|Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune is arrested outside the White House|
Frustration on this issue alone has forced the Sierra Club to reverse its 120-year old policy regarding civil disobedience:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Prominent environmental leaders, including the head of the Sierra Club, were arrested Wednesday after tying themselves to the White House gate to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Executive director Michael Brune is the first Sierra Club leader in the group's 120-year history to be arrested in an act of civil disobedience. The club's board of directors approved the action as a sign of their opposition to the $7 billion pipeline, which would carry oil derived from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Activist Bill McKibben, actress Daryl Hannah, civil rights leader Julian Bond and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also were arrested Wednesday, along with several dozen other activists.
The protesters are demanding that President Barack Obama reject the pipeline, which they say would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming. They also worry about a spill.Here's Democracy Now's coverage of this historic event, from today's edition:
I've been criticized for not taking Obama's inaugural address comments on the environment at face value. Believe me, I hope that I am wrong.
We should be getting better signs soon on whether or not there will be meaningful changes on major issues during Obama's second term. March 7th is the date that the Department of Interior's review of Shell oil's Arctic Drilling program is due to be made public.
Meanwhile, the Obama White House-linked Department of Interior Office of Inspector General continues to put pressure on Shell's and Obama's witch hunt target, Dr. Charles Monnett:
Washington, DC — The U.S. Department of Interior has found no scientific error in a high profile research paper by its scientists on sightings of polar bears drowned in open water following a storm, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This is another black eye for the agency’s Office of Inspector General (IG), which has waged a controversial but fruitless campaign against the paper’s authors for nearly three years.
Since March 2010 the IG has vigorously pursued unspecified allegations about the peer-reviewed observational note published in a 2006 issue of the journal Polar Ecology, which galvanized public understanding of the effects of sea ice loss and other climate changes in the Arctic. The lead author is Dr. Charles Monnett, a senior scientist with Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
In late September 2012, the IG finally published its investigative report into the matter after BOEM rejected the IG recommendations that it take actions relative to both the paper and a joint U.S./Canadian polar bear research project. In a highly unusual step, the IG re-opened the case after it had been closed in order to request that BOEM commence a new scientific misconduct investigation. In a January 23, 2013 memo, Dr. Bradley Blythe, the BOEM Scientific Integrity Officer, rebuffed this latest IG overture:
“Upon completion of my review, I have no findings of violations of the DOI Policy on Scientific and Scholarly Integrity [citation omitted] that would merit a further review of this case…I consider this matter closed.”
Despite this second turn-down, the case remains in an open status while the “office is evaluating the response from the bureau,” according to an IG official in a February 8, 2013 email.
“This outcome only underlines that this entire investigation was a misbegotten travesty that should never have taken place,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, whose organization provided legal representation for the scientists. “We can only hope that the IG’s Lazarus-like vendetta does not rise from the grave again. What part of ‘No’ doesn’t the IG understand?”The part of "no" the DoI IG doesn't understand is the part, probably coming from the White House, that Monnett must be made an example of - like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and dozens of other whistleblowers Obama's people have hounded, tortured or imprisoned. Other potential whistleblowers see this, and decide "No fucking way am I going to stick my head up!"