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Rex Tillerson could be America’s most dangerous Secretary of State

Source: In These Times

On January 1, Rex Tillerson retired from oil giant Exxon Mobil after 41 years, the last 10 as CEO and chairman of the board. When he appears in January before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be considered for U.S. Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil will be preparing to appear before a jury at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, just blocks away. There, the company will face allegations that security forces under its employ engaged in serious human rights abuses, including murder, torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, battery, assault, burning, arbitrary arrest, detention and false imprisonment. The complaint specifically names Rex Tillerson. read more

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Inside the Battle Over the Dakota Access Pipeline

Source: Pacific Standard

Prayer circles, rubber bullets, and a buffalo stampede at the major protest in rural North Dakota.

Front Line Camp, Highway 1806, Outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota, October 27, 2016

A woman’s voice cries out: “We cannot let them cross! For our children and our grandchildren!”

“Stand in prayer!” a man warns, as a call and response rings out: “Black Snake Killers! Black Snake Killers!”

“We are going to stop this pipeline!” a youth boldly declares.

A female elder proclaims firmly in Lakota: “Mni Wiconi!” Water is life.

The voices of hundreds of Native Americans and their allies, punctuated by the high pitched “lilili” ululations of women and the deeper whoops of men, echo out across Highway 1806 and the adjacent field that they have dubbed “Front Line Camp.” read more

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Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea: Following the trail of BP’s oil

Source: Harper’s Magazine

One morning in March of last year, I set out from Gulfport, Mississippi, on a three-week mission aboard the U.S. Navy research vessel Atlantis. The 274-foot ship, painted a crisp white and blue, stood tall in the bright sunlight. On its decks were winches, cranes, seafloor-mapping sonar, a machine shop, and five laboratories. Stowed in an alcove astern was Alvin, the federal government’s only manned research submarine. “Research vessel Atlantis outbound,” A. D. Colburn, the ship’s captain, reported into the ship radio. read more

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Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil

Source: CNN

Yes, the Iraq War was a war for oil, and it was a war with winners: Big Oil.

It has been 10 years since Operation Iraqi Freedom’s bombs first landed in Baghdad. And while most of the U.S.-led coalition forces have long since gone, Western oil companies are only getting started.

Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms. read more