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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/12/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 12, 2021

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  • MinnPostLine 3 and the canceled Keystone XL: How similar are they?
  • Facebook: Unicorn Riot [VIDEO]: Three grandmothers locked down to a Line 3 pipe yard gate on July 2, 2021, stopping pipe transportation for three hours
  • E&E NewsEPA challenge muddles future of Mountain Valley pipeline
  • St. Louis Post DispatchAfter court decision wiped out its approval, Spire pipeline could mark national ‘tipping point’
  • Memphis Commercial AppealEven as it drops Byhalia project, Plains All American fights Memphis regulations
  • Washington ExaminerLong but not impossible odds that TC Energy recovers Keystone XL damages
  • NBC NewsTrouble in Alaska? Massive oil pipeline is threatened by thawing permafrost
  • Common Dreams‘Wake Up Call’: Rapidly Thawing Permafrost Threatens Trans-Alaska Pipeline
  • DeSmogEnergy Transfer’s Gulf Run Pipeline to Export Fracked Gas from Louisiana set to Begin Construction




  • CBS NewsNearly half of oil and gas emissions could be cut without spending a penny
  • Richmond Times-DispatchPlans canceled for one of two gas power plants in Charles City; opponents say mystery surrounds fossil fuel interests there


  • Channel 4: Revealed: Facebook received millions for ads promoting fossil fuel


  • Salon.comClimate activist gets eight-year sentence while Capitol rioters, Big Oil execs go free
  • Traverse City Record EagleOpinion: The Line 5 tunnel is a red herring
  • Blue VirginiaOne Down, One to Go: There Is No Atlantic Coast Pipeline and There Will Be No Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • Santa Barbara News-PressWe need pipelines
  • LA IlluminatorLouisiana is a safer place for Big Oil than Louisianians
  • The HillDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy


MinnPost: Line 3 and the canceled Keystone XL: How similar are they?
By Yasmine Askari and Walker Orenstein, 7/9/21

“Opponents of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline in Minnesota have pressured President Joe Biden to stop construction on the project, saying he should treat Line 3 just like the Keystone XL pipeline he canceled,” the MinnPost reports. “Biden nixed a crucial permit for Keystone XL on his first day in office, leading TC Energy to drop the project. The president said the move was aimed at stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure during a climate crisis; it rankled Republicans in Congress and other supporters of the project who saw the pipeline as a source of jobs and economic development. Where some supporters and opponents of Line 3 see the Minnesota project and Keystone XL as largely similar issues, there are some major and minor differences between the pipeline proposals… “Alexandra Klass, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota with expertise in energy and environmental law, told MinnPost the fact that some consider the new Line 3 to be a replacement pipeline can make it easier for the pipeline to get approved by a federal government wary of potential climate impacts compared to a brand new pipeline… “In Minnesota, local state agencies have handled much of the regulatory and environmental review for Line 3. Some do that on behalf of federal agencies, namely the EPA. And those federal regulators can step in to veto a permit they feel was wrongly issued. But they haven’t done so on Line 3… “The Enbridge pipeline does need approval, however, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction that involves waterways. The Corps granted the permit in November of 2020 and the Biden administration has since stood by it. The permit is considered by some to be a relatively narrow one in comparison to the expansive review done by the PUC, but it has nevertheless drawn criticism — and lawsuits — from pipeline opponents. Klass said the permit doesn’t look at whether the project “should or shouldn’t be built as a whole,” unlike the critical Certificate of Need process run by the PUC or a presidential permit. “There are less federal hooks here,” Klass said of Line 3. Klass said the Army Corps could re-evaluate the permit or ask for more environmental review, which would delay the pipeline.”

Facebook: Unicorn Riot [VIDEO]: Three grandmothers locked down to a Line 3 pipe yard gate on July 2, 2021, stopping pipe transportation for three hours

“Three grandmothers locked down to a Line 3 pipe yard gate on July 2, 2021, stopping pipe transportation for three hours. They received felony theft charges, which is the third time water protectors received that escalated charge in the 7+ years of Line 3 resistance.”

