August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mohawk Nation News CANADA'S SMALL TIME RICHARD NIXON


CANADA’S SMALL TIME RICHARD NIXON


harper shreds constitutionmnnlogo1

Please post & distribute. Nia:wen.
MNN. April 20, 2015.Prime Minister Harper is trying to be like “Tricky Dickie”. But he’s just “Stinking Stevie”, a used car salesman pitching bribes to buy votes. He relies on public apathy. Only 30% will vote in the system he controls. Each family will get $2000 as part of his “honest corruption” scheme.
Harper's ecstasy of power.
Harper’s ecstasy of power, snorting the constitution and sending our kids off to war.
The CBC experts of nothing panels called it Harper’s election strategy. It’s actually “payola” to promote himself. “Trust me. I’m doing what I promised”, he urges. The sleeping populace is snoring, “Are Mulcair and Trudeau going to out-do Harper?”
Harper is desperately steering away from the anti-terror enabling bill C-51 that sets up the police state, the immediate conscription of our children for his war and the pipeline police on behalf of his multinational energy corporate backers. Millions are resisting C-51 in the streets. 80% want no part of it. The media doesn’t mention it.
"The deal is you have to vote for me."
Harper: “If you want the dough, vote for me.”

Ongwe’hon:weh always want freedom. Our resistance to brutal oppression lead to the murder of most of our people. C-51 allows Canadians to be treated like INDIANS. The social upheaval in the US lead to the famous Ludlow massacre in 1914. Dissent was suppressed. Prices were overinflated. Everything was controlled by the corporations. Miners resisted working conditions. The United Mine Workers of America were organizing. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation was owned by the notorious anti-union Rockefeller family. The merciless killings is history. The same corporate elite support Harper’s election campaign.1914 Ludlow Massacre.
Rockefeller: "He'll win. We paid plenty!"
Rockefeller: “It matters not who wins the vote. We do the counting!”
The bankers had the money all along. Now they will give it out to buy Harper’s power. Canadians may vote for the money and conscription. if so, they will face what Dekanawida saw. Their leaders in a rough, dirty place, their frightening appearance, snakes woven in their hair, their body crooked and misshapen and they will be unbearably cruel to them. What will the parents say when they took $2000 and put their children on the front line? It is time to comb the snakes out of their hair, it is time for the peace.
As the band Muse points out so well, [Uprising]. “Paranoia is in bloom. The PR transmissions will resume. Another promise, another seed, another package. Lie to keep us trapped in greed. And the green belts wrapped around our minds. And endless red tape to keep the truth confined. So come on. They will not force us. They will stop degrading us. They will not control us. We will be victorious. So come on!”

MNN Mohawk Nation News kahentinetha2@mohawknationnews.com For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go towww.mohawknationnews.com  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L thahoketoteh@hotmail.com for original Mohawk music visit thahoketoteh.ws


http://mohawknationnews.com/blog/2015/04/20/canadas-small-time-richard-nixon/

Sandra Rambler 'Traditionally Speaking' Remembering Ned Anderson


Traditionally Speaking
By Sandra Rambler, San Carlos Apache
Censored News
Photo by Sandra Rambler: Former Tribal Chairman and ITCA President, Dr. Ned Anderson met with IHS Director, Michael Trujillo, on May 12, 1982 regarding the new hospital for the San Carlos Apaches.

