Sandpiper EIS on HOLD!

August 26th, 2016

SlamOnBrakes2

The Department of Commerce has hit the brakes on Sandpiper Pipeline and Line 3 Replacement Projects “until such time as Enbridge makes clear its intentions about the projects, or until we receive further direction from the Commission.”

Here’s the letter from Bill Grant:

20168-124424-01_Commerce_EIS Scope Decision Document on HOLD

And the guts of it:

DoC_Letter_8-26-2016

YES!!!  Now, about those transmission lines proposed for pumping stations related to these projects????

epahasamplemap1(click for larger version)

3M has gotten away with poisoning the water of Minnesota, and the Dept. of Health has taken some protective and/or remedial measures, but it’s not nearly enough.  Isn’t it a wake-up call that we need a “Drinking Water Health Advisory” in this Land of 10,000 Lakes? Minnesota’s “Pollution Control Agency” has not been proactive on this, and we’ve known about 3M’s contamination for how long?  This is why we need the EPA!  The EPA is leading the charge, and Minnesota’s Department of Health (MDH), as above, has “responded” to the EPA Advisories.

80 Washington County homes will get bottled water as state reviews new pollution rules

In part:

Eighty households in Washington County will get bottled water and state-funded filtration systems because their drinking water exceeds a new federal safety standard for industrial chemicals that have long contaminated groundwater in the area.

In addition, state regulators will sample 400 to 500 wells within the area of contamination in coming months and issue additional drinking water advisories as needed.

The Dept. of Health page:

MDH Response to EPA Health Advisory for PFOS and PFOA

From the EPA’s page:

Basic Information

Technical Information

Provisional Health Advisories and Draft Health Effects Documents

Technical documents

Peer Review

 

HoustonNAACP

Can’t make this stuff up.  I wish they’d read their “pocket Constitution” and amendments.  How is NAACP related to their 2nd Amendment rights?  Let’s see a 1,000 word essay, due tomorrow!

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Yesterday there are armed white folks in Houston, Texas, sporting guns and waving Confederate flags:

“Obviously we’re exercising our Second Amendment rights but that’s because we have to defend ourselves. Their organizations and their people are shooting people based on the color of their skin. We’re not. We definitely will defend ourselves, but we’re not out here to start any problems.”

Really… It’s a crucial distinction that they’re talking about “2nd Amendment rights” and not “1st Amendment rights” here, that their focus is on guns, and not speech.  At what point is inflammatory “speech” of flags and open carry in front of NAACP headquarters criminal incitement or terroristic threats?

HoustonNAACP2

Notice the “14 WORDS” sign.  Those “14 WORDS” are a fundamental slogan of white supremacists, originally from David Lane, The Order, The Silent Brotherhood, Bruders Schweigen: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.”  He also authored the “88 Precepts” while in jail serving his 190 year sentence.  Words like this should not be taken lightly.  The actions of Lane’s group included the machine-gun mowing down of Alan Berg, Jewish radio talk show host, armored car robberies and counterfeiting, racketeering, and conspiracy.  He died in jail.

Incitement is a difficult concept, much is allowed, and in reviewing Constitutional law on incitement, the key is to be vague, to use inference, to speak of possibilities, and that’s OK.  Urges to action NOW is another matter.  So thus far, these “protesters” (again, what exactly are they “protesting?”) seem to be within bounds, unlike Drumpf (one protester yesterday was wearing a Trump hat), who has gone over the edge with direct, targeted incitement:

Is Donald Trump inciting violence? He might be. – Slate

 What about terroristic threats?  In Texas:

Texas Penal Code § 22.07. Terroristic Threat

(g) For purposes of Subsection (d), the amount of pecuniary loss is the amount of economic loss suffered by the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance as a result of the prevention or interruption of the occupation or use of the building, room, place, or conveyance.

I’d be afraid to go to work that day if I worked at NAACP HQ, but likely they’re closed on Sunday, so that threat charge is then likely dodged.

Are the many people in the U.S. killed lately by white supremacists being considered, is it being taken into account?

