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Extracted: Daily News Clips 5/25/21

Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/Des Moines Register

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips May 25, 2021

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  • FacebookGiniw Collective: Water Protectors Blockade Line 3 Construction Ahead of Full-Scale Assault on Minnesota Waterways
  • FacebookGiniw Collective is calling on the movement to show up for Cody’s trial via Zoom this Tuesday
  • E&E NewsAll eyes on Army Corps after Dakota Access dodges shutdown
  • WDETFuture of Line 5 Uncertain After Enbridge Ignores Whitmer’s Order to Shut Down
  • Indian Country TodayEnbridge pipeline showdown looms in Michigan
  • For Love of Water (FLOW)Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist
  • Argus MediaMore Canadian heavy crude US-bound
  • Ms. MagazineIndigenous Women Lead the Movement to Stop Line 3 Pipeline: “This is Everything We Have”
  • WMCMemphis organization petitions TDEC to revoke Byhalia Pipeline permits
  • WV Gazette MailComment period for key Mountain Valley Pipeline water permits is here
  • E&E NewsFERC Grants Embattled Pipeline Developer’s Bid For More Time
  • RTO InsiderFERC Rejection of Weymouth Rehearing Leads to More Barbs


  • BIV.comWoodside pulls plug on Kitimat LNG
  • BloombergQatar invests billions, undercuts rivals to maintain LNG market dominance


  • E&E NewsWhy Is The House Taking So Long To Undo Trump Methane Rule?
  • The Hill: Interior Department Says It Has Returned To Obama-Era Enforcement Of Offshore Drilling Waiver Rules
  • E&E NewsBiden Releases Plan For Oil Drilling Near National Monument


  • Colorado SunColorado OKs Suncor refinery’s plan to fix violations with $12 million in emergency shutoff equipment
  • Denver PostColorado’s new oil, gas law ushered in new era — kind of
  • InsideClimate NewsNorth Dakota, Using Taxpayer Funds, Bailed Out Oil and Gas Companies by Plugging Abandoned Wells




Facebook: Giniw Collective: Water Protectors Blockade Line 3 Construction Ahead of Full-Scale Assault on Minnesota Waterways

“(Crow Wing, MN) Today, water protectors locked to each other through the treads of excavators tearing through the Earth constructing the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.  Enbridge is just weeks away from resuming full-scale construction through Minnesota’s wetlands and drilling 22 rivers, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Biden’s administration has expressed deep concern at the growing resistance in Northern Minnesota.  To date, over 250 Water Protectors, largely young people, have been arrested through Minnesota’s hard winter protecting the sacred. One water protector said, “I’m taking action today to prevent our societies continual reliance on fossil fuels. The flow of oil in Line 3 affects the rising sea levels of my home in New York City and I am honored to be working with Anishinaabe leadership in our collective struggle.”

Facebook: Giniw Collective is calling on the movement to show up for Cody’s trial via Zoom this Tuesday

“Cody Reid-McKee was arrested in November 2020 for taking a stand to stop Line 3 in defense of the land and the water. At 9am CT, Tuesday, May 25, Cody is going to trial in Cass County, MN. One week before the trial, prosecution slapped Cody with an additional charge, a Gross Misdemeanor Trespass on Critical Infrastructure. Despite support from the prosecution for a continuance, Judge Austad refused to grant an extension in order for Cody to prepare a defense against the new charge. It is an attempt to intimidate water protectors and create dangerous precedent around the Gross Misdemeanor charge. Giniw Collective is calling on the movement to show up for Cody’s trial via Zoom this Tuesday. Please turn your cameras on and keep yourself on mute to show support. We are asking that you share Cody’s story of resistance and continue to support defendants who have been fighting for a world without Line 3, a world that affirms Indigenous sovereignty, a world that protects sacred waters and all wild places.
Zoom Info:
ID: 1615655594
PW: 033742”

E&E News: All eyes on Army Corps after Dakota Access dodges shutdown
Niina H. Farah, 5/24/21

“Tribes challenging the Dakota Access pipeline said they will be closely monitoring a crucial environmental review of the project after a federal judge on Friday declined to halt operation of the conduit” E&E News reports.