What an honor it is to say that I worked for four different tribal leadership in my life.  Dr. Ned Anderson, Sr., Harrison Talgo, Sr. (Interim), Wendsler Nosie, Sr., and Raymond Stanley, Sr.  Each of these Tribal Chairman contributed through their leadership to the San Carlos Apache Tribe.  And having worked for them in various capacities as Tribal Secretary, Community Press Liaison and Cultural Advisor, I realize how fortunate I am to have gained their trust enough to employ me to work for them under their leadership.
Tribal politics can be rough.  It can get ugly.  But, it’s the leadership that that keeps the people together as one strong nation.
Not everyone will be pleased with what you try to do for them.  If someone is mad, someone else will be upset about something else, it never ends.  You have to stay focus on your job.  Smile, be courteous and above all, treat everyone equal as much as you can even though it might be hard and someone is ready to throw something at you because you didn’t vote for their choice.  
The most common advice that I received from these tribal leaders was always, “Remember to pray,” or “don’t forget to pray,” or “did you pray today?”
Each of the meetings always began with a prayer.  The respect was always there at the beginning of each meeting and gathering.  
It was during the time when Dr. Ned Anderson, Sr., was our Tribal Chairman, in 1988, be presented to the Tribal Council, the passing of the Robert’s Rules of Order.  He was a firm believer in true democracy and always instilled the importance of our right to vote in our tribal elections and after 1948, the right to vote in our state and federal elections.  
Our tribal voting was usually on the first Tuesday in April of each year until he presented a resolution to the Tribal Council around that time period and asked them to change the Tribal Election Day to the first Tuesday in November which would coincide with the state and federal elections.  He would say, “Kill three birds with one stone and go out there and exercise your right to vote!”
Through his expertise in the law field, he was able to establish law and order for us.  He was also an avid hunter and always went hunting for big game.  He helped bring tourism through the San Carlos Lake Development and also through our Recreation and Wildlife Department.  He helped incorporate the concept of Indian Gaming when no one thought that we would ever have the Apache Gold Casino and now the tribe is working on their second Apache Sky Casino.
He had a great sense of humor.  Often times, members of the Tribal Council would tease one another, chat in Apache and tease one another.  Of course, there were serious times when business was taken care of.
He had a great respect and deep love for his wife, Delphine Hinton Anderson.  She was the love of his life and together they had beautiful children whom he also loved very dearly.
He was a champion of Native American Indian Rights!  He believed in self-governance and promoted education, health and especially housing for many of our Apache People.
It was through his hard work and long tiring and endless hours with other members of the Tribal Council, that they had reached a decision one of their Tribal Council meetings in the early 1980’s and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government for accounting and land claims and water rights claims which were all later settled.  The San Carlos Apache Tribe was victorious!  And you should have seen his smile when all this came to fruition.
I remember when some of us received our per capita checks, this one lady from Navajo Point, the late Marion Kitcheyan said, “Thank you, Chairman Anderson!  I bought a washer and dryer with my money and now I am wearing clean clothes that I just washed!”
Another tribal member from out-of-state had written that she would be using her per capita check to pay for travel expenses to enroll her grandchildren because Chairman Anderson made her even more proud to be San Carlos Apache!  She had stayed away too long and wanted to come back to Apache land before she got any older.  There were other stories.
He was very well mannered and was very professional.  He was kind, compassionate and considerate of others.  He also had a open mind and was always listening to suggestions, but Chairman Anderson had to thoroughly think something out before be acted on it.  He was very intelligent and he was our first San Carlos Apache to graduate from law school and receive his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson.  I remember how our whole family was so proud of him and my grandmother, Ada Rope Jordan would always refer to him as a role model to us and tell us to be like him.  He made everyone proud.  And I am proud today to call him my, “Uncle Neddy.”
The morning when we received word that he passed on (April 16), I sat and cried and asked Creator God to watch over his family and especially his sons, Sean and Ned, Jr., who now will fulfill his legacy of providing for his family all of his life with his knowledge and always being a working man.
He participated in our traditional ceremonies and had relatives from all over.  He had relatives from all four districts in Bylas, Seven Mile Wash, Gilson Wash and Peridot.  And many relatives from the White Mountain Apache Tribe and other tribes.
He helped put the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, San Carlos, Arizona, on the map.  He brought pride to us through his hard work and commitment to succeed as our tribal leader.
He firmly believed in protecting our Apache way of life and for that, I will always be grateful because that is what many of his relatives are doing today, protecting what is ours, like our ancestral lands as well.
To his wife, Delphine and family, our prayers and love goes out to you all.  Please know that we are very proud of Chairman Anderson for all that he has done for our San Carlos Apaches and Indian Country!  
May Creator God be with you all at this time.  Ahi’yihe! Ashoong!

