An employee walking along a thermal pipe at the Kamojang geothermal
power plant near Garut, West Java, on March 18. State utility provider
 Perusahaan Listrik Negara is targeting an additional 135 megawatts of
electricity from three new geothermal plants. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)
 

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,.. etc.)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“.. Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time. …”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ING reaches deal to sell loan to controversial US pipeline project

DutchNews, March 22, 2017

ING has reached an agreement on the sale of its controversial loan to the Dakota Access pipeline in the US. 

The construction has prompted violent clashes between the army and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who say construction of the pipeline through northern Dakota could affect its drinking water supply and put communities ‘at risk of contamination by crude oil leaks and spills.’

‘The sale follows a constructive dialogue between ING and representatives from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and has the full support of the tribe,’ ING said in a statement. 

ING officials met tribal leaders on February 10, during which ING said it was ‘willing to either continue trying to positively influence the course of the project, or to distance ourselves by selling our stake in the loan,’ the statement said.

‘In response, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe indicated it would appreciate ING selling its loan in the project, considering that there is less room for lenders to positively influence the project now that construction has resumed, and because it would be a valuable message supporting its call for respectful dialogue.’ 

Under the terms of the sale, which is expected to close shortly, ING will retain a potential risk in case of non-payment under the loan. 

ING was one of 17 banks backing the project to the tune of $2.5bn. ING’s share amounted to some $120m. 

ABN Amro

ABN Amro said in February it is prepared to stop financing one of the companies involved in building the pipeline if an acceptable solution to the problem is not found. 

ABN Amro it is not directly funding the project but has a ‘relationship’ with one of the major investors, Energy Transfer Equity. The bank that if a solution is not found ‘the ultimate consequence will be discontinuation of the relationship’. 

In the meantime, ABN Amro said it will not pursue any new business with ETE until ‘there is clarity regarding the situation and an acceptable outcome has been achieved’.

Related Articles:


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dutch grid operator moves forward with North Sea wind plan

DutchNews, March 8, 2017

Illustration: Tennet website

Dutch grid operator Tennet and Denmark’s Energinet have reached agreement on further developing a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea. 

The plan, first unveiled in June 2016, will play an important part in meeting the 2050 climate goals formulated in the Paris Agreement (COP21), the partners said in a statement on Wednesday. Discussions with other potential partners are ongoing. 

The plan centres on the construction of one or more islands with interconnections to surrounding countries in the middle of the North Sea area of Dogger Bank. 

These hubs would be connection points for wind farms, allowing electricity to be distributed and transmitted over direct current lines to the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Belgium. 

The Dogger Bank area also has excellent wind conditions and the area is relatively shallow, making it cheaper to build the wind farms and the island, the consortium said. 

‘This project can significantly contribute to a completely renewable supply of electricity in northwest Europe,’ said Tennet CEO Mel Kroon.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gas company NAM is liable for Groningen earthquake victims’ stress

DutchNews, March 1, 2017

A condemned and shored-up cafe. Photo: Graham Dockery 

Gas company NAM is responsible for the ‘immaterial’ damage suffered by people living in the Groningen earthquake zone as well as the actual damage to their homes, judges in Assen said on Wednesday. 

The case was brought by 127 locals who say they have been subject to stress and anxiety because of the damage caused by the earthquakes. Thousands of homes in some parts of the province have been hit by subsidence as the ground settles following the extraction of natural gas. 

Research last year found that only 60% of householders felt safe in their homes after they had suffered quake damage. 

Lawyer Pieter Huitema said after the verdict that he would now be claiming financial compensation at a follow-up case. ‘It could range from €3,000 to €30,000 per person,’ he said. ‘Experts will take a look.’ 

NAM, a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, has already been held responsible for paying for the physical damage to property.

Related Articles:


Shell and Exxon secured ‘secret deal’ on Groningen gas production


"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally)Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet; again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much…

Water

We've told you that one of the greatest natural resources of the planet, which is going to shift and change and be mysterious to you, is fresh water. It's going to be the next gold, dear ones. So, we have also given you some hints and examples and again we plead: Even before the potentials of running out of it, learn how to desalinate water in real time without heat. It's there, it's doable, and some already have it in the lab. This will create inexpensive fresh water for the planet. 