WDET: Future of Line 5 Uncertain After Enbridge Ignores Whitmer’s Order to Shut Down
by Jake Neher, Cheyna Roth

“Oil and gas are still flowing through Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. That’s despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shut it down,” WDET reports. “…In November, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration announced that it was revoking the state’s easement with Enbridge — the Canadian oil pipeline giant that runs Line 5 — and would shut down the line in May. But that deadline has come and gone, and Enbridge is still operating Line 5. Whitmer rationalized the order by saying Enbridge was not complying with the rules of the easement. The 67-year-old line has had some anchor strikes and other incidents over the last few year that has led environmental activists and others to call for a complete shutdown. Enbridge was quick to respond, Ellison says, claiming that the governor didn’t have the authority to order the line be shut down — only the courts or the federal government.”

Indian Country Today: Enbridge pipeline showdown looms in Michigan

“When Enbridge Line 5 was built in 1953, the notion of tribal consultation was often overlooked by states and corporations,” according to Indian Country Today. “In those days, pipeline construction was a simple matter. The company paid the state of Michigan $2,450 for an easement for a portion of its pipeline on the lake bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. Today, however, the state of Michigan and 12 tribes are demanding more from Enbridge than money; they want accountability, meaningful consultation and the right to stop the flow of oil through the aging pipeline… ““All of the tribal nations here in Michigan know that Enbridge’s efforts at consultation are disingenuous,” said Whitney Gravelle, president of the Bay Mills Indian Community. “When they reach out to us it is only to try to convince us that what Enbridge wants is what the tribes should want; they’ve never made a good faith effort to listen to tribal nations and ask what we want.”

For Love of Water (FLOW): Fact Check: When Line 5 Shuts Down, Detroit Jets Will Still Fly and Union Refinery Jobs Will Still Exist

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the State of Michigan have taken legal action to shut down Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac to prevent a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes from the dangerous and decaying, 68-year-old pipeline,” according to For Love of Water (FLOW). “Meanwhile, Line 5-owner Enbridge and its enablers continue to engage in a Chicken Little “sky is falling” campaign, with the Canadian company claiming that, “shutting down Line 5 would cause shortages of crude oil for refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and eastern Canada, as well as propane shortages in northern Michigan. Enbridge also alleges a Line 5 shutdown would boost shipments of oil by rail or trucks, without providing any evidence. Enbridge’s misinformation campaign has been building for a few years, for example, conspiring with DTE and others in 2020 to oppose electrification, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation measures. In fact, none of Enbridge’s predictions of an energy shortage materialized when both legs of the dual Line 5 pipelines in the Straits were shut down for more than a week in June 2020 and one leg remained closed until about mid-September following damage that the U.S. Coast Guard said likely was caused by an Enbridge-contracted vessel.”

Argus Media: More Canadian heavy crude US-bound
By Brett Holmes and Eunice Bridges, 5/24/21

“Heavy Canadian crude shipments to the US are set to rise as more pipeline expansions come on stream and oil sands output climbs above pre-Covid levels,” Argus Media reports. “Pipeline capacity to ship heavy crude from Canada to the US is scheduled to rise by at least 420,000 b/d this year. The expansions are expected to increase Canadian heavy crude’s market share in the US Gulf coast refining hub and could lead to higher heavy sour crude exports. Canadian crude accounted for close to 56pc of all US imports in March… “The largest boost to export capacity will come from Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project, which will increase capacity from western Canada to the US midcontinent by 370,000 b/d. Enbridge has completed about 60pc of the work in Minnesota and the line is on track to start up in the fourth quarter, chief executive Al Monaco says.”

