Follow this link to watch a video report on the effect that the Human Right to Water law, SB88, has had for the residents of Matheny Tract, California. Matheny Tract is a small town of about 1,000 people in the Central Valley. A majority of its residents are immigrants who live under the poverty line. And many of them can’t remember the last time they had access to clean water. For eight years, Matheny Tract residents lived with known poisonous water, contaminated by arsenic and by pesticides from nearby fields.
As of last week, the town has access to clean water. That’s because of SB88 in California, a new law that makes providing clean water the responsibility of the state and gives California the ability to force nearby cities like Tulare to share its clean water supply with impoverished communities like Matheny Tract. Just as they have for the past eight years, Matheny Tract pays for its water, but now, it’s water they can use.
Nick Buxton is tomorrow’s guest on “Corporations & Democracy” radio, streaming online on KZYX.org starting at 1 p.m. Pacific, 4 p.m. Eastern, and available after that at afdradio.org. Nick is co-editor of The Secure and the Dispossessed – How the military and corporations are seeking to shape a climate-changed world, published last year by Pluto Press. He’ll be talking about how big corporations and the military are already planning to maintain control in the face of the climate crisis. Adaptation to a climate-changed world is desperately needed, but he’ll detail how the powerful opt for militarized responses that provide security for the few, instead of protecting the rights and future of all of us.
Nick has been involved in global justice campaigning for more than two decades. He coordinated communications for Jubilee 2000, the international movement to cancel the debt of the world’s poorest countries. While living in Bolivia he worked with the group Fundación Solón, focusing on trade, water, culture and historical memory, and chronicled national resistance to neoliberal economic policies, including the election of Evo Morales in 2005. He has also worked for the Transnational Institute, a thinktank supporting social movement work against corporate impunity, unjust trade and investment agreements. He has also published articles on debt and globalization.
“Corporations & Democracy” is a long-running, community-based radio show co-produced by Alliance for Democracy members and friends on Mendocino County Public Radio, at KZYX-FM. The show features speakers and specialists on how giant corporations have degraded our democracy, and how citizens around the country are working to reduce corporate power and build a real democracy.
Past guests have included Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, Frances Moore Lappe, Ralph Nader, Thom Hartmann, Helen Caldicott, David Korten, Medea Benjamin, George Lakoff, Greg Palast and Noam Chomsky. The show also looks at what is going on locally, in Mendocino’s towns and in the county, focusing on government, development, and agriculture.
Corporations & Democracy is broadcast live on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m., Pacific Coast time.
This new video on the community fight to protect Cascade Locks OR water from being bottled and shipped by Nestlé needs to be watched and shared! Alliance for Democracy is an endorser of the campaign.
A ballot measure for Hood River County, in which the town of Cascade Locks is located, seeks to block the export of water by by banning any water bottling operation that produces 1,000 gallons or more a day. Nestlé expects to package 11 times that amount from Oxbow Springs in an average hour. The group Local Water Alliance is backing the measure, and you can learn more about them, and support their work, at their website.
TransCanada Corp. is seeking firm financial commitments from companies seeking to ship crude oil from Western Canada to refineries in Eastern Canada.
The Calgary-based company announced on Tuesday morning a bidding process that will allow interested producers to make binding commitments for space on the pipeline. Companies will have from April 15 to June 17 to enter into long-term commitments to use the pipeline.
The open-season process follows a successful expression-of-interest phase and talks with potential shippers.
TransCanada said if the next phase is successful, it plans to start seeking regulatory approvals later in 2013, and the oil could start flowing to Eastern Canada by late 2017.
The proposal would be to convert 3,000 kilometres of the company’s natural gas pipelines to allow for crude oil to be transported. The company would also be looking at building 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline from Quebec into Saint John.
The pipeline could carry between 500,000 and 850,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the eastern refineries, according to the company.
Premier David Alward called the west-east pipeline proposal an historic initiative. Alward made the comments in front of the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John on Tuesday.(Robert Jones/CBC)
Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday TransCanada’s announcement was a “positive step.”
“We welcome such proposals, because they can generate thousands of Canadian jobs and long-term economic prosperity — particularly in Quebec and the Maritimes — for generations to come,” Oliver said.
The federal minister said the proposed pipeline project must meet a series of regulatory reviews.
If the project moves forward, Oliver said it would be an important piece of energy infrastructure for Canada.
“Pipelines moving oil from Alberta to Quebec to New Brunswick would be among the most expansive and ambitious stretches of energy infrastructure in the entire world and would contribute to the energy security of Canada and all of North America,” he said.
Officials from the Saint John-based Irving Oil Ltd. have said in the past their refinery could handle western crude oil.
The Irving Oil refinery is the largest in Canada and can process 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Saint John also has a deep-water port and a liquefied natural gas facility.
Oliver said he has recently toured the Irving refinery and the Ultramar refinery in Levis. The federal minister said he plans to tour Suncor’s refinery in Montreal in the coming weeks.
3 days in Alberta
New Brunswick Premier David Alward responded to TransCanada’s announcement on Tuesday morning during a news conference held at the Irving Oil headquarters, calling it an “encouraging step forward.”
The New Brunswick premier said the pipeline proposal is a “historic initiative” for both the province and the country.
“We envision New Brunswick as Canada’s next energy powerhouse and Saint John as the anchor of that powerhouse,” Alward said in front of more than 30 Irving Oil employees.
