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

Malia Obama attends Dakota Access Pipeline protest

January 31, 2017 by  
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Her father may have left the Oval Office, but 18-year-old Malia Obama’s work has just begun. The former First Daughter attended a Dakota Access Pipeline protest at the Sundance Film Festival to show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. She joined protesters the same day President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum to start moving forward with the contested oil pipeline . Malia is planning to attend Harvard University this fall after a gap year, and reportedly obtained an internship with producer Harvey Weinstein recently. But she took the time to join an event expressing support for the Standing Rock Sioux, as it appears the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline won’t be ending anytime soon. Related: Trump signs executive actions to reinstate Keystone and Dakota Access Pipeline In his last press conference, President Barack Obama said he didn’t think his daughters would pursue careers in politics , but did indicate they might be involved in social issues. He said, “I think that they have, in part through osmosis, in part through dinnertime conversations, appreciated the fact that this is a big, complicated country, and democracy is messy and it doesn’t always work exactly the way you might want…But if you’re engaged and you’re involved, then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country, and there’s a core decency to this country, and that they got to be a part of lifting that up. And I expect they will be. And in that sense, they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic.” Author Joshua Kendall, who’s written about presidents parenting, told The Christian Science Monitor First Children have spoken out on issues in the past, and Malia “is firmly in that tradition.” President Jimmy Carter’s daughter Amy participated in marches and was once arrested at an anti-Central Intelligence Agency demonstration. President Gerald Ford’s son Michael said Richard Nixon should confess his role in Watergate before his father pardoned Nixon. Via Grist and The Christian Science Monitor Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Malia Obama attends Dakota Access Pipeline protest

Wheelchair-friendly tiny house proves universal design can be cool

January 31, 2017 by  
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In a perfect world, architecture would be accessible for everyone, but sadly, people with disabilities or mobility issues are often limited to the physical barriers found in typical constructions. Vermont-based firm LineSync Architecture wants to change that with a new brand of accessible architecture, starting with their wheelchair-friendly tiny house , the Wheel Pad. https://youtu.be/EzE7irfnCbY The Wheel Pad is a prototype home for those who need more long-term adaptability from a home design . The 200-square-feet residence was designed in consultation with home health nurses, physicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Related: This $10k tiny house can be built with a hex key in less than a day The Wheel Pad was designed with a number of features geared to a wide range of needs, such as fixtures installed at lower heights, double swing doors, and a Hoyer lift that slides on a ceiling track to provide mobility assistance . Like most tiny homes, the space is compact, however, large windows give the interior a nice, airy feel. The home is also built on a mobile chassis base , which means it can be parked without a permit in most places around the US, allowing the inhabitants total freedom to travel. According to the architects, the design has a wide range of possible uses, “With Wheel Pad, we will change the way our injured soldiers and civilians come home from rehab. Wheel Pad is “disruptive” in the best sense of the word. It seems everyone has a use for Wheel Pad including: spinal cord injuries, people newly using wheelchairs or prosthetics, elderly veterans and civilians, hospice care, children with disabilities.” + LineSync Architecture Via Treehugger Video via Chibi Moku Photographs by Carolyn Bates

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Trump’s press secretary indicates the Dakota Access Pipeline will proceed

January 24, 2017 by  
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Hundreds of thousands of people protested the Dakota Access Pipeline last year in North Dakota, and were joined by people from around the world. But it appears President Donald Trump doesn’t care that thousands of people made their voices heard on Native American rights; his press secretary just indicated the president may move forward with the controversial oil pipeline . The United States Army Corps of Engineers denied Energy Transfer Partners the permit they required to keep working on the Dakota Access Pipeline near the North Dakota Standing Rock Sioux reservation in December. Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said they would “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline that was set to extend through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. Related: Trump officially supports completing the Dakota Access Pipeline, but it has “nothing to do” with his investment But the new Press Secretary Sean Spicer hinted the White House wants to plunge forward with the pipeline. In a press conference, Spicer said, “I will tell you that areas like the Dakota and Keystone pipeline areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic growth, and tap into America’s energy supply. That’s something that he’s been very clear about.” It seems Trump views natural resources as supplies America should consume instead of conserve. Spicer said, “The energy sector and our natural resources are an area where I think the president is very, very keen on making sure that we maximize our use of natural resources to America’s benefit. It’s good for economic growth, it’s good for jobs, and it’s good for American energy.” Lawmakers also appear confident Trump will move forward on the pipeline. North Dakota Republican representative Kevin Cramer told a Fargo radio station it’s possible for Trump to cancel the Environmental Impact Study Obama ordered that helped lead to the permit denial. Cramer said, “I expect [the EIS] will be rescinded quickly, that the easement [to drill under Lake Oahe] will be ordered and issued, you know, maybe as early as Monday. And I would expect that Dakota Access could begin finishing that line within a week.” According to The Independent, Trump still held an under $50,000 stake in Energy Transfer Partners last year, although his campaign said his stance on continuing the pipeline had nothing “to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.” Via The Independent Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr and screenshot

