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Climate activists Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein shut down Enbridge's tar sands pipelines 4 and 67 in Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2016. Shutitdown.today

Judge Allows Vital 'Necessity Defense' for Climate Activists

By Jessica Corbett

In a decision that is being called "groundbreaking" and "precedent-setting," a district court judge in Minnesota has ruled that he will allow oil pipeline protesters to present a "necessity defense" for charges related to a multi-state action by climate activists last October.

In his decision last week, Judge Robert Tiffany ruled that four activists who participated in the #ShutItDown action—in which pipelines across five states were temporarily disabled, halting the flow of tar sands oil from Canada into the U.S.—may present scientists and other expert witnesses to explain the immediate threat of climate change to justify their action.

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The Old, Hidden Pipeline at the Bottom of the Great Lakes

By Conor Mihell

At dawn, I launch my kayak and paddle into a velvety expanse of turquoise water. Here, in northern Michigan's Straits of Mackinac, Great Lakes Michigan and Huron meet like the middle of an hourglass. To the east, the rounded form of Mackinac Island is the centerpiece of an archipelago in Lake Huron.

According to an Ojibwe creation story, this is Mishee Makinakong, the Great Turtle, whose surfacing shell became a refuge for plants and animals as floodwaters surged in the days before time. Today, droves of ferries buzz to and from the island, a bustling summer tourist destination replete with kitschy fudge shops and horse-drawn carriages.

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Massive pipelines would transport millions of barrels of oil per day from the Athabasca tar sands mines. howlcollective / Flickr, CC BY

The Energy East Pipeline Is Dead, but Three Tar Sands Pipeline Projects Remain

By Ron Johnson

Last week, energy company TransCanada pulled the plug on its 2,800-mile Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects, which would have shipped 1.1 million barrels of crude oil from the Athabasca tar sands to refineries in eastern Canada. The move was celebrated as a victory by environmentalists and Indigenous people pushing for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

"This is a tremendous battle victory in the greater fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground and for climate justice for Indigenous nations," Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network's Keep It In The Ground project, said in a statement.

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France’s Largest Bank Cuts Ties With Dirty Energy Companies

BNP Paribas announced Wednesday that it would no longer do business with shale and tar sands companies, as part of a larger set of climate commitments.

In a statement, France's largest bank said it would also stop financing shale and tar sands projects and oil and gas production or exploration projects in the Arctic. The global bank has previously committed to spending billions of euros on renewable energy financing and energy efficiency, and has ceased support for coal mines and coal-fired power plants.

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Ian Willms / Greenpeace

Tiny House in Pipeline's Path Sends Big Message to Kinder Morgan

Members of the Secwepemc Nation in British Columbia started building Thursday the first of 10 tiny homes directly in the path of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.

The house is a symbol of the community's opposition to the pipeline and is based on a design from allies at Standing Rock. The tiny house will be 18 feet by 7 feet by 12 feet, and will feature a hand-painted mural.

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TransCanada May Abandon Energy East Tar Sands Pipeline

TransCanada wants to suspend and may even cancel its proposed $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil across most of the Canadian continent.

The pipeline giant—the same company behind the controversial Keystone XL—is seeking a 30-day pause on the project in order to do a "careful review" of the National Energy Board's (NEB) tough, new climate standards.

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Greenpeace v. Energy Transfer Partners: The Facts

By Kelly Mitchell

Greenpeace USA, Greenpeace International, and others are facing another meritless attack from Trump's go-to lawyers in an attempt to silence advocacy work and attack free speech.

The latest corporation to sign on to the Kasowitz Benson Torres firm's bullying tactics is Energy Transfer Partners—the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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In March 2013, ExxonMobil's Pegasus Pipeline sprung a leak, spilling 210,000 gallons of tar sands crude into a neighborhood of Mayflower, Arkansas.

Yet Another Reminder that Dirty Oil Pipelines Are Never Safe

By Catherine Collentine

In March of 2013, ExxonMobil's Pegasus Pipeline sprung a leak, spilling an estimated 210,000 gallons of toxic tar sands crude into a residential neighborhood of Mayflower, Arkansas.

This week, a federal court ruled that the Obama administration over-penalized Exxon for dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of a pollutant onto the streets of Mayflower and threw out a number of safety violations levied against Exxon on the basis that the company met its legal obligations to consider the risks associated with the pipeline.

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Dave Bates / Twitter

150+ Tribes Opposing Keystone XL Promise to Stop It in Its Tracks

The Intertribal Coalition of Nebraska and the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma met Tuesday in Lincoln, Nebraska to take a stand against the construction of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline by signing the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

After the signing Tuesday, more than 150 Tribes in the U.S. and Canada, including the Nations all along the KXL route in Alberta, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and now Nebraska, will have committed to standing together to stop Keystone XL and the other three tar sands pipelines: Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion through British Columbia and TransCanada's Energy East.

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