“If we proceed, this project will strengthen our national and provincial economies and create jobs and economic growth today and for generations to come,” he said, suggesting the project has the potential to be as important to Canada’s economic future as the railway was in the past.
Alward said the pipeline will create high-paying jobs in New Brunswick and will keep workers in the province instead of heading to western Canada to find employment in the oilsands.
“I want to see the day when the mother or father, the son or daughter leave their New Brunswick home in the morning to go to work in the development of natural resources, they will return for dinner that night, not three or four weeks later,” he said.
Alward spent three days in Alberta in February talking to Alberta Premier Alison Redford and oil executives about the possibility of the west-to-east pipeline.
The project has the possibility of creating 2,000 jobs during the construction phase of the pipeline and a few hundred refining jobs after, according to some estimates.
Alberta has been interested in the project, because oil from that province is now being shipped to the United States, where there is a glut. That means oil producers are getting $20 to $40 less per barrel than the world price.
Those lower prices translate into lower royalties for the provincial government, and that is causing a potential multi-billion dollar deficit in Alberta. A pipeline to the Irving Oil refinery would allow Alberta producers to charge the higher world price.
A new pipeline would also alleviate Canada’s dependence on foreign oil and increase the value of Canada’s crude oil through shipping to world markets from the deep-water port of Saint John, said Alward.
Port Saint John president and CEO Jim Quinn welcomed the prospect of playing an integral role in bringing Canadian crude to global markets.
“This opportunity for Saint John and our port is phenomenal,” Quinn said in a statement.
The port, which for 50 years has been handling petroleum cargo for both import and export, currently handles the largest oil tankers in the world, as well as the largest crude carriers, he said.
TransCanada Corp. may build 1,400 kilometres of pipeline, extending its capacity into Saint John. (Courtest of TransCanada)
The campaign trail is heating up as the campaign season winds down.
TV 5 has been featuring the three major candidates running to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe in the U.S. senate.
We asked our Facebook fans to post questions, and we then posed those to Angus King, Cynthia Dill and Charlie Summers.
Here is Monday’s inquiry.
Do you support the proposed East West Highway in Maine? Why or why not?
“I’m not ready to, to take a firm position on that. I’ve talked to Peter Vigue about it, I’ve talked to a lot of people in northern Maine most recently, just in the last few days. I guess I would say right now I’m skeptical. I need to understand what the benefits would be for Maine. I understand the benefits for Canada , for the Maritimes, and for Montreal, but I need to understand what would the benefits would be for Maine. I also need to understand why we can’t do what, what is being proposed, with the existing East-West highway in Maine, which is, which is the rail line. We already got a corridor straight through Maine, from the Mari-times into, into, into Quebec, and it’s been there for a hundred years. The line is there, the right away is there, we don’t have to spend a lot of money and, and do all of the environmental things to, to create a new strip through the state. So, I’m listening, the cases that would help the Port, it would help some of our great paper mills, and I’m very sympathetic to that, but I’m, I’m skeptical the benefits won’t be outweighed by the costs, particularly to run an entirely new corridor right through the state of Maine. But I do think we got to get natural gas to some of those paper mills, that’s the best thing we can do for them.”
“As a state senator, I’ve voted against using public money to fund a study for a private road. I don’t think that’s an appropriate use of government. I don’t believe that infrastructure should be privately owned, only to serve the interests of corporations that really just have a profit motive. So, the East-West highway, as it is currently proposed, is not something I support. If in fact, we as a community, as a state, as a country, need an East-West highway, if that would better the lives of people and businesses, then we should support it, using tax payer dollars and have it be open and accessible to everybody, on an equal basis. I do not believe that privatization of our infrastructure and our public ways is a good thing. It’s not going to help average working families. It’s gonna just help the corporations and super wealthy people that already have so much. ”
“I think anything that can help with economic development is a good thing. My concern is the private property rights that are associated with that, so as this moves forward, I’ll be anxious to see how the legislature tackles it.”
The second article, Proposed Highway To Bring Great Development, is from October 29. It includes a video with many of Brown’s powerpoint slides, which are new. One new selling point includes a multi-use recreation trail. Also of note, the reporter says that MDOT was at the table. This meeting was at Northern Maine Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Mobilize Maine.
There is a lot of information about Mobilize Maine and Eastern Maine Development Corporation in the Timeline of E/W Activity. Although Mobilize Maine and the regional development corporations say that they promote “asset-based” development, the East-West Corridor is clearly not asset-based, but rather needs-based, i.e. to fill the “hollow middle.”
ALERT! UPDATED! MUST WATCH! EMERGENCY ALERT! UPDATE Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with Winnipeg’s new inland port officials began a trade mission this month (January, 2010) in an effort to sell the idea to potential tenants and trade partners. The mission kicked off in Guanajuato, Mexico and will also include visits to Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, Memphis, Tennessee, and Chicago. This mission is about meeting key decision makers, learning more about their needs, exploring joint opportunities and promoting the strategic advantages of CentrePort Canada, such as the fact we are now a North American foreign trade zone, CentrePort CEO Diane Gray said in a release. It is also about getting a first-hand look and gaining a community-wide understanding of all the factors that go into building a successful inland port. Port mission begins www.winnipegsun.com
Video Credit To: www.youtube.com www.infowars.com www.prisonplanet.tv