The Unist’ot’en Camp, an indigenous-led pipeline blockade in remote, mountainous central British Columbia, is permeated with the savory smell of bear poutine pizza — shredded bear meat, homemade French fries, green onions, and cheese on a scratch whole wheat crust. Ambrose Williams, a member of the nearby Gitxsan nation, is cooking dinner tonight for his partner Erin’s birthday. Because it’s a special occasion, someone has ventured down into the work-in-progress root cellar to excavate a jar of spicy dill pickles made from cucumbers grown in the camp garden.
The Obama administration has granted Royal Dutch Shell final approval to resume drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean for the first time since 2012 despite widespread protests from environmental groups. Shell first obtained drilling permits in the Arctic during the George W. Bush administration, but drilling stopped in 2012 after a series of mishaps.
TransCanada Corporation, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, is furtively planning its next steps—including suing the U.S. government—if U.S. President Barack Obama rejects the permits which would allow construction of the project to move forward, the Canadian Pressreported on Monday.
With the oil industry facing what could be its worst downturn in more than 45 years, the major companies are taking extraordinary, perhaps even desperate, measures to preserve their dividends. This is raising the question of whether the current price slump is just another in a long history of down business cycles, from which oil companies always emerge victoriously, or a sign of more deeply troubled times ahead.
Climate justice campaigners rappelling from a towering bridge and paddling in kayaks have so far successfully blocked Shell Oil's fleet from leaving Portland, Oregon's port to embark on a widely opposed drilling expedition in the Alaskan Arctic.
Five years ago, in the middle of the night, an oil pipeline operated by Enbridge ruptured outside of Marshall, Michigan. It took more than 17 hours before the Canadian company finally cut off the flow, but by then, more than a million gallons of tar sands crude had oozed into Talmadge Creek. The oil quickly flowed into the Kalamazoo River, forcing dozens of families to evacuate their homes.
On Wednesday morning off the coast of British Columbia, I went face to face with Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer. It was terrifying. But there are moments in life when—despite your fear—you must act.
In canoes and kayaks, anti-drilling activists early Monday faced down Shell's 40,000-ton drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, as it attempted to set sail from Seattle's Puget Sound to Arctic waters.
At least ten of the "kayaktivists," including Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, were detained by the U.S. Coast Guard for alleging violating a previous injunction by overstepping a 500-yard restricted "safety" zone around the behemoth rig.