Apache Leader Ned Anderson Walks On

For Immediate Release
Contact person: Tanayia White
(928) 961-0603



Ned Anderson, Prominent Apache Leader, Walks On At 72
By Tanayia White
Censored News
BYLAS, Ariz. – Ned Anderson, Sr., the 13th Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in southeastern Arizona, and former President of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, passed away on April 16, 2015.
Anderson, the son and grandson of prestigious Western Apache leaders including John Rope, devoted his life’s work to protecting and enhancing tribal self-governance and tribal sovereignty, and was an influential voice for native rights including the right to vote. He was an ardent defender for self-governance and was an instrumental tribal leader in Arizona and a strong supporter of the Democratic Party.
Anderson received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona in 1973. He leaves behind his wife Delphina, 5 children, 18 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Chairman Anderson will be held in State at the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council Hall on April 24th. A funeral is slated for the following day April 25th at 1:00 p.m. at the Ernest Stanley Activity Center in Chairman Anderson’s hometown of Bylas, AZ. He will be eulogized as a champion for self-governance, defender of water rights, devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His legacy of leadership and love for the Apache people will ensure his memory lives on.
“Chairman Anderson’s work in negotiating the delivery of Central Arizona Project water continues to impact and benefit American Indian communities today. He worked tirelessly to enhance our water resources and was a brilliant leader. The San Carlos Apache Tribe is deeply saddened by the passing of our great leader” said Terry Rambler, the current Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 123, Bylas, AZ 85530. The funds will be used to establish an educational scholarship in memory of Chairman Anderson.

Nihigaal bee Iina walkers greeted at Star School with moving tribute!






By Nihigaal bee Iina
Censored News
Yesterday, we traveled pass the Navajo reservation’s border as we made our way to the Star Charter School. When we arrived, we found these amazing pictures and written pieces about Nihigaal bee Iina. We are deeply moved by the words we’ve read, created by students of the Star School, and also all the drawings that we’ve observed. Ayóo nizhóniiyé!

Thanks to the Dine' walkers for sharing their journey with Censored News!