There is a change of attitude that is starting to occur. Slowly you're starting to see it and the only thing getting in the way of it are those companies with the big money who currently have the old system. That's starting to change as well. For the big money always wants to invest in what it knows is coming next, but it wants to create what is coming next within the framework of what it has "on the shelf." What is on the shelf is oil, coal, dams, and non-renewable resource usage. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, has it? Now you will see a change of free choice. You're going to see decisions made in the boardrooms that would have curled the toes of those two generations ago. Now "the worst thing they could do" might become "the best thing they could do." That, dear ones, is a change of free choice concept. When the thinkers of tomorrow see options that were never options before, that is a shiftThat was number four.”


"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)
“... Japan

Let us talk for a moment about Japan, and then I'll close the day of messages. There are thousands of souls on my side of the veil and they're just fine, more than fine. We have spoken so often of what happens at the Wind of Birth. I told you, before they even came in, they saw the potential. I looked in their eyes. "You may not last long. You know that, don't you? You're coming into this planet and you may not be here very long. And the passing that you will have with your family will not be pleasant, if any ever are. Why would you come in anyway?" I want to tell you what they said. When a soul has the mind of God, it understands fully what generates peace and what generates energy shift. You can clearly see what generates what the planet needs the most when you are about to arrive. So they said, "We're going to be part of one of the biggest compassion events the planet has ever seen." One earthquake, one tsunami. All of those who left that day will change the earth forever. And it already has. It was the same for the last tsunami as well.

Every single one of them on my side of the veil is getting ready to come back. Many old souls were involved, and just for a moment, if they could give you any information, if they could talk to you right now, if they could speak your language and look into your eyes, they would thank you for your compassion for them and those who are left. And they would say, "Be with those family members who are still alive. Enter their hearts every day and give them peace and keep them from crying, because we're OK."

Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time.

So in closing, do you understand what you're seeing? You're seeing intelligent design, quantum energy and high consciousness. You are seeing changes in Human nature. You're seeing countries putting things together instead of separating. You are seeing those who don't want war and instead want peace, good schools for their children, safety in their streets and a say in their government. We told you it was going to happen this way. I want my partner to teach these things that I have said in his 3D lectures for awhile. Many won't be able to know these things otherwise.  …”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Building sector wants own ‘pay deal police’ to check up on dodgy contractors

DutchNews, February 14, 2017

Big construction firms want to have their own ‘pay deal police’ to check if pay and conditions agreement rules are broken, the Financieele Dagblad writes on Tuesday. 

Subcontractors who structurally and knowingly avoid paying social premiums and break minimum pay rules must be brought to book, construction employers say. The building industry employs some 118,000 people on freelance contracts and between 40,000 and 60,000 agency workers, often from abroad. 

The big building firms, which include Dura Vermeer, Heijman and Bam, want personnel checks at the gate and independent inspectors who will carry out spot checks on personnel files on site. 

‘At this moment it is impossible to guarantee that you will not find someone working on one of our building sites who get less than €18 an hour,’ personnel manager Alfred Boot of Dura Vermeer told the paper. 

‘Until now we have largely left the subcontractors to their own devices but now we want to increase controls and makes sure they work according to our standards. That can only happen if everybody complies.’ 

Agency

Boot’s own company got into trouble in 2015 when it turned out that Irish employment agency Atlantico Rimec charged Portuguese builders working on a Dura Vermeer project excessive sums for housing. The firm has since stopped using the agency. 

Reactions from unions FNV and CNV have been guarded, the FD writes. ‘The big players often have little influence on subcontractors such as Rimec but they are legally responsible for fake contracts,’ FNV building sector leader Hans Crombeen told the paper. 

The initiative would be one of several, FD says. Another ongoing scheme involves a ‘site ID’ which will show if a builder’s papers are in order and if he is paid according to the rules. 

The unions are looking to introduce the ID in 2017 but it has run into difficulties because many building firms refuse to reveal their chain of subcontractors and personnel because of competition concerns. 

Trail

‘Currently, it is impossible to know the status of all workers on a building site. Often dozens of limited companies are involved and more often than not the trail runs dry abroad,’ policy secretary Truus Remkes of the Dutch federation of contractors AFNL told the paper. 

The federation, which represents small and medium-sized contractors, is less than impressed by the plans and fears the knives are out for smaller firms. ‘The fact that we do not have a level playing field is the fault of the 10 big building firms themselves. 

