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Extracted: Daily News Clips 6/22/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips June 22, 2021

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  • E&E NewsHouse Sets Vote To Undo Trump Methane Rule Rollback
  • E&E News: Sources: Interior Fossil Fuel Report Now At White House


  • Yale UniversityRegulatory Agency Capture: How the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • BloombergHuge Methane Leak Spotted by Satellite Came From Gazprom Pipeline


  • ReutersCanada’s climate plan charts hard road ahead for high-polluting oil sands
  • Washington PostControversial St. Croix refinery shuts indefinitely given ‘extreme financial constraints’
  • New York TimesShell Gets Greener, Even as Climate Advocates Say, ‘Go Faster’


  • BloombergMaine Becomes First State to Order Public Fossil-Fuel Divestment
  • Washington PostWhy has Andy Karsner frightened the mighty ExxonMobil?


  • USA TodayBiden must stop methane pipelines to deliver on climate change and environmental justice
  • Lincoln Journal StarEditorial: Keystone XL pipeline’s time came and went
  • Toronto SunGOLDSTEIN: Growing Indigenous support for pipelines, oil sector, says report
  • Fox NewsLeft aims to defeat another pipeline, but Native American business leaders defend construction
  • Duluth News TribuneReader’s View: Line 3’s economic benefit ‘outstanding’
  • Albuquerque JournalPut New Mexicans to work on oil and gas mess


Facebook: Welcome Water Protectors Center at the Great River [VIDEO]: Arrests are happening in Palisade, where DNR officers have been harassing water protectors in a sacred lodge

“CALL NOW: Arrests are happening in Palisade, where DNR officers have been harassing water protectors in a sacred lodge. @USACEHQ has placed a stop work order at this site. Call @GovTimWalz now at 651-201-3400 and ask him to tell Aitkin County to stop these arrests. #StopLine3”


“On Monday morning, law enforcement officials have arrested three water protectors at a ceremonial prayer lodge protected under treaty law and federal order at the Mississippi river crossing of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline route near Palisade Minnesota.  Law enforcement officials are seen in a live-stream threatening more arrests as they lead workers through the protected area. On Friday, June 18th, Aitkin County Sheriff Dan Guida confirmed that he personally escorted several Line 3 workers from Enbridge to an area near the Water Protectors Welcome Center, near Palisade. This action was a blatant violation of 1855 Treaty Rights and an official stay on construction from the Army Corps of Engineers from last December that prohibits workers from entering the area. Following this action, the 1855 Treaty Authority sent a cease and desist letter Friday, June 18, 2021, to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Sheriff Guida. As the Star Tribune reported, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordered work to stop in December 2020: “Enbridge now faces a major roadblock after a ceremonial lodge was constructed along the pipeline route near the Mississippi River, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordered work to stop at that specific site on Saturday.” This letter from the 1855 Treaty Authority informs Strommen and Guida that the officer’s intentional violation of Treaty Rights serves to “cause fear and intimidate and interfere with our tribal member’s cultural and religious practices to protect and preserve our inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise their traditional religious rites, spiritual and cultural practices.” Furthermore, the letter follows an incident last week in which officers came into this peaceful prayer camp at around midnight — shining flashlights and taking pictures as they walked around camp — while women were in their tents and nearly asleep, according to Shanai Matteson, an on-the-ground organizer with the Welcome Water Protectors Center. These officers did not identify themselves, nor did they give any warnings or commands before or during their visit — a terrifying situation for those inside our tents and unable to see where they were or if our friends were safe. This precedent-shaping action demonstrates the immediate need for President Biden to stop Line 3.”

Medium: Line 3 Tests Biden’s Commitments on Climate Change and Indigenous Communities
Winona LaDuke, Michael Brune, 6/21/21

“The Biden administration has a chance to show whether they stand with the people or the polluters,” Winona LaDuke and Michal Brune write in Medium. “Right now, as the country faces an historic drought, a seemingly endless fire season, and the prospect of yet another treacherous hurricane season, the Biden administration’s bold commitment to tackling climate change and prioritizing the rights of Indigenous communities is facing a significant test. President Biden can and must prioritize his commitments to Native people and climate and environmental justice over Big Oil by taking action on the Line 3 pipeline. Next week, on June 23rd, the Biden administration can take a stand on a federal lawsuit from two Chippewa and Ojibwe Indian Tribes, Honor the Earth, and the Sierra Club, which are challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s November decision to issue a permit for the massive Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota… “Next week, the Biden administration will have an opportunity to make it clear that they stand on the side of Indigenous rights and climate action. The administration can advise the court that climate and environmental justice analysis was required before issuing the permit, and it can exercise its authority to take back the permit for review in the public interest. Doing so would be acting in the public interest and applying common sense.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsinites join the fight against Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline
Laura Schulte, Frank Vaisvilas, 6/21/21

