Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, voiced support for safe reopening measures. www.vperemen.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA

By Kristen Fischer

It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.

Read More Show Less
Critics charge the legislation induces poor communities to sell off their water rights. Pexels

By Eoin Higgins

Over 300 groups on Monday urged Senate leadership to reject a bill currently under consideration that would incentivize communities to sell off their public water supplies to private companies for pennies on the dollar.

Read More Show Less
People enjoy outdoor dining along Pier Ave. in Hermosa Beach, California on July 8, 2020. Keith Birmingham / MediaNews Group / Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

California is reversing its reopening plans amidst a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Read More Show Less
A protest against the name of the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Nov. 2, 2014. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

The Washington Redskins will retire their controversial name and logo, the National Football League (NFL) team announced Monday.

Read More Show Less
The survival tools northern fish have used for millennia could be a disadvantage as environmental conditions warm and more fast-paced species move in. Istvan Banyai / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Alyssa Murdoch, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle and Sapna Sharma

Summer has finally arrived in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, liberating hundreds of thousands of northern stream fish from their wintering habitats.

Read More Show Less
A mother walks her children through a fountain on a warm summer day on July 12, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.

Read More Show Less

Trending

If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus. blackCAT / Getty Images

By Joni Sweet

If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less