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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/13/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 13, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Star TribuneMinnesota pollution regulator investigating Enbridge Line 3 nontoxic spill
  • Facebook: Honor the EarthOn Thursday, July 15th at 12pm, we will practice treaty rights and rally at the Shell River, where the Enbridge corporation is preparing to drill for the dangerous Line 3 tar sands pipeline
  • Facebook: Giniw Collective [VIDEO]: On July 7th, 4 Water Protectors stopped construction, in Lake Washburn, MN, slated to become the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline
  • Bemidji NowWHITE EARTH, HONOR THE EARTH CALL ON WALZ, BIDEN ADMINISTRATIONS TO STOP LINE 3
  • The Detroit NewsState, Enbridge aim to complete Line 5 mediation by end of August
  • Censored NewsTC Energy Canada linked to gas companies in Mexico protested by Yaqui who were assassinated
  • Roanoke TimesMountain Valley Pipeline to purchase $150 million in carbon offsets
  • E&E NewsPipeline goes CO2 neutral: Innovative or green washing?
  • S&P GlobalSpire STL Pipeline shutdown may affect operations, gas supply: Spire Missouri
  • Facebook: Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety [VIDEO]: Sinkhole swallows tree during the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline
  • KFYRProposed CO2 pipeline project in Mercer County
  • CNN.comBerkshire Hathaway scraps pipeline purchase because of antitrust concerns
  • Philadelphia InquirerA Chester County jury is being asked to decide if two state constables broke the law patrolling controversial pipeline project
  • News & AdvanceFor many Nelson County residents, victory over pipeline remains sweet one year later

WASHINGTON UPDATES

  • E&E NewsBiden paused leasing. Oil boomed anyway

STATE UPDATES

EXTRACTION

  • New York TimesE.P.A. Approved Toxic Chemicals for Fracking a Decade Ago, New Files Show
  • Morningstar.caStock of the Week: Enbridge: The market’s moving away from the oil sands
  • Calgary HeraldVarcoe: Kenney ‘urges’ oil producers to turn profits into more spending and jobs
  • Canadian PressShell proposes new carbon capture and storage project at Scotford Complex

OPINION

  • Holland SentinelMy Take: Enbridge’s Line 5 fines for trespassing keep racking up
  • SC TimesEnbridge tax refunds shouldn’t taint Line 3: Letter
  • Public BooksHOW TO DREAM BEYOND OIL
  • The HillTo fight ecocide, we have to criminalize it

PIPELINE NEWS

Star Tribune: Minnesota pollution regulator investigating Enbridge Line 3 nontoxic spill
By Brooks Johnson, 7/12/21

“The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is investigating a drilling fluid spill that occurred on the Willow River in Aitkin County at one of Enbridge’s construction sites for its new Line 3 oil pipeline,” the Star Tribune reports. “Drilling was halted after the nontoxic spill was discovered early July 6 and “containment and cleanup activities were started,” MPCA spokeswoman Cori Rude-Young told the Tribune.”The MPCA has been in regular communication with the on-site, independent environmental monitors and Enbridge Energy, and we have inspected the site cleanup,” she said… “The site where the spill occurred is one of several along the 340-mile route where Enbridge is undertaking horizontal directional drilling to bury its $3 billion pipeline below waterways. The drilling method involves sending a pressurized mud mixture into a tunnel beneath a stream bed before pulling the pipe through. Between 80 and 100 gallons of drilling mud were released, according to the MPCA. “There were no impacts to any aquifers nor were there downstream impacts because environmental control measures were installed at this location,” Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner said in a statement. “The drilling operation was immediately shut down, and crews followed the procedure for managing containment and cleanup of material as specified in project permits.” The company will need clearance from the MPCA before resuming drilling at the site, which is outside of Palisade in Aitkin County… “In addition to the drilling mud release, the MPCA is continuing to investigate “dewatering discharges” that have allegedly “been noncompliant with MPCA authorizations,” according to a letter sent in March to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The DNR recently approved Enbridge’s request to move 10 times as much water as originally planned throughout the project — about 5 billion gallons.”

