People-powered resistance to fossil fuels is sweeping the globe. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)
From North Dakota to Kenya, People Power Fights Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
Oil and gas is a sector which depends on exploitation without responsibility, thus creating the worst form of relationship with people and the environment.” – Nnimmo Bassey
On a panel discussing “Equity and Just Transitions” at Stockholm Environment Institute’s recent conference on supply side fossil fuel policy, Nigerian environmental activist and author Nnimmo Bassey pointed out that fossil fuel companies are incapable of operating with any sense of equity when it comes to their pursuit of oil, gas and coal exploration. It is therefore no surprise that we are witnessing a growing and powerful movement of protectors and people power stretching from North America to the Global South in areas like Lamu, Kenya.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, cutting through Standing Rock Sioux tribal land, is one stark example of the fossil fuel exploitation described by Bassey. The proposed pipeline is expected to transport up to 570,000 barrels per day of fracked crude oil across the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, with additional pipelines then carrying it south to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas and Louisiana. Not only would Dakota Access lock-in the equivalent carbon emissions of 30 coal plants., but the pipeline has faced unprecedented opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous groups because it would be crossing sacred lands and would potentially contaminate the tribe’s main source of drinking water.READ MORE