San Francisco – Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied yet another attempt by TransCanada to begin construction on its proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The court left in place a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana that blocked construction on the controversial tar sands pipeline amid an ongoing legal challenge. Late last year, the District Court ruled that the Trump administration violated bedrock environmental laws when approving a federal permit for the pipeline. The ruling blocked any construction while the government revises its environmental review.
That’s what the Morgan County Economic Development Authority, headed by House of Delegates member Daryl Cowles (R-Morgan), wanted to know. Earlier this month, someone at the Economic Development Authority messaged TransCanada’s Brittany Carns asking her about the company’s plans. The message was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Tracy Cannon of Eastern Panhandle Protectors, Brent Walls of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Regina Hendrix of the West Virginia Sierra Club. “Hi Brittany. Anything new on the ROW (right of way) in Maryland?” the EDA person wrote. “I have an EDA meeting Tuesday in Morgan County.
People gathered in front of the RCMP in Regina on Tuesday to show their support for the people of the Wet’sawet’en territory in British Columbia who are trying to stop the construction of a pipeline through the area. This follows the police-lead breach of a camp blocking a remote forestry road in British Columbia meant to stop Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Ltd., part of energy company Transcanada, from doing work on a portion of the Coastal Gaslink Project. Similar protests were held across the country over the course of the day.
(Written January 8, 2019) Yesterday afternoon, police broke down a wooden gate and arrested several people at the Gidim’ten Checkpoint, a camp on a snowy forest service road along the Morice River southwest of Houston. The Gidim’ten or Gitdumden are one of five clans that make up the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Farther up the road lies the Unis’tot’en Camp, a homestead maintained over the last nine years by members of the Unis’tot’en house group, part of a different Wet’suwet’en clan on adjacent territory. Police have assembled tactical vehicles and earth-moving equipment, but must pass the Gidem’ten checkpoint to reach the Unis’tot’en Camp.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says they are concerned about the safety and well-being of the Wet’suwet’en as the RCMP set up nearby the Gidimt’en camp to enforce the interim injunction from the BC Supreme Court in December 2018. UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip stated “We strongly condemn the RCMP’s use of intimidation, harassment, and ongoing threats of forceful intervention and removal of the Wet’suwet’en land defenders from Wet’suwet’en unceded territory. In continuing to aggressively threaten the Wet’suwet’en with eviction from their own Title land, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are blatantly ignoring the Supreme Court of Canada...
Researchers Say RCMP Action Against Wet’suwet’en Would Place Corporate Interests Over Indigenous Rights
As police prepare to enforce a court injunction against two Indigenous camps standing in the way of a proposed B.C. pipeline, the authors of a new report say their research indicates the RCMP’s potential action against Wet’suwet’en land defenders will be neither fair, nor objective. Jeffrey Monaghan of Carleton University and Miles Howe of Queen’s University outline in a new report published in the Canadian Journal of Sociology how RCMP assess individual activists according to political beliefs, personality traits, and even their ability to use social media.
A second checkpoint has been put up on a remote B.C. forestry road to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, days after a court ordered that the first one must stop preventing the company from accessing the road and a bridge. An interim injunction order from a B.C. court last Friday ordered the individuals at the Unist'ot'en camp, a self-described re-occupation of Wet'suwet'en land, to stop impeding Coastal GasLink from gaining access to the logging road and bridge it argues is on a critical path it needs to access as part of pipeline construction. The pipeline is part of an estimated $40 billion natural gas project slated for construction in B.C.
Yesterday TransCanada tried to enter Unist’ot’en territory to begin work on their Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline. They were respectfully turned away by Johnny Morris of the Gidimt’en Clan. None of the Wet’suwet’en Clans consent to this project, and the hereditary chiefs have been clear that TransCanada does not have permission to build pipelines through our unceded and occupied homelands. (Please share the October 2018 Press Release: BC and Canada Ignore Wet’suwet’en Title Holders To Push Pipeline Agenda) Unfortunately, TransCanada has decided that the best time to begin confrontations with the Unist’ot’en is while we are facing an ongoing family crisis.
