Dakota Access pipeline


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FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment is seen at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline were being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, began seeking commitments from shippers to transport additional oil through the pipeline from 500,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels per day, despite ongoing tribal efforts to shut the pipeline down. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment is seen at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline were being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, began seeking commitments from shippers to transport additional oil through the pipeline from 500,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels per day, despite ongoing tribal efforts to shut the pipeline down. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)


Company gauges interest for boosting Dakota Access capacity

Monday, October 22

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline is gauging shippers’ interest in a possible expansion of the volume of crude oil moved through the pipeline from 500,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels per day, despite ongoing tribal efforts to shut the pipeline down.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners began seeking commitments from shippers to transport additional oil on Friday. The pipeline’s permit in North Dakota allows it to ship up to 600,000 barrels per day. North Dakota produced nearly 1.3 million barrels of oil per day in August, the most recent month for which data is available.

Companies can increase pipeline capacity by adding a chemical to make oil flow more easily, or by adding more pumping power or pumping stations, according to North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad.

Company spokeswoman Vicki Granado told The Bismarck Tribune that an expansion would require minimal modifications to the actual pipeline system.

Dakota Access was subject to prolonged protests during its construction in North Dakota in late 2016 and early 2017 because it crosses beneath the Missouri River, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe draws its water from the river and fears pollution. ETP insists the pipeline is safe. That tribe and three others are fighting in federal court to get the pipeline shut down.

The pipeline has been moving North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois since June 2017. From there it goes to the Gulf Coast through the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline, which ends at Nederland, Texas.

With North Dakota’s oil production projected to keep climbing, the state will need to add more pipeline capacity, Kringstad said.

“Every expansion at this point is going to assist in keeping the market strong in North Dakota,” he said. “But long-term, it will take some substantial new investment to continue to keep North Dakota oil connected to new markets.”

RENAMING SENATE OFFICE BUILDING — POINT-COUNTERPOINT

Point: Letting Go of Racism Is Not Partisan, Just the Right Thing to Do

By Derrick Johnson

InsideSources.com

Removing the name of former segregationist Richard B. Russell from the office building of our nation’s most powerful body of elected officials is not a partisan issue. It’s an American issue. It is important that more individuals learn the true history of our nation — a history that includes not only the birthing of the ideals to form a true democracy but also the ideals that were used to justify the cruel and barbaric institutions of slavery and segregation.

Richard B. Russell’s bitter fight against black progress and civil rights is legendary. He not only teamed with staunch racist and segregationist Strom Thurmond to author the Southern Manifesto; he fought tooth and nail against the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and then organized a boycott of the 1964 Democratic National Conference to protest President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the bill into law.

Russell was not a run-of-the-mill politician. He was a figurehead who championed white supremacy and segregation. He stood proudly on the wrong side of civil rights, helping segregationists frame the opposition to civil rights under the guise of “state rights.”

Removing his name is not a partisan issue. It is simply the right thing to do.

He, like so many other vestiges of America’s racist epoch, is not merely resilient artifact of a time long gone; he is a source of inspiration for those who still tout white supremacy despite the fact that Brown v. Board of Education ostensibly ended legal segregation more than half a century ago. These symbols give oxygen to the fires of hate feeding an idea of humanity as a value-based proposition grounded in the color of one’s skin and not their character. It is an inherently antithetical proposition to “the home of the free and home of the brave.”

In his “The Three Evils of Society” speech a year before he was murdered, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called America a “schizophrenic personality.”

“Ever since the birth of our nation, white America has had a schizophrenic personality on the question of race, she has been torn between selves. A self in which she proudly profess (sic) the great principle of democracy and a self in which she madly practices the antithesis of democracy. This tragic duality has produced a strange indecisiveness and ambivalence toward the Negro, causing America to take a step backwards simultaneously with every step forward on the question of Racial Justice; to be at once attracted to the Negro and repelled by him, to love and to hate him. There has never been a solid, unified and determined thrust to make justice a reality for Afro-Americans.”

Calling for the Senate to make this long-needed change is nothing new. The NAACP’s protest of racism has continued unabated since its formation in 1909. We’ve protested the signs and symbols of the Confederacy, the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, and any other group who look upon the legalized oppression of black people and sees anything other than a horrific blood stain on the history of American democracy.

Today we continue this fight, whether it’s calling out the xenophobia emanating from the White House or standing up against laws and policies that allow for racism to exist obfuscated by a crafted veil of decency. Our 2,200 branches remain on the frontline of this fight as they push for the removal of public statues that celebrate patriarchs of oppression and seek to chisel off the names engraved upon buildings that serve to glorify America’s explicitly racist past.

For the descendants of Africans enslaved by this nation, the pain associated with seeing these symbols of our collective oppression is akin to living with a ghost that haunts your every waking moment. For some of us, the pain is simply the rude awakening that despite all that we have given to this nation, it always seems just one small step away from truly recognizing our humanity.

If we are to continue to push America toward a progressive future, one that removes the legitimacy of those who chose to embrace racism over democracy, we can only do so at the ballot box. By showing up in full force at the ballot, we make a choice about not only the type of politicians we want, but instead what type of nation we will choose to be.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Derrick Johnson is the president and CEO of the NAACP. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

Counterpoint: In Renaming Senate Building, Is Any Candidate Perfect?