E&E News: EPA challenge muddles future of Mountain Valley pipeline
Carlos Anchondo and Hannah Northey, 7/12/21

“EPA is advising the Army Corps of Engineers not to approve a key federal water permit for the Mountain Valley pipeline without further study, throwing up another roadblock for the embattled natural gas project,” E&E News reports.

St. Louis Post Dispatch: After court decision wiped out its approval, Spire pipeline could mark national ‘tipping point’
Bryce Gray, 7/10/21

“A recent court ruling has revoked the approval of a 2-year-old gas pipeline touted as critical to the St. Louis region, and, in doing so, thrown the future of U.S. pipeline development into doubt,” according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled June 22 that the St. Louis-based gas utility Spire didn’t prove that the region needed a 65-mile pipeline that extends north from St. Louis County through parts of Illinois. Insiders now expect that the ruling could reshape policies at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — which oversees things ranging from pipelines to electric transmission lines — and force the agency to apply far more careful scrutiny to future pipeline projects seeking approval. “I don’t think the importance of this case can be overstated,” Gillian Giannetti, an attorney focused on FERC issues for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Post Dispatch. She believes the Spire case represents a “monumental” tipping point that “will fundamentally change how FERC has to explain whether a pipeline project is needed or not.” “…FERC’s approval relied on the agreement between Spire affiliates as proof of a need for the pipeline. But the new court ruling accused FERC’s decision-making of taking an “ostrich-like approach” — rejecting calls for market studies and ignoring arguments about anti-competitive behavior, for instance — conduct that “flies in the face” of its policy guidelines, the court said.” Giannetti said that, until now, FERC has shirked its legal requirements and improperly served as “a processing agency, not a reviewing agency.” Pipeline companies, she said, saw approval from FERC as an inevitability. “The conversation is not ‘Are we going to get approved?,’ it’s ‘When?’ I think Spire could tip that,” she said. “It is not the first case that FERC has approved on extremely flimsy evidence.”

Memphis Commercial Appeal: Even as it drops Byhalia project, Plains All American fights Memphis regulations
Samuel Hardiman, 7/6/21

“Plains All American Pipeline L.P., the midstream company behind the abandoned Byhalia Connection Pipeline project, decided it wanted a few last words Tuesday,” according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Cory Thornton, an attorney for Plains, told the Memphis City Council the ordinance that would’ve governed the crude oil pipeline and its potential impact on the Memphis Sand Aquifer was unnecessary, “anti-industry” and that the measure if passed, would be overturned by the courts… “The ordinance, a reworked version of which is being reintroduced Tuesday, would create an underground infrastructure advisory board that would govern any underground infrastructure that transports hazardous liquids such as crude oil. It is being sponsored by Councilmen Edmund Ford, Sr. and Jeff Warren. “In light of the cancellation of our project, and the lack of logical, technical or legal reasons to suggest that there is an existing danger to residents or to drinking water, we urge the City Council not to pass the ordinance or setbacks. Even with modifications, these ordinances will hurt the greater Memphis economy and area,” Thornton said. The city council is also considering an ordinance that would require a pipeline to be 1,500 feet away from churches or homes. The company claimed that a crude oil spill from any potential pipeline would not harm the Memphis Sand aquifer. Thornton said the company had a third-party study that showed a spill would either be eaten by microbial agents before it reached the aquifer or it would be cleaned up in the 20 to 40 years it took to reach the freshwater… “Eric Brown, the vice president, and general manager of the Memphis refinery, described the two ordinances before the council as a “step in the wrong direction.” He argued the ordinances would make maintenance or further expansion of a pipeline that supplies Memphis International Airport with jet fuel more difficult. “The Valero Memphis Refinery respectfully asks the Memphis City Council not to pass either measure,” Brown wrote.