Hagerstown, Md. — To transport gas from the fracking wells in Pennsylvania and Ohio to the Eastern Panhandle, Columbia Gas, a subsidiary of TransCanada, needs to drill under the Potomac at Hancock, Md. But if things go wrong, it could mean disaster for the river and all who depend on it. “This pipeline may only be less than five miles long, but it is a senseless pipeline carrying fracked gas that poses a number of risks to our water, to our property, to our health and quality of life,” Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Brent Walls said today outside the office of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Hagerstown, Md. The C&O Canal, managed by the National Park Service, runs 185 miles along the Potomac, so if Columbia wants to lay pipeline across the river, it also has to cross the C&O Canal.
Another Set Back For TransCanada: Keystone XL Pipeline In Nebraska To Go Through ‘Robust Environmental Review’
After regulators in Nebraska ordered the pipeline follow a new route, or alternative route, the Trump administration argued that there was no need to “produce an extensive new environmental impact statement for the pipeline,” Inside Climate News reported. But U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Montana disagreed with the Trump administration on Wednesday. Since the pipeline will now follow an alternative route and not its original route, Morris wrote the government “cannot escape their responsibility.” While the “Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved the pipeline project, it rejected TransCanada’s preferred route and ordered it to use an alternative route instead,” Inside Climate News reported. The pipeline will now cross through five different counties in the state including several bodies of water therefore, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the government is required to conduct an environmental review before pipeline construction can start.
What has frustrated me, is that there is no one single data source to examine. These pipelines are so new (LXP, MXP), they are not yet in NPMS. So I had to assemble these maps painstakingly from various sources: a) NPMS, b) Google Earth, c) the EIS of the LXP/MXP pipelines, and d) published photographs. I am beginning to measure the impact radius, but the failure occurred in a valley, so the blast was constrained on two sides by mountains. So while this may not set any records, it was a BIG fire. UPDATE 6/13/2018: I realize there is an ambiguity in the definition of Potential Impact Radius, as defined by 49 CFR 192.903: Does one measure the radius as a flat 2D projection, viewed from above? Or does one follow the contours of the Earth? It turns out the measurements by each method are very different in a location with a topology like Nixon Ridge/Big Tribble Creek (steep slopes in 2 directions away from the point-of-failure).
Environmental groups are questioning the good faith of a Maryland state agency tasked with the permitting of a proposed gas pipeline which would cross underneath the Potomac River, saying it made a decision to greenlight the project before the application was even submitted. Potomac Riverkeeper Network accuses the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) of misleading the public and abdicating its responsibility to scrutinize the full impacts of the Eastern Panhandle Expansion, the Potomac crossing in particular. What’s more, they believe the agency may have colluded with TransCanada, the company proposing to build the 3.3-mile pipeline, to pre-determine a positive outcome for the permit. Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Brent Walls says MDE has failed to be transparent from the start and now believes the agency may have intentionally deceived them.
Lower Brule, SD — Following oral arguments from Nebraska landowners last week, the Public Service Commission put another hurdle in TransCanada’s path today, denying the company’s request to amend their current application for Keystone XL to match the alternate route they were granted. TransCanada hoped to amend their existing application to avoid legal challenges, but Nebraskans urged commissioners to deny this request, noting the lack of consultation with communities living along the alternate route. This decision came after the PSC denied TransCanada’s preferred route for Keystone XL and granted an alternate route instead on November 20.
The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold a hearing on December 19 in Hancock, Md. on TransCanada’s proposed Eastern Panhandle Expansion (also known as the Potomac Pipeline). The 3.4-mile gas pipeline requires a Section 401 water quality certification from the state to complete the federal licensing process under the Clean Water Act. Members of the public can testify at the hearing, which begins at 7pm at Hancock High School. The pipeline route would traverse a short slice of western Maryland, originating from Fulton County, Pa. and connecting with the proposed Mountaineer Gas distribution line in Morgan County, W.Va. MDE will consider issues related to wetlands and waterways along the pipeline route.
By Anonymous for Earth First. On Monday, November 20th, the Public Service Commission, an elected board representing the so-called state of Nebraska, will most likely vote in favor of approving Transcanada’s route for the Keystone XL pipeline through the ancestral home of the Pawnee, Otoe, Ponca, Sioux and Omaha peoples. This vote comes on the heels of large public upheaval against this specific pipeline and a 200,000 gallon oil spill from the original Keystone pipeline this week. This is the last political hurdle the pipeline needs to clear before the state can then begin eminent domain proceedings to seize the few tract of lands that Transcanada currently doesn’t have access too.