News-in-Transition

25 February 2017

 - Although it obstinately insists pipelines are safe, the company responsible for the Dakota Access Pipeline racked up 69 reported accidents in just two years — leaking hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil products and tainting rivers in four states.

That averages nearly three spills each month.

A new report from the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and DisasterMap.net on Energy Transfer Partners and subsidiary Sunoco Logistics documents accidents filed with the National Response Center — the federal contact point for oil spills and industrial accidents — noting 69 accidents between 2015 and 2016.

However, as the study crucially notes, “These are just the accidents that are reported.”

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10 February 2017

 - A Lakota prophecy tells of a mythic Black Snake that will move underground and bring destruction to the Earth. The “seventh sign” in Hopi prophecy involves the ocean turning black and bringing death to many sea-dwelling creatures. It doesn’t take an over-active imagination to make a connection between these images and oil pipelines and spills.

It’s troubling enough that the growing “Black Snake” has branched out at an alarming rate, forming a massive subterranean coast-to-coast web. But to make matters worse, the nefarious reptile seems to suffer from leaky gut syn­drome, so that it functions as a toxic underground sprinkler sys­tem, spreading gas, oil, and poi­sonous byproducts everywhere it goes—including into waterways and drinking water sources.

Protest actions against major pipelines such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline have called attention to the potentially devastating effects of pipelines, but much of the gen­eral public still doesn’t understand the scope of the existing and pro­posed pipeline network in the US and around the globe.

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24 January 2017

 - Less than one week into office, Donald Trump has signed an executive order approving of construction with the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Everyone’s favorite “anti-establishment” president signed two executive orders on Tuesday which will allow construction on the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to continue. President Trump took the actions on Tuesday in an attempt to keep his promises to “make America great again” by attempting to increase domestic energy production via oil pipelines.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been opposed by environmental activists for seven years, while the Dakota Access pipeline by Native American tribes since April 2016. The Obama Administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline in November 2015. The DAPL was also recently denied a permit for construction on the final portion of the pipeline which goes under Lake Oahe.

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13 December 2016

 - A pipeline leak has spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek roughly two and a half hours from Cannon Ball, where protesters are camped out in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes, as well as environmentalists from around the country, have fought the pipeline project on the grounds that it crosses beneath a lake that provides drinking water to native Americans. They say the route beneath Lake Oahe puts the water source in jeopardy and would destroy sacred land.

North Dakota officials estimate more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline into the Ash Coulee Creek. State environmental scientist Bill Suess says a landowner discovered the spill on Dec. 5 near the city of Belfield, which is roughly 150 miles from the epicenter of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camps.

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12 December 2016

- While many are cheering the Army Corps of Engineers’s decision to refuse an easement to Energy Transfer Partners and halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, it would appear the battle is far from over.

The blinding arrogance of American fossil fuel corporations was on full display as the Energy Transfer Partners issued a defiant statement to the government declaring their intention to continue the pipeline as planned and lambasting the Obama administration for what they saw as a “political decision.”

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26 November 2016

Protesters march along a road during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 18, 2016. © Stephanie Keith - President-elect Donald Trump’s investments in two companies behind the Dakota Access pipeline, although small, are raising concerns about whether Trump’s stake in the project could affect decisions he makes about the pipeline as president.

According to Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms, the billionaire businessman owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock from Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the owners of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. A year earlier, his share was between $500,000 and $1 million.

The president-elect sold off his shares in Energy Transfer Partners, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. If true, it is unclear why investments in the company are still listed in the disclosure.

However, Trump’s financial disclosures also show he has between $500,000 and $1 million invested in Phillips 66, another energy company headquartered in Texas with a 25 percent ownership share of the Dakota Access.

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21 November 2016

 - North Dakota had nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, none of which were reported to the public.

From January 2012 – September 2013, these pipeline spills were just a part of approximately 750 “oil field incidents” that took place in the state without the public’s knowledge, according to a report by The Associated Press. It’s estimated that around 4,328 barrels worth of oil were spilled in this period.

