U.S. State Department an Embarrassment at Tar Sands Meeting; Other News Updates

The U.S. State Department hosted a public meeting in Bemidji Tuesday to get public comments on a permit to increase the amount of tar sands oil piped through northern Minnesota. Instead of putting its best foot forward, the State Department offered a deadly mix of fear and indifference to Native voices and those from the environmental community.

Reflecting a state of fear and mistrust, the State Department used a security screening process that forced people to stand outside in the cold too long before they could get into the meeting. In a show of indifference, its public meeting process failed to effectively engage the public in conversation or include key federal decision makers.

I traveled with a busload of people from the Twin Cities to Bemidji for the meeting. Here is a link to a blog I wrote for the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter: U.S. State Department Complete Embarrassment at Tar Sands Public Meeting.

ACLU Joins DAPL Court Fight

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is joining the court fight to stop DAPL, according to its article: Oil and Water Don’t Mix: Why the ACLU Is Standing Up for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The article offers a good rebuttal to DAPL backers’ claims that the chances of a pipeline rupture are low:

First, the chance of a rupture isn’t that low. In July 2015, the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force issued a comprehensive report of pipeline failures. The study found “hundreds” of pipeline ruptures “that have occurred throughout the U.S. pipeline system.” …

Second, the possibility of a rupture — whether low or not — must be considered together with the consequences of a rupture. Even a “moderate” release of oil into the Missouri River would have profound and devastating consequences …

Lastly, it is fair to ask: Who would suffer the most by a rupture? The immediate victims of a rupture of the pipeline would be the members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

 

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