A Louisiana judge recently ruled that the state regulators violated guidelines when it issued Energy Transfer Partners’ controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline a coastal use permit.
The permit was issued for the last 18-mile stretch of the fracked oil pipeline that would have run through the riverside town of St. James Parish, where dozens of refineries and industrial facilities are already fueling a public health crisis in the mostly African-American community.
The proposed 162-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline would connect the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico.
As noted by the Bridge the Gulf Project, the judge ruled that the permit granted by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was illegal because it did not take into consideration the impacts the project would have on the town.
In his April 30 decision, made public on Monday, 23rd Judicial District Court Judge Alvin Turner Jr. held, “Once constructed, this pipeline has the potential to impact some of Louisiana’s most coveted and ecologically sensitive areas such as the Atchafalaya Basin, as well as other wetlands through Louisiana.”
He also wrote, “the permit application does not include an emergency response plan nor does it address potential spills that may occur after construction once the pipeline is operational.”
— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) May 9, 2018
Activists in Virginia are facing fines for protesting the construction of a major pipeline project on their own land. The development is the latest in a series of setbacks for pipeline opponents attempting to halt two major projects in the region, but activists say the fight is far from over.
During a rally in Charlottesville on Monday, two activists called for public action against the Mountain Valley and the Atlantic Coast pipelines, the Daily Progress reported. Theresa “Red” Terry, 61, and her daughter, 30-year-old Theresa Minor Terry, ended their five week protest against the Mountain Valley Pipeline on Saturday. For weeks, both women had previously refused to leave two trees blocking the project’s building efforts.
U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon ruled that the Terrys would face daily fines of $1,000 if they did not come down by Saturday. Dillon also fined Red’s husband, Coles Terry III, $2,000 for his role in assisting his family. The judge said the fines would be paid to the company constructing the Mountain Valley pipeline, a decision the mother-daughter duo said sparked their choice to come down from the trees so as to continue their protest on the ground.
“This is our land, we need to protect it and our representatives need to step up to the plate and quit letting the gas and oil companies run the United States,” said Red Terry, addressing supporters in Charlottesville. “It’s supposed to be for the people by the people, not for the profit.”
Red Terry, a anti-pipeline activist, speaks about her recent tree-sitting protest and the need for environmental protections pic.twitter.com/5sNPOmOKph
— Tyler Hammel (@TylerHammelVA) May 7, 2018
Red Terry and her daughter Minor had been living on platforms in the trees for five weeks, hoping to prevent crews from clear-cutting a path for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Last week, a judge threatened fines of $1,000 a day, so the two came down, but now they’re on tour, speaking out against the MVP and Governor Ralph Northam.
A crowd of about fifty supporters gathered on the downtown mall to cheer the Terrys. 61-year-old Red apologized saying she was no public speaker. “I do my best yelling from 30 feet up,” she explained, ” and most of it has not been pretty.”
She recalled her stay in the forest — the rain, strong winds, sleet and bitter cold, the inability to take a shower or wash her hair. But in the end, Red Terry said living in a tree could be great, especially at night when the chorus frogs sing.
“And about ten minutes after the peepers, the whippoorwills would start singing. I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” she says.”
Which is why she wouldn’t even consider offers from the pipeline builders to purchase a 14 acre easement through the mountain in her back yard.
“I said you know this mountain has been in this family for seven generations. It’s the most beautiful place in the world, and it’s like my fourth child, so what kind of price do you ask for your fourth child? And he said, “It’s just a mountain,” and I’m like, ‘You’re a dummy. You have no idea what this mountain is.’”
NOVA residents protest methane gas pipelines in state of Virginia https://t.co/Y6T3S3g8Cd
— WDVM-TV (@WDVMTV) May 10, 2018
Red Terry was frustrated when she left the Patrick Henry Building, and recapped her meeting with Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources,
“And he’s like, well I’m sorry, we’re doing all we can do. DEQ’s got this under control,” Terry said to supporters.
