Fossil fuel projects grow along Columbia River

first_imgThe Columbia River, stretching from Alberta, Canada, and serving as a large portion of the border between Oregon and Washington before emptying into the Pacific, forms a unique ecosystem that has been shared by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Called “Wimahl” by the Chinook people at the lower part of the river, “Nch’i-Wàna” by the Sahaptin-speaking people along the middle of the river, and “Swah’netk’qhu” by the Sinixt people in the river’s upper origins in present-day Canada, each name translates as “large river.” The river has served as a way of life and a natural treasure. Salmon and sturgeon inhabit the river, forming a central part of both the river’s ecosystem and the cultures of the peoples living along it.But for decades the river’s ecosystem has been under attack, from hydroelectric plants that obstruct migratory fish, to the Hanford nuclear site in Benton County, Wash., which was used to enrich plutonium for the U.S. nuclear weapons program. The fissile material used in the bomb dropped over Nagasaki, Japan, was produced there, and today Hanford is an environmental Superfund site that also stores spent nuclear fuel.Over the past several years, another threat to the river has emerged: increased fossil fuel infrastructure in the form of oil refining and storage facilities, freight trains carrying crude oil and petrochemicals, and pipelines. In 2008 the Oregon government invested $36 million in “green energy” by subsidizing the construction of a privately owned biofuel plant at the Port of Columbia County. But a year later the plant’s owner went bankrupt. In 2012 it was purchased by Global Partners, which announced it would instead be using the facility’s tanks for crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands mines.Originally approved to handle 50 million gallons of oil a year, the company quickly began shipping as much as 297 million gallons. In 2012 the state fined Global Partners $102,292 — a small sum considering the enormous profits made from illegally transporting an extra 250 million gallons in less than a year. In August of that year, the state reversed course, giving the company approval to handle 1.8 billion gallons of oil a year at the facility, despite having violated state regulations and paying a fine only months earlier. (, March 22)In 2014 Zenith Energy applied for building permits at its Portland facility to expand its oil train operations, increasing the number of trains in the state’s largest city.In 2016, unknown to the mayor of nearby Rainier, the Port of Columbia County facility began handling ethanol, a gasoline additive, transporting it on mile-long trains from the port through the surrounding towns and cities. (, Sept. 3, 2016) On June 3, 2016, an oil train traveling in the Columbia River Gorge near Mosier from the oil fields of North Dakota derailed and exploded. The city was evacuated as 42,000 gallons of oil were spilled, some ending up in the river. Trains started running again on that section of track while damaged cars, still containing oil, lay where they had derailed next to it. The National Transportation Safety Board declined to investigate the explosion due to the lack of fatalities. (, July 7, 2016) Today, fossil fuel infrastructure continues to ramp up. The city of Portland banned new fossil fuel infrastructure within its jurisdiction, but the regional trend seems to be heading in the opposite direction. A proposed plant in Kalama, Wash., may become the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol plant, becoming one of Washington state’s largest single sources of emissions. In December the Port of Columbia County hastily approved  handling of heavier crude oil, which could sink to the bottom of the river in the event of a spill. (, Dec. 21)In southern Oregon and along the coast, a proposed pipeline and liquid natural gas terminal to transport fracked gas would require dredging 6 million cubic yards from the Coos Bay estuary. It is predicted to become one of the state’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, reversing the limited progress Oregon has made to reduce emissions and protect the environment. (, June 12)Left to its own devices, capitalism will continue to expand oil infrastructure. It will continue to damage ecosystems and aggravate climate change, with no shift in direction that isn’t dictated by the profit motive. From a scientific perspective, it is clear that the fossil fuel industry must end, due to its contribution to climate change. If carbon emissions aren’t rapidly brought down, the planet faces dire consequences. Yet those who control and profit from the oil industry would rather chase short-term, temporary profits at the expense of the planet’s survival.Transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward renewable, carbon-free sources of energy, including safer, next-generation nuclear power, is not something that can be left to the free market. Capitalism doesn’t invest in things that necessarily benefit the majority. Owners of industry invest in what is profitable in the short-term. Meeting people’s needs — or even the very survival of our species — is secondary to the profit motive, at best mere afterthoughts to the process of capital accumulation.What is needed isn’t always what is profitable. A massive, transformational reorganization of both the energy sector and social relations is needed to tackle climate change and transition from fossil fuels. This isn’t something that capitalist states can achieve. Only a state built around the needs of the working-class majority can effectively plan and coordinate societywide transformations that benefit everyone, not just a few profit-seekers.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Somalia: MPs table President impeachment motion

first_imgMore than 90 lawmakers in Somalia lodged a vote of no confidence in President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, accusing him of violating the constitution, two members of parliament said.The 9-paged motion was handed over to the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday evening by a group of Parliamentarians after meeting the requirements of the number of MPs to table in a motion.According to reports, the no-confidence motion was signed by a total of 115-MPs.  Somali legislators have accused the President of rampant corruption, political nepotism and incompetence since he came to power in 2006.‘’We have been preparing this motion for the last six months and we believe that there is no other way of solving what is going on in the Presidential office,’’ said MP Abdi Hosh.Impeaching the President would require the submission of a notice signed by not less than one third of the Parliament eligible to vote to the speaker of Parliament for the process to get underway.But obtaining the minimum number of 125 signatures will be a massive boost for the MPs.Last year, Somali MPs called for the President to step down after failing to address growing insecurity. It is understood that the President managed to divide the lawmakers who had moved to table a no-confidence motion against him.last_img read more

