As the Minnesota legislature rolls on toward its May 22 end-of-session deadline, bad bills keep on coming. Here’s a quick list of some of the worst. Call your legislators, conference committee members, and Governor Dayton to just say no to bad environmental legislation, private prisons, and protest penalties. Continue reading
What’s happening in Washington and St. Paul right now goes way beyond muddying waters, both in the literal sense of what is flowing into our waters and in the metaphoric sense of how politicians talk about protection and pollution. Both in Washington and in St. Paul, politicians are shutting down water protection. They are ditching regulations that protect lakes, rivers and drinking water and slashing funds for enforcement. Continue reading
Sometime before December 5, a North Dakota pipeline started leaking oil near Belfield. True Companies, which operates the pipeline, has electronic monitoring equipment to detect leaks. The fancy equipment didn’t work. The leak was discovered by a landowner. By the time the company shut off the oil, it had “migrated about almost 6 miles from the spill site along Ash Coulee Creek, and it fouled an unknown amount of private and U.S. Forest Service land along the waterway.” Now the company says that “more than” 176,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled. The spill is about 150 miles from where the Standing Rock water protectors are camped out, trying to prevent Energy Transfer Partners from drilling under the Missouri River. Continue reading
Today, tomorrow, this week, this month is a time to celebrate a remarkable victory for Standing Rock. Continue reading
Mississippi River in Minneapolis (Photo by Mary Turck)
The Mississippi River, source of drinking water for 15 million people including millions in the Twin Cities, is being steadily polluted from its source in northern Minnesota and all along its course through the state. In a powerful series in the Star Tribune, Josephine Marcotty pulls together the evidence of danger to the upper Mississippi in northern Minnesota, along with stories of the Red River and Chippewa River. Continue reading
Photo of Sacred Stone Camp by Tony Webster, published under Creative Commons license.
As thousands of Native Americans gather in North Dakota to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), local law enforcement has pushed back by arresting journalists covering the protests and the Sacred Stone Camp and by outright lies about the protests and protesters. In addition, misinformation and propaganda is flooding social media, posted through sock puppets and other sources. Continue reading
The Stone Spirit encampment began back in April with 50 people. By August, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chair David Archambault II wrote in the New York Times that it was “a spectacular sight: thousands of Indians camped on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. … The Indian encampment on the Cannonball grows daily, with nearly 90 tribes now represented.” As summer slides into fall, the protesters — or protectors, as they call themselves — plan to stay through the winter. Continue reading
I remember the old story of the emperor’s new clothes. The emperor bought new clothes from a charlatan who sold him on the idea of clothes so fine that they would be invisible to anyone who was stupid or unfit for their position. The emperor paraded before his courtiers and sycophants and everyone admired the new clothes. Only a child said, “But he isn’t wearing any clothes!”
Today pipeline companies and their buddies in government dismiss the threats posed by pipelines. Nobody should worry about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), tunneling underneath the Missouri River. Maybe some old pipelines leak, but this is a new pipeline. Can’t you see the difference? The emperor’s new pipeline poses no problems. Continue reading
On Friday, September 2, lawyers for the Standing Rock Sioux went to court to ask for a halt to construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline over specific sacred sites and burial grounds. They provided a map of the specific cultural sites identified by the tribe’s expert.
The very next day — September 3, Saturday of Labor Day weekend — Energy Transfer Company sent its bulldozers to destroy the specific cultural sites identified in the map submitted to the court. Continue reading
By now, everyone who reads this blog has heard about #NoDAPL, the protests in North Dakota over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The issues are either very simple (NO to all pipelines, everywhere, end of story) or quite complex, involving Native rights, a protest encampment and permits and injunctions, arrests of protesters and journalists, calling out the National Guard, procedural challenges to the Army Corps of Engineers, destruction of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe cultural and burial sites, other substantive challenges based on water protection and climate change, defeats and partial victories in court, and federal government orders to stop the construction – or to stop parts of it. Confused yet?
Since I make sense out of confusion by reading and writing, and since you (presumably) read this blog for some kind of enlightenment, I’m posting a two or three or maybe even four-part explanation of what is going on. This is the first part: Continue reading