‘They want to point the finger in order to protect their own backs,’ Remkes told the paper. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nuon to build solar farms next to its wind turbines

DutchNews, February 10, 2017

Energy company Nuon is planning to build large solar farms alongside its wind farm projects. 

It will be the first time the two alternative energy sources have been combined at the same location in the Netherlands, broadcaster NOS said.

‘There is usually no sun when there is a lot of wind and vice versa,’ development chief Margit Deimel, told NOS. ‘The wind farms already have a direct connection to the electricity grid and the solar farms can make use of that too.’ 

So far Nuon has plans for six solar farms with a total of 250,000 solar panels. The total capacity is put at 70 megawatts, or enough to power 10,000 households. 

Deimel said that there is not much local opposition to the procedures. ‘We already know the land owners and the local officials, and we are planning to let locals benefit as well,’ she said.

Related Articles:

Gas heating, cooking to be phased out: Dutch government plans
New Dutch offshore wind farm project requires much lower subsidies: minister
Shell calls on government to triple wind farms by 2030
Dutch central bank calls for switch to sustainable fuels


"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally)Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet; again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much…

Water

We've told you that one of the greatest natural resources of the planet, which is going to shift and change and be mysterious to you, is fresh water. It's going to be the next gold, dear ones. So, we have also given you some hints and examples and again we plead: Even before the potentials of running out of it, learn how to desalinate water in real time without heat. It's there, it's doable, and some already have it in the lab. This will create inexpensive fresh water for the planet. 

There is a change of attitude that is starting to occur. Slowly you're starting to see it and the only thing getting in the way of it are those companies with the big money who currently have the old system. That's starting to change as well. For the big money always wants to invest in what it knows is coming next, but it wants to create what is coming next within the framework of what it has "on the shelf." What is on the shelf is oil, coal, dams, and non-renewable resource usage. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, has it? Now you will see a change of free choice. You're going to see decisions made in the boardrooms that would have curled the toes of those two generations ago. Now "the worst thing they could do" might become "the best thing they could do." That, dear ones, is a change of free choice concept. When the thinkers of tomorrow see options that were never options before, that is a shift. That was number four.”


"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)
“... Japan

Let us talk for a moment about Japan, and then I'll close the day of messages. There are thousands of souls on my side of the veil and they're just fine, more than fine. We have spoken so often of what happens at the Wind of Birth. I told you, before they even came in, they saw the potential. I looked in their eyes. "You may not last long. You know that, don't you? You're coming into this planet and you may not be here very long. And the passing that you will have with your family will not be pleasant, if any ever are. Why would you come in anyway?" I want to tell you what they said. When a soul has the mind of God, it understands fully what generates peace and what generates energy shift. You can clearly see what generates what the planet needs the most when you are about to arrive. So they said, "We're going to be part of one of the biggest compassion events the planet has ever seen." One earthquake, one tsunami. All of those who left that day will change the earth forever. And it already has. It was the same for the last tsunami as well.

Every single one of them on my side of the veil is getting ready to come back. Many old souls were involved, and just for a moment, if they could give you any information, if they could talk to you right now, if they could speak your language and look into your eyes, they would thank you for your compassion for them and those who are left. And they would say, "Be with those family members who are still alive. Enter their hearts every day and give them peace and keep them from crying, because we're OK."

Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time.

So in closing, do you understand what you're seeing? You're seeing intelligent design, quantum energy and high consciousness. You are seeing changes in Human nature. You're seeing countries putting things together instead of separating. You are seeing those who don't want war and instead want peace, good schools for their children, safety in their streets and a say in their government. We told you it was going to happen this way. I want my partner to teach these things that I have said in his 3D lectures for awhile. Many won't be able to know these things otherwise.  …”

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

BayernLB under pressure over Dakota pipeline investment

Bavaria's state bank is set to invest about $120 million in the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens a Native American reservation and drinking water. Other banks have already sold their stake.

Deutsche Welle, 6 February 2017


There aren't many members of the Sioux tribe living in Bavaria but, thanks to the tentacles of international finance, the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) being built near the US's Standing Rock Indian Reservation have reached the state capital, Munich.

Last week, protesters from an alliance of NGOs arrived on the doorsteps of the BayernLB bank to deliver more than 700,000 signatures collected via worldwide petitions against the investments of 17 financial institutions into DAPL. These included more than 220,000 signatures specifically aimed at BayernLB's contribution that had been collected in a few days. By Monday 6, the online petition had reached close to 300,000 signatures.

