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Mother & Daughter Camp In Trees For 34 days To Stop Pipeline


May 15th, 2018 by Kurt Lowder

Renewable energy is getting a boost as grassroot campaigns to stop pipelines and other fossil fuel developments are springing up organically all over the world. Terry and Minor Red, who are mother and daughter, were able to hold up a EQT Midstream Partners pipeline for at least 34 days. The mother-daughter combo only gave up after being found in contempt of court and were facing a DAILY $1000 dollar fine. They may have lost the battle, but this war is far from over.

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Subsequent to the protest, they were later charged with trespassing on their own property, among other charges.

This is the type of brilliant story that the majority of corporate media routinely ignore as they tell us the 33rd new development of the Stormy Daniels case. Look, I get it that the Stormy Daniels could potentially lead to some type of Watergate moment, but with a 24-hour news cycle, maybe the media could spare an hour for this type of heroic story. 

Of course, telling this story would jeopardize losing their fat check from the American Petroleum Institute and other fossil fuel groups that advertise for seemingly no apparent reason other than an implicit bribe to not cover environmental stories that matter. According to Huffpost, in at least one week in March, CNN gave more ad time to these fossil fuel public relations groups than it spent covering climate change. 

“In the third week of March, after it was announced that February had been the hottest month on record, CNN aired four minutes of climate change stories. It broadcast 10 minutes of ads from API. During that same time, the study noted that CNN also aired dozens of ads from Koch Industries.”

Delaying a pipeline for 34 days is costly, and the fossil fuel industry cannot risk stories like this being told to the masses. These pipelines have to cross numerous properties. If only a small fraction of landowners put up a principled resistance against them, the pipelines may well be scrapped. For them to profit, they need an uninformed, apathetic public that believes eminent domain really applies to their business.

The fossil fuel industry uses eminent domain routinely in ways it was never intended. In this case, Roanoke Gas, which is the local utility in the Terry family’s community, only owns a 0.5% interest in this pipeline. Through this nonsensical technicality, EQT Midstream Partners was able to attain eminent domain under a law written in 1938.

My father worked for Caltrans, the California Highway Department, as a right-of-way agent. He appraised the land needed for highway construction and negotiated a fair price with land owners. Nearly all landowners understood the need and quickly agreed to a price slightly above market value. It was my father’s job to treat them with respect and offer them a more than fair compensation.

At the age of 5, I still remember eating an open-faced tuna sandwich made by the landowner with whom my Dad was negotiating. I was baffled by the fact it was missing the second piece of bread, but the old lady was so nice I would not dare ask for a second piece of bread.  It was one of the best days of my life. That morning, I got the word I did not have to go to school and would instead be heading up the coast of California towards Monterrey. I can still smell the coastal Californian pines.

Now those very trees are being threatened by the misuse of eminent domain that is allowing climate change to continue, and it makes me sick to my stomach. Fossil fuels are being given an unfair advantage in the marketplace as they cut corners and behave as the mafia does. Eminent domain is only supposed to be exercised for the public’s good, and clearly these gargantuan pipelines are not good for the public. They are choking us and planet. They are polluting our water and soil.

The childhood experience I explained above was the exact opposite of how Terry Red and daughter Minor Red were treated. Landowners are being harshly intimidated and surveilled by private security forces who frequently wear masks. They enter and exit landowners property at will and without permission.  These pipelines are being pushed through without due diligence as government officials of both parties are legally bribed with campaign contributions. Our police are being deputized by the pipeline builders and their associates in the industry.

The worst part is that the natural gas running through this pipeline is being exported far away from the communities through which the pipeline passes. This private company and police continually slithered around numerous laws to greenlight this project as quickly as possible. 

This pipeline is crossing numerous waterways and traversing steep, rocky, and mountainous terrain which greatly increasing environmental risks. According to Minor Terry, and contrary to the pipeline commercials, this pipeline is not state of the art. It is being thrown into the ground haphazardly. Major risks are being taken for major profits. This is not about the public good; it is about corporate profits.

The most shocking revelation within the interview is this 42-inch pipeline is the largest ever constructed, and should it explode, the blast radius is 2.5 miles. It could wipe out the entire Red Family who have been there seven generations.

In case you think natural gas pipelines are rare, here are few examples of natural gas pipeline explosions, all of which would pale in comparison to this pipeline exploding. 

