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Extracted: Daily News Clips 8/17/21

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

By Mark Hefflinger

News Clips August 17, 2021

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PIPELINE NEWS

  • Facebook: Giniw CollectiveWater Protectors Continue to Resist, Blocking Active Work at Line 3 Construction Site
  • Star TribuneIn protest of Line 3, U.S. Navy diver who helped after I-35W bridge collapse returns his awards
  • Healing MNEnbridge has to clean up water it polluted decades ago in order to use it for Line 3 dewatering
  • Roanoke Times‘It’s taken the heart out of the community’: Mountain Valley Pipeline cuts through tiny village of Newport
  • The TyeeRCMP Has Spent Almost $20 Million Policing Wet’suwet’en Territory
  • WHYYJobs or the environment? Ahead of 2022, Pa. Dems thread needle on ‘false choice’
  • Democracy NowWater Protector Begins 8-Year Sentence for DAPL Eco-Sabotage
  • GreenpointersNO NORTH BROOKLYN PIPELINE COALITION LOOKS AHEAD AFTER GAS BILL HIKE APPROVAL
  • ReutersKinder Morgan says Arizona natural gas pipeline fire extinguished, 2 dead
  • WHTMSunoco pays $85,000 fine to Pa. Department of Environmental Protection for pipeline leak

WASHINGTON UPDATES

EXTRACTION

CLIMATE FINANCE

  • BloombergClimate Movement Keeping Eye on Biden Fed Chair Nomination

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

  • Los Angeles TimesThey fought for clean air. They didn’t know they were part of a gas industry campaign

OPINION

  • MinnPostLawsuits like Ellison’s will hold the fossil fuel industry accountable
  • Philadelphia InquirerCarbon capture technology won’t solve our emissions problems
  • YES MagazineThe Fallacy of Our Carbon Footprint: Big Oil says citizens should do more to stop climate change
  • The RevelatorTo Save the Planet, We Need to End Corporate Funding of Police

PIPELINE NEWS

Facebook: Giniw Collective: Water Protectors Continue to Resist, Blocking Active Work at Line 3 Construction Site
8/16/21

“This morning, four water protectors locked to each other and to machines, halting work at an Enbridge Line 3 worksite near Hay Creek, Minnesota. The action comes as the latest in a long arc of fierce ground resistance in the Line 3 fight; over 700 Water Protectors have been arrested to date. Drought conditions continue across northern Minnesota, with water restrictions in place in numerous municipalities. Enbridge continues to pump water for its tar sands pipeline, now turning to city aquifers, including Park Rapids. Last week, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, along with other representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of the Interior, again met with Anishinaabe nations, tribal representatives, and land defenders to discuss Line 3 construction, wild rice beds, and the now 28 chemical spills into rivers and wetlands by Enbridge, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River multiple times. The Army Corps and the White House continue to remain silent. “We are at the 11th hour in terms of climate action and corporate globalization has found ways to criminalize and punish people trying to stop construction of a project that threatens so many life ways. We have exhausted every other option. Stop Line 3,” said a Water Protector blocking construction. “I am here on the frontlines alongside Anishinaabe and Dakota relatives who have put a call out for help. The wild rice is at risk due to Line 3, the drought and catastrophic climate change. All of which cause or are in direct correlation to green house gases. We need to rapidly transform our energy system and this starts now, not 20 years from now,” said another Water Protector risking self for all future generations.”

Star Tribune: In protest of Line 3, U.S. Navy diver who helped after I-35W bridge collapse returns his awards
By Alex Chhith, 8/16/21

“A U.S. Navy diver who helped efforts to search for bodies in the Mississippi River after the I-35W bridge collapse returned his awards Monday to protest the Line 3 oil pipeline,” the Star Tribune reports. “John Miller, 39, of Monticello, asked Gov. Tim Walz to issue an immediate stay on construction of the pipeline replacement project until lawsuits challenging its approval play out in court. At Minneapolis’ Stone Arch Bridge with about three dozen supporters early Monday evening, he also asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to vote on the related cases before it in a timely manner. Earlier in the day, the Minnesota native returned a commendation ribbon and pendant from the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs and a certificate of commendation from then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Miller said he grew up fishing and hunting and wants the pristine lands in northern Minnesota to be left alone for generations to enjoy it. “The last time I came back to the Mississippi in distress was to help clean up after a disaster, and this time I come to do everything I can do to help prevent a disaster,” he told the Tribune.

