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Activists successfully shut down five pipelines today across the U.S. that deliver tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada. The pipelines targeted were Enbridge line 4 and 67 in Leonard, Minnesota; TransCanada's Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota; Spectra Energy's Express pipeline at Coal Banks Landing, Montana; and Kinder-Morgan's Trans-Mountain pipeline in Anacortes, Washington. "We did this in response to Standing Rock's call to action for escalated actions," a spokesperson for #ShutItDown told EcoWatch.
In an online statement by #ShutItDown, the group said:
"This morning, by 7:30 PST, 5 activists have successfully shut down 5 pipelines across the United States delivering tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. Activists employed manual safety valves, calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe."
Since then, EcoWatch has learned that police have approached two sites so far and two women have been arrested in Minnesota. The two are Emily Johnston, 50, and retired attorney Annette Klapstein, 64.
"For years we've tried the legal, incremental, reasonable methods, and they haven't been enough; without a radical shift in our relationship to Earth, all that we love will disappear," Johnston said. "My fear of that possibility is far greater than my fear of jail. My love for the beauties of this world is far greater than my love of an easy life."
Only one activist is at each site, accompanied by a support person and video crew. The groups have been posting and live-streaming on Facebook. In Montana, Leonard Higgins, 64, shut the valve on a pipeline that carries oil south from Canada.
"We're in a state of emergency to protect our loved ones and our families, our communities," Higgins said as he was filmed at the pipeline.
"Today's action is a bold step forward for a movement that refuses to back down from challenge of the climate crisis," Tim DeChristopher wrote in an email to EcoWatch. DeChristopher spent 21 months in a federal prison for posing as a fake bidder at a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction in December of 2008. He has since founded the Climate Disobedience Center and is attending Harvard Divinity School.
"While our political leadership fails to take climate change seriously, activists are stepping up," DeChristopher added. "The climate crisis continues to intensify, and so does our movement."
Police were also onsite with Ken Ward, 59, one of the founders of the Climate Disobedience Center and #ShutItDown, and have arrested him in Washington at the Kinder-Morgan pipeline. Each protestor plans to stay until they are removed, the organization told us.
"Like mothers everywhere, I act from a deep love that extends to all children and young people, and all living beings on this planet," Klapstein said. "I have signed hundreds of petitions, testified at dozens of hearings, met with most of my political representatives at every level, to very little avail. I have come to believe that our current economic and political system is a death sentence to life on earth, and that I must do everything in my power to replace these systems with cooperative, just, equitable and love-centered ways of living together. This is my act of love."
UPDATE: EcoWatch has learned that all five activists and four support crew have now been arrested.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."