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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 9/14/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips September 14, 2021

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  • ReutersMinn. appeals tribal court’s greenlight on ‘wild rice’ lawsuit re Line 3
  • Memphis Commercial AppealShelby County passes oil pipeline setback ordinance, awaits City Council vote
  • Wisconsin ExaminerWisconsin joins the Enbridge Line 3 resistance
  • KCCIProposed pipeline could pump carbon out of Iowa
  • S&P GlobalYear in Pipelines: Growth in US natural gas pipeline assets slowed again in 2020
  • E&E NewsQ&A with Biden EJ adviser: Pipeline support undercuts equity goals





  • The FuseMajor Oil Companies Need To Wind Down Oil Production Or Face Stranded Asset Risk


  • E&E NewsTom Steyer launches climate-focused investment firm


  • Seeking AlphaEnergy Transfer And The Dakota Access Pipeline: Like An Elephant With A Fly On Its Butt
  • Denver PostRokala: Biden’s Colorado visit is a chance to commit to climate action on public lands
  • Char-Koosta NewsOpinion: Stopping methane pollution is the key


Reuters: Minn. appeals tribal court’s greenlight on ‘wild rice’ lawsuit re Line 3
By Sebastien Malo, 9/14/21

“A Minnesota agency has appealed a federal judge’s dismissal of its bid to end a case pitting it against a Native American tribe that sued, in tribal court, over a permit the agency granted Enbridge for its Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project, a Monday filing in federal appeals court showed,” Reuters reports. “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is appealing to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a September ruling in which the federal judge in St. Paul tossed claims by the state that it is immune from being sued in tribal court. The judge ruled that it is rather the tribe, northwestern Minnesota’s White Earth Band of Ojibwe, as well as the tribal court that are immune from being sued. A lawyer for the tribe, Frank Bibeau, told Reuters: “It’s a lot of time spent in federal court briefing the same issue, with DNR hoping for a different answer.” “…DNR’s complaint asks the federal court to pause proceedings in the tribal lawsuit, and declare that the tribal court lacks jurisdiction to hear tribal claims against the agency. U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright on Sept. 3 dismissed DNR’s complaint, citing the court’s lack of subject-matter jurisdiction due to the tribe’s protection from lawsuits arising from its sovereign immunity… “The White Earth Band of Ojibwe sued DNR in tribal court last month. Their complaint is novel because it names wild rice, a sacred subsistence crop, in addition to the tribe as plaintiffs. It alleges that a June permit allowing Enbridge to divert nearly 5 billion gallons of water as part of construction work to replace sections of Line 3 violates the crop’s rights and 19th-century treaties signed with the U.S. government that guarantee the tribe’s right to gather wild rice on treaty land. The judge presiding over the case in White Earth Tribal Court, Chief Judge David DeGroat, denied earlier this month Minnesota’s bid to dismiss the case. DeGroat wrote that the tribe’s sovereign immunity trumped the “state’s claim of sovereign immunity.”

Memphis Commercial Appeal: Shelby County passes oil pipeline setback ordinance, awaits City Council vote
Katherine Burgess, 9/13/21

“An ordinance restricting where oil pipelines like the Byhalia Pipeline can be built passed the Shelby County Commission Monday,” the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. “The ordinance still must pass the City Council, where it is slated to come up Sept. 21. Although Plains All American Pipeline and Valero Energy Corp. dropped their plans to build the Byhalia Connection pipeline through mostly Black South Memphis neighborhoods, the commission decided to carry on with its ordinance amending the Memphis and Shelby County unified development code. “With community members taking the lead, we’ve already stopped the Byhalia pipeline,” Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris tweeted earlier Monday. “Now, it’s time to stop all oil pipelines that might pose a risk to our neighborhoods. I am hopeful that the County Commission will support regulation of oil pipelines.” The code now disallows oil pipelines from being constructed closer than 1,500 feet from any existing school, place of worship, park, family recreation center or any residential use. It also newly defines oil pipelines. “There’s a reason for this and it’s because there’s a gap in regulations where our groundwater that comes from the aquifer is pretty much unprotected,” said Ward Archer, president of Protect our Aquifer, speaking before the vote. “Passage today grounds the collective conscious of this group and this esteemed body as one that says people matter, the community matters and the environment matters,” said KeShaun Pearson of Memphis Community Against the Pipeline.

