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Extracted: Daily News Clips 7/27/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips July 27, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • KFGOAuthorities arrest Line 3 pipeline protesters near Thief River Falls
  • Facebook: Giniw Collective [PHOTO]: Pullback of Line 3 under the Willow River stopped!
  • Facebook: Honor the Earth [PHOTO]: This morning, Water Protectors blocked pullback of Line 3 pipeline under Crow Wing River by locking to drill!
  • Facebook: Camp MigiziEmber and Jaike Spotted Wolf (of Seattle Washington) were both illegally arrested out of ceremony July 23rd on Treaty lands
  • Facebook: Indigenous Environmental Network [VIDEO]: Runners coming from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River coming to support their Anishinaabe relatives
  • Common Dreams‘Huge Legal Win’: Court Stops Police From Blockading Line 3 Protester Camp
  • Virginia MercuryFederal review recommends leaving cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipe, felled trees in place
  • Associated PressEnbridge Removes Anchor From Michigan’s Straits Of Mackinac
  • PoliticoFERC Climate Reviews: CO2 Solution Or Chaos?
  • Politico Morning EnergyDAPL OPERATOR NOT SWEATING PHMSA ORDER
  • Farm and DairyUnion Co. farmer sues ODA over pipeline on preserved farmland
  • Journal-Courier1,200-mile-long carbon-capture pipeline could cross part of region
  • E&E NewsPipeline seeks emergency FERC approval after courtroom blow
  • S&P GlobalSpire Missouri chief says STL pipeline closure would create winter service risk
  • Angus Reid InstituteLine 5: Ontarians, Michiganders want the oil to keep flowing in the contested pipeline; Quebecers are split

WASHINGTON UPDATES

STATE UPDATES

  • KRQELargest beneficiaries of the PPP program in NM: oil and gas support, restaurants

EXTRACTION

  • KFYRActive oil well fire in McKenzie County
  • Bismarck TribuneCrews respond to fire at McKenzie County oil well site
  • Argus MediaOil Service Sector Talks Up Transition Amid Recovery
  • BloombergInsatiable Demand for All Things Plastic Has Ethane Skyrocketing

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Blackburn NewsEnbridge recognized by St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation

OPINION

  • The HillSecretary Haaland, Colorado’s epic drought highlights the need to end fossil fuel extraction
  • National ObserverThere’s a ‘stink of desperation’ about Alberta’s anti-energy inquiry

PIPELINE NEWS

KFGO: Authorities arrest Line 3 pipeline protesters near Thief River Falls
Don Haney, 7/26/21

“Authorities have arrested 29 protesters at the Red Lake Treaty Camp south of Thief River Falls,” KFGO reports. “The protesters, who have had an encampment there for months, claim Enbridge Energy continues to violate reserved rights under an 1863 treaty by drilling its controversial Line 3 pipeline along the Red Lake River. The highway patrol closed Highway 32 between Thief River Falls and St. Hilaire Friday for 8 hours over safety concerns because the roadway was congested with construction, protestors, campsites, and vehicles near the campsites. The protesters were ordered to disperse peacefully or face arrest. Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia told KFGO most of the individuals arrested on Friday had bonded out, however, the 22 arrested on Saturday remained for court appearances Monday on various charges, including trespassing and interfering with a peace officer. Kuznia said his office has received assistance from Roseau, Marshall, Clay, Dakota, Washington, and Anoka counties and 50 to 60 officers from the State Patrol and the DNR.”

Facebook: Giniw Collective [PHOTO]: Pullback of Line 3 under the Willow River stopped!
7/25/21

“BREAKING: Pullback of Line 3 under the Willow River stopped! Water Protectors crawled into a pipeline segment and locked to each other to protect the land and water for future generations. We take these actions out of necessity!

