Dakota Access Pipeline 99 percent finished, says Energy Transfer Partners

February 24, 2017 by  
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After months of protests by Native Americans and supporters worldwide, the Trump administration ignored the pleas of so many American citizens and gave permission for the hotly contested Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward. And Energy Transfer Partners didn’t waste much time doing just that. The group said in a recent statement that the oil pipeline is now 99 percent finished. Federal authorization came earlier in February and Energy Transfer Partners got to work. In March or April, oil could start flowing through the $3.8 billion pipeline, which will transport Bakken crude oil from North Dakota oilfields through the Midwest. The oil will end up at refineries near the Gulf of Mexico. The part of the pipeline that runs so close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation is the last to be completed. Related: Standing Rock protesters evicted by police at gunpoint White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the White House is communicating with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. In a press briefing yesterday, a reporter asked if the President had been briefed on the Standing Rock situation, and Spicer replied, “Our team has been involved with both the tribe and the governor there, and so we are not only – we are constantly in touch with them. And I think we feel very confident that we will move forward to get the pipeline moving.” But tribe chair Dave Archambault II said Spicer’s claims aren’t true. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issued a statement yesterday and quoted Archambault II as saying, “[Spicer’s] claim is absolutely false. We repeatedly asked for meetings with the Trump administration, and never received one until the day they notified Congress that they were issuing the easement. I was on a plane to Washington, D.C. when the easement was issued. It was an insult to me and to the Tribe. I cancelled the meeting upon hearing this news. We have since filed a lawsuit for the immoral and illegal issuance of the easement and suspension of the environmental impact study.” Via Reuters Images via Standing Rock Rising Facebook

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Dakota Access Pipeline 99 percent finished, says Energy Transfer Partners

Trump claims he received no calls about the Keystone and Dakota pipelines

February 9, 2017 by  
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In the land of alternative facts, up is down, left is right, and no one cares at all about the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines. At least, that’s what Trump would have you believe. POTUS told reporters that after giving the projects the green light , he didn’t get a single complaint phone call. “I don’t even think it was controversial,” he added. “I haven’t had one call from anybody,” Trump said. ““You know, usually, if I do something it’s like bedlam, right?” And maybe he’s right, maybe he hasn’t had any calls, since the comment line at the White House was shut down on January 23. Related: Here’s every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch Trump wasn’t done with mangling the facts just yet, though. He also claimed that “Nobody showed up to fight” against the pipelines initially. Protestors only showed up after the companies spent a “tremendous” amount of “hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars,” and then protestors showed up. Dollars that not coincidentally came out of Trump’s own pockets . https://twitter.com/ABC/status/829180971962372097?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Not to worry, though. These completely uncontroversial pipelines are going to be real job creators according to Trump. Keystone will create “32,000  jobs almost immediately,” jobs that TransCanada CEO Russ Girling say will be “ongoing, enduring.” Fact checkers expect the pipeline will actually create about 3,900 two-year jobs, with just around 50 people being employed long-term . Via Grist images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Trump claims he received no calls about the Keystone and Dakota pipelines

76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

February 2, 2017 by  
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Just one day after federal officials greenlighted the Dakota Access pipeline , North Dakota police arrested 76 water protectors camped out at the site. Hundreds of activists had established a new camp at Standing Rock after it became clear that the Trump administration planned to move ahead with the project, but local police claim that “rogue” protestors were trespassing on private property. Embed from Getty Images North Dakota Senator John Hoeven stated on Tuesday that the army had been directed to proceed with the easement needed to complete the pipeline . Hundreds of protestors, including environmental activists and indigenous people, gathered at a camp to fight against the pipeline’s construction. Many protestors left when it became known that the police were planning to raid the camp, but others felt that the “prospect of treaty rights was something worth getting arrested over,” according to Linda Black Elk. The Morton County sheriff’s office said that it was too soon to tell what charges were being filed beyond the claim that protestors were trespassing. Related: Here’s every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the battle against the pipeline, and Native Americans have stated that many have been subjected to inhumane conditions or mistreated in the local jails. Activists not arrested say that they are hoping to free those rounded up by police as soon as possible. Via The Guardian lead image via Flickr

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76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

