Shutting down the Uintah Basin Energy Summit: “A message to all of you short-sighted killers”

“Disorderly Conduct” by Sidhe, a message to US Oil Sands and other killers

 

 

On Sept. 4th, Utah Tar Sands Resistance interrupted the 2014 Uintah Basin Energy Summit, a yearly conference where tar sands and oil shale speculators are exalted and anyone “not excited” about the destruction of the Book Cliffs is shut out and silenced.

Land defender Sidhe had planned to share her entire poem with the 700 conference goers, but police–already aware of the conference organizers’ insecurities and impatience–would not cede a moment to their dissenters. Sidhe was booked into the Uintah County Jail on suspicion of “disorderly conduct,” an exceedingly fitting charge police could level against the tar sands speculators destroying the planet who were in the room, but alas, the police work for the capitalists, not the people.

“Disorderly Conduct” by Sidhe

A message to all of you short-sighted killers
What kind of world will you leave behind for your children
When you’ve squeezed every last drop of life from the land
With your greed and your murder you’ve wrought with your plans

I’d like to remind you your money means nothing
When the water’s been blackened and the creatures are starving
You toy with a force you do not understand
Your chemicals won’t wash all that blood off your hands

First Nations fight cancer up in Athabasca
Your oil trains are time bombs impending disaster
Your pipelines will leak and your cesspools will sprawl
And your babies are left with the brunt of it all

What of the animals caught in the tar?
What of the forests left clear cut and scarred?
What of those atrocities I didn’t witness?
Like Serafino in Columbia sending assassins
To murder union organizers who stood up and spoke out
In the back of my mind I can still hear them shout
I am made of this land you are made of the same
The planet is dying and you are to blame

Are you proud of yourselves? Look at what you’ve become
Heartless machines, so frigid and numb
So reluctant to think that you may just be wrong
That you hear the dissent and you send in the guns.

Utah Children say, “Oil Shale Puts Our Future on the Line.”

The weekend of June 20th, 2014, an intergenerational gathering brought together children, guardians, teachers and land defenders at PR Springs, site of the nation’s first commercial fuel tar sands strip mine, located in Eastern Utah. In addition to tar sands mining, the region is being threatened by oil shale strip mining, and after a weekend of hiking and exploring the land, fun art and science projects, and discussions with their peers, the children decided to take a field strip to Red Leaf Resources test site in order to see what was going on there, and to deliver a message.

Dear CEOs and Workers of Red Leaf Resources,

We are the children of Utah. We stand here today with our teachers, parents, and peers.

We are concerned about SITLA‘s dirty energy leasing for strip mining. Oil shale mining, and tar sands, destroys water, forests, and air, increases cancer and asthma risks, and these things take away animal homes that will never be the same.

SITLA funds 2% of the total school budget. We must think of the long term risks.

Is it really worth it to put children’s and animals’ lives in danger for strip mining?

Here in these places, they are destroying beautiful land, where it’s peaceful for wildlife and for people to enjoy and see.

The next time you’re planning to hurt an ecosystem, think of the animals and people you’re hurting and killing.

Thank you,
The Children of Utah

 

Read more about last year’s family gathering:
The Road to Hell is Paved with Tar Sands
Utah children visit PR Springs & speak out against tar sands
Families Camp Out in Protest to Save the Tavaputs Plateau from America’s First Approved Commercial Tar Sands Operation
Utah Tar Sands: Will The U.S. Join Canada In Tapping The ‘Bottom Of The Barrel’?

Read more about SITLA:
Lots for Tots: How one agency is selling off Utah in the name of the children

 

VIDEO: Watching U.S. Oil Sands

This summer, as protestors gather at PR Springs, site of the first tar sands mine in the United States, for a permanent protest vigil, they are poised not only to observe the comings & goings of U.S. Oil Sands, the Canadian tar sands company setting up shop, but also to do something about it.

GET INVOLVED:
Donate money & supplies to the Resistance! Help us keep going!
Join us for the Intergenerational Campout, June 20-22
Tar Sands Healing Walk Solidarity Campout, June 27-29

Read the 1st dispatch from the front:
Red Leaf Resources scraping open a new strip mine

STAY TUNED! We’re just getting started, y’all.

Red Leaf Resources scraping open a new strip mine

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October 2013 (left) and June 2014 (right). The white structure in the center is Red Leaf Resources.

Red Leaf Resources is an experimental strip mining company hoping to make a profit from low-grade oil shale. Wannabe oil shale barons have fumbled for generations in Utah’s Uintah Basin, but this Total-backed operation may destroy 17,000 acres of pristine wilderness before learning this lesson again.

Red Leaf’s expiremental plan involves packing low-grade oil shale into earthen underground ovens, heat the contents for 7 months at like 8,000 degrees (not the actual number, but it’s something ridiculously high). And what will they use to heat the ovens? Cheap, abundant and over-produced fracked natural gas, of course.

It’s not acknowledged outright, but we’ve often speculated that the nuclear generators proposed for Green River are necessary to fuel this next generation of dirty fuel production int he Uintah Basin. Tar sands and oil shale mining huge amounts of energy to convert those rocks into something of minimal value on today’s energy markets.  What a racket!

All the while the tricksters, fraudsters, egomaniacs and just plain dupes promoting tar sands and oil shale in Utah push for more state and federal aid–the only golden parachute that can make these boondoggles the least bit profitable. Luckily, Red Leaf is really good at buying politicians.

Red Leaf aerial photo circa 2013

This is what the property looked like at the end of 2013 before the recent round of scraping.

