More than 80 dedicated climate activists met for the “No Tar Sands!” People’s Conference and Rally on Sunday, July 13, 2014. The event, sponsored by the Tar Sands Free Northeast coalition, drew folks from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The demonstrators met to voice their demands that the governors of New England states draw the line against fossil fuels and lead the way to sustainable energy sources that do not create greenhouse gases that increase climate change.(photo:Gwen Whitbeck)
The protesters assembled in a parking area directly across from the Mt. Washington Hotel, where governors from New England states and Premiers from eastern Canadian provinces were about to meet to discuss energy and trade issues. The Canadian government is eager to transport increasing amounts of bitumen (“tar sands oil”) through New England states by rail and by pipeline. Canada would also like to send hydro-electric power from Quebec to the USA, which would require the construction of gigantic high-tension wires that would cross NH from North to South, a project called “Northern Pass.” A large group protesting the Northern Pass project held a protest rally on the same date learn more here .
Speakers from Maine’s Sierra Club, 350 Maine, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), 350 New Hampshire, and others spoke about the environmental devastation caused to Alberta, Canada, where the tar sands are being extracted. The destruction of the health and livelihood of the First Nations peoples who live in the extraction area, and the total disregard for their historic and human rights, was emphasized by speaker Sara Lachance. Jim Murphy (NWF) pointed out that fuel derived from tar sands contains much more carbon than most forms of fossil fuel, and should be banned from inclusion in our states’ heating and transportation fuels. (Photo:Read Brugger)
There was a somber moment of silence to honor the memories of the 48 residents of Lac Megantic who died as a result of the oil train explosion on July 6, 2013. The harm and death caused by the exploitation of the earth for fossil fuels occurs on global, local, and personal levels – and so we resist and act!
For more about the rally, visit 350 New Hampshire’s Facebook page and check out press coverage by NHPR here .