Facebook: Honor the Earth: On Thursday, July 15th at 12pm, we will practice treaty rights and rally at the Shell River, where the Enbridge corporation is preparing to drill for the dangerous Line 3 tar sands pipeline
7/11/21

“Join generations of women who defend the rivers. Rise up like the waters. A society that permits violence on water and violence on women is a society we stand to change. On Thursday, July 15th at 12pm, we will practice treaty rights and rally at the Shell River, where the Enbridge corporation is preparing to drill for the dangerous Line 3 tar sands pipeline. Join Indigenous leaders and guests including V (formerly known as Eve Ensler, celebrated writer of the Vagina Monologues) and actress Marisa Tomei at the Shell City Campground in Menahga, Minnesota. People of all genders are welcome. Special guests at the rally will include Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. As Enbridge builds Line 3 through Anishinaabe treaty land and 20+ river crossings including the Shell River and the Mississippi Headwaters, we continue to stand strong in our resistance. We will not stand by and watch a fossil fuel corporation fill its pockets by poisoning our water, producing oil we don’t need. On Thursday, July 15, we will gather in Northern Minnesota to protect the rivers, four legged families and the land. We demand that Governor Walz and President Biden stop construction! The days of tar sands pipelines are over.Join us. We are growing. Please RSVP (+ get bus info) >> https://www.stopline3.org/events/womenfortherivers You are also invited to camp at the Shell City Campground with Honor The Earth the night before the rally.”

Facebook: Giniw Collective [VIDEO]: On July 7th, 4 Water Protectors stopped construction, in Lake Washburn, MN, slated to become the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline
7/12/21

“On July 7th, 4 Water Protectors stopped construction, in Lake Washburn, MN, slated to become the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline. As two crawled into the pipe itself, two others ascended up into the trees. “It feels like doing nothing is a greater risk than taking action. We’re in a crisis!” one exclaimed inside the pipe “An attack on the land is an attack on us as people, an attack on us as people is an attack on the land” JD, White Earth Anishinaabe Descendant. 8 were arrested including 4 media. All have since been released!”

Bemidji Now: WHITE EARTH, HONOR THE EARTH CALL ON WALZ, BIDEN ADMINISTRATIONS TO STOP LINE 3
7/12/21

“The White Earth Reservation Business Council and Honor the Earth held a press conference Friday in Mahnomen to call on the state and nation to end Line 3,” Bemidji Now reports. “Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project is nearing completion, and is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of this year. When complete, the pipeline will be able to transport 760,000 barrels of crude oil each day. The press conference highlighted concerns over the wild rice harvest. Frank Bebeau, executive director of the 1855 Treaty Authority, said wild rice is a central part of the Ojibwe culture… “Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, called on Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, an enrolled White Earth member, to stand up for the water and the Anishinaabeg. “There has been a total dereliction of trust responsibility duties by the federal government and the state government,” said LaDuke. “There has been mismanagement in the 1855 Treaty Territory.”

The Detroit News: State, Enbridge aim to complete Line 5 mediation by end of August
Beth LeBlanc, 7/9/21

“The state of Michigan and Enbridge expect to complete mediation over the future of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac by the end of August, the parties told a federal judge Thursday,” according to The Detroit News. “The parties are expected to meet with their mediator, former Detroit U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, on Aug. 11. They began meeting with Rosen in April about the ongoing dispute over the future of the 68-year-old pipeline. Enbridge wants to “work cooperatively to reconcile interests, resolve disputes and move forward” through the mediation process, spokesman Ryan Duffy said Friday. “We understand the stakes in this matter are important not only for Enbridge and the state, but for many others throughout the region that have strong interest in its outcome,” Duffy said in a statement. “Meanwhile, we will continue to safely and responsibly deliver the energy the region relies upon from the Line 5 system. ” Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office declined comment due to the confidential nature of the court-ordered mediation…  “Enbridge has secured permits from the state for the project but still lacks authorization from the Michigan Public Service Commission and federal permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both agencies have ordered environmental reviews of the project that could delay construction.”

