Locus Focus on 10/31/11
Alberta's Tar Sands operations have been stirring up controversy north of the border for some time now, but until recently there has been little talk south of the border about this last gasp of fossil fuel extraction. However, since September, thousands of activists have gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, that is being proposed to carry the bitumen mined in Alberta all the way to Gulf Coast ports in Texas for refinement. Now it's no longer just environmentalists who are opposing the pipeline. Latest critics include the governor of Nebraska, who is concerned that spills of highly corrusive bitumen along the way might contaminate the aquifers that provide water to the Great Plains states.
On November 6 another Tar Sands Action is being called in D.C., this time to encircle the White House and remind President Obama, one year out from next year's election day, of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008. One of the groups calling for this action is Oil Change International. On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by Steve Kretzmann, who founded Oil Change International. Steve was one of over a thousand people arrested in Washington, D.C. this fall in the first round of protests against the Keystone XL.
Steve Kretzmann has worked on energy issues and the global oil industry for more than twenty years. He has worked with communities and organizations around the world concerned with the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the oil industry. He has campaigned to keep Florida’s coast free from oil & gas drilling, keep bike lanes open in New York City, engage reluctant corporations in dialogue about human and environmental rights, expose the oil industry’s involvement in drafting Iraq’s new oil law and, end destructive public finance by institutions such as the World Bank. He has also represented various organizations in Washington DC and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol. Steve has authored numerous articles and reports and is a regular commentator on issues of corporate accountability, climate change, the global oil industry, and environmental and human rights. He founded Oil Change International in 2005 in order to educate about the true impacts of fossil fuels and to conduct research, education, and organizing to hasten the transition to clean energy.