Hill City, MN - Early Friday morning, five water protectors locked themselves into concrete barrels at the entrance of Swatara oil pump station, halting construction of the Line 3 Replacement project. This action was taken with Camp Migizi in recognition of Earth Day, coming a day ahead of “Stop Line 3 x Earth Day”, a march that will be taking place in Duluth, Minnesota. Two of the protestors sat behind a hand painted banner reading “Earth Day Every Day”, while other banners in front of the pump station gate read “No Pipelines on Stolen Land,” “Land Back,” and “Protect the Water.” Construction faces active and growing resistance led by Indigenous groups who see the project and the risk of a spill as a violation of treaty rights, as the project endangers wild rice lakes in treaty territories where the Anishinaabe have the right to hunt, fish, and gather.
When hundreds of activists protesting the Keystone XL pipeline were arrested at the White House in 2011, their ultimate target lay thousands of miles away: Canada's tar sands. If they stopped the pipeline, they argued, that could slow the growth of this particularly dirty source of oil and score a limited but significant win for the climate. This week, with the market saturated and prices depressed, Alberta's premier announced that her government would temporarily curtail the province's oil production, chiefly from the tar sands, because there isn't enough pipeline capacity to ship the crude to market.
A federal judge has ruled that the coastal city of South Portland, Maine, did not violate the U.S. Constitution when it passed an ordinance that blocked a local pipeline company from bringing tar sands oil through its port. For the city of 25,000, the ruling was a surprise victory after years of fighting what felt like an impossible battle against some of the world's biggest oil companies, which lined up to support the Portland Pipe Line Corporation (PPLC). Provided the ruling survives an appeal, it slams the door on a significant plan to ship Canadian tar sands oil, one of the most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet, to the East Coast for export to international markets, and it could offer a guide for other communities hoping to block energy projects.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine—A federal judge has handed a win to South Portland, Maine over a pipeline company that wants to send tar sands oil through the city, a proposal seen as opening a path for Canada's crude to reach the East Coast for export. But the fight is not over. A federal district court judge dismissed on Dec. 29 all but one of the company's claims against the city. The ruling still leaves open a key question: whether the city is violating the U.S. Constitution by blocking the project. At the heart of the lawsuit is the question of local control and what—if anything—a community can do to block an unwanted energy project. The outcome could influence similar lawsuits elsewhere. When the Portland Pipe Line Corporation (PPLC) sued this small coastal city in 2015, it had some powerful allies, including the American Petroleum Institute, whose members include most major oil and gas companies.
By Robinson Meyer for The Atlantic. South Dakota - The Keystone pipeline was temporarily shut down on Thursday, after leaking about 210,000 gallons of [tar sands] oil into Marshall County, South Dakota, during an early-morning spill. TransCanada, the company which operates the pipeline, said it noticed a loss of pressure in Keystone at about 5:45 a.m. According to a company statement, workers had “completely isolated” the section and “activated emergency procedures” within 15 minutes. Brian Walsh, a state environmental scientist, told the local station KSFY that TransCanada informed the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources about the spill by 10:30 a.m.
By Alex Cohen, for Earth Defense Coalition. On November 14, 2017, five water protectors took action in solidarity with front line Indigenous resistance efforts at Camp Makwa to stop the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota. The activists locked down to each other and used their bodies to disrupt business as usual at Wells Fargo, one of the major financial players behind this genocidal, extractive fossil fuel project. Wells Fargo has 743 million invested into Enbridge who is responsible for Tar Sands and the Line 3 pipeline threatening and ravaging through Indigenous lands, water, wild rice, and sovereignty in Minnesota. This action is one of hundreds taking place across the globe to call for divestment from financial institutions invested in the destructive fossil fuel industry.
