A Canadian oil company still hasn’t been able to stop a series leaks from underground wells at a tar sands operation in Cold Lake, Alberta. The first leak was reported on May 20, with three others following in the weeks after — making it at least 10 weeks that oil has been flowing unabated.
Indeed, recent documents show that the company responsible for the spill estimates that the tar sands oil has been leaking into the ecosystem for around four months, based on winter snow coverage... Not only does CNRL not know how to stop the leaks — it also isn’t completely sure yet what caused them.
And some news from Seattle: An attorney who's working with local climate-change activists who've been approached by the FBI said activists were approached again yesterday. "They told him [the activist] that they wanted to talk to him because they were afraid that someone was going to get hurt in the course of the coal-train campaign," she said. "They said something to the effect of, 'we are afraid that someone is using the climate-change movement for nefarious purposes to hurt people.'"
If that's correct, this preemptive investigating is an interesting tactic. At least when the FBI and other law-enforcement officials were approaching "known anarchists" (and kicking down their doors) in the wake of the May Day parades, they were investigating an actual crime—the vandalism of a federal courthouse.
It appears in this case that the FBI is not trying to solve a crime related to coal-train protests. Instead, agents are dropping by the homes of climate-change activists to express concern that they, by virtue of their activism, are involved in something that might become criminal. Or maybe they're just trying to frighten people away.
I wonder if "known environmentalist" Mayor Mike McGinn is going to get a home visit—he's been mailing out a ton of anti-coal campaign flyers lately. I'm only half kidding. Remember when McGinn when to DC to testify about coal and a pro-coal representative derailed the conversation into Seattle crime statistics? It seems the pro-coal folks are serious—and desperate—to keep the public conversation to a minimum.