Monday, December 21, 2009

Fighting for fossils: the al-Fakkah oil field and West Virginian mountain tops

The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15) has just ended at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. Even while world leaders were discussing how to curb demand for fossil energy the fight for control of supply of them continued unabated.

On the Iran-Iraq border the two countries are moving troops around to impress each other. On Friday the 18th, when COP15 was scheduled to end, Iraq accused Iran of seizing the al-Fakkah oil well on disputed border territory. Saturday they sent troops. Early December Iraq signed contracts with Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas for the development of the 1.5 billion barrel oil field. (Iraq accuses Iran of seizing oil well near border, Iraq sends forces to oil well seized by Iran, Baghdad reclaims oil facility at al-Fakkah)

Although (technically) not in this conflict, the US army is worrying a great deal about it (Mullen: "Clock Now Running" on Iran).

At home the Americans are divided in the question about how far to go in the pursuit of their own fossil resources. Is removing mountain tops for coal going too far? Much too far, says environmentalists. A group called Climate Ground Zero has arranged more than 20 protests in which more than 100 activists have been arrested.

"Mountaintop-removal mining blasts away our souls, blasts away our communities, the souls of the workers who are doing the work and our cultural and natural heritage."
- Rev. Robin Blakeman, West Virginia minister and environmental activist.

"Treehuggers", says the miners. The mine operator, Massey Energy, equates being anti-coal with being anti-American. July 2009 I posted a YouTube video of miners harassing environmentalists (Workers of polluting and nature exploiting industries in violent attacks against environmentalists).

"Look out violence is coming your way. There is a group ready as we speak to eliminate the threat."
- "Superhippieslayer", anonymous online miner

"There's a possibility it might not be safe to live in the Coal River Valley"
- Chuck Nelson, activist and former underground miner

(Fear of violence grows in mountaintop mining fight, Religion shaping mountain-top removal debate in Appalachia coal country)

World Gas Prices by Don Hankins

(This article was cross-posted at TH!NK ABOUT IT.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Benno -

    I've been following the " Coal War " in West Va.
    I continue to follow "observed events".

    New Orleans just set it's all time record for rainfall in Dec. Just short of 26 inches. All done with out the aid of a tropical system coming on shore. These extreme rain events are picking up pace, there's one going on in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, right now. But , the one that started last summer in the Southern U.S. is really cooking now, 14 inches of rain in 6 hours, north of Miami 2 weeks ago. 10 inches at Little Rock a week later. Each system produced a all time record snow dump, first in Philly, then in Oklahoma City. The snow rate at OKC hit 10 inches in 90 min.
    The climate system is really rolling now.


Search This Blog