Winnepeg, Canada

Texas pipeline explosion

Lafayette, Indiania

Pensylvania

West Virginia

Pennsylvania (aftermath Chared Houses)

Edison New Jersey

Spearmen Texas

Manitoba

Alabama

San Bruno California

Another important note is this pipeline requires approval from the executive branch of the US government, and the Democratic Governor also has significant power over the process. Since 1999, only two pipelines have been denied by Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC). The interview with Red and Terry Minor goes into greater detail on these points and more. 

Here is a more detailed analysis of natural gas and pipeline explosions than I could ever do. Journalist George Joseph of CityLab wrote, “Over the last thirty years, just under 9,000 significant pipeline-related incidents have taken place nationwide, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. (Not counted in this total are thousands of less “significant” pipeline-related malfunctions.)”

The pipeline company paid third parties to hastily conduct pathetic archaeological digs. Even though numerous Native American artifacts were found, the pipeline process was not hindered.  Often Native American representatives are not allowed to be present on these digs. In effect, they are rapidly walking through motions with these archeological digs. Remember, it is pipeline companies paying the third parties, and not the government.

I will spare you any further summaries of the interview, because I really encourage you to watch this interview with Red and Terry Minor. It is full of information and great humor. These powerful ladies really know their stuff. You will remember their story long after you forget the important pipeline explosions statistics. It is these type of stories that will create a critical mass of people required to lead the transition away from using natural gas to renewable energy to power and heat our homes.

The Terry family provides multiple reasons why renewable energy is far superior to natural gas, irrespective of the climate change consequences. They noted there were plenty of great Virginian jobs to be had in wind and solar. These important arguments are extremely useful to environmental advocates who have to opportunity to converse with individuals who are not motivated about climate change.

I encourage you to use a diversity of attacks as you have opportunities to converse with others. Listen more than you speak. Remember that while science is based on statistics, facts, etc., stories are important too. People remember stories and are motivated to act by them. Science, in fact, has proven the importance of stories (anecdotes) in affecting individual behavior and societal change.

A few more notes on Jordan Chariton, formerly of TYT politics. While with TYT politics, he provided excellent coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Protests. He has covered Flint Michigan (among hundreds of other cities with poisoned water across the country) and the Trans Pecos pipeline in greater detail than anyone in the mainstream media. He has begun his own media company and you can support him on Patreon to help him continue to do real investigative reporting.

These pipelines are not just pissing off environmentalists. They are enraging Libertarians who strongly believe in property rights. The two are joining forces in ways never imagined.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING!

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/15/mother-daughter-camp-in-trees-for-34-days-to-stop-pipeline/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=BPnJsMMIi5M

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Latest Post, Louisville, Save Our Land!

Owner of Old Louisville Pesticide Plant Prepares to Sell


Black Leaf property owner gives Courier-Journal exclusive look inside a property that triggered the state’s biggest ever urban environmental cleanup.

 

Image result for BLACK LEAF PROPERTY LOUISVILLE KY

Image result for BLACK LEAF PROPERTY LOUISVILLE KY

By JAMES BRUGGERS, The Courier-Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Metal roofing has collapsed.

Trees are growing tall inside buildings. Walls are heavily tagged with graffiti.

And trespassers have set up makeshift camping or lounge areas among the arsenic and long-banned pesticides, having hauled in several couches in recent months – one of them with two small toy dolls left on the cushions.

It’s now about seven years into what Kentucky officials have called their largest urban environmental cleanup, and property owner Tony Young, on a rare tour of what he calls the Louisville Industrial Park, says: “I need to speak my piece. If I don’t do it now, I won’t have any chance.”

The 29-acre property, known by regulators as the Black Leaf site for a tobacco-based pesticide once made there, is scheduled for a foreclosure sale on Friday.

After long-banned pesticides like DDT and other dangerous chemicals or heavy metals were found in the soil, Young said he became unable to pay the $20,000 monthly mortgage he owed to First Capital Bank of Kentucky. He also owes the city nearly $1 million in back property taxes and the Metropolitan Sewer District $200,000 for several years of unpaid drainage fees. But as Young this week faces the loss of the property he’s owned since 1999, he is taking steps to recover financially while he promotes his plan to develop affordable housing for western Louisville.

Young last week sued his bank, a bank holding company, and ExxonMobil, claiming in a U.S. District Court filing that businesses have entered into “a secret deal” that cut him out and could cost him more than $20 million. He said he believes a new business cooperating with the bank and ExxonMobil intend to buy the property in a process that will wipe away the liabilities for the new owner and will allow ExxonMobil’s plan to proceed.

But that plan, he contends, would require a lesser degree of cleanup than his, which would need to meet more stringent standards for residential development.