Ecological Destruction Doesn’t Equal Diné Sovereignty

Ecological Destruction Doesn’t Equal Diné Sovereignty

coal-does-not-equal-sovereignty

By Klee Benally
French translation by Christine Prat

In 2009 Joe Shirley Jr., then president of the Navajo Nation issued a press release stating, “Unlike ever before, environmental activists and organizations are among the greatest threat to tribal sovereignty, tribal self-determination, and our quest for independence.” In order to protect coal mining and energy interests on the Navajo Nation, he stated that environmental activists were “unwelcome” on the reservation.
Shirley’s position seemed contrary to his previous work to protect Dooko’osliid, one of four sacred mountains for Diné, and ban uranium mining, all of which was accomplished because of and alongside environmentalists. But the issue was really over the Navajo Nation’s historical dependence on coal.
At the time, the Mojave Generating Station, a power plant in Nevada that was burning coal and pumping water from strip mines on Black Mesa, had been shut down for a few years and the fight over Desert Rock Energy, a massive coal fired power plant proposed in the Four Corners area, was raging on. Desert Rock was subsequently shut down thanks to community resistance brought on by Doodá Desert Rock. Shirley’s proclamation was a clear demonstration and commitment that the Navajo Nation political body is accountable to coal mining and energy interests rather than the Diné.
Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lorenzo Bates recently affirmed that commitment and upped the rhetorical and political ante with his written testimony presented before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs that the “war on coal is a war on the Navajo economy and our ability to act as a sovereign Nation.”
Bates stated that the coal industry is responsible for “60% of [Navajo Nation’s] General Revenues.” and that “These revenues represent our ability to act as a sovereign nation and meet our own needs.”
Days before his statement, the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) lost a district court battle with environmental groups over attempted expansion of the Navajo Mine, which was recently purchased from BHP and feeds coal to the notoriously toxic Four Corners Power Plant. In 2012 the U.S. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) approved expansion of the mine but environmental groups including Diné Care filed suit, forcing a new environmental review that properly evaluates mercury risks to public health and the environment. The Navajo Nation is appealing the decision.
US methane emissions were documented from 2003-2009. The red spot above the Four Corners indicates the highest concentration. Image Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan
US methane emissions were documented from 2003-2009. The red spot above the Four Corners indicates the highest concentration. Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan
While Navajo Nation politicians lobby and litigate for the coal industry, a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane hovering over the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area, is being investigated by NASA researchers who have stated, “the source is likely from established gas, coal, and coalbed methane mining and processing.” Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States and can be up to 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
There are currently more than 20,000 natural gas wells and thousands more proposed in and near the Navajo Nation in the San Juan Basin, a geological structure spanning approximately 7,500 square miles in the Four Corners. The US EPA identifies the San Juan Basin as “the most productive coalbed methane basin in North America.” In 2007 alone, corporations extracted 1.32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from the area, making it the largest source in the United States. Halliburton, who“pioneered” hydraulic fracturing in 1947, has initiated “refracturing” of wells in the area. Fracking wastes and pollutes an extreme amount of water. A single coalbed methane well can use up to 350,000 gallons, while a single horizontal shale well can use up to 10 million gallons of water.
The San Juan Basin is also viewed as “the most prolific producer of uranium in the United States.”
Uranium is a radioactive heavy metal used as fuel in nuclear reactors and weapons production. It is estimated that 25% of all the recoverable uranium remaining in the country is on the Navajo Nation. Although uranium mining is banned on the reservation, Navajo politicians have recently sought to allow new mining in areas already contaminated by the industry’s toxic legacy. In 2013 Navajo Nation Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie proposed a resolution to undermine the ban, his efforts were shut down by Diné No Nukes, a grassroots organization “dedicated to create a Navajo Nation that is free from the dangers of radioactive contamination and nuclear proliferation.” There are more than 2,000 estimated toxic abandoned uranium mines on and around the Navajo Nation. 22 wells that provide water for more than 50,000 Diné have been closed by the Environmental Protection Agency due to high levels of radioactive contamination. The recent push for nuclear power as “clean energy” has made the region more vulnerable to new uranium mining, including an in situ leach mine (which uses a process similar to fracking) right next to Mt. Taylor, another mountain of the four Diné holy mountains.
Politicians on the Navajo Nation want us to believe that dependence on extremely polluting power plants and strip mines that have caused forced relocation of more than 20,000 Diné from Black Mesa and severe environmental degradation, is “sovereignty”. The Navajo Nation affirms its role as a domestic dependent nation that serves U.S. and corporate interests at the costs of our health and destruction of Mother Earth. This isn’t sovereignty, it’s a resource colony with a political entity established to sustain resource exploitation. According to Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company’s (NNOGC) website, “In 1923, a Navajo tribal government was established primarily for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to approve lease agreements with American oil companies, who [sic] were eager to begin oil operations on Navajo lands.” You can’t get any more explicit than that.
In representing the Navajo Nation, Bates added a halfhearted greenwashing attempt in his testimony by stating that NTEC “ … is mandated to transition our Nation into our energy future by investing no less than 10% of its profits into alternative and renewable energy development.” Even if green economics (or more clearly green capitalism) was a viable step out of this unsustainable madness, why is the Navajo Nation’s role still assumed to be one that exploits the environment to feed corporate profits and maintain unsustainable ways of life?
A green economy does not end colonial relations with resource extractive industries, it advances them. The ongoing battle to protect the sacred grounds of Oak Flat from Resolution Copper is a nearby example. The sacred site, located in Arizona on “public” lands stolen from San Carlos Apache Nation, has been privatized by Arizona politicians for copper mining even though the area had been federally protected from resource extraction since 1955. The front page of Resolution Copper’s website states, “Copper from the proposed mine will help wire a rapidly growing world and drive the new green economy, powering everything from wind turbines to electric cars.” Apache folks joined with other Indigenous Peoples are still occupying Oak Flat.
The commodification of nature will continue to position us in an unending war against Mother Earth. Sacred places, such as the San Francisco Peaks, Mt. Taylor, Grand Canyon Confluence, Mt. Graham, Oak Flat, Mt. Tenabo, Yucca Mountain, Medicine Lake, Mauna Kea, Hickory Grounds, Black Mesa,  South Mountain, Red Butte, Bear Butte, Black Hills, and many more are the front lines in the struggle for Indigenous Peoples cultural survival and vitality and are heavily targeted by these exploitative industries.
The wholesale destruction of Mother Earth and her beings for energy consumption and profit is anti-Indigenous and, therefore, anti-Indigenous sovereignty.
Bates sounds more like a coal industry lobbyist than a proponent of sovereignty when stating that our “future is dependent” on coal. In the face of global climate catastrophe, if we keep mining and burning coal, if we choose to live lives wedded to the destruction of the air we breathe, water we drink, and land we grow food from–we will have no future.
Here is a link to a my commentary and Shirley’s press statement from 2009: www.indigenousaction.org/democracy-unwelcome-on-navajo-and-hopi-nations/
Klee Benally, Indigenous Action Media

Censored News Mailbox: News and Events April 20, 2015

Photo above by Supai Waters, Havasupai: Tribal event to halt drug abuse and child abuse April 2015

Gwich'in Sarah James on air with AIM West Tony Gonzales
Photo above: "In the studio at KPFA in Berkeley on radio show Across Indian Land with special guest in the studio is Ms. Sarah James, from Arctic Village, 100 miles north of Arctic Circle, in Alaska. Sarah spoke about need for permanent protection to the ANWR in northern Alaska, and recognize the peoples of that region, too!" -- Tony Gonzales, AIM West.