Wisconsin Examiner: Wisconsin joins the Enbridge Line 3 resistance

“Across Wisconsin’s western border with Minnesota, indigenous people and allies have united in months of resistance against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. For those who have traveled to the resistance camps, what’s at stake is clear. It’s a struggle not just against a defiant fossil fuel industry, but also against what some call “the Great Sorrow.” That’s what Russ Bennett, an environmental activist who has traveled to the Line 3 camps several times, calls the gloomy consequences of climate change,” the Wisconsin Examiner reports. “Bennett became aware of the controversial Canadian oil pipeline project through his work with the activist group Extinction Rebellion, and then through’s Madison chapter. After growing up around Native American communities in central Wisconsin, Bennett feels Line 3 boils down to a very fundamental issue “about the rights of the indigenous peoples up there to not have this pipeline built through their territories,” he told Wisconsin Examiner… “Jill Ferguson appreciates the special place older women hold in the movement, she said. The 68-year-old Wisconsinite joined water protectors in their teens and early 20s in Minnesota. Her first trip to the camps lasted from June 7-14, after she responded to  what she described as “an urgent S.O.S call” sent out from those already actively resisting the pipeline. With court remedies failing as arrests increased, Ferguson said she knew the water protectors needed all the help they could get. “There were about 3,000 that came from all over the country,” Ferguson told Wisconsin Examiner. “They organized it so well. Their hope was that they could get 750 people to come, and they were blown away at how many people showed up.” Dubbed the “treaty people gathering,” the action involved indigenous allies demanding that the government uphold the conditions of land treaties that are violated by the pipeline.”


“Opponents of the ongoing Line 3 pipeline project in northern Minnesota — an oil-moving cousin of the also-contested, also-Enbridge-owned Line 5 pipeline, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac — just got a heavyweight in their corner: the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” according to Northern Express. “The committee recently announced it is undertaking an investigation into possible violations of  Anishinaabe citizens’ treaty rights resulting from Canada-based Enbridge Energy’s tar-sands pipeline reconstruction project in northern Minnesota. If the United Nations finds violations, it would mean a breach of international law — specifically, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination — not by Canada or Enbridge, but by the United States… “So what’s that mean for Line 5? Nothing yet. But many Anishinaabe and non-Native America citizens here in Michigan — as well as Gov. Whitmer’s Nov. 2020 order to revoke the easement allowing Enbridge to transport through Line 5 — charge that Line 5 violates the rights accorded to Michigan’s First People in the 1836 Treaty of Washington, reaffirmed in 1855. The United Nations’ findings on Line 3 would be an indication of what’s to come — or not — for Line 5’s legal battles. We — and the world — are watching.”

KCCI: Proposed pipeline could pump carbon out of Iowa
Amanda Rooker, 9/13/21

“A new pipeline could soon stretch across 30 Iowa counties. Summit Carbon Solutions proposed the $4.5 billion project, saying that it will be the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world if approved,” KCCI reports. “The pipeline would prevent carbon dioxide emissions released from ethanol and other industrial agricultural plants from contributing to global warming. Instead, the company will capture those emissions, compress them into a liquid and transport them to North Dakota where they will be stored permanently in rock formations. “This job is a real significant opportunity for us to grow jobs here in the Midwest, improve environmental outcomes, and also support the ethanol industry,” Summit Carbon Solutions spokesperson Jesse Harris told KCCI. He said they are partnering with 31 ethanol plants across five states, including Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. There would be 703.5 miles of underground pipeline running through Iowa, according to Summit Carbon Solutions… “He also told KCCI “from a jobs perspective, during construction, this would create between 14,000 to 17,000 total jobs” and would create between 350 and 460 permanent jobs. “Most importantly, this would provide a real shot in the arm to the ethanol industry,” Harris said, “and [would] help open up new marketplaces for them to sell their products at a premium.”