Ms. Magazine: Indigenous Women Lead the Movement to Stop Line 3 Pipeline: “This is Everything We Have”

“The headwaters of the Mississippi River glisten as the sun rises from the east, casting light into the depths of clear, uncontaminated waterways that provide home and habitat to countless animals and plants, including wild rice, a sacred grain to the Anishinaabe People,” Ms. Magazine reports. “The rivers and streams wind through forests of maple and birch, offering life to a region rich in natural abundance and Anishinaabe ways of life… “As Enbridge prepares to ramp up construction this summer, Indigenous women and local organizers are inviting supporters to mobilize and join them for the Treaty People Gathering in early June. If you are interested in attending or supporting the mobilization, please learn more here. For now, meet 11 remarkable Indigenous Water Protectors who are on the frontlines fighting to stop Line 3 and protect their communities and homelands. This is a vital stand for water, climate, Indigenous rights, and our collective future.”

WMC: Memphis organization petitions TDEC to revoke Byhalia Pipeline permits
By Olivia Gunn, 5/24/21

“A group has petitioned the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force a state agency to revoke permits needed for the Byhalia Pipeline project to move forward,” WMC reports. “The group, Memphis Community Against Pollution, argues the project would disproportionately harm minorities living in the path of the oil pipeline.”

WV Gazette Mail: Comment period for key Mountain Valley Pipeline water permits is here
By Mike Tony, 5/24/21

“The long-delayed Mountain Valley Pipeline needs water crossing permit approval if it is to ever be completed,” according to WV Gazette MailThe time is now to weigh in on whether the project should get it. Public comments are due Friday to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC’s proposal to discharge dredged and/or fill material into wetlands and other waters, while West Virginia environmental regulators are taking comments ahead of a virtual public hearing set for June 22 on whether they should approve a water permit for the project. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, the joint venture that owns the pipeline, still has applications pending with West Virginia and Virginia state environmental regulators for about 300 water crossings while it seeks approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to tunnel under 120 additional waterbodies. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection last month asked for an additional 90 days beyond the 120 days the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the agency to review Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC’s water permit request. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in March requested an additional year to review the pipeline permit application.”

E&E News: FERC Grants Embattled Pipeline Developer’s Bid For More Time
Carlos Anchondo, 5/25/21

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted developers of a contested Northeastern pipeline two more years to finish the natural gas project, drawing pushback from environmentalists who have accused the agency of rubber-stamping fossil fuel infrastructure,” E&E News reports. “…At a FERC meeting last week, Chairman Richard Glick said the order was ‘consistent with the commission’s precedent to extend the construction deadline when the delay is due to factors beyond the control of the project developer.’ ‘But I want to make it clear that today’s order does not change the state of play,’ said Glick, a Democrat. ‘If New York and New Jersey do not change their minds and grant the project Section 401 water quality certificates, the commission cannot permit the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project to proceed.’”

RTO Insider: FERC Rejection of Weymouth Rehearing Leads to More Barbs
By Michael Brooks, 5/25/21

“FERC on Wednesday rejected requests for rehearing of its decision to examine safety concerns about the operation of a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts, saying its investigation did not “aggrieve” the facility’s developer,” according to RTO Insider. “The majority’s reasoning was disputed by commissioners James Danly and Mark Christie, who argued that the commission’s action meant it had illegally reopened its approval in 2017 of Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge Project — a $452 million expansion of the company’s Algonquin Gas Transmission and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline systems — of which the compressor station’s construction was a part. The commission opened its examination in February after receiving numerous rehearing requests from nearby residents over staff’s authorization of the expansion project to go into service in September 2020.”

EXTRACTION Woodside pulls plug on Kitimat LNG
By Nelson Bennett, 5/19/21

“It is looking more and more likely that the only major LNG project to be built in B.C. this decade will be LNG Canada, now that the second partner in the Kitimat LNG project has pulled the plug,” BIV.comreports. “Two months ago, the lead partner in the project, Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), announced it would halt funding of the project. Now the other partner in the project, Australia’s Woodside Energy, has announced it too is abandoning the project. The company announced it will exit the project, and take US$40 million to $60 million loss. Last year, the company reported a US$720 million impairment on Kitimat LNG.”