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Trump’s press secretary indicates the Dakota Access Pipeline will proceed

Reconnect with nature in this gorgeous retreat built for slow living

January 24, 2017 by  
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A safe haven from the frantic pace of modern life has popped up in the Australian town of Balnarring. Melbourne-based Branch Studio Architects designed this lovely modern studio and retreat with a deliberately low-tech aesthetic that emphasizes connection with the outdoors. The simple yet chic home is extremely flexible and can adapt to a seemingly limitless number of uses. The client prioritized flexibility early on in the design process, requiring “a space that could be nothing one minute and everything the next, required to regularly and effortlessly switch between an empty nondescript shell of limitless possibilities to a fully functioning private residence.” Thus the Balnarring Retreat features a large open-plan space where furniture, such as the Murphy bed and desk, are built into the walls and can be folded down when needed. Storage is also hidden away in the walls to minimize clutter. The custom furnishings are made to be folded and unfolded by hand to promote mindfulness. Related: Rustic Off-Grid Pump House is a Solar-Powered Weekend Getaway in Australia The Balnarring Retreat also houses a kitchen, a study, and a bathroom. The north wall is fully glazed to let in natural light and frame views of the pond. The space immediately in front of the glazed north wall is a sunken ‘day bed’ that can be filled in with plywood boxes when extra floorspace is needed. + Branch Studio Architects Images by Peter Clarke

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Reconnect with nature in this gorgeous retreat built for slow living

US Army blocks Dakota Access Pipeline in major victory for protestors

December 5, 2016 by  
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The Dakota Access Pipeline protesters just celebrated a major victory as the Army Corps announced it will deny a permit for a key section of the 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline. The controversial pipeline was supposed to be placed under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, only half a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation – a move that protesters argued could easily poison the reservation’s water supply if the pipe burst. The Army Corps is now planning to look for an alternate route for the pipeline with a less significant environmental impact. Over the past several months, thousands of protesters gathered to support the Standing Rock tribe in their fight against the pipeline. Today, the self-styled “water protectors” are celebrating their victory – but they also warn that there is still more work to be done. The Army Corps’ decision doesn’t mark an end to the pipeline, simply a change in plans. It’s possible the new proposed route will also be problematic, and there are plenty of environmental activists who don’t consider further construction of the project to be a victory, no matter how it’s routed. Related: The Keystone XL Pipeline could be resurrected under Trump’s administration Tribal leaders have also expressed concern that the victory may be short-lived: Donald Trump’s administration may seek to overturn the decision once he takes office in January. He’s already spoken out in favor of the pipeline after the developers donated over $100,000 to his presidential campaign. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise—Trump’s also promised to help push through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline , which Obama vetoed a year ago. If Trump does decide to try to override the decision, he’ll have an uphill battle ahead of him. While the Army Corps’ announcement effectively shuts down the final leg of construction on the pipeline , it’s not an outright denial that could be overturned with a simple executive decision. The denial of the permit has set in motion an entire environmental impact assessment, which will likely take some time to complete. Attorneys for environmentalist groups like Earthjustice are already prepared to meet Trump in court should he challenge the decision. Related: American veterans arrive at Standing Rock to defend Dakota Access Pipeline protesters In the meantime, the Standing Rock protesters have issued a statement calling for a permanent stop to the construction, and for criminal charges to be dropped against members of the group who have been arrested for civil disobedience over the past nine months. So far, a staggering 550 protesters have been arrested and charged. Energy Transfer Partners, the developer, intends to continue pushing for a permit to complete construction without rerouting. Via Huffington Post Images via Medea Benjamin and sabreigha

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President Obama says Army is exploring rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline

November 3, 2016 by  
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Will President Barack Obama take action on the Dakota Access Pipeline ? In an interview with NowThis posted this week he said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is exploring “ways to reroute” the oil pipeline protested by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and their supporters in North Dakota . President Obama’s statement sounded hopeful but may not result in action soon; the president said he would let the confrontation “play out for several more weeks.” When asked if his administration would intervene in the conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Obama said, “We’re monitoring this closely and I think as a general rule, my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans . I think right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline in a way.” Related: In surprise announcement, US government blocks the Dakota Access Pipeline Some people didn’t seem pleased with the president’s comments. In a statement, Morton County Chairman Cody Schulz said, “Rather than creating further uncertainty, the President should be sending us the support and resources necessary to enforce the law and protect people’s right to peacefully protest.” Energy Transfer Partners spokesperson Vicki Granado said they didn’t know of any reroute considerations and they still expected to obtain an easement to start building the pipeline portion that would pass beneath the Missouri River. When asked about treatment of the protesters, President Obama said, “I mean, it’s a challenging situation. I think that my general rule when I talk to governors and state and local officials whenever they’re dealing with protests – including, for example, during the Black Lives Matters protests – is there’s an obligation for protesters to be peaceful and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint.” He said he hoped everyone could have the opportunity to be heard with both sides avoiding situations where people could be hurt. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement, “We believe President Obama and his administration will do the right thing.” You can watch NowThis’s interview with the president here . Via NowThis Twitter and NPR Images via Nick Knupffer on Flickr and Sacred Stone Camp on Facebook