Army Corps ordered to approve Dakota Access Pipeline

February 1, 2017 by  
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It seems like President Donald Trump is determined to get his way on the Dakota Access Pipeline . Senator John Hoeven and Congressmen Kevin Cramer, both of North Dakota , said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will give the final approval necessary to move forward with the oil pipeline after an order from the acting secretary of the Army. But the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the move is illegal, and they’re not backing down without a fight. Hoeven said acting secretary Robert Speer informed Vice President Mike Pence and him of the impending approval. He said in a statement the pipeline would be constructed with safety features to provide protection for the Standing Rock Sioux. Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation But the tribe says there’s an environmental study going on that must be finished before the Army can grant the easement, and they’re planning to resist. In a statement posted on Facebook they said, “We stand ready to fight this battle against corporate interest superseding government procedure and the health and well-being of millions of Americans.” You can make your voice heard as well. The Army is currently gathering information for the environmental impact statement which includes a “public scoping phase.” Members of the public are invited to share their concerns with the Army until February 20, 2017. You can mail your comments to Mr. Gib Owen, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, 108 Army Pentagon, Washington DC 20310-0108. You can also email Owen at gib.a.owen.civ@mail.mil. The Army requests you include your name, return address, and “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline” on the first page of your letter, or if you’re sending an email, put “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline” as your subject. More details can be found here . There are still hundreds of people camping near the proposed pipeline route in North Dakota. Reuters reported at one point there were over 10,000 people in the camp; veterans and activists stood alongside Native Americans. Law enforcement has made over 600 arrests. Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Dallas Goldtooth said on Twitter Cramer was ” trying to incite violence ” by stating the Army gave their approval before it’s official. Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Army Corps ordered to approve Dakota Access Pipeline

DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

January 3, 2017 by  
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For many in this uncertain new year, an important resolution is to participate in actions that support causes that build a better world and oppose those that stand in our way. Two protesters started 2017 off with an acrobatic bang when they lowered themselves and a #NoDAPL banner from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium during a Minnesota Vikings –   Chicago Bears football game on New Years Day. Appropriately channeling Spiderman and the Dark Knight, these real-life vigilantes risked arrest and injury to send a message that the water protectors are here to stay in 2017. Secured with rappelling gear to a high metal truss that supports the roof of the stadium, the two protesters , Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, dangled next to their banner, which displayed the words “Divest,” “U.S. Bank,” and ” #NoDAPL .” Once the police had spotted the protesters, those sitting beneath the banner were removed from the area and authorities tried to convince Mayo and Holiday to come down. “It looked very official, so I don’t think many people noticed it at first,” said Jordan Proctor, who attended the game. “People were watching and talking about it a lot at halftime.” The game however was uninterrupted through the duration of the protest. Related: US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight The protesters demanded that the media was present when they finally descended from their perch. Upon reaching solid ground, they were arrested and brought to jail on trespassing charges. They were later released and formal charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday. “We are here in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock to urge US Bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Holiday in a statement released by local reporters. A spokesperson for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation clarified that the protesters were not associated with the tribe . U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Dan Ripley did not offer comment, nor did a representative for the Minnesota Vikings. Via CNN Images via  Christopher Juhn /MPR News

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DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

January 3, 2017 by  
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For many in this uncertain new year, an important resolution is to participate in actions that support causes that build a better world and oppose those that stand in our way. Two protesters started 2017 off with an acrobatic bang when they lowered themselves and a #NoDAPL banner from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium during a Minnesota Vikings –   Chicago Bears football game on New Years Day. Appropriately channeling Spiderman and the Dark Knight, these real-life vigilantes risked arrest and injury to send a message that the water protectors are here to stay in 2017. Secured with rappelling gear to a high metal truss that supports the roof of the stadium, the two protesters , Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, dangled next to their banner, which displayed the words “Divest,” “U.S. Bank,” and ” #NoDAPL .” Once the police had spotted the protesters, those sitting beneath the banner were removed from the area and authorities tried to convince Mayo and Holiday to come down. “It looked very official, so I don’t think many people noticed it at first,” said Jordan Proctor, who attended the game. “People were watching and talking about it a lot at halftime.” The game however was uninterrupted through the duration of the protest. Related: US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight The protesters demanded that the media was present when they finally descended from their perch. Upon reaching solid ground, they were arrested and brought to jail on trespassing charges. They were later released and formal charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday. “We are here in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock to urge US Bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Holiday in a statement released by local reporters. A spokesperson for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation clarified that the protesters were not associated with the tribe . U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Dan Ripley did not offer comment, nor did a representative for the Minnesota Vikings. Via CNN Images via  Christopher Juhn /MPR News

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DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

10 resolutions to make the world a better place this year

January 3, 2017 by  
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The new year is upon us and the forecast looks dreary. From the election of a lying, corrupt megalomaniac to the U.S. Presidency, to the loss of countless beloved cultural figures such as David Bowie, Prince and Carrie Fisher, to 2016 breaking the hottest year on record AGAIN, 2016 has been one sucky year. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that for many of readers, 2017 doesn’t look like it is going to be any better, and many people are dealing with deep anxiety and depression over the coming year. As the world’s carbon emissions rise towards the point of no return, the new Trump Administration is threatening to smash the strides we’ve made towards clean energy , environmental conservation, social progress, and a sustainable future. But in darkness there is always light, and in the face of despair we can find hope and strength. Let the encroaching darkness of 2016 be your wake up call to find the light, share the light, and be a guiding light this year – for your fellow citizens of this planet and for future generations.

