Many of the best, most accurate and in-depth stories on what’s been happening with the Tar Sands Blockade and the communities affected by construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline have come from North Texas journalist Peter Gorman.
At this moment, Peter is facing huge hospital costs related to his documentation of the destruction of the Amazonian river basin by multinational petrochemical companies in collusion with state and local governments. With an incredible history as a journalist who has gone above and beyond even what most self-proclaimed ‘activists’ would do in order to tell crucially important stories, Peter’s humility is evident in his writing as well as his remarkable account of how his calf ended up being partially eaten alive by four antibiotic resistant flesh-eating bacterial strains in the Amazon during his most recent trip.
Just barely a month ago, the first place award for Public Service in the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s AltWeekly category was bestowed upon Peter for his ongoing coverage of the Keystone XL battles.
His coverage started in August 2012 when he covered our neighbor Julia Trigg Crawford’s final hearing in a Lamar County Court of Law during her eminent domain court battle against the attempt by multinational petrochemical corporation, TransCanada, to steal her land by defrauding Julia, state regulators, and the public at large as to their legal standing for use of eminent domain condemnation powers. Julia, unfortunately, just lost her appeal to the Texas Court of Appeals.
Peter then covered the torture of Shannon Beebe and Benjamin Franklin at the hands of Wood County Sheriff’s Department under direction from TransCanada just before his story Drawing a Line in the (Tar) Sand was published, which was amongst the first nationwide stories to detail the back story associated with Tar Sands Blockade’s campaign of non-violent direct action against KXL South. To report on this story, Peter braved the police state surrounding our Winnsboro Tree Blockade, risking arrest at a time when most other journalists weren’t willing to.
When Michael Bishop filed his fraud suit against TransCanada, Peter’s story carried the messages of the time signaling the Blockade’s self-awareness and Michael’s tenacious plans to continue filing suit where ever he could to challenge the system’s corrupt support of the multinational petrochemical corporation’s fraudulent claims and coercive land-grabbing tactics.
Continuing to expand on the depth of TransCanada’s ineptitude and that of Michels, KXL South’s primary construction contractor, Gorman focused on the permanent damage done to Eleanor Fairchild’s priceless freshwater springs and to her reputation and pocketbook after having been sued as an “eco-terrorist” when her house was named as Tar Sands Blockade headquarters in the SLAPP suit filed by TransCanada. This, despite her having never signed any contract with or received any money from TransCanada for their theft of her land.
Peter’s latest was a piece in June 2013 on the overwhelming evidence of corner-cutting, shoddy weld practices, and alarmingly dented segments in the installation of KXL South by its construction contractors.
If you appreciate journalists who risk it all to document the otherwise unseen and challenging, please consider supporting Peter in his recovery by donating to his support fund.