Gulf Coast

Sneak Peak of Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, Sunday at 10:15 am in room 407 Q&A with filmmaker Leah Mahan, film subject/Gulf Coast organizer Derrick Evans and other contributors to BridgeTheGulfProject.org

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Reel Power brings you stories from the frontline of our energy future that will get your community talking and taking action. From a woman in Kentucky fighting for her homeplace against the ravages of mountaintop removal, to a Gulf Coast community banding together to save their land and culture - Reel Power films capture the voices of individuals and the strength of communities standing up for a just and sustainable future.

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Pancakes and Propaganda

I was getting ready to go to work and simultaneously watching “Good Morning, America” when a commercial caught my eye.  As summertime approaches, naturally tourism advertisements are more frequent, beckoning you to travel all over the country and all over the world.  But when I heard the words “gulf coast,” for some reason I paid close attention. 

I had seen this commercial before.  But at that moment my eyes were glued to the screen.  Maybe because I had recently heard news about how the Gulf Coast was having major issues after the BP oil spill in 2010 (surprise, surprise).  I had specifically heard about how sea creatures like shrimp, a major source of income for Gulf fishermen, were showing increased deformities (which sounds very appetizing of course).  Based on this disturbing knowledge, I was interested in what the commercial was trying to convey.

Something was being conveyed, but it wasn't the truth. The screen bounced between people representing different Gulf Coast cities and states.  They were basically glorified cheerleaders for their different hometowns encouraging everyone to come down and experience the fun and food; hopefully seafood is not included.  I also noticed that these were business owners and other prominent people in the cities, not regular locals who may have had a completely different message to the masses. On top of that, the end of the commercial flashed “BP” as its corporate sponsor and well, we all know what’s wrong with that.

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This blog was written by Michael S. Diamond, a student at Vanderbilt University and cross posted from the Southern Energy Network blog

For the second anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill, Vanderbilt Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR)asked students to stand with the Gulf by wearing black and also asked Senator Bob Corker to stand with the Gulf by voting to end subsidies for the oil industry. Students made and signed a letter to Senator Corker, who is up for reelection this Fall, and then hand-delivered it to his West End office.

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Cross-posted from Bridge the Gulf Project

Thrown into activism by the BP oil disaster, Cherri Foytlin has become a dedicated advocate for justice for Gulf Coast citizens, as demonstrated through her work with Gulf Change. She recently spoke with Bridge the Gulf and the Institute for Southern Studies for the report Troubled Waters: Two Years After the BP Oil Disaster, a Struggling Gulf Coast Calls for National Leadership for Recovery (download). Foytlin talked about how she’s been able to amplify the voices of overlooked Gulf residents, how she works to hold the oil industry accountable and why the health problems after the BP oil disaster need to be addressed immediately.

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Students at Middle Tennessee State University did an action on Wednesday to stand in solidarity with gulf. Two years ago, the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill happened exactly to this day. Although Tennessee students did not suffer the consequences from it because we're not near the gulf, we understand that this a result of our addiction to oil. For this reason, we all took a stand to take pictures and pledges. Pledges included: using reusable water bottles, use reusable grocery bags, riding bikes, and other small steps that reduce our consumption to oil.

For more pictures go to: Tennessee Alumni and Students for Sustainable Campuses 

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Cross-posted from the Southern Energy Network blog.

Young people from Florida International University held an “Oil Spill Black Out” action this Friday to mark the second anniversary of the tragic BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Young people and community members gathered to remember the victims of the oil spill by taking personal pledges to reduce their oil consumption and to demand that we end our nation's addiction to oil.

Since the disaster two years ago, the oil that persists in the Gulf continues to threaten the Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems. Out of this disaster, there is an opportunity to transition Florida, and our country to an economy powered by clean, safe energy. At the campus, the activists called for President Obama and Congress to make clean energy a priority now.

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