saying you've made some huge social error. But it's in fossil fuels that you will see real growth."

He continued: "That's my message to Africa. America is truly your friend and your partner. And we're here to help Africa use fossil fuels and use them cleanly with the world's newest and best technology."

"My showing up here is about U.S. support for Africa," he said. "We will invest in African energy projects, but it's also time to let technology be your friend. We will help this continent make more power, and we will do it cleanly."

But strip away the greenwashing and there is nothing clean about what Perry is advocating. There is no such thing as clean coal: it is a misnomer. Parry's strategy is basically: drill Africa drill; frack, Africa, frack and mine for coal, Africa, mine for coal.

As one blogger for Platts noted, Perry "urged African producers to emulate the U.S. in its shale oil and gas revolution."

The Daily Maverick added, "His fondness for fossil fuels was one of the few things he was firm on during his press conference on the first floor of the Westin hotel in Cape Town on Tuesday. That, and that the benefits of fracking outweigh environmental concerns."

In promoting fossil fuels, Perry is persisting in the neo-Colonial attitude with which America has treated Africa for generations: Western oil companies should be able to exploit Africa's fossil fuel reserves, no matter what cost. He also forgets that Africa is one of the regions that has the most to lose from climate change, too.

You only have to ask the people of the Niger Delta, who have suffered sixty years of repression, violence and pollution due to oil, to understand how oil rarely benefits local indigenous communities. As one Niger Delta person once said, as he surveyed his polluted cropland: "What has the oilman ever done for us?"

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A house under construction with plastic bottles filled with sand to build shelters that better withstand the climate of the country where temperatures reach up to 50° C Awserd in the Saharawi refugee camp Dakhla on Dec. 31, 2018 in Tindouf, Algeria. Stefano Montesi / Corbis / Getty Images

A UN expert painted a bleak picture Tuesday of how the climate crisis could impact global inequality and human rights, leading to a "climate apartheid" in which the rich pay to flee the consequences while the rest are left behind.

Read More Show Less
The Oregon Senate Chamber. Cacophony / CC BY 3.0

Six days after Republican Oregon Senators fled the state to avoid voting on a bill to address the climate crisis, the Senate president declared the bill dead.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
Artist's conception of solar islands in the open ocean. PNAS

Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks, according to new research from Norway and Switzerland and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, PNAS, as NBC News reported. The floating islands could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Read More Show Less
Marcos Alves / Moment Open / Getty Images

More than 40 percent of insects could go extinct globally in the next few decades. So why did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week OK the 'emergency' use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on 13.9 million acres?

EcoWatch teamed up with Center for Biological Diversity via EcoWatch Live on Facebook to find out why. Environmental Health Director and Senior Attorney Lori Ann Burd explained how there is a loophole in the The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act under section 18, "that allows for entities and states to request emergency exemptions to spraying pesticides where they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to spray."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
View of downtown Miami, Florida from Hobie Island on Feb. 2, 2019. Michael Muraz / Flickr

The Democratic candidates for president descended upon Miami for a two-night debate on Wednesday and Thursday. Any candidate hoping to carry the state will have to make the climate crisis central to their campaign, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
A pumpjack in the Permian Basin. blake.thornberry / Flickr

By Sharon Kelly

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal featured a profile of Scott Sheffield, CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, whose company is known among investors for its emphasis on drawing oil and gas from the Permian basin in Texas using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Craig K. Chandler

The federal government has available to it, should it choose to use them, a wide range of potential climate change management tools, going well beyond the traditional pollution control regulatory options. And, in some cases (not all), without new legislative authorization.

Read More Show Less