“Five years ago, protests that erupted over the Dakota Access pipeline construction in North Dakota put a spotlight on the environmental concerns over transporting carbon-intensive oil from Canada and the interests of Indigenous people to protect their lands,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “Now, the scene has shifted to northern Minnesota at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, where Wisconsin residents are joining in a pushback against a pipeline that will send millions of gallons of the crude oil across the upper Midwest… “Earlier this month, water protectors at the protest camps asked for outside help and support in the form of more people joining the movement for the Treaty People Gathering. Wisconsinites answered the call, setting up car caravans from Appleton, Kenosha and Madison to transport about three dozen people, Justin Peche, 23, and a citizen of the Oneida Nation, told the Sentinel… “Tim Cordon, a social justice coordinator with the First Unitarian Society in Madison, also went to the protests with the caravan. He was inspired by the water protectors and felt a duty to answer the call. “The (federal) government has a history of breaking treaties (with Indigenous nations) through trickery and land theft,” Cordon told the Sentinel. “The treaties that are still in existence need to be upheld and honored.” Ojibwe officials have used the treaty rights for generations as an argument against industrial projects they believe will pollute the environment. “Indigenous people use the treaties to protect Mother Earth for all of us,” Cordon said. “Every year, it’s getting hotter and hotter and we cannot afford to pump the oil that Enbridge wants.”

Truthout: Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Pipeline Developers Can Seize Public Land
Leanna First-Arai, 6/21/21

“The Supreme Court is preparing to weigh in on the power of natural gas pipeline companies to seize state land, in an opinion that legal scholars say will set precedent for state-level opposition to fossil fuel infrastructure built by private developers,” Truthout reports.”The decision will come in the wake of the Keystone XL’s official cancellation, amid rising resistance to Line 3 and Line 5 oil pipelines and the formation of a new national anti-pipeline coalition. In one of 12 outstanding cases this term, PennEast Pipeline, LLC v. New Jersey et al., the Supreme Court justices will decide whether a 1938 law known as the Natural Gas Act grants private companies the federal government’s power of eminent domain for building a pipeline transporting natural gas. Eminent domain is an implied power vested in the U.S. Constitution, which allows the government to take property in exchange for just compensation to make way for development deemed to benefit the public. While it was originally used for projects like the expansion of railroads, since the 1950s the power has increasingly been granted to private companies to develop features like golf courses, condominiums and — over the last decade since fracking was commercialized — fossil fuel infrastructure.”

WV Gazette Mail: WV environmental regulators to take public comment on key water permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline
By Mike Tony, 6/21/21

“The opportunity is imminent to tell West Virginia state environmental regulators what you think of the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s request to cross waterbodies throughout the Mountain State,” the WV Gazette Mail reports. “The state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a virtual public hearing at 6 pm. Tuesday on whether it should approve a key water permit for the 303-mile natural gas pipeline project traveling from Northwestern West Virginia to Southern Virginia crossing Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers and Monroe counties… “Last year, the department stated it would not require an individual water quality certification for the pipeline and requested the Corps incorporate the modification into its water permitting for West Virginia. But following Mountain Valley’s abandonment of its Corps-issued blanket water permit, the Corps’s current provision of an individual permit process for the department has the pipeline back under state regulator scrutiny… “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will decide by July 2 whether to grant or deny additional time to West Virginia and Virginia environmental regulators to consider water permit requests from the joint venture that owns the pipeline, according to Corps Huntington District spokesman Brian Maka.”

