United States Keystone pipeline oil spill, again

Demonstrators against the Keystone XL pipeline, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Controversial Keystone pipeline leaks over a million liters of oil

The controversial Keystone pipeline in the US state of North Dakota, which environmentalists have been protesting against for years, has leaked 1.4 million liters of oil. It is the second-largest leak since the oil pipeline was put into operation in 2010.

The leak was discovered on Tuesday, after which the pipeline was closed. It is still being worked on. According to a repair company, an area of ​​approximately 2100 square meters has been affected. How it could happen is still unknown.

The thousands of kilometers long Keystone pipeline runs from an oil well in Canada to refineries in the United States. The planned expansion of Keystone [Keystone XL] in particular met with fierce opposition from environmental activists. President Obama postponed the expansion, but in 2017 President Trump gave the green light for the project.

Oil pipeline leaks are more common in the USA. The largest of recent years was in 2013: then 3.1 million liters of oil leaked in North Dakota.

This 31 October 2019 video from Canada says about itself:

Fourth Keystone oil spill to take up to 3 months to clean

An oil leak in the North Dakota section of the Keystone pipeline has forced a shutdown and the extent of the damage is unknown. RT America’s Alex Mihailovich in Toronto is following this developing story.

This 31 October 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Keystone pipeline springs leak in North Dakota

The 383,000-gallon leak happened along the existing Keystone pipeline system, not to be confused with the proposed XL pipeline.

This 31 October 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Why the leak in South Dakota is causing concern in Nebraska.

United States water protectors not giving up

This video from the USA says about itself:

23 February 2017

In North Dakota, the main resistance camp set up by Lakota water protectors fighting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline has been largely vacated after protesters were ordered to leave the camp on Wednesday. Police arrested around 10 people. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Dakota governor had imposed a noon eviction deadline for the hundreds of water protectors still living at the resistance camp.

Prayers ceremonies were held on Wednesday, and part of the camp was set on fire before the eviction began. Water protectors say the resistance camp sits on unceded Sioux territory under the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie and that they have a right to remain on their ancestral land. A couple dozen people remain at the camp. The ongoing encampments in North Dakota were the largest gathering of Native Americans in decades. At its peak, more than 10,000 people were at the resistance camp.

Earlier this month, construction crews resumed work on the final section of the pipeline, after the Trump administration granted an easement to allow Energy Transfer Partners to drill beneath the Missouri River. We go to Standing Rock to speak with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard and Linda Black Elk.

Anti-water protectors police violence in North Dakota, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

BREAKING: Water Protectors‘ Camp Surrounded, Cops Moving In

Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, the hosts of The Young Turks, show you video of the standoff. …

Hundreds of police in riot gear and carrying night sticks are clearing the final Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, who remained on federal land in violation of orders by the governor to vacate the area by 4:00pm local time. Protesters consider the land to be indigenous property, Standing Rock, under treaty.

Enforcements included units from the Wisconsin State Troopers and Morton County officers, according to Unicorn Riot, an independent media collective. The collective also reported seeing a National Lawyers Guild observer being arrested.

Police regrouped following several arrests, returning to formation opposite protesters on the road. Remaining protesters anticipated them rushing at any moment.

Read more here.

By Zaida Green in the USA:

Violent arrests as police begin evacuating Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp

23 February 2017

Riot police began violently arresting the remaining Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in the Oceti Sakowin Camp, following yesterday’s eviction deadline set by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgrum.

The first arrests occurred a few hours after the 2:00 pm deadline. Police rushed and tackled unarmed protesters and independent journalists, then retreated down the road, only to rush at protesters again. Eric Poemz, one of those attacked, was slammed onto the ground by the police, injuring his left hip and rendering him unable to walk.

The police presence was ramped up in the week leading to the February 22 deadline. Planes and helicopters owned by the pipeline company, carrying police, have been constantly surveilling the camp from only a few hundred feet in the sky. Supplies and sanitation services to the camp have been cut off by roadblocks and checkpoints set up by the police February 15.

The Oceti Sakowin Camp lies in the path of the nearly completed $3.78 billion oil pipeline, on land afforded to the Sioux tribe in the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is expected to be completed by March 6 and will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil across four states, crossing both the nearby Ogallala Aquifer and the Missouri River.

Protesters from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and outside the tribe fear that a leak would threaten the drinking supplies of 17 million people. The company that owns the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has been responsible for at least 200 recorded pipeline leaks since 2010.

Governor Bargum and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which oversees the construction of the pipeline, ordered the evacuation on the pretext of public safety concerns relating to springtime flooding and rubbish left behind by protesters following hasty evacuations ordered by the previous governor last December.

National Guard troops, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agents and riot police from Wisconsin and other states were deployed ahead of the deadline to assist the Morton County Sheriff’s Department. The remaining few hundred protesters in the camp risk fines of up to $5,000 and prison sentences of up to six months.

