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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/22/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 22, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Facebook: Honor the EarthAfter standing up for the Shell River Winona LaDuke was not released from Wadena County Jail
  • Facebook: Indigenous Environmental Network [VIDEO]: An Enbridge crew was caught scrambling to clean up a fracking liquid spill
  • Facebook: Red Lake Treaty CampThe meeting with the Corps went well
  • Drilled NewsIndigenous Water Protectors, Allies Protesting Line 3 First Ever To Be Cited Under Obscure County Ordinance In Minnesota
  • The InterceptMINNESOTA POLICE EXPECTED PIPELINE BUDGET BOOST TO FUND NEW WEAPONS
  • Natural Gas IntelligenceCanadian Regulator Approves Route Change for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion
  • ReutersEnergy Transfer to finish Pa. NGL line expansion in Q3 despite opposition
  • Natural Gas IntelligenceMDU Begins Work on Bakken Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion
  • KUMDGreen Visions: “We can’t dodge these elements of power”
  • KPFA UpfrontEnbridge Line 3 ramps up surveillance tactics against water defenders; Kanahus Manuel on her father’s experience at Kamloops Residential School
  • Hellenic Shipping NewsNew Pipeline Flows Support Crude Prices
  • Energy News NetworkWould Upper Midwest carbon capture pipelines offer a lifeline to coal plants?
  • KFGOPipeline break spews 41,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater
  • The HillTSA issues second security directive to secure pipelines against cyberattacks
  • Resilience.orgKXL Victory Celebrations Roll Across the Great Plains

WASHINGTON UPDATES

STATE UPDATES

  • Cheyenne PostOil and gas were core of Wyoming economy before pandemic, industry report finds
  • Columbus DispatchProposed Ohio cracker plant awaits final air permit decision; still no partner for project

EXTRACTION

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

  • GuardianAre we being kept safe from ‘forever chemicals’ injected into fracking sites?
  • Rolling StoneThe Oil and Gas Industry Produces Radioactive Waste. Lots of It

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • E&E NewsLawsuits target Exxon’s social media ‘green washing’
  • Press releaseDucks Unlimited Canada joins forces with Government of Quebec and TC Energy to conserve wetlands with outstanding biodiversity on Sainte-Thérèse Island

OPINION

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: Honor the Earth: After standing up for the Shell River Winona LaDuke was not released from Wadena County Jail
7/22/21

“After standing up for the Shell River on her #treatyterritory #winonaladuke Winona LaDuke was not released from Wadena County Jail and instead she was held and transferred to Aitkin County Jail where #Ojibwe women are singing for her outside the #jail.”

Facebook: Indigenous Environmental Network [VIDEO]: An Enbridge crew was caught scrambling to clean up a fracking liquid spill
7/20/21

“An ominous scene was captured today as an Enbridge crew was caught scrambling to clean up a fracking liquid spill at the site of the first Fire Light camp, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota. The spill took place during a press conference being hosted by Rights of the Mississippi River, and a tour of the location, hosted by the RISE Coalition. Present at the event were Minnesota State Senators, Erin Murphy and Scott Dibble, as well as State Representatives Heather Keeler and Frank Hornstein. Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline has a lengthy and troubling history of spills including the 1991 Line 3 oil spill, the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history. That tragic incident resulted in 1.7 million gallons of crude oil spilled in Grand Rapids Minnesota and in the Prairie River, a tributary of the Mississippi River.”

Facebook: Red Lake Treaty Camp: The meeting with the Corps went well
7/21/21

“The meeting with the Corps went well. After the initial meeting this am we were able to show them several hard hit spots of the drought along the river systems. They seemed to have been very concerned and some of them look outright shocked at some of the things they were hearing and seeing. Let’s hope they think hard on this. It’s a No Brainer. Cancel the permits.🔜 🚫”

Drilled News: Indigenous Water Protectors, Allies Protesting Line 3 First Ever To Be Cited Under Obscure County Ordinance In Minnesota
by Karen Savage, 7/19/21

