Monthly Archives: October 2014

Flood Wall Street Protesters Plead Not Guilty, Assert “Necessity Defense”

Originally published on DC Media Group

By James Woods

Last month, more than 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City to protest against the global systems which continue to contribute to accelerated climate change in the mad dash to increase profits. Billed as the largest climate rally in the history of the world, the “People’s Climate March” was largely ignored by the mainstream media after filling Manhattan with activists and celebrities trying to garner attention to their cause.

The following Monday, a much smaller group numbering in the thousands stormed through the Financial District en route to Wall Street and staged a “sit-in” large enough to wreak havoc on traffic and commerce in the area for the entire day. As a result, the “Flood Wall Street” action received more press coverage than the previous day and more than 100 protesters (including a large polar bear) were arrested for failing to disperse after being confronted by the NYPD.

While protesters being arrested in New York City has become a common occurrence since the 2011 evolution of Occupy Wall Street, the affirmative “necessity defense” being asserted by the 12 protesters who entered a plea of not guilty is definitely worthy of note because it is so seldomly used, it could actually work.

Read more on DC Media Group

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Port Ambrose LNG Back in Play Again!

Wind energy or volatile liquefied natural gas (LNG)? This article is astute in pointing out that it’s much easier to get an import terminal approved and built, then “flip” to an export facility. It requires a much less rigorous review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It’s exactly the kind of deceptive ploy that the Gas industry thrives on.

buoyRemember Port Ambrose, the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) marine port that Liberty Natural Gas LLC has proposed for the ocean off Long Beach and Jones Beach? Last July, 2013, a packed public hearing took place at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach. The vast majority of attendees were opposed to the project and vocal. The town at that point still showed visible signs of the damage from Superstorm Sandy, with many of the businesses not yet reopened.

At a community meeting held at the Long Beach Library this past Wednesday night, the city has recovered nicely, but the sentiments against Port Ambrose were unchanged. Sane Energy Project and New Yorkers Against Fracking were invited to present about the project by local advocate, All Our Energy. The mandate from residents has been the same every time we’ve visited Long Beach: kill the LNG port and build the wind farm.

lng kim map

That’s right: there’s a…

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3,000-Mile March for Climate Action to Arrive in Washington, DC on November 1

By John Zangas

They say that the longest journey begins with one step. The Great March for Climate Action took its first steps on March 1 in Los Angeles. By November 1, when the marchers arrive at the White House, they will have taken over 15 million steps.

Thirty-four people started in Port of Wilmington in Los Angeles and will have walked over 3,000 miles in eight months when they finally reach Washington, D.C. Even the wagon trains of the 1800’s took less time to cross the country.

Along the way, they have stopped in major cities and small communities, bringing attention to the effects of climate change and the global need to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The arrival of the Great March for Climate Action in Washington, DC kicks off a week of actions called Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) planned for November 1-7.  A coalition of over 50 groups is mobilizing against fossil fuel destruction of the environment. Every weekday morning they plan to block the entrance to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Hundreds are expected to join the Great March for Climate Action on Saturday, November 1 as it proceeds to its final destination, the White House. Continue reading 3,000-Mile March for Climate Action to Arrive in Washington, DC on November 1

What FERC’s Approval of Cove Point LNG Tells Us About the “Rubberstamp” Agency

Cool Revolution

14645003974_5c08995611_hOn September 29, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission put its stamp of approval on the Cove Point LNG project, Dominion Resources’ bid to convert its liquefied natural gas import terminal on the Chesapeake Bay into an export facility. It’s the fourth approval FERC has granted to build an export facility, and the first on the Atlantic Coast. The first three are located on the Gulf Coast.

Why is Cove Point important? Some have been calling it “the next Keystone XL.” What the Keystone XL pipeline is to the Alberta tar sands, Cove Point is to the Marcellus Shale, a porous rock formation harboring as much as 500 tcf of methane gas. If constructed, the Keystone XL would be a major conduit of dirty bitumen from the tar sands, and consequently it’s become the rallying call for opposition against extraction of the tar sands. Likewise, if Cove Point is built, it…

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Sagging Sewer Line Could Delay Start-Up of Maryland Compressor Station

By Anne Meador

Damages and multiple violations during construction of a controversial compressor station in Myersville, Maryland have caused its town council to take action to delay the start of operations. What’s more, the harm done to the town’s main sewer line and right-of-ways may have originated with Dominion Transmission’s pressuring of a contractor, who seemed more than willing to take a few short-cuts.

A series of contentious email exchanges between town management and Dominion’s contractor WF Delauter was obtained by a citizens’ group opposed to the 16,000hp compressor station, which would spew 23.5 tons of nitrous oxides and 54,000 tons of greenhouse gases into the air annually. It calls the sagging sewer line “unacceptable,” with repairs requiring “extensive preparation, permitting, and organization.”

14405052687_abc0ca9c9f_nOn June 17–the day FERC gave DTI the go-ahead to begin 24/7, seven-day-a-week construction–contractor head Kirby Delauter applied to a state agency for emergency clearance to begin work on the sewer line. The permit bypassed the 48-hour notice normally required by both Myersville and the state. It authorized emergency electrical repair, not excavation and replacement of utilities.

“Dominion was pushing to get started so they suggested to place it under an emergency locate in order to get it earlier,” Delauter wrote in an email to the Town Manager. Continue reading Sagging Sewer Line Could Delay Start-Up of Maryland Compressor Station

EPA Head Challenged to Drink Water from Wells Contaminated by Fracking

By Anne Meador

If you’ve watched Josh Fox’s blockbuster frack-umentary Gasland, you’re familiar with Dimock, Pennsylvania, the town fracked within an inch of its life by Cabot Oil & Gas.

In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency shut down its investigation into water contamination in Dimock due to fracking, concluding that the water was safe to drink.

Yet last year the LA Times and DeSmogBlog revealed that the EPA had covered up findings showing that fracking wells in Dimock caused “methane to migrate up to aquifers to unprecedented levels.”

A whistleblower at the EPA subsequently alleged that the studies were dropped for political reasons.

Dimock residents with contaminated wells want to hold the EPA accountable. On October 10, some of them traveled to Washington, DC to confront current EPA head Gina McCarthy.

“My water is brown and smells so bad it will make you nauseous, yet EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy tells me and my neighbors that this poison is safe to drink,” said Dimock landowner Ray Kemble. Continue reading EPA Head Challenged to Drink Water from Wells Contaminated by Fracking