The Senate of North Dakota recently passed bills to criminalize the anti-DAPL protests, making it a crime to gather on “public safety zones” determined by the governor. The bills also grant police more freedom to designate a protest as a riot, the incitement of which carries up to 20 years in prison.

The Trump administration has escalated the persecution of the anti-DAPL protesters, with the Department of Justice drawing up arrest warrants against protesters and their attorneys. The administration has also fast-tracked construction of the pipeline by scuttling any further environmental reviews by the USACE and rejecting injunctions against the continued construction.

Trump has packed his cabinet with CEOs and other individuals with close ties to the energy industry. Yesterday, more than 7,500 emails were released revealing that Trump’s recently-confirmed head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, collaborated intimately with energy industry executives to challenge environmental regulations during his tenure as the attorney general of Oklahoma.

Though the Trump administration has deployed an additional 60 BIA agents to the camp, North Dakota’s governor and local police are pushing for a further escalation in federal intervention. “We’re getting nothing again,” said Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney.

The protests in North Dakota won wide popular support last year, with tens of thousands of participating in demonstrations in the US and internationally, and thousands of others gathering at protest camps throughout North Dakota. The protests spread almost entirely through social media amidst a rising wave of police violence and attacks on the living conditions of the working class.

Since protests began last summer, there have been nearly 700 arrests. Almost two hundred protesters were injured in police raids on the camp last winter, with police firing lead-filled beanbags, water cannons and concussion grenades.

The actions taken now by the Trump administration are the culmination of the strategy of the political establishment as a whole. In the spring and fall of last year, the Obama administration stood by as police attacked protesters. Then in September the administration and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a temporary stay on construction. In December, after the US elections, the administration halted the project pending an additional environmental review.

This was a maneuver aimed at passing off final action on construction to the incoming Trump administration, which had already made clear that it would act quickly to remove any constraints. Earlier this month, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would grant easement to ETP to finish construction, which was followed rapidly by the moves of the state government to shut down the protests.

Since the beginning of December, shares in ETP have risen more than 16 percent in anticipation of the payout to come from completion of the pipeline.

United States Standing Rock pipeline struggle continues

This video says about itself:

22 February 2017

Mixed feelings towards the deadline for Standing Rock camps eviction. Trump’s executive order kick-started the pipeline construction, which will be complete in about 80 days. The Standing Rock struggle was historic. Hundreds of indigenous tribes fought back in a worldwide act of solidarity. Protesters faced police brutality and temperatures below zero. 700 water protectors were arrested. The struggle is not yet over.

Resistance against United States DAPL pipeline continues

This 9 February 2017 video from the USA is called Emergency #NoDAPL Protest Against Easement – Los Angeles.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

United States: Construction under way on polluting oil pipeline

Friday 10th February 2017

Protests continue as building begins on Native American reservation

CONSTRUCTION began yesterday on an oil pipeline through Native American land that has sparked huge protests in the US.

About 50 protests erupted on Wednesday night, including one outside the White House, after Energy Transfer Partners announced it was to start building.

Earlier on Wednesday the US Army Corps of Engineers, the federal authority on the Lakota Sioux’s Standing Rock reservation, gave approval for the $3.8 billion (£3 billion) project.

Work was stalled for months due to opposition by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux — leading to mass mobilisation against the pipeline — as well as a prolonged court battle between the developer and the Army Corps of Engineers that oversees the federal land where the last segment of the pipeline is now being laid.

The Cheyenne River Sioux asked a federal judge yesterday to stop the Lake Oahe work while a lawsuit filed earlier by the two tribes against the pipeline proceeds. Attorney Nicole Ducheneaux said in court documents that the pipeline “will desecrate the waters upon which Cheyenne River Sioux tribal members rely.”

The army pledged in December to examine an alternative route around the reservation, but late last month President Donald Trump instructed the engineer corps to approve the original route.

North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven, announcing the go-ahead for the scheme, said: “Now, we all need to work together to make sure the project is completed safely and with as little disruption to the community as possible.”

Protesters in Chicago targeted a bank, and another group went to an Army Corps of Engineers office in New York City but was asked to leave when they started filming without a permit.

Several people were arrested for blocking public access to a federal building in San Francisco.

“Today begins the next phase of mass resistance to Donald Trump’s toxic Dakota Access pipeline,” said Indigenous Environmental Network executive director Dallas Goldtooth.

“This is our land, our water, our health, and our culture at stake — and if Donald Trump thinks we will give all of that up without a fight he is wrong.”

Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline continues amid growing protests: here.

Water protectors against DAPL pipeline not giving up

This video from the USA says about itself:

Billions Divested from Banks Backing Dakota Access Pipeline

8 February 2017

Thousands rally across the country to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline as two city councils have voted to divest billions billion from the project.