Facebook: Honor the Earth [PHOTO]: This morning, Water Protectors blocked pullback of Line 3 pipeline under Crow Wing River by locking to drill!
7/23/21

“BREAKING: “This morning, Water Protectors blocked pullback of Line 3 pipeline under Crow Wing River by locking to drill! Are you listening President Joe Biden @usacehq? Our wild rice, the Mississippi River headwaters call out. There have already been 9 spills of construction materials. Find your bravery, join us!” – #GiniwCollective”

Facebook: Camp Migizi: Ember and Jaike Spotted Wolf (of Seattle Washington) were both illegally arrested out of ceremony July 23rd on Treaty lands
7/25/21

“Ember and Jaike Spotted Wolf (of Seattle Washington) were both illegally arrested out of ceremony July 23rd on Treaty lands, they were both placed in zip ties and metal handcuffs, and placed in high risk, with only one hour out of the cell to be shared between the two of them. They are being held in Pennington County Sherrifs office, Thief River Falls Minnesota. Join us Monday, to demand their release. #StopLine3”

Facebook: Indigenous Environmental Network [VIDEO]: Runners coming from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River coming to support their Anishinaabe relatives
7/25/21

“Runners coming from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River coming to support their Anishinaabe relatives. Stop Line 3!”

Common Dreams: ‘Huge Legal Win’: Court Stops Police From Blockading Line 3 Protester Camp
KENNY STANCIL, 7/23/21

“In a development progressives called a “huge legal win in the fight against Line 3,” a Minnesota court on Friday ordered police in Hubbard County to stop impeding access to the Giniw Collective’s camp, where anti-pipeline activists have been organizing opposition to Enbridge’s multibillion-dollar tar sands project,” Common Dreams reports. “The ruling comes less than a week after Tara Houska, an Indigenous rights attorney and founder of the Giniw Collective, and Winona LaDuke, an environmental justice advocate and co-founder of Honor the Earth, filed for a temporary restraining order against Hubbard County, Sheriff Cory Aukes, and the local land commissioner in northern Minnesota. “We want to thank the court for informing Hubbard County about the rights of property owners, and hope that the sheriff’s continued preoccupation with the repression of water protectors can be focused on real criminals,” LaDuke said Friday in a statement. Last month, Aukes unlawfully blockaded a 90-year-old driveway that serves as the only means of entry and exit to the Giniw Collective’s camp, which is a convergence point for Indigenous-led protests against the expansion of the Line 3 pipeline. Police officers also cited and arrested individuals who attempted to use the driveway to travel to and from the camp… “The sheriff admitted that this unprecedented interference with access to private property was intended to target water protectors protesting the Line 3 pipeline, and it follows a global pattern of harassing environmental protectors. This order is an important step toward listening to these communities and respecting their property rights,” Marco Simons, general counsel for EarthRights, told Common Dreams.

Virginia Mercury: Federal review recommends leaving cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipe, felled trees in place
SARAH VOGELSONG, 7/27/21

“A federal review of a plan to restore land disturbed by construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline prior to its cancellation in July 2020 recommends that some 31 miles of installed pipeline and 83 miles of trees felled for the project be left in place to minimize further disturbance to wildlife and vegetation,” the Virginia Mercury reports. “Overall, we believe removing the installed pipe would destabilize currently stable and restored lands; impact affected lands, property owners, and area residents a second time … and impact anew and prolong (by years) the impacts on the environment,” concluded the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects… “What FERC’s draft review doesn’t settle is the thorny question of what will happen to the more than 2,600 permanent easements covering 4,290 acres that Atlantic Coast obtained from landowners over the course of its years-long work on the project. Dozens of property owners have urged FERC to force the pipeline company to return the easements. Atlantic Coast paid for the permanent right to access the lands, and Ruby has said more than 95 percent of them were relinquished voluntarily. But many landowners argue that the project’s cancellation has erased the justification for the easements, and that they constitute what the Southern Environmental Law Center has called “a severe, continuing and now wholly unwarranted burden on properties.” This May, Atlantic Coast indicated in response to a series of FERC questions that it may be open to negotiations over the easements once restoration is complete.  “Atlantic will need to retain ownership of those easements until restoration and closeout of federal, state and local permits and the appropriate monitoring periods have been completed,” the developer wrote to the commission May 7. “At such time, ACP will communicate with landowners on a case-by-case basis to determine the permanent disposition of the easement.”

Associated Press: Enbridge Removes Anchor From Michigan’s Straits Of Mackinac
7/26/21

“Enbridge said Monday it had retrieved an anchor that broke away from a maintenance vessel while on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac,” the Associated Press reports. “The mishap occurred last Wednesday as a contractor for the pipeline company was doing seasonal work on the underwater section of Line 5, an oil line that runs between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario… “When the crew later tried to raise it, the shackle connecting it to the cable failed, Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes told AP.  The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy ordered the company to remove the anchor, which took place Sunday.”