Washington Examiner: Long but not impossible odds that TC Energy recovers Keystone XL damages
Abby Smith, 7/12/21

“TC Energy faces long odds and a multiyear fight to recover economic damages from President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline,” the Washington Examiner reports. “…Energy and trade attorneys say it’s tough to know at this point what the outcome might be but say TC Energy faces tough, but not impossible, odds of success. “There is a chance there would be a ruling in favor of TC Energy, and I think that would be a reasonable indictment of the inconsistencies of U.S. pipeline policy,” James Coleman, a law professor at Southern Methodist University, told the Examiner… “These take a long time to reach the final conclusion. I’m expecting that this will likely last for several years,” Lawrence Herman, a Toronto-based attorney with Herman & Associates, told the Examiner. Herman said TC Energy’s notice of intent, which hasn’t yet been made public, will only offer the bare bones of their arguments. Both TC Energy and the State Department declined to share the notice with the Washington Examiner, though the State Department confirmed its receipt. The next step is a notice of arbitration, which will lay out, in detail, TC Energy’s legal claims, and then the United States will respond. There aren’t hard deadlines for those filings, as in court cases, so it could be a year or more before the parameters of the battle are set.”

NBC News: Trouble in Alaska? Massive oil pipeline is threatened by thawing permafrost
By David Hasemyer, 7/11/21

“The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, one of the world’s largest oil pipelines, could be in danger,” NBC News reports. “Thawing permafrost threatens to undermine the supports holding up an elevated section of the pipeline, jeopardizing its structural integrity and raising the potential of an oil spill in a delicate and remote landscape. The slope of permafrost where an 810-foot section of the pipeline is secured has started to shift as it thaws, causing several of the braces holding up the pipeline to twist and bend. This appears to be the first instance that pipeline supports have been damaged by “slope creep” caused by thawing permafrost, records and interviews with officials involved with managing the pipeline show… “While the use of these tubes is common along the pipeline’s expanse, available records show that they have never been previously used as a defensive safeguard once a slope has begun to slide. “This is a wake-up call,” Carl Weimer, a special projects adviser for Pipeline Safety Trust, a nonprofit watchdog organization based in Bellingham, Washington, told NBC. “The implications of this speak to the pipeline’s integrity and the effect climate change is having on pipeline safety in general.”

Common Dreams: ‘Wake Up Call’: Rapidly Thawing Permafrost Threatens Trans-Alaska Pipeline

“Alaska’s thawing permafrost is undermining the supports that hold up an elevated section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, putting in danger the structural integrity of one of the world’s largest oil pipelines,” Common Dreams reports. “In a worst-case scenario, a rupture of the pipeline would result in an oil spill in a delicate and remote landscape where it would be extremely difficult to clean up. “This is a wake-up call,” said Carl Weimer, of Pipeline Safety Trust, a nonprofit pipeline watchdog group based in Bellingham, Washington. “The implications of this speak to the pipeline’s integrity and the effect climate change is having on pipeline safety in general.”

DeSmog: Energy Transfer’s Gulf Run Pipeline to Export Fracked Gas from Louisiana set to Begin Construction
By Sharon Kelly, 7/1/21

“In June, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) narrowly approved the construction of a new 42” diameter gas pipeline that will connect shale wells in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Ohio to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Gulf Coast, carrying over a billion cubic feet of fracked gas to be transported overseas every day,” DeSmog reports. “The FERC decision was split, with two of the five commissioners dissenting, writing that the Commission had failed to adequately examine the climate-changing pollution linked to the fossil fuel pipeline… “The Gulf Run pipeline, one small piece of the shale industry’s strategy to revive itself despite the growing climate crisis, offers a view of the crossroads faced by the Biden administration. The project highlights federal regulators’ continued business-as-usual approach to fossil fuel infrastructure projects with decades-long expected lifespans and regulators’ failures to curb greenhouse gas emissions.On the other hand, shifts within FERC could provide federal regulators with the opportunity to begin encouraging an energy transition, with energy experts at the International Energy Agency calling for an end to all new fossil fuel investments, citing the urgency of the climate crisis — a plan made all the more feasible by the rise of low-cost renewable energy options.”