Trump rekindles DAPL pipeline conflict

This video from the USA says about itself:

Army Approves Final Permit for Dakota Access Pipeline Without Assessing Environmental Impact

8 February 2017

Nick Tilson of the Indigenous People’s Power Project says the decision reflects the long history of the U.S. government ignoring treaties and environmental protections.

By Shelley Connor in the USA:

Dakota Access pipeline construction to proceed

8 February 2017

On Tuesday, the United States Army Corps of Engineers filed documents with the US District Court in Washington, DC stating that it intends to grant an easement to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) so that it can move forward with the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline. It also notified the Senate of its filings, stating that construction is expected to begin today. Only a court injunction can now officially block the construction.

The approved site will carry the pipeline under Lake Oahe, a reservoir on the Missouri River, which supplies the adjacent Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s drinking water. The Standing Rock Sioux have opposed the pipeline, citing fears of drinking water contamination and damage to sacred sites.

This marks the final hurdle needed for ETP to complete the 1,170 mile pipeline, which will carry crude oil from North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration ordered a halt to the project in December by calling for an environmental review; President Donald Trump wasted no time in issuing an order of his own directing the Army to expedite construction.

The pipeline has been the focus of intense clashes between protesters, the Army Corps of Engineers and law enforcement. Popular opposition to the pipeline and to the US government’s dismissal of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s concerns drew tens of thousands of protesters to the site in the fall of 2016.

A coordinated response of local law enforcement and the Army National Guard aimed at driving away protestors resulted in several serious injuries to protesters, among them hypothermia, traumatic brain injury and burns. Six hundred protesters were arrested.

With the deepening of winter, the number of protesters has decreased to around 1,000, most of them concentrated in a camp on land owned by the Army Corps. The protesters there have vowed to stay, despite the fact that the camp is situated on a flood plain and other camps have been cleared. A group of veterans opposed to the pipeline has vowed to send more protesters as the tension over the planned construction heightens.

The concerns expressed by the Standing Rock Tribe are well founded. Three major pipeline spills occurred in the United States in October 2016. Through the course of the year, well over 200 pipeline leaks or ruptures occurred. Over 3,000 spills occurred in the United States between 2006 and 2016, costing $4.7 billion. Many pipelines are aging, causing these incidents to occur more and more frequently. Considering the Army Corps’ poor record in maintaining even the simplest infrastructure entrusted to it, the pipeline’s placement in the reservoir is almost a guarantee of disaster for the Missouri River and those depending upon it for drinking water.

Despite a well-documented history of poor management and hazards of such pipelines, the Dakota Access Pipeline has enjoyed bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota praised the corps’ decision and denounced the “continued delays and stalling tactics” of the Obama administration, and stated, “…it’s crucial that all parties double down in their resolve to listening and working together.” She did not mention how those opposed to the pipeline, most especially the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, might be heard over the din of sound cannons and water cannons employed by law enforcement in the service of ETP and other stakeholders in the project.

John Hoeven, a Republican senator from North Dakota who chairs the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, similarly crowed over the Corps’ statement, claiming that it represented a victory for the economic wellbeing of his constituency. He has consistently characterized the protesters as violent public enemies. Although he chairs the Sentate Committee on Indian Affairs, he has dismissed the pleas and demands of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

While Obama enjoyed accolades for his halting of construction, he essentially succeeded, not in stopping the construction all together, but in merely interrupting its progress. He left its fate in the hands of Trump, who vociferously supported the pipeline during the presidential campaign.

Trump wasted no time; one of his very first acts as president was to issue an executive order demanding that the Corps act expeditiously to ensure that construction went forward. The Corps complied with haste.

The Standing Rock tribe has vowed to fight the pipeline’s construction legally, and several protesters have likewise stated that they intend to fight the pipeline’s construction. As the protests wore on in 2016, gaining widespread popular support, shares of ETP declined in value. Yet on Tuesday, with the announcement of the Corps’ intention to grant its easement, the stock finished the day with a 20 cent uptick.

Prior to his election, Trump owned a significant stake in ETP. He has declined since then to provide any paperwork to demonstrate that he has divested from the company. Senator Hoeven owns shares in several oil wells in North Dakota, all of which stand to profit from the pipeline’s construction.

Just across the state’s northern border, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hailed the pipeline as an economic boon to Canada’s petroleum industry. While Trudeau has postured as a champion of indigenous rights and of the environment, his support of the Dakota Access pipeline, along with those proposed in Canada, belies the hollowness of liberal bourgeois pretexts internationally.

As mass protests grow internationally against the anti-democratic measures enacted by President Trump, Republican state legislators in the US are preparing a raft of bills intended to restrict demonstrators’ right of free speech and ability to peacefully assemble: here.

