Category Archives: Extractive Industries

Keystone XL decision will define Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change

The Guardian

Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Does the president have courage to say ‘no’ to a project that will lock us into decades of dependency on this dirty energy?

Very few of us have the opportunity in life to look forward to our legacy. However, sometimes events occur that we just know will shape how history will judge us.

One of those events is about to happen to President Barack Obama. This year, his administration is expected to make a decision on whether to allow the construction of a massive pipeline that would be used to export tar sands from Alberta, Keystone XL pipeline would essentially bisect the United States to bring the tar substance (bitumen) to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it could be exported around the world. Continue reading Keystone XL decision will define Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change

Shell Case Shows Failure of Nigerian Judiciary

Waibite Amazi, a fisherman in Nigeria's troubled oil-rich delta region, spreads out his net outside his homestead, Nigeria. Farming and fishing is the main source of livelihood for the impoverished, rural population here. Courtesy: Dulue Mbachu/IRIN
Waibite Amazi, a fisherman in Nigeria’s troubled oil-rich delta region, spreads out his net outside his homestead, Nigeria. Farming and fishing is the main source of livelihood for the impoverished, rural population here. Courtesy: Dulue Mbachu/IRIN

By Toye Olori

LAGOS, Nigeria, Jan 31 2013 (IPS) – The decision by The Hague over Shell’s liability for polluting in the Niger Delta shows that justice is possible – but it is extremely hard to achieve if you are taking on a massive multinational, says Amnesty International’s Africa programme director Audrey Gaughran.

While The Hague dismissed most of the landmark case brought by the four Nigerian farmers and environmental pressure group, Friends of the Earth, against a subsidiary of international oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, the judges ordered Shell Nigeria to compensate one farmer for breach of duty of care.

Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, is the largest oil and gas company in Nigeria, Africa’s top energy producer, which produces more than one million barrels of oil per day. Continue reading Shell Case Shows Failure of Nigerian Judiciary

A note repudiating the criminal action of the Federal Police in the Munduruku Indian Village Teles Pires

Source: Indian Mission Council (CIMI)

Cimi comes before the people to publicly manifest vehement repugnance at the violent action and murder committed by the Federal Police during the operation called El Dorado. Using the pretext of carrying out judicial orders which determined the destruction of mining balsas in the Teles Pires River and sites of illegal mining, the commander of the operation, Antonio Carlos Muriel Sanchez, led the invasion on November 7, 2012 of the Indian Village Teles Pires, in the Jacareacanga county, state of Pará. According to declarations made in the Federal Public Ministry, there the police practiced all sorts of atrocities, such as: beatings, murder, attempted murder, destruction of houses, the school, the health station, cell phones, computers, the short wave radio, canoes and fishing boats e as balsas used for mining. Now the Indians are not able to fish, porque the river is totally polluted by the fuel in the balsas destroyed by the Federal Police. Continue reading A note repudiating the criminal action of the Federal Police in the Munduruku Indian Village Teles Pires

Bishops and Extractive Industries: A Human Face of Mining

Huffington Post

In far flung corners of the world, religious leaders are protesting against mining companies and projects. What are their complaints? In Guatemala, they argue that gold mining poisons the water table, in Chad that painfully negotiated revenues that promised to ease the pain of poverty are nowhere in sight, in Ecuador that oil drilling devastates the landscape, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Nigeria that mining feeds devastating conflicts, in Ghana that mining in forest reserves threatens animal and plant species, in India that it strips indigenous people of their land rights, and in Peru that it pollutes lakes and rivers. The litany goes on and on but the underlying story told is one of broken promises, of powerful companies for whom profit is their God, and of a wounded planet whose land resources are despoiled with little to show, harming the people who live nearby. Continue reading Bishops and Extractive Industries: A Human Face of Mining

‘They’re killing us’: world’s most endangered tribe cries for help

The Guardian
Logging companies keen to exploit Brazil’s rainforest have been accused by human rights organisations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355. Survival International, with backing from Colin Firth, is campaigning to stop what a judge referred to as ‘genocide’ Continue reading ‘They’re killing us’: world’s most endangered tribe cries for help

Your cell phone, Congo’s misery

Independent Catholic News
A new documentary film:  ‘Blood in the Mobile,’ shows the horrific living and working conditions of miners in the Congo, labouring to produce a vital component for many of our mobile phones.

Actor and activist Robin Wright shows how the minerals in our cell phones also finance war. She recently traveled to eastern Congo with the Enough Project, a Washington-based group focused on ending genocide and crimes against humanity. Continue reading Your cell phone, Congo’s misery

Brazil bans oil giant Chevron from drilling after spill

BBC

Brazilian authorities say the oil spill is now under control.

Brazil is temporarily banning the American company, Chevron, from drilling for oil in its territory.

The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said it would suspend Chevron’s activities in Brazil until it had established the cause of an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Continue reading Brazil bans oil giant Chevron from drilling after spill

Peru protests at huge Conga gold mine in Cajamarca

BBC

Tempers are running high in the mountains of Cajamarca

Thousands of people in northern Peru have protested against plans for a huge open-cast goldmine in the high Andes.

People in the Cajamarca region say the proposed Conga mine will cause pollution and destroy water supplies.

The US-based mining company Newmont has promised modern reservoirs to replace threatened mountain lakes. Continue reading Peru protests at huge Conga gold mine in Cajamarca

NIGERIA: Dire pollution in Ogoniland but little action so far

An oil spill in Bodo is blamed for poor health in the community. Photo: Bashiru Abdullahi/IRIN

PORT HARCOURT, 9 September 2011 (IRIN) – An August 2011 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) study has found hazardous levels of pollution in Ogoniland in southern Nigeria’s Niger Delta, lending credence to claims by locals of environmental damage, health problems and lost livelihoods as a result of 50 years of oil operations in the area. Continue reading NIGERIA: Dire pollution in Ogoniland but little action so far

Marange diamond field: Zimbabwe torture camp discovered

BBC
By Hilary Andersson BBC Panorama

Marange could represent as much as a fifth of the world's diamonds deposits

A torture camp run by Zimbabwe’s security forces is operating in the country’s rich Marange diamond fields, BBC Panorama has found.

The programme heard from recent victims who told of severe beatings and sexual assault. Continue reading Marange diamond field: Zimbabwe torture camp discovered