“Opponents to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline expansion project in Minnesota have filed a lawsuit against Hubbard County for blockading access to an Indigenous-led camp and convergence space,” Drilled News reports. “In the suit, which was filed Friday in Hubbard County District Court, Winona LaDuke, Tara Houska, and two additional plaintiffs allege that the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office illegally blockaded the camp driveway last month and is continuing to issue citations to Indigenous water protectors and their allies for using the driveway. They are the first and only individuals ever to be cited for allegedly violating county ordinance #36, which went into effect in 2007, according to public records obtained by Drilled News. The ordinance prohibits vehicular use on certain county-owned land without the county’s permission.  The citations raise questions about whether the sheriff’s department is selectively enforcing the law, and about the financial arrangement Enbridge has with Minnesota law enforcement. The Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Northern Lights Task Force a coalition of state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies created to respond to pipeline resistance… “Pipeline opponents say the arrangement, thought to be one of the first in the nation, has turned local sheriff’s deputies into corporate mercenaries. “Shame on Hubbard County, shame on Minnesota, and shame on public servants who have clearly forgotten who their duty is owed to,” Tara Houska, an environmental and Indigenous rights attorney and a leader of efforts to stop Line 3, told Drilled. “Enbridge is a foreign corporation sucking Minnesota’s rivers dry, violating Anishinaabe treaty rights, and colluding financially with Minnesota’s police forces. What part of any of that is in the public interest?”

The Intercept: MINNESOTA POLICE EXPECTED PIPELINE BUDGET BOOST TO FUND NEW WEAPONS
Alleen Brown, 7/22/21

“A FEW WEEKS before a controversial oil pipeline was approved for construction in his area, Aitkin County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Cook bought a new assault rifle that cost $725. The purchase was part of an effort to standardize police weaponry, said Cook’s boss, the local sheriff, and was unrelated to the Line 3 pipeline being built by Enbridge. Cook himself, however, told the gun seller that Enbridge could play a role in boosting the agency’s arsenal,” according to The Intercept. ““Our budget took a hit last week, so that’s all we will be ordering for now,” the deputy said in a November 2020 email about his purchase. “I’m hoping the pipeline will give us an extra boost to next year’s budget, which should make it easy for me to propose an upgrade/trade to your rifles rather than a rebuild of our 8 Bushmasters” — a reference to another make of assault rifles. The email suggests that at least some law enforcement officers anticipate new policing resources if the pipeline, Enbridge’s Line 3, is completed. The document, obtained through a public records request, provides an elegant example of how everyday oil and gas investments make it all the harder for local economies to transition away from the fossil fuel industry. The deputy appeared to be describing a banal but lucrative benefit aligning local police interests with the oil pipeline: property taxes.” “They clearly have a belief or awareness that there is a pot of gold should they succeed in stopping the water protectors from being able to stop Line 3,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s Center for Protest Law and Litigation and an attorney representing water protectors, told The Intercept. “This deputy is obviously looking to line the county sheriff’s armory with this money.”

Natural Gas Intelligence: Canadian Regulator Approves Route Change for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion
BY GORDON JAREMKO, 7/21/21

“Trans Mountain Corp. has won approval from Canadian federal authorities for a route detour to end a prolonged Indigenous territorial and environmental dispute that threatened to delay its C$12.6 billion ($10 billion) Trans Mountain Expansion crude pipeline project (TMX),” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) on Monday authorized the construction change, observing that no opposition had emerged against the new TMX route past the Coldwater Indian Band’s homeland in a mountain valley 270 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of Vancouver. The expansion would triple the amount of crude oil capacity on the existing Trans Mountain system to 890,000 b/d. The system carries oil from landlocked Alberta to the British Columbia coast.Coldwater had supported the detour as an acceptable settlement of its years-long objection to the project. The new route, known as the West Alternative, moves the TMX pipeline downhill and away from an underground aquifer that the tribe taps for its water supply.”

Reuters: Energy Transfer to finish Pa. NGL line expansion in Q3 despite opposition
7/21/21

“U.S. energy company Energy Transfer LP said on Wednesday it plans to finish the final phase of its long-delayed Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline expansion in Pennsylvania in the third quarter despite calls by county commissioners to shut some operating parts of the system,” Reuters reports. “Earlier this week, Chester County Commissioners asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to shut the operating Mariner East 1 and a 12-inch (30-cm) “workaround” pipe being used by the Mariner East 2 expansion, according to local media. The county commissioners said several sinkholes have developed this year near the Mariner East 2 construction site in West Whiteland Township in southeastern Pennsylvania about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Philadelphia… “In regards to the Chester County request, a spokesperson at Energy Transfer said “there are no safety concerns regarding the ongoing operations of our active pipelines in this area, which have safely operated for years.”

