Obama approved Arctic drilling same day as US cover-up before UN Human Rights Council


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obama approved Arctic drilling on the same day US delegation farbricated its human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
 
By Brenda Norrell
Photo: Today in Seattle, blockade of Shell's oil rig bound for the Arctic
 
The media censored the fact that on the same day the Obama Administration approved Shell's drilling in the Arctic -- May 11, 2015 -- the US delegation was seated before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva attempting to cover up its abuses of Native Americans and the environment. 
 
Among those in the spin delegation before the UN was Keith Harper, Cherokee. The US cover-up testimony included spying, torture, rape in the US military, and homelessness. 
 
Before the UN, there was no mention of COINTELPRO, the sterilization of Native American women, targeting of Native American lands for dirty coal and uranium mining, political prisoners, or the systematic torture and murder of Native American children in US government boarding schools. There was no mention of the ongoing theft of American Indian water rights by the US and Congressmen throughout the west, or Arizona Sen. John McCain's theft of sacred Apache land at Oak Flat for copper mining.
 
And of course there was no mention that while the US was spinning fabrications and cover-ups before the United Nations, during the US Universal Periodic Review, on that same day, the Obama administration was approving drilling in the Arctic.
 
 
Today in Seattle, thirteen activists in kayaks have blockaded Shell's Arctic drilling rig the Polar Pioneer as it attempted to leave Seattle's Puget Sound.
 
Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic have issued a call for help to halt Shell’s drilling and protect the waters, the wildlife and their way of life.
 
“We are grateful and stand with the protesters in Seattle who are determined to stop Arctic Drilling before it starts. Shell’s Arctic venture is seriously reckless. This company has no capability to address an oil spill in unpredictable ice conditions and has proven in previous attempts that they are not equipped for the harsh and volatile conditions of the Chukchi Sea,” said Faith Gemmill, Executive Director of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, in a press statement.
 
“The future of the Inupiat way of life is on the table, how can this company be so callous with their decisions?  Not only is Shell’s plans risky, but also detrimental to all Alaska Natives that share the burden of current climate chaos,” Gemmill said. “We stand with those that want to protect their Inupiat ancestral way of life, and we will continue to support them facing down this giant, we call on all those of conscience to raise their voice in opposition to this insane venture now.”
 
The Greenpeace activists secured themselves in place with enough supplies to last for hours while additional protests take place on shore. Shell plans to use the Polar Pioneer to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic in less than two weeks.
 
Annie Leonard, the Executive Director of Greenpeace US, said,“Shell wants to haul its 40,000 ton Arctic destroyer to Alaska as soon as possible, but these courageous individuals are saying, ‘Shell No.’  Every minute that brave protesters can delay Shell’s Arctic drilling plans is another chance for President Obama to reconsider his disastrous approval of oil drilling in Alaska. The President’s decision on Arctic drilling will be a dealbreaker for his climate legacy, but it’s not too late for him to stop this catastrophe before it starts.”
 
In April, six activists intercepted the same oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 750 miles north-west of Hawaii and scaled the 40,000 ton platform, occupying the rig for nearly a week.  Since then, there has been a broad movement in Seattle and beyond to stop Shell’s rigs from leaving for the Arctic, including a protest of several thousand people, 500 on kayaks.
 
Paloma Henriques, one of the kayaktivists in the blockade, said: “I’m just one voice out here, but I know I’m not alone. I believe that confronting Shell will encourage more people to take a strong stand against them and other companies who are seeking to destroy this planet for profit. We are here to send a message to President Obama that it’s not too late to stop Shell from destroying the Arctic.”
 
In May, the Obama administration approved Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic. Since that approval, both Shell's rigs, the Polar Pioneer and the Noble Discoverer have failed routine inspections.
 
The Noble Discoverer is one of the oldest drill ships in the world. In December 2014, Noble Drilling, one of Shell’s biggest Arctic sub-contractors and owner of the Noble Discoverer, pleaded guilty to eight felonies related to Shell’s failed attempts to drill in the Arctic Ocean in 2012.
 
In an environmental analysis, the Obama administration predicts 75 percent chance of a major oil spill if Shell develops its leases in the Chukchi Sea.
 
 
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About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.