Healing MN: Enbridge has to clean up water it polluted decades ago in order to use it for Line 3 dewatering
8/14/21

“Enbridge’s controversial plans to increase dewatering during Line 3 construction got an added complication: Workers need to dewater in areas where the company had past crude oil spills, leaving 8,400 gallons in ground for decades,” Healing MN reports. “That means Enbridge has to treat the dewatered polluted water before returning it to the environment. A few questions immediately come to mind: Enbridge and state regulators knew, or should have known, about these polluted sites. Why is this information only now coming to the public’s attention on the dewatering work? If Enbridge is able to clean up this old crude oil spill to build its new Line 3, why wasn’t it required to clean it up a long time ago? Information on these old spills was something of an afterthought, appearing in Enbridge’s Aug. 12 compliance filing with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC)… “ According to its filing, Enbridge plans to dewater near Leak Sites 83 and 84, both what it called closed crude oil leaks. Site 83 was remediated in 1972, and Site 84 in 1955. Past cleanup efforts accounted for all but an estimated 100 barrels of crude oil at each of the two sites, Enbridge’s compliance filing said. (At 42 gallons per barrel, that’s a total of 8,400 gallons at the two sites.) Enbridge’s plan is to treat the contaminated water pumped out of Site 83 and discharge it onto land as much as possible. If doesn’t adequately filter into the soil, workers will discharge the treated water into a coniferous swamp wetland, which flows into an unnamed Little Otter Creek tributary. Workers will try to discharge the treated contaminated water from Site 84 onto land, too. If it doesn’t adequately filter into the soil, workers will discharge it into an “alder thicket wetland … with overland flow to Little Otter Creek.”

Roanoke Times: ‘It’s taken the heart out of the community’: Mountain Valley Pipeline cuts through tiny village of Newport
Laurence Hammack, 8/14/21

“A shuttered general store, a stately hotel converted to apartments, historic homes, two covered bridges and three churches still stand here — a testament to the village settled more than 250 years ago in the shadow of Sinking Creek Mountain,” the Roanoke Times reports. “Some of the buildings are crumbling now. Local businesses have fallen victim to super-sized stores. But among the residents who stayed, there was hope that Newport was on the cusp of a comeback. Then came the Mountain Valley Pipeline. On a recent August afternoon, Donna Pitt of Preserve Giles County looked up at the natural gas pipeline that descends steep mountain walls on both sides of Blue Grass Trail, the main street of Newport. “It’s taken the heart out of the community, is what it’s done,” Pitt told the Times. The buried pipeline avoids cities and towns for much of its 303 miles through West Virginia and the New River and Roanoke valleys, taking a more rural path through forests and fields and finding a way around houses. Small as it is, Newport is the most densely populated community in Southwest Virginia to be impacted by construction. At first, residents opposed to the project believed that it could be stopped, even after 125-foot-wide strips for its right of way were cut out of the wooded slopes around them. “When it was just trees that were cut down, people would say, ‘We can always plant new trees,’” Pitt told the Times. “But when that giant trench came down on top of the town, and in two days they had the pipe buried, people looked up and said, ‘It’s over.’”

The Tyee: RCMP Has Spent Almost $20 Million Policing Wet’suwet’en Territory
Amanda Follett Hosgood, 8/16/21