S&P Global: Year in Pipelines: Growth in US natural gas pipeline assets slowed again in 2020
Sean Sullivan, Susan Dlin, 9/13/21

“The total value of U.S. interstate natural gas transportation and storage assets reported to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission crept up in 2020, but year-over-year growth lost momentum, continuing a trend that showed up in 2019 after an active year in 2018,” S&P Global reports. “Slowing growth could partly reflect the growing opposition to new natural gas infrastructure among environmental advocates and some regulators and policymakers… “As the world fell under the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, some pipeline projects were affected by the crisis. But more were affected by legal challenges from environmental groups, landowners and other opponents of fossil fuel use and industrial development. Still, acquisitions and new projects continued to add to the number of reported assets. North American pipeline companies expect to add nearly 33 Bcf/d of gas transportation capacity from 2020 through 2025, according to a January report from the INGAA Foundation, the research arm of pipeline trade group Interstate Natural Gas Association of America… “Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP spokesperson Jillian Kirkconnell told S&P that the company is bullish on its pipeline assets even as the world begins to look at lower-carbon fuels to help mitigate climate change. “To date, we have not seen a reduction in our deliveries to electric generation plants,” Kirkconnell told S&P. “Instead, we have seen an increase in load in 2020 compared to 2019. Natural gas can complement the move to other forms of renewables like wind and solar by helping with intermittency issues.”

E&E News: Q&A with Biden EJ adviser: Pipeline support undercuts equity goals
By Hannah Northey, 9/8/21

“President Biden’s vow to improve relationships with Native Americans and tackle climate change is being undermined by his decision not to pull the plug on projects like the Dakota Access pipeline, said a White House environmental justice adviser,” E&E News reports.


Politico Morning Energy: FERC FRETS
Matthew Choi, 9/13/21

“The nomination of Willie Phillips to become the newest FERC commissioner is raising some eyebrows among environmental circles who fear the D.C. utility regulator won’t be as aggressive on climate as they’d hoped, Politico Morning Energy reports. “His critics expressed discontent with his record on the D.C. Public Service Commission in pushing utilities to match the city’s clean energy targets and in fighting for vulnerable frontline communities. “There’s no smoking gun that you can point to and say, ‘Commissioner Phillips doesn’t get it,’ or … ‘He’s in the pocket of Washington Gas,” Larry Martin, a former EPA official who is now a convener for local clean energy working group Grid 2.0, and has been appearing before the D.C. commission since 2012, told Politico. “But, you know, there’s just no evidence that the decisions that are being made are actually challenging the old business as usual.” Phillips has won the support of key players in the renewable energy industry, with the Solar Energy Industries Association backing him as early as July and Greg Wetstone, head of the American Council on Renewable Energy, praising his “deep legal understanding of the issues at stake.” He’s also considered a safe bet for a Senate confirmation, multiple people told Catherine, and his backers say that his experience on a public service commission will help him avoid a lengthy confirmation process.”

Indigenous Environmental Network: US Fossil Fuel Corporations set to Receive More Public Funds

“Last night the House Ways & Means Committee completed drafting its reconciliation funding bill that sets out the budget associated with Congressional Democrats’ Build Back Better Act. The bill overlooks ending existing subsidies to the domestic fossil fuel industry, while extending funding for: A subsidy enacted in 1916 (Sections 263(c) and 291) allowing many fossil fuel producers to deduct 100 percent of many costs associated with extraction; A subsidy enacted in 1926 (Sections 611 through 613A and 291) that allows many producers to deduct 15 percent of gross income annually, which often results in a deduction greater than the value of actual assets; A tax credit for carbon capture (Section 45Q), an unrealized, faulty technological process that is falsely characterized by the industry as a solution to toxic climate emissions. Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network stated: “Ending all fossil fuel subsidies is a top line strategy to end the climate crisis. One of the key solutions for building a just transition is to shift fossil fuel funding to Indigenous, Black, Brown, and other people of color communities confronting climate and environmental injustice. By failing to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, Chairman Neal and the Ways and Means Committee are ensuring billions of dollars of public money to flow to the biggest polluters on the planet at the expense of Indigenous Peoples rights, livelihoods, and well being. On behalf of our communities, all life, Mother Earth, and future generations, it is imperative that we stop the egregious cycle of corporate welfare for fossil fuels, end fossil fuel subsidies, and Keep It In The Ground!