Natural Gas Intelligence: MDU Begins Work on Bakken Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion
BY LETICIA GONZALES, 7/21/21

“An MDU Resources Group Inc. subsidiary has started construction on nearly 100 miles of new natural gas pipeline and other infrastructure that would boost takeaway capacity from the Bakken Shale in northwestern North Dakota,” Natural Gas Intelligence reports. “FERC on July 8 gave the all-clear for WBI Energy Inc. to begin work on the 250 MMcf/d North Bakken Expansion project… “The project includes about 63 miles of 24-inch diameter natural gas pipeline and 30 miles of 12-inch diameter natural gas pipeline, as well as a new compressor station and additional associated infrastructure. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the pipeline expansion in June. WBI, which transports more than half of the natural gas produced in the Bakken, said the project would reduce natural gas flaring in the region by providing producers an additional outlet to move molecules to market.”

KUMD: Green Visions: “We can’t dodge these elements of power”
By LISA JOHNSON, 7/21/21

“It was supposed to be a chance for scientists, Indigenous organizers and leaders, and a broad swath of regional decision-makers at all levels to come together and see first-hand what the drought is doing to the lakes and rivers in northern Minnesota,” KUMD reports. “At issue is Enbridge’s recent request to take almost five billion gallons of water as they work their way across the state with the Line 3 pipeline replacement project. And with the most widespread drought areas in the state in eight years, those five billion gallons are looking more and more significant. Then, in the middle of the tour, attendees came across a group of Enbridge employees working to clean up a frac-out – a spill of drilling fluid – in a wetland. The video posted of the frac-out aftermath is here.”

KPFA Upfront: Enbridge Line 3 ramps up surveillance tactics against water defenders; Kanahus Manuel on her father’s experience at Kamloops Residential School
7/20/21

“On today’s show: We speak with Alleen Brown (@AlleenBrown), environmental justice reporter for the Intercept about her investigation of Enbridge and its surveillance of water protectors along the route of its Line 3 pipeline,” KPFA Upfront reports. “0:21 – Christina Aanestad reports on results of the Pacifica bylaws vote. 0:33 – Lastly, we hear stories from Kamloops Residential School where hundreds of unmarked graves of indigenous children are being exhumed – Kanahus Manuel (@KanahusFreedom), water protector, birth keeper, and a member of the activist group Tiny House Warriors; part of the mobilization to stop Canada’s tar sands pipeline joins us from the Secwepemc and Ktunaxa Nations to talk about her late father and grandfather who both attended Kamloops Residential School.”

Hellenic Shipping News: New Pipeline Flows Support Crude Prices
7/22/21

“Analysis of pipeline flows, highlighted in ESAI Energy’s recent North America Watch, found that more Canadian crude oil will be directed to the US Gulf Coast (USGC) over the coming year as new pipeline capacity comes online helping offset some of the downward price pressure of relatively strong Oil Sands production growth,” according to Hellenic Shipping News. “ESAI Energy reports that additional pipeline egress will accommodate annual production growth of around 350,000 b/d from Alberta in 2021. The 390,000 b/d Line 3 Replacement in Q4-2021 will deliver Canadian barrels to the US Midwest and to expanded connections to the USGC. Additionally, the long-awaited reversal of the Capline will likely take Canadian crude from Patoka, Illinois to refining markets in Louisiana once it starts in early 2022, shown in the map below… “Elisabeth Murphy, upstream analyst at ESAI Energy, told HSN that “as contracts roll-off older pipelines, especially those to Cushing, more Permian crude will be directed to the USGC, enhanced by low tariffs and higher netbacks. Foreign demand for US exports held up remarkably well in 2020, and looks to remain strong in the coming year.”