Bloomberg: Qatar invests billions, undercuts rivals to maintain LNG market dominance

“The world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas is ramping up production dramatically and undercutting competitors in a bid to squeeze them out the market,” according to Bloomberg. “Qatar is dropping prices and pushing ahead with a $29 billion project to boost its exports of the fuel by more than 50%, stymieing the prospects of new plants elsewhere. It’s also established a trading team to compete in the nascent spot market and pushing into Asia more aggressively, according to people familiar with the matter… “Qatar’s expansion plan is so huge that there are questions on the need for other supply options,” Julien Hoarau, head of EnergyScan, the analytics unit of the French utility Engie SA, told Bloomberg. “It’s still the number one, but the U.S. has never been so close, so Qatar needed to move if it wanted to keep its leading position.”


E&E News: Why Is The House Taking So Long To Undo Trump Methane Rule?
Emma Dumain and Kelsey Brugger, 5/25/21

“House Democrats intend to clear for President Biden’s signature a resolution to curb methane emissions, which environmentalists say will constitute the most consequential congressional action to combat climate change in a decade,” according to E&E News. “But those hoping for quick action might be disappointed — a final vote could be weeks away, at the earliest. At the instruction of the Biden EPA, House Democratic leaders are preparing for the House Energy and Commerce Committee to consider and debate the resolution before it comes to the House floor for a vote, adding steps to a process that advocates had originally thought would be more expeditious. This strategy, a House Democratic leadership aide confirmed, is designed to shield the resolution from being used as the basis for litigation in the courts.”

The Hill: Interior Department Says It Has Returned To Obama-Era Enforcement Of Offshore Drilling Waiver Rules
Zach Budryk, 5/24/21

“The Biden administration on Monday said it will return to Obama-era practices for granting waivers of offshore drilling safety regulations after environmental groups alleged the Trump administration relied on criteria that were not available to the public,” according to The Hill. “The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said in a letter that it remained committed to the Obama-era practice of approving waivers on a case-by-case basis.”

E&E News: Biden Releases Plan For Oil Drilling Near National Monument
Heather Richards, 5/25/21

“The Biden administration yesterday advanced a proposal for oil and gas exploration on the back steps of the Dinosaur National Monument, sparking criticism from Utah public land advocates,” E&E News reports. “The project, proposed by a Texas oil and gas company, envisions the drilling of up to two exploration wells about a quarter mile from the monument’s border near Colorado in the upper east corner of Utah. The drilling permits were nearly approved two years ago, only to be remanded for further environmental analysis by the Trump administration following environmentalists’ complaints. Now, the Bureau of Land Management in Utah has started a 30-day public comment period on the project before making a final decision.”


Colorado Sun: Colorado OKs Suncor refinery’s plan to fix violations with $12 million in emergency shutoff equipment
Michael Booth, 5/24/21

“Colorado’s air pollution regulators have accepted a third party consultant’s recommendations on changes to the Suncor refinery in Commerce City intended to prevent some toxic releases into the community,” according to the Colorado Sun. “The “root cause” investigation was a key part of a $9 million settlement between Suncor and the state Department of Public Health and Environment in March 2020, after years of toxic emissions and air quality violations that affected surrounding neighborhoods… “The state said, Suncor will spend $12 million on a new automatic shutdown system by December for a catalytic cracking unit that makes gasoline. The state’s press release said Suncor will also upgrade the shutdown system on another cracking unit by the end of June. State health officials praised the plan but also said they would keep watching Suncor, whose operations in recent years have prompted repeated neighborhood protests, environmental justice demands and new air monitoring proposals at the Legislature.”

