Recent Court Wins Over Extractive Industries

Passing along a couple of recent court victories against fossil fuel industries, their pipelines and frac sand.

MPR reported Monday that a divided Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Winona County’s ban on frac sand mining. According to the story, “Winona County has some of the largest deposits of silica sand, which is used in the controversial technique to force oil out of the ground. … An estimated 100 tons of silica sand are needed each year to support oil drilling.”

The Dakota Access Pipeline is one example of a project that needs frac sand. Winona was the first Minnesota County to pass a countywide ban on frac sand mining.

In other news, a federal judge in Virginia revoked a natural gas pipeline permit saying the federal government had not provided adequate review of its impact on national forests, according to a July 27 story in the Washington Post. The story begins:

A panel of federal judges on Friday rescinded permits for a massive natural gas pipeline to cross the Jefferson National Forest, saying two U.S. agencies had not fully vetted the project and had simply accepted assurances from the builders.

Environmentalists called the decision a major blow against the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is being built from West Virginia though the rugged terrain of far Southwest Virginia. It will pass through 3.6 miles of the Jefferson National Forest along the West Virginia line in Giles County, tunneling under the Appalachian Trail.

Click on the links above for the full stories.

See also our earlier blog: Oglala Sioux Win Court Victory Stopping Uranium Mine and Other Weekend Reads.