“I am going to get my money back, one way or the other,” Young told the Courier-Journal. But if the ExxonMobil plan wins the day, “it screws all the community” by leaving chemicals behind and not meeting demand for affordable housing, he added.

Still, his plan does not appear to be going anywhere.

Exxon plan favored

The state of Kentucky instead is casting its provisional blessing on an alternative proposal backed by the giant oil company, Occidental Chemical Corp., and Grief Inc. to get the property ready for recycling it into future industrial or commercial businesses, with the less extensive cleanup that would require. Each of those companies inherited liability for past pollution, state officials have said.

City officials see the foreclosure sale as potentially removing a logjam by getting the property into the hands of a business with the financial ability to bring economic development to the blighted property – and to remove a festering eyesore and safety hazard just two miles from downtown in one of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods.

Park Hill, where the property is located, is one of the crime-riddled communities Louisville Metro Police are focusing extra enforcement efforts in this year, along with Victory Park, Russell, Smoketown, Shawnee, Russell and Shelby Park

Theresa Zawacki, a senior policy adviser for Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development arm, said it is hard to predict the outcome of the foreclosure sale. But she said she expects more than one bidder on the property, now that businesses with liability for the pollution are ready to begin remediation. Friday’s sale is “another step in that process,” she said.

It’s large and directly served by rail, and suitable for industrial purposes, she said. “When things like this come up, there is typically a lot of interest,” she added.

Already, the state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency teamed up to remove contaminated soil from dozens of homes near the industrial site.

But the Courier-Journal in 2016 reported that Kentucky Division of Waste Management officials had said they could not under state law force a full cleanup to residential standards inside the property. This week, a spokesman for the waste management division, John Mura, said state officials have accepted the technical portions of the ExxonMobil plan “with the caveat that Exxon must be able to demonstrate property access and the ability to place an environmental covenant on the property if necessary.

“To date, Exxon has not demonstrated that ability.”

He said state officials hope the Young lawsuit “does not further delay the restart of remedial work that could begin soon after the property access and ownership issues are resolved.”

Security concerns

Exxon has played a key role in working with the state on a remediation plan.

“ExxonMobil seeks access to the property to meet its environmental and regulatory obligations,” said Todd Spitler, company spokesman. “We continue to work under the direction of (Kentucky regulators) to develop and implement a remedy for this site that is protective of human health and the environment.”

A First Capital Bank of Kentucky representative did not return a request for comment.

Some of the chemicals found on the property have been measured at hundreds to thousands of times higher than state officials consider safe.

Young granted the Courier-Journal its first tour of the property on Monday, where he sought to make a case for his position. He portrayed himself as a man looking out for a neighborhood troubled by drugs and violence. He said he feels his bank, Exxon and state officials turned against him. “I’ve tried my best. I’ve cooperated with the state,” he said.

The Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group, also supports cleanup to residential standards, said its director, attorney Tom FitzGerald.

That would best help to “redress a burden that the neighbors have borne for entirely too long, and to provide for the broadest range of future uses,” he said. Leaving polluted soils in place shifts costs to the next generation, he said, adding “it may be legal, but it does not make it just or moral.”

Metro Councilman David James, who represents the area, had also been pressing for a cleanup that would do what Young was seeking – allow for residential development.

James said Tuesday he has not yet heard from the state environmental agency on Black Leaf cleanup requirements and is frustrated that a problem discovered in 2010 remains unsolved.

“I would like to have had it resolved five years ago,” he said.

James also said he was concerned to hear that trespassers or squatters may have set up camps by bringing in couches. He said he did not see any of that several months ago on a visit to the property. “It makes it difficult for police because they don’t have access to it,” said James, a former police officer. “It’s private.”

He also said he may need to “find out why Mr. Young is not doing more to prevent people from coming onto the property he owns – like hiring private security.”

For his part, Young said the property is too large to keep everyone out.

James also said he was not aware of any discussions between Young and the city to bring low-income housing to the property. “At this point, Mr. Young has financial interests in the property and is looking for a way to cover his interests,” James said.

Young said he had been working with the nonprofit Housing Partnership Inc., on the low-income housing plan. The partnership has ties to the city – Mayor Greg Fischer is a board member – and several years ago looked into whether a several-hundred unit affordable housing plan was economically feasible prior to the discovery of the contaminated soils.

That kind of contamination “stops development in their tracks,” said Mike Hynes, president of the partnership.

Last year Hynes reiterated his partnership’s interest in the property for low-income housing if the environmental problems could be worked out. But Hynes said: “The property has to be safe for people to live there.”

