“I think it's next to impossible that Canada is going to be able to reach its Kyoto target, that's a given. The gap is so wide now, but I think what we've said as well is the basic problems that we've seen now, and the overall federal-wide co-ordinaton of these climate change programs really needs to get its act together. And if they don't, then we have some doubts on whether or not they are going to be able to meet any target, Vaughan said at a news conference today.
Friends of the Earth today released “deeply disturbing” emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request illustrating “pro-pipeline bias and complicity at the State Department‚” over the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The 200 pages of new documents [PDF] show that TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliott, who served as deputy national campaign director and chief of delegate selection to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, exchanged troubling emails with Marja Verloop, a State Department official who works on energy and environmental issues at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.
In one email, Verloop offers comforting words to Elliott, assuring him that “at the end of the day it's precisely because you have connections that you're sought after and hired.” [PDF]
Friends of the Earth recently called for the Justice Department to investigate Paul Elliott, who appears to have lobbied the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline for more than a year without registering as a lobbyist.
Friends of the Earth today filed a request with the U.S. Department of Justice [PDF] asking the DOJ to investigate whether Paul Elliott, the notorious TransCanada tar sands lobbyist with deep ties to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, failed to disclose his foreign agent status when lobbying the State Department about the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
FOE requests that DOJ take a close look at whether Elliott violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a matter of increasing interest in the wake of FOE's earlier release of documents revealing that Elliott tried to exploit relationships he made while working on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in order to promote the Keystone XL for his new employer, TransCanada.
As the Washington Post reported earlier this month, the documents that FOE obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - after having to file a lawsuit to compel the State Department to release them - also show that Elliott lobbied the State Department on TransCanada's behalf for more than a year before officially registering as a lobbyist.
With over 700 people arrested so far in the Keystone XL tar sands action taking place at the Obama White House, and widespread distrust and criticism of the State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), this is a critical moment in the fight against a disastrous proposal to build a tar sands pipeline between Alberta and oil refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Given the scientific certainty that tar sands oil is a recklessly dirty form of energy - as well as fresh evidence from Oil Change International debunking the claims that increasing our dependence on Canadian oil would be helpful for U.S. national security - it should be a no brainer for the Obama administration to say no to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.
But powerful oil industry lobbying, as well as pressure from the Canadian government, seem to have deflated and cast aside this administration’s stated commitments to science-based decisionmaking. Rather than working to transition the nation to a clean energy future now, an Obama administration approval of Keystone XL would further solidify our dirty fossil fuel addiction.
To highlight the influence of oil industry lobbyists over Hillary Clinton’s State Department and its unscientific review of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline proposal, DeSmogBlog presents a video animation created by artist Mark Fiore, depicting the not-so-far-fetched “State Department Oil Services” led by Hillary Clinton:
Visit DeSmogBlog’s Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Action Page for more information.
Below is a compilation of fact sheets, information resources and action items from environmental groups, governments and other groups surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline and the Canadian tar sands. Please contact us or comment below if you know of additional resources we should add to this page.
TarSandsAction.org - Coalition organizing the White House protest and a 10,000+ strong petition urging President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Friends of the Earth's Keystone XL pipeline resource page, petition and report “Dirty Business: How TransCanada Pipelines bullies farmers, manipulates oil markets, threatens fresh water and skimps on safety in the United States.”
NRDC's Stop Dirty Fuels: Tar Sands - Fact sheets about tar sands, Switchboard blogs on the Keystone XL pipeline, and a BioGems petition to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
National Wildlife Federation's Keystone XL Pipeline page and Tar Sands page- numerous fact sheets on Keystone XL and tar sands.
I know that many regular DeSmog readers are frustrated with the comment forum, which has been increasingly polluted by anti-science trolls and clever spammers. Today we are implementing a new comment system that will alleviate some of this. We will no longer allow anonymous comments.