“Despite a relatively quiet year on the Morice West Forest Service Road where Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders oppose a natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory, the RCMP still spent almost $6 million policing the area,” The Tyee has learned. “That’s in addition to nearly $14 million spent by the RCMP between January 2019 and the end of March 2020. The spending included the costs of two separate police raids — in January 2019 and February 2020 — on blockades put in place by Wet’suwet’en and their supporters who oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The total, obtained through a freedom of information request, doesn’t include RCMP activities in the area since April 1. Local residents report a diminished presence in recent months… “Molly Wickham, who lives in the area and holds the Wet’suwet’en traditional name Sleydo’, is a member of the Gidimt’en Clan, which built a camp on the remote forestry road — including barricades blocking access to construction traffic — in late 2018. The roadblocks were in support of the neighbouring Unist’ot’en house group, which has opposed pipelines through the territory for more than a decade. On Jan. 7, 2019, Wickham was among 14 people arrested during a high-profile police raid… “RCMP arrested 28 people over five days in early February last year, including arrests at Gidimt’en camp and the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre… “It’s definitely a relief to not constantly be at risk of being arrested or harassed or ticketed,” Wickham told the Tyee, adding that RCMP would regularly pull over, ticket and surveille Wet’suwet’en and their supporters. “We’ve had really bad experiences with CGL security, but we also know that we’re not at risk of going to jail when the CGL security show up.” Two weeks ago, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office issued a warning to the pipeline company after Wickham was repeatedly turned back while attempting to monitor pipeline construction on her house group’s traditional territory.”

WHYY: Jobs or the environment? Ahead of 2022, Pa. Dems thread needle on ‘false choice’
Katie Meyer, 8/16/11

“​​Megan White didn’t pay close attention to politics until the day in 2015 when a representative from Sunoco came to the door of her suburban Chester County home and told her the company needed to route a new pipeline through her yard. At the time, White and her husband were busy parents of a 1-year-old and didn’t give it much thought. The representative, White recalls, told them construction would last for a year or two, and “we would never know they were here. It’s a promise many of White’s neighbors also remember — and one they now resent. Construction on the Mariner East pipeline project started in earnest in 2017 in White’s area. Today, half of her backyard in West Whiteland Township remains hidden behind a plywood fence, swarming with heavy equipment and construction workers just beyond behind her kids’ swingset and trampoline. “It’s 2021, and my daughter’s now 7,” White said. “It’s taken up most of her childhood.” “…Jim Snell is a business manager with Steamfitters Local 420, which represents workers across the eastern part of Pennsylvania, including Chester County. They’re historically aligned with Democrats, but he sees himself, and the union, as politically pragmatic — and he has a very straightforward calculus for whether he supports a politician. “Listen, everybody wants clean air, clean water,” he said. “But in my line of work, we’re all about man-hours.” “…Snell and the building trades have a lot of powerful company on this side of the energy debate. Since Pennsylvania’s fracking boom began, corporations that profit from the industry have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying state politicians or contributing to their campaigns. Labor, particularly the building trades, has also allied itself with chambers of commerce and developers in the effort to promote and defend pipeline projects.”

Democracy Now: Water Protector Begins 8-Year Sentence for DAPL Eco-Sabotage
8/13/21

“In Minnesota, climate activist Jessica Reznicek self-reported to the Waseca Federal Correctional Facility Thursday to begin serving an eight-year prison sentence for damaging parts of the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016 and 2017,” Democracy Now reports. “ In 2016, Reznicek and fellow activist Ruby Montoya set fire to five pieces of heavy machinery being used to construct the pipeline. The two then moved up and down the pipeline’s length, destroying valves and delaying construction for weeks. Reznicek’s imprisonment came the same week the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a major new report that the Earth could face runaway climate catastrophe unless drastic efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gases.”

Greenpointers: NO NORTH BROOKLYN PIPELINE COALITION LOOKS AHEAD AFTER GAS BILL HIKE APPROVAL
by Erin Conlon, 8/16/21

“The No North Brooklyn Pipeline coalition is continuing to focus on building community support in light of this week’s Public Service Commission vote to approve the National Grid gas bill hike,” Greenpointers reports. “Last Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined the fight during a press conference in Greenpoint where he voiced his opposition to the fracked-gas pipeline… With the Public Service Commission’s decision in the rearview, the No North Brooklyn Pipeline coalition looks ahead with goals for continued mobilization, including maintaining their gas bill strike, which began in early June and urges residents to withhold $66 on their monthly bills. “We’re ready to really encourage more people to join that strike once the rate hike is actually passed, when they start seeing their bills going up to pay for the pipeline. We’ve been having a lot of conversations with people, we’ve made over 1,600 phone calls. We’ve been talking to people the past few months about this and people want to get involved. We definitely saw that energy at the rally on Saturday; people were picking up postcards so they could tell their neighbors,” Lee Ziesche, community engagement coordinator for the Sane Energy Project, told Greenpointers. “We’re ready to use a bad decision to mobilize people.”