How is the NAACP related to the protesters 2nd Amendment rights?  Houston, we have a problem…

Transmission…

August 21st, 2016

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In the inbox today from an activist cohort, a poem by Thomas Lux:

Cucumber Fields Crossed by High Tension Wires

The high-tension spires spike the sky
beneath which boys bend
to pick from prickly vines
the deep-sopped fruit, the rind’s green
a green sunk
in green. They part the plants’ leaves,
reach into the nest,
and pull out mother, father, fat Uncle Phil.
The smaller yellow-green children stay,
for now. The fruit goes
in baskets by the side of the row,
every thirty feet or so. By these bushels
the boys get paid, in cash,
at day’s end, this summer
of the last days of the empire
that will become known as
the past, adios, then,
the ragged-edged beautiful blink.

TANC DSC00260

What surprises me is when someone notices transmission, and in this case, Lux is jarred enough to think and write about it.  It’s such a common part of our landscape that most people don’t notice it… that is, most people don’t notice it until they’re affected, and suddenly wake up to the reality of transmission, criss-crossing our country with its insidious web, noticing that it’s EVERYWHERE!  Once your eyes are opened to transmission, it’s impossible to disregard.

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Plains&Eastern

YES!!!  On to federal court!!!  I love it when this happens!  Downwind and Golden Bridge have sued the Department of Energy (DOE) and Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA)!  Here’s a copy of the Complaint, give it a read:

Downwind, LLC & GoldenBridge LLC-v-DOE & SWPA – Case 3:16-cv-00207

Here’s the bottom line, what they’re asking for:

123

It’s focused on the DOE and Clean Line’s most vulnerable issues, those of improper potential use of eminent domain for private purpose and private company, and, as David Ulery says:

“Landowners were never offered an appropriate avenue for due process during the DOE’s review of Clean Line’s application,” he said. “An opportunity to comment is not the same as an opportunity to directly participate in the matter in an official capacity. Review is meaningless if those most affected are not given ample and significant opportunity to engage on a meaningful and substantive level.”

Clean Line and the DOE were asked, demanded, expected, to provide due process, and nope, nada, not the most basic opportunities to participate.  Seems they’ve never heard of due process — how dare they!  From June, 2015, here are multiple filings demanding due process:

BLOCK Plains & Eastern Clean Line docket filings

Here’s the first of articles to appear about the federal suit:

Opponents sue to block Clean Line project

By John LyonArkansas News Bureaujlyon@arkansasnews.com

LITTLE ROCK — Opponents of a planned transmission line across Arkansas and parts of Oklahoma and Tennessee said Friday they have filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the U.S. Department of Energy’s participation in the project.

Golden Bridge and Downwind, two organizations representing landowners who oppose the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project, said they filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. The suit was not available on the court’s website Monday evening, and the groups did not immediately provide a copy to the Arkansas News Bureau.

According to a news release, the suit challenges the legality of the Department of Energy’s decision to participate in the project under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act, which allows the agency to partner with private companies on some energy infrastructure projects.

“While understanding the importance of infrastructure in the production, transmission and distribution of electrical energy, the landowner-managed organization is concerned with the federal government’s legal authority, and the scope and manner of its proposed participation in transmission projects pursuant to Section 1222,” Downwind said in the release.

“There are lingering doubts about the substance and merits of the department’s determination in this project, with particular concern relating to the potential use of federal eminent domain to condemn private property for the benefit of a private, for-profit company,” the organization said.

The suit also alleges that landowners should have had more ability to participate in the department’s review of the application for the project by Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston, according to Dave Ulery of Golden Bridge.

“Landowners were never offered an appropriate avenue for due process during the DOE’s review of Clean Line’s application,” he said. “An opportunity to comment is not the same as an opportunity to directly participate in the matter in an official capacity. Review is meaningless if those most affected are not given ample and significant opportunity to engage on a meaningful and substantive level.”

Clean Line Energy Partners Executive Vice President Mario Hurtado said Monday he had not seen the suit and could not comment on it specifically.

Hurtado said in a statement, “It’s no secret that the United States suffers from an infrastructure deficit and that we must push through gridlock to move the country forward. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see legal complaints filed against the most important infrastructure projects. In order to modernize the grid, enable the delivery of low-cost energy, create new jobs and enhance our energy security, the private and public sectors must come together to bring new infrastructure projects to fruition.”

The $2 billion transmission line is expected to transmit 4,000 megawatts of wind energy from the Oklahoma panhandle to distribution centers in Arkansas and Tennessee, with Arkansas receiving 500 megawatts of that energy. Arkansas’ congressional delegation opposes the project, and Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, has filed a bill to kill it.

Womack’s bill cleared the House Natural Resources Committee in June.

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