Stop DAPL Rallies At Energy Transfer Partners HQ

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By Jade Begay and Yolonda Blue Horse. Dallas, TX — Today, hundreds of activists rallied and stood in solidarity with communities who have been impacted by Energy Transfer Partners’ pipelines. Despite unprecedented protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and being charged for many violations during the construction of DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners continues to expand its operations across the United States. From North Dakota to Pennsylvania, from Ohio to Louisiana, from Michigan to Texas, ETP violates Indigenous sovereignty, human and environmental rights. “Enough is enough. Across the country, Energy Transfer Partners steals land, poisons air and water, and trashes the climate,” said Yolonda Blue Horse, Society of Native Nations.

As Arkema Plant Burns, Six Things We Know About Petrochemical Risks In The Wake Of Harvey

After Murphy Oil’s Meraux refinery spilled 25,000 barrels of oil during Hurricane Katrina, more than a square mile of neighborhood was contaminated and Murphy Oil had to pay $330 million in settlements. Photo: UCS/Jean Sideris

By Gretchen Goldman for USCUSA – As Harvey continues to wreak havoc in the Southeast, one issue is starting to emerge as a growing threat to public health and safety: Houston’s vast oil, gas, and chemical production landscape. We’ve already seen accidental releases of chemicals at facilities owned by ExxonMobil, Chevron, and others. Now we are seeing explosions at Arkema’s Crosby facility 20 miles northeast of Houston, due to power failures and flooding. And there remains a threat of additional explosions. There is no reason to believe the Crosby facility is the only one at risk of chemical disasters right now. The coast of southeast Texas and Louisiana has a whole lot of petrochemical production—infrastructure that was exactly in the path of Hurricane Harvey and continues to be hit by its remnants. I’ve studied (and been worried about) chemical safety, sea level rise, and storm surge riskto oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf for several years, and many of those fears are now playing out. Here are some things we know about petrochemical production in the Gulf, its storm risks, who’s impacted, and who’s responsible.

As Hilcorp Plans To Drill In Arctic Waters, A Troubling Trail Of Violations Surfaces

Photo: Stop Arctic Drilling by John Zangas

By Sabrina Shankman for Inside Climate News – ANCHORAGE, Alaska—In the energy industry, Hilcorp has built a reputation for fast growth, big profits and making people rich. This 28-year-old Houston-based company has kept a low public profile while becoming one of the top five privately held oil and gas producers in the United States. Founder Jeffery Hildebrand has become a billionaire, rising up the ranks of the hundred richest Americans. Employees, who got six-figure bonuses for meeting output goals, rave online about their employer, which Fortune magazine has lauded as one of the 100 best companies to work for five years in a row. In regulatory circles, however, and among environmentalists, Hilcorp has become known for different reasons. As the company has bought up older oil and gas fields from bigger companies, a business strategy known as “acquire and exploit,” it has amassed a troubling safety and environmental track record in Alaska and several other states. As soon as the company started working in Alaska in April 2012, it began to accumulate violations. By October 2015, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC), the main industry regulator in the state…

Sugar Shack Protesters Block Construction For Public Safety

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By the Sugar Shack Alliance. Massachusetts – In an early morning action carried out yesterday at the site of the Kinder Morgan/TGP Connecticut Expansion Pipeline Project, 21 members of the Sugar Shack Alliance successfully blocked construction traffic for almost 3 hours in 2 directions on Cold Spring Road in Sandisfield MA, hindering access to work zones for employees, and, for a short time, disrupting ongoing pipeline construction. The day’s action—undertaken by Sugar Shack Alliance members in the interest of public safety—resulted in the arrest of 10 activists. One major safety concern for the Sugar Shack Alliance and their allies is the apparent lack of an evacuation plan in the event of a potentially catastrophic accident. In 1981, as many Sandisfield residents may recall, during construction of a second of two pipelines, workers accidentally ruptured an existing “live” pipeline, resulting in a serious threat of a gas leak and requiring the evacuation of many townspeople.