Bengaluru hope to ride luck against Abahani

first_imgDhaka, May 15: Bengaluru FC will hope for the rub of the green to go their way at more than one venue when they take on Abahani Limited Dhaka in their final Group E game at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.Albert Roca’s men need a win while hoping Aizawl FC claim a point or more against New Radiant SC in Group E’s other fixture, if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for knock-out stages of the Cup for a fourth successive year.Meanwhile, the Maldivian side simply need to match Bengaluru FC’s result, as a better goal difference in the head-to-head comparison between the two sides will pull New Radiant through.Speaking to the press on the eve of the clash, Roca said, “It’s true that we are in a position where a win may not be enough to qualify, but it has been made clear to the players that we have to remain focused on the task ahead. We cannot take Abahani (Limited Dhaka) lightly, as they are a team with some good players and we have seen that in our travels here before.”Bengaluru’s only previous visit to Dhaka ended in defeat to the Bangladeshi side in the group stages of last year’s AFC Cup campaign with late goals from Saad Uddin and Rubel Miya handing Roca’s men a 0-2 loss. IANSlast_img read more

Start women’s IPL, Gavaskar urges BCCI

first_imgIF India have to emerge as world beaters in women’s cricket, it is time the BCCI invests in a women’s IPL soon. That is the recommendation of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who believes the women’s IPL need not follow the eight-team structure of the men’s tournament, but could comprise four or five teams so that untapped talent can come to the fore.Gavaskar’s made the suggestion in a chat with India Today on Sunday immediately after Harmanpreet Kaur’s team lost in the final of the T20 World Cup in front of a record 86, 174 fans at the MCG on International Woman’s Day.Gavaskar said the Indian women shouldn’t be disheartened by the defeat because they had done the country “proud” and made “us hold our heads up”. But he wanted the BCCI, which is led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly, to have a serious discussion on the women’s IPL.“To Sourav Ganguly and the BCCI, I would say is, look at, obviously this year is not going to be possible, but next year, having a women’s IPL because that will earn lot more talent,” Gavaskar said. “There is already a lot of talent which we see and which will now come to the fore with the performance of this Indian team throughout this tournament. All I can say once again is that this Indian women’s team has done us proud and we are very proud of your performance. Never mind the result in the finals. You still have made us hold our heads up.”Gavaskar pointed out that he had suggested starting a women’s IPL in 2017 as well, after India lost to England in a closely contested ODI World Cup final in front of a full house at Lord’s. “I’ve been asking for a women’s IPL for the last couple of years ever since I saw the finals at Lord’s 2017. That is where you actually saw that there is potential for a women’s IPL.“And like I said, it doesn’t necessarily have to start with an eight-team IPL, it can start maybe with a five-team or four-team IPL or WIPL or whatever you might want to call it. But I think if you start with that, there’ll be more talent that will come to the fore, just like it has for the men’s team.”The men’s IPL started in 2008 and ever since it has given higher opportunities to several uncapped players. Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya are two of the biggest names that have utilised the IPL as a springboard to vault in to the Indian team.“Today look at this Indian men’s team,” Gavaskar said. “There are more (players) not from the metros. They’re more from what you would otherwise call the rural areas, the interiors of India, that is where all the talent is. And that is where all the talent in women’s cricket also could be. And therefore, if we tap that talent, we will have much better teams. We will have competition within the team itself to try and get into the Indian team. And that’s only healthy for Indian women’s cricket.”The BCCI has been attentive to the growth of women’s cricket in India. In 2018, it conducted a one-off women’s T20 challenge match, which was played between two teams comprising the biggest names in the game. Last year the T20 challenge grew to include three teams, who played across four matches coinciding with the men’s IPL playoffs. This season the BCCI added another team to the T20 challenge which means four teams will play seven matches during the men’s IPL play-offs.The T20 Challenge provided 16-year old Shafali Verma a grand stage to showcase her skills at the start of her career, which reached new heights at this year’s T20 World Cup, where she emerged India’s highest run-getter. Kaur has already expressed her desire to see the tournament become more full-fledged.“We are hoping for some more games for the Women’s Challenge and I hope some more teams will get it,” she said at the presentation in Melbourne. “That tournament is very important for us because that tournament is one of the high quality tournaments for us domestically. From that we already got two good players and hopefully in the upcoming tournament we do get more players so that they can come and contribute for the team.”Gavaskar echoed those thoughts. “The more matches that they play, the more experience that they get,” he said. “They will also be able to share the dressing room with some of the stars of world cricket, like the Indian Premier League where the young Indian players (male) were able to share change room with the Indian greats, but also greats from the cricketing world.”According to Gavaskar, if the BCCI needed any more proof that a women’s T20 league is a good investment, it should look at the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) which has been driven by investment from Cricket Australia for several years. The WBBL’s contribution to Australian women’s cricket can been seen not just through multiple ICC world titles, but also through fresh young talent.“Yes, you’ve got to say that the Australian Cricket Board has backed Australian women’s team for a long, long time. They also had the WBBL, which has given plenty of opportunities to even a lot of our Indian players: Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet [Kaur], Deepti Sharma – they have all played in the WBBL. That is a big tournament.“That is a tournament where you get to play the best players in the world, and you learn from them. But like the IPL, majority of the players in the WBBL are Australian women players in that, and that certainly has helped them to find that many more players.“A women’s IPL will make a lot of sense because that will mean there will be a lot more exposure for the women, there will be a lot more talent, which is probably there, but we don’t know at the moment, will come to the fore. And then as the years go by Indian women’s team will start winning a lot more trophies.” (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more