On Monday, July 21, a mass mobilization following a week-long action camp halted construction at U.S. Oil Sands’ tar sands strip mine all day. But those of us maintaining a permanent presence in the area under threat noticed something else: work on the site they’ve been bulldozing hasn’t resumed since then.
U.S. Oil Sands has suffered a shock on two fronts this week: popular resistance, and the legal realm. The face that mass numbers of people from Utah and around the region are taking decisive action to halt the project certainly must alarm company reps and investors. Equally alarming is the EPA’s recent revelation that part of the area U.S. Oil Sands is currently bulldozing is actually Indian country, destroyed without any permission or even notification to the tribe.
Aside from the Ute Tribe’s own permitting, the EPA has its own permitting process that U.S. Oil Sands must attempt to navigate. And having already destroyed the land it had no legal right to, the company may now have quite a mess to clean up.
Meanwhile, Living Rivers and Western Resource Advocates, the groups that have been working through the courts to halt the mining, are moving forward with a case that’s stronger than ever. And those of us on the group are watching, documenting, getting ready for the next wave of action, and crying out as loudly as we an about the injustice of what is happening here.