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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. Climate Direct Action

Activists May Argue Pipeline Shutdown Was Necessary Due to Climate Change, Court Rules

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that four climate activists facing criminal charges may use an unusual "necessity defense" over their efforts to shut down a pair of tar sands pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy.

"Valve turners" Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein were charged after shutting off the emergency valves on the two pipelines in October 2016. Johnston and Klapstein, and the two defendants who filmed them, argue their actions to stop the flow of the polluting bitumen were justified due to the threat of climate change.

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Protest in Burnaby Mountain in BC on April 7. Protect the Inlet / Flickr

Trudeau Pledges Taxpayer Money, New Laws to Salvage Controversial Pipeline

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday he is ready to offer financial aid and new legislation to push forward the contentious Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that will triple production of tar sands going from Alberta to British Columbia.

Houston-based developer Kinder Morgan has threatened to scrap the $7.4 billion (USD $5.9 billion) project unless political and legal opposition is resolved by May 31. The energy giant's move came after fierce opposition from environmental activists and Indigenous groups, as well as escalating tension between the Albertan and British Columbian governments.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor Jerry Brown at the United Nations Paris agreement signing ceremony dinner. Mike Bloomberg / Flickr

Jerry Brown and Justin Trudeau: Climate Advocates, or Hypocrites?

By Andy Rowell

Two leading political figures from the U.S. and Canada, who have boasted about the need to fight climate change, are now under fire for being climate change hypocrites: saying they care about the climate, but allowing drilling and fossil fuel infrastructure to be built anyway.

On Wednesday, more than 750 public interest groups from California and around the world, including Oil Change International, started a campaign urging the governor of California, Jerry Brown, to stop building fossil fuel infrastructure, including no new exploration permits offshore.

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Release area of Amherst incident. TransCanada

Keystone Pipeline Spilled 407K Gallons in South Dakota, Double Previous Estimate

TransCanada's Keystone crude oil pipeline leaked 9,700 barrels (407,400 gallons) on rural farmland near the city of Amherst last year—nearly twice the original estimate of 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons), a company spokeswoman told the Aberdeen American News.

The Nov. 16 incident was already considered the largest spill in South Dakota, but its new estimate makes it the seventh largest inland spill in the whole U.S. since 2010, the South Dakota publication noted.

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Energy

Bank Funding of Fossil Fuels Soars

By Katherine Wei

Private banks around the world are back to funneling more money into the global fossil fuel sectors in 2017, according to a report released today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club and Honor The Earth.

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Gogama oil train derailment. CBC / YouTube

Risky Move: Canada Shipping More Tar Sands Oil by Rail

By Justin Mikulka

The Motley Fool has been advising investors on "How to Profit From the Re-Emergence of Canada's Crude-by-Rail Strategy." But what makes transporting Canadian crude oil by rail attractive to investors?

According to the Motley Fool, the reason is "… right now, there is so much excess oil being pumped out of Canada's oil sands that the pipelines simply don't have the capacity to handle it all."

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Energy

28 Activists Arrested at Kinder Morgan Pipeline Construction Site

Despite a court-ordered injunction barring anyone from coming within 5 meters (approximately 16.4 feet) of two of its BC construction sites, opponents of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion sent a clear message Saturday that they would not back down.

Twenty-eight demonstrators were arrested March 17 after blocking the front gate to Kinder Morgan's tank farm in Burnaby, BC for four hours, according to a press release put out by Protect the Inlet, the group leading the protest.

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Bill Nye Confronts Justin Trudeau Over Kinder Morgan Pipeline

At a recent sit-down at the University of Ottawa, TV personality and science advocate Bill Nye confronted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his approval of the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

"I've been to Fort McMurray, Alberta. It really is an amazing place in the most troubling way," the Science Guy said, likely referring to the area's notorious tar sands. "But this pipeline ... tell us about the Kinder Morgan pipeline."

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Aziz Acharki / Unsplash

18 Great New Books About Climate Change, Sustainability and Pioneering Women Environmentalists

By John R. Platt

What do Rachel Carson, sea otters, toxic toads and the Gold King Mine disaster have in common? Easy: They're all among the subjects of this month's new environmentally themed books.

The full list—an amazing 18 titles—includes books for just about everyone, from dedicated environmentalists to foodies to nature-friendly kids. You can check them all out below (links are to publishers' or authors' websites). Then get ready for some long evenings of reading as the cool nights of winter give way to a hopefully not-so-silent spring.

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