Politico: FERC Climate Reviews: CO2 Solution Or Chaos?
7/26/21

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission took an unprecedented step earlier this year by assessing a proposed natural gas pipeline’s contribution to climate change for the first time ever. But some FERC experts and environmental advocates say they’re concerned that the agency lacks clear criteria for analyzing the greenhouse gas emissions of other gas projects — a gap they say raises legal questions and weakens a process critical to determining whether large amounts of U.S. fossil fuel infrastructure are approved and built,” according to Politico. “In March, FERC released an order detailing its new process for greenhouse gas reviews, before ultimately approving the gas project undergoing the first-of-a-kind climate analysis. Under FERC’s framework, greenhouse gas assessments will be done for energy projects when a proposal could have ‘arguably significant’ impacts, according to the agency. ‘In future proceedings, the evidence on which the Commission relies to assess significance may evolve as the Commission becomes more familiar with the exercise,’ the majority of commissioners wrote in the order, issued March 22. However, FERC hasn’t yet established a methodology for analyzing a project’s climate-warming emissions, according to environmental impact statements put out by the independent agency this month and last. In the six draft environmental impact statements FERC issued for pending natural gas projects this year, agency staff concluded that it could not determine whether their emissions would be unacceptably high, citing the lack of an agreed-upon standard. They also could not ‘find an established threshold’ for determining the importance of the projects’ emissions relative to state and federal greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, according to the draft statements.”

Politico Morning Energy: DAPL OPERATOR NOT SWEATING PHMSA ORDER
Matthew Choi, 7/26/21

“Energy Transfer is downplaying the effect of last week’s enforcement action against the Dakota Access pipeline by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,” according to Politico Morning Energy. “The pipeline’s opponents are hoping the action will prompt the Army Corps of Engineers to order the line drained until a new environmental review is finished next year. But in a statement on Friday, company spokeswoman Vicki Granado painted PHMSA’s notice as “the results of a standard audit” from 2019. “All but one of the items identified have already been addressed (or are in process of being addressed),” she said. “DAPL will address shortly the one remaining issue that PHSMA responded to for the first time this week.”

Farm and Dairy: Union Co. farmer sues ODA over pipeline on preserved farmland
By Rachel Wagoner, 7/23/21

“A Union County farmer is suing the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Columbia Gas of Ohio over a natural gas pipeline that is set to go through preserved farmland,” Farm and Dairy reports. “Attorneys for the Bailey family filed two lawsuits July 12 to force the department of agriculture to defend its land from the pipeline and to stop Columbia Gas of Ohio from moving forward with eminent domain proceedings. The first lawsuit claims the Ohio Department of Agriculture is not enforcing the terms of the agriculture easement, which prohibits any industrial activity from taking place on the farm, like installing a utility line, unless it is strictly for the benefit of the farm… “The Ohio Department of Agriculture has taken a different approach to the easement in the case of the Marysville Connector Pipeline. It focused on how the pipeline would impact the agricultural use of the property, and it found that the agricultural use of the farm would not be irreparably harmed by the pipeline. Columbia Gas of Ohio notified Bailey and his co-plaintiffs, Charles Renner and Pat Bailey, in June of its intent to acquire easements for the pipeline. The Bailey and Renner families requested on July 7 that the ODA issue a cease and desist letter to Columbia Gas, but the ODA declined to do so, according to a press release from the families’ attorneys. The second lawsuit asks for an injunction prohibiting the installation of the pipeline on the farm and a declaration that the ag easement, Ohio law and federal law prohibit the installation of the pipeline on the protected property. It also asks for a “declaration that public policy and the law require the terms of the ag easement be strictly construed to benefit the preservation of farmland.”

Journal-Courier: 1,200-mile-long carbon-capture pipeline could cross part of region
David C.L. Bauer, 7/26/21

“Carbon capture — a darling of those envisioning a way to make old-school energy production environmentally friendlier — put Morgan County at the international forefront for three years until federal funding was pulled from the multi-billion-dollar initiative in 2015,” the Journal-Courier reports. “…More than $200 million already had been spent putting into place the pieces and new technology needed to capture atmosphere-damaging carbon dioxide produced in the process of creating energy from coal and sending it by pipeline to a sequestration site miles away… “Dallas-based Navigator Energy Services said its 1,200-mile carbon-capture pipeline initially would keep as much as 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year from being released into the atmosphere… “Designs still are fluid, but initial plans have the Navigator CO2 Ventures pipeline traveling through Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa and then into Illinois near the Quad Cities — capturing carbon dioxide from customers along the way. From there, it would go to a sequestration site between Springfield and Decatur.”