Press release: 32 Orgs urge President Biden to address Fed’s failure on climate risk

“Dear President Biden, We are deeply concerned by the lack of progress being made by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (the Fed) on the assessment and mitigation of climate risk in the financial system. The Fed has failed to take proactive measures to address the risks that banks and the financial system face from climate change. This must change. Where its international counterparts have begun taking necessary and timely steps to scope out and address the risks that climate change poses to the financial system, the Fed has consistently lagged behind. The Fed can and should take these immediate actions: Issue public supervisory guidance to direct banks and bank examiners to measure the risks individual banks face and begin planning to reduce those risks; Require banks to disclose to regulators information on climate-related risks; and Conduct scenario analysis and stress tests to analyze and inform risk mitigation… “The Fed’s lack of robust action means that regulators, depositors, investors, and other market participants have little visibility into the massive climate-fueled economic impacts that will worsen for the next 30 years even if we meet science-based climate targets. To avoid obstacles like financial instability, unpredictable price movements in key markets, insurance firms pulling out of markets, climate bankruptcies, and threats to full employment and economic growth, the Fed must take a precautionary approach and start immediately working with banks to manage and mitigate climate risk and its drivers. To date, the Fed has done nothing of the sort. It has been the slowest moving major central bank in the world on assessing, managing, and mitigating climate risk. Chair Powell has consistently downplayed the urgency of the crisis and the Fed’s responsibility to mitigate climate risk, while at the same time advancing an alarming set of deregulatory measures that weaken many of the guardrails put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. This is a recipe for continuing the Fed’s pre-2008 pattern of allowing risk to overflow and cause serious harm to the economy and to households and communities before intervening.”


Montana Free Press: Federal oil and gas leasing program back in play in Montana
By Amanda Eggert, 9/13/21

“The federal government is moving forward with oil and gas leasing on 6,277 acres of Bureau of Land Management property in Montana following a judicial order directing the Department of the Interior to resume lease sales on federal lands,” according to the Montana Free Press. “The BLM Montana/Dakotas State Office is asking for public feedback on leases involving 14 parcels in Montana that had been considered for auction before President Joe Biden’s pause on new lease sales went into effect. The moratorium was initiated with a Jan. 27 executive order directing the Interior Department to complete a comprehensive review of the leasing program “including potential climate and other impacts associated with oil and gas activities.” The same day Biden signed the order, it was challenged with a lawsuit filed by Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas industry group representing 200 member companies. The lawsuit sought to reverse the moratorium by arguing that Biden exceeded his presidential authority in issuing it.”


Reuters: Trudeau pledges to cut Canada’s oil emissions even as country keeps pumping more
By Rod Nickel, 9/13/21

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to reduce Canada’s oil sector emissions starting in 2025 looks unlikely to slow the growth of crude production, environmental activists and oil companies say, raising questions about how effectively the pledge will help meet the country’s goals to slow climate change,” Reuters reports. “Trudeau is in a close race with the Conservatives, and some voters are demanding decisive climate action here. He promised late last month, if re-elected on Sept. 20, to immediately cap emissions from the oil and gas sector, which is responsible for 26% of national emissions, and require lower emissions in five-year intervals, starting in 2025. The sector’s emissions have stayed roughly flat since 2014, although oil sands emissions have risen. The pledge would force the world’s fourth-largest oil and gas producer to shift focus away from curbing emissions mainly on a per-barrel basis to cutting absolute emissions… “The Canadian government has authority to set emissions levels, but it has less ability to influence oil production, which Trudeau’s pledge does not address. Regardless of who forms the next government, Canada is likely to keep raising oil production to satisfy growing global demand, while also cutting emissions, Tim McMillan, president of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told Reuters. “Canada should play a larger role in global supply,” he said. Trudeau’s pledge comes with numerous unknowns, including the rate of emissions decline it wants and how the government would enforce the lower levels. “The announcement they made is too vague to really inspire confidence,” Cam Fenton, Canada team leader at environmental group, told Reuters. Curbing emissions from oil extraction while allowing production to rise would not be meaningful, since most of crude’s associated emissions occur when it is used in combustion engines, Fenton said.”