Newsletter: Policies For The People

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Political economist C. J. Polychroniou recently interviewed David M. Kotz, author of “The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism,” about the transition in the US from a regulated capitalism instituted under FDR that protected workers and the vulnerable to some extent to a financialized global neoliberal capitalism that started in the 1970s. Under neoliberalism, the rich got richer while protections for workers in the form of unions and and the vulnerable in the form of a social safety net were dismantled. In addition, the environmental impacts of industry and fossil fuels are barely considered despite the reality of climate change. Neoliberalism crashed in 2008 and has remained in a crisis state ever since with a stagnating economy, growing wealth divide and political turmoil. Crises are turning points.

FERC Quorum Restored In Night Vote After Protests

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By Staff for Popular Resistance. Washington, DC – On Thursday, August 3, climate protectors and New York residents occupied Senator Chuck Schumer’s office to shut it down in protest of the upcoming senate vote to confirm Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners. The FERC has not had a quorum, and thus has not been able to issue permits, since the inauguration in January. Protesters stated that they would “not leave until he [Schumer] opposes Trump’s nominations to #FERC and vows to fight the #DirtyEnergyBill, which if passed, would give FERC more power. FERC has been working as an arm of the oil and gas industry to rubber stamp unneeded and harmful fossil fuel infrastructure for decades. The #Senate must take steps to replace FERC with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels.”

Full DC Circuit Court Overturns Order Delaying EPA Methane Rules

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By Staff of EDF – (Washington, D.C. – July 31, 2017) The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued the mandate tonight in its ruling that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt acted unlawfully in suspending pollution limits for the oil and gas industry. Nine of the eleven active judges on the court ordered immediate issuance of the mandate. “Today’s issuance of the mandate by the full D.C. Circuit protects families and communities across America under clean air safeguards that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sought to unlawfully tear down,” said EDF Lead Attorney Peter Zalzal. The en banc court issued the mandate this evening for the ruling by a three-judge panel on July 3rd.That opinion held Administrator Pruitt’s suspension of oil and gas pollution standards was “unlawful,” “arbitrary,” and “capricious.” The critical clean air protections at stake will reduce harmful methane and smog-forming, toxic and carcinogenic air pollution from new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry.

Weekly Rally For A Safety Study For Cove Point

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By We Are Cove Point. June 24, 2017 was a turning point for We Are Cove Point. After years of meeting with legislators and state officials to ask for a safety study (known as a Quantitative Risk Assessment or QRA) on Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s fracking refinery, power plant and gas export terminal being built in Cove Point, we learned that the Governor “supports the project and will not order a safety study.” We believe it is possible for the Governor to support the project and have concerns about the health and safety of the thousands of families living close to Dominion’s facility. We can’t accept “no” as an answer because this is the first facility of its kind anywhere in the world to be placed in such a densely-populated area.

Resistance Report: G20 And Pipelines

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By Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out! The G20 has historically been a meeting of bankers and finance ministers. Indeed, it wasn’t until 2008 that the first summit was held in Washington, DC as the global financial crisis pressed world leaders to at least make it look like they cared about the fate of millions. Today, the G20 is basically a vapid soiree where the G7 and BRICS nations shake hands, smile for the camera, take in a concert and essentially change nothing but time zones. Camp White Pine is a forest defense camp currently engaging in a large scale tree-sit in central Pennsylvania in order to combat the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. This 350+ mile long proposed pipeline would carry natural gas liquids through Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to an export facility on the east coast.

Louisiana Takes Suit Against Energy Corporations To Supreme Court

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By Kevin McGill for Associated Press. NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana flood protection board has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to revive its lawsuit seeking to make oil, gas and pipeline companies pay for decades of damage to coastal wetlands, hoping to reverse losses in the lower federal courts. The suit drew fierce opposition from the energy industry and many in state government when it was filed in 2013 by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. It said the energy industry’s dredging of canals in coastal drilling areas contributed to loss of wetlands that form a hurricane buffer for New Orleans. Some 80 companies are named as defendants, among them Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corp., and subsidiaries of BP.