Despite an invitation from the environmental campaigners Urgewald, Bavaria's state bank declined to send any representatives outside the building to receive the petition. "But we were allowed to go in with a delegation of three people, and we gave the petition to the press spokesman," said Regine Richter, banking specialist at Urgewald.

The bank itself is unwilling to give interviews on the subject and in response to DW's request would only send the public statement it issued in December, which made many conciliatory noises. "BayernLB is following the running discussions about the route of the pipeline very carefully and, as part of the consortium financing the pipeline, supports an amicable result of the discussions between the parties," it read.


Wait and see

BayernLB said it was waiting on a report from the US law firm Foley Hoag that was commissioned in December to look into how the local indigenous people had been consulted for the project. That report is due out later this month, but it may come too late. In January, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order decreeing that the environmental review for the project be fast-tracked.

"Nobody is really sure that means, but we are concerned that DAPL could get the green light any day now," Nick Pelosi, corporate engagement director for the campaign group First Peoples Worldwide, told DW. "It's such an urgent matter at this point that we really don't have time."

Not only that: The study is being conducted behind closed doors and may be no more than a desktop assessment. "From what we understand, it is a study on tribal consultation, which is the crux of this issue - that the tribe was not consulted properly about this pipeline," Pelosi said. "But nobody's reached out to the tribe, so it's essentially a study on consultation without any consultation."

The 17 banks insist that the loans for DAPL - amounting to $2.5 billion (2.3 billion euros) - are now legally committed. "But some have shown concern and that they are willing to exert the limited influence that they have," Pelosi said.

"I definitely think they're feeling the pressure," he said. "But what the tribe is asking is not necessarily for the banks to pull out, but to use their influence as project lenders to pressure the company into rerouting to avoid their treaty territory."

The banks say that influence appears to be very limited indeed: They argue that they can't impose new conditions on the loans and that it isn't their role to determine the route. "Which is true - it's the US government's responsibility - but we're asking them to support the reroute, not dictate it," Pelosi said.

Dozens of protesters have been arrested
at the Standing Rock reservation
Passive bank

Compared with other banks, BayernLB has been particularly recalcitrant. "BayernLB was one of the few that outright rejected our request for dialogue," said Pelosi.

"BayernLB is being much too passive," Richter said. "Banks like the Dutch ING and the Norwegian DNB are at least expressing public criticism of the pipeline consortium's behavior or are selling stakes in the companies involved."

Meanwhile in Germany, BayernLB's involvement in the project (a $120 million contribution to DAPL) has raised some political hackles - firstly because it is partly owned by the state, and secondly because it received a colossal taxpayer-funded 10 billion-euro ($9.3 billion) bailout during Europe's financial crisis in 2008.

"BayernLB should not be allowed to support the dirty business of climate denier Donald Trump," said Anton Hofreiter, the Greens' parliamentary leader and a native of Bavaria. "This project destroys the environment, is a risk for the drinking water from the Missouri River and, at the same time, desecrates the Native Americans' cultural heritage."

Hofreiter, along with other German politicians, is sure that BayernLB's commitment to the project could be reversed by Bavaria's state government. "I'm sure it's possible," Frank Schwabe, Bundestag member for the Social Democrats, told DW. "The bank has oversight committees, and there is political influence on that, so it would be good if the politicians in Bavaria would take a clear position on it. We're discussing the issue of company and bank responsibility more and more, and I think that a state bank in particular needs to stick to that."

Related Articles:



Thursday, January 26, 2017

ING, ABN Amro under renewed pressure over Dakota pipeline

DutchNews, January 25, 2017    

Dutch banks ING and ABN Amro are under renewed pressure about their roles in a controversial pipeline in the US, now president Donald Trump has vowed to press ahead with the project, broadcaster NOS said on Wednesday. 

The construction has prompted violent clashes between the army and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who say construction of the pipeline through northern Dakota could affect its drinking water supply and put communities ‘at risk of contamination by crude oil leaks and spills.’

ING issued an updated statement on Thursday afternoon saying that it has publicly expressed its concerns about the project.

‘We have signed a contract, which is legally impossible to withdraw from,’ the bank said.  ‘What we can do is use our influence wherever possible to bring the process to a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved. 

The lenders to the pipeline have commissioned additional research to be conducted by an external independent human rights expert and will continue to monitor developments closely, ING said. 