The new Seep Ridge Road highway–reviled by hunters, ranchers and land defenders alike–was constructed by the state of Utah with taxpayer dollars primarily to benefit Red Leaf Resources.

Power brokers in state government–who sell leases to companies like Red Leaf to destroy these lands–say they’re making these dangers deals “for the kids.”  Yeah, the ones that survive.

Join our Intergenerational Campout June 20 and meet the land defenders of the permanent protest vigil who brought you this update!

Donate here to keep updates coming from the Tavaputs Plateau where we’re staving off an energy colony under construction that’s threatening the entire Colorado Plateau!

 

Stop the Uinta Express Pipeline Project!

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Tesoro wants to build a 135-mile insulated pipeline connecting the Uinta Basin with the Salt Lake City-area refineries. The pipeline each day would move up to 60,000 barrels of black- and yellow-waxy crude. Because of its high paraffin content, Uinta’s waxy crude must remain warm in transit; black wax crude heated to 95 degrees, and yellow wax to 115 degrees.

If this pipeline is approved, it will be one more piece of infrastructure the state of Utah wishes to push forward in order to create an energy colony in Eastern Utah, and continue turning the area into a sacrifice zone. Utah has nearly completed a two-lane highway to nowhere, seeks to build a nuclear power plant and oil refinery on the Green River, and set up further infrastructure for US Oil Sands, Enefit, Red Leaf, and other fossil fuel extraction companies.

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Red Leaf’s Controversial Utah Oil Shale Project Challenged

(Reposted from the Grand Canyon Trust)

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An aerial view of Red Leaf Resources’ Utah oil shale facility. | Photo courtesy Taylor McKinnon (Grand Canyon Trust) and Bruce Gordon (Ecoflight)

For Immediate Release, January 22, 2014

Contact:
Rob Dubuc, Western Resource Advocate, (801) 487-9911
John Weisheit, Living Rivers, (435) 259-1063
Taylor McKinnon, Grand Canyon Trust, (801) 300-2414
Shelley Silbert, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, (970) 385-9577
Tim Wagner, Sierra Club, (801) 502-5450

Controversial Utah Oil Shale Project Challenged

38,000 Public Comments Opposed Plan Threatening Aquifers, Seeps and Springs

SALT LAKE CITY— Oil shale strip mining atop Utah’s Book Cliffs is being challenged by conservation groups. The challenge is a “request for agency action” filed Tuesday, over the ground water discharge permit approved by the Utah Department of Water Quality. The permit, which authorizes Red Leaf Resources to test an oil shale mining facility, lacks measures to prevent or detect surface or groundwater pollution, in violation of state law. More than 38,000 public comments were sent to the Department opposing an earlier draft of the flawed plan.

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“Spaghetti, Not Tar Sands!” Fundraiser Dinner – Saturday, Feb. 1st

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Do you like spaghetti? Do you hate tar sands?

The Utah Tar Sands Resistance is hosting a very special sit-down spaghetti dinner, to help us raise funds to continue our work to stop tar sands & oil shale mining in the Colorado Plateau.

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE & MAKE A RESERVATION TODAY!

As US Oil Sands, Enefit & Red Leaf are preparing to break ground on their dirty & destructive extraction projects, so are we getting ready to ramp up the Resistance!–but we can’t do it alone!

Join us Saturday, Feb. 1st from 5-8:30 PM
at the Free Speech Zone (411 South 800 East, SLC, UT)

*$10 a plate in advance, and kids under 5 eat free!

*Dinner will include a green salad, bread and spaghetti with your choice of three different sauces (vegan & vegetarian)

*Gluten Free options available

*Live music by local musicians

*Purchase tickets in advance by emailing Raphael at craphaelc@gmail.com
or buy your tickets online.

Utah Tar Sands Resistance is committed to stopping the development of fossil fuels on the Colorado Plateau–with a special emphasis on stopping tar sands in Utah–by organizing communities and using direct action.

Funds be used: to support travel to rugged Eastern Utah that facilitates community building & helps develop direct action strategies; to fund events that foster a community of resistance against fossil fuels in the refinery community of the Wasatch Front; to support our efforts to build and maintain regional support around this issue.

Utah – The Next Energy Colony

PR Springs Tar Sands Mine

(this blog post was originally published by DGR News Service and has been reposted here with permission)

The first Tar Sands mine in the United States is an open wound on the landscape: a three acre pit, the bottom puddled with water and streaked with black tar. Berms of broken earth a hundred feet tall stand on all sides. To the north and south, Seep Ridge Road – a narrow, rutted, dirt affair – is in the midst of a state-funded transfiguration into a 4-lane paved highway that may soon be clogged with afternoon traffic jams of oil tankers and construction equipment. Clearcuts and churned soil stretch to either side of the road, marking the steady march of progress.

This is the Uintah Basin of eastern Utah – a rural county, known for providing the best remaining habitat in the state for Rocky Mountain Elk, White Tailed Deer, Black Bear, and Cougar. In the last decade, it’s become the biggest oil-extraction region on the state, and in the last five years fracking has exploded. There are over 10,000 well pads in the region. And now, the Tar Sands are coming.

Thirty two thousand acres of state lands situated on the southern rim of the basin – some 50 square miles – have been leased for Tar Sands extraction. If all goes according to plan, the mine at PR Springs that I’m looking at would produce 2,000 barrels of oil per day by late this year, with planned increases to 50,000 barrels per day in the future.

Dozens of similar mines are planned across the whole region. Along with their friends in state and local governments, energy corporations are collaborating to turn this region into an energy colony – a sacrifice zone to the gods of progress, growth, and desecration.

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