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12 Arrested at Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion Site in Michigan

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12 Arrested at Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion Site in Michigan

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI-CATS) took direct action near Stockbridge, MI, yesterday, to halt construction of the Tar Sands pipeline 6B expansion project of Canadian corporation Enbridge. With the moral and financial support of affected homeowners and others nationwide, MI-CATS took a courageous stand against the expansion of dirty Alberta tar sands oil at the Enbridge construction site, directly across the street from their Stockbridge pumping station, west of M-52.

Protestors holding signs near the construction site close to where others were locked down.

Arriving before Enbridge employees working on pipeline 6B expansion, more than 40 Michiganders came to oppose the infamous corporation’s flagrant expansion of the very same pipeline that spilled out into the Kalamazoo River only three years ago. While Enbridge claims that they have restored the river since the spill, it is no excuse to expand the pipeline. Expanding the pipeline increases the risk for everyone.

Residents halted Enbridge’s construction plans for seven hours by forming soft blockades at two locations while four physically chained themselves construction equipment used to cut the landscape for the massive flow of dirty fossil fuels by an industry bent on putting profit before planet and people. At least 12 people were arrested including four people locked down to construction equipment along with their medical support team. There were no injuries and no destruction of property, and all charges against those arrested were non-violent, ranging from alleged trespassing to alleged resisting and obstructing.

Enbridge blockaders locked to construction equipment.

This act of civil disobedience came after the exhaustion of every method within the law, as it has become apparent from our experiences all throughout the state. Our state government is ready to set aside its own laws and legal processes to accommodate this foreign corporation.

Enbridge itself has consistently demonstrated that their sole priority is their own bottom line, not the health and safety of the people of Michigan, our ecosystem or even their own workers.

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands seeks to unite the people of Michigan toward the common goal of stopping all transportation of tar sands oil in the state and advocating against the production and transportation of tar sands everywhere. We work in solidarity with the global movement against harsh fossil fuel extractive practices.

According to protestor William Lawrence of East Lansing:

"This pipeline is a disaster for Michigan’s water and the global climate. I’m blockading this pipeline to prevent the next spill because I care about Michigan’s air and water. People all over the world are taking action in their own community this Fearless Summer. We need to leave all fossil fuels in the ground.”

We will not allow Canadian tar sands to pass through our backyards. We will no longer allow the same Canadian corporation responsible for the tar sands which still lie at the bottom of our Kalamazoo River to place all of us at risk. We are taking this action to protect from another spill and to ensure a livable planet for generations to come.

Please support these blockaders by writing to micats@riseup.net and consider helping contribute funds for bail.

Visit EcoWatch’s TAR SANDS page for more related news on this topic.

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A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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