Four days ago, Red and her daughter Minor were in tree stands, blocking the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline where it passes through the family’s Bent Mountain property.
Now they’re on the road, carrying their concerns to state and federal officials, and enlisting support from other parts of the state,
Over the weekend Governor Ralph Northam said he is committed to protecting Virginia’s environment.
“I’m glad everyone came down peacefully,” Northam said, “and now we can work together and hopefully do what’s in the best interests of Virginia.”
Opponents believe southwest Virginia’s rivers and streams are in jeopardy, and they say they don’t believe the state is getting the message.
Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests https://t.co/GjyJoxoujf
— Dave Peatfield (@dpeatfield) May 9, 2018
Duke Energy critics occupy the CEO’s Charlotte driveway to protest a pipeline https://t.co/ouPEgjsgjb
— OccuWorld ❌ (@OccuWorld) May 9, 2018
Some two dozen protesters on Monday chanted, did street theater and gave speeches in front of Ashland’s Chase Bank, charging that JPMorgan Chase is a major financial backer of Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline, which is making a third try at getting permission from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to run a natural gas pipeline across southwest Oregon.
The lively, bullhorn-wielding group drew honks and thumbs-up from passing motorists on Main Street as they used orange cone markers to track the path of a new pipeline, barking for everyone to get out of their way.
“It’s important for people to be aware of where their money is and what it’s doing,” says Lesley Adams, who wore a hardhat and directed the mock project. “Chase is a funder of tar sands, coal mines and a major backer of Pembina, which wants the LNG pipeline here.
“It’s important for folks to know Pembina is aggressively pursuing Jordan Cove (proposed shipping point for liquified natural gas) and they want to make as much money as they can before they can’t.”
As Kinder Morgan is hit with another protest, it's also hit with a shareholder resolution expressing concern over the pipeline's hit to shareholder value. Benj Gallander @BenjContra looks at this, your pension investing in green energy, and Google's latest creepily accurate AI pic.twitter.com/ILYUh86JNX
— On The Money (@OnTheMoneyCBC) May 9, 2018
— RVA Mag (@RVAmag) May 9, 2018
The legal fight against the Mountain Valley Pipeline ramped up Tuesday, with lawyers in two cases asking a federal appeals court to slow down the project’s run through Southwest Virginia.
In back-to-back oral arguments, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was first asked to reverse a decision by the State Water Control Board, which issued a water quality certification after finding a “reasonable assurance” that the natural gas pipeline would not pollute the 500-some streams and wetlands it will cross.
The same three-judge panel then heard a challenge of the U.S. Forest Service’s approval for the buried pipeline to cut through the Jefferson National Forest.
Both cases are being brought by a variety of conservation groups and individuals who say that building the largest such pipeline ever seen in Virginia will wreak environmental havoc.
Chief Judge Roger Gregory raised pointed questions about the process used by the Forest Service to evaluate a 3.5-mile route the pipeline will take across steep mountain slopes and under the Appalachian Trail.
At first, the Forest Service was highly skeptical of Mountain Valley’s assurances that its erosion and sediment control measures would be 79 percent effective. But as the approval process neared an end, the agency backed down.
“This is part of the robust back and forth, with the agency asking hard questions,” said attorney Trey Sibley, who represented Mountain Valley after the company was allowed to intervene in the case.
“I’m missing the robust side of this,” Gregory replied. “This seems like a one-way street. I don’t call that robust. I call that capitulation.”
It’s not quite Man in Tree, but Men on Teepees has drawn quite a crowd of onlookers. Police and firefighters working to bring second of four protesters down. 10 people (on ground) arrested earlier in protest against Chase bank for pipeline financing. pic.twitter.com/jVCyBTpfhb
— Graham Johnson (@GrahamKIRO7) May 7, 2018
Police arrested 14 demonstrators protesting tar-sands development and the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada on Monday after they occupied the lobby of the Russell Financial Center and shut down traffic at Second Avenue and Pine Street with four tepees erected in the middle of the road.