Energy News Network: Would Upper Midwest carbon capture pipelines offer a lifeline to coal plants?
Karen Uhlenhuth, 7/21/21

“An environmental group is warning that a proposed pipeline network that would carry carbon emissions to underground storage in Illinois and North Dakota could also extend the life of fossil fuel power plants in the Upper Midwest,” Energy News Network reports. “The recently announced projects would immediately benefit ethanol producers, but the Sierra Club says they might also offer a regulatory or economic lifeline to coal-fired power plants in the region under future federal emissions policies. The pipelines and storage sites, still in very early planning stages, are being promoted as a solution for ethanol refineries. “…A partnership of Battelle and Catahoula Resources envisions burying waste CO2 from Nebraska’s 25 ethanol plants in nearby saline reservoirs. Two pipelines, announced in the past few months, would deliver CO2 from Midwestern ethanol plants to salty storage beds located deep underground in North Dakota and Illinois. Navigator CO2 Ventures and the investment firm BlackRock are planning a 1,200-mile pipeline to collect carbon dioxide from “industrial sources” in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois and stashing it underground in Illinois. A tentative route angles from northwest to southeast Iowa. It would pass fairly close to three of the state’s four largest coal-burning power plants: the George Neal Energy Center and the Louisa and Ottumwa generating stations… “Another possible source of CO2, at least in theory, is coal-fired power plants, of which the Midwest has plenty. Some clean-energy advocates worry that a carbon capture system, even if established initially for ethanol and other industrial producers, might eventually start removing carbon emissions from power plants. They fear that the technology, especially supported by sufficient tax incentives, could change the emissions math enough to allow coal-fired plants to operate for much longer than they would otherwise… “While it hasn’t developed a position on the use of CCS in the ethanol industry, Sierra Club is unequivocally opposed to operating carbon capture at coal plants. The technology is costly and energy- and water-intensive, Laurie Williams, a senior attorney for the Sierra Club, told ENN.”

KFGO: Pipeline break spews 41,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater
Paul Jurgens, 7/21/21

“Nearly 41,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater has spilled from a broken pipeline in western North Dakota, impacting an unknown amount of land,” KFGO reports. “The North Dakota Department of Environmental quality says Kansas-based Tallgrass Energy reported the produced water spill on Monday near Watford City. It was not immediately known what caused the leak… “A regulator says the wastewater migrated at least a half-mile break in the pipeline. Some of the water spilled in a dry drainage ditch that connects to Spring Creek, a tributary to the Little Missouri River.”

The Hill: TSA issues second security directive to secure pipelines against cyberattacks
BY MAGGIE MILLER, 7/20/21

“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Tuesday issued a second security directive meant to strengthen critical pipelines against cyberattacks in the wake of the crippling ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline earlier this year,” The Hill reports. “Under the directive, owners and operators of critical pipelines transporting gasoline or other hazardous liquids are required to take specific security measures to protect against ransomware attacks, develop recovery plans in the event of an attack and review their existing cybersecurity plans. The first security directive was issued by TSA, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in May, and required pipeline companies to report cybersecurity incidents within 12 hours to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). It also required owners and operators of critical pipelines to carry out assessments of existing cybersecurity practices to identify potential gaps and report their findings to TSA and CISA within 30 days. Both directives are being rolled out in the wake of the attack on Colonial Pipeline, the provider of 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply. The attack caused gas shortages in several states for a week, and was later linked by the FBI to Russian-based cyber criminal group DarkSide.”

Resilience.org: KXL Victory Celebrations Roll Across the Great Plains
By Talli Nauman, 7/21/21

“The Keystone XL victory was sweet for Native pipeline foes in unceded Lakota treaty territory, and a month later, they were still celebrating,” Resilience.org reports. “The historic victory over Canadian oil giant TC Energy Corp., however, did not erase the dire need of support for the ongoing effort — both here and along other pipeline construction routes… “The people of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation) initially opposed KXL for violating constitutional law by taking treaty-protected land without consultation or consent. Tribal governments and constituents likewise criticized the megaproject for menacing water supplies in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska… “Still reveling in the KKL victory a month later, a contingent of grassroots pipeline opponents gathered on July 10 at Bridger on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. Participants prayed and feasted in one of many celebratory events to take place across the Northern Great Plains, where the private hazardous infrastructure megaproject had been slated to cross vital waterways and habitat.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico Morning Energy: BIOFUELS BATTLE BILL
Matthew Choi, 7/21/21

“Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would eliminate volume requirements for corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard but leave in place volume obligations for advanced and cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “The federal corn ethanol mandate no longer makes sense when better, lower-carbon alternatives exist,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Corn ethanol achieves little to no reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It’s time to end the mandate and instead support more advanced biofuels and biodiesel that won’t contribute to climate change or drive up the cost of food.”