Denver Post: Colorado’s new oil, gas law ushered in new era — kind of

“A new state oil and gas law that was heralded as bringing the most sweeping changes ever to better protect public health has ushered in a new era. In some cases and some places,” the Denver Postreports. “Colorado, a major oil and gas producer, has what is considered the country’s strongest setback rule: a well site must be at least 2,000 feet back from homes and schools. Tougher protections for air quality and wildlife, more stringent requirements for well construction and other changes in operations do apply to sites approved under the old rules. But permits approved before Jan.15 fall under the looser setback limits. And there are thousands of them. “We’ve spent a year a half working on mission-change rules and now we’re still watching neighborhoods just get fracked over and over again. It’s really frustrating. People are disillusioned,” said Andrew Forkes-Gudmundson, deputy director of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans. Deciding where a well can be drilled and all the associated equipment can go is important, he added. “There’s a new noise limit, which is great. But it doesn’t really help the people who feel like these wells are being drilled right in their backyard,” Forkes-Gudmundson told the Post.

InsideClimate News: North Dakota, Using Taxpayer Funds, Bailed Out Oil and Gas Companies by Plugging Abandoned Wells
By Nicholas Kusnetz, 5/23/21

“When North Dakota directed more than $66 million in federal pandemic relief funds to clean up old oil and gas wells last year, it seemed like the type of program everyone could get behind,” InsideClimate Newsreports. “The money would plug hundreds of abandoned wells and restore the often-polluted land surrounding them, and in the process would employ oilfield workers who had been furloughed after prices crashed. The program largely accomplished those goals. But some environmental advocates say it achieved another they didn’t expect: It bailed out dozens of small to mid-sized oil companies, relieving them of their responsibility to pay for cleaning up their own wells by using taxpayer money instead.”


The Conversation: Fossil fuel divestment is the road to climate justice
Susie O’Brien, Professor, Cultural Studies, McMaster University, 5/24/21

“In 2017, responding to pressure from students and faculty, McMaster University created an advisory committee to consider whether to divest its endowment from fossil fuels,” The Conversation reports. “In its report, which recommended actions to reduce the university’s carbon footprint and promote climate change research, the committee recommended against divestment from fossil fuels. The reasons cited included the difficulty of exiting pooled investment funds containing Carbon Underground (CU) 200 firms(the top 200 coal, oil and gas firms ranked by potential carbon emissions of their reported reserves); the relative riskiness of renewable energy investments; and the dismissal of divestment as a purely symbolic gesture. Similar rationales had guided universities throughout Canada — with the exception of Laval — to reject fossil fuel divestment… “Divestment continues to be a hard sell at Canadian universities, however, and it’s worth considering why.”


Harvard Political Review: The Weymouth Compressor Station
By Joseph Winters, 5/24/21

“On Oct. 1, 2020, residents of Weymouth, Massachusetts, gathered on the Fore River Bridge for a socially-distanced rally. Wearing masks and waving hand-drawn posters, they were protesting a natural gas compressor station that had been built in their community by the Canadian oil company Enbridge,” Harvard Political Review reports. “Shut it down!” their signs read. “Stop Enbridge. Enough is enough.” It was supposed to be day one of the compressor station’s operation. Despite six years of fierce opposition from community groups, elected officials, and environmental organizations, Enbridge had finally secured the suite of permits necessary to build and operate a natural gas compressor station — a facility needed to keep gas flowing north through the company’s pipelines — in the town of Weymouth, just a few miles south of Boston. But things had not gone according to plan.”

The Tyee: Jason Kenney’s Favourite Researcher Just Gave Him a Headache
David Climenhaga, 5/25/21

“What is the United Conservative Party’s position, pray, about Vancouver blogger Vivian Krause’s bombshell assertion she always understood the environmental conspiracy to landlock Alberta’s oilsands she promoted so energetically had nothing to do with the U.S. oil industry advancing its interests at Canada’s expense?,” David Climehaga writes in The Tyee. “Wherever it came from, the notion big American corporations and foundations were bankrolling Canadian environmental charities to achieve a market advantage over their supposedly more ethical Canadian counterparts was at the heart of Premier Jason Kenney’s successful crusade to unite the right, drive the Alberta NDP from power, and restore Conservative rule in Wild Rose Country. Whatever the UCP’s favourite researcher has been saying — and there was vigorous public discussion about that last week — her statement that she has never accused environmental organizations of being used by U.S. oil interests to landlock Canadian bitumen arrived with the force of a thunderclap.”


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