There Will Be Blood

If you listen to the GOP, you’d be convinced that the WH, Democrats in general and crazed environmentalists specifically had nixed the Keystone Pipeline out of sheer orneriness or a deep-seated hatred of good ‘ole American Capitalism.  Rick Santorum and his Prince of Darkness tour would no doubt smell brimstone in the midst of any pipeline dissent.

Well, surprise, surprise.  The push back is not limited to protestors in the United States.  Our northern neighbors in Canada have as many if not more objections to the Petro State ripping through their country, poisoning watersheds, destroying wildlife and property, causing disease and health problems among citizens, all in the name of King Oil and the desire to wring every last drop out of the planet.

The Hell with Consequences!

First Nation, the indigenous population of Canada, has already predicted:

There will be blood!

Why the outcry?  Enbridge, Inc. and the conservative government in Canada is pressing forward with their own pipeline project, Northern Gateway, which would carry 500,000+ barrels a day 731 miles from a town near Edmonton, westward through the Rocky Mountains to a port on the British Columbia [BC] coast.  Over 60 indigenous organizations have expressed their opposition, refusing to be moved by the promise of revenue, jobs and an increase in their quality of life because their lives are deeply attached to the natural resources of BC, most importantly the integrity of the salmon trade that depends on the streams and tributaries of the Fraser and Skeena Rivers.   In addition, the proposed port on the coast, which would host over 200 oil tankers a year, could expose the Great Bear rainforest to irreparable damage.

Think Valdez!

Interestingly enough, First Nation opposition is the most serious threat to the Harper government’s enthusiastic endorsement of the pipeline.  Unlike other indigenous groups, First Nation never signed treaties with the Canadian government and consequently never relinquished their lands to the Federal government.  On the other hand, the government and oil companies have nearly unlimited funds to fight this battle in court.

According to the LA Times report Tribal Chief Jackie Thomas has said:

“It’s going to be a war. The only question is, who’s going to draw the first blood.”

And here’s a chilling factoid: Enbridge is the same company responsible for the leak of 800,000+ gallons [the EPA now reports over 1 million gallons] of tar sand oil into the Kalamazoo River, Michigan.  Presumably, the oil company has spent $700 million in reclamation procedures.  The area is still a gigantic mess.

Kalamazoo River Spill

Added to the environmental risks [the cost of which is usually ignored] the Northern Pipeline is likely to boost the price of oil for Canadian consumers because like the Keystone proposal, the oil would be exported, not available domestically. The video below is instructive in a grim way.

Why are we having these bitter disputes?

Because we desperately need new energy sources. And there’s tons of money on the line.  More importantly, we need an Energy Policy/Strategy, where the pros and cons of transitional sources are seriously considered–the trade-offs, the costs, what we as a culture are willing to put up with or risk until renewable, clean sources are developed and brought online.  That’s a plan that would look at what we need today, five years down the road, 10, 20, 30 years.  You set benchmarks.  You invest in, encourage and unleash innovation, while focusing on increased efficiency from power plants–the traditional US coal power plant is only 35% efficient, meaning we’re wasting most of the energy we’re producing–to autos to buildings to everything else.

Where is that policy?  Nada.

The Department of Defense’s push towards alternative energy is not a sign of the US military becoming rabid tree huggers.  As the world’s largest institutional energy consumer, the DOD knows the score: the days of cheap fossil fuel are over and our dependence on foreign and unfriendly suppliers is a serious security issue.  The Department’s commitment to this reality can be seen in proposed budget expenditures: $3 billion by 2015; $10 billion by 2030.

As GreenTech Media reported, this sort of shift has historical parallels:

Military spending in support of energy is not new. Winston Churchill’s decision in 1911 to move the British Navy, then the world’s then most dominant military force, from coal to oil changed the world’s energy marketplace. The emerging trend in DoD spending on renewables is an equally historic marker.

Neither American or Canadian energy needs should come down to an either/or contest: shut off the electricity or rip the environment apart, robbing people, wildlife, the very planet of their health, sustainability and future.  We cannot poison our watersheds, jeopardize our aquifers or damage fertile farmlands for the sake of profits or our unwillingness to conserve and efficiently utilize what we have.  King Oil has ruled long enough. The damage they’re willing to exact is unacceptable, even obscene.

Alberta Tar Oil Sands, Aerial Satellite Shot

First Nation peoples of British Columbia know this and are willing to fight tooth and nail to preserve what’s left of their way of life and cultural traditions. To save the irreplaceable.

Great Bear Rainforest

There may very well be blood.  It’s a worthy fight.

22 Comments on “There Will Be Blood”

  1. Woman Voter says:

    Canadian aboriginals sue over chemical pollution

    Pollution another shocking way to make the the aboriginal population in Canada disappear. I wonder what other side affects these chemicals have on the bodies of the young females that are born. The above story just came out today.

    • peggysue22 says:

      This is so wrong. These large petro-companies always promise jobs, revenues, etc., while they’re literally poisoning everything in sight. Some of the photos I pulled up while I was poking around on this post were literally disgusting.