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President Obama says Army is exploring rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline

Judge rejects riot charges against journalist Amy Goodman for Dakota Access Pipeline coverage

October 18, 2016 by  
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A North Dakota judge has thrown out charges against journalist Amy Goodman after she filmed oil company security using pepper spray and dogs on protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline . The Democracy Now! host could have spent multiple months in jail if Judge John Grinsteiner hadn’t rejected the charges in a move widely praised for upholding freedom of the press. At first the state attorney office of North Dakota charged Goodman with “criminal trespass,” but later decided to switch to riot charges after they admitted “legal issues with providing the notice of trespassing requirements in the statute,” as reported by Democracy Now! Related: Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protesters in North Dakota State attorney Ladd Erickson did his best to charge Goodman with something; he told a local newspaper she was “a protester, basically,” and that she was only working to justify actions taken by protesters. He said in an email she “was not acting as a journalist” even though the first trespass complaint described Goodman as a reporter since she identified herself on camera and conducted interviews. Goodman could have spent as much as a year in jail if the riot charges hadn’t been rejected. One of her lawyers, Reed Brody told The Guardian the disturbing case was a “real outlier in general.” But the state attorney’s office may already be trying to pin Goodman down on another charge. Local county sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement, “I am assured charges are being considered against these individuals. Let me make this perfectly clear, if you trespass on private property, you will be arrested.” For now, many people are thrilled freedom of the press won the day. In a Democracy Now! article, Goodman said, “This is a complete vindication of my right as a journalist to cover the attack on the protesters, and of the public’s right to know what is happening with the Dakota Access pipeline. We will continue to report on this epic struggle of Native Americans and their non-Native allies taking on the fossil fuel industry and an increasingly militarized police in this time when climate change threatens the planet.” Via The Guardian and Democracy Now! Images via Amy Goodman Facebook and screenshot

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Judge rejects riot charges against journalist Amy Goodman for Dakota Access Pipeline coverage

21 unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline protestors arrested during prayer ceremony

September 30, 2016 by  
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Protesters demanding the end of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline had another run-in with police this week when the Morton County Sheriff’s Department interrupted a peaceful prayer ceremony at two sites on the reservation. About 40 law enforcement officers arrived in armored vehicles and arrested 21 protestors total. The ceremony apparently involved the planting of willow and corn – hardly actions that could be mistaken by law enforcement as violent or threatening. In a press release , the police department alleges that a protester on horseback charged at an officer. However, video of at least three riders on horseback doesn’t seem to match the description made by the officers. According to the Indian Country news site, Kyle Kirchmeier, the sheriff of Morton County, has come under fire in the past for spreading false information about the protests – including allegations that the protesters had pipe bombs. (As it turns out, the objects he claimed were bombs were actually sacred pipes used in ceremonies.) Related: What is the Dakota Access Pipeline project? We explain… The arrests follow multiple standoffs between the police the peaceful protestors who have gathered to air their concerns over the proposed oil pipeline , which could destroy sacred Sioux sites and poses a danger to the soil and groundwater that the Standing Rock tribe depends on. In early September, the oil company backing the project, Energy Transfer Partners, unleashed security dogs on the protesters, resulting in several injuries. In the past month, there have been dozens of arrests for trespassing on construction sites and blocking equipment. While the US government has attempted to block the pipeline , the continued conflict shows that the battle is far from over. Via EcoWatch Images via Tomas Alejo and Tony Webster

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21 unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline protestors arrested during prayer ceremony

Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protestors in North Dakota

September 7, 2016 by  
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A protest against a proposed oil pipeline turned violent on Saturday as Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners unleashed pepper spray and attack dogs against a group of Native American activists. The protesters have been attempting the halt the construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline that would cut directly through their tribal land and sacred burial grounds in North Dakota . At least six protesters have suffered bites from security dogs, including a young child, according to Standing Rock Sioux tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear. In addition, at least 30 people were pepper sprayed. The Morton County Sheriff’s Office reports injuries on their side as well, with four private security guards and two guard dogs injured in the clash. There were no law enforcement officers present during the incident, and no arrests were made. The construction project is currently being considered by a federal judge, who is expected to rule on the Dakota Access oil pipeline on September 9th. Permits have already been granted to the developers by the Army Corps of Engineers, however, activists claim that the project will destroy their sacred sites and potentially poison drinking water used by 8,000 tribe members. Related: The Keystone-style pipeline you probably didn’t know about To add insult to injury, the tribe has only recently been given access to the land in question to survey it, delaying their ability to take legal action. Already, the tribe has accused construction crews of removing topsoil from an area 2 miles long, overturning ancient cairns and stone prayer rings on an ancestral burial site. Tribe Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement, “In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.” The protests are said to be the largest gathering of Native Americans in over a century, with members of over 90 tribes lending their support. Via RawStory Images via Tomas Alejo

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Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protestors in North Dakota

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