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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

13 responses to “Environmental racism and the Fields Point LNG Plant”

  1. leftyrite

    LNG.

    here it is again.

    devastatingly explosive;

    hard by minority neighborhoods.

    notice the prevalence of police in the photos.

    as someone who is aging and who realizes

    the value of a well-disciplined force,

    i cannot help but

    see the political implications:

    red meat for the base;

    lots of patronage money for

    cops on harassment duty:

    win/win for the people who speculate

    that we can go even lower.

    ….what great buys, then, huh?

    after everybody from outside finishes with us.

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  2. cailin rua

    Is the Sierra Club trying to overcompensate for its anti-immigration past whose history seems to reach into this decade, if one is to believe the Southern Poverty Law Institute’s blog on greenwashing?

    I won’t link to that. What I will link to is this:

    http://timrileylaw.com/LNG_OPPOSITION.htm

    I don’t see any mention of this coalition, formed way south of the Southside.

    Are we to expect maybe Paul Erlich or Sierra Club endorsed mayor Rahm Emanuel at any future rallies?

    So the Providence police are portrayed as the racists while foreign owned National Grid’s David Graves gets a pass? Maybe along with a few more rate increases?

    Obviously, if the Weaver’s cove LNG terminal shouldn’t be placed in Fall River, what’s now proposed for the Southside shouldn’t be placed here. Regardless, anybody but the most uninformed realizes that terminal in Fall River didn’t go in because of pressure from the people of Fall River. It was the people on Aquidneck Island and Bristol who stopped it from happening. Who are the people who fund Save the Bay, anyway? We don’t need these times to be any more interesting than they already are but we’ll see how it goes, won’t we?

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  3. cailin rua

    How much is National Grid stock selling for today?

    Yes, National Grid and the Prince’s Trust, our friends:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-electric-bills-differ-private-companies-charge-more-than-public-utilities-20150614-story.html

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  4. Barry Schiller

    Once again Cailin makes a totally unfounded charge against the Sierra Club, all too typical of those on the left that like to snipe against allies instead of taking on the ascendant right-wing.
    Sierra has done absolutely nothing against immigration for decades if ever, the result of a Club-wide vote on policy that voted strongly not to do anything to oppose immigration. Unlike some top-down environmental groups, Sierra Club policy can be determined by members, sometimes by referendum. And the Club has made a big push to include minoritoes, (e.g. marching recently in Selma, particpating locally in the anti-fracking and anti-LNG campaigns.)
    That said, relentless human population growth, still over 80 million every year, is taking a toll on wildlife, water resources, and climate, and more. Paul Ehrlich should be regarded as a hero for calling attention to this as the environmental movement is largely afraid to do that for fear of offending the religious zealots, sensitive ethnic groups, and those ideologically unwilling to look at the numbers.

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    1. CharlieB

      Ehrlich is a doomsday prophet. Nothing more. While it’s true the Earth could potentially exceed its carrying capacity, the actual analysis Ehrlich and the like use are sloppy at best. They’ve been empirically wrong in the past, yet they haven’t changed their methods except to to move the armageddon/rapture date further in the future.

      Worse, they’ve dumbed down the conversation about Earth’s carrying capacity. Instead of talking about phosphate, energy or water shortages (locally and globally), environmentalists have been trained to just talk about ‘overpopulation’ plain and simple. Well, ecology isn’t that plain and simple.

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    2. cailin rua

      Barry, the way I’ve come to feel about the Sierra Club is the same way I feel about the corporate charter school movement. I don’t see either faction advancing the cause of minorities. I see a lot of the politics of co-optation from both, though.

      Do you know who Charles Trevelyan was?

      Why tolling instead of hiking the gas tax? Because of Massachusetts and Connecticut being just a few miles away? Why not work on a tax treaty with both to discourage fuel consumption. We just worked out an agreement with Iran. Why can’t we do the same with our neighbors next door?

      The reason is lobbyists for concerns that want to monitor behavior for profit. Nobody in the legislature is interested in anything that is not a giveaway to some P3. I don’t think the Sierra Club is, either. Wealthy donors have too much to gain through these rip-offs of the commons. If we simply collected taxes as we already do would we would not have to negotiate deals with ezpass and similar companies where the state would only garner only a third of the take.

      Is the local chamber of commerce known for its progressive stand on minority and class issues? How about the Urban Land Institute? What is the history of such organizations who we see the Sierra Club in bed with?

      We have a mayor down in Guatemala making deals with a war criminal. Nice going “progressive coalition” of former Republicans and neoliberal Democrats. Don’t tell me any of these Harvard Law/Business School types give a hoot about swimming pools, unless they can sell them off.

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  5. National Grid lists groups that don’t exist in their Public Participation Plan

    […] The location of the Fields Point Plant, adjacent to low income communities of color, is seen as environmental racism. And investing in methane gas, which has been revealed to be worse for the environment than coal […]

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    […] and about why Rhode Island residents object to this liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, here, here, here and here. If you also object to it, you can sign a petition to Mayor Elorza, Senator […]

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