University of Victoria, (Victoria, B,C. Canada) Screening of Award-Winning Documentary TRANS

Screening of Award-Winning Documentary TRANS

Commemorating the 14th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) The Transgender Archives @ UVic and Cinecenta theatre are proud to present the Canadian west coast premier of the 2012 multiple-award-winning feature-length documentary TRANS. The film is a documentary feature about men and women … and all the variations in between. Following the showing there will be ample time for questions and discussion with an expert panel including: a PFLAG parent of a local trans man; University Archivist, Lara Wilson; International Expert and Academic Director of the Transgender Archive Dr. Aaron Devor; International Expert, Medical Director of the Transgender Health Program at Vancouver Coastal Health, and founder and former President of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) Dr. Gail Knudson.

7:00 PM
21 November 2012
Cinecenta Theatre in the Student Union Building (SUB) (Map)
University of Victoria,
Victoria, BC, Canada

This event is a fundraiser for The Transgender Archives @ UVic.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance observances planned across Texas

From The Dallas Voice:

13 Nov 2012

In Dallas, a Transgender Day of Remembrance observance will take place at Cathedral of Hope at 6 p.m. on Sunday. And Youth First Texaswill hold a Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at its Dallas community center at 3918 Harry Hines Blvd.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to remember those who have lost their lives due to bias against their gender identity and expression. As part of the world-wide observances, communities unite during an evening in November to read the names and tell the stories of the dead.

The Dallas observance should be particularly meaningful this year with the recent murder of Janette Tovar. Equality Texas has put together a list of a number of other cities around the state that will hold TDOR observances over the next week. The list is below.


MCC Amarillo
2123 S. Polk St., Amarillo
Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

Austin City Hall Plaza
301 W. Second St.
Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

College Station
Friends Congregational Church UCC
2200 Southwood Drive
College Station
Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Clear Lake

University of Houston
Clear Lake
Bayou Building, Atrium II,
2700 Bay Area Blvd.
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 6:30–7 p.m.

El Paso
University of Texas at El Paso
Union West Bldg., Room 111
500 West University
El Paso
Tuesday, Nov. 20, noon–1:20 pm

UH Main Campus
A.D. Bruce Religion Center
parking in lot 13A
3800 Cullen Boulevard
Saturday, Nov. 17, 7–9 p.m.


Metropolitan Community Church
4501 University Ave
Thursday, Nov. 15, 7–8:30 p.m.

Stephen F. Austin University
Vera Dugas Liberal Arts, North Room 142
404 Aikman Dr.
Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.

San Antonio
Lawn near the Sombrilla Plaza (a covered part of the John Peace Library Building)
University of Texas at San Antonio
1 UTSA Circle
San Antonio
Thursday, Nov. 15, noon–4 p.m.

In the courtyard of the Parker Chapel next to the Murchison Tower
Trinity University campus
One Trinity Place
San Antonio
Sunday, Nov. 18, 7–8 p.m.

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265 Killings of Trans People in last 12 Months reveals TGEU’s Trans Murder Monitoring project

From TGEU:

Transgender Europe Media Release

November 14th 2012

In total, since January 2008 the murders of 1083 trans people have been reported

The 14th International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being held on November 20th 2012: Since 1999, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on which those trans people who have been victims of homicide are remembered, takes place every November. The TDOR raises public awareness of hate crimes against trans people, provides a space for public mourning and honours the lives of those trans people who might otherwise be forgotten. Started in the USA, the TDOR is now held in many parts of the world. In the past, the TDOR took place in more than 180 cities in more than 20 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

Sadly, this year there are 265 trans persons to be added to the list to be remembered, mourned and honoured as an update of the results of Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project reveals.

The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project started in April 2009 and systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans people worldwide. Updates of the preliminary results, which have been presented in July 2009 for the first time, are published on the website of the “Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide” project 2 – 3 times a year in form of tables, name lists and maps:

Every year in November, Transgender Europe provides a special update of the TMM results for the International Transgender Day of Remembrance so as to assist activists worldwide in raising public awareness of hate crimes against trans people.

The TDOR 2012 update has revealed a total of 265 cases of reported killings of trans people from November 15th 2011 to November 14th 2012:

In comparison to the TDOR updates of the last years (162 reports 2009, 179 reports in 2010, 221 reports in 2011), we are witnessing a significant increase, which points to the extreme level of violence many trans people continue to be exposed to. However, this increase may also reflect the TvT project’s intensified cooperation and data exchange with trans and LGBT organizations, which document murders of LGBT or trans people in local and national contexts such as Grupo Gay da Bahia (Brazil), Observatorio Ciudadano Trans (Cali, Colombia), Pembe Hayat (Turkey), or TVMEX – Travestis México.