Censored News: TC Energy Canada linked to gas companies in Mexico protested by Yaqui who were assassinated
Brenda Norrell, 7/8/21

“The tar sands corporation TC Energy in Canada is linked to the gas pipeline companies in Mexico protested by Yaqui who were assassinated,” according to Censored News. “The Agua Prieta pipeline is a natural gas pipeline project by IENova (a subsidiary of the Texas-based Sempra Energy) transporting natural gas from the U.S. state of Arizona to the northern Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa. The pipeline will cross the Yaqui River, the source of water for Yaqui in Sonora. Meanwhile, Peace Brigades International (PBI) reports, “The Yaqui have been fighting against the Independencia aqueduct that diverts water from the Yaqui River, and the gas pipeline of the company Gasoducto Aguaprieta, a subsidiary of Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova). Calgary-based TC Energy has partnered with IEnova to build the Sur de Texas – Tuxpan gas pipeline under the Gulf of Mexico.” PBI is demanding justice for the assassinations of Yaqui Rights Defenders and two journalists.”

Roanoke Times: Mountain Valley Pipeline to purchase $150 million in carbon offsets
Laurence Hammack, 7/12/21

“Airborne emissions from the operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline will be countered by the purchase of more than $150 million in carbon offsets, the company announced Monday,” the Roanoke Times reports. “The carbon offsets — which are a reduction in greenhouse gases made in one place to compensate for releases elsewhere — will be generated by a methane abatement program at a metallurgical coal mine in far Southwest Virginia. The mine produces coal used in the manufacture of steel. It will be the world’s largest such program at a coal mine, Mountain Valley said in a late-afternoon news release. Methane that the coal mine is currently authorized to emit will be converted into carbon dioxide and water vapor and released into the atmosphere, making up for 90% of the more harmful emissions that are expected to be generated by Mountain Valley’s operation and maintenance of the natural gas pipeline… “The program is designed to offset greenhouse gases released from the pipeline’s operation and maintenance, such as carbon dioxide from compressor stations and methane from other sources. It will not cover the burning of natural gas once it leaves the pipeline and is delivered to customers, which Mountain Valley says it has no direct control over.”

E&E News: Pipeline goes CO2 neutral: Innovative or green washing?
Carlos Anchondo, 7/13/21

“Developers of the Mountain Valley pipeline will buy more than $150 million in carbon offsets to make the conduit carbon-neutral during its first decade in service, according to an announcement yesterday that spurred allegations of green washing,” E&E News reports.

S&P Global: Spire STL Pipeline shutdown may affect operations, gas supply: Spire Missouri
Dyna Mariel Bade, 7/12/21

“Spire gas utility Spire Missouri expects a potential shuttering of the Spire STL Pipeline natural gas transportation project to “adversely” affect the company’s operations and financial condition,” S&P Global reports. “Spire Missouri’s announcement July 9 came after a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a June 22 decision vacated the Natural Gas Act certificate for Spire STL and remanded the case back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for appropriate action. In a July 9 SEC filing the company said Spire STL pipeline was being taken out of service and would “significantly [constrain]” the utility’s ability to secure new pipeline contracts on other systems serving the St. Louis region and it “would not be able to replace that supply based on current market and operating conditions.” If the pipeline is shuttered, Spire Missouri would need to create and implement a curtailment plan that could lead to service disruptions for customers, the gas utility said. Spire Missouri also noted that the pipeline played a role in providing gas service and lowering gas costs during the February extreme weather event.”

Facebook: Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety [VIDEO]: Sinkhole swallows tree during the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline
7/12/21

“Sinkhole swallows tree during the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline for plastics behind the Exton Library and Mall ! This is at least the 8 th sinkhole since drilling has begun at this Sunoco easement behind the library . The sinkhole is just feet away from the vintage 90 year old Sunoco 8 inch and 12 inch pipes currently carrying the highly explosive materials of ethane , butane or propane to make plastics oversees!”

