Climate Activism News Roundup #5

A two week curated collection of climate activism news, protests, public marches, direct actions, and related court-cases. We are regularly inspired by the creative and courageous resistance we see around the globe, and we hope that gathering the stories here will keep you motivated, informed and connected.

Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL Opponents Target Banks Funding Climate Destruction

Common Dreams / April 16, 2017

Kicking off a week of actions targeting the institutions financing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipelines, activists protested at banks in 25 cities to shine a spotlight on the roll they are having on climate destruction. After fierce nationwide opposition forced the Obama administration to halt the project, President Donald Trump has given it the green light and the climate movement has vowed to fight it once again. “It’s back—and so are we.”

Sheriff Who Met DAPL Opponents with Brute Force Now Advising on Keystone XL

Common Dreams / April 11, 2017

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, made infamous for leading his department in brutal confrontations with opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline, is reportedly advising other law enforcement on how to deal with protesters. Kirchmeier predicts that the next flashpoint will come in Nebraska over the pending construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline and Nebraska officials are reportedly preparing for what they expect will be massive protests against the pipeline.

Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline Is One Permit Closer To Reality As Groups Plan Continued Resistance

DeSmogBlog / April 3, 2017

Heavy rain didn’t stop dozens of people in New Orleans from marching to the offices of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), where they delivered a letter to the agency opposing the Bayou Bridge pipeline. Yet the group’s actions didn’t stop the DNR from granting the project’s operator, Energy Transfer Partners, the coastal use permit it needed a few days later. However, the company still needs to obtain a water quality certificate from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Protection, and a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before the project can move forward.

Sabal Trail Pipeline

Sierra Club Attorneys Challenge Sabal Trail Gas Pipeline in DC Circuit Court of Appeals

Sierra Club / April 18, 2017

A pipeline that will carry natural gas from Alabama through Georgia into Central Florida is nearly complete; but the Sierra Club is still challenging the Sabal Trail pipeline in court. On Tuesday, Sierra Club staff attorney Elly Benson argued before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, should not have approved the pipeline in the first place.

Northern Access Pipeline

Another One Bites the Dust: Northern Access Pipeline Defeated in NY

Earth First! / April 9, 2017

Communities in upstate New York are celebrating the recent announcement from the Department of Environmental Conservation that the Northern Access Pipeline will not receive the necessary permits for construction. The $500 million pipeline, proposed by National Fuel Gas, would have brought fracked gas from Pennsylvania to upstate NY.


Energy Fuels Inc. Completes Drilling Near Grand Canyon

Intercontinental Cry / April 16, 2017

Energy Fuels Inc. recently completed drilling of its uranium mine shaft at Canyon Mine, which is located just miles from the Grand Canyon. Uranium ore extraction could begin at the Canyon Mine as early as June 2017. Energy Fuels is already transporting millions of gallons of contaminated water from the drilling process through local communities and reportedly polluting sacred Havasupai tribal lands. If the mine becomes operational, hundreds of trucks will haul millions of pounds of radioactive ore on local roads and over waterways, which threatens not only Havasupai people and land, but also Colorado River users such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Activists Block Gasoline Terminal in Western Harbour, Amsterdam

Earth First! / April 15, 2017

A group of 25 people entered the terrain of gasoline trader Vitol in the Amsterdam harbour, forcing a suspension of all activities on the terrain. Their message: Stop the export of toxic gasoline to West-Africa – and end the era of fossil fuels. Companies such as the Dutch Vitol, the largest gasoline trader in the world, are responsible for dumping toxins on West-African countries via the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Italian Residents Stop Removal of Olive Trees / April 11, 2017

Communities in Salento, in the southern ‘heel’ of Italy, are on the frontlines of the battle to stop the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). For years, local people have been campaigning against the planned pipeline that would carry gas from Azerbaijan to Italy. The pipeline company – without even having permits for the work – began removing hundreds of ancient olive trees near the rural town of Melendugno to allow for construction of a gas receiving terminal. Hundreds of people gathered at the site to peacefully resist. The national government sent in police to defend the interests of the pipeline company, pushing the crowds back with shields and batons to allow works to continue. The removal of the trees was later suspended due to the sheer size of the protests and stone barricades set up by the protesters to block access to the site.