The update shows reports of murdered or killed trans people in 29 countries in the last 12 months, with the majority from Brazil (126), Mexico (48), and the USA (15), followed by Venezuela (9), Honduras (8), Colombia (6), Uruguay (6) and Guatemala (5). In Asia most reported cases have been found in India (6), Pakistan (5) and the Philippines (4), and in Europe in Turkey (5).

As in the previous years, most reported cases were from Central and South America, which account for 80 % of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008. In Central and South America, in 2008, 94 killings were reported in 13 countries, in 2009, 165 killings in 16 countries, in 2010, 181 killings in 13 countries, in 2011, 208 killings in 16 countries. In 2012, so far 224 killings were reported in 19 Central and South American countries. The starkest increase in reports is also to be found in Central and South America, e.g. in Brazil (2008: 57, 2009: 68, 2010: 99, 2011: 105, 2012: 111 so far) and Mexico (2008: 4, 2009: 9, 2010: 14, 2011: 33, 2012: 43 so far). In Asia most reports have been found in the Philippines (28), India (21), and Pakistan (19). Regarding Europe the data also show a continuing elevated number of reported murders in Turkey in the previous years (2008: 4, 2009: 7, 2010: 7, 2011: 6, 2012: 5) adding up to a total number of 29 reported murders since January 2008.

In total, the preliminary results show 1083 reports of murdered trans people in 56 countries since January 2008.

The new result update reveals that in the last 58 months, 98 homicides of trans people were reported in Asia (2008: 15, 2009: 17, 2010: 29, 2011: 24, 2012: 13 so far), 69 in North America (2008: Canada: 1, USA: 18, 2009: USA: 13, 2010: USA: 9, 2011: USA: 16, 2012: Canada: 1, USA: 11 so far), 64 in Europe (2008: 13, 2009: 19, 2010: 10, 2011: 14, 2012: 8 so far), and 6 in Africa (2008: 2, 2009: 1, 2011: 1, 2012: 2) as well as 4 in Oceania (2008: 3, 2009: 1).

The TDOR update of the preliminary results also reveals that since January 2008 64 killings of trans people have been reported in 11 European countries (Albania: 1, France: 2, Germany: 2, Italy: 15, Poland: 1, Portugal: 1, Russia: 2, Serbia: 1, Spain: 5, Turkey: 29 and, UK: 5). In Asia, since January 2008 99 killings of trans people have been reported in 14 countries (Afghanistan: 1, Azerbaijan: 2, Bangladesh: 1, China: 6, India: 21, Indonesia: 4, Iran 1, Iraq: 3, Malaysia: 6, Pakistan: 19, Philippines: 28, Republic of Korea: 1, Singapore: 1, and Thailand: 4). In Africa, 6 killings have been reported since 2008 (Algeria: 1, Mauritius: 1, South Africa: 3, and Uganda: 1), and in Oceania 4 (Australia: 1, Fiji: 1, New Caledonia: 1, and New Zealand: 1).

Yet, we know, even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures; the truth is much worse.

These are only the reported cases, which could be found through internet research. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases. Another finding of these updates is that while Brazil has received special attention due to the elevated number of killings, the number of killings in other South and Central American countries like Colombia and Venezuela, and in particular Honduras and Guatemalais equally or even more worrying in view of the much smaller population sizes of these countries.

While the documentation of homicides against trans people is indispensable for demonstrating the shocking extent of human rights violations committed against trans people on a global scale, there is also a need for in-depth research of various other aspects related to the human rights situation of trans people. Therefore, Transgender Europe developed the Trans Murder Monitoring project into the ‘Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’ (TvT) research project. TvT is a comparative, ongoing qualitative-quantitative research project, which provides an overview of the human rights situation of trans persons in different parts of the world and develops useful data and advocacy tools for international institutions, human rights organizations, the trans movement and the general public. A research team from Transgender Europe is coordinating the project, which is funded by the Open Society Foundations, the ARCUS Foundation, and partly by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The TvT research team is assisted by an Advisory Board, composed of more than 20 international LGBT, trans and human rights activists and academics from Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania. It furthermore cooperates with 17 partner organizations in these six world regions.

In December 2012, Transgender Europe’s TvT research team together with its partners in the Global South and East will publish a comprehensive research report in which the TMM data is comparatively analyzed and contextualized.

If you have further questions or if you want to support the research project, please contact the TvT research team:

Dr Carsten Balzer and Dr Jan Simon Hutta research[at]                 

If you want to support the “Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide” project, you can also contribute with a donation to Transgender Europe (details below).