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty: 2,185 scientists and researchers call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

“Over two thousand academics across disciplines and from 81 countries have delivered a letter demanding a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to manage a global phase out of coal, oil and gas to governments gathering at tomorrow’s UN General Assembly.  In the open letter, the academics recognize that the burning of coal, oil and gas is the greatest contributor to climate change – responsible for almost 80% of carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution. Furthermore, they note that, “air pollution caused by fossil fuels was responsible for almost 1 in 5 deaths worldwide in 2018”. Despite this, national governments, including the COP26 hosts themselves, plan to expand fossil fuel production at levels that would result in around 120 percent more emissions than what is in keeping with the Paris Agreement target of 1.5ºC of warming… “The letter comes on the heels of last month’s IPCC report, which was heralded as a “death knell” for the fossil fuel industry by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres and revealed that 86% of CO2 emissions in the last decade are from the burning of fossil fuels… “The letter states: “Given the significant historical contribution of fossil fuels to climate change, and the industry’s continuing expansion plans, we are calling for a solution commensurate with the scale of the problem.” “Phasing down coal, oil and gas in line with 1.5ºC requires global cooperation, in a way that is fair, equitable and reflects countries’ levels of dependence on fossil fuels, and capacities to transition. This, in turn, should be underpinned by financial resources, including technology transfer, to enable a just transition for workers and communities in developing countries and a decent life for all.”


The Fuse: Major Oil Companies Need To Wind Down Oil Production Or Face Stranded Asset Risk
by Nick Cunningham, 9/13/21

“New oil and gas projects are incompatible with a future in which the world stays on track with its climate targets. Needless to say, that has enormous implications for the oil and gas industry,” according to The Fuse. “…However, as of now, those companies largely have no plans to keep growth in check, which means they are betting against climate success… “A more recent study finds that the vast majority of existing fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground – 90 percent of coal reserves, and 60 percent of oil and gas reserves… “Under a least-cost concept in which the cheapest forms of oil and gas production survive longer as the world transitions away from fossil fuels, and high-cost output steadily goes offline, Saudi Aramco is a clear winner. In fact, Aramco’s production survives into the 2030s mostly unscathed, and the company could even grow its output, according to Carbon Tracker. But others are not so lucky. U.S. shale companies see over 80 percent of their production go offline. Devon Energy, Marathon Oil, Diamondback Energy, Continental Resources, and Pioneer Natural Resources are hardest hit. Deepwater “specialists,” such as Petrobras also lose out, as do oil sands companies Suncor Energy and Imperial Oil. The oil majors are not spared. In a scenario in which no new oil and gas projects go forward – again, a scenario aligned with the science –ConocoPhillips stands out as the integrated oil major with most of its production at risk. Roughly 69 percent of Conoco’s output would decline. That is followed by Chevron (52 percent of production would decline), Eni (49 percent), Shell (44 percent), BP (33 percent) ExxonMobil (33 percent) and TotalEnergies (30 percent). A majority of the companies analyzed would see at least half of their “business-as-usual investments on currently unsanctioned assets at risk of stranding” in a low-carbon scenario.”



“A 15-foot tall inflatable of Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg wreathed in flames appeared outside the US Tennis Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens today. Citizen groups had a clear message for Greenberg: stop destroying the planet. “At every turn, Evan Greenberg has chosen short-term profit over people and the planet. Greenberg can decide today that Chubb isn’t going to insure any new fossil fuel projects, and if he cares about preventing climate catastrophe, that’s exactly what he must do,” said Cherie Acierno of Rise and Resist. Chubb, which sponsors the US Tennis Open, has come under intense criticism for continuing to insure fossil fuels in spite of Greenberg’s public rhetoric on the urgency of addressing climate change and the threat it poses to the insurance industry. Citizens’ groups–including Rise and Resist and New York Communities for Change–called out Greenberg for his climate hypocrisy. “Evan Greenberg should stop torching the planet. It’s the definition of hypocrisy to claim you care about climate change and then turn around and insure the coal mines and oil pipelines that are driving the crisis,” said Pete Sikora, Climate & Inequality Campaigns Director for New York Communities for Change. Chubb is one of the top-ten insurers of oil and gas in the world, and insures the climate-wrecking Trans Mountain pipeline over the objections of Indigenous leaders in Canada. At a week of action in June, protests at Chubb headquarters across the world called on Greenberg to drop the pipeline. He refused to even meet with Indigenous leaders.”