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10 resolutions to make the world a better place this year

American veterans arrive at Standing Rock to defend Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

December 2, 2016 by  
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United States veterans are mobilizing to protect water protectors at the Dakota Access Pipeline . The first veterans rolled in this week, and over 2,000 more who are part of the group Veterans for Standing Rock aim to arrive this weekend. They plan to gather peacefully, unarmed, according to their GoFundMe , to defend activists from what they describe as militarized law enforcement. Army veteran Wesley Clark and Marine Corps veteran Michael A. Wood, Jr. organized the group Veterans for Standing Rock. They have raised over $850,000 on GoFundMe to help pay for travel expenses. Navy veteran Matthew Crane told Reuters he purchased a one-way ticket to North Dakota, and hopes the protesters and veterans can “shut this down before Christmas.” He also said the veterans were “standing on the shoulders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.” Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation Some veterans condemned the group, saying protests had not been wholly peaceful. President Russ Stabler of the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council said joining the protest would mar veteran’s reputations. Meanwhile President-elect Donald Trump said this week he supports finishing the Dakota Access Pipeline. His transition team said in a statement, “We respect all Americans’ first amendment right to peacefully protest, and we hope that local and federal officials continue to give support to local law enforcement so they are able to continue to protect these protesters.” We’re not sure if by “protect” they actually mean “spray protesters with rubber bullets, tear gas, and freezing water.” Thousands of pipeline protesters now face snow and sub-zero temperatures. Items currently on the Sacred Stone Camp’s Amazon wishlist include propane, a snow plow, and a solar generator. Veterans for Standing Rock is still shy of their $1 million goal on GoFundMe; you can donate here . You can also donate money to the official Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe here . Via Reuters Images via Sacred Stone Camp Facebook and Standing Rock Rising Facebook

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American veterans arrive at Standing Rock to defend Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

Old Dutch farmhouse gets a modern makeover with locally-sourced materials

December 2, 2016 by  
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Architect Jeanne Dekkers converted this brick farmhouse in the Dutch village of Banholt into a beautiful family house and studio. The team renovated the existing building with spruce-clad extensions that line the edges of an inner courtyard, resulting in a bright and airy space with a gentle environmental footprint. The farmhouse is located on the outskirts of an agricultural region in the Netherlands . The architects converted a former shed into a studio space and connected it to the new carport, creating a layout that resembles that of traditional farmhouses of the region. The additions are separated from the existing brick structures thanks to horizontal timber cladding. The old horse stable was transformed into a light and modern living space with an office. Two large openings made of Iroko wood frame the landscape and let the light inside. A stainless steel core containing the kitchen, bathroom and toilet occupies the central area of the building. Two round staircases clad in wood connect the ground floor with the second floor. Related: Historic Belgian farmhouse renovated into a modern solar-powered home The team collaborated with local artisans through the project, prioritizing local materials and local building techniques. They also reused some of the original materials, including old steel ledgers, roof tiles and bricks. + Jeanne Dekkers Architecture Via Dezeen Photos by Holly Marder

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Old Dutch farmhouse gets a modern makeover with locally-sourced materials

Scientists blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to improve solar cells

December 2, 2016 by  
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Four physicists at the University of California, Riverside decided to blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to work towards greener solar cells . Plants effectively regulate energy flow from the sun, but since current affordable man-made solar cells hover around just 20 percent efficiency, the scientists decided to take cues from vegetation. Current solar cells require feedback controllers and voltage converters to manage fluctuations in the amount of energy streaming from the sun, and end up wasting loads of energy. Their lack of efficiency is one hurdle standing in the way of mass adoption. But plants don’t need such hindering mechanisms. The UC Riverside team decided to reevaluate solar energy conversion in light of both photosynthesis’ efficiency and quantum physics principles. Related: Newly discovered form of spiralized light breaks everything quantum physics says about photons The physicists created what UC Riverside calls a novel kind of quantum heat engine photocell, a device that assists in the sunshine-to- electricity conversion process. Their new photocell draws on two quantum mechanical photocell systems that absorb either one or two colors of light, allowing the photocell to alternate between absorbing light at high and low power. According to UC Riverside, this innovation could allow a photocell to “convert varying levels of solar power into a steady-state output.” For UC Riverside assistant professor Nathan Gabor, who took part in the research, the journey to a better solar cell started in 2010 with the simple question, “Why are plants green?” He found out no one truly understands why, and decided to search for an answer. His quest, drawing on his physics background melded with deeper study into biology, may unlock the secrets to a more effective solar cell. The journal Nano Letters published the physicists’ research online in November. Via University of California, Riverside Images via Nathaniel Gabor and Tamar Melen and Pixabay

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Scientists blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to improve solar cells

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