Politico Morning Energy: CHATTERJEE’S CIAO?
Matthew Choi & Annie Snider, 7/9/21

“Republican FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee indicated he’s not planning to stay much beyond next week’s monthly open meeting,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “[There’s] a lot to weigh and I haven’t yet determined my departure date. BUT, with no open meeting in August, next week’s meeting is likely to be my last. Tune in for what MAY be your last chance to (pretend to) laugh at my dad jokes,” he tweeted. Chatterjee’s term expired at the end of June, but he can stay in his post until the end of the year or until a new commissioner gets sworn in. He’s been a swing vote on the five-member body, and with his departure, FERC could see contentious issues deadlock between the Democrats and Republicans. Pro’s Eric Wolff reports that there are three contenders believed to be at the top of the list for Chaterjee’s replacement: Massachusetts legislator Maria Duaime Robinson, Washington Public Service Commission Chair Willie Phillips, and lawyer and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Tom Dalzell.”

Arizona Republic: Plan for development near San Pedro River hits obstacle as government suspends permit
Ian James, 7/8/21

“The federal government has suspended a permit for a proposal to build thousands of new homes near Arizona’s San Pedro River, creating a new obstacle for a controversial project that conservation activists argue would imperil the river,” the Arizona Republic reports. “Environmental groups sued in 2019 to challenge the government’s decision to grant a permit under a provision of the Clean Water Act that regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into streams, washes and wetlands. They argued the government should have analyzed the potential harm to the river as part of its analysis. The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to suspend the dredge-and-fill permit was announced in a court document filed by lawyers for the government, and appears to hinder plans for the 28,000-home Tuscan-themed development called Villages at Vigneto. “It’s a big deal,” Robin Silver, a co-founder of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that sued the government over the permit, told the Republic. Silver called it a “huge victory,” saying the developer won’t be able to “do anything without that permit.”


Associated Press: North Dakota sues feds over oil, gas lease sale suspension

“North Dakota has sued the Biden administration over its suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water, saying the move will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue,” the Associated Press reports. “President Joe Biden shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation’s public lands and waters in his first days in office, citing worries about climate change. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Bismarck claims the move is unlawful. It seeks to force the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to reschedule two lease sales that were canceled and block the agency from revoking others in the future. The lawsuit said the two canceled sales this year have cost the state more than $82 million. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement that he sued “to protect North Dakota’s economy, the jobs of our hardworking citizens, and North Dakota’s rights to control its own natural resources”… “Stenehjem said he expects other oil and gas producing states to join the lawsuit.”

NM Political Report: State Oil Conservation Division can issue fines for spills
By Hannah Grover, 7/9/21

Soon the state’s Oil Conservation Division will have the ability to issue civil fines when oil and natural gas industry spills occur,” according to NM Political Report. “…The change comes as a result of a petition filed in March by WildEarth Guardians and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Division, which oversees the OCD, seeking amendments to the release rule. Currently, spills are permissible and the OCD is only able to penalize the operators if they fail to report a spill. Those spills include oil, gas, produced water, oil field waste and other contaminants. The rule change will give the OCD increased authority to take enforcement actions, such as levying civil penalties, against operators when spills occur and will prohibit both major and minor spills… “Rebecca Sobel, an energy campaigner for WildEarth Guardians, described the decision as a “no-brainer” for the OCC. “They either choose to make spills illegal or deny the request and acknowledge that the oil and gas industry cannot operate without fundamentally despoiling our environment and jeopardizing public health and safety,” she said in an email to NM Political Report.

