Quantcast
Energy
Rick Perry / Twitter

Rick Perry Tells Africa to Drill, Frack and Dig Coal

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?"

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
U.S. Army member helps clear debris from Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. U.S. Army

Pentagon: Climate Change is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

The Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report (pdf) that warns flooding, drought and wildfires and other effects of climate change puts U.S. military bases at risk.

The 22-page analysis states plainly: "The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

5 People Calling Out EPA Acting Head Wheeler for Putting Polluters First

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Great white shark. Elias Levy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Marine Biologists Raise Flags About Viral Great White Shark Encounter

By now you might have seen Ocean Ramsey's rare and jaw-dropping encounter with a great white shark in waters near Oahu, Hawaii.

Ramsey, a marine biologist, said on the TODAY Show that it was "absolutely breathtaking and heart-melting" to be approached by the massive marine mammal.

Keep reading... Show less
A tree found severed in half in an act of vandalism in Joshua Tree National Park. Gina Ferazzi / Los AngelesTimes / Getty Images

Wall Before Country Takes Mounting Toll on Americans Everywhere

By Rhea Suh

One month on, the longest and most senseless U.S. government shutdown in history is taking a grave and growing toll on the environment and public health.

Food inspectors have been idled or are working without pay, increasing the risk we'll get sick from eating produce, meat and poultry that isn't properly checked. National parks and public wilderness lands are overrun by vandals, overtaken by off-road joyriders, and overflowing with trash. Federal testing of air and water quality, as well as monitoring of pollution levels from factories, incinerators and other sources, is on hold or sharply curtailed. Citizen input on critical environmental issues is being hindered. Vital research and data collection are being sidelined.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
The W. A. Parish Power Plant, owned by NRG Energy, is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Roy Luck / CC BY 2.0

All Coal-Fired Power Plants in Texas Found Leaking Toxins Into Groundwater

Power plants across Texas are leaching toxins into groundwater, according to new research. A report released this week from the Environmental Integrity Project found that all of the state's 16 coal-fired power plants are leaching contaminants from coal ash into the ground, and almost none of the plants are properly lining their pits to prevent leakage.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. NPS

MLK National Park to Re-Open Despite Shutdown, Thanks to Delta

Hats off to Delta Air Lines. The company's charitable arm awarded the National Park Service an $83,500 grant to help reopen the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta from Jan. 19 through Feb. 3 in honor of Dr. King's legacy.

The Atlanta-based airline was inspired to act after learning that some of the park's sites, including Dr. King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and the visitor center, were closed due to the partial government shutdown, now on its 28th day, according to LinkedIn post from Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Food
Chris So / Toronto Star / Getty Images

Nebraska Lawmakers Want to Ban the Word 'Meat' From Vegetarian Substitutes

By Dan Nosowitz

Nebraska is the country's second-leading producer of beef, and is in the top ten of pork producers.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights/Opinion
A northern cardinal and finch in the snow. Mark Moschell / Flickr

Is Winter Miserable for Wildlife?

By Bridget B. Baker

While the weather outside may indeed get frightful this winter, a parka, knit hat, wool socks, insulated boots and maybe a roaring fire make things bearable for people who live in cold climates. But what about all the wildlife out there? Won't they be freezing?

Anyone who's walked their dog when temperatures are frigid knows that canines will shiver and favor a cold paw—which partly explains the boom in the pet clothing industry. But chipmunks and cardinals don't get fashionable coats or booties.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!