STATE UPDATES

Cheyenne Post: Oil and gas were core of Wyoming economy before pandemic, industry report finds
Nicole Pollack, 7/20/21

“Before the mass layoffs of 2020, one-sixth of Wyoming’s jobs and more than a quarter of its GDP came from the oil and gas industry.  A report released Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute found that in 2019, the industry directly supported 28,270 jobs — 6.8% of the state’s total employment. It generated 18% of Wyoming’s GDP and 17.3% of its labor income, including wages, salaries, benefits and proprietors’ income,” the Cheyenne Post reports. “Through indirect impacts, which occur along the supply chain, and induced impacts, which come from the spending of industry-related earnings, oil and gas supported another 9.8% of jobs, 8.3% of GDP and 8.3% of labor income in the state.Nationally, the industry impacted 5.6% of U.S. jobs, 7.9% of GDP and 6.8% of labor income, according to the report. “Stepping back from those specific numbers, I think what this study tells us is that the oil and natural gas industry will be essential in the post-pandemic recovery,” Frank Macchiarola, API’s senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs, told the Post. “Not just in creating good paying jobs and economic growth, but also in providing for low-cost energy for the American people.”

Columbus Dispatch: Proposed Ohio cracker plant awaits final air permit decision; still no partner for project
Beth Harvilla, 7/20/21

“A proposed ethylene cracker plant along the Ohio River in Belmont County may have to apply for new air permits if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t sign off on an extension for an expired air quality permit,” the Columbus Dispatch reports. “The multi-billion dollar project, which Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical of America hasn’t officially committed to building, would convert an oil and gas byproduct into ethylene, an ingredient in producing plastics and chemicals. The company had to secure an initial environmental “permit-to-install” to address air quality issues to receive approval to construct the petrochemical hub. If the project moves forward, it would be “a huge emitter of volatile organic compounds. It’s a huge emitter of hazardous air pollutants. And of course, it’s an enormous emitter of greenhouse gases at a time when we don’t need more of those,” Megan Hunter, a senior attorney with EarthJustice, a Chicago-based environmental law firm, told the Dispatch… “The company has continued to face headwinds including market conditions and pushback from environmentalists, and it remains undecided on the project moving forward. In February, PTTGCA said it planned to make a decision on the project midyear. A year ago, the company lost its business partner, South Korea-based Daelim Chemical. “PTTGCA is in conversations with potential partners for the Ohio petrochemical project,” Williamson said. “We will be in a position to make a final investment decision once we have secured such a partnership or partnerships. We are still in the process of doing so.”

EXTRACTION

Financial Times: Shell appeals against Dutch emissions order
David Sheppard, 7/20/21

“Royal Dutch Shell has appealed against a Dutch court order that it must step up the pace of its global emissions cuts, arguing the company has been unfairly singled out and that tackling climate change requires “co-ordination,” the Financial Times reports. “Chief executive Ben van Beurden said that while Shell supported “urgent” action to address climate change, the May ruling mandating a 45 per cent reduction in the energy group’s net global carbon emissions by 2030 had not taken account of the full extent of Shell’s own plans. “A court judgment, against a single company, is not effective,” Van Beurden said. “What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system . . . We will appeal because climate change is a challenge that requires both urgent action and an approach that is global, collaborative and encourages co-ordination between all parties.” The company argued that the court ruling, which is legally binding, had not considered Shell’s own “Powering Progress” strategy published in April, as the initial hearings in the trial had been held earlier… “Judge Larisa Alwin ruled in May that Shell’s existing climate strategy was not concrete enough and that there was a human rights obligation on the company to take further action. She said the ruling would have “far-reaching consequences” for the Anglo-Dutch company but that it was up to Shell how to execute the order.”

Wilderness Committee: Quebec rejects LNG, shows BC climate action means no fossil fuels
Peter McCartney, 7/21/21

“Unlike Premier John Horgan’s BC NDP government, the Quebec government has shown it understands addressing the climate crisis means rejecting new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants. After a review panel declared GNL Québec’s Énergie Saguenay project would not reduce global emissions but instead create additional carbon pollution and therefore had no social license, the province’s cabinet rejected the facility today. “While Premier Horgan refuses to do what needs to be done to keep people safe from the climate crisis, Quebec is showing it is possible,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “LNG could single-handedly prevent B.C. from meeting its goals to reduce carbon pollution and is certainly stopping the province from strengthening its targets to align with climate science.” One LNG project is under construction in B.C., LNG Canada, thanks to a multibillion-dollar package of subsidies from the provincial government in 2018. But five more facilities either have permits or are starting regulatory review processes… “In March, Quebec’s Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement dispelled any notion LNG could have a role in lowering global emissions, instead finding new LNG exports would lock in carbon emissions and delay the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

