2014-03-04 – Eco-Defense Radio News

Transcript (with links) from the 2014-03-04 Broadcast of Eco-Defense Radio on WRFI.org

MUSIC INTRO – Adhamh Roland – Up by Mill Creek

Today we spoke with Josh Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, the directors of the film Triple Divide, which investigates the inevitable negative impacts from shale-gas industrial development and how those impacts are handled by the state, specifically Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Josh & Melissa are currently on tour throughout the region attending screenings of the film. Last night they were in Syracuse, and today they’re headed to Tonawanda. Tomorrow, they are showing the film in Binghamton.. …

MUSIC BREAK – Brown Bird – A Sun that Won’t Go Down – 37 Seconds 

March 2nd, 2006 – Shac 7 Convicted and sentenced to 3 – 6 years:
The SHAC 7 are six animal rights activists and the organization Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty or SHAC. They were convicted on March 2, 2006, under the controversial Federal Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The Act punishes anyone who quote-unquote “physically disrupts” an animal enterprise. The charges stem from these activists’ alleged participation in an international campaign to close the notorious product testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences.
Huntingdon Life Sciences has labs in New Jersey and England, and five undercover investigations have shown workers punching beagle puppies in the face, dissecting live monkeys and falsifying scientific data. Activists with SHAC, an international organization, set out to close the lab using tactics similar to the anti-apartheid movement: they pressured business associated with the lab to sever ties, in what the government has called “tertiary targeting.”
The quote-un-quote “terrorist” campaign of the SHAC 7 didn’t reveal plots to kill or hurt anyone, it involved running a website. On that website, they posted news about the campaign — legal actions like protests, and illegal actions like stealing animals from labs — and unabashedly supported all of it. Since the federal government has largely been unable catch groups like the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front, prosecutors went after lawful activists in the spotlight.
Will Potter, blogger and author of Green is the New Red, says SHAC 7 is a landmark First Amendment case that will test how far the government can push “terrorism” rhetoric in order to pursue a political agenda and silence speech.. The case was heard before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and it is now pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.
The activists were convicted under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The law has since been expanded into the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
You can learn more about the SHAC 7, and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism act from greenisthenewred.com
March 3rd, 2014 – World Wildlife Day:
Yesterday, March third, was the first ever World Wildlife Day… according to the United Nations, which does a lot of day declarations. Why March third? Well, it’s special because back in 1973 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, was adopted. CITES is an international treaty which is said to ensure that global trade does not threaten the survival of species in the wild. Today the treaty has one-hundred-and-eighty governments agreeing to comply with it’s requirements.
Okay, if you listen to this show, you know that we’re very critical of these types of treaties–to be honest, well, more critical of the culture in which these types of things are necessary.
What kind of society only recognizes wildlife one day of the year? And it’s not like it’s a national holiday, World wildlife day started yesterday, for the first time ever!
Back to the CITES treaty, which is intended to protect the thirty-five thousand species listed. I’m not going to say this international agreement is wrong, it’s probably helping on some level–but I’m just so wary to celebrate at this time in history. Every week we have horrible news about industrial disasters affecting wildlife. And it’s worth acknowledging that wild animals depends on wild ecosystems, which for the past forty years since this treaty was established, have been completely eroded away for industrial farming and sprawling cities…
Here at Eco-Defense Radio, we celebrate wildlife every day, which I guess is one of the reasons we’re motivated to do this whole radio thing. So thanks to you as well, dear listener, for joining us each Tuesday.
Speaking of wildlife–I was reading a conversation in Orion Magazine with George Monbiot, an author and advocate for re-introducing predators, like wolves. He says although some predators may be dangerous, we need to look at the facts. He says QUOTE “In North America there are sixty thousand wolves, and the average number of people killed each year by wolves is zero. The average number of people killed by vending machines is ten. We need a way of weighing the risks that dangerous wild animals might pose against the delight and wonder they would bring to our lives” UNQUOTE.