Activists Occupy Trees To Stop Pipeline

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By Mark Scialla for PBS. Last spring, Elise Gerhart and her mother Ellen heard chainsaw motors revving in the woods behind their southern Pennsylvania home. Pipeline workers had returned to finish clear-cutting a patch of the Gerhart’s 27-acre forest. The two women, joined by other activists, raced into the woods, and Elise climbed 40-feet high into a 100-year-old white pine. Cutting that tree would have brought her down with it. The workers were forced to stop. A year later, only three of the hundreds of trees remain in a three-acre clearing of stumps and logs. Forts suspended from the branches of these trees block new work in the woods. It was last year that the Gerharts first put out a call for help to stop a natural gas liquids project planned to pass under a wetland and forest on their property in Huntingdon County. The Gerhart’s land, now known by activists as Camp White Pine, has since become another front in the handful of pipeline battles occurring across the continent, many of which were inspired by the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline last year.

Another Splendid Little Coup

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By Greg Maybury for Information Clearing House. For those Americans au fait with their country’s fondness for engineering coups, ousting democratically elected leaders, and interfering in the political affairs of other nations – to all intents the perennial bedrock principle of U.S. foreign policy — Iran is a well-documented exemplar. Given the supreme ironies inherent in the political imbroglio in the U.S. attending Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, along with America’s resolve to seek once again regime change in Russia’s ally Iran, it’s timely we revisit this slice of history. Doing so presents us an opportunity to view the so-called ‘Russia-gate’ furore, the Iran regime change ambitions, and the increasingly bloody war in Syria – itself an ally of both Russia and Iran — within a broader, more nuanced historical context. From there we might derive a more informed perspective on the contemporary geopolitical zeitgeist and the hegemonic forces that have fashioned it.

Resistance Growing As 180 Groups Call For ‘No’ Vote On FERC Nominees

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By Melinda Tuhus for Beyond Extreme Energy. Faced with the growing scourge of pipeline expansion nationwide, 180 groups — including Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, Green America, the Center for Biological Diversity, and community-level organizations — are calling for the full Senate to vote “no” on President Trump’s nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The coalition of organizations is opposing the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson because both nominees would increase FERC’s bias towards the fossil fuel industry and further marginalize communities that oppose pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure that damage people’s homes, livelihoods and communities. Natural gas pipelines and infrastructure represent a clear danger to communities nationwide, and in just the past two years, explosions at transmission pipelines have caused 12 deaths and 10 injuries, as well as extensive property damage. In addition, the construction process puts communities at risk. Recently, the Rover pipeline, under construction and approved by FERC, resulted in two million gallons of drilling fluids leaking into Ohio wetlands.

Governor Hogan: Energy Profits More Important Than Maryland Lives

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By Popular Resistance. Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland let it be known last week that he supports the Dominion Energy fracked gas export terminal in southern Maryland and will not order a safety study to determine the risks to the community. The people of Lusby, Maryland and other communities near Cove Point along with their allies have entered a new phase of their campaign now that Hogan has essentially said — your lives are less important than Dominion’s profits. The failure to examine the risks of the Dominion fracked gas export terminal in a Qualitative Risk Assessment is the height of irresponsibility and shows that people of Maryland, especially those in rural areas, they cannot count on Governor Hogan to treat them fairly or protect their safety. Take action to urge Governor Hogan to order a risk assessment. Call his office at 410-974-3901 and join us at the rally in Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis, this Monday, June 3, 2017 at noon.

No Pipelines Under The Potomac Camp To Launch

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By No Potomac Pipeline. From Standing Rock to Hancock people are rising up to resist fracked gas pipelines in their community. Following a historic fight in Maryland, where we became the first state with gas reserves to legislatively ban fracking, we still find our communities our under attack by Big Oil and Gas. TransCanada the same company behind the Keystone Pipeline that spilled over 16000 gallons of crude oil on South Dakota land now wants to build a pipeline that would transport fracked gas between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. How are they going to do this? They are going to do it through the shortest and cheapest route by cutting through Maryland and underneath the Potomac River that serves as the source of drinking water for millions of residents in our state and the DC suburbs.