Jacksonville Journal Courier: Pipeline parent suing for land access
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, 6/22/21

“A St. Louis-based energy company has filed a lawsuit seeking use of temporary access roads on land controlled by the Betty Ann Jefferson Trust, Philip and Zena Brown and Marc Steckel,” the Jacksonville Journal Courier reports. “Spire STL Pipeline has asked U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to grant the company possession of the easement and temporary access road, which they claim is necessary to complete work ordered by the same court… “In a statement from Spire, the company said the access is necessary for the company to perform certain remediation efforts. “With limited time to complete the pipeline under federal requirements, Spire tried its best to come to agreements with the remaining landowners,” spokeswoman Raegan Johnson said. “However, Spire could not justify paying customers inflated market prices and it was necessary to utilize the laws of eminent domain in some cases. That said, Spire is responsible for compensating landowners for the use of their land and hopes to resolve all outstanding agreement issues.” “…According to the suit, which represents only one side of the case, “The Browns and Steckel refuse to allow Spire STL Pipeline to access the temporary easement areas on their properties and refuse to permit Spire STL Pipeline to use temporary access road TAR-010.”

National Observer: The world is against Trans Mountain
By John Woodside, 6/21/21

“Friday marked the end of a global week of action against insurers of Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion project. The protests, calling on its insurers to cut ties with the federally owned pipeline, spanned 25 actions across four continents, the National Observer reports. “Over the course of the week, Indigenous rights and climate activists from Vancouver to Kiribati to Sierra Leone called on Liberty Mutual, Chubb, AIG, W.R. Berkley, Lloyd’s of London, Starr, Stewart Specialty Risk Underwriting, and Marsh to publicly pledge to refrain from doing any future business with the project. “The reason we’re here is to drive out insurance companies from insuring fossil fuel industry projects, and in particular Liberty Mutual today (with) the Trans Mountain pipeline,” said 350 organizer Andrew Larigakis, from outside Liberty’s office in Vancouver… The shrinking pool of insurers is concerning to the Crown corporation, which is already behind schedule with expansion plans, because it means it is paying higher premiums to secure its required coverage. The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) recently gave Trans Mountain the green light to shield its list of insurers from the public for this reason. The company argued if it could not keep its insurers private, “targeting and pressure” could result in a “material loss” to the company and “prejudice the competitive position of its insurers.”

Between The Lines: Opponents Celebrate the Final Defeat of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Melinda Tuhus, 6/16/21

“On his first day in office, President Biden revoked the cross-border permit that former President Trump had issued to the Canadian company, TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, to build the Keystone XL pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, down through the Midwest,” Between The Lines reports. “The pipeline would have brought 830,000 barrels per day of the dirtiest energy source on the planet down to the Gulf Coast for refining. On June 9, the company finally threw in the towel, ending its more than decade-long quest to build the controversial pipeline. The fight to stop KXL became the biggest fight in the U.S. against dirty energy linked to climate change, involving tens of thousands more who marched and rallied and thousands who were arrested in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. Much of the organized opposition was centered in Nebraska. Art Tanderup is a Nebraska farmer who became involved in in the movement to stop KXL in May 2012, when he learned the pipeline route went through his farm. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Tanderup about how they achieved their victory, solidarity with opponents of ongoing pipeline projects, and the work that remains.”

Workers World: Indigenous and environmental victory − Keystone XL pipeline ‘dead in the water’
By Stephanie Tromblay, 6/21/21

“In an immense victory for Indigenous water protectors and land defenders on this continent, TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, revealed its investors have quit the Keystone XL pipeline, Workers World reports. “Work has completely halted — the KXL tar-sands pipeline is “dead in the water.” “…KXL’s route ran through fragile ecological habitats, Indigenous sacred and burial sites, as well as prime farmland. Indigenous communities were joined by white farmers and ranchers in the Cowboy Indian Alliance to fight the KXL pipeline from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Washington, D.C… “The KXL victory represents one battle in the war to stop tar-sands oil. Big Oil planned to triple production of this dirtiest crude oil, with a goal to flood the U.S. with 6 million barrels a day. (, Aug. 13, 2015) Native nations and environmentalists are now intensifying the struggle to shut down the other Trump-approved pipeline projects, including DAPL and Enbridge Line 3 and Line 5… “The fight goes on, but stopping KXL is a major victory against Big Oil. Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Chairman Larry Wright Jr. said, “On behalf of our Ponca Nation we welcome this long overdue news and thank all who worked so tirelessly to educate and fight to prevent this from coming to fruition. It’s a great day for Mother Earth.”


