Protest against tar sand oil shipment in the Basque country

Yesterday May 29th activists from Ekologistak Martxan and from the Coke Ez network closed one of the access gates to the Petronor (Repsol) refinery in Muskiz (near bilbao, Basque Country). The reason was the first shipment of oil from tar sands from Canada. This cargo is linkt to the new FTA (Free Trade Agreements) between the European Union (EU) and USA and Canada, as a way of finding a market to this heavy oil. That's why, it's thought this is a first shipment previous to many more. The activists held banners with the slogang "Repsol Murderers" and "Heavy crude, more pollution". They also wore masks with Repsol's logo turned into a skull.

There are only 5 plants in the EU capable of processing the tar-sand oil, 3 of them in Spain, belonging to Repsol; one of them is this one close to the Bilbao port. The crude will be processed in the reacently built Coke Plant, which was source of great opposition among locals and a many years campaign because of the high levels of pollution, which this newly brought  tar will add to: highly cancerigenous elements like benzenes, toluenes, etc, as well as an increment on greenhouse effect gases. If this shipment means the arrival of more tar sand oil (apparently another shipment is due to enter the Bilbao port next Tuesday), this will mean the binning of the current EU's Fuel Quality Directive, which stated a 6% reduction in the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels by 2020. The newly entered crude would pump up this greenhouse gas intensity of fuels to 23% more.

The protest had present as well the serious impact which this kind of "oil" extraction has in Canada and in territories belonging to the First Nations. These impacts (destruction of forest, pollution of rivers, fires, etc) as well as those caused by the oilpipes must be added to those associated to their transportation. Yesterday's shipment came from the Freeport (Texas) port after crossing through teh entire United States by train, and then by ship through the ocean: another high bill for the Climate Change!! tar-sand oil transportattion by train has been the cause of huge accidents, due to the high inflammability of this kind of oil.
The protest has had an excellent echo in the local and national media (televisions, papers, radios, etc). In the communiqu├ęs sent by the organizing groups, solidarity messages were set to those resisting the tar-sand extraction sites and the oilpipes and trains. Also to those affected by these dreadful projects, and specially to the Original People from those areas.

no tar sands oil in Euskal Herria!!
no tar sands oil elsewhere!!