Associated Press: California oil regulators deny new fracking permits

“California denied 21 oil drilling permits this week in the latest move toward ending fracking in a state that makes millions from the petroleum industry but is seeing widespread drought and more dangerous fire seasons linked to climate change,” according to the Associated Press. “State Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk sent letters Thursday to Aera Energy denying permits to drill using hydraulic fracturing in two Kern County oil fields to “protect “public health and safety and environmental quality, including (the) reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.” Aera Energy, a joint venture Shell and ExxonMobil, called the permit denials “disappointing though not surprising.” “This is the latest decision attacking the oil and gas industry that is based solely on politics rather than sound data or science,” Aera spokeswoman Cindy Pollard said Friday, adding that the company was evaluating its legal options. “Banning hydraulic fracturing will only put hard-working people of California out of work and threaten our energy supplies by making the state more dependent on foreign oil,” she told AP.

Center for Biological Diversity: Los Angeles Court Makes Oil Industry Pay Over $2 Million for Retaliatory Lawsuit

“A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered the oil industry this week to pay over $1.2 million in legal fees to Youth for Environmental Justice, the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and the Center for Biological Diversity — and over $1 million to the city of Los Angeles — for bringing a retaliatory lawsuit against the groups. The California Independent Petroleum Association, an oil-and-gas trade association, filed the SLAPP suit (“Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation”) after the groups won protection against neighborhood oil drilling from the city. In 2019 a California appeals court dismissed the oil industry’s suit as a baseless attack on the groups. “This multimillion-dollar victory shows just how far the oil industry will go to try to intimidate the community groups fighting for their lives,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “We hope the large payout for these despicable tactics will help deter further attacks on people who are fighting to protect themselves from toxic oil industry pollution.”


CBS News: Nearly half of oil and gas emissions could be cut without spending a penny

“As the world’s economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for oil and gas is set to increase — and so is the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 80 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide,” CBS News reports. “The fossil fuel industry is one of the biggest sources of human-generated methane emissions, emitting 70 metric tons of the polluting gas last year — roughly equivalent to all the carbon dioxide produced by the European Union. Now for the good news: About 40% of methane emissions from oil and gas production can be eliminated without costing a cent, the U.S. Energy Information Agency said in a recent report. Cutting down that number “is among the most cost-effective and impactful actions that governments can take to achieve global climate goals,” according to the agency. Among the most cost-effective steps natural gas producers can take is replacing old equipment, the EIA notes. Many pumps, valves and compressors on a gas-drilling pad emit methane in the course of their operations, and tend to emit more as they age — especially if they aren’t maintained. The EIA recommends replacing many components early and replacing gas-powered parts with electrified versions, which leak less gas in their operations.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Plans canceled for one of two gas power plants in Charles City; opponents say mystery surrounds fossil fuel interests there
Patrick Wilson, 7/11/21

“The developer of a proposed natural gas plant in Charles City County said Friday that it is no longer pursuing the project,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. “The move was welcomed by people in the county who say they don’t want more fossil fuel pollution. Opponents say local and state officials haven’t been transparent about the proposal and a plan for a second plant a mile away. The proposed C4GT power plant was backed by private investors and would have brought gas via pipeline to the county to be burned to create electricity. Michigan-based NOVI Energy, the company that wanted the project, announced it is moving on. “NOVI Energy cares deeply about the communities it serves and the affordable, reliable power facilities it helps build,” read a statement from a communications firm representing the company. “After taking feedback from the community and assessing the changing market, NOVI Energy has decided not to pursue the C4GT power plant.” Wanda Roberts, who lives in Charles City and is helping lead opposition to the plants, said the announcement took her breath away. “We were praying and hoping this was going to happen,” she told the Dispatch. “We were told from the very beginning … that it’s a done deal, there’s nothing anybody can do to stop this plant from coming.”