E&E News: Pipeline seeks emergency FERC approval after courtroom blow
By Niina H. Farah, Miranda Willson, 7/27/21

“The company behind the Spire STL pipeline is seeking an emergency authorization to keep the project operating after a landmark court ruling last month axed a key approval for the natural gas conduit,” E&E News reports. “Spire Inc. submitted a request yesterday for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue an emergency certificate allowing the pipeline to temporarily keep carrying natural gas to the St. Louis area. The unusual request comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found last month that FERC had not done enough to analyze whether there was a need for the pipeline to be built. The court tossed out Spire’s certificate of public convenience and necessity, which permitted it to begin construction activities… “The D.C. Circuit’s “unprecedented” decision to eliminate a certificate for an in-service pipeline has left the fate of the project’s operation in FERC’s control, Sean Jamieson, Spire STL’s general counsel, told E&E. As the commission considers its options, the company is looking to protect its customers from suddenly losing service ahead of the winter months, he said. “We are keenly interested in cooperating with FERC to find a solution for this.”

S&P Global: Spire Missouri chief says STL pipeline closure would create winter service risk
Tom DiChristopher, 7/23/21

“With this past winter’s severe weather still top of mind, Spire Inc.’s Missouri gas utility is already looking to the next major cold snap. If the region experiences a deep chill without access to the Spire STL Pipeline, Spire utility executives warn, hundreds of thousands of customers could lose service,” according to S&P Global. “Spire STL delivers Rocky Mountain and Appalachian natural gas to the St. Louis area, including to its affiliate gas utility, Spire Missouri Inc. A recent court decision found that federal regulators had not sufficiently scrutinized whether Spire STL demonstrated a valid market need for the project. The court sided with the Environmental Defense Fund, finding the group had “identified plausible evidence of self-dealing” in Spire STL’s reliance on affiliate contracts to show the pipe was necessary. The court’s decision could lead to a shutdown of the pipeline, which went into service in November 2019. But Spire Missouri President Scott Carter, also Spire’s COO of distribution operations, told S&P that the pipe had played a crucial role in maintaining service in eastern Missouri during February’s extreme cold snap, and that shutting it down could leave Spire Missouri unable to meet peak winter demand. “This is reality for me. I don’t sit on extra capacity just in case some court two years later shuts down the operation of a pipeline,” Carter said told S&P Global news reporters. “I’m hoping that as we move through the process, we can put the facts on the table that support the benefits of the pipeline, the criticality of the pipeline.”

Angus Reid Institute: Line 5: Ontarians, Michiganders want the oil to keep flowing in the contested pipeline; Quebecers are split
7/26/21

“Canada’s energy independence is in the spotlight again, with a key energy artery in the crosshairs of a transborder dispute,” according to the Angus Reid Institute. “Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, which supplies Ontario and Quebec, is under threat of closure from the governor of Michigan, where the pipeline runs through an environmentally sensitive waterway. New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds half of respondents in Michigan (48%) and Ontario (49%) want the embattled pipeline to stay open, while a quarter in Michigan and nearly three-in-10 in Ontario want it shut down. In Quebec, the 72 per cent who have an opinion are split on what the pipeline’s fate should be. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a shutdown order for the pipeline in May over concerns of a potential spill into the Straits of Mackinac, where the pipeline runs underwater. Nearly all of those who oppose the pipeline in Michigan (95%) are concerned about a potential leak from Line 5. The potential economic impacts, both regionally and personally, are a key concern for those who want the pipeline to stay open. A majority of the pipeline’s supporters in Michigan (65%), Ontario (65%), and Quebec (55%) believe they will be personally impacted either “significantly” or “massively” if Line 5 shuts down. The dispute over Line 5 also appears to have revived support for a west-to-east Canadian pipeline. Three quarters of Ontarians (76%), and three-in-five Quebecers (58%), believe TransCanada’s long-since-cancelled Energy East project should be reconsidered if Michigan turns off the tap on Line 5.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico Morning Energy: PROBING WHAT EXXON KNEW
Matthew Choi, 7/26/21

“Two senior Democrats on the House Oversight Committee — Carolyn Maloney and Ro Khanna — are inviting senior Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy to voluntarily participate in a transcribed interview on Aug. 9 on the company’s activities on climate change and forever chemicals,” according to Politico Morning Energy. “The move comes weeks after McCoy appeared on a surreptitiously-filmed video declaring Exxon funded “shadow groups” to undermine climate policy initiatives, even while publicly backing policies like carbon pricing. The company distanced itself from McCoy’s comments. “Your statements raise serious concerns about your role in ongoing efforts by ExxonMobil and the fossil fuel industry to spread climate disinformation, including through the use of ‘shadow groups,’ in order to block action to address climate change,” Maloney and Khanna wrote in a letter obtained by ME.”

