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Monday, September 09, 2013

Neil Young @ Press Conference for National Farmers Union

Neil Young, Senator Harry Reid & Senator Debbie Stabenow
Photos by Hounds That Howl
(Click photo to enlarge)

Neil Young participated in a press conference today on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

The press conference highlighted the importance of passing a five-year, comprehensive farm bill this year; and how the Renewable Fuel Standard creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gasses, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

Sadly, Neil Young's LincVolt vehicle was not on display at the event due "security concerns". :(

Neil Young's introduction by Sen. Reid was humorous. Sen. Reid, noted his disappointment that Neil didn’t bring his guitar. So he briefly played Neil’s song "Beautiful Bluebird" (from Old Ways) over the sound system by putting his phone close to the microphone. But then Sen. Reid couldn't figure out how to turn off the sound so he just put his phone in his pocket to silence it.

Neil Young spoke on ethanol fuels, his recent roadtrip with LincVolt and their visit to Alberta, Canada and the Tar Sands fields.

Referring to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, Neil Young said that oil sands production has transformed part of Canada into a “wasteland” that “looks like Hiroshima.”

“I am against the Keystone pipeline in a big way.

“The fact is, Fort McMurray [Alberta] looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The indians up there and the native peoples are dying.

People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this. All of the First Nations peoples up there are threatened by this. Their food supply is wasted, their treaties are no good. They have the right to live on the land, like they always did, but there’s no land left that they can live on. All the animals are dying.”

“Ethanol and other biofuels and cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel are the answer.

“But we also have to be careful how we grow it. We have to be as sustainable as can be and be regenerative and let the land breathe.”
Neil Young, Senator Harry Reid & Roger Johnson, NFU President

While depaerting, Young was asked about war with Syria:
“Let’s not have any bombs, you know. Let’s just stop the bombs.”

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At 9/09/2013 07:20:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

Walk(ing) like a Giant. Again.

At 9/10/2013 09:51:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

I love Neil Young - along with John Lennon, he has been my hero for many years. But with regard to Fort McMurray and the First Nations in the Wood Buffalo area - he is full of shit in a big, big way. What a disappointment for a guy a really admire to say such bullshit. I suspect he may never have been to Fort Mac.

I am up in Fort Mac many times a year (for many years). Yes, the oil sand mines are giant, big holes, as are the tailing basins (yogurt-filled lakes). But nobody is dying of cancer because of the oil sand extraction (i.e. no more so than all fossil fuel exposure world wide). And this is important - the First Nations have not been overly opposed to oil sand extraction - especially compared to tribal mining opposition in the states. In fact, along with the province of Alberta, they are the primary beneficiaries of royalties (which are millions of dollars per DAY). Finally, SAG-D in situ extraction is becoming more the norm, which does not involve mining, tailings or a large footprint.

Neil does put his money where his mouth is with LincVolt - I will give him that. But opposing the XL Pipeline will do nothing but (a) result in a longer trans-Canada pipeline and (b) force more oil onto train tankers (which is far more dangerous).

Oh, and by the way - if you haven't been to the Wood Buffalo area before (Fort Mac and points north), it doesn't look like Banff or Jasper park - it is hundreds of square km of flat, boggy, stunted spruce so dense you can't navigate through it.

At 9/12/2013 05:05:00 PM, Blogger Clarke said...

Hey Old Black,
So tailings ponds are yogurt? I doubt Tim’s will be selling it for breakfast any time soon. And why call them ponds? In area, they are larger than the city of Vancouver and the Pembina Institute estimates it will cost $8-10 billion to clean up the toxic mess. I hope you have deep pockets, expect the costs to be downloaded on to you.

Nobody is dying of cancer? Of course not, that is why a California researcher was able to identify in the residents of Fort Chipewyan (downstream from Fort Mac) rare cancers associated with industry pollution, toxins that are the equivalent of a major oil spill each year.

As for SAG-D or insitu extraction, which you claim is more benign, it has double the footprint that mining has, wastes more natural gas and produces more toxic CO2. I say toxic because what we have already placed in the air is acidifying the oceans, melting the icecaps and generating more frequent and destructive storms. Enjoy your insurance while you can, if you can get any at all.

With respect to royalties, which you claim are abundant, Alberta has one of the lowest royalty rates in the world. Alberta’s oil savings fund totals $14 billion; Norway’s equivalent fund has accumulated $380 billion. And while many aboriginal companies and workers profit from the destruction of their land and people, the government fact sheet “Oil Sands” does not list any First Nations benefitting from tar sands royalties other than the Bigstone Cree.

”But opposing the XL Pipeline will do nothing,” that is only true if we listen to you and DO nothing. I won’t.


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