Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 2, 2011

Greenwashing: Corporations target Indian country with scams

Indian country targeted: Carbon credits and waste incinerator scams
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
IEN Gathering photo by Marisa Joseph.
NEW TOWN, North Dakota -- Indian country leaders are being courted with "greenwashing," as corporations attempt to profiteer from the new Green Movement which seeks to halt global warming and create alternative energy sources. The scam of carbon credits, and waste incinerators disguised as renewable energy and recycling projects, are the latest corporate hoaxes.

Already Indian country has been targeted for decades as America's waste dump, with coal-fired power plants, massive oil and gas wells, uranium mining and toxic dumping.

Native Americans are now being duped into the carbon market, entering into the carbon credits scam, which allows the world's worst polluters to continue polluting. The carbon market scheme also seizes Indigenous Peoples forests and other resources around the world.
During the Indigenous Environmental Networks Protecting Mother Earth Gathering here, July 28-31, 2011, Bradley Angel of Greenaction described the latest Greenwashing scams. Angel said an action alert has been issued because of companies targeting Native Nations with proposed waste incinerators disguised as renewable energy and recycling projects.

On the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin, the Oneida Seven Generations Corporation is promoting a project using pyrolysis technology. The pyrolysis incinerator is proposed in Green Bay, after their initial plan for a site on Oneida Indian Nation land was dropped.

"Not only does the Oneida Seven Generations Corp. want to have a facility in Green Bay, but it is also promoting this to other tribes, a potential disaster," Angel told Indigenous Peoples gathered from throughout the Americas.

Greenaction evaluated the project and advised the Oneidas to halt the Oneida Seven Generations Corporation Proposal for a pyrolysis gasification facility.

Greenaction found the facility was based on false claims of producing alternative energy and incorrect information about toxins that would actually be released into the air.

"We respectfully urge the Oneida Nation to reconsider this project that would pollute the environment and undermine true renewable energy efforts, and instead pursue safer, truly green and viable economic development projects," Greenaction told the Oneidas in the report.

The complete analysis by Greenaction of the Oneida Seven Generations Corp. is online at:
Greenaction has also released a separate action alert for Indian Country: "Incinerators in Disguise: New Toxic Threat to Indigenous Lands and People."

This action alert describes the plasma arc, gasification and pyrolysis technologies.

"It is important to learn about them because companies hoping to make millions of dollars are promoting these technologies to Native Nations and communities across the U.S. and the world, falsely claiming they can get rid of all types of waste with no pollution while generating “renewable energy.” Sound too good to be true?" Greenaction said.

1n 1990, indigenous peoples held the first Protecting Mother Earth conference in Dilkon, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. That conference happened because Indigenous lands were being targeted by companies trying to build giant incinerators and dumps that would burn or dump toxic waste, garbage, medical waste and nuclear waste shipped in from far and wide. Indigenous people learned the truth and defeated almost every proposal for incinerators and dumps.

Today, dozens of companies are promoting pyrolysis, gasification and plasma arc technologies as a way to allegedly eliminate and “recycle” all types of waste into what they claim is “renewable energy”. Many of these companies falsely claim their technology is “pollution-free,” and has “no emissions.” Companies claim these are not incinerators but are a “green” alternative to incineration.

Despite industry claims, the facts prove that these technologies are “incinerators in disguise” that heat the waste materials and then burn the gases that are called “syngas.” This combustion process is the incineration that results in emissions of toxic and criteria pollutants into the air, including dioxins, highly toxic chemicals linked to a wide range of illnesses including cancer, reproductive, developmental and immunological diseases. Greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and global warming would also be emitted.

In the U.S., there have been only two commercial facilities that used these technologies for treating wastes, and both were failures and closed. Similar problems have been documented worldwide.

 Incinerators in disguise threaten to pollute our air, water, land and all living things.

 Incinerators threaten to turn Indigenous lands into a dumping ground for dangerous wastes that the industry and government officials would not want where they live.

 Incinerators undermine recycling, pollution prevention and renewable energy programs,

The Indigenous Environmental Network is working with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives to stop incinerators in disguise and to promote truly renewable energy and zero waste programs. Please keep your eyes and ears open and alert us if you learn about incinerators in disguise being promoted in your area.

Visit Greenaction’s website to read reports, power points and case studies about incinerators in disguise: (415) 284-5600 x 102

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