In addition, the bank says it will meet members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in mid February. 

Loans

According to fair banking campaign group Eerlijke Bankwijzer, ING has pumped the equivalent of €233m into the project in direct loans while ABN Amro has lent $45m to companies which are involved with the project. 

ABN Amro stressed earlier that it is not directly funding the project but has a ‘relationship’ with one of the major investors, Energy Transfer Equity.

‘In line with ABN Amro’s policy for sustainable banking, the bank continuously consults with Energy Transfer Equity on developments regarding the Dakota access pipeline, the bank said.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Brazil's Odebrecht, Braskem pay record fine in bribery case

Yahoo – AFP, Heather Scott, with Sebastian Smith in Rio de Janeiro, December 22, 2016
Brazilian construction company Odebrecht pled guilty to paying hundreds of
millions to bribe government officials in countries on three continents (AFP
Photo/YASUYOSHI CHIBA)

Washington (AFP) - Scandal-plagued Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht and petrochemical affiliate Braskem have agreed to pay a record $3.5 billion to settle a vast international bribery case, US officials said.

Odebrecht, a key player in the Petrobras corruption scandal gripping Brazil, agreed to a fine of $4.5 billion but said it was only able to pay $2.6 billion, the US Justice Department said in a statement. Braskem, meanwhile, will pay $957 million.

The fines are to be paid to Brazilian, Swiss and US authorities, the department said, calling it "the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution."

It is the latest in a string of terrible headlines for Odebrecht, which Brazilian investigators say was one of the ringleaders of a scheme to plunder billions of dollars from state oil company Petrobras.

Revelation of the scandal has rocked Brazil's political and business establishment to its foundations, with ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva facing trial and current President Michel Temer reportedly under suspicion.

The bribery case settled Wednesday includes the Petrobras allegations, but is even bigger.

The Odebrecht conglomerate pleaded guilty to bribing government officials and political parties to the tune of $788 million to secure business on three continents -- mostly in Brazil, but also 11 other countries in Latin America and Africa.

"Odebrecht and Braskem used a hidden but fully functioning Odebrecht business unit -- a 'Department of Bribery,' so to speak -- that systematically paid hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt government officials in countries on three continents," US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sung-Hee Suh said in a statement.

"Such brazen wrongdoing calls for a strong response from law enforcement, and through a strong effort with our colleagues in Brazil and Switzerland, we have seen just that."

Political fallout

In the main scheme, Odebrecht targeted top Brazilian politicians and executives at Petrobras for more than a decade starting in about 2001. The bribes were used to secure inflated contracts and even get favorable legislation passed in Congress.

Suh praised Brazil's judiciary for tackling the issue head on.

"I cannot praise their efforts enough. They have been under enormous pressure, done an extraordinary job of initiating the investigation and carrying it through," she said.

The Brazilian probe, known by its codename Operation Carwash, has cast dark shadows over two of Brazil's most important companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht, adding to economic pain as the country flounders in deep recession.

Odebrecht's jailed boss Marcelo Odebrecht and 76 other current and former executives have signed plea deals agreeing to tell all in exchange for lighter sentences.

The Brazilian press has described the deal as potentially apocalyptic for the political establishment.

Panama, meanwhile, said it would request information from the United States about alleged Odebrecht bribes paid in Panama to secure contracts, its foreign ministry said.

Shattered record

The previous record bribery settlement was $1.6 billion for German engineering group Siemens in 2008. It settled charges of systematically using bribes and slush funds to land public works contracts around the world.

Margarida Gutierrez, an economist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, told AFP that this settlement, Odebrecht's newest move to come clean, would open the door for its return to the market.

"Right now they are unable to participate in any bids in Brazil or probably out of Brazil," she said. "Now they can start again, and try to clear their name. They will succeed but it will be hard."

The US Justice Department will conduct an "inability to pay analysis" by March 31 to determine the final amount that Odebrecht must come up with. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 17.

Under the plea agreement, Brazil will receive 80 percent of Odebrecht's fines, while the United States and Switzerland will garner 10 percent each.

Braskem, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange through American Depositary Receipts (ADR), saw its shares soar after the deal was announced, closing up four percent.

It will pay a criminal fine of $632 million, and another $325 million penalty to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the Braskem deal, Brazil will receive 70 percent of the fines, while US and Swiss authorities receive 15 percent. Sentencing for the firm has not yet been scheduled.