Anti-Native American senator now US Indian Affairs Committee chair

This video from the USA says about itself:

6 January 2017

As Native American elders fighting the Dakota Access pipeline extinguish the Seven Council Fires at Standing Rock, we speak with Jasilyn Charger, a water protector from Cheyenne River Reservation, who has camped at Sacred Stone Resistance Camp since it launched in April. Jasilyn founded the International Indigenous Youth Council at Standing Rock. She was also part of the resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline before that.

By Hilary Hanson, Viral News Editor, The Huffington Post in the USA:

New Chair Of Senate Indian Affairs Committee Wanted DAPL Protests Shut Down

Sen. John Hoeven is an odd choice for a job dedicated to helping Native American communities.

01/07/2017 07:02 pm ET

The new chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is a man who has placed himself squarely in opposition to the Native American-led movement to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said in a statement Thursday he was “honored” to be serving as chairman and noted that he planned to make “economic growth” a priority. He announced his election in a joint statement with committee Vice Chairman Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

The committee’s purpose is to “study the unique problems of American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples and to propose legislation to alleviate these difficulties,” its website states.

But Hoeven has condemned protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a movement led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux and joined by other Native Americans and allies from across the country. Protesters say a leak would be catastrophic for the drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux and others, and argue that the construction violates an 1851 treaty with the U.S. government.

In November, Hoeven characterized the protests as sometimes “violent” and called for President Barack Obama to approve the pipeline’s final easement and put an end to the demonstrations.

Of course, there are Native Americans, including some members of the Standing Rock Sioux, who do not agree with the protesters. But the fight against the pipeline is arguably the most prominent Native American-led social movement in recent history, and the protests have become emblematic of the fight for Native American rights.

Hoeven’s views on the issue are also at odds with Udall’s. After federal authorities announced a halt to the pipeline’s construction in December, Udall applauded the decision.

“Over the last seven months, thousands of people, including Indian nations from New Mexico and across North America, have demonstrated their deep concern about the lack of consultation by the federal government and the potential environmental hazard this pipeline poses for the water,” Udall said in a statement.

While many people celebrated the decision to halt construction as a major victory, it’s not totally clear what the future holds for the project, especially with incoming president-elect Donald Trump. Last month, Trump’s transition team said he supported the pipeline and would review options when he takes office.

Police called because Native American brothers were being ‘too quiet’. The brothers were on a campus tour of Colorado State University when a parent called the police: here.

Reporting while Muslim: how I covered the US presidential election, by Sabrina Siddiqui: here.

United States water, Standing Rock and Texas

This 17 December 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Standing Rock Protectors’ NONSENSE Charges Get Worse

TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with Kelli Love, a Standing Rock water protector, who along with several other protectors, are facing trumped up charges against them for peacefully praying.

This 17 December 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Reporter Stephania Jimenez with KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi shows us how people in the Texas city are dealing with having no access to tap water after a company released a corrosive chemical in the city’s water supply.

This 17 December 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Reporter Stephania Jimenez with KRIS-TV walks along Corpus Christi’s industrial district, where an asphalt company may have contaminated the city’s water with a corrosive chemical called Indulin.

DAPL pipeline stopped, but Trump?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Will Trump Reverse Dakota Access Pipeline Decision?

5 December 2016

The Army has blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline for now. Will this last under a Trump administration? Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“The Obama administration halted construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline Sunday, saying it would hold off on granting the final easement for the project while it conducts a thorough environmental review.

Both the developer and President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team have vowed to finish construction, while protesters say they could bring the conflict to court.

Here are five things to watch in the unfolding fight.

When Trump and his administration take office, approving Dakota Access probably won’t be as simple as signing a piece of paper.

The Army Corps of Engineers ordered an environmental impact statement for the project Sunday. Experts say that because of that, Trump’s administration will have to either complete the yearslong process or find a way to remove the requirement for testing the environmental impact. Doing the latter, however, would be a rare move that could subject the pipeline to a lawsuit.

“I think it ties the hands of the next administration,” said Sarah Krakoff, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School.

Trump may look for a way to undo Obama’s decision so that the environmental review isn’t needed anymore.

Alternatively, Trump could wait for a decision from the federal District Court of the District of Columbia. It must rule on a motion from Energy Transfer Partners, Dakota Access’s developer, that the Army Corps must grant it a permit to build the pipeline.”

Read more here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Veterans Ask Native Americans For Forgiveness At Standing Rock

5 December 2016

TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with veterans and tribal leaders on December 5th, 2016 following a powerful ceremony where veterans asked Native Americans for forgiveness for the original sins of America perpetrated against Native Americans.

Trump Signs Executive Orders On Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines. The new president has long supported the fiercely protested oil pipelines. 01/24/2017 11:41 am ET: here.

Border Patrol prevents Journalist from reporting on Standing Rock: here.