KFYR: Proposed CO2 pipeline project in Mercer County
By Hayley Boland, 7/12/21

“The North Dakota Public Service Commission is considering a proposal from Dakota Gasification Company for a carbon dioxide pipeline project in Mercer County,” KFYR reports. “The proposal is for a total of 6.8 miles of carbon dioxide gas pipeline from Dakota Gasification’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant to six storage locations for the CO2… “This is really exciting. It’s really the beginning of a new chapter of energy development in North Dakota and that includes injecting CO2 into permanent storage, and it will be key to moving North Dakota’s energy industry forward,” Brian Kroshus, a ND Public Service Commissioner, told KFYR. “Next, the Public Service Commission will discuss the proposal in a work session, and decide whether to approve it for construction.”

CNN.com: Berkshire Hathaway scraps pipeline purchase because of antitrust concerns
By Paul R. La Monica, 7/12/21

“Warren Buffett may be one of the richest people on the planet, but even the Oracle of Omaha has to recognize the power of the United States government,” CNN.com reports. “Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) announced Monday it was scrapping plans to buy a big natural gas pipeline for more than $1.7 billion because of antitrust concerns. Oil Giant Dominion Energy (D) already completed the sale of gas transmission assets to Berkshire Hathaway’s energy subsidiary in November. But Dominion said the plan to sell its Questar Pipelines business to Buffett’s firm was canceled because of “ongoing uncertainty associated with achieving clearance from the Federal Trade Commission” for that part of the deal. Questar operates mainly in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. So there may have been FTC concerns about overlap with the Berkshire Hatahway Energy subsidiary PacifiCorp, which owns the Rocky Mountain Power energy company that serves customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho… “The decision to terminate the pipeline sale comes just days after President Joe Biden signed an executive order that calls for more scrutiny on mergers — including deals already completed — as well as more measures to promote competition in the US economy.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: A Chester County jury is being asked to decide if two state constables broke the law patrolling controversial pipeline project
Vinny Vella, 7/12/21

“Did two state constables break the law by drawing paychecks from Energy Transfer Partners for patrolling the company’s embattled Mariner East Pipeline? Or were they simply enjoying one of the perks of their elected positions by working a private security gig in their off-hours? Those were the dueling narratives presented Monday as a a Chester County jury began hearing the matter,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “Prosecutors, led by Assistant District Attorney Myles Matteson, say Kareem Johnson, 49, and Michael Robel, 59, abused their authority as constables by working for Energy Transfer Partners in 2018 and 2019 at a site in West Whiteland Township. The pair, Matteson said, displayed their guns and badges while patrolling the pipeline and pressured two journalists and a county detective to identify themselves and leave the public street where they parked. The two have been charged with bribery, official oppression, and violating the state’s Ethics Act by failing to report their income made from Energy Transfer— almost $28,000 for Robel and about $37,000 for Johnson. “We want our elected officials to be ethical, to work for the people who elected them,” Matteson said. “Not line their pockets with a company’s money.” But Casey White, Johnson’s lawyer, told jurors Monday that Matteson and his colleagues “were shoving a narrative down [their] throats” that misstated the facts of the case. “Constables are allowed to do what these two men did,” White said. “They’re allowed to do private security work, period.”

News & Advance: For many Nelson County residents, victory over pipeline remains sweet one year later
Nick Cropper, 7/10/21

“More than 100 opponents of the now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline gathered Saturday at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nelson County for a celebration more than a year in the making,” the News & Advance reports. “Dozens were grouped under white tents with overlapping chatter and music filling the air. The area was decorated with anti-pipeline paraphernalia, and many wore blue “No Pipeline” T-shirts. “I’m sure you all remember what it felt like when you heard the news that the pipeline was canceled,” Joyce Burton, with Friends of Nelson, said as she clutched a copy of the Nelson County Times with the headline that read, “Atlantic Coast Pipeline canceled.” “I just remember the disbelief; I had bruises on my arm from pinching myself. I’m really excited that now, after a year, we’re finally able to reconnect with that feeling of relief we had back then,” Burton said… “The Saturday evening event, hosted by Richard Averitt, an ACP opponent whose land was in the path of the proposed pipeline, featured a lineup of speakers headlined by Ernie Reed, chair of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors and the former head of Friends of Nelson.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

E&E News: Biden paused leasing. Oil boomed anyway
Heather Richards, 7/13/21

“President Biden is overseeing an oil boom, despite a pause on new federal leasing. What does the spike signal for emissions and the president’s clean energy agenda?,” E&E News reports.

