Trump Advisors Plan to Privatize Native Lands to Tap Into Oil Rich Reservations
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is only one battle in a larger war. Following news of the Army Corps' decision to halt the pipeline's construction, Reuters reported that President-elect Donald Trump's advisors are seeking to privatize Native American reservations, which sit on an estimated 20 percent of the nation's oil and gas, along with large amounts of coal reserves. These resources are worth nearly $1.5 trillion.
Fracking flares near agricultural land and a lake near the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota.Emily Arasim
"We should take tribal land away from public treatment. As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country," said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), a Cherokee tribe member and chair of Trump's 27-member Native American Affairs Coalition.
The formation of the coalition was announced in October with the aim of electing Trump for president.
"As a local elected official, I am outraged that Indian Country is prevented from harnessing our own energy resources by ever-increasing regulations," state Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage (R-NM 4th District), a Navajo tribe member and coalition co-chair, said in October. "The Trump Administration will ease restrictions on American energy reserves worth trillions of dollars. Together we will block the bureaucrats holding Native American businesses back and bring new jobs into our communities."
As it happens, three of the four chair-level coalition members have ties to Big Energy. According to campaign finance disclosures cited by Reuters, Mullin has received about eight percent of his campaign funds from energy companies while Clahchischilliage has received about 15 percent of her campaign funds from energy companies.
Fellow co-chair and Cherokee nation ex-chief Ross Swimmer said it is possible to privatize reservations while limiting land sales to non-Indian buyers.
"It has to be done with an eye toward protecting sovereignty," said Swimmer, who is a partner at an Native American-focused investment fund that has invested in Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the heavily contested DAPL.
However, prominent Native American leaders have spoken against privatization.
"Our spiritual leaders are opposed to the privatization of our lands, which means the commoditization of the nature, water, air we hold sacred," said Tom Goldtooth, who runs the Indigenous Environmental Network and is a member of both the Navajo and the Dakota tribes.
"Privatization has been the goal since colonization—to strip Native Nations of their sovereignty," Goldtooth added.
Thousands of Dakota Access Pipeline protestors are celebrating after the Army Corps' rejection of the DAPL project but many water protectors also recognize the fight is not yet over. As Goldtooth said, this is "check, not checkmate."
Despite the Army Corps' decision, Energy Transfer Partners said that it is still committed to seeing this "vital" pipeline "brought to completion."
My dad's words: This is Check, not Checkmate. Boom.— Dallas Goldtooth (@Dallas Goldtooth)1480917568.0
Trump has holdings in Energy Transfer Partners and officially voiced support for the pipeline, even though his team said his support "had nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans." The incoming president has also picked climate change deniers and pro-fossil fuel bigwigs for cabinet positions.
Not only that, many pro-drilling politicians currently sit in a GOP-controlled House of Representatives and Senate. Following the Army Corps' Sunday announcement, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tweeted: "This is big-government decision-making at its worst. I look forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us."
This is big-government decision-making at its worst. I look forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind u… https://t.co/Dxcmrtv8dy— Paul Ryan (@Paul Ryan)1480896134.0
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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