news: environment
Pipeline spills 176,000 gallons of crude into creek about 150 miles from Dakota Access protest camp
North Dakota officials estimate more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline into the Ash Coulee Creek.
By Tom DiChristopher

A pipeline leak has spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek roughly two and a half hours from Cannon Ball, where protesters are camped out in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes, as well as environmentalists from around the country, have fought the pipeline project on the grounds that it crosses beneath a lake that provides drinking water to native Americans. They say the route beneath Lake Oahe puts the water source in jeopardy and would destroy sacred land.

North Dakota officials estimate more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline into the Ash Coulee Creek. State environmental scientist Bill Suess says a landowner discovered the spill on Dec. 5 near the city of Belfield, which is roughly 150 miles from the epicenter of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camps.

The leak was contained within hours of the its discovery, Wendy Owen, a spokeswoman for Casper, Wyoming-based True Cos., which operates the Belle Fourche pipeline, told CNBC.

It’s not yet clear why electronic monitoring equipment didn’t detect the leak, Owen told the Asssociated Press.
Women's March on Washington set to be one of America's biggest protests
Pink hats will be much in evidence as an extraordinarily wide range of groups come together to repudiate President Trump the day after his inauguration
By Joanna Walters

Before the bunting and barriers are even cleared away from Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands are likely to attend the Women’s March on Washington the following day, 21 January.

“A march of this magnitude, across this diversity of issues has never happened before,” said Kaylin Whittingham, president of the association of black women attorneys. “We all have to stand together as a force no one can ignore.”

The Women’s March now has almost 200 progressive groups, large and small, signing on as supporting partners. The issues they represent are as varied as the environment, legal abortion, prisoners’ rights, voting rights, a free press, affordable healthcare, gun safety, racial and gender equality and a higher minimum wage. Men are invited.

More than 300 simultaneous local protests will also occur, across all 50 states, and support marches are planned in 30 other countries, organizer Linda Sarsour said.

“We have no choice. We need to stand up against an administration that threatens everything we believe in, in what we hope will become one of the largest grassroots, progressive movements ever seen,” said Sarsour.

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you’re not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released its annual State of the Climate report, which says it’s the hottest it has been since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.

A separate analysis, by NASA scientists, came to the same conclusion.

2016 Was The Hottest Year Yet, Scientists Declare

Graphic: Alyson Hurt/NPR

How can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on preschool for kids, but not when we’re cutting taxes for corporations?  How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing?  It’s not just dishonest, this selective sorting of the facts: it’s self-defeating.  Because, as my mom used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you.

Take the challenge of climate change… We can and should argue about the best approach and solve the problem.  But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations – it betrays the spirit of this country.


Las Vegas just became the largest US city to run solely on renewable energy

  • While Vegas’ nonstop nightlife, neon signs and lights might give the impression the  city is a colossal drain on resources, the opposite is true.
  • Las Vegas now runs exclusively on renewable energy.
  • The city officially achieved this milestone last week, when Boulder Solar 1 — a solar power plant on the edge of Boulder City, Nevada — went live.
  • According to the Huffington Post, the plant’s acres of solar panels will provide 100% of the city’s municipal power, excluding commercial and residential buildings.
  • The effort started in 2008 and has saved Las Vegas $5 million a year. Read more

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Sign from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline protest in Vancouver today:

Few Recent Oil Related Spills in Canada (in litres):

2011- Little Buffalo, 4.5 million

2012 - Red Deer River, 461,000

2012 - Elk Point, 230,000

2013 - Cold Lake, 1.5 million

2014 - Slave Lake, 70,000

2014 - Red Earth Creek, 60,000

2015 - Peace River, 2.7 million

2015 - Long Lake, 5 million

2016 - Prince Albert, 250,000


Several thousand Native Americans and their supporters continued to camp out near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota on Thanksgiving Day. 

Citizens of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation set up the Sacred Stone Camp in April to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they say would threaten nearby burial sites and the Sioux water supply.