STATE UPDATES

Carlsbad Current Argus: How big oil keeps a grip on New Mexico – with the help of a major lobbyist
Cody Nelson for Floodlight and Adrian Hedden for the Carlsbad Current-Argus, 7/11/21

“When Joe Biden paused oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands earlier this year, the alarm bells rang in south-eastern New Mexico,” the Carlsbad Current Argus reports. “Officials in Eddy county – which, along with neighboring Lea county, holds New Mexico’s share of the oil- and gas-rich Permian Basin – immediately worried about potential economic fallout. “This news is exceptionally disappointing,” county manager Allen Davis wrote in an email to colleagues. “The message couldn’t be more clear: south-east New Mexico is not a business friendly for an industry that has sustained the state of New Mexico finances for decades [sic].” Situated in the Chihuahuan desert of New Mexico’s staunchly Republican south-east region, Eddy county is a rural, industrial area, where the top employers are in the mining and oil and gas industries. And county leaders appeared to be depending on their influential allies, including the international lobbying firm FTI Consulting, to keep it that way. FTI, best known for consulting large corporations, has previously worked on behalf of major oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron and Cimarex. But for the past several years, it has also had lobbying contracts with much smaller clients: Eddy county and the city of Carlsbad, the county seat. Emails, contracts and other records obtained by Floodlight and the watchdog organization Documented show how FTI has used its footholds in Carlsbad and Eddy county for years to help push pro fossil-fuel messaging and policy. At the same time, FTI has been able to give its energy company clients easy access to local officials. The firm and one of its spinoffs are not registered as lobbyists with the state.”

Casper Star Tribune: 216 projects funded in second round of Energy Rebound Program
Nicole Pollack, 7/10/21

“The $12 million in CARES Act funding allocated for the second round of the Energy Rebound Program will be distributed among 216 selected projects, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced Friday,” the Casper Star Tribune reports. “Gov. Mark Gordon established the Energy Rebound Program last November in an effort to spur development and generate jobs in the struggling oil and gas industry. The program reimburses up to $500,000 per project for three types of activities interrupted by the pandemic-fueled energy market collapse: completing unfinished wells, redrilling existing wells and reclaiming abandoned wells. “What this program was designed to do is really try to jump-start those projects that, because of COVID, maybe didn’t quite make economic sense,” Ryan McConnaughey, communications director for the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, told the Tribune. In the first round of the program, which was administered by the Wyoming Business Council, 292 oil and gas projects received $30 million in CARES Act dollars. During last year’s cycle, Gordon doubled the original sum of $15 million in response to high demand.

EXTRACTION

New York Times: E.P.A. Approved Toxic Chemicals for Fracking a Decade Ago, New Files Show
By Hiroko Tabuchi, 7/12/21

“For much of the past decade, oil companies engaged in drilling and fracking have been allowed to pump into the ground chemicals that, over time, can break down into toxic substances known as PFAS — a class of long-lasting compounds known to pose a threat to people and wildlife — according to internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency,” the New York Times reports. “The E.P.A. in 2011 approved the use of these chemicals, used to ease the flow of oil from the ground, despite the agency’s own grave concerns about their toxicity, according to the documents, which were reviewed by The New York Times. The E.P.A.’s approval of the three chemicals wasn’t previously publicly known. The records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by a nonprofit group, Physicians for Social Responsibility, are among the first public indications that PFAS, long-lasting compounds also known as “forever chemicals,” may be present in the fluids used during drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In a consent order issued for the three chemicals on Oct. 26, 2011, E.P.A. scientists pointed to preliminary evidence that, under some conditions, the chemicals could “degrade in the environment” into substances akin to PFOA, a kind of PFAS chemical, and could “persist in the environment” and “be toxic to people, wild mammals, and birds.” “…The E.P.A. identified serious health risks associated with chemicals proposed for use in oil and gas extraction, and yet allowed those chemicals to be used commercially with very lax regulation,” Dusty Horwitt, researcher at Physicians for Social Responsibility, told the Times. “…But the FracFocus database, which tracks chemicals used in fracking, shows that about 120 companies used PFAS — or chemicals that can break down into PFAS; the most common of which was “nonionic fluorosurfactant” and various misspellings — in more than 1,000 wells between 2012 and 2020 in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Because not all states require companies to report chemicals to the database, the number of wells could be higher.”

