Leaked Audio: 'Election Night Changed Everything,' Dakota Access Pipeline 'Is Going Through'
By Steve Horn
Shaun King, a writer for the New York Daily News, has uploaded what appears to be a recorded audio file of Energy Transfer Partners' Chief Operating Officer saying that "election night changed everything" for the company as it relates to its embattled Dakota Access Pipeline.
King stated on social media and on the SoundCloud page on which he posted the file that a source sent him the file on Dec. 13, hours after Matthew Ramsey—COO of Energy Transfer Partners—gave his speech. The source who gave King the audio, he explains on SoundCloud, "claimed to be in a corporate meeting at Energy Transfer Partners" and told him that the person speaking was Matthew Ramsey, the COO of Energy Transfer Partners. King also wrote that the recording was made during a mandatory company meeting.
"I've got to tell you, election night changed everything,"
Matthew Ramsey, COO of Energy Transfer Partners, apparently said in the 10-minute clip, the authenticity of which DeSmog could not independently verify. "We now are going into a transition where we are going to have a new President of the United States who gets it. He understands what we're doing here and we fully expect that as soon as he gets inaugurated his team is going to move to get the final approvals done and we'll begin to put [Dakota Access] across Lake Oahe."
Dakota Access has yet to receive the easement permit it needs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to cross Lake Oahe, which the company has publicly decried. Ramsey said in the clip, one in which the voice sounds similar to his voice heard in a Nov. 21 company conference call, that it will take about 65 days to cross the lake once they get the permit.
Energy Transfer Partners recently saw one of the members of its Board of Directors, former Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, nominated as U.S. Secretary of Energy by President-elect Donald Trump. Perry also sits on the Board of Directors of Dakota Access LLC co-owner, Sunoco Logistics.
Two days after the presidential election, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren expressed a similar sense of jubilation about the prospects for Dakota Access when Trump assumes the White House.
"Having a government that actually backs up what they say that we're going to support infrastructure, we're going to support job creation, we're going to support growth in America, and then actually does it?," Warren told The Dallas Morning News. "My God, this is going to be refreshing."
Warren was a major donor to Perry's short-lived run for president during the Republican Party primary cycle and also served as a major donor to Trump's presidential campaign. Warren also sat on the advisory board for Perry's run for president.
Ramsey and Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DeSmog.
Quite a Fight
In the tape, the voice that appears to belong to Ramsey spoke about the political battle ensuing over Dakota Access, which has lasted almost two years and recently stalled temporarily after the Army Corps of Engineers said it needed more time to do a more thorough environmental impact statement for the prospective Lake Oahe easement. The fight against the pipeline has engendered one of the largest cross-tribe mobilizations of Native American people in U.S. history.
"This has been quite a fight here on [Dakota Access]," remarked Ramsey. "So let me just tell you, make no mistake about it, this pipeline is going through. It's going through exactly where we have planned."
He also said Energy Transfer Partners "always, always plays by the rules" as it relates to following the letter of the law for its projects, saying that Dakota Access LLC "crossed every 't' [and] dotted every 'i'" relating to rules and regulations.
Meeting With Police
Police repression has also played a central role in the ongoing Dakota Access fight and so the audio confirms what many likely already thought. That is, law enforcement has worked closely alongside Dakota Access LLC to fend off those fighting against the project.
"We met with some of the officials in North Dakota [during a recent trip to the state]," said Ramsey. "We met with the National Sheriff's Association. People are tired of this. They're tired of seeing what's going on in the community and we think that the tide has turned and people are understanding what a great project this would be for the State of North Dakota. That came right out of the governor's mouth. He's very much in favor of this thing. So, I think we're off and running on [Dakota Access]."
"I know that everybody in this room has had to deal with the protesters. Everybody in this room has had to read on social media the misinformation that's out there. It's not fair. We feel like keeping our head down and doing what we do best, which is to put this pipeline in the ground, is the best thing we can do. We never stopped doing that."
"A lot of times people say to me, and I'd like to answer this question more directly, 'Why don't we just immediately answer back every time something is stated wrong about the company and what we're doing?'," said Ramsey.
Not About Water … Lots and Lots of Money
Concerns about water contamination and a pipeline spill have played a central role in galvanizing support for those who have protested alongside the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Indeed, participants in the protests and encampment call themselves " water protectors." But the audio captures Ramsey dismissing those concerns out of hand, saying it is "not about water" at all.
"And you have to understand and I didn't really understand this until I got deep into it. This is not really about water. This is not about [unintelligible] … this is about environmental activism. And it's nothing more than that."
But as King pointed out, a pipeline spill actually took place the morning Ramsey gave his speech, however. That spill of 176,000 gallons of oil into a creek ensued just 150 miles from the Standing Rock protest site.
