UPDATES ON DAKOTA ACCESS
DAPL easement to cross under Lake Oahe
denied by Army Corps of Engineers
This week has been a rollercoaster of news from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) case. On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would not grant the easement to allow Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to run the pipeline under the Lake Oahe section of the Missouri River - the hard-fought-over section near the Standing Rock reservation. While this was cause for much celebration and was essentially the main ask of the #NoDAPL fight, it leaves much still unanswered about the fate of the DAPL.
ETP immediately announced that they regarded the decision as politically motivated and had no intention of re-routing, then today news finally arrived that they will be pursuing legal action to have the decision overturned.
Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault said that ETP will not be able to act for some time, that the process will take a long time, thanked all who helped in the fight and asked that they all return home until things develop further. Though this is causing some debate within the community of Water Protectors, this call and concern over the particularly harsh blizzard conditions this week is seeing many people stand down. No Fracked Gas in Mass checked in with Linda Black Elk of the Medic Council, who said that some will remain at the camp, meaning that supplies will still be needed as they try hard to make sure that everyone who does remain stays safe, fed and warm.
» Please check our Ways to Help page for more info, and our About Dakota Access to see Linda's updates.See these news updates below.
First-ever National People’s Hearing on FERC Held in DC
by Ted Glick
On December 2nd in Washington, DC 65 people from 15 states and the District of Columbia, from as far away as Arizona, Mississippi and Florida, testified to a packed room at the National Press Club about their uniformly bad personal and organizational experiences with FERC.
For years a movement has been building to take on FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This agency, officially created in the late 70’s, was little-known beyond the fossil fuel industry until the rise of fracking and with it, the proliferation of proposed new pipelines and other infrastructure to transport and store fracked shale gas.
The groups that have taken up this fight range from small, local neighborhood groups to national organizations, from people primarily concerned about the invasion and disruption of their property to those concerned about the threat posed by fracking to our disrupted climate. All are concerned about the risks to health and safety for those living close to pipelines, compressor stations, storage facilities and export terminals, all of which pollute the air and are prone to explosions and fires.
182 organizations representing communities in 35 states and the District of Columbia signed an open letter to Congress in September calling for an investigation into FERC. At the Peoples Hearing on December 2nd, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, representatives of these impacted communities provided testimony and evidence demonstrating the need for Congressional hearings on FERC.
» Read Ted's full review of the Hearing
New administration and its possible impacts to state policy among many concerns at Western Mass Legislative Summit
The impacts of the upcoming Trump administration, though not a formal discussion, was a common thread among speakers at the Western Mass Legislative Summit, sponsored by the Hampshire Council of Governments. Featured speakers included Northampton city councilman Ryan O'Donnell, incoming State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, State Senate President Stan Rosenberg, State Sen. Ann Gobi and State Rep. Peter Kocot. It was heavily attended by members of local governments and citizen-activists concerned about energy, agriculture, infrastructure and education. Breakout sessions included lively discussions on energy and natural gas policy, agriculture, issues specific to small towns, broadband, and education. Questions brought out of these sessions were then presented at a roundtable discussion with state Legislators.
Across many subjects, the importance of public engagement in legislative decisions was a commonly stressed theme.
This roundtable session was taped live and broadcast on WHMP radio.
» Listen here
Massachusetts State Senator Elect Adam Hines
holding community dialog meetings
Newly elected State Senator Adam Hines (Ben Downing's former seat), is having a series of Community Dialog sessions. This is a great chance to introduce yourself and bring up concerns and ideas you have on state energy policy issues and other subjects. Civic engagement helps shape better policy - inform your elected officials early and often!
Mon, Dec 12 - 6pm - Berkshire South Community Center, 15 Crissey Rd, Great Barrington
Wed, Dec 14 - 6pm - Berkshire Athenaeum (Pittsfield Library) 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield
Thur, Dec 15 - 6pm - American Legion, 91 American Legion Dr, North Adams
Hundreds march on state Connecticut state capitol to demand commitment to renewable energyby Kels Dayton, WTNH.com Staff
About 360 people gathered at the State Capitol in Hartford on Saturday for a march and rally to oppose natural gas pipelines like the Access Northeast Pipeline, and to demand a renewed commitment to renewable energy.
350 Connecticut, the Connecticut Sierra Club and a broad coalition of environmental, labor, faith and social justice groups in Connecticut organized the march and rally to celebrate the recent decision by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to take the massive natural gas expansion project “Access Northeast” off the table and demand an immediate transition to 100% clean renewable energy to benefit the residents of Connecticut.
“We are at a crossroads in Connecticut – either we are going to invest in clean energy and join the fight against global warming or we are going to make consumers pay billions of dollars for fracked gas pipelines we don’t need, we can’t afford and that emit harmful greenhouse gases,” said Ben Martin of 350 CT.
» Read full reportConnecticut residents
Don’t forget to chime in on the CES!
No Fracked Gas in Mass would like to remind CT residents to contact their legislators to demand that the new Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) leave conversion of home heating to natural gas OFF the table. The previous CES provided incentives for such conversions, creating demand for pipeline projects like Kinder Morgan’s CT Expansion, which is still hanging in the balance. Leaving these incentives out of the new CES could erase that market.
Keep up with the latest on our Events Page
.SATURDAY — DECEMBER 10, 2016 — HOLYOKE, MA
— Standing Rock Benefit Dinner and Lecture.
In observance of Human Rights Day, Nuestras Raices and the United Congregational Church of Holyoke invite you to a benefit dinner and lecture about the Standing Rock Water Protectors and how to support their cause. We are honored to host Jennifer Weston, a researcher, writer, and producer from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas.
» Read more about Ms. Weston5 PM - 8 PM
United Congregational Church of Holyoke395 High StHolyoke, MA SATURDAY — DECEMBER 10, 2016 — AMHERST, MA
NEW TO THE PIPELINE MOVEMENT? We'd like to welcome all our new subscribers and invite you to look over our Getting Started and Act Now pages to see ideas on how you and your community can fight the pipelines!
Defeating the Pipelines!
Thanks to Your Help!
We'll still be here, fighting the CT Expansion pipeline and aiding other communities fighting AIM, Access Northeast, Constitution and others, and keeping an eye out for possible resurrection of NED or another restructured project. We'll also still be working with PLAN-NE, Mass Power Forward and other organizations to help ensure bold steps away from fossil fuel dependency continue and grow!