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Standing Rock Sioux Say Proposed DAPL Expansion Will Increase Spill Risk
The two sides made their cases at a hearing before the North Dakota Public Service Commission in Linton, North Dakota Wednesday, as Reuters reported. Dakota Access LLC is seeking permission to build a pump station that would up the pipeline's capacity from 570,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.1 million bpd.
"The DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) capacity expansion will increase both the likelihood and the severity of spill incidents, and Dakota Access has failed to provide the commission with critical information necessary to properly evaluate the magnitude of those increased risks," the Standing Rock Sioux wrote in a Nov. 8 brief to the commission reported by Reuters.
The Standing Rock Sioux opposed the initial construction of the pipeline because it passes beneath the Missouri River, which they use for water, at a point just north of their reservation, an Associated Press story published by Minnesota Public Radio explained. Protests against the pipeline led to hundreds of arrests in 2016 and 2017.
The proposed expansion would increase the flow of oil through the pipe to 15 feet per second, a speed that would increase the risk of a "worst case" spill, according to Earthjustice.
"I'm here because they want to double the risk of a spill," Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Joye Braun, who helped lead the protests in 2016 and 2017, told the Associated Press at Wednesday's hearing.
Energy Transfer, the Texas-based company that owns the pipeline, claimed that the expansion would not increase the risk of a spill.
"I assure the commission we plan to cut no corners on this work," Chuck Frey, Energy Transfer vice president of engineering, said at the hearing.
The company says the expansion is needed to move increased output from the Bakken shale, Reuters explained. Construction of the pump station would begin in spring of 2020 and take up to 10 months.
The 1,172 mile pipeline carries oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a terminal in Illinois. Energy Transfer is also seeking permission to build pumping stations in South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, according to the Associated Press. Regulators in South Dakota have granted the pipeline a conditional use permit to build a pumping station.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith told the Associated Press that he did not believe the expansion would not increase risk.
"There are no guarantees for anything," Faith said. "I'm telling everybody to stay strong and let the process handle itself. I feel positive."The hearing comes about two weeks after another pipeline caused a spill in North Dakota: TC Energy's Keystone Pipeline spilled 383,000 gallons of crude in late October.
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'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
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In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.
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By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
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Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
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As many parts of the planet continue to open their doors after pandemic closures, a new pest is expected to make its way into the world. After spending more than a decade underground, millions of cicadas are expected to emerge in regions of the southeastern U.S.
Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
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Twenty-three states and Washington, DC launched a suit Wednesday to stop the Trump administration rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.
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