Big oil arrogance: DAPL refuses to shut down in spite of judge’s order, then backs off, and other news

As pipeline resisters were celebrating a U.S. District Court ruling requiring the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to shut down pending environmental reviews, DAPL’s operator seemed to thumb its nose at the ruling, suggesting it would refuse to comply.

Shortly after Energy Transfer LP’s corporate chest thumping, the company seemed to back off the threat, but it clearly seemed to want to send a message.

On other pipeline fronts, the Keystone XL pipeline faces a major setback, the Trans Mountain Pipeline loses an insurance provider, and in spite of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline still will be scrapped. Continue reading

News Wrap: Coronavirus toll on Indian Country; Judge cancels key Keystone XL permit; and more

In this blog:

  • Videos: The coronavirus toll on Indian Country, interviews with Native leaders
  • Judge cancels key Keystone XL permit, Native Nations press to stop construction due to coronavirus dangers
  • Montana passes law that makes it harder for Native Americans to vote
  • Nonprofit Quarterly series lifts up Native American voices, highlighting environmental justice issues in Indian Country and how philanthropy could more effectively support Native-led work

Continue reading

White Earth to Walz: Live up to your pledge of ‘meaningful consultation’

Michael Fairbanks, chairman of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, has written Gov. Tim Walz reminding him of his promise of “meaningful consultation” with Native Nations, and urging him to intervene on a key Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline permit. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, he’s asking Walz to direct the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to deny Line 3’s water quality permit, allowing Enbridge to refile after the health crisis passes. This would allow time for meaningful engagement.

It’s the latest example of efforts to stop environmentally damaging projects that are moving forward while much of the country is being required to stay at home. Continue reading

Ghost of Christmas Future: Pipeline company begins Keystone XL eminent domain lawsuits

The Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline has filed 90 eminent domain claims in Nebraska to make way for the project, according to a Saturday article in the Omaha World-Herald.

A Nebraska Supreme Court ruling last month gave Keystone XL the green light. TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, has filed the suits, asking the court to appoint assessors to determine the costs it must pay to landowners for an easement to build a 36-inch crude oil pipeline on their property.

This seems to be TC Energy’s equity policy: It will take indigenous lands as well as non-indigenous lands without consent.

Continue reading

Updates on Challenges to Enbridge Line 3 and Keystone XL; New North Dakota Pipeline Proposed

In this blog:

  • The Progressive Magazine: The Battle Against Line 3: It’s not only a pipeline, it’s the future of the planet
  • Trump’s effort to end-run court challenges to Keystone XL facing more court challenges
  • Phillips 66 and Bridger Pipeline propose new pipeline through North Dakota
  • Line 3 opponents rally at Sen. Klobuchar’s office to get her to take a stand against the pipeline

Continue reading

Mark Charles Announces Presidential Run; Pope Backs Indigenous Land Rights, and More

In this blog:

  • HMS friend Mark Charles (Dutch/Navajo) announces presidential run.
  • Pope Sides with Indigenous Rights
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe to hold Keystone XL hearings
  • School changes dress code, allowing Native student to wear eagle feathers at graduation

Continue reading

Updates: Keystone XL Delayed to 2020; Tar Sands Mining Co. Abandons 4,700 Wells, and More

Some quick tar sands crude oil updates. Remember, tar sands mining harms Canada’s First Nations People, it causes climate damage, and in the case of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, it threatens our state’s cleanest waters and harms treaty rights.

  • TransCanada announced to shareholders that Keystone XL will miss the 2019 construction season because of court challenges, according to an AP story run by KOTA-TV. (Keystone XL would transport Canadian tar sands crude oil through the U.S. to the Gulf ports.)
  • The Alberta Energy Regulator announced the Trident Exploration Corporation abruptly shut down April 30, “without responding to an order to properly manage its 4,700 wells — adding to the more than 3,000 orphan wells already awaiting remediation in the province,” according to a story by the CBC. Trident estimated abandonment and reclamation costs at $329 million.
  • Check out National Geographic’s photo essay on Canadian tar sands mining headlined: This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing.

 

As Key Enbridge Line 3 Vote Looms Monday, Encouraging News in Other Pipeline Resistance Efforts

Proposals to build new crude oil pipelines are an investment in an old and failing energy infrastructure. They reflect a world view that favors short-term profits over the long-term health of local economies and the planet itself. Investors make money off selling refined gas, but shift long-term costs to future generations — costs from destructive oil mining practices, costs from future oil spills, and costs from climate change.

It is no wonder that Native nations and indigenous advocates have lead efforts to stop new crude oil pipelines, as they hold to a world view that considers the impacts of decisions seven generations into the future.

As we head into what is expected to be a frustrating Monday meeting at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding the future of Enbridge Line 3, let’s pause for a moment to reflect on some recent wins. They are a reminder that this work takes years, allies continue the resistance, and we do have victories. Continue reading

News and Events: Standing Rock Film Screening, Youth March for Fossil Free Future, and More

News and events in this post:

  • Oct. 8: Augsburg Native American Film Series: The Eagle and The Condor–From Standing Rock with Love.
  • Oct. 28 Our Right, Our Future: March with Minnesota Youth for a Fossil Free Future
  • Construction on Keystone XL Begins Near Rosebud as Three Native Nations Sue to Stop It
  • Minneapolis City Council Accepts the Red Lake Nation’s Help to Relocate Homeless Camp

Continue reading

What is the ‘Necessity Defense’? Updates on DAPL and Keystone XL

File photo.

News reports about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Keystone XL have faded into the background locally, but resistance continues from Standing Rock to Louisiana.

Here are a few updates:

  • North Dakota prosecutors dropped felony charges against Chase Iron Eyes for criminal trespass and incitement of a riot. The charges stem from DAPL events in early 2017. Iron Eyes was ready to put on a ‘Necessity Defense.’
  • A federal judge sided with water protectors who challenged the Trump administration’s fast track approval of a reroute of the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska.
  • Louisiana authorities are using harsher trespass laws to prosecute water protectors opposing construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, DAPL’s southern extension. A fund-raising concert is planned in Duluth for Saturday, Oct. 13 to raise money for these water protectors.

Details follow. Continue reading