Morningstar.ca: Stock of the Week: Enbridge: The market’s moving away from the oil sands
Andrew Willis, 7/12/21

“Enbridge was once a rare ‘triple threat’ – a stock offering a high yield, wide moat, and undervalued share price. But that’s changed as a core business of theirs is now they’re under threat – and disproportionately more so than peers,” according to Morningstar.ca. “We can’t give the company a wide moat anymore when oil sands carbon intensity is among the highest of all the oil basins that we cover. And stakeholder challenges related to greenhouse gas emissions make a material difference to our fair value when they can impact every new major project the company embarks on. And apart from the risks related to the production of oil, we see more struggles ahead on the sales side of the equation… “With ESG issues affecting Enbridge from so many angles, we appreciate the company’s investments in hydrogen and other renewable energy – because a lot more may be needed to make those dividends sustainable.”

Calgary Herald: Varcoe: Kenney ‘urges’ oil producers to turn profits into more spending and jobs
Chris Varcoe, 7/13/21

“How does the Alberta government get the oilpatch to spend more money?,” the Calgary Herald reports. “As the Canadian oil and gas sector accelerates into the second half of the year with revenues taking off, one of the biggest conundrums facing the UCP government is how to coax the industry to open up its collective pocketbook and create more jobs. Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage will be sitting down with oil and gas company leaders later this week to talk about it. The premier anticipates spending levels will soon rise. “We do expect them to (spend more). Look, I understand they’ve had to repair damaged balance sheets from last year’s price collapse and the last five tough years,” Kenney told the Herald. “But we believe many of the strongest companies have paid down debt, bought back shares, improved dividends and are now massively undervalued in the equity markets. But they now have cash on hand, many of them very large reserves of cash on hand, and we urge them to translate a lot of that cash into new capital investment.”

Canadian Press: Shell proposes new carbon capture and storage project at Scotford Complex
7/13/21

“Shell Canada Ltd. has proposed a plan to build a large-scale carbon capture and storage project at its Scotford Complex near Edmonton,” according to the Canadian Press. “Carbon capture and storage projects use technology to capture carbon dioxide and store it underground instead of allowing it to be released into the atmosphere. Shell says it would build on the experience gained from the Quest CCS facility that it operates on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture at the Scotford Complex. It says the first phase of the Polaris CCS project would capture and store 750,000 tonnes a year of carbon dioxide from the Scotford refinery and chemicals plant.”

OPINION

Holland Sentinel: My Take: Enbridge’s Line 5 fines for trespassing keep racking up
Noah Marshall-Rashid, Co-owner of American Spoon, Petoskey, 7/12/21

“It’s been nearly two months since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Enbridge Energy to cease operation of the Line 5 oil pipeline by revoking a state easement but since then little has changed,” Noah Marshall-Rashid writes in the Holland Sentinel. “Enbridge is still operating the dangerous and deteriorating Line 5 pipeline – trespassing to do so — and racking up millions in daily fines. Let’s not forget — Line 5 has leaked oil at least 33 times, spilling more than 1 million gallons.  Line 5 was built to last about 50 years and at 68 years old, it’s still pumping 23 million gallons through Lake Michigan and Lake Huron each day… “Simply put, Line 5 is a ticking time bomb in our region and we cannot wait for the necessary permitting process around a potential tunnel to unfold to see how long our luck will last. Enbridge has ignored popular outcry, scientific facts and now the Governor’s order. Their behavior is a disgrace. The specialty food business my family created in 1982, American Spoon, has been built on relationships with our neighbors, our community and our state. American Spoon is a member of the Great Lakes Business Network because we are committed to protecting our Great Lakes by addressing threats to our waters. There’s no greater threat to the Great Lakes than the continued operation of Line 5.”