Please enter “TvT project” as reference of the payment.

Account Holder: Transgender Europe

Bank account: BAWAG P.S.K., Georg-Coch-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna, Austria,
IBAN: AT41 6000 0190 1000 1504
Reference of payment: TvT project

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Transgender Awareness Week: Understanding Unique Challenges Faced By The Trans Community

By Fenway Focus:

Posted on November 12, 2012

November 12–19, 2012 is Transgender Awareness Week.

Transgender Awareness Week (TAW) is a series of statewide events and educational opportunities to inform people about the trans community and raise awareness of issues facing trans and gender noncomforming people in Massachusetts.

Transgender is an umbrella term for a diverse group of people whose gender identity or expression differs from societal expectations of how they should look, act, or identify based on the sex they were assigned at birth—such as male-to-female (MTF) and female-to-male (FTM) trans people, genderqueer individuals, and many others. Gender identity—a person’s innate identification as a man, woman, or something else, which may or may not correspond to the person’s external body or the sex listed on their birth certificate—is separate from sexual orientation. So while it’s possible to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (or straight, asexual, or poly…) and be trans, they are not the same thing.

Although we often talk about the LGBT community as a whole, the transgender community—the T in LGBT—faces unique challenges in public understanding and acceptance, discrimination and legal protections, and health disparities stemming from all of the above.

For instance, 23 states and the District of Columbia ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; but only 16 of those states and D.C. protect their residents from discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Job insecurity created by employment discrimination can lead to low income, inadequate housing, and sporadic health care.

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James Spencer, Transgender Teen, Allegedly Denied Access To Men’s Restroom In School

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 11/14/2012

A transgender student from Canada has allegedly been barred from using the men’s restroom at school.

James Spencer, 16, says that he has been told by his school’s administration to use the facilities at the fast food restaurant down the street, according to the Torstar News Service. However, officials at Durham Region’s Clarke High School insist they never told the teen to use an off-campus restroom.

More recently, Spencer says he was given permission to use a private bathroom under lock and key reserved for “janitor staff, kitchen staff and students with medical disabilities.”

“I felt like they were saying that to be transgender there’s something wrong and that transgender people need to be segregated,” Spencer told Toronto’s Global News.

According to the Torstar News Service, Spencer, who began transitioning from female to male in the 10th grade, was bullied at his old high school. Unable to cope with the strain, he moved in with his sister and enrolled at Clarke High School. But right off the bat, Spencer says, the school administration made it difficult for him to make a smooth transition.

However, the teenager says that there is a silver lining: His schoolmates have been supportive, and that, he says, has been extremely encouraging. Some students, for example, have taken to Twitter to express their support for Spencer.

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See also:  Global Toronto:  Transgender student allegedly told not to use school washrooms

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MassResistance: Marriage Equality was Victorious because Religious Right Activists weren’t Anti-Gay Enough

In Christo-Nazi speech: Family = Fascism

From Right Wing Watch:

by Brian Tashman
on Wednesday, 11/14/2012

Brian Camenker’s group MassResistance is out with its analysis of the Religious Right’s failure in four states to ban same-sex marriage, and has concluded that equality opponents simply weren’t anti-gay enough. They accused the National Organization for Marriage and others of going to “great lengths not to criticize homosexuality” when they should have been working to “persuade the public through advertising that homosexual behavior was perverse, dysfunctional, and unhealthy” and exposing “the destructive nature of homosexual relationships.”

MassResistance explains that such advertisements are necessary because “in America the average person is emotionally and intellectually unequipped to confront the Orwellian and often vicious onslaught of propaganda, disinformation, threats, intimidation [and] confusion” about homosexuality, even comparing the plight of anti-gay activists to those resisting Communism in the Eastern Bloc.

At its root, “gay marriage” is really about the forced acceptance of homosexuality as a normal part of society. But both NOM and the state pro-family groups went to great lengths not to criticize homosexual behavior. They were very fearful of being perceived as “anti-gay” or “homophobic” especially in the liberal press. So they insisted on moderating everyone’s messages. In Minnesota, for instance, activists were specifically told, “Don’t make this a gay issue.”

Those who deviated from this and took a more direct approach were shunned and even publicly criticized by the pro-family establishment. This included some of the vocal black churches in Maryland who wanted to quote the Bible, and activists in Maine and Minnesota who felt compelled to discuss the negative aspects homosexual behavior.