RESEARCH & SCIENCE

Guardian: Are we being kept safe from ‘forever chemicals’ injected into fracking sites?
David Bond, 7/21/21

“Not willing to rest their laurels on the theft of the future, the fossil fuel industry is now salting the earth with forever chemicals,” the Guardian reports. “In a bombshell exposé from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and the New York Times last week it was revealed that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were readily used at fracking sites across the US. PFAS never break down, a disconcerting fact that has led many to call them “forever chemicals”. Such durability comes with surprising mobility as these chemicals have proven preternaturally gifted at gliding through geological and geographic borders with ease. Oh, and they are toxic. None of these worrisome properties proved sufficient to dissuade the fossil fuel industry from injecting PFAS into at least 1,200 fracking wells in the United States, including in states where wastewater from oil and gas operations is routinely sprayed on roads and farms… “At one Encana/Athlon fracking site in Glasscock county, Texas, it is estimated that drilling operators injected 324 pounds of PFAS in a single well. As Dusty Horwitt, the lead author of the PSR report explained, a minuscule amount of PFAS can render a titanic amount of water undrinkable. “One measuring cup of PFOA could contaminate almost 8bn gallons of water.” “…According to documents released this week, the EPA was fully aware of the ludicrous risks of introducing PFAS to fracking when it authorized their use. Agency scientists voiced strong concerns that PFAS would probably contaminate the land around fracking sites through leaks, post-drilling uses and even flaring as PFAS chemicals cannot be destroyed by fire. Senior leadership at Obama’s EPA overrode these concerns and the precautions scientists recommended, like PFAS monitoring around fracking sites. At EPA headquarters in DC, safeguarding the reckless profits of oil and gas companies took precedence over safeguarding the health of vulnerable citizens.”

Rolling Stone: The Oil and Gas Industry Produces Radioactive Waste. Lots of It
By JUSTIN NOBEL, 7/21/21

“Massive amounts of radioactive waste brought to the surface by oil and gas wells have overwhelmed the industry and the state and federal agencies that regulate it, according to a report released today by the prominent environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council,” Rolling Stone reports. “The waste poses “significant health threats,” including the increased risk of cancer to oil and gas workers and their families and also nearby communities. “We know that the waste has radioactive elements, we know that it can have very high and dangerous levels, we know that some of the waste gets into the environment, and we know that people who live or work near various oil and gas sites are exposed to the waste. What we don’t know are the full extent of the health impacts,” Amy Mall, an analyst with NRDC who has been researching oilfield waste for 15 years and is a co-author on the report, told Rolling Stone. “The report conveys that radioactive oilfield waste is piling up at landfills across America — and in at least some documented cases leaching radioactivity through treatment plants and into waterways. It is also being spread on farm fields in states like Oklahoma and Texas and on roads across the Midwest and Northeast under the belief that it melts ice and suppresses dust… “The American Petroleum Institute, the nation’s main oil and gas lobby, when notified by Rolling Stone about the NRDC report, and reminded that their own documents express concern about radioactive contamination to workers and the public, conveyed that they believe the issue is under control. “Health and safety is our industry’s top priority, and we take stringent and significant measures to protect our workers, the environment and the communities where we live and operate,” spokesperson Jess Szymanski told Rolling Stone. “Natural gas and oil companies meet or exceed strict federal and state regulations, as well as undergo routine inspections to ensure that all materials are managed, stored, transported, and disposed of safely and responsibly.” Though it is still grossly under-studied, in the past few years there has been an increase in academic research focused on the radioactivity issue. The NRDC cites a study published last year by Harvard researchers that analyzed air samples downwind from more than 150,000 unconventional oil and gas wells across the country and found elevated levels of airborne radioactive particles. “As a side effect of the shale boom, academic experts started paying a lot more attention to this issue,” Mall told RS.