In an another case, a break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline resulted in approximately 20,600 barrels of oil spreading over an area the size of seven football fields. Officials claimed that no wildlife or water sources were harmed by the spill, which apparently led them to conclude that the public did not need to be notified.

The only incident in which the public was notified was an instance in which an oil truck was involved in a collision in 2012.

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15 November 2016

 - As the pipeline enters its final phase of construction in North Dakota, where most of the resistance to the pipeline is located, Energy Transfer Partners and its hired contractors have escalated tensions with protestors to protect the project as it enters its final phase. The State of North Dakota has also taken to protecting the pipeline.

In the most stunning demonstration of pure evil or 'wetiko', as Paul Levy describes in his latest piece, the sacred buffalo are being targeted as well. Yesterday, Indigenous Rising Media released a video showing a large group of wild buffalo being herded into an enclosure surrounded by 8 foot deep trenches and razor wire.

Current reports from the area claim that the buffaloes are being held without food or water for days. It has also been reported that the construction company building the pipeline has threatened to kill the buffaloes as they could “interfere” with the pipeline’s completion.

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14 June 2016

 - An explosive new federal complaint finally sheds some light on the great mystery of why exactly the EPA, which is tasked with protecting the environment, inexplicably sits back and allows the fracking industry to destroy the earth.

According to the environmental watchdog group NC WARN based out of North Carolina, the data regarding toxic emissions from fracking has been the subject of a long-term and systematic cover-up that involved payoffs from the gas and oil industry to at least one researcher for the EPA.

According to a federal complaint filed by the group with the Inspector General of the EPA, "there has been a persistent and deliberate cover-up that has prevented the agency from requiring the natural gas industry to make widespread, urgently needed and achievable reductions in methane venting and leakage ('emissions') across the nation's expanding natural gas infrastructure."

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8 June 2016

 - In one fell swoop, Scotland banned fracking — permanently — when parliament narrowly voted in favor of cementing the country’s temporary moratorium on the controversial practice.

With the original intention of conducting full health and environmental impact assessments before continuing with all unconventional oil and gas extraction — including fracking — Scotland implemented a temporary halt to all such procedures in January 2015.

Members of the ruling Scottish National Party abstained from the vote, which passed 32 to 29, though SNP Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse claimed the government remains “deeply sceptical” of fracking and none would be allowed to proceed unless distinct evidence proved the practice ‘causes no harm,’ the Guardian reported.

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6 April 2016

© William Shakespeare - The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has dropped BP after 34 years of sponsorship following claims by campaigners that the energy giant’s environmentally harmful practices are being legitimized through cultural events.

EIF, one of the world’s biggest arts and culture festivals, confirmed via social media that it had ended its relationship with BP.

“The EIF has walked away from a 34-year partnership because being associated with BP was doing too much damage to its reputation,” Jess Worth from ‘BP or not BP?’ – a theatrical campaign group that has routinely staged creative protests against BP’s sponsorship of the arts – said.

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19 September 2013

 - Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has called for an international boycott of major US oil corporation Chevron, blaming it for polluting the Amazon.

"This is one of the biggest environmental disasters in the world," Correa said Tuesday while launching a major campaign to highlight Amazon pollution reportedly caused by American oil companies that used to have dominating influence in the Latin American nation.

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4 September 2103

Aerial photo of the lands taken by Addax Bioenergy for its sugar cane plantation in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Le Temps)

 - Thousands of people in one of Africa’s poorest countries are going hungry because of a biofuels “land grab” by a firm that receives funding from the Department for International Development, a charity claims.

ActionAid accuses the Swiss company Addax Bioenergy of threatening livelihoods in rural communities in Sierra Leone, where it runs an e

xtensive sugar-cane plantation.

Addax, which will soon begin the first commercial shipping of biofuels from Africa to Europe, receives funding from a UK-based development fund that received just under $150m (£97m) from DfID in 2012-13.

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