Except for some material posted on websites of the local pro-family groups, there were no attempts at all that we know of to persuade the public through advertising that homosexual behavior was perverse, dysfunctional, and unhealthy. Our side basically conceded that argument completely, and even went to lengths to state that “we’re not anti-gay.” The homosexual lobby took full advantage of that by aggressively portraying homosexuality as just another facet of normal human behavior.

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SCOTUS Looks Ready To Gut Voting Rights Act

From RH Reality Check:

by Jessica Mason Pieklo, Senior Legal Analyst, RH Reality Check
November 14, 2012

Just three days after an election in which right-wing efforts to restrict voting access came under increasing scrutiny, the Roberts Court agreed to rule on a challenge to Congress’s power to protect minority groups’ rights at the polls.

The Court said it would hear arguments from Shelby County, Alabama that Congress went beyond its authority when it extended, for another 25 years, the nation’s most important civil rights law, the Voting Rights Act. Originally passed in 1965 and renewed four times since then, the Voting Rights Act remains a key legislative tool in battling entrenched systemic racial discrimination in the electoral process. And as we’ve seen in this last election where minority voters in places like Virginia, Florida, and Ohio waited in line for upwards of 5 hours before casting a vote, the VRA remains more relevant than ever.

Specially at issue is the constitutionality of the law’s Section 5, the laws most important and powerful provision. Section 5 places nine states and parts of seven other states with a past history of racial bias in voting under federal jurisdiction in administering elections. Those jurisdictions covered by Section 5 must get official clearance in Washington before they may put into effect any change in election laws or procedures, no matter how small.   The Court came close to striking down that section three years ago, but instead sent Congress clear signals that it should update the law so that it reflects more recent conditions, especially in the South. In response, Congress did nothing.

In granting review, the Court limited its inquiry to a question of its own creation:

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Ireland: ‘This is a Catholic country’: Woman dies of septicaemia after being refused an abortion in Irish hospital

From The Independent UK:

Wednesday 14 November 2012

A woman has died from blood poisoning after Irish doctors allegedly refused to perform an abortion stating ‘this is a Catholic country’.

An investigation has been launched into the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant and suffering a miscarriage and septicaemia.

The 31-year-old dentist’s husband Praveen says his wife had complained of agonising back pain when admitted Galway University Hospital.

She was found to be miscarrying, but doctors repeatedly refused to carry out a medical termination because the foetus’s heartbeat was present.

Mr Halappanavar, 34, also claims that after several requests by his late wife for a termination, they were told: “This is a Catholic country.”

Abortion is illegal in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Halappanavar’s death is expected to spark a backlash against the Irish Government for failing to reform health laws to allow abortion if the life of the mother is in danger.

A protest has been planned for the front of the Dail parliament this evening.

Left-wing TDs (the Irish equivalent of an MP) Clare Daly and Joan Collins described the woman’s death as an outrage.

They criticised the Government for failing to adopt their X Case Bill earlier this year, which would have introduced new laws to allow an abortion in specific life-threatening circumstances.

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United Nations Declares Access To Contraception A ‘Universal Human Right’

From Think Progress:

By Amanda Peterson Beadle
on Nov 14, 2012

For the first time, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) explicitly described family planning as a “universal human right.” In its annual report, the organization said that improved access to contraception and other methods of family planning could greatly improvethe lives of women around the world:

“Family planning has a positive multiplier effect on development,” Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the fund, said in a written statement. “Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women. Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women’s increased labor-force participation boosts nations’ economies.

The report effectively declares that legal, cultural and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights.

Although the report is non-binding and does not itself affect international law, the UNFPA noted that spending an additional $4.1 billion on family planning funding could save $11.3 billion each year on health care for new mothers and infants in poor countries. During his failed campaign for president, Mitt Romney promised to pull U.S. funding U.N. Population Fund, and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) introduced a bill in 2011 to prevent the U.S. from funding the global body.

Complete article at:

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UN report: Contraception access could save $57 billion worldwide

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The world economy would be boosted by billions of dollars if all women had access to contraception, the United Nations said on Wednesday in its annual State of World Population report.

The report said inadequate family planning in developing countries contributed significantly to poverty and ill health, and that $5.7 billion (4.5 billion euros) could be saved by preventing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

“Family planning is not a privilege, but a right. Yet, too many women — and men — are denied this human right,” said Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

“Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive,” Osotimehin added.

He described contraception as “one of the most effective means of empowering women”.

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Why we are striking against austerity in Europe

From The Guardian UK:

European workers’ representatives tell us their reasons for taking part in today’s European day of action

The panel, Wednesday 14 November 2012

The European Trade Union Confederation has called a day of action and solidarity throughout Europe on 14 November to fight against the austerity policies being deployed throughout Europe. This day of action will mean a general strike in this country, which, for the first time in recent history, will also be simultaneously held in other European countries.

