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Letter to Rex & Barack 13-05-10 Tarsands

Letter to Rex & Barack 13-05-10 Tarsands

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Published by Doug Grandt
Barack Obama, climate, climate war, divestiture, Eagle Scout, environment, John Kerry, Keystone, Keystone XL, KXL, NoKXL, nonviolent direct action, Rex Tillerson
Barack Obama, climate, climate war, divestiture, Eagle Scout, environment, John Kerry, Keystone, Keystone XL, KXL, NoKXL, nonviolent direct action, Rex Tillerson

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Published by: Doug Grandt on May 10, 2013
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Douglas A. GrandtP. O. Box 6603Lincoln, NE 68506May 10, 2013President Barack ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave NWWashington, D.C. 20500Mr. Rex W. TillersonExxon Mobil Corporation5959 Las Colinas Blvd.Irving, Texas 75039Re: Organizations and individuals unite to say “NO” to Keystone XLDear President Obama and Mr. Tillerson,
Today, I received an email from retired NASA GISS climatologist Dr. James E. Hansen.Jim is a friend and a fellow White House, KXL arrestee ... perhaps you’ve heard of him.He explains that over three dozen organizations in Norway -- a very tiny country at the Arctic Circle that will not be affected directly by climate change -- have written to theNorwegian government to “demand that the Board of [Norwegian oil company] Statoilmust terminate the company’s tar sands production in Alberta.”The tiny country of Norway will be substantially affected by climate change and oceanacidification indirectly, as will everybody on earth -- so these organizations have united.Jim Hansen’s paper is attached, for your convenience to read at your leisure -- ASAP.The Norwegian letter is also attached ... it is twice as long as Dr. Hansen’s -- 2 pages. Also attached is a letter from a a dozen Canadian scientist addressing similar concerns toThe Honorable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources -- 2 short pages. Also attached is a letter from 20 recipients of Heinz Awards to Secretary Kerry -- 3 pages.You must understand that Keystone XL has to be deniedReduce the carbon infrastructure and its damageFossil fuel expansion is just plain wrongLeave the tarsands in the ground Abandon Keystone XLFor humanity
cc: Secretary of State John F. Kerry
 
Norway, Canada, the United States, and the Tar Sands
9 May 2013James HansenToday 36 Norwegian organizations sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stoltenberg  expressing opposition to development of Canadian tar sands by Statoil (the Norwegian state ismajority shareholder of Statoil). Signatories include not only environmental organizations, but a broad public spectrum, including, appropriately, many youth organizations. It is encouragingthat Norwegian youth press their government to stop supporting tar sands development, given thefact that Norway saves much of its oil earnings for future generations and given the fact that Norway is not likely among the nations that will suffer most from climate change.I wonder if the Norway government response will be better than their response in 2010.  The gap between public preference and government policy is not unique to Norway.Similar situations were found in other nations, as described in "Storms of My Grandchildren."Governments talk green while doing black, supporting or even subsidizing the fossil fuelindustry while doing little to solve fossil fuel addiction.The Canadian public is also impressive. Most messages that I receive from Canadiansare ones of encouragement, apologetic that some government ministers speak out of both sides of their mouth at the same time. On one hand, they say that tar sands will make Canada the SaudiArabia of oil. On the other hand, they say that the amount of carbon in tar sands is negligible.The truth is that the tar sands gook contains more than twice the carbon from all the oil burned in human history. If infrastructure, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, is built to transporttar sands gook, ways will be developed to extract more and more. When full accounting is doneof emissions from tar sands oil, its use is equivalent to burning coal to power your automobile.This is on top of the grotesque regional tar sands destruction.  There is a basis for optimism that the Keystone pipeline can be stopped and tar sandsexploitation phased down before it becomes the monstrosity that oil companies are aiming for.Tar sands make no economic sense if fossil fuels pay their true costs to society via a graduallyrising fee collected from fossil companies in proportion to the amount of carbon in the fuel.Conservatives in the United States are beginning to recognize the merits of a carbon fee,which would be a non-tax, 100% of collected funds distributed to the public on per capita basis.The Wall Street Journal recently published an article endorsing this approach by George Shultz and Gary Becker, a Nobel prize winning economist. Such a fee levels the playing field amongalternative energies and energy efficiency, providing a spur for development of clean energies.After 10 years a carbon fee rising $10 per ton of CO
2
per year would reduce UnitedStates carbon emissions by 10-11 times more than the carbon carried by the Keystone pipeline.The funds distributed to the public, 60 percent of the people getting more than they pay inincreased prices, would spur the economy. The energy revolution would create millions of jobs.So don't despair re the tar sands. There are sensible alternatives.The common presumption that President Obama is going to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is wrong, in my opinion. The State Department must provide an assessment to PresidentObama. Secretary of State John Kerry is expert on the climate issue and has long been one of themost thoughtful members of our government. I cannot believe that Secretary Kerry would let hisand President Obama's legacies go down the tar sands drain.
 
