Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Rick Perry Tells Africa to Drill, Frack and Dig Coal

Energy
Rick Perry Tells Africa to Drill, Frack and Dig Coal
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?"

A seagull flies in front of the Rampion offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Neil / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

A key part of the United States' clean energy transition has started to take shape, but you may need to squint to see it. About 2,000 wind turbines could be built far offshore, in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast, in the next 10 years. And more are expected.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less
Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less