SC Times: Enbridge tax refunds shouldn’t taint Line 3: Letter
Tami LePier, LePier Oil Co. Inc., 7/12/21

“Recently, there was an article highlighting a property tax issue involving the Line 3 pipeline project, Enbridge and some of our local counties here in Northern Minnesota. Predictably, pipeline opponents took the opportunity to pounce on the issue and spread misinformation on the topic,” Tami LePier writes in the SC Times. “A recent decision by the Supreme Court stated that Minnesota’s Department of Revenue overvalued the property tax related to the Line 3 project. Because of this, Enbridge was forced to pay more in taxes than they should have. But the solution here is not simple nor pretty… “Because Line 3 opponents either have an inability to understand the issue, or are deliberately choosing to lie about it, I wanted to clear up any misconceptions. This mistake was not made by Enbridge, or by our counties. This mistake was made by the State of Minnesota’s Department of Revenue… “Our county leaders did nothing wrong. Enbridge did nothing wrong, and thankfully now the Legislature will make sure the state fixes this. It is one thing to be against the Line 3 pipeline project, but if you have to spread lies and mistruths to get your point across, you should probably reassess your position.”

Public Books: HOW TO DREAM BEYOND OIL
Jeffrey Insko, 7/12/21

“Truth is, as long as most of us desire modern conveniences,” argues Mike Fernandez, senior vice president for Enbridge Energy, “what is in Line 3’s pipeline will be needed to drive, cook, heat our homes, fly on planes and manufacture products.” Fernandez’s remarks appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this past January, as part of a deliberate campaign to counter opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. How could one protest a pipeline, Fernandez argues, while “what is in [it]” is something (he does not say oil) that we all “need”?, Jeffrey Insko writes for Public Books. “Pipelines, and the fuels they transport, Fernandez understands as responses to our collective desire for certain “modern conveniences.” The cultural critic Imre Szeman’s work—as demonstrated recently in two books, On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, and Energy and Energy Culture: Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond, the latter coedited with Jeff Diamanti—turns that formulation on its head. In his essay “How to Know about Oil,” for example, Szeman notes how oil has become so naturalized that we’ve learned to think of it only as “a material resource squeezed into a social form that pre-exists it, rather than the other way around.” Instead, Szeman argues, oil constitutes those social forms (suburban homes, consumer choice, cheap flights, etc.). What that means is that Fernandez is wrong: the oil that Line 3 transports generates the very desires it is said to satisfy.”

The Hill: To fight ecocide, we have to criminalize it
Tanya Sanerib is the international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, 7/12/21

“As we face the urgent crises of climate and extinction, we need every tool available — including the law — to fight for life on Earth. By identifying “ecocide” as a prosecutable crime, as a panel of 12 lawyers recently proposed to the International Criminal Court, we can set up a practical framework for tackling these emergencies,” Tanya Sanerib writes in The Hill. “The legal panel defined ecocide as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment.” It’s launching a global campaign to list ecocide as an international crime. Currently, the court can prosecute four crimes: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression. Ecocide would be the fifth. The term “ecocide” was coined by bioethicist Arthur Galston in the 1970s to refer to intentional destruction of a specific environment. It was inspired by the U.S. use of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange in the Vietnam War and is now used more broadly to refer to a wide range of environmentally destructive behaviors. Extractive industries and their enablers are the root cause of the biodiversity and climate emergencies that are becoming, every season and every year, more extreme and more glaringly obvious… “The climate and extinction crises we’re faced with demand a language and legal ethos that match the urgency of the situation… “The ICC can help achieve both those goals by classifying ecocide as a prosecutable crime.”

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