E&E News: Tom Steyer launches climate-focused investment firm
By Timothy Cama, 9/9/21

“Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer is teaming up with investor Katie Hall to launch a new effort to invest in clean energy and other businesses that fight climate change,” E&E News reports.


Seeking Alpha: Energy Transfer And The Dakota Access Pipeline: Like An Elephant With A Fly On Its Butt
Bill Zettler, 9/13/21

“Energy Transfer (ET) is arguably one of the most controversial stocks on Seeking Alpha and specifically when looking at pipeline companies. It has been both praised and criticized regularly for its business practices, deemed aggressive but positive by supporters and borderline criminal by its detractors. In this article, I will examine the most controversial item on ET’s menu, the Dakota Access Pipeline more commonly referred to as DAPL. In my opinion, even a worst-case outcome for DAPL does not change the long-term outlook for ET,” Bill Zettler writes for Seeking Alpha. “Although DAPL continuously gets big headlines, in reality, it is a minuscule portion of ET’s assets and revenue… “But when you look at DAPL within the entirety of ET’s assets, you can see how insignificant it is. ET has over 90,000 miles of pipelines, of which DAPL is 1,172 miles, or 1.3%. But since ET is only a 36% owner of DAPL that’s really only 422 miles or 0.5%… “The cost of DAPL was about $3.7 billion meaning ET’s 36% share was $1.3 billion. That compares with ET’s $96 billion Gross Property, Plant & Equipment (before depreciation) on its balance sheet so ET’s share of the DAPL cost represents 1.3% of its productive assets. So from an investment standpoint, DAPL is perhaps bigger than a fly but not by much… “As the DAPL issue grinds its way thru the federal bureaucratic haze, ET’s stock price remains in limbo. And although it has almost doubled in price since the great negative oil pricing of April 2020, it is still below most other midstream companies on a price to DCF (Distributable Cash Flow) basis.”

Denver Post: Rokala: Biden’s Colorado visit is a chance to commit to climate action on public lands
Jennifer Rokala is the executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, 9/12/21

“As President Joe Biden visits Colorado and the West, he’ll come face-to-face with the reality of climate change,” Jennifer Rokala writes in the Denver Post. “…The president is using this trip to lay out his vision for infrastructure investments to mitigate the effects of climate change, but he has not fully used the power of his office to take the concrete actions that could move America towards a clean energy future. Even as Biden calls for change, his administration is preparing to auction off drilling rights to more than 700,000 acres of public land in Colorado and Wyoming. In the Gulf of Mexico, the president is moving ahead with a fire sale, offering oil and gas companies 80,000,000 offshore acres for drilling — an area larger than all but four U.S. states. There is nothing in the law that requires Biden to hold lease sales of this magnitude. To the contrary, the law explicitly gives his Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, broad discretion to determine which lands — if any — are available for oil and gas drilling… “President Biden has the power to take substantial steps to address the climate crisis via America’s public lands. If you see him in Colorado, tell him it’s past time for him to use it.”

Char-Koosta News: Opinion: Stopping methane pollution is the key
Jeff Smith is co-chair of 350 Montana. Winona Bateman is executive director of Families for a Livable Future, 9/10/21

“On the drive north around Flathead Lake, you can see the destruction of the Boulder 2700 fire: 31 “structures,” including 14 homes, some right on the lake, lie in cinders,” Jeff Smith and Winona Bateman write for the Char-Koosta News. “But you step on the gas as soon as you get to the other side of the charred 2,230 acres. You have places to go, people to see, business to take care of. We Montanans turn our heads from scientific reports, too. Take the sixth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released last month, which says 1.) these high-intensity fires are a sign that climate change is here and 2.) it’s going to get a lot worse… “The IPCC says we get the biggest bang for the buck by making “strong, rapid and sustained reductions” in methane emissions. We know how to do this by plugging up the leaks in fracking wells, pipelines, and refusing to build new methane electrical generating stations. That’s why the idea of NorthWestern Energy investing $250 million of its ratepayers’ money right now in a new natural gas plant in Laurel is like turning on your furnace during a scorching summer day and wondering why you’re so hot. Montana can reliably generate all its electricity using renewable energy. Not only that, we can also create over 8,000 new jobs by generating enough surplus clean energy to sell to our neighbors.”

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