E&E News: House Sets Vote To Undo Trump Methane Rule Rollback
Kelsey Brugger, 6/21/21

“The House will vote this week on a resolution to scrap former President Trump’s rollback of methane emissions rules,” E&E News reports. “The Congressional Review Act resolution, sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), would revert EPA rules on methane to Obama-era standards. The Senate approved the measure in April, but lawmakers and the Biden administration didn’t want to fast-track House consideration as a precaution against litigation (E&E Daily, May 25). The resolution cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month, mostly along party lines, even though several major oil companies and groups have expressed their support (E&E News PM, June 10). ‘This methane resolution is another attack on American energy, millions of jobs created across the country’ said ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) during the markup. Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said, ‘The Trump Rescission Rule was a thinly veiled attempt to limit regulation of the oil and gas industry at the expense of our health, our safety and our planet at a time when these protections are needed more than ever.’

E&E News: Sources: Interior Fossil Fuel Report Now At White House
Heather Richards and Emma Dumain, 6/27/21

“The Interior Department has submitted to the White House its interim recommendations about the future of the federal oil and gas program, according to three sources familiar with the move,” E&E News reports. “President Biden in January ordered the energy and lands management agency, helmed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, to review the oil program in light of its climate costs, including a consideration of increasing royalty rates paid by oil companies to develop public minerals. That full assessment could take a long time, experts say, but Interior had promised to release the interim findings this summer. It is not clear how long the White House intends to review the report before making it public. Neither the White House nor Interior immediately responded to a request for comment. Because the oil review is simply a directive from the president, it is progressing along a more informal process of vetting and consideration than proposed rules and regulations, for example, which obey a strict format for input and timing, sources said. Earlier this week, Haaland told lawmakers on the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee that the report would be released ‘sometime in the near future.’ The contents of the report have been tightly guarded by Interior and White House officials.”


Yale University: Regulatory Agency Capture: How the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline

“Abstract: The FERC’s history of approving nearly 100% of pipelines and divisive pipeline cases like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline have driven landowners’ long-standing claims of regulatory agency capture of the FERC. The present research substantiates the claim of capture with a case study of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and uncovers that the FERC is both culturally and corrosively captured. This research also suggests that the capture of the FERC began at its conception during the natural gas crisis and subsequent natural gas bubble, which caused the FERC to follow the industry’s lead. These findings indicate that the FERC’s policies and procedures must be modified to distance it from the natural gas industry and further incorporate the public’s voices into its decision-making process.”

Bloomberg: Huge Methane Leak Spotted by Satellite Came From Gazprom Pipeline
By Aaron Clark and Dina Khrennikova, 6/17/21

“A massive methane plume detected earlier this month over Russia stemmed from emergency repairs that forced the partial shutdown of a Gazprom PJSC pipeline, the company said, taking responsibility for one of the energy sector’s most intense recent leaks of the superpotent greenhouse gas,” according to Bloomberg. “Gazprom’s enormous methane leak, first identified in satellite data by geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS, points to what’s a worldwide problem preventing the release of a greenhouse gas with 80 times the impact of carbon dioxide in the short term. The Russian gas giant said its pipeline repairs on June 4 released 2.7 million cubic meters (1,830 metric tons) of methane. That has roughly the same short term planet-warming impact of 40,000 internal-combustion cars in the U.S. driving for a year, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Kayrros estimated an emissions rate of 395 metric tons an hour, which would make Gazprom responsible for the most severe release it has attributed to the oil and gas sector since September 2019.”


Reuters: Canada’s climate plan charts hard road ahead for high-polluting oil sands
By Rod Nickel and Nia Williams, 6/22/21

“Canada has set ambitious targets for slashing emissions to fight climate change, but faces a stiff challenge: not only is its economy dependent on oil production, but the Canadian oil industry’s carbon emissions are among the world’s highest for every barrel of oil it pumps,” according to Reuters. “The Canadian oil patch exemplifies the most vexing problem of the energy transition. In the long term, Canada needs to cut its dependence on the energy sector that accounts for 10% of its economy, as the world moves away from planet-warming fossil fuels. In the short term, Canada needs to clean up the process of extracting oil to comply with national emissions targets. The northern Alberta oil sands spew three to five times the global average emissions per barrel of oil equivalent, according to Rystad Energy, because extracting crude from Alberta’s gumbo-like deposits of oil, sand and clay requires additional energy… “There is not a dial on the wall where we can dial ‘low carbon’,” Cenovus Energy Chief Executive Alex Pourbaix told Reuters. “To decarbonize significantly takes capital – massive quantities of capital over many years.” “…The oil sands’ three big hopes are carbon capture facilities, steam-reduction technology, and deploying renewables to power the oil sands… “It’s net-zero, not zero,” Suncor’s Little told Reuters. “Some of the hard-to-decarbonize industries, we are going to have to offset emissions rather than eliminate them.”