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Upcoming Events

Albuquerque April 25, 2015 Lakotas 'Crying Earth Rise Up' Film


NAU, Flagstaff, Ariz. April 21, 2015




Dr. Julian Kunnie's book just released 'The Cost of Globalization'
.
Relatives and Friends:

Greetings of Peace, Wholeness, and Justice.

I received copies of The Cost of Globalization: Dangers to the Earth and Its People from McFarland a few days ago. The book is now available from the publisher. See attached flyer. Please circulate widely. I will do my best to circulate copies gratis wherever needed, including to struggling community and college libraries. Kindly send me addresses in such instances. Thank you. In Honor of and in Dedication to Mother Earth, our Original Mother,
Julian

Environmental Advocates in El Paso
to Speak-Out Against  Fracking, April 21, 2015


El Paso, TX, April 20, 2015- Local environmental advocates, El Paso Naturally, The West Texas Water Protection Fund & El Paso Equal Voice Network are calling attention to House Bill 40 & 539, which passed in the house on Friday, and Senate Bill 1165, which will ban fracking bans and fine municipalities that attempt to limit fracking within their city limits. 

Hydraulic Fracking is a technique, which involves injecting a cocktail of chemicals deep underground to break up the rocks around oil and gas deposits, has raised health and safety concerns because of contamination surrounding water supplies and wildlife risks.

The public is invited to participate in Earth Day Actions next week at:
       Monday, April 20th @ 9:30am, El Paso County Commissioners@ Court House
500 East San Antonio Room 303 on Sign-Up & Speak-Up @ Public Comment.
       Tuesday, April 21st @ 8:00am, El Paso City Council, 300 North Campbell; Sign-Up & Speak-Up @ Public Comment. Sign up here: http://legacy.elpasotexas.gov/muni_clerk/signup_form.asp
       Wednesday, April 22nd @ 12:30pm , ‘GASLAND’ film screening & discussion in UTEP Liberal Arts Building, Room 108; free & open to the public; UTEP, 500 W. University Ave.
TorchLight Energy Co. has recently began drilling test wells on land which the UT System has leased to the company just a few miles outside El Paso for the sole purpose of fracking. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition circulating on change.org addressing The University of Texas System demanding they Stop Fracking Next to El Paso. It states, “Fracking endangers the health, safety and welfare of people, pollutes the air and ground and utterly destroys ecosystems and permanently contaminates underground aquifers with toxic compounds and consumers billions of gallons of water.” El Paso residents are concerned about the threat of well contamination as well as health and environmental damage to our community if Hydraulic Fracturing is permitted in areas near our water supply.  Local environmental activist, Judy Ackerman states, “Water is our most vital resource. We cannot live without water. All the people should have a say in how our water is used, not only those with money and power.”

The advocacy group, to include El Paso Naturally, The West Texas Water Protection Fund and El Paso Equal Voice Network presented the petition to City Council seeking to pass a Resolution, which was sent to legal review and denied by the mayor’s office. City Council Representatives have not responded to the request for a resolution. When advocates asked for an Earth Day Proclamation, it was denied, as well.  City Council candidate, Josh Dagda stated, “It’s a short term boost for a longterm problem.  We have to always look at the long-term.”

On March 202015, President Obama set new federal rules on fracking companies, finally requiring them to reveal which hazardous chemicals they use to frack; yet these new rules only apply to federal lands, not state lands. “Obama administration officials hope that the federal rules will serve as a de facto standard for state legislatures grappling with their own regulations.[1]

House Bill 40, which, revokes the  “authority of a municipality or other political subdivision to regulate an oil and gas operation;” passed last week in the House and will be voted on in the Senate, SB 1165.  These bills give unlimited legal authority for oil exploration, despite City Councils attempts to limit and/or ban oil companies.  These bills were written in reaction to Denton’s recent ban on fracking. “The people of Denton exercised their democratic right to keep a risky industrial process out of their community—and now big oil and their friends in high places are trying to take it away,” said Daniel Raichel, attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The interests of a powerful industry should never take priority over the health and safety of American families. Texans should be able to keep dangerous activities and chemicals away from their homes, schools, and hospitals—just as hundreds of other communities across the country have already done.”[2] 

UTEP student organizations will participate in an Earth Day Action at UTEP on Wed, April 22nd to raise awareness to the dangers of fracking and demand that UT System divest from oil companies.