STATE UPDATES

KRQE: Largest beneficiaries of the PPP program in NM: oil and gas support, restaurants
Curtis Segarra, 7/25/21

“New Mexico’s businesses, across all industries, were approved for more than $3 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funding, data from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) shows,” KRQE reports. “With an average loan value of $81,277, New Mexico is in the top twenty states, but far below the national average of nearly $130,000 per loan. New Mexico’s average loan value was higher than the average Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in California, Colorado, or Arizona. Texas’s average loan value was just above New Mexico’s average. Wisconsin had the highest average loan value, thanks in part to a hefty $10 million loan to Air Wisconsin Airlines that was intended to support 500 jobs. At a little over $81,000, the average PPP loan in New Mexico was higher than some neighboring states. Texas and Utah, however, had higher average loan values. Data from SBA. Companies in the oil and gas support services industry were approved for more PPP funding than any other individual industry in New Mexico (as classified by the North American Industry Classification System). The industry was approved for over $223 million via 842 loans. That’s $196.8 million more than elementary and secondary schools were approved for and $206.8 million more than nursing care facilities in the state saw.” “…These services received a lot of funding because oil and gas represent a relatively large industry in the state, John Garcia, the district director for the New Mexico office of the SBA, told KQBE. His office, and similar offices across the US, backed PPP loans, essentially acting as guarantor for the cash intended to keep workers on payroll.” “…Oil and gas are “embedded in our community. It’s respected in our community. They are great community supporters,” Rep. Jim Townsend, who represents Chaves, Eddy and Otero county, told KQBE. “You can go to almost any little league ballpark and you can see the evidence of oil and gas supporting that.” When the pandemic hit these oil-dependent communities, they felt the economic burden, he says.”

EXTRACTION

KFYR: Active oil well fire in McKenzie County
By Hayley Boland, 7/24/21

“Several agencies are monitoring an active oil well fire in McKenzie County,” KFYR reports. “The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office originally responded to the fire Thursday afternoon, just north of Charlson, near the Missouri River. Officials say the cause of the fire is unknown, there have been no injuries, and the fire doesn’t pose an active threat to the surrounding area. The fire is being monitored by Petro Hunt, Wild Well Control, Keene Fire Department, McKenzie County Rural Fire, U.S. Forest Service, and McKenzie County Emergency Management.”

Bismarck Tribune: Crews respond to fire at McKenzie County oil well site
7/23/21

“The U.S. Forest Service is monitoring an active fire on an oil well site just south of Lake Sakakawea in McKenzie County,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “No injuries had been reported, according to a news release from the Dakota Prairie Grasslands office. The fire was contained to the well pad and no surface grassland or groundwater resources were affected Friday evening, the agency said. Response teams are working to manage the incident… “The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Forest Service is working with the oil permit holder to ensure a suppression plan is in place in the event that the incident triggers a wildland fire.”

Argus Media: Oil Service Sector Talks Up Transition Amid Recovery
7/26/21

“The biggest US oil field service companies are expanding into renewables and other lower-carbon sectors, doubling down on a strategy that they embarked upon before last year’s Covid-related crash,” Argus Media reports. “Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Halliburton are all seeing opportunities offered by the energy transition as the oil industry faces unrelenting pressure to clamp down on emissions. Baker Hughes, which is rebranding itself as an energy technology company, predicts ‘significant growth’ in its transition initiatives in the next 5-10 years — including hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage — as the ‘clean energy ecosystem continues to evolve’. The scale of its clean energy ambitions can be seen in a recent tie-up with Norway’s Borg CO2 on a carbon capture and storage hub that aims to sequester up to 90pc of emissions from a cluster of industrial sites. ‘That’s a great opportunity for us because we think those industrial clusters are going to continue to emerge elsewhere in the world as well,’ Baker Hughes chief executive Lorenzo Simonelli says. The company also expects a ‘step-up’ in its LNG activities.”