Washington Post: Controversial St. Croix refinery shuts indefinitely given ‘extreme financial constraints’
By Juliet Eilperin and Darryl Fears, 6/21/21

“The controversial St. Croix oil refinery that showered pollution on local residents said Monday that “extreme financial constraints” will force it to remain shut indefinitely, leaving the island at a crossroads,” the Washington Post reports. “While many residents welcomed the prospect that the U.S. Virgin Islands might shift away from fossil fuels, which has powered its economy for half-a-century, the refinery’s rapid economic collapse raises uncomfortable questions over how the island will move forward. Hundreds of people have reported falling ill or having their homes and drinking water wells covered in oil since Limetree Bay Refining started operations in February, while many others now find themselves out of work.The refinery — which received a greenlight to restart from the Trump administration — came under intense scrutiny after a plant mishap rained a fine mist of oil over homes more than three miles away, just three days after it resumed operations. A series of other accidents happened in quick succession, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily shut it down last month on the grounds that it posed an “imminent” public health threat.”

New York Times: Shell Gets Greener, Even as Climate Advocates Say, ‘Go Faster’
By Stanley Reed, 6/18/21

“On a clearing at the edge of a farm field, 40 big rectangular boxes the size of shipping containers sit behind a tall fence. Packed inside are stacks of lithium-ion cells and other electrical equipment. Wired together, these units will form Europe’s largest battery, the operators say, able to pump out powerful bursts of electricity to offset fluctuations in the power grid when ebbing winds or cloudy skies slow the generation of renewable electricity,” the New York Times reports. “As more power comes from wind and solar, the need for giant batteries will grow. One of the companies behind this 40-million-pound (about $56 million) project is Royal Dutch Shell. Like other oil giants, Shell is under pressure to move away from climate-damaging fossil fuels, and it is recasting itself as more of a renewable energy company, looking for investments as it sidles toward a new future… “All of the big oil companies, especially in Europe, share a similar dilemma. Their leaders see that demand for petroleum products is likely to eventually fade and that their industry faces growing disapproval, especially in Europe, because of its role in climate change. Shell is responsible for an estimated 3 percent of global emissions, mostly from the gasoline and other products burned by its customers. Yet Shell and other companies still make nearly all their profits from fossil fuels, and they are naturally wary of shedding the bulk of their vast oil and gas and petrochemical assets — worth about $180 billion in Shell’s case, according to Bernstein — especially when the consumption of petroleum is forecast to continue for years, a point underlined by this year’s surge in oil prices.”


Bloomberg: Maine Becomes First State to Order Public Fossil-Fuel Divestment
By Robert Tuttle, 6/17/21

“Maine became the first U.S. state to enact a law requiring divestment from fossil fuels, after Governor Janet Mills signed a measure ordering public funds to jettison investments in coal, petroleum, natural gas and related products” Bloomberg reports. “The state treasury and the $17 billion public employees’ pension fund must dump any fossil-fuel holdings by 2026, according to the measure signed on Wednesday. The Maine Public Employees Retirement System holds more than $1.3 billion in fossil fuel companies, according to environmental group Holdings as of the first quarter included Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., with both companies among the fund’s top 30 investments by market value, data posted on its website show. Public pension plans and college endowments have already stepped up efforts to address their investments in fossil fuels to fight climate change.”

Alleen Brown, 6/21/21

“THE LIQUID NATURAL gas industry is angling for cash from the Biden administration to help green its image abroad,” The Intercept reports.” The grants and subsidies are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industry infrastructure by helping LNG firms build out and modify planned export hubs using carbon capture technology — a controversial approach among climate experts, many of whom view it as “greenwashing,” putting an environmentally friendly patina on climatically dangerous energy efforts. Critics say any federal supports that prop up the growing U.S. LNG industry will doom efforts to reach international goals to contain the climate crisis. Even with carbon capture attached, LNG remains a polluting fossil fuel. Recent research suggests that for the goals of the Paris climate agreement to be met, planned LNG terminals either must be canceled or must shut down before the end of the new facilities’ lives, leaving billions of dollars in stranded assets. Adding expensive carbon capture infrastructure would only add new financial and political incentives to allow the industry to continue shipping natural gas — imperiling the possibility of meeting the Paris goals.”

