The UK Parliament voted to allow fracking under national parks and other protected areas just days after signing the climate change agreement in Paris. The new regulations just require that the drilling begin from outside those protected areas. Government ministers used a statutory instrument to push through the new rules, which means legislation can pass into law without a debate in the House of Commons.
Rose Dickinson, energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said, "The government’s own draft report found contaminated water poses risks to human health. Yet these new rules will put our drinking water and national parks at risk of fracking," she said.
In the same week the Tory government cut subsidies for solar panel installation down by 67%. So much for Cameron's speech at the Paris climate summit saying how we need to preserve and protect the planet for future generations.
In the USA, a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports ended paving the way, environmental organizations warn, for a dramatic increase in drilling, fracking, and carbon emissions and threatens to undo the what limited progress was made in the Paris negotiations. According to a study by the Center for American Progress published in August, removing the export ban could increase U.S. production of crude oil by "an average of 3.3 million barrels per day between 2015 and 2035." The study notes that is "the equivalent annual emissions of 108 million passenger cars of 135 coal-fired plants.
"Lifting the ban on crude oil exports would undercut all the other progress our nation may make in fighting climate change," said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. "It would increase planet-warming pollution and deliver more fracking and dangerous drilling in America’s vulnerable communities and precious wildlife habitat."
Campaigners say the deal constitutes a gift to the very oil industry driving the climate crisis. In a study published in the journal Nature earlier this year, scientists concluded that, in order to stave off climate disaster, the vast majority of fossil fuel deposits around the world—including 92 percent of U.S. coal, all Arctic oil and gas, and a majority of Canadian tar sands—must stay "in the ground."
"This proposal is toxic," said Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth.
A Texas oil company, Tesoro, is partnering with another company to plan and construct a massive oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver on the Columbia River. The Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal -- a project that is currently in a permitting stage (approval is needed from Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state regulatory agencies) -- is slated to transfer fracked crude oil from the Bakken Shale onto oil tankers. The oil will be shipped 1200 miles by rail from North Dakota to the Port of Vancouver. A constant stream of oil trains will travel east to west through the Columbia Gorge every day. Ocean-going oil tankers will take it from the Port of Vancouver to refineries in California or -- if Congress does its masters' bidding and repeals the crude export ban -- to refineries in China and India. The Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal will handle at least 42% of the oil that until recently was slated to be transported out of the Bakken Shale via the now-canceled Keystone XL pipeline. If the Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal is approved and constructed -- our natural resources are exposed to oil spills and oil train disasters. Our Columbia Gorge, our salmon runs, our water, our wildlife... all of them now vulnerable. The Pacific Northwest becomes the new Nigeria, with toxic sludge all over our rivers and beaches. Greed! Glorious greed!
What can we expect from a world whose rulers are motivated only by profit and whatever it takes to increase it? Government and the judiciaries are sock puppets which does what they are told, and have been taught that it matters not what the people want, or how much suffering they endure. Only profits count. These are the people who don't give a damn and for whom profit is the only worthwhile gain. The planet is on a climate change trajectory where we're not going to be able to stop the floods, the droughts and forest fires and the ensuing famines. In 2013 and 2014 the US fossil fuel industry spent $326 million on lobbying and political campaigns. In return, they received government favours totaling $33.7 billion. Do the math: According to the advocacy group Oil Change International, for every dollar the oil, gas and coal industry spends on influencing Washington, it gets back $103 in subsidies. Selling-out Earth's future to the fossil-fuel conglomerates and to Hell with all else! So much for the Paris Climate accords
It's not enough to protest what we shouldn't do. We need to propose and seek a socialist solution. We have to end capitalism. Only by changing the economic system in which we live, can we survive. We need much more than energy tinkering that simply unplugs fossils and plugs in renewables. There is a much deeper form of denialism at work here. Telling people that becoming a vegan will stop climate change is close to insanity. For the planet to survive, capitalism must be replaced by socialism.
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A WORLD TO SHARE, A PLANET TO SPARE