Reuters: Kinder Morgan says Arizona natural gas pipeline fire extinguished, 2 dead
8/16/21

“Kinder Morgan (KMI.N) on Monday said a fire on its El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline (EPNG) near Coolidge, Arizona that killed two people and injured another had been extinguished and the pipeline segment remained shut,” Reuters reports. “”We are coordinating with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) and Coolidge City Fire Department on our response,” company spokesperson Katherine Hill told Reuters. The company added that it was working with customers who might be affected by the incident while an investigation into the cause of it was underway… “The investigation, which will determine probable cause and any contributing factors, is expected to be completed in 12-24 months,” the NTSB added.

WHTM: Sunoco pays $85,000 fine to Pa. Department of Environmental Protection for pipeline leak
Ben Schad, 8/16/21

“Penalized for polluting. Sunoco is paying the state $85,000 for problems with one of its pipelines,” WHTM reports. “The state department of environmental protection says the Mariner East 2 pipeline spilled drilling fluids in not one but four counties. Locally, this affected Letort Spring Run in Cumberland County and Snitz Creek in Lebanon County.”

WASHINGTON UPDATES

Politico Morning Energy: WHAT IS FERC GOING TO DO ABOUT IT
Matthew Choi, 8/16/21

“Several court decisions have tasked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take a more proactive approach to incorporating climate change and environmental justice into their work. That’s raising some questions among Republicans on how far the body’s powers on those fronts can go,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “The DC Circuit Court ordered FERC to redo permits for two LNG projects this month after deeming the commission’s environmental analyses for the projects insufficient. FERC Chair Rich Glick says the commission has so far only paid lip service to addressing environmental justice concerns, and he is trying to steer the commission to better incorporate them, particularly when approving and denying pipeline projects. But Republicans are questioning how much power FERC has to reject projects solely on climate concerns. Denying a pipeline project is exceedingly rare for the body, with only two of the over 400 pipeline applications the commission evaluated since 1999 getting rejected for failing to show the public benefits outweigh the harm, according to a November 2017 report. The commission also has no set thresholds for when to deny a project based on greenhouse gas emission levels. “What’s obvious going forward is that this is going to be subject to litigation,” Edward Hild, a principal at Buchanan & Ingersoll Rooney and former chief of staff to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, told Politico. But environmentalists are still pushing for bold, precedent-setting action to protect frontline communities from fossil fuel infrastructure.”

Politico Morning Energy: THE OTHER TWO-TRACK APPROACH
Matthew Choi, 8/16/21

“The White House is baffling some environmentalists and Republicans over the contrast between its climate ambitions with what appears to be major concessions to fossil fuels,” Politico Morning Energy reports. “The administration requested OPEC+ increase its oil output to alleviate gas prices at home and greenlit drilling on federal lands at a faster rate than the Trump administration. The bipartisan infrastructure deal also contains big investments for priorities supported by the fossil fuel industry, including carbon capture and highway expansion. Environmentalists say the pushes seem incongruous with the administration’s climate agenda, which is the most ambitious in U.S. history. And the optics aren’t great with the U.N.’s latest IPCC report directly linking recent disasters to human-made climate change. But the White House is saying it’s being politically pragmatic, with high gas prices going into election season potentially jeopardizing Democratic majorities in Congress — and with them the party’s climate agenda. “We can do two things at once,” a White House spokesperson told POLITICO in an email.”

Politico: Sierra Club executive director Brune to step down
By Zack Colman, 8/15/21

“Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune resigned Friday from the organization he helmed for 11 years — in a major blow to the U.S. environmental movement and the Democratic Party’s green base,” Politico reports. “Without elaborating, Brune wrote that he apologized “for any instance” in which staff and volunteers of the major green group did not “feel safe, supported and valued.” The group says it has 3.8 million members and supporters. His resignation is effective at the end of the year… “Brune said in a statement Friday that he was proud of the group’s work but that its “transformation is not yet complete and I regret that I was not able to do more.” “As with other legacy institutions across our society, the challenges of transforming this organization are immense,” Brune said. “We are not the organization we were ten years ago, with fundamental changes in how we fundraise for allies, how we participate in coalitions, how we budget and how we share power. Nevertheless, those changes and many others haven’t been sufficient, and haven’t happened at the pace or scale required.” Brune also said that he and the organization’s board of directors “bear the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that our staff and volunteers feel safe, supported and valued, and I sincerely apologize for any instance in which this was not the case.” “…What’s next: Sierra Club will conduct a national search for its next executive director. Dan Chu, executive director of the Sierra Club Foundation, will serve as acting executive director, with organizer Eva Hernandez-Simmons partnering as managing director.”

EXTRACTION

Financial Times: Alberta’s oil producers hit record output but confront a dim future
Derek Brower, 8/17/21

“The White House call for more oil from Saudi Arabia and Russia last week has caused alarm in Alberta, the Canadian province that is by far the biggest foreign oil supplier to the US,” the Financial Times reports. “The request came just two months after US president Joe Biden’s decision to revoke a critical permit led to the demise of the Keystone XL pipeline. The $8bn project, meant to carry heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Texas, has faced years of fierce environmental opposition. “Why is the US government blocking energy imports from friendly Canada, while pressing for more imports from Opec dictatorships & Putin’s Russian regime?” Jason Kenney, Alberta’s premier, asked on Twitter. Alberta is home to the world’s third biggest oil deposit and has pinned its economic future on increasing exports to its southern neighbour. Yet new oil sands projects in Alberta, among the most carbon-intensive on earth, are in trouble as governments pledge deep decarbonisation, UN-sponsored scientists warn of a worsening climate crisis and Wall Street sours on fossil fuels.Extracting bitumen from Canada’s oil sands is an energy-intensive way to produce crude. Despite efficiency improvements, CO2-equivalent emissions are still higher than most other sources of oil. Total oil sands emissions rose almost 140 per cent between 2005 and 2019, to 83m tonnes a year, or more than 10 per cent of Canada’s total, according to the country’s submission to the UN… “However, capital spending in Canada’s oil and gas sector has plunged from a high of C$81bn ($65bn) seven years ago to just over C$27bn this year, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The trend suggests lower production growth in future… “Critics say Alberta is banking on rosy outlooks for global oil demand that cannot transpire if the world meets emissions targets. The province recently lost a supreme court battle to stop Canada’s carbon tax, has investigated environmentalists’ funding and created a unit to beat back critics in media and Hollywood. Its Twitter account said that last week’s UN climate warning contained “apocalyptic rhetoric”. “Alberta has not internalised that oil demand is in decline and that ever-worsening projections about climate impacts . . . have fundamentally changed the outlook,” Simon Dyer, deputy executive director of the Pembina Institute, a clean energy think-tank, told FT. “That is out of step with the investment community and the global climate conversation that’s happening around the world.”

Wall Street Journal: Oil Giants Turn to Startups for Low-Carbon Energy Ideas
By Sarah McFarlane, 8/14/21

“Some of the world’s biggest oil companies are turning to startups to help plot their future,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “Energy giants including BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are bolstering their venture capital arms—increasing budgets, hiring more staff and doing more deals—seeking out new low-carbon technologies to help future-proof their profits. The moves come as several big oil companies work to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and expand their low-carbon activities, partly in response to growing pressure from investors and governments to cut emissions. “They [BP leadership] really want the venture capital activity to help us execute on the new strategy,” Meghan Sharp, head of BP Ventures, told the Journal. Venture spending by oil companies represents only a small amount of their multibillion-dollar annual investment budgets. It is also sometimes aimed at boosting oil-and-gas operations, while some clean-tech entrepreneurs can be reluctant to sell to fossil fuel companies.”

CLIMATE FINANCE

Bloomberg: Climate Movement Keeping Eye on Biden Fed Chair Nomination
By Nancy Cook, 8/13/21