Thousands of people have passed through the camp and more have pledged support. Numbers swell in the camp on weekends; some estimate that the population has doubled with the holiday.

After a violent clash with police less than a week ago, in which dozens were injured, rumors of police raids traveled through the camp on Thursday, but none actually occurred.

Protesters Mark A Solemn Thanksgiving Day At Standing Rock

Photos: Cassi Alexandra for NPR

Editor’s note: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notified the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Friday that the public will not be allowed in areas being used to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.


The oil industry needs to #RezpectOurWater and stop building the Dakota Access Pipeline

I am 13 years old, and I’ve spent my whole life drinking and fishing from the Missouri River in North Dakota. As members of the Standing Rock Tribe, my family has lived here for generations. Today our lives on the reservation are still defined by the river.

But now an oil company wants to build a pipeline that will cross the river a mile away from our reservation, carrying 570,000 barrels of crude oil across each day. We’re terrified that it could leak into our water, but the company doesn’t seem to care. We, the youth of the Standing Rock Tribe, refuse to let them risk our water and lives without a fight. So far over 130,000 people have signed our petition.

— Anna Lee Rain Yellowhammer for Identities Mic


Tonight in dozens of towns and cities across Canada, people came out to vigils to protest the building of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, if built it would be bigger than the Keystone XL pipeline; it would produce more CO2 emissions than 30 million cars, and would increase oil tanker traffic on the west coast by more than 600%.

November 21st, 2016.


Even though most of the protesters fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have left, hundreds still remain here atop what is essentially a sheet of ice.

One group of campers say there’s a change taking hold at camp, which was once overrun by thousands who felt a sense of excitement about the gathering.

Byron Shorty, who lives on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, says now that the Army Corps of Engineers is temporarily halting pipeline construction, the protest camp is calm.

“I want to be here to reflect, and I want to be here to help clean up our abandoned campsites that I still see,” he says. “And we’re in the process of cleaning those up and repurposing the things that people left behind.”

Dakota Pipeline Protesters, Nearby Residents Brace For 2017

Photos: Amy Sisk/Inside Energy

Sornieth Global Warming Debate Gets Heated

This week Sornieth saw temperatures plummet as dragons everywhere began preparation for the upcoming Crystalline Gala. Though the Ice Flight holiday falls on one of the coldest weeks of the year, some dragons are claiming it just isn’t cold enough.

The controversy began earlier this week when Snowsquall ecologists released a study on the Boreal Wood ecosystem. The report claimed that hoarfrost maulers are at risk of becoming endangered. The cause? Scientists say: global warming.

Climate change in Sornieth has been a hot topic for several decades, with dragons throughout the continent maintaining heated opinions on the matter. Naturally, dragons native to the Southern Icefield were among the most vocal, having experienced firsthand the effects of warming weather in the creation of the Frigid Floes area.

“Every year it’s getting warmer,” rasped a senior tundra from the ice flight. “Yeah, we don’t think much of it now, but in ten, twenty… maybe thirty years? There might not be any icefields left to melt! We have to get this under control.”

The older dragon’s sentiments were shared in most of the frigid realm, but an unexpected backlash has arisen from the Ashfall Wastelands. Though it is not an unreasonable conclusion, the environmental issue has lit a fire beneath the lava-born dragons as claws are pointed in their direction. A representative of Fire spoke to reporters late Thursday night.

“What do you mean ‘global warming!?’ It’s winter! It’s cold! If you ask me, the whole thing’s a hoax to oppress fire dragons, and I simply won’t stand for it.”

Though the matter has largely been between Fire and Ice flights, polls from the Sea of a Thousand Currents rendered an entirely different response. Though like Ice flight, most sea-dwelling dragons agreed that the reports of a global temperature increase carried water, members of the aquatic realm also expressed that they’re very happy with the alterations, and that they look forward to the future real-estate as ice caps continue to melt.

Fiery tempers and cold shoulders aside, preparations for the Crystalline Gala have continued as planned, albeit missing a hoarfrost mauler or two. Reporting the news through repressed shivers, this is The Sornieth Times.