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Oslo 08.05.2013 Open letter to: The Norwegian Government, attention of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg 
The government must instruct the Board of Statoil to withdraw the company from Canadian tar sand
The Norwegian oil company Statoil's engagement in extraction of oil from tar sand in the traditional homeland of someof Canada’s First Nations has been controversial from the start in 2007. Warnings of negative impact on localcommunities, the environment and the climate from the oil industries’ devastating extractions, have proved wellfounded. Documentation of damages is mounting, as also confirmed in a recently published paper in the highlyreputable scientific journal
 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
 Both scientists and the affected First Nations have long opposed the environmentally destructive extraction of tar sands,due to increased occurrence of cancer and other serious health issues. In order to prevent further expansion of tar sands development on their traditional territory, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation are taking the Canadian Government and Alberta Provincial Government to court, in accordance with their rights in the Canadian constitution. The rights of Canadian First Nations (Treaty 6 Rights of 1876) are firmly rooted inthe Canadian constitution. The upcoming trial will involve all operators in the traditional territory of the Beaver LakeCree Nation, including Statoil's Kai Kos Dehseh - project, covering an area approximately the size of the Norwegian National Park of Jotunheimen. Beaver Lake Cree demand termination of all further development, in order to protect their traditional rights, culture andhabitat with fragile Boreal forests and wetlands that have sustained numerous generations of their people. They cannotaccept an exploitation that will jeopardize the health of a great many people. Tar sands deposits in Beaver Lake Cree’sterritory are substantial, and Ca. 50 % of the oil companies’ expansions are planned here. The consequences of theBeaver Lake Cree’s trial v. the Canadian state and provisional authorities in 2015 may be invalid permits for theoperators, thus forcing Statoil to close its' controversial engagement in the tar sands of Alberta. In that case, the Norwegian state will, as majority shareholder, bear responsibility for having contributed to juridically documentedviolations of Canadian First Nations' rights. Extraction of unconventional fossil resources, such as tar sand and shale gas, is incompatible with the internationalsociety's aim to limit the global warming to 2 degrees. We know that considerable parts of the world’s fossil reservesmust remain in the ground. Withdrawing from or not entering into projects with high emissions of greenhouse gases per  produced unit, and extractions in disputed or vulnerable regions, is the obvious place to start. Both in Norway and abroad, experts and a broad spectrum of civil society have for some time unanimously demandedthat Statoil's extraction of oil from tar sands in Alberta must end. We have noted that Statoil's "Oil Sands Report 2012"shows some improvement regarding emissions of greenhouse gasses from tar sands per produced barrel of bitumen. Nevertheless, the level of emissions from this production is unacceptably high in comparison with Norway's climategoals. Compared to oil from the North Sea e.g., the greenhouse gas emissions are 10 - 12 times higher per produced barrel of oil from tar sands. Thus Statoil' s ambitions of reducing CO2 emissions from their plant in Alberta with 40 % per barrel bitumen by 2025 does not alter the fact that these hugely resource demanding production methods causesextremely damaging emissions of greenhouse gases as well as environmental poisons. Prior to Statoil’s General Assembly in 2012, 28 organizations and political parties representing a broad spectrum of the Norwegian society, urged the General Assembly to instruct Statoil’s Board to withdraw from Canadian tar sands.Reference was made to the considerable social responsibility of a state - controlled company like Statoil. The Board of Statoil nevertheless recommended continued production in Alberta. Shareholders representing equities for 10 billion NOK - equivalent to the third largest shareholding - voted
no
or 
abstained from voting 
in reaction to the Board’srecommendation. Thus the Government’s vote for continued tar sands exploitation became decisive. In connection with the General Assembly of May 14th 2013, shareholders will once again demand that the Board of Statoil must terminate the company's tar sands production in Alberta. We, the undersigned, believe that the state - as principal shareholder - now must exercise its right to instruct Statoil' s Board to withdraw the company from Canadiantar sands exploitation.

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