For Immediate Release:
Students host Earth Day Press Conference and Film
@ UTEP to Oppose Fracking in El Paso

El Paso, TX, April 21, 2015- UTEP students and environmenal advocates are hosting a Press Conference & Film Screening at The University of Texas at El Paso, to call attention to the recent lease of land, just a few miles east of El Paso, to Torchlight Energy Company, for the sole purpose of Hydraulic Fracturin, known as fracking. 

Hydraulic Fracking is a technique, which involves injecting a cocktail of chemicals deep underground to break up the rocks around oil and gas deposits, has raised health and safety concerns because of contamination surrounding water supplies and wildlife risks.

The public is invited to participate in the following Earth Day Actions:
       Wednesday, April 20th @ 11:30am, PRESS CONFERENCE- hosted by UTEP student organizations with local environmental advocates  calling on The University of Texas System to Divest from Oil & Gas Companies and Invest in Renwable Clean Energy.
       Wednesday, April 22nd @ 12:30pm , ‘GASLAND’ film screening & discussion in UTEP Liberal Arts Building, Room 108; free & open to the public; UTEP, 500 W. University Ave.
As many as 22 universities n the United States have taken a stand to protect the environment and have divested from fossil fuel, oil & gas companies, to include: Stanford University, CA; Naropa University, CO; Prescott College, AZ; Hampshire College, MA; & Humboldt State University, CA, to name a few.[1]

TorchLight Energy Co. has recently began drilling test wells on land which the UT System has leased to the company just a few miles outside El Paso for the sole purpose of fracking. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition circulating on change.org addressing The University of Texas System demanding they Stop Fracking Next to El Paso. It states, “Fracking endangers the health, safety and welfare of people, pollutes the air and ground and utterly destroys ecosystems and permanently contaminates underground aquifers with toxic compounds and consumers billions of gallons of water.” El Paso residents are concerned about the threat of well contamination as well as health and environmental damage to our community if Hydraulic Fracturing is permitted in areas near our water supply.  Local environmental activist, Judy Ackerman states, “Water is our most vital resource. We cannot live without water. All the people should have a say in how our water is used, not only those with money and power.”

On March 202015, President Obama set new federal rules on fracking companies, finally requiring them to reveal which hazardous chemicals they use to frack; yet these new rules only apply to federal lands, not state lands. “Obama administration officials hope that the federal rules will serve as a de facto standard for state legislatures grappling with their own regulations.[2]

Students & local environmental advocates, El Paso Naturally, The West Texas Water Protection Fund & El Paso Equal Voice Network are calling attention to House Bill 40 & 539, which passed in the house last week, and Senate Bill 1165, which will ban fracking bans and fine municipalities that attempt to limit fracking within their city limits. Senator Jose Rodriguez gave a statement regarding the detrimental effects of SB1165:

"SB 1165 is a bill that seeks to impose the state's authority on a city's basic function of passing rules and regulations that keep its residents secure. It flies in the face of notions of local control expressed by members of the Legislature about the right of communities to make decisions that are in the best interest of residents.

There is ample evidence of the harmful effects of fracking activities, especially those that take place adjacent to residential communities, and there is no good reason for the state to keep municipalities from passing reasonable ordinances that protect private property and health. 

Further, the state's Legislative Budget Board notes that prohibiting cities from keeping oil and gas projects away from homes would diminish property values, and thus property taxes collected. So not only is the state infringing upon a city's ability to protect its residents' health, it's also potentially willing to do so at a cost to the city's budget.

Essentially, the Legislature seeks to assert its authority to protect the profits of oil and gas companies, from which the state government itself profits through royalties. This is the epitome of big government and big business trampling the rights of Texas homeowners while harming Texas communities' ability to protect Texans' health, safety and welfare." -Senator Jose Rodriguez

UTEP student organizations will participate in an Earth Day Action at UTEP on Wed, April 22nd to raise awareness to the dangers of fracking, current legislation and to demand that UT System divest from oil companies.

The film screening will be held at the UTEP Liberal Arts Building, Room 108 @ 12:30pmGasland is a 2010 American documentary written and directed by Josh Fox. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011, the film focuses on communities in the United States affected by natural gas drilling and, specifically, a method of horizontal drilling into shale formations known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking.