By Russell Mokhiber of Corporate Crime Reporter. There are about two pipeline incidents in the United States every day. Half of those are significant incidents — incidents that kill someone, send someone to the hospital, cause $50,000 in property damage, or spill a large amount of fuel into the environment. And the number of pipeline incidents has been increasing in recent years. Currently, there is a major natural gas spill ongoing in Alaska. An underwater Hilcorp Alaska pipeline is leaking up to 310,000 cubic feet per day of gas into Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Environmental groups say the leak is creating a low-oxygen dead zone that threatens endangered beluga whales, fish and other wildlife.
By Jeremy Brecher for Common Dreams. Is there anything people can do about climate change in the Trump era? The new American president has asserted that global warming is a fraud perpetrated by the Chinese to steal American jobs; threatened to ignore or even withdraw from the Paris climate agreement; and pledged unlimited burning of fossil fuels. Whatever the details, Trump’s agenda will escalate global warming far beyond its already catastrophic trajectory. As we learn that 2016 was the hottest year on record, it sounds like a formula for doom. On October 11 2016, with the presidential campaign still raging, five climate protectors traveled to five secluded locations in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Washington state and turned the shut-off valves on the five pipelines that carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada into the United States. Their action – dubbed “Shut It Down” – blocked 15% of US crude oil imports for nearly a day.
By Beyond Extreme Energy. Over 130 organizations across the country announced today that they will oppose nominees made by the Trump Administration to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The move reflects the growing resistance nationwide from residents, farmers, business owners, physicians, and environmentalists to FERC’s practice of recklessly permitting pipelines that put hundreds of communities and the drinking water of millions of Americans at risk, in addition to the global climate. At a time when citizens are increasingly calling on Senators to oppose appointed officials that support the fossil fuel industry, the pledge signers, representing over a million people nationwide, pledge to work against each nominee to FERC made by the Trump Administration, and to call on U.S. Senators to use the nomination process to highlight FERC’s rubber stamping of pipeline projects and refusal to listen the legitimate concerns of community groups.
By The Fang Collective. Providence, RI – On Thursday morning three people with The FANG Collective blockaded the main entrance to the Citizens Bank global headquarters building in downtown Providence, RI to protest the Bank’s financing of Sunoco Logistics. Two people used a series of bike locks to lock their necks to two sets of doors, while another person used their body and several door stoppers to block a revolving door. The action follows the February launch of the “Shame On Citizens” campaign which calls attention to Citizens Bank’s role in a $2.5 billion line of credit to Sunoco Logistics, a pipeline company behind several controversial projects, including the Dakota Access Pipeline. Citizens contributed $72.5 million to this line of credit. Sunoco Logistics is in the process of fully merging with Energy Transfer Partners.
By Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight. Are you invested in seeing justice for the Standing Rock Sioux and a halt to the build out of the Dakota Access Pipeline? Then you should get familiar with the name Tangerine Bolen. Bolen, a guest in the latest episode of Redacted Tonight VIP, is the founder and executive director of RevolutionTruth.org, an all volunteer organization dedicated to standing up for human rights and preserving civil liberties. Claiming a need for both environmental and racial justice, Bolen talks with host Lee Camp about her effort to bring forward lawsuits that could put an end to the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect the land and water of the Standing Rock Sioux. While so many people fight on the ground as Water Protectors in North Dakota, millions of others are helping out on social media or by donating money to the cause.
By Popular Resistance. This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a ‘public input session’ on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Suffolk, VA. According to Ryan Murphy in The Virginian-Pilot, the ACP is “a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline that would carry as much as 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day from West Virginia’s shale fields to North Carolina and Virginia.” The public input sessions were designed to prevent the public from hearing each other. The FERC has moved to a new format for their public events. Rather than allowing people to be together and hear each other’s testimony, people have to speak with FERC officials one-on-one. In North Carolina, Sierra Club helped promote parallel “people’s hearings” to provide a forum for people to air their views, network, and strategize. In Fayetteville, Wilson, and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, neighbors and concerned community members people clustered in the hall, in hotel event rooms, and around school cafeteria tables to swap information, share stories, talk to the press, get organized and encourage each other. More hearings are planned.
By Anuradha Mittal for the Oakland Institute. Oakland, CA—The Return of Erik Prince: Trump’s Knight in America’s New Crusade? a new brief from the Oakland Institute, exposes the comeback of the founder of Blackwater, the notorious private security company. An ardent detractor of Obama/Clinton foreign policy during the presidential campaign, Prince is now set with access to unique assets, to be a key player in Trump’s foreign policy. Using information not seen before, the brief describes Prince’s post Blackwater maneuvers – acquiring logistics capacity in Africa, the Mediterranean Region, and Asia, and networking with high-level individuals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch a private equity fund, Frontier Resource Group (FRG).
By Anne Meador of DC Media Group on Facebook. Washington, DC – The public was barred from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) meeting scheduled for 10 am Thursday. Over 30 Department of Homeland Security police met Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) at the front doors, preventing entry to what organizers are calling a sham meeting with industry insiders. “It’s a ‘denial of citizens rights’ and prevents the public from taking part in Energy policy proceedings,” said organizer Ted Glick, with Beyond Extreme Energy. He called on FERC to be transparent and follow their mandate to put the public interests before oil and gas industry profits. Over 60 persons allied with BXE had planned to attend the meeting to express opposition to an increasing number of fracking energy infrastructure projects.
By Resist AIM. Cortlandt, NY — On Friday morning – in front of a packed courtroom of over 100 New York residents, activists, sympathizers and supporters opposed to Spectra’s “AIM” Pipeline – Cortlandt Town Court Judge Daniel McCarthy issued sentences for nine New York residents (known as the “Montrose 9”) that were arrested for blocking access to a Spectra Energy construction yard in November 2015. Each of the nine of the defendants were fined and sentenced to community service. The defendants had pled the “Necessity Defense,” arguing that their activity was justified because it was done to stop a danger more harmful than the violation of the law, and only after all other legal and regulatory options had been exhausted. The danger they oppose is Spectra’s “AIM” Pipeline, a high-pressure 42-inch gas pipeline that runs within 105 feet of critical Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant safety facilities.
(Portland, OR) A massive natural gas export project aimed at the Oregon coast is on life support after the federal government ruled against it late Friday afternoon, December 9, 2016. The Jordan Cove Energy Project, a $7.6 billion terminal and pipeline plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia from Canada and the Rockies, was refused by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The first-ever rejection of federal permits for an LNG export project came in the wake of an 11-year coordinated grassroots campaign against this LNG terminal and pipeline in southern Oregon. “We’ve been fighting this project for more than a decade,” said Ted Gleichman, a political advisor to the Center for Sustainable Economy.
By Crystal Zevon and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. NOTE: The report below is compiled from posts made by Popular Resistance reporter Crystal Zevon (also of Searching for Occupy). Crystal was on the ground in the Oceti Sakowin Camp of Standing Rock in November and returned last week. Thousands of veterans and allies arrived over the weekend to be present for the possible eviction of the camp. On Monday, the light snowfall that was forecast turned into a dangerous blizzard. Temperatures dropped and many people sought refuge in Cannon Ball. Many people have gone home, but a solid group of people remain. We were there yesterday. They have a good supply of food. What are needed most are firewood, cold weather gear to protect skin from exposure, and winterization supplies. The camp will remain and the resistance to DAPL continues.
By Margaret Flowers an Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Bismarck, ND – Monday, December 5 was the date the the US Army Corps Of Engineers’ eviction notice took effect. Tens of thousands of people converged on the Oceti Sakowin Camp over the weekend to be in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux in case the eviction was acted upon. On Sunday afternoon, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that they were denying the final permit for Energy Transfer Partners to drill under Lake Oahe and that they would do an Environmental Impact Statement to assess other sites. The news was celebrated in the camp that night as a victory, although there was a healthy distrust of the US army Corps of Engineers and a sense that the struggle was not over.
Asheville, NC by Steve Norris – On Sunday afternoon, December 4, in a cold drizzling rain, over 100 people gathered in Asheville at Vance Monument for a Rally, Prayer Service and March in Solidarity with Standing Rock. Statements from NC Lumbee activists and leaders were read, with prayers, song and drumming. People who had been to Standing Rock spoke. Many became aware that the 550 mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will cut through some of the poorest east coast counties of NC with the largest minority and indigenous populations, will be the east coast’s DAPL. After the rally, we marched to four of the biggest banks which have branches in Asheville: TD Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and PNC.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Cannon Ball, North Dakota (Oceti Sakowin or Council of the Seven Fires Camp) – Today, the people won a major victory in the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The US Army Corp of Engineers sided with the Water Protectors and refused the final permit that would have allowed Energy Transfer Partners to drill under Lake Oahe. There will be battles ahead but this was another amazing people-powered victory. When people unite, we have power. This time people power defeated big oil and big finance. 20161204_112709When we arrived at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, we were impressed by its size and organization. From our view on the highway, the camp stretched far into the distance and was packed with all kinds of structures.