TransCanada Sues Obama Administration for $15 Billion for Rejecting Keystone XL
By Stop Dirty Tar Sands
TransCanada announced Wednesday that they are throwing the corporate equivalent of a temper tantrum over the rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by filing a lawsuit under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), in hopes of forcing American taxpayers to pay them billions of dollars to recoup their losses on the ill-fated project that they spent seven years trying to bully the U.S. into letting them build.
Canadian company sues the Obama administration for rejecting Keystone XL pipeline https://t.co/clXRw6AXfv https://t.co/4Bsb508dqe— Los Angeles Times (@Los Angeles Times)1452168320.0
The company said it is looking to recover USD$15 billion in costs and damages as a result of what it says is a breach of obligations under Chapter 11 of NAFTA. TransCanada asserts that the "U.S. administration's decision to deny a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline was arbitrary and unjustified."
Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska disagrees. “The rejection of Keystone XL was justified in order to protect the land, water and property rights of farmers and ranchers," she said. "This desperate attempt by TransCanada is a move to show their shareholders they have a viable project when they have hit a dead end."
As President Obama affirmed in his rejection of the pipeline, KeystoneXL was not in America's national interest. It would not have contributed to our economy, lowered gas prices or contributed to our energy security, and it would have posed a serious threat to land and water along the route and to the climate by significantly increasing carbon emissions.
.@BoldNebraska @janekleeb statement on @TransCanada Suing US Over #KXL Rejection: https://t.co/NTOMly1IVP #NOKXL https://t.co/8SdouZ213N— Bold Nebraska (@Bold Nebraska)1452130289.0
“This isn't going to get the pipeline built, and it is going to remind Americans how many of our rights these agreements give away," Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder, said. "The idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet's atmosphere is, quite simply, insane. But the oil industry is so used to always winning that I fear this kind of tantrum is predictable. Corporate power is truly out of control."
This lawsuit will do nothing to change Keystone's fate; it will merely serve to remind the American people that companies like TransCanada are working against their interests, and that trade agreements like the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) would only strengthen their ability to do so.
“Keystone XL is dead and nothing about this legal maneuvering changes that," Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said. "But, TransCanada ought to be ashamed of trying to extract billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars to boost its profits after being stopped in its tracks from building a dirty, dangerous tar sands pipeline in our backyards."
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
Should Kids Go Back?<p>While these guidelines may help get some schools to reopen, many people don't think children should go back to school over fears they could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents.</p><p>In a <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> commentary, <a href="https://www.md.com/doctor/william-raszka-md" target="_blank">Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr.</a>, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Vermont Medical Center, argued that schools should open because school-aged children are far less important drivers of COVID-19 than adults.</p><p>But he says the risk and benefit is not equal among all students ages 5 to 18.</p><p>"Elementary schools are arguably higher priority for face-to-face schooling, since younger children are at lower risk for infection and transmission, and since parental supervision of younger children's distance learning may be particularly challenging," added Sorensen, who penned a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767411" target="_blank">June article in JAMA</a> with reopening tips. "That means middle and high schools are more likely to emphasize distance learning."</p><p>Specific student populations, such as special education students and students with disabilities, would also benefit greatly from more time spent in face-to-face environments, Sorensen said.</p>
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