Channel 4: Revealed: Facebook received millions for ads promoting fossil fuel
Siobhan Kennedy, 7/8/21

“The fossil fuel industry has spent millions of dollars promoting gas on Facebook and paying influencers on Instagram to champion it, Channel 4 News can reveal. More than $9.5 million was spent on 25,147 adverts by oil and gas companies, with many of them promoting what fossil fuel companies claim are the climate benefits of natural gas. One former Facebook director told Channel 4 the platform was being used to “propagate misinformation” and “propaganda” that is threatening attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said they reject adverts if one of their “independent fact-checking partners” consider them as “false or misleading” and they take action against accounts that “repeatedly share content rated false”… “The sample contained 6,782 advertisements promoting natural gas as a green or low-carbon form of energy supply. InfluenceMap also found that 4,854 of these adverts were posted by the American Petroleum Institute (API) trade body and they promoted “gas as a climate solution”. The API spent $647,123 on these adverts, which were seen more than 54 million times. According to Facebook’s own community guidelines, the platform prohibits ads containing misleading information. But, the claim that natural gas is a green or clean energy source is challenged by climate scientists.”

OPINION Climate activist gets eight-year sentence while Capitol rioters, Big Oil execs go free

“Environmentalists in recent days have expressed outrage over the eight-year prison sentence handed to Jessica Reznicek — a nonviolent “water protector” who pleaded guilty to damaging equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa — while calling the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the climate emergency the real criminals who should be held to account,” Brett Wilkins writes for “U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger last week sentenced Jessica Reznicek to eight years behind bars, nearly $3.2 million in restitution, and three years’ post-prison supervised release after the 39-year-old activist pleaded guilty to a single count of damaging an energy facility… “The Des Moines Register reported Ebinger said a terrorism sentencing enhancement could apply because “not only the flow of oil, but the government’s continued response were targets of this action.” Environmentalists and other observers, however, questioned the sanity of a system that prosecutes as terrorists people seeking to protect the planet against the existential threat of a climate emergency caused largely by fossil fuel use, while protecting and rewarding perpetrators of what a growing number of international jurists call the crime of ecocide… “It wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Reznicek said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I discerned it at length. The conclusion that I made was that, in my heart, this was the right thing to do. In my heart, this was not violent. In my heart, the laws that protect this pipeline are the laws that are violent… The people who are constructing the pipeline are ultimately the people who are contributing to the desecration of the Earth.” “…Some activists contrasted Reznicek’s sentence to the leniency shown so far toward participants in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.Other activists noted that direct action protests can result in the cancellation of pipeline projects. They point to President Biden’s rescission of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit and, more recently, last week’s cancellation of the Byhalia Connection Pipeline in Mississippi and Tennessee as proof of what grassroots organizing can accomplish.”

Traverse City Record Eagle: Opinion: The Line 5 tunnel is a red herring
By Barbara Stamiris, 7/11/21

“Red herring: “Something that distracts attention from the real issue.” The real issue: To keep Line 5 earning $1.76 million a day — what Enbridge said the July 2020 shutdown in the Straits of Mackinac was costing them,” Barbara Starmiris writes in the Traverse City Record Eagle. “Enbridge can earn billions operating Line 5 while Michigan agencies, courts and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spend years deliberating about a tunnel which may never be built. Just “proposing” a tunnel works for Enbridge… “Last November, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered that Line 5 be shut down in May because it presents an “unacceptable risk” to the Great Lakes. But Enbridge is suing to keep Line 5 operating until its replacement in the tunnel is ready, which could take a decade. Enbridge continues to operate Line 5 despite the legal shutdown order. Enbridge spends millions advertising, lobbying and even giving free whitefish to people in Michigan in their effort to convince us that we are the ones in need of Line 5. The decision to build a tunnel — while the old line operates above it — should not be up to Enbridge alone. However, the time and money spent to decide about this phantom tunnel could be better spent on real needs. If the tunnel proposal is just a “red herring,” it is a very expensive one — for everyone except Enbridge.”