Police diverted traffic around the area. Interim Police Chief Carmen Best was present, and protesters were eventually told to disperse or face arrest. More than a dozen remained in the street, and they were peacefully placed in restraints and loaded onto a police van.
Chase Bank in particular was targeted for its investment in the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The pipeline project — an expansion of an existing pipeline — would run from Alberta to British Columbia, where its oil would be loaded onto tankers that would travel the Strait of Juan de Fuca, tripling traffic and further endangering the already critically endangered southern resident killer whale population.
Opposition to the expansion has been fierce, and has included the provincial government in British Columbia, as well as many First Nations leaders. Developer Kinder Morgan curtailed spending on the $7.4 billion expansion in April, blaming opposition and delays in British Columbia, and setting a May 31 deadline for the federal and provincial governments to find a solution or risk canceling the project.
That would suit opponents fine.
“The message to JPMorgan Chase is they are contributing to climate disaster,” Rachel Heaton, a member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, said during Monday’s demonstration. “We will continue taking over banks until we are heard.”
Corporate media can't + won't tell you about the protests going on around our country. There are pipeline fights, worker strikes, election integrity battles, etc. People are standing up & that's bad for the corporate elite who own our media. https://t.co/9YEfZxsFfk
— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) May 8, 2018
In the heart of the Canadian province of British Columbia, dozens of activists have been gathering to saw lumber, raise walls and install windows. By the time their work is done, 10 tiny homes will have been built – all in the name of thwarting a pipeline.
Launched by a group called the Tiny House Warriors, the plan is to strategically deploy the homes to block the the expansion of the a pipeline running from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific coast.
More than half of the Trans Mountain Expansion’s proposed route lies within Secwepemc territory, home to 17 First Nations bands and the world’s only inland temperate rainforest.
“Our land is our home,” said Kanahus Manuel, who helped to launch Tiny House Warriors last year. “We’re putting tiny houses out there to scream that message to the world: pushing a pipeline through is tearing through our home.”
"Paddling protesters arrested after attaching themselves to pipeline terminal's floating fence
Protest happens as #FirstNations leaders call for increased risk disclosure to investors at #KinderMorgan AGM"https://t.co/qx6TwU82gw#stopkm #cdnpoli #bcpoli #tmx pic.twitter.com/vXtyVLaJ5u
— Coast Protectors (@CoastProtectors) May 9, 2018
Some 25 people demonstrated in front of Liberal MP Terry Beech’s constituency office in Burnaby this afternoon, demanding that the federal government go back on its promise to financially back the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Protesters, including SFU students and Burnaby residents, beat pots and pans with wooden spoons, chanted, raised signs, and passed out fliers to passersby at Beech’s constituency office on Hastings Street. They also asked people to sign a petition demanding the federal government refuse to bail out the project. Tuesday’s protest is part of a larger movement by environmental activist group 350 asking groups to protest at federal Liberal constituency offices.
Susanne Jackson, who lives in Beech’s riding, is worried that expanding the tank farm on Burnaby mountain will be dangerous for her friends who live in the area, and for the children who attend Forest Grove Elementary School nearby.
Jackson said she’d like to see her MP publicly denounce the pipeline.
“Terry has not done enough. He has not spoke up in parliament. He says he’s doing what his residents want, but from my experience, when I’ve gone in to talk to him, it’s like there’s a wall. It’s like he can’t do stuff because he’s being muzzled by the Liberal Party,” she told the NOW.
“I would like him to stand up in the House of Commons and say, this tank farm, the risk is unacceptable. We have kids in schools that are metres from the tank farm, and this is not acceptable the way it is.”
Arrests underway in downtown Seattle as demonstrators shut down downtown streets to protest tar sands pipelines. pic.twitter.com/RYctdcXHyL
— Lynda V. Mapes (@LyndaVMapes) May 7, 2018