In Spain, the recession is taking an incredible toll on the population. We have an intolerably high unemployment rate (more than 25%), the welfare state has been rapidly dismantled and public services and labour relations are deteriorating.

With this strike we want to change European policies, which only pay attention to the voices of the powerful. We also want to fight against employment reforms and a policy of dogmatic deficit reduction, which has brought us close to having 6 million unemployed.

Unemployment benefits are being cut. The unemployment rate among young people in Spain is over 50%, condemning our youth to social exclusion or emigration. The education cuts pushed through by the government are depriving many of any possibility of accessing higher education and force a classist, sexist and conservative education on them. The cuts in the health budget and the introduction of prescription charges mean that the most disadvantaged could be left outside the national health system, and the lack of budget provision for the dependent care law leaves thousands of people without appropriate care. As a result, thousands of families are pushed towards social exclusion.

The government’s path is not the way to emerge from the crisis. The sacrifice is not being shared by the whole of society: the economic and financial elites are spared and some even benefit from it, protected by the government. Politicians are shamelessly defrauding the democratic process. This is why we will be striking.

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Bigger Picture: Climate Change – Debunking the Denial

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Just Label It

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Action Alert! Stop Monsanto and Co’s new GE seeds, USDA’s GE ‘pipeline’

From Climate Connections:

by November 14, 2012

Note:  Along with herbicide resistant corn and soy seeds, ArborGen’s cold-tolerant GE eucalyptus trees have also been fast- tracked for approval, although no decision has been made yet.   GE eucalyptus are highly flammable and invasive.  Please sign GJEP’s petition to the USDA demanding a band on the planting of genetically engineered trees here.  With your help, we CAN stop GE trees from becoming a reality.

-The GJEP Team

November 13, 2012.  Source: Pesticide Action Network

The “Big 6” pesticide corporations are moving quickly to push for USDA approval of their new wave of seeds genetically engineered to be used with older, more dangerous and drift-prone herbicides. Herbicide-resistant seeds now in the pipeline — including Dow’s 2,4-D corn and Monsanto’s dicamba soy — will drive up the use of these hazardous chemicals, destroying neighbors’ crops and creating unnecessary health risks to farmers, workers and rural communities.

Urge USDA to stop the GE pipeline; Dow’s application for 2,4-D-resistant corn is first in the queue, and 2,4-D soy andMonsanto’s dicamba-resistant soy are not far behind.

With a decision on the first application due any day, we need to speak up now. And loudly.

Scientists warn that 2,4-D corn alone could increase the herbicide’s use by 30-fold. The introduction of dicamba soy could cause a similarly dramatic surge in use. And both herbicides are known to drift, easily destroying other farmers’ crops of tomatoes, grapes, beans, cotton, soy — just about any broadleaf plant.

Just as Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready seed line led to the emergence of herbicide-resistant “superweeds” infesting millions of acres of farmland across the country, so too will the next generation of GE seeds. The result? more risk and harm from super weeds and pesticide drift affecting farmers, workers, rural economies, health and livelihoods, but more profits for Dow, Monsanto and therest of the Big 6 pesticide companies, whose chemical sales depend on pushing these new GE seeds.

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Fracking Rush Threatens US Energy Security: Report

From Common Dreams:

Common Dreams staff
Published on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by Common Dreams

Despite gas industry claims that the natural gas extraction “revolution” will create energy security and affordable fuel for US consumers, fracking will in fact benefit those in the US very little, as the natural resource will most likely be shipped offshore to those who will “pay the highest price,” according to a new report released Wednesday by Food and Water Watch. Additionally, there is far less oil and gas reserves to mine in the first place — contrary to what industry leaders would have us believe.

The report U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil and Natural Gas is a False Solution shows that as of October 26, 2012 the Department of Energy has received 19 proposals from various US fossil fuel companies to export liquefied natural gas to foreign bidders. These companies stand to profit greatly by selling “huge amounts of natural gas overseas—as much as 40 percent of current U.S. consumption.”

“The hype over fracking is giving Americans a false sense of energy security,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The industry is making empty promises about U.S. energy security to prolong America’s destructive dependence on fossil fuels. At the same time, it is laying the groundwork to sell natural gas overseas to maximize profits. The gas will go wherever it can fetch the highest price—and right now that’s not the United States.”

Additionally, the report shows that natural gas resources will be far more scarce and difficult to extract than industry voices would like us to believe.

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