Bloomberg: Insatiable Demand for All Things Plastic Has Ethane Skyrocketing
By Ari Hawkins, 7/26/21

“Ethane, a key component in plastic production, is trading at a nearly two-and-a-half-year high in the U.S., with demand surging as global economies recover from last year’s slump,” according to Bloomberg. “Prices for the fuel, which is a byproduct of natural gas processing, have climbed 57% this year to 33 cents per gallon Monday in Mont Belvieu, Texas, the main trading hub for natural gas liquids in the U.S. Further stoking the rally is the fact that output of the fuel has stalled alongside oil and natural gas drilling, with drillers continuing to favor capital discipline over output growth. The higher price of ethane also threatens to drive up plastics prices, adding to widespread concerns about inflation. It comes as companies ranging from Exxon Mobil Corp. and Dow Chemical Inc. spent years investing billions in plastic manufacturing in the U.S. on the assumption that access to low cost ethane as a result of shale gas production would be available for the foreseeable future. “Gains in ethane feedstock may eventually cause the overall price of plastics to move higher as manufacturers pass along the higher feedstock costs,” says Jason Miner, senior global chemicals analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “With strong demand during the pandemic showing plastics remain critical to consumers, a cost-driven boost in prices will likely keep contributing to inflation on store shelves.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Blackburn News: Enbridge recognized by St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation
Melanie Irwin, 7/26/21

“The St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation recognized one of its long standing corporate sponsors Monday morning. The foundation gave its President’s Award to Enbridge Gas,” Blackburn News reports. “Foundation President Duncan Skinner said the company has donated over $100,000 to the foundation in support of conservation programs over the last ten years. “These funds have helped support a number of conservation initiatives and activities in the St. Clair watershed including education, habitat creation, and upgrades to local conservation areas,” said Skinner. Enbridge Gas Director of Operations for the Southwest Region Steven Jelich told the News the organizations have a strong shared history. “We are pleased to receive this award and we share their commitment to ensuring the natural environments where we live and work are not just protected but enhanced.”

OPINION

The Hill: Secretary Haaland, Colorado’s epic drought highlights the need to end fossil fuel extraction
Natasha Léger is executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Community in Paonia, Colorado, 7/23/21

“Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is visiting Colorado this week so she can see up close how heat, drought and rampant fossil-fuel extraction have ravaged once-beautiful parts of our state,” writes in The Hill. “When she returns to Washington, D.C., Haaland will have all the more evidence to support a ban on new oil and gas leases on public lands and a managed transition away from fossil fuels. The Biden administration’s review of what drilling and fracking on public lands is doing to the climate, if done correctly, will show that any new extraction would run counter to climate science and catastrophic to the planet… “Federal laws require public land managers to protect our climate, wildlife, water and ecosystems. Haaland has the authority to stop new leasing on public lands and she must use it. Other communities across the country — from New Mexico’s Chaco region to Louisiana’s Gulf Coast to Montana’s Big Sky country — are also urging the Biden administration to follow the law and climate science, and make good on his campaign promise to ban new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and oceans. Our communities and our climate future can’t afford anything less.”

National Observer: There’s a ‘stink of desperation’ about Alberta’s anti-energy inquiry
By Max Fawcett, 7/26/21

“If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, the latest attempt by the public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns to get its long-overdue report in by July 30 surely looks familiar,” Max Fawcett writes in the National Observer. “You probably didn’t get four extensions and an extra million dollars for your work back in the day. But it’s hard to miss the stink of desperation coming from commissioner Steve Allan’s inquiry as it tries to spin the conspiracy straw it was handed into political gold — and get a passing grade from Premier Jason Kenney. Even with such a generous marker, it’s clear this isn’t going to be the A-plus work some were hoping. The Allan Inquiry won’t reveal any grand conspiracy to land-lock Alberta’s oil, much less one that’s being funded by American commercial interests. Instead, it will show something far less controversial: that international environmental organizations and interests invested some of their funds in Alberta, a province with huge reserves of oil and huge problems getting them to market. Those funds pale in comparison to the money raised right here in Canada, and barring that U.S. cash from crossing the border wouldn’t have changed a thing when it comes to pipeline projects and the resistance mounted against them. These organizations were simply trying to maximize the return on their environmental investment, just as the oil companies routinely do when they drill in different parts of the world.”

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