Daily Archives: November 3, 2016

Climate Justice & Human Rights in the Middle East & North Africa | ELAW

11/3/16  ELAW Bulletin

Unless tagging penguins becomes part of my job, last week I stepped for the last time in my life onto a new continent: Africa.

Dr. Heidi Weiskel (in red) with workshop participants.

I was in Casablanca, Morocco to represent ELAW and participate in a strategic climate litigation workshop — “Connecting Climate Justice with Human Rights in the Courts” — with public interest attorneys from all over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The workshop was engaging, inspiring, and informative. I learned a tremendous amount. It was run by Our Children’s Trust and hosted by the Global Network for Public Interest Law and the Kingdom of Morocco National Human Rights Council.

I was also there to continue ELAW’s outreach efforts in the region. We are currently hosting a Moroccan Fellow at our Eugene office, Dr. Samyra Idllalène, and we are collaborating with partners in Israel, Palestine, and Egypt. The region is a global hotspot for climate change and environmental justice, and there are many advocates there who we are eager to support.

Attorneys from Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan, France, and the U.S. attended the workshop. Many of the MENA region attorneys are human rights lawyers, and the focus on environmental justice is a natural evolution for them.

The workshop focused on the use of the public trust doctrine. As is so often the case when working with fellow advocates for the earth, participants quickly developed a sense of personal trust.

…(read more).

Global Trade: Fact And Fiction | On Point

November 03, 2016
Economists say global trade has been declining for the last two years. So why all the talk of being killed in the trade sector? We’ll look what’s really going on.

In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, a truck transports a container to be loaded onto a ship at a port in Tianjin, China. (Alexander F. Yuan/AP)

Something new is happening in global trade. It’s declining. After decades where Chinese factories boomed and the trend line was always up, it’s flat and down. Empty, idled container ships. US trade, too – down during a period of economic growth for the first time since World War II. On the campaign trail, trade-bashing is hot. That may be fighting the last war. Some say the great age of globalization is over. This hour On Point, what it means when trade goes flat. — Tom Ashbrook


Binyamin Appelbaum, Washington correspondent for the New York Times, where he covers economic policy. (@BCAppelbaum)

Josh Bivens, research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute. Author of “Failure by Design” and “Everybody Wins, Except For Most of Us.” (@joshbivens_dc)

Caroline Freund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Former lead economist in the research department at the World Bank. Former senior economist for the International Monetary Fund. (@CarolineFreund)

Michigan’s Water Wars: Nestlé Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flint Pays fo r Poisoned Water | Democracy Now!

As Flint residents are forced to drink, cook with and even bathe in bottled water, while still paying some of the highest water bills in the country for their poisoned water, we turn to a little-known story about the bottled water industry in Michigan. In 2001 and 2002, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued permits to Nestlé, the largest water bottling company in the world, to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from aquifers that feed Lake Michigan. This sparked a decade-long legal battle between Nestlé and the residents of Mecosta County, Michigan, where Nestlé’s wells are located. One of the most surprising things about this story is that, in Mecosta County, Nestlé is not required to pay anything to extract the water, besides a small permitting fee to the state and the cost of leases to a private landowner. In fact, the company received $13 million in tax breaks from the state to locate the plant in Michigan. The spokesperson for Nestlé in Michigan is Deborah Muchmore. She’s the wife of Dennis Muchmore—Governor Rick Snyder’s chief of staff, who just retired and registered to be a lobbyist. We speak with Peggy Case, Terry Swier and Glenna Maneke of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation.

ND: Police Attack Protectors with Tear Gas in Latest Standoff Against Pipeline + oil & gas news…

November 03, 2016 Headlines

In North Dakota, police deployed pepper spray and tear gas against dozens of Native American water protectors during a standoff at Cantapeta Creek, north of the main Oceti Sakowin camp where thousands have been resisting the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. At least two people were shot with nonlethal projectiles. Video and photos show police firing the pepper spray and tear gas at the water protectors, who were peacefully standing in the creek. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had ordered police to arrest the Native Americans and destroy a bridge that members of the camp had constructed over the creek in order to protect a sacred burial ground they say is being destroyed by construction and law enforcement activity. This comes after President Obama said the Army Corp of Engineers is considering plans to reroute the Dakota Access pipeline. We’ll have more on the latest standoff and Obama’s comments after headlines with Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairperson Dave Archambault II.