MUSIC BREAK – Mirah – Track 01, Share this Place

This Week’s News:
NY Senators Oppose LPG proposal:
While state environmental officials continue their exhaustive review of Crestwood Midstream’s application to create a large-scale liquefied petroleum gas storage facility on Seneca Lake, four New York state senators and the Town of Geneva have come out against the proposal. The LPG facility was originally being proposed by a Kansas based energy company called Inergy, who purchased salt caverns from NYSEG. Crestwood Midstream, which has recently merged with Inergy is taking over the project. The plans to develop the salt caverns into a compressed gas storage facility have been met with strong opposition over safety and environmental concerns. The four senators are the second group to take a public stand against the proposal in the past month. A few weeks ago nineteen Schuyler County health professionals co-signed a letter protesting the project.
Canadian Wild Horse Roundup:
Five people were arrested for protesting a wild horse roundup in Canada. They were opposing attempts by the Canadian authorities to reduce the wild horse population. Many of the horses captured either die during the process or are sent to slaughterhouses. Although nearly two hundred permits were issued, only about twenty have been captured. Animal advocates continue to protest the round-up.
Stop the Uinta Express Pipeline Project!:
In Utah, Tesoro has proposed a one-hundred and thirty-five mile insulated pipeline connecting the Uinta basin with Salt Lake City area refineries. The pipeline would move sixty-thousand barrels of black and yellow waxy crude per-day. According to an article from Salt Lake Tribune, the pipeline would ease a transportation bottleneck which is holding back development of the Utah oil economy. Utah Tar Sands Resistance, a group challenging this kind of development, warns that if the pipeline is approved, it will be one more piece of infrastructure in turning Utah into a sacrifice zone for extractive industries profit.
Tsilhquot’in First nation Wins again, Taseko Mine rejected:
The Tsilhquot’in  Nation has successfully protected Teztan Biny, also known as Fish Lake, from an open-pit gold and copper mine. The proposed mine is called, and I’m not making this up, the New Prosperity Mine and is one of the most contested mining projects in Canada.  This is the second time the Tsilhquot’in nation has prevented Taseko Corporation from developing the area, which is of profound cultural and spiritual importance. The area is very close to the salmon-rich Taseko and Chilko Rivers, and it also provides critical wetlands and lake habitat for wild rainbow trout, moose, grizzly bear, and many other mammals and migratory birds.
Seismic Testing in Atlantic Ocean: 
The United States government has released a final proposal to allow the use of controversial seismic air guns to look for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor. According to the Department of Interior, these dynamite like blasts are expected to injure and possibly kill large numbers of dolphins and whales along the East Coast and disturb the activities of millions more. The North Atlantic Right whale, the rarest of large whale species, of which there are only around five hundred left in the world could be harmed by the testing. Jacqueline Savitz, vice president for US Oceans at Oceana says QUOTE “By failing to consider relevant science, the Obama Administration’s decision could be a death sentence for many marine mammals, and needlessly turning the Atlantic Ocean into a blast zone” UNQUOTE.
LA Fracking Moratorium:
Los Angeles is the largest US city to place a moratorium on fracking. The moratorium prevents hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation practices at drilling sites until the city verifies that fracking does not compromise residents’ personal safety or drinking water. While this is certainly a victory, California’s drought is also preventing any type increased fracking development. The process of fracking is one of the most water intensive extraction practices. I’m not sure what it’s like in California, but here in the Marcellus Shale region, fracking uses three to eight million gallons of water , mixed with chemicals, per-fracking stimulation.
In drought related news, California Governor Jerry brown signed into law a six-hundred-eighty-seven million dollar drought relief package  to deal with water shortage he has called the worst in the state’s modern history.
Idaho Gov. Signs ‘Ag Gag’ Bill into Law:
Idaho just became the first state in two years to pass a bill aimed at stopping filming at farms and dairy producers. The bill, referred to as an Ag-Gag bill, was created in response to undercover animal rights activists exposing animal abuse at one of Idaho’s largest dairy operations in 2012. The bill, which was signed into law by Idaho Governor C.L. Otter, is said to QUOTE “ensure farmer’s right to privacy” UNQUOTE. The legislation carries a sentence of up to a year in prison and a five thousand dollar fine for people who gather film footage at factory farms. Matt Rice, the director of investigations for Mercy for Animals says QUOTE “Governor Otter has decided to keep corrupt factory farming practices from the public. He’s created a safe haven for animal abuse” UNQUOTE.
Idaho Kills 23 Wolves from Helicopter this month in Lolo Zone:
Also in Idaho, twenty three gray wolves were killed from a helicopter  by Idaho Fish and Game and the USDA Wildlife Services. They say killing is to relieve predation on the struggling Elk herds in the remote Lolo Zone. Contradicting these claims, Ranchers in Idaho are now asking the state to help eliminate some of the Elk population, complaining that Elk herds are interfering with cattle grazing land. Idaho is half-way through the controversial wolf hunt, which is over at the end of March. Wolf advocate groups are still mobilizing to stop the hunt and continue education about wolves.
Sea Otters Recovering:
We’re so glad to announce – Sea Otters have recovered to pre-Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Numbers
It’s been nearly twenty five years since the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill off the southern coast of Alaska and Sea Otters, one of the species affected by the spill, have recovered to their pre-spill numbers. 
In the aftermath of the Exxon oil tanker which leaked forty-two million liters of crude oil into the sound in March 1989, several thousand sea otters died. Although many other species are still struggling with the effects of the spill, we are so grateful to hear the good news that Sea Otters are recovering.
Lorillard to Ban Animal Testing:
The cigarette company called Lorillard Incorporated has banned animal testing following discussions with animal rights groups raising concerns over industry studies which involved forcing animals to inhale cigarette smoke, eat tobacco, and have cigarette tar painted on their skin. Lorillard is the third largest tobacco company in the United States, and makes Newport-brand cigarettes. They have said they will use newer techniques to test for toxicity instead of testing on animals.