“Climate activists are starting to map out a coordinated campaign to oppose the potential re-nomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, because they view his record on fighting climate change through the banking system as scant and not aggressive enough,” Bloomberg reports. “The campaign will kick off on August 26 at the start of the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, a gathering of Federal Reserve and economic officials in Wyoming. Through demonstrations on the road from the airport and at the entrance to the lodge where the conference is held, the activists want to nudge President Joe Biden to appoint someone new to lead the Federal Reserve. They want Biden to pick a chairman who views climate policy as significant as monetary policy and maximum employment. Seven environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, have come out in opposition to Powell’s renomination so far, but the public protests at Jackson Hole mark an inflection point for the broader climate movement as it refocuses its attention from the bipartisan infrastructure package and the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending proposal to the fight over the Fed chair… “A handful of climate leaders say they would prefer Biden instead appoint current Fed governor Lael Brainard, former deputy secretary to the Treasury Sarah Bloom Raskin or economics professor Lisa Cook to lead the central bank… “The activists want a Fed leader who will use the board’s regulatory authority to ensure climate risk is factored into the Fed’s assessment of the health of U.S. banks.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING

Los Angeles Times: They fought for clean air. They didn’t know they were part of a gas industry campaign
BY MIRANDA GREEN AND SAMMY ROTH, 8/16/21

“Diesel truck pollution from the busiest port complex in the United States has fouled the air in nearby neighborhoods in Southern California for decades. So when port officials asked for feedback on cleaning up that pollution, hundreds of people weighed in,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Los Angeles and Long Beach officials hoped residents would help them decide whether to require zero-pollution electric trucks or instead promote vehicles powered by natural gas, a fossil fuel. What officials didn’t know was that some of the locals who urged support for natural gas trucks were being paid by a firm hired by the natural gas industry. A joint investigation by The Times and the news outlet Floodlight in partnership with the Guardian found that in 2017 at least 20 locals were organized by Method Campaign Services to push for “near-zero-emission” trucks at the ports. Their comments at public meetings and press conferences bolstered successful industry lobbying for trucks that run on natural gas, which is less polluting than diesel but still contributes to lung-damaging emissions and climate change. San Pedro resident Sholeh Bousheri, who was hired by Method to speak at public hearings, was one of several paid campaigners who said they only learned later that their work was part of a natural gas industry effort. Bousheri told the Times Method led her to believe she’d be “standing up for sustainability” as part of an environmental campaign. She said she pieced together the gas industry’s role when she was paid to hand out pamphlets featuring the logo of Southern California Gas Co., the nation’s largest gas utility. “It didn’t make me feel comfortable. I took a whole ethical step back,” she told the Times. “I was like, ‘Wait, what’s going on?’ Is this something I want to support with you? Is it moral?”

OPINION

MinnPost: Lawsuits like Ellison’s will hold the fossil fuel industry accountable
Bella Garrioch is a junior at Macalester College, studying environmental studies, and a volunteer with MN350, a Minnesota climate justice group affiliated with 350.org, 8/16/21

“For more than 30 years, experts, advocates, and citizens have been sounding the alarm about the damage fossil fuel consumption is doing to our planet. And for more than 30 years, fossil fuel companies have cast doubt and sown confusion about these facts at every opportunity,” Bella Garrioch writes in the MinnPost. “…Just over one year ago, Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, the Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, and the American Petroleum Institute. The suit seeks damages from the fossil fuel companies for the harm they have caused through years of fraudulent and deceptive practices. Just as tobacco companies for years lied about the dangers of their products, so too did the fossil fuel companies lie about the dangers of theirs… “Accountability suits like Ellison’s are quickly expanding to U.S. cities. The outcome of these cases could shift the way we think about climate change… “It is too late to turn back the clock on the lost years when we could have been taking stronger action to protect our climate, but we can hold those who willfully and knowingly lied to us accountable. These lawsuits will not fix the mess our planet is in right now, but they will force the fossil fuel industry to pay for the damage they caused.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Carbon capture technology won’t solve our emissions problems
Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of the national advocacy group Food & Water Watch, 8/16/21