Lawmakers Seek Investigation of Colonial Pipeline After Fatal Explosion

November 03, 2016Headlines

In Alabama, the Colonial pipeline remains shut down following a fatal explosion along a section of the pipeline on Monday in Shelby County, Alabama. One worker died and five were hospitalized after columns of fire burst from the punctured pipeline and shot up to 150 feet in the air. Colonial Pipeline Company has said as many as 168,000 gallons of gasoline could have burned, spilled, evaporated or remained in the pipeline following the blast. Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are seeking an investigation of the Georgia-based company. This comes after this same pipeline leaked nearly 340,000 gallons of gasoline in Central Alabama in September, forcing the line to shut down for 12 days and leading six governors to declare states of emergency as gas prices rose throughout the region. The Colonial pipeline carries 1.3 million barrels of gasoline per day down to refineries in Texas and Louisiana, accounting for a full 40 percent of the region’s gasoline. We’ll have more on the pipeline explosion later in the broadcast.

GE & Baker Hughes to Merge, Creating 2nd Largest Oilfield Service Company

November 03, 2016

In more oil and gas news, General Electric and Baker Hughes have announced plans to merge, which would create the second largest oilfield service company in the world, after Schlumberger. The merger comes amid increasing consolidation in the oil and gas industry.

Colonial Pipeline Crisis: It’s About A Lot More Than Rising Gas Prices

Democracy Now!

Published on Nov 3, 2016

http://democracynow.org – We end today’s show looking at another pipeline. In Alabama, at least one worker has died and five have been hospitalized after a section of the Colonial pipeline exploded in Shelby County on Monday. This is the second shutdown in just as many months. The column of fire burning from the punctured pipeline reportedly reached 150 feet. This comes after the same pipeline leaked nearly 340,000 gallons of gasoline in Central Alabama in September, forcing the line to shut down for 12 days and leading six governors to declare states of emergency as gas prices rose throughout the region. Since 2006, the company has reported 178 spills and other incidents that released a combined 193,000 gallons of hazardous liquids and caused $39 million in property damage. We speak to David Butler, the Cahaba Riverkeeper. He has traveled to the site of the Colonial Pipeline Company disaster and is monitoring its environmental impacts.

Equity and just transitions

SEI — Stockholm Environment Institute

Published on Oct 3, 2016

Session #7 of Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Change Policy: An International Conference, 26 September 2016 at The Queen’s College, Oxford, UK.

Moderator: Sivan Kartha, Stockholm Environment Institute

• Navroz Dubash, Centre for Policy Research
• Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria
• Samantha Smith, Just Transition Centre
• Simon Caney, University of Oxford
• Greg Muttitt, Oil Change International

For details, see: http://fossilfuelsandclimate.org/conf….

Michigan: Nestlé Seeking to Bottle 400 Gallons/Min. of Lake Michigan Water for Free

November 03, 2016 Headlines

And in northern Michigan, a Nestlé bottling plant that has been sucking water out of aquifers that feed Lake Michigan for free for years is now petitioning the state regulatory agency for permission to expand and pump even more fresh water out of the ground for free. The Nestlé Ice Mountain bottling plant in Mecosta County, Michigan, is proposing a $36 million expansion of its plant. It’s asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for permission to more than double the amount of water it can pump out of the ground, from 150 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute. The bottling plant has been the site of a more than decade-long struggle by local residents, who oppose the extraction of the groundwater for profit. This is local activist Peggy Case.

Peggy Case: “So the water that Nestlé is bottling, here and elsewhere in our state, is coming from the Great Lakes Basin. It is feeding here into Dead Stream and Cold Creek, then into the Little Muskegon River, that aquifer, and then eventually, ultimately, into Lake Michigan. So, it’s Great Lakes Basin water. It’s part of the commons. It belongs to all of us. And part of the reason that people in Mecosta were pretty upset about it is that the extraction of that water was being—it was being taken out of the watershed. The streams were being pumped down, to the point where the Dead Stream looked like a mudhole at one point, and bottled and shipped all over the world.”

Click here to see our full interview with Peggy Case and other activists from when Democracy Now! was in Michigan.

Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy: An International Conference – Conference programme


Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy: An International Conference

Click on the session titles to access abstracts, and on the names to access participant bios. Where the full-length paper is available, it is noted in boldface, with a link, at the end of the abstract. The programme is final and reflects last-minute changes. The programme booklet is now available as well, with the participants list.

Is a fossil fuels-led growth path still a viable choice for low-income countries?

SEI — Stockholm Environment Institute

Published on Oct 3, 2016

Session #9 at Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Change Policy: An International Conference, 27 September 2016 at The Queen’s College, Oxford, UK.

Moderator: Jon Marks, Cross-Border Information

• Glada Lahn, Chatham House
• Siân Bradley, Chatham House
• Ekpen Omonbude, Commonwealth Secretariat
• Nicola Barnfather, UK Department for International Development
• Petter Stigset, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

See conference details:


Future directions in energy planning in developing countries

SEI — Stockholm Environment Institute

Published on Oct 6, 2016

Charlie Heaps, senior scientist and head of the Energy Program at SEI-US, speaks at the SEI Tallinn seminar Bridging Science, Policy and Financing – New Practical Steps for Transition towards a Low-Carbon Energy System, 19 September 2016.