A Canadian Company is Set to Construct Brazil’s Largest Open-Pit Gold Mine – in the Heart of the Amazon

Intercontinental Cry / April 5, 2017

Belo Sun Mining Corp. is planning to build the soon-to-be largest open-pit gold mine in Brazil, located in the heart of the Amazon forest on the banks of the Xingu river. Brazilian activists, NGOs and advocacy groups, however, are waging a legal battle over the land. The company secured permission in early February from the Pará state government to begin construction, but on February 22 a state court suspended that permission for 180 days by upholding a suit filed by Pará’s public defender’s office. The case will be referred to the federal public prosecutor’s office to conduct an investigation into whether the company engaged in land grabbing when it purchased federal public lands.

The Fights to Protect Science, People and Planet Are Inherently Connected

Common Dreams / April 06, 2017

Here’s how the People’s Climate March and March for Science are working together, and how you can plug into both. This April, two powerful mobilizations will take place in D.C. and around the world, one to stand up for science and truth, the next to defend our climate, jobs, and justice. Together, the March for Science and the People’s Climate March provide a powerful way for all of us to take action—together.

PacRim Coal Terminates the Chuitna Coal Mine Project

Sierra Club / April 4, 2017

PacRim Coal, the company behind the controversial proposed Chuitna coal mine in Alaska, announced that it suspended all permitting activities related to the Chuitna project. According to PacRim, the permit is being pulled because its financial backers fell through. What would have been the largest coal strip mine in Alaska received incredible pushback from environmental groups, native communities and the fishing industry because of the damage it would bring to fish populations and water quality. The mine would have required tearing up 13 miles of prime salmon spawning habitat.

Arctic Indigenous Peoples Leading the Way in Ecological Restoration and Climate Resilience, Says Major New Study

Intercontinental Cry / April 3, 2017

A major new international study has recognized the crucial role Arctic Indigenous Peoples have to play in ecological restoration efforts that help build resilience to major climate-change driven shifts in the distribution of land, marine and freshwater species. Published in the prestigious journal, Science, the new study highlights the extent of climate change-driven changes in the distribution of species. It identifies the emerging challenges these shifts pose for indigenous and non-indigenous communities and economies from the tropics to the poles.

Legislation and Court Cases

Non-Profit Groups Sue Monsanto over Deceptive Roundup Labeling

Nation of Change / April 13, 2017

Monsanto is once again facing a lawsuit over one of its many controversial products. Two nonprofit groups, Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association, have filed a lawsuit against the mega agribusiness company, alleging that the company’s weed killer, Roundup, has misleading labeling that falsely tells the public that its product cannot hurt them.

Oregon Legislature Says ‘No’ To GMO-free Zones

OPB / April 13, 2017

Two bills that would have let Oregon communities ban genetically modified or engineered crops have died in committee. It’s the third time environmental and farm groups have tried and failed to pass the legislation, which they say is needed to prevent GE crops from contaminating organic and conventional crops.

Portland City Council votes to End All Corporate Investments

Elance / April 6, 2017

Portland City Council voted yesterday to end investing in all corporate securities, after broad community pressure to end investments in corporations complicit in prison expansion, the occupation of Palestine, the building of Trump’s “wall,” construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and climate change. This vote supersedes Portland’s Socially Responsible Investments Committee (SRIC) process, which engaged a citizen committee to make recommendations on corporate investments based on human rights and other criteria.

NY Judge Tosses Exxon Challenge to Climate Change Investigations

Inside Climate News / April 4, 2017

A lawsuit by ExxonMobil seeking to block climate change fraud investigations by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York has been dismissed—at least for now. The ruling came from the New York federal judge who took over the case last week after a judge in Texas transferred it to her jurisdiction.