Washington Post: Why has Andy Karsner frightened the mighty ExxonMobil?
By Steven Mufson, 6//19/21

“Clay Sell was drifting off to sleep at home in Dallas when the phone rang. It was Alexander “Andy” Karsner, who reported to Sell at the Energy Department during President George W. Bush’s administration and had become a friend,” the Washington Post reports. “As part of a rebel slate of nominees, Karsner was campaigning for a seat on ExxonMobil’s board of directors and was waiting to hear whether he had won a spot. He had just arrived in Dallas to visit his father, and he was wondering whether Sell could pick him up and talk about the oil Goliath. “It was classic Andy style,” Sell said of the late call. So Sell got dressed, and the pair went to the Katy Trail Ice House, a local watering hole. Karsner was confident he had the votes he needed but was waiting to see what sleight of hand ExxonMobil might deploy in the unprecedented vote-counting process that had already lasted days and seemed aimed at blocking Karsner’s effort. Sell didn’t get home until 2:30 a.m. On June 2, however, Karsner was declared the winner, a victory not only for him but for the small activist hedge fund Engine No. 1, which held just 0.02 percent of ExxonMobil’s stock but marshaled commanding support from investment managers, pensions funds and individual shareholders. Karsner became the third activist nominee to win a board seat over the objections of ExxonMobil’s management, which had declared the activist slate unqualified.”


USA Today: Biden must stop methane pipelines to deliver on climate change and environmental justice
Crystal Cavalier of North Carolina is a member of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Tribe and is working on her doctoral dissertation, “Missing Murdered Indigenous Women in Frontline Natural Gas Pipeline Communities.” Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) is director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center and author of “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.” 6/21/21

“Four years of President Donald Trump have cost America dearly,” Crystal Cavalier and Michael E. Mann write in USA Today. “We lost our global leadership on addressing climate change and saw the struggle for environmental justice thwarted here at home. President Joe Biden has defined both of these objectives as cornerstones of his legacy, but a huge interstate methane gas pipeline now being rammed through the Appalachian Mountains threatens to undermine the progress his administration has promised. The 42-inch diameter Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) would run 303 miles from West Virginia to Virginia, and it is one of the biggest U.S. gas pipelines in process… The MVP pipeline and its extension roughly follow the Native American Great Trading Path through Virginia and North Carolina, and tribal representatives are concerned the projects would desecrate sacred sites. Construction of the MVP mainline has already impacted sites on the traditional homeland of the Monacan Indian Nation (federally recognized in 2018), and Occaneechi, Saponi and Tutelo tribes, including a burial mound near Roanoke, Virginia, dating back several thousand years. Despite requests by tribes for consultation with the FERC to ensure cultural resources were protected, they were largely ignored. The developer, describing the burial mound as a rock “push pile,” has clear-cut the woodlands within yards of the site.  Last month, FERC reached out to the Monacan Indian Nation to start consultation… “We fervently hope the Biden administration intends to make genuine progress on the paired crises of climate change and environmental justice. The MVP, for starters, has no place in that vision for America.”

Lincoln Journal Star: Editorial: Keystone XL pipeline’s time came and went

“There was a time when the Keystone XL pipeline, which was officially declared dead and laid to rest last week after more than a decade of legal wangling, made perfect sense,” the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board writes. “In fact, when it first came to our attention sometime in 2009, this editorial board was in favor of it. It supported the project because of the safety of pipelines relative to other forms of transporting oil, such as rail, and the construction jobs it promised to bring.That was at a time when America was digging itself out of the Great Recession. Jobs — any jobs — were considered a good thing, as were the easement payments landowners would have received to subsidize their income at a time when their farms were struggling. A dozen years later, we’ve done an about face. We support doing away with the pipeline because our world today is a far different place than it was back then and continued delays made the pipeline increasingly less feasible… “But make no mistake, Biden would have never stopped the pipeline were it not for a handful of Nebraskans, who proved to be the project’s lone impediment. The grassroots coalition of environmentalists, farmers, ranchers and property-rights advocates who fought the pipeline every step of the way can officially celebrate a victory. They took what many deemed to be an economic issue and forced everyone to see the environmental side of it… “We wish the politics of the day didn’t have to cloud every decision made these days, but it’s hard to argue with the present-day facts and future projections. Ending Keystone was the right call.”