North Dakota Pipeline Spill Estimated at 176,000 Gallons https://t.co/bd8UrhEz3h @wwwfoecouk @GreenpeaceUK— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1481805315.0
Ramsey also alluded to the
"Keep It In The Ground" campaign, saying that Dakota Access fit under the umbrella of those demanding to keep all fossil fuels in the ground. Keep It In The Ground, though, did not target the pipeline as part of its broader campaign and focuses on supply, not midstream assets like pipelines.
"These are people that are pushing to keep all fossil fuels in the ground, at every angle. And make no mistake. This is an event that they are using to raise lots and lots of money. If they can create a cause and they can create a lot of publicity, which they've clearly done here, it's an avenue for them to raise money. Not only to fight us on this project, but to fight all infrastructure projects like this in the United States," Ramsey claimed.
"So we'll continue to fight through this thing. But please, please, please be confident in this company. We are going to get this thing through in short order. We couldn't be more confident in that fact. And look for us to be pouring oil through this thing in Spring of next year."
Water is Everything
In a Dec. 11 interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, Trump said Dakota Access will "start one way or the other" once he takes office, but did not offer any detail beyond that.
Not everyone believes that "election night changed everything," however. Enter Jane Kleeb, founder and president of the Bold Alliance.
"Election night did nothing to change Big Oil from trampling over property rights of farmers and Sovereign rights of Tribal Nations," Kleeb told DeSmog. "For us in the states, in the proposed pipeline routes, water is everything. Our livelihoods, our families, our communities all rely on clean water."
Reposted with permission from our media associate DeSmogBlog.
By Julián García Walther
One morning in January, I found myself 30 feet up a tall metal pole, carrying 66 pounds of aluminum antennas and thick weatherproofed cabling. From this vantage point, I could clearly see the entire Punta Banda Estuary in northwestern Mexico. As I looked through my binoculars, I observed the estuary's sandy bar and extensive mudflats packed with thousands of migratory shorebirds frenetically pecking the mud for food.
There are currently few Motus stations in Mexico, leading to a large information gap. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Red knots and many other shorebirds travel thousands of miles from breeding grounds in the Arctic (left) to nonbreeding grounds in Latin America (right). Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Motus stations require a high vantage point that overlooks estuaries. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND
Any bird with a transmitter will be picked up if it flies within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of a Motus station. Julián García Walther / CC BY-ND<h2>Tagging Birds</h2><p>The stations alone can't detect these animals. The final step, which will happen in the coming months, is to catch birds and tag them. To do this, our team will set up a soft, spring-loaded net called a whoosh net in sandy areas where the red knots rest above the high-tide line. When birds walk past the net, the crew leader will release the trigger, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwMiA2iqVc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">safely trapping the birds with the net</a>.</p>
WhooshNetCapture.MTS<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6440038cdc58961906f5fa164b457688"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vwMiA2iqVc0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The world's oceans and coastal ecosystems can store remarkable amounts of carbon dioxide. But if they're damaged, they can also release massive amounts of emissions back into the atmosphere.
By Kimberly Nicole Pope
During this year's Davos Agenda Week, leaders from the private and public sectors highlighted the urgent need to halt and reverse nature loss. Deliberate action on the interlinked climate and ecological crises to achieve a net-zero, nature-positive economy is paramount. At the same time, these leaders also presented a message of hope: that investing in nature holds the key to ensuring economic and social prosperity and resilience.
- 16 Essential Books About Environmental Justice, Racism and ... ›
- 10 Best Books On Climate Change, According to Activists - EcoWatch ›
- 14 Inspiring New Environmental Books to Read During the ... ›
By Brett Wilkins
While some mainstream environmental organizations welcomed Tuesday's introduction of the CLEAN Future Act in the House of Representatives, progressive green groups warned that the bill falls far short of what's needed to meaningfully tackle the climate crisis—an existential threat they say calls for bolder action like the Green New Deal.
<div id="25965" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6116a1c2b1b913ad51c3ea576f2e196c"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366827205427425289" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">BREAKING: Rep @FrankPallone just released his CLEAN Future Act — which he claims to be an ambitious bill to combat… https://t.co/M7nR0es196</div> — Friends of the Earth (Action) (@Friends of the Earth (Action))<a href="https://twitter.com/foe_us/statuses/1366827205427425289">1614711974.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="189f0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa31bacec80d88b49730e8591de5d26d"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366863402912657416" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">The CLEAN Future Act "fails to grasp the fundamental truth of fighting climate change: We must stop extracting and… https://t.co/yREn6Qx9tn</div> — Food & Water Watch (@Food & Water Watch)<a href="https://twitter.com/foodandwater/statuses/1366863402912657416">1614720605.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Biden Plans to Fight Climate Change in a New Way - EcoWatch ›
- Bipartisan Climate Bill Highlights Forest Restoration, Conservation ... ›
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>