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

E&E News: Lawsuits target Exxon’s social media ‘green washing’
By Maxine Joselow, 7/22/21

“Two years ago, Exxon Mobil Corp. took to Twitter to promote its research into algae biofuel. The oil giant tweeted a photo of swirling beakers of bright green liquid to its hundreds of thousands of followers. “We’re researching algae biofuel with about 40% of its mass as fat, which can be turned into fuel. The swish is just a nice bonus. #SoothingScience,” the caption read. The response was scathing,” according to E&E News. “Swishing green liquid is literally reminiscent of greenwashing, which is also what this ad is doing,” wrote a Twitter user with the handle “decommodify survival.” The incident was indicative of a larger legal trend. As Exxon tries to portray itself as a leader on climate change on social media, the company is coming under increasing scrutiny in court. From Twitter to Instagram, the oil giant’s posts have been cited in recent lawsuits brought by state and local governments seeking fossil fuel industry compensation for the local impacts of global warming… “Since 2017, five states and more than a dozen municipalities have sued fossil fuel companies over their contribution to — and alleged deception about — the dangers of global warming. The suits ask a slew of oil supermajors — including Exxon, BP PLC and Chevron Corp. — to help cover the costs of addressing hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters fueled by rising global temperatures. Some of the more recent cases single out Exxon’s social media posts as examples of “green washing,” or the practice of making a company seem more sustainable than it really is.”

Press release: Ducks Unlimited Canada joins forces with Government of Quebec and TC Energy to conserve wetlands with outstanding biodiversity on Sainte-Thérèse Island
7/21/21

“Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is finalizing a major project to conserve a series of wetlands totalling 14 hectares located on Sainte-Thérèse Island in the heart of the St. Lawrence River, near the town of Varennes. This project, conducted on a Government of Quebec property with high ecological value, was initiated through a financial contribution of $200,000 from the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks (MFFP) and a $50,000 contribution from TC Energy… “In 2017, when DUC approached TC Energy for financial assistance to bring this conservation project to fruition, the response was swift. The company demonstrated how important the conservation of quality wetlands is to the organization. It joined forces with the MFFP and DUC to maintain this valuable environmental asset.”

OPINION

MinnPost: Line 3 spills reveal poor oversight
Melissa Lorentz is a staff attorney at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, 7/21/21

“Various media outlets recently reported Enbridge’s spill of drilling fluid into the Willow River during Line 3 construction. The stories missed a troubling aspect of the July 6 event: Water protectors themselves discovered the spill early that morning and witnessed no direct response for hours,” Melissa Lorentz writes for the MinnPost. “Video footage shows what they encountered as they waded through the riverbed. A dark, muddy plume can be seen in the water as observers note that the polluted area feels much warmer than its surroundings. They see a spill kit on shore and a boom partway across the channel downstream, but no people in sight nor containment directly around the plume. No one from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) — the agencies tasked with protecting our state’s lands and waters. And no one from Enbridge. By 9:30 a.m., citizens reported the spill. It was unclear whether state agencies already knew. Then water protectors waited. Law enforcement arrived. A local sheriff said that the discharge had been there since at least the day before. Yet the spill remained uncontained. Finally, hours later, workers finally started to manage the plume. Cleanup continued for days. Those who watch Line 3 closely were not surprised by the accident, nor the sluggish response.”

Regina Leader-Post: Opinion: Responsive action needed in pipeline project
Vern Yu is president, Liquids Pipelines for Enbridge, 7/21/21

“As was stated in the July 6 opinion column by Peter Prebble, reaching a resolution on Enbridge Line 5 does indeed require more than court action: it commands responsive action to advance safety and environmental protections,” Vern Yu writes in the Regina Leader-Post. “That is why Enbridge remains focused on constructing the Great Lakes Tunnel Project, which 70 per cent of Michiganders favour, according to a recent poll… “The Great Lakes Tunnel is the common sense solution for the region to continue to receive the energy and products ─ from medicine to telephones ─ on which it relies while protecting the waterways we embrace. It will be among the many measures Enbridge employs to help ensure the safe and reliable operation of Line 5… “The event in Marshall more than a decade ago inspired Enbridge’s transformation to becoming the responsive, safety-driven company we are today. In 2012, the Kalamazoo River reopened to the public. What happened in Marshall continues to drive our relentless efforts to deliver on our number one priority: safety and protection of the environment. We have invested more than $8 billion on the most comprehensive pipeline maintenance and inspection program in the world to help keep our oil pipeline system running safely for the millions who rely on it. It also is why we are investing more than $500 million to construct the Great Lakes Tunnel Project.”

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