Blue Virginia: One Down, One to Go: There Is No Atlantic Coast Pipeline and There Will Be No Mountain Valley Pipeline
by Jonathan Sokolow, 7/10/21

“On Sunday, July 5, 2020, Dominion Energy announced that it was abandoning its plan to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Rejoicing does not even begin to capture the joy felt by those of us who have been deeply involved in this David-vs.-Goliath battle for environmental justice and a sane energy policy,” Jonathan Sokolow writes for Blue Virginia. “This victory was made possible by every frontline community, every ally, every crusading lawyer, every legislator, every organization, every activist that made the decision to fight this corporate boondoggle – and to stick with it for six long years of pitched battles, some victorious, many not. Ordinary people signed petitions, went to rallies and wrote letters to the editor. When the Virginia State Water Control Board held meetings, thousands of people filed comments. Their voices were ignored – or so it seemed. When the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board convened to consider a permit for a massive ACP compressor station in the middle of the historic African American community of Union Hill, thousands more filed comments – not by accident but because they were organized.  And then they showed up at meetings – again and again and again… “The next time a politician tells you there’s nothing they can do about “it,” remind them of what happened on July 5, 2020. A great place to start would be to take action today, right now, to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).  Sign this petition, then post it on social media and ask all of your friends to sign.”

Santa Barbara News-Press: We need pipelines
Justin Rughe is a retired physicist, engineer and nuclear studies engineer, 7/11/21

“The June 4, 2021 protest against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline by a crowd from Society of Fearless Grandmothers in Santa Barbara leaves one puzzled,” Justin Rughe writes in the Santa Barbara News-Press. “Have they not seen what happened when the Colonial Pipeline was hacked? Chaos ensued. We need these pipelines to support our growing need for power and plastic products. These pipelines are the safest and cleanest ways to transport fuel. There is no other resource. These amateurs are always trying to redesign the power system without any in-depth knowledge of the complicated process involved. They seem to think renewables are the only way to go. Renewable power claims are misleading. Wind power is only available when the wind is blowing and solar power is only available when the sun is shining. And wave power is only available when there are waves.”

LA Illuminator: Louisiana is a safer place for Big Oil than Louisianians
By Jarvis DeBerry, 7/9/21

“Rep. Danny McCormick’s attempt during the Louisiana Legislature’s session to have Louisiana designated a “fossil fuel sanctuary state” would never have passed constitutional muster,” Jarvis DeBerry writes in LA Illuminator. “The state can’t just up and decide that its laws take priority over the country’s. But in calling out the absurdity of the Oil City Republican’s legislation, there’s a chance that some of us lost sight of the reality that Louisiana — to our great peril — has long been a fossil fuel sanctuary state. No, the state can’t protect Big Oil from the feds, but it protects it from everybody else — especially Louisianians who want the industry held accountable for its damage to the coast and its toxic effects on our air. And as accurate as it is to say that the state’s capitulation to the oil industry will destroy us, it’s even more accurate to say it has already destroyed us plenty. In “Katrina: A History, 1915-2015,” Tulane Professor Andy Horowitz explains how 90 years of bad decisions made the hurricane the catastrophic event it was. One of the biggest of the bad decisions was Louisiana celebrating the arrival of Big Oil just like Troy celebrated the arrival of that big horse.”

The Hill: Direct air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy

“As Congress considers bipartisan infrastructure legislation, it must not only deploy current technologies to boost our economy and productivity, but also lay the groundwork for future transportation and energy systems, including those that help address climate change,” former Reps. Carlos Curbelow and John Delany write in The Hill. “…Effectively fighting climate change of course requires reducing current emissions quickly today. But leading climate scientists now generally agree that climate protection also requires finding ways to remove carbon dioxide already emitted, to both meet global emissions goals and to capture emissions from sectors like air travel and industrial processes that are extremely difficult to decarbonize. One of the most important of these decarbonizing technologies is direct air capture, which can remove heat-trapping carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere… “Direct air capture is ripe for bipartisan support. It resides at the intersection of U.S. economic and technology leadership combined with driving innovation as the key to effective climate change action, an approach that both Republicans and Democrats are increasingly urging. Congress should include significant direct air capture provisions in any bipartisan infrastructure legislation it considers this year, as part of its responsibility to foster crucial new technology and protect the American people.”

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