By Christopher Arps

InsideSources.com

John McCain, the late Arizona senator and former presidential nominee, was referred to as a “maverick” by his colleagues and the media for his fierce independence.

McCain, who began his service to our nation as a Navy pilot and then became a prisoner of war in Vietnam, received many accolades and honors over the years. But the latest proposed honor is stirring a bit of controversy. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed renaming the Richard Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in honor of McCain.

Simple enough, right? Until I started working for former senator Jim Talent, R-Missouri, after his 2002 election, I had no idea there were office buildings in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol named after notable senators and congressmen. I just assumed members and their staff all had offices in the Capitol building itself.

Ironically, the Talent office was in the Russell Building.

That led me to get an education about who Richard Brevard Russell Jr. was.

Representing Georgia as both its governor and a senator, Russell, a Democrat, served in the Senate from 1933 until his death in 1971. Despite being a New Deal progressive and ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he later became the unofficial chairman of the Senate’s bipartisan and informal “conservative coalition” that brought together northern Republicans and southern Democrats.

While anti-union, this coalition was also known for its opposition to civil rights legislation. Illinois senator Everett Dirksen, a Republican and another member of that coalition, later broke with them and helped form another coalition to secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dirksen, by the way, has the building next to the Russell Building named after him.

Russell, with ardent segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond, created the 1956 “Southern Manifesto” that laid out opposition to racial integration of public places. It was drafted to counter the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court two years earlier.

The building should have never been named after a segregationist in the first place — even if he did have a distinguished career that saw him rise to the position of committee chairman and president pro tempore. It is fitting for this building to be renamed in John McCain’s honor.

But are Schumer’s motivations fully transparent? It could be argued that there’s more politics in the mix than praise. While Schumer gets to brush an embarrassing legacy of a member of his own party under the rug, he gets to further advance the stature of a very vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

In one of his last acts of maverick moves, McCain’s pivotal “thumbs-down” gesture on the Senate floor during the Obamacare debate saved it from being repealed and relegated to the dustbin of bad legislative ideas. Even McCain’s funeral was considered a political event.

Interestingly, many of those who laud McCain now didn’t like his maverick ways when he ran against Barack Obama for the White House in 2008. Back then, he was called a racist for the things he called his Vietnamese captors. He was criticized for voting against making Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday. He was branded Islamophobic in 2013 for referring to former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “monkey.” He was criticized for voting to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch, and who knows what would have happened to his legacy among liberals if he lived long enough to support Brett Kavanaugh.

With this in mind, when might people clamoring for a McCain Senate Office Building to be renamed? Bloomberg Opinion recently suggested that “Congress should adopt a retroactive rule requiring that the naming of federal buildings come with a 50-year sunset clause.”

Shouldn’t greatness stand the test of time? If you can’t find greatness, perhaps don’t name the building after anyone at all.

This might be why Schumer didn’t previously suggest the Russell Building be named for the late senator Edward M. Kennedy.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Christopher Arps is a member of the Project 21 black leadership network. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

The Conversation

How monitoring local water supplies can build community

October 17, 2018

Author: John M. Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Information Sciences and Technology, Pennsylvania State University

Disclosure statement: John M. Carroll receives funding from the US National Science Foundation. In the past I received funding from Apple, Intel, Microsoft, the Society of Technical Communication, the US Department of Education, the US Office of Naval Research, the Hitachi Foundation, and the Knight Foundation.

Partners: Pennsylvania State University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

Water insecurity is a touchstone for 2018. Our planet isn’t running out of water, but various kinds of mismanagement have led to local water crises across the planet, directly threatening millions of people.

Ensuring water quality requires regular testing, protecting source water, monitoring and repairing distribution systems, treatment plants and other infrastructure, and developing the ability to recycle water and desalinate salt water. These activities require many types of specialists. But they can also benefit from the direct participation of engaged citizens, who themselves can also benefit from getting involved with this work.

Most of my career has focused on information sciences and technology. Over the past 40 years, I have investigated cases in which people creatively mastered information and technology that was poorly designed relative to their needs, or applied technology to problems it was not originally designed for, such as strengthening local heritage, community governance or collaborative learning. I have learned that making technology effective often requires the creative engagement of everyone who is affected by it.

Contemporary reports on failing water systems tend to overlook the critical roles that citizens can play in addressing environmental challenges at the local level. Water systems are human-technology interactions. Engaged and informed volunteers who are committed to protecting water quality are as critical to a successful water system as pumps and filters.

Taking responsibility for water systems

In the course of a research project on citizen-initiated health collaborations, I learned that people in my own community in central Pennsylvania were deeply involved in monitoring local water quality. Many Americans probably think of this as a job for state or local government agencies. But it also can be a community engagement activity, much like working at a food bank, driving for Meals on Wheels or building homes with Habitat for Humanity.

This does not mean the work is any less about environmental protection. Rather, it incorporates environmental protection into the core of hyperlocal community work – the actions people take locally to strengthen their communities.

Roughly 100,000 people live in the Spring