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Though there was a brief moment of victory for indigenous communities in the legal battle against Dakota Access Pipeline just last month, developer TC Energy got a surprise go-ahead for construction this week on their Keystone XL Pipeline. Thanks to the provincial government of Alberta, Canada (where the pipeline originates), the company has secured around $1.4 billion for the construction of the pipeline as well as a $4.2 billion loan guarantee.
To make matters worse, TC Energy wants to proceed with the construction of the pipeline in the midst of a global pandemic that requires social distancing and stringent public safety precautions as a means to slow the spread.
Why This Matters: While the company may not be able to begin construction on American soil that will not stop them from creating “man camps” along the proposed route of the pipeline to house pipeline workers. These camps will bring in large groups of workers to these rural areas and risk exposing inhabitants there to the coronavirus. This is a major risk for communities along the proposed route where the average age of residents is around 73 years old at the same time that there’s very limited access to healthcare.
“Legally, TC Energy is facing eminent domain lawsuits from landowners, and county boards have not granted permits in Nebraska, while nationally there are several lawsuits in federal court challenging the project’s permits and seeking a preliminary injunction on construction.”
Dangers Multiply: We wrote previously about how pipelines are a public health risk to local communities because of oil spill threats and destruction of local ecology, but it now threatens community lives with the possibility of spreading COVID-19 to areas that may have been able to avoid exposure.
After reading the fine print, it turns out President Trump’s memo issued over the weekend extending his 10-year offshore oil and gas drilling ban from Florida all the way up the East Coast to Virginia, contains a poison pill — it also bans offshore wind development.
Why This Matters: It is disappointing from both a climate change perspective, but also because the offshore wind farm leases were selling for hundreds of millions of dollars all of which would be paid to the government.
Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will phase out sales of all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. As Governor Newsom said in a separate event with Democratic governors yesterday, people have climate “goal fatigue” and are ready for the application of those goals–this move on gas-powered cars walks the walk on California’s ambitious […]
H/T to renews.biz, an energy news platform, for that headline, and to PepsiCo for making it possible. PepsiCo, one of the largest companies in the world — with a global carbon footprint — announced plans this week to transition to 100% renewable electricity across all of its company-owned and controlled operations globally by 2030 and […]
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