      Thanks for the vid, VW.

  2. northwestrain says:

    There will be blood — agreed.

    This is so wrong — the Canadian Gov and big oil has been trying to force the first Nations to bend over. Treatment of the Indigenous people by the whites has been horrible — young women go missing and not much is done.

    BC is Washington state’s neighbor — I can’t imagine that the BC Canadians are going to passively stand by and watch BC destroyed and despoiled by big oil. Most of the oil won’t even remain in North America — this is for the export dollars.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Fortunately, First Nations does have support among many in the general population. The ugliness of this industry, the diversion of water for processing and the waste created is really, really troubling. A lot of the toxic waste on these procedures is being injected back into the earth–out of sight, out of mind. It’s a huge experiment because the industry has no idea what the long-term effects will be.

      It’s their experiment. The rest of us are the lab rats.


  3. dakinikat says:

    The weird thing is that we don’t have a supply problem right now because of the economy. We don’t even have problems at the refining level. The oil companies are selling what’s coming out of there to China and other places right now because this country doesn’t need it.

    • peggysue22 says:

      It’s all about the money, the incessant appetite around the world for energy–China, India, etc. Whatever these companies can extract in the cheapest way, and then sell to the highest bidder is what they’re willing to.

      As for the population and the environment? Not much thought given.

    • ralphb says:

      The working rig count in the US is higher now than it has been in close to 40 years. With the various shale plays, we need tar sands oil like a hole in the head. Of course, the oil companies have put a lot of money into developing those tar sands operations so they’re gonna fight tooth and nail to make a profit on it.

  4. Woman Voter says:

    Do you remember who killed the electric car? Time to revisit those plans and get back to solar and electric energy. This poisoning side affects of the genetic material is God awful scary…or will we wait until we have children born with three eyes or four arms by the hundreds? Imagine, if it affects the population in a 2/1 birth ratio, it is a species elimination consequence.

    • Woman Voter says:

      I really think we are at a point of seriously looking at what we are doing to the planet and to our own species and all the other living creatures around us. God help us…

      • bostonboomer says:

        The planet will go on as always, no matter what we do. The danger is to humans, not to the earth. Earth has been through repeated disasters, warming and cooling. It’s the human species that needs to be saved, not the planet. Many other forms of life, such as insects and plants will go on without us too.

      • ralphb says:

        Heh, it’s pretty arrogant to think we’re destroying the planet. We’ re probably not going to be on it for very long in the best case, considering geologic time.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Disclosure, you have to consider ME (the mixture of what I am), we are taught we are part of ‘Mother Earth’ and we will return to ‘Mother Earth’ thus taking care of ‘Mother Earth’ is taking care of US, and if we depart we will continue to live within, in nature…


    • ralphb says:

      When you come right down to it the Chevy Volt is about as viable as we’re going to get to an electric car now, due to range limitations with the batteries. They’re expensive but the fact that they can’t seem to sell them is a shame.

  5. Woman Voter says:

    Oh, I there was a double donation, but that it OK…small…some fluke via PayPal. You all ROCK in covering important life changing events. 🙂

  6. Minkoff Minx says:

    Interestingly enough, First Nation opposition is the most serious threat to the Harper government’s enthusiastic endorsement of the pipeline. Unlike other indigenous groups, First Nation never signed treaties with the Canadian government and consequently never relinquished their lands to the Federal government. On the other hand, the government and oil companies have nearly unlimited funds to fight this battle in court.

    That is huge…I would love to see what legal action can be taken with this, but like you say the pockets for big oil are deep.

    Back to reading this post Peggy, excellent.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Excellent post, Peggy Sue. I’m afraid nothing is going to stop this pipeline. I hope there really will be a serious fight against it.

  8. ralphb says:

    Bretton Woods uncovered (a scoop, of sorts)

    Students of economic history are in for a treat. An official studying deep in the bowels of the US Treasury library has recently uncovered a prize of truly startling proportions – an 800 page plus transcript of the Bretton Woods conference in July 1944, the meeting of nations which established the foundations of today’s international monetary system.

    This should be interesting.

  9. peggysue, thanks for continuing your coverage of Keystone XL. I just wish that the media would do some in depth coverage.

    Humans are the only species on the planet that negatively impacts all other life on the planet or that fouls the air & water sp that it’s not safe for any living thing.. No other species has been responsible for the extinction of so many other species. Granted major climate changes in the past have helped destroy the dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, saber-toothed cats and so on. But we just need to look around us at frogs being born with extra legs due to the toxins and/or hormones in the water, or the massive die offs of infant dolphins due to the poisoning of the Gulf due to the massive oil release due to Maconda blowing up and so on.

    But the points that the oil from Keystone is only passing through the US to be refined and then sold to other countries isn’t being told on a wide enough basis. The lies perpetrated by Fox and the Republicans needs to be called out every time they say these lies.