“The world is processing the dire warnings in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report: We are on a path to see global temperature rise surpass the two-degree threshold, bringing more intense heat waves, droughts and sea level rise — unless we shift rapidly away from fossil fuels,” Wenonah Hunter writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “ And the climate movement is grappling with both a sense of urgency and profound disappointment with the Biden administration. It was bad enough that the administration backed a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that jettisoned many key clean energy provisions, but it’s even worse that the infrastructure plan includes billions of dollars in new fossil fuel subsidies. That spending would support “carbon capture,” a category of technologies that are misleadingly categorized as climate-friendly. State agencies and lawmakers are making sure that Pennsylvania positions itself as a “carbon capture hub,” which means fitting existing power plants with technology to capture emissions, along with miles of new carbon dioxide pipelines and underground storage facilities in western parts of the state. There is even a plan to build a new “zero emissions” coal-fired power plant, thanks to the magic of carbon capture… “But it’s just as revealing — and troubling — to see that the other goal is to actually increase our dependence on burning fossil fuels. When Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently touted the billions of dollars in new funding for carbon capture, she said it “will help the oil and gas sector to be able to ramp up production, but in a way that’s clean.” While that sounds nice, the catch is that there is no sign that you can make burning fossil fuels “clean.” “…It’s not hard to see why swooning over carbon capture has been a bipartisan enterprise. There’s an unmistakable appeal to the idea that some day, somehow, we might bottle up climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, install this technology on fossil fuel infrastructure, dust off our hands, and move on. But this kind of wishful thinking is dangerous. Counting on carbon capture’s effectiveness squanders the opportunity to enact stronger measures (a phenomenon known as “mitigation deterrence”). In other words, we would extend the fossil fuel era instead of ending it, all while telling ourselves that we are doing the right thing. So long as techno-futurists, fossil fuel companies and government officials are enraptured by carbon capture, there will be less pressure to stop climate pollution by putting an end to drilling and fracking.”

YES Magazine: The Fallacy of Our Carbon Footprint: Big Oil says citizens should do more to stop climate change.
BY EMMA PATTEE, 5/10/21

“In 1992, a Canadian ecologist named William Rees coined the term “ecological footprint,” a measurement of how much any entity was impacting the planet’s ecology. A decade later, British Petroleum started promoting a new term: “carbon footprint,” Emma Pattee writes in YES Magazine. “In a splashy ad campaign, the company unveiled the first of its many carbon footprint calculators as a way for individuals to measure how their daily actions—what they eat, where they work, how they heat their home—impact global warming.  BP did not adopt the footprint imagery by accident. In the 30 years prior to the carbon footprint campaign, polluting companies had been using advertising to link pollution and climate change to personal choices. These campaigns, most notably the long-running Keep America Beautiful campaign, imply that individuals, rather than corporations, bear the responsibility for change. “It was done so intentionally,” Susan Hassol, director of the nonprofit science outreach group Climate Communication, told YES. “It’s a deflection.” The universal adoption of the term “carbon footprint” hasn’t just changed how we speak about climate change. It’s changed how we think about it. Climate change has become an individual problem, caused by our insatiable appetite for consumption, and therefore a war that must be waged on our dinner plates and gas tanks, a hero’s journey from consumer to conservationist. Yet the reality is that the future of civilization is being decided at a political and corporate level that no individual can impact. Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions.”

The Revelator: To Save the Planet, We Need to End Corporate Funding of Police
Shea Leibow, 8/16/21

“This summer, we’ve seen the Bootleg fire rage through Oregon. East Coasters have been breathing West Coast smoke. Massive floods have slammed towns from Germany to China. The town of Lytton, British Columbia burned to the ground,” Shea Leibow writes in The Revelator. “These disasters give a new sense of urgency to transition away from the fossil fuels that are causing this climate chaos. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the movement fighting for this transition is running up against intense police repression — funded by private corporations as well as the federal government. I saw some of this firsthand. In June, I was one of the thousands who converged in Northern Minnesota for the Treaty People Gathering to protest the Line 3 tar sands pipeline… “Although the police claim to “protect and serve” the communities they work in, these confrontational, militarized responses would indicate the opposite. It’s disappointing, but not surprising — Enbridge, the pipeline operator, is directly funding many Minnesotan police departments. The Line 3 construction permit requires Enbridge to create a “Public Safety Escrow Account” that allows Minnesota police to seek reimbursement for “services” including “maintaining the peace in and around the construction site.” This incentivizes more arrests, as the police can bill Enbridge for any activity related to suppressing Line 3 resistance. The escrow account provides funding for police “personal protective equipment, ” which includes batons, shields, and gas masks. Police have also submitted invoices for tear gas grenades, tear gas projectiles, and bean bag rounds. Funding police violence against nonviolent protests should cross a line. But it’s not just corporations — the federal government does it, too. The federal 1033 program transfers surplus military equipment to local police departments, free of charge.”

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