Endangered Species Act Saves Two Plants Unique to California’s Death Valley:
Endangered Species Act protections have successfully recovered the Eureka Valley evening primrose and Eureka dune grass. Both plants grow on sand dunes in the area of Death Valley National Park and nowhere else on Earth; they were protected under the Act in the late 1970s because of threats from off-road vehicle recreation. Protecting their habitat from vehicles allowed their populations to stabilize.
Four Arrested protesting Cove Point fracked gas export terminal:
A local Unitarian minister and three western Maryland residents were arrestedoutside the Allegany County Courthouse for protesting a company called Dominion Resources. Dominion plans to build a liquefied natural gas export facility at Cove Point in southern Maryland. The protesters were demanding justice in the controversial federal handling of the massive three-point-eight billion dollar project, which could take a billion cubic feet of gas per day from fracking wells across the region and export it to Asia. Last week thousands protested the project in Baltimore. Reverend Terence Ellen, one of the protesters arrested says QUOTE ““It is inconceivable to me that a project so huge and so potentially harmful to our health and welfare would not even receive a full Environmental Impact Statement. We’re sitting in today because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is failing to serve the public.” UNQUOTE
Wolf Recovery in Oregon:
Oregon’s wolf population has tripled since the end of 2010, according to an annual wolf population estimate . Wolf Advocate Amaroq Weiss says QUOTE “Though wolf recovery in Oregon is still in its infancy, it’s real cause for celebration that the wolf population has tripled.” UNQUOTE.
We found the backstory to this instance of recovery really interesting. Three years ago, in 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity and allies filed a legal challenge against the state of Oregon for violating the Endangered Species Act by killing wolves for livestock conflict. The lawsuit resulted in the state adopting new rules for the use of nonlethal methods. While the suit was pending, the state could not kill wolves for wolf-livestock conflicts, so the use of nonlethal methods surged. As a result, even as the wolf population has tripled, conflicts have not increased — and in some instances have decreased — and no wolves have been killed because of conflicts with livestock.
Istanbul, Turkey : ELF Torches Excavator:
In Istanbul, Turkey, the Earth Liberation Front torches an excavator as part of a series of recent sabotage actions. The communique sent by the ELF group emphasizing the motivation for the attack is to move beyond polls and social media sharing. Now we’ll read a quote from their statement,
QUOTE – The industrial capitalist civilization is spreading with bridges and double highways on Earth, is securing itself inside concrete forests which it builds, considering nature as only a source, it is spreading by narrowing the wildlife borders everyday in the name of meeting the deficit of energy, and it is making itself dominant. For that reason, taking ourselves against a society which believes that building, development and expansion is virtue, we assume some kind of responsibility for eliminating everything involving this automation process, and as a part of the global total liberation struggle, we choose to realize this by putting into practice simple incendiary methods, sabotage and direct action techniques by ourselves. UNQUOTE
KXL Protest at White House:
On Sunday, more than one thousand people from across the country marched to the White House to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline. Students from over eighty colleges gathered for a rally at Georgetown University, where president Obama spoke about his quote-unquote “climate test,” and then participated in what might be the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation,with a total of three hundred-and-ninenty-eight arrests. This is part of a trend of escalating actions as to turn the heat up on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which will ship tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to the Gulf of Texas.
This action along with many other White House actions targeting President Obama have been criticized, most recently by an open letter written by students from Green Mountain College.They write, QUOTE “ The truth is we’re not going to get anything done if we keep playing politics. Bill McKibben is wrong–this movement is not solving the climate crisis, and there’s no time to stick to the same old strategies a little longer, hoping for a different result. The crisis is here. We’re living in it, even though we’re all insulated to some degree by our privilege. It’s scary, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up. It means we need to try something new” UNQUOTE.
They say these efforts should instead go to supporting the voices of frontline communities who are disproportionately affected by the fossil fuel industry.
Welcome back, this is Eco Defense Radio on WRFI.
Today we had the great honor of speaking with Josh Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, the directors of the film Triple Divide, which investigates the inevitable negative impacts from shale-gas industrial development and how those impacts are handled by the state, specifically Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Josh and Melissa are currently on tour throughout the region attending screenings of the film.
  • Tomorrow, March 5th there is a screening of the film Triple Divide in Binghamton NY. The directors of the film, who we’ve just been speaking with, will be presenting the film and participating in discussion afterwards. The event is hosted by Vestal Residents for Safe Energy & Citizen Action of New York.
  • Also tomorrow, a free public forum about New York’s Energy Plan will feature speakers–Jackson Morris, Dr. Brice Smith, and Dr. Tony Ingraffea. The forum addresses contradictions in Cuomo’s draft 2014 Energy plan, which both predicts expansion of fracked gas infrastructure as well as goals for clean energy. More information at Shaleshock.org
  • Next Tuesday, Seneca in the Balance : A community forum in Watkins Glen  This event focuses on the proposed Liquified Natural Gas Storage Facility in the Salt Caverns underneath Seneca Lake. The event will feature health care professionals, legislators, geologists, and lawyers – who will address concerns associated with the proposed fracked gas storage facility. More info at shaleshock.org
  • June 11th is an international day of solidarity with Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and all other Eco-Prisoners. The Earth First! Prisoner Support project will be running the second annual Never Alone online art exhibition as both a fundraiser for these prisoners, but as a way to reach out to a broad audience on issues of earth and animal liberation. There is still time to contribute – and artists are invited to contribute to the exhibit and support the project. You can learn more at never-alone-art-dot-org 
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