By Sabrina Shankman for Inside Climate Change - Hundreds of miles from the nearest oil field or fracking well, the answer to this question is playing out here, as a longrunning David-and-Goliath battle over plans to pipe tar sands oil from Canada to Maine for export nears a pivotal moment. On one side is South Portland, a picturesque waterfront city of 25,000, which approved an ordinance in 2014 to outlaw heavy crude exports from its harbor in an overwhelming City Council vote. On the other is the Portland Pipe Line Corporation, the company behind the project, and its allies, including the American Petroleum Institute, whose members include most major oil and gas companies. API spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat a ballot measure in 2013 that would have blocked the project. The City Council approved the ordinance a year later. The Portland Pipe Line Corporation is now suing the city, with support from API and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, arguing the ban was unconstitutional. A federal judge is expected to rule in the coming weeks. A decision in favor of the company could effectively open a gateway for the flow of carbon-heavy tar sands oil to one of the East Coast's largest oil ports. For other cities seeking to restrict oil and gas activities, South Portland's four-year fight to fend off the oil industry offers perhaps a cautionary tale.
By Elders Rising. SALT LAKE CITY - Tuesday morning, September 26, organizers from Elders Rising called for land restoration and inter-generational justice at the PR Spring tar sands mine in eastern Utah. While sitting in rocking chairs outside the mine, seniors sang songs and held banners to bring attention to US Oil Sands’ destruction of nearly a hundred acres in the Book Cliffs, endangerment of the Colorado River Basin, and contribution to climate chaos. “As a mother and grandmother, I am here to look straight at the destruction of our land in Utah in the pursuit of boom and bust profit from mining tar sands, the dirtiest fuel on this planet,” said Joan Gregory, a member of Elders Rising.
By Dan Zukowski for Eco Watch - "This morning, by 7:30 PST, 5 activists have successfully shut down 5 pipelines across the United States delivering tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. Activists employed manual safety valves, calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe."
By Staff of The Council of Canadians - Early yesterday morning, someone shut down Enbridge’s Line 7 oil pipeline near Cambridge Ontario by activating a shutoff valve. This is the third time in less than a month that an Enbridge pipeline was turned off- but the first time that it was done anonymously. On December 7th, activists in Quebec closed a valve on Line 9 and locked themselves to the equipment putting the controversial pipeline out of service for most of the day and resulting in three arrests.
By Jim Robbins for Yale Environment 360 - Sitting in his office on the outskirts of Montreal, Serge Otis Simon, council chief of the Kanesatake — a band of Mohawks — is clear about what might happen if the proposed Energy East Pipeline is routed through the band's land, in spite of their opposition. "The Warrior Society are men whose duty is given by creation to protect the land, people, and community," he told me, describing a group of Mohawks who go by that name. "I can't think of a more honorable way to be killed than standing in the way of that pipeline." The rhetoric may be extreme, but it reflects the passions surrounding the debate over oil and gas pipelines in Canada. And it may well not be...
By Steven Verburg for Wisconsin State Journal - Crews hired by Enbridge Inc. are surveying a 300-mile corridor running the length of Wisconsin for a possible new tar sands pipeline that would be the twin to an underground line whose capacity has quietly eclipsed the projected flow of the Keystone XL project. Activists and landowners say they are worried that digging for a new pipeline would disrupt lives, lead to a repeat of environmental violations committed when the last line was laid, and increase the chances of a devastating spill of heavy crude. A spokeswoman for the Canadian pipeline giant last week said the company has improved its safety practices and said there was no timetable for building a line.
By Staff of CTV News - CALGARY -- Royal Dutch Shell is scrapping its Carmon Creek oils ands project in northwestern Alberta, citing a lack of pipelines to coastal waters as one reason for the decision. The move comes after a review of the project's design and costs and where it stacks up against other projects Shell has in its portfolio. The European energy giant first announced it would build the 80,000-barrel-a-day, steam-driven operation near Peace River, Alta., in October 2013. But last March, the company said it would slow down the project while attempting to lower costs and improve its design.
By Sarah Lazare in Common Dreams - Chanting "No tar sands on stolen native lands," First Nations women disrupted and shut down a Montreal public hearing on the controversialEnergy East pipeline on Wednesday night, the latest in a resistance campaign against the massive project proposed by the Alberta-based TransCanada Corporation. "What we want TransCanada to understand is that no means no. This is Kanien’ke, this is Mohawk Land, and we are tired of occupation, we are tired of environmental disaster," declared Amanda Lickers, who hails from the Seneca-Haudenosaunee community, at Wednesday's hearing. "This is our land and we are going to protect it." Four Indigenous women took the stage and hoisted a banner reading, "No consent, no pipelines" as dozens of protesters cheered them on. The action successfully shut down the hearing, and while police were called, no arrests were made.