Details lacking

Young said his cleanup plan, which he said has been rejected, would have piled a lot of contaminated soils in berms, where it would be permanently entombed.

But he also offered no details on its costs.

When the Courier-Journal on Monday requested details on the two cleanup plans from the state, Mura told the Courier-Journal to submit a request for documents under the Kentucky Open Records law because the matter was now in litigation.

The state, however, is not part of that litigation, and the Courier-Journal is still waiting for a response to the records.

For his part, Young tells a story of how what he thought would be a good, $1.9 million investment has turned into a nightmare that’s cost him dearly. He said he had the property checked out by environmental consultants – a bank requirement – before purchasing it, and they found none of the problems that state officials later discovered.

“I tried to do something good here,” he said. “I am still trying to do something good.”

CONTINUE READING…

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Top ten climate polluters in Kentucky


James Bruggers, jbruggers@courier-journal.com 7:14 p.m. EDT September 30, 2014

 

 

Power plants top Kentucky’s biggest sources of climate pollution, according to just-released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There’s no surprise there.

But a prominent chemical plant in Louisville’s Rubbertown area — Dupont Louisville Works — is in the top ten biggest climate polluters in Kentucky for its emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which the EPA say are actually more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up the atmosphere.

The EPA released its fourth year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data, detailing greenhouse gas pollution trends and emissions broken down by industrial sector, geographic region and individual facilities. In 2013, reported emissions from large industrial facilities nationwide were 20 million metric tons higher than the prior year, or 0.6 percent, driven largely by an increase in coal use for power generation, the agency said.

That figure intrigued me because conventional wisdom is that we’ve been burning more natural gas (which has less impact on the climate) and less coal.

RELATED: Air pollution district, union agree on job cuts

There is a lot of data to look at, and this is just my first crack at it. I started by doing a quick search of top emitters in Kentucky and Indiana, then top emitters in Louisville Metro, or Jefferson County.

Kentucky Utility’s Ghent plant topped all of Kentucky’s largest industrial sources of a several greenhouse gases, with 12.8 million metric tons released in 2013, the most current year for which the data is available. That’s up 12 percent from the year before. LG&E’s Mill Creek plant in Louisville ranked third, with 7.9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent decrease since 2010, according to the data.

But Dupont, the long-time Rubbertown chemical plant, ranked 7th, emitting 4,1 million tons, nearly all of that hydrofluorocarbons. That number was down from about 6 million pounds in 2011.

So what are hydrofluorocarbons and what impact do they have on the climate?

From the EPA:

Unlike many other greenhouse gases, fluorinated gases have no natural sources and only come from human-related activities. They are emitted through a variety of industrial processes such as aluminum and semiconductor manufacturing. Many fluorinated gases have very high global warming potentials (GWPs) relative to other greenhouse gases, so small atmospheric concentrations can have large effects on global temperatures.

HCFCs can have a global warming potential of between 140 to 11,700 times that of carbon dioxide, EPA says. The larger the global warming potential, the more warming the gas causes, according to EPA. The agency explains it this way: “For example, methane’s 100-year GWP is 21, which means that methane will cause 21 times as much warming as an equivalent mass of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period.”

Statewide rankings for Kentucky:

1) Ghent power plant, 12.8 million metric tons.

2) Paradise power plant, 12.1.

3) Mill Creek power plant, 7.9.

4) H.L. Spurlock power plant, 7.8.

5) Trimble County power plant, 7.3.

6) Shawnee power plant, 7.2.

7) Dupont Louisville Works chemical plant, 4.1.

8) R.D. Green power plant, 3.6.

9) East Bend power plant, 3.5.

10) Coleman power plant, 3.3.

Two southern Indiana power plants ranked among the top ten greenhouse gas emitters in Indiana:

1) Gibson power plant, 16 million metric tons.

10) Clifty power plant, 5.8 million metric tons.

 

CONTINUE READING…

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Watchdog Earth: Another piece of Pine Mountain saved


Watchdog Earth: Another piece of Pine Mountain saved.

The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has closed on a 46-acre purchase that allows for expansion of a state nature preserve on Pine Mountain in Whitley County near the Tennessee border, setting the stage for several other anticipated conservation purchases.

The property adjoins one of Kentucky’s most remote and wild areas, the newly dedicated Archer Benge State Nature Preserve, which covers 1,864 acres along the Laurel Fork. The land trust says it provides important habitat for numerous rare native fish and mussels, the federally listed Indiana bat, and several rare plants.

After several other deals are completed this year, the land trust says it will be able to round out the protected watershed boundaries and protect significant bat caves on the property.