Toronto Sun: GOLDSTEIN: Growing Indigenous support for pipelines, oil sector, says report
Lorrie Goldstein, 6/22/21

“Considering how the issue is being debated in Canada, you’d think Indigenous Canadians are unanimously opposed to pipelines and the development of our oil and natural gas resources,” Lorrie Goldstein writes in the Toronto Sun. “In reality, as a new study by the Fraser Institute released Tuesday, First Nations and the Petroleum Industry — From Conflict to Cooperation, makes clear, nothing could be further from the truth. To the contrary, author Tom Flanagan writes, opposition from environmental groups which oppose all fossil fuel projects has, “inadvertently produced an alliance between the petroleum industry and many First Nations, who worry about lost royalties and jobs.” “…Many First Nations and Metis associations have signed Mutual Benefit Agreements (MBAs) with oil and gas companies, supporting pipeline construction, Flanagan says. For example, 20 out of the 20 elected band councils impacted by the Coastal GasLink Pipeline signed MBAs with the developer, TC Energy,in support of the project… “Similarly, 43 First Nations and Metis associations out of 56 signed MBAs for the Trans Mountain pipeline. Thirty-one First Nations and other Indigenous groups, representing 80% of the Indigenous population along the route, signed MBAs for the Northern Gateway pipeline, before the federal government cancelled it.”

Fox News: Left aims to defeat another pipeline, but Native American business leaders defend construction
By Fred Lucas, 6/21/21

“Matt Gordon, vice president of his family’s construction company in Mahnomen, Minnesota, and a member of the White Earth Nation tribe, was troubled when environmental protesters – some claiming to speak for Native Americans – vandalized his company’s equipment,” Fox News reports. “Gordon Construction is among the Native-owned companies that are contracting with the Canadian energy firm Enbridge on the construction of Line 3, a pipeline carrying oil from Canada into the United States. But climate activists – emboldened by stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline – have made Line 3 their new target… “I’m a contractor for excavation and all of my equipment on site was vandalized,” Matt Gordon told Fox News. “For the most part, a majority of the people are for the pipeline. Everybody enjoys gasoline and plastic products. The opponents are shielding themselves with Native Americans. Most of the protesters were White. Line 3 has brought back millions of dollars to the reservations.” More than 500 Native Americans are part of the Line 3 workforce, and the project could benefit Native American-owned small businesses in the region, with a total of 5,200 construction jobs, according to Enbridge.”

Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: Line 3’s economic benefit ‘outstanding’
Warren Stolp is a member of the Nashwauk Township Board, 6/21/21

“After a brutal year that impacted jobs, businesses, and families across the country, I have been blown away by the economic impact the Line 3 pipeline project has had in our state, Warren Stolp writes in the Duluth News Tribune. “With thousands of workers hired, Enbridge spent nearly $25 million in salaries to people who live or work in Minnesota. Just think of all this money spent and reinvested in our communities. Tax dollars are being spent on roads, parks, and schools. Workers are spending nights in hotels and are frequenting shops and restaurants while away from home, benefiting the small business owners across Minnesota who have been struggling due to the pandemic. Additionally, we have the amazing investments that Enbridge has made, focusing on tribal engagement, donations to local fire and police departments, and other charitable efforts to benefit the communities in which they are working.”

Albuquerque Journal: Put New Mexicans to work on oil and gas mess

“New Mexico is an oil and gas colony. The fossil fuel industry has operated in our state for more than a century, removing hundreds of billions of dollars of profit from New Mexico while leaving an expensive mess for New Mexicans to clean up,” Jim O’Donnell writes in the Albuquerque Journal. “While industry leaders crow about their contributions to New Mexico’s budget, the cost to clean up the mess they’ve left us pales in comparison to their contributions. There are an estimated 60,000 inactive wells statewide. They contaminate our groundwater, leak methane into the atmosphere, impact wildlife habitat and endanger the health of our people. It is also worth noting that there are another 53,000 active wells in New Mexico that will have to be cleaned up someday… “Our Congressional delegation must commit to introducing and passing the Abandoned Well Act of 2021. This bill would create an Abandoned Well Administration (AWA), and implement necessary regulation of oil and gas production. The AWA would employ a new federal workforce of displaced oil and gas workers. It would (also) identify and safely decommission the millions of oil and gas wells, and related infrastructure. From rig managers to drillers, to roughnecks and roustabouts – these folks possess valuable and needed skills to make our communities safer and healthier. AWA paychecks will pay local mortgages, fund local governments and schools, and support real families.”

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