We are also implementing the Janrain Social Authentication system. Readers will now have two ways to login to DeSmogBlog and leave comments: via their social networks like Twitter and Facebook, or via a regular DeSmogBlog account with a real name and a legitimate email address.
Users with existing DeSmogBlog accounts don’t need to do anything other than continue to login as usual. If you like, you may switch to logging in via a social network as well. Click here to login or click here to register now. We also give you the opportunity to login at the bottom of each post.
Robert van Waarden, an excellent photographer and friend of DeSmogBlog, has compiled this great visual essay on Canada’s filthy tar sands to show people just a few of the reasons why the disastrous Keystone XL pipeline must be rejected by the Obama administration.
Robert’s photos are accompanied by quotes from First Nations’ people whom he interviewed on a recent trip to the Alberta tar sands. First Nations communities living near the industrial tar sands development suffer the worst of the impacts, a fact often overlooked by the mainstream media.
View the tar sands photo essay below:
Halliburton Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar touted the safety of the company’s new CleanStim fracking fluid during a keynote address at a gas industry conference in Colorado earlier this month. Lesar was so confident in the safety of CleanStim, he was willing to drink it. Er, not exactly. He didn’t imbibe himself, but handed the fracking fluid over to one of his underlings, an unnamed Halliburton executive, who took a “swig” of the fracking fluid according to the Associated Press report filed tonight.
Although Halliburton acknowledges that CleanStim is “not intended for human consumption,” it boasts that the new fracking fluid is made with “ingredients from the food industry.”
The “executive drinks own chemical” trick shows that Halliburton is clearly stepping up its PR game in the face of growing public concern over the controversial fracking process.
It is great that Halliburton has created a supposedly safe fracking fluid, don’t get me wrong. But CleanStim isn’t the formula that is in widespread use at gas fracking operations around the country right now. The public still has no clue about the exact formulas the industry is using currently (because the industry doesn’t want the public to know). But what little information we do have is that most current formulas are likely to contain a laundry list of cancer-causing chemicals.
Please join DeSmogBlog and a network of environmental organizations, websites, nonprofits, and social media mavens this weekend in a 48-hour fundraiser to benefit the 12 million people fighting to survive the worst drought to impact East Africa in over sixty years. On the weekend of August 6 and 7, this network is hosting a blogathon benefit, East Africa Famine: 48 Hour Fundraiser.
The UN, after declaring famine in two districts in Somalia, last week announced the entire region of southern-Somalia is in danger of slipping into famine.
Please click the image below to donate to Oxfam, which is mobilizing to provide emergency water supplies in the region.
DONATE TO OXFAM CANADA BY CLICKING THE IMAGE ABOVE AND FILLING OUT THE FORM.
OR CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO OXFAM AMERICA.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Shearer, author of “Kivalina: A Climate Change Story,” an important new book that probes some of the tangible consequences of climate change denial. Shearer chronicles the very real experience of the melting and eroding community of Kivalina, Alaska, a smalll but resilient village community that sued ExxonMobil and 23 other polluters for contributing to the global warming that is tearing down their homes.
**Answer the trivia questions at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a free copy of Kivalina.
Brendan DeMelle (BD): What inspired you to write this book?
Christine Shearer (CS): In 2007 I became part of a science project assessing the biggest human impacts to marine ecosystems, which required getting data from over 100 scientists. And the more I worked on it, the more it became clear to me that the data on climate change was really alarming, and that if we did not get a handle on this problem soon, it could be too late - we’d set into motions feedbacks that could not be reversed. Which made me wonder about the disconnect between what scientists knew about climate change, and what many in the U.S. were hearing about the subject - you know, that it’s not happening, or it’s not that bad, or it’s natural, etc.
At the same time I happened to be studying the disinformation campaigns of past industries in one of my graduate classes - like lead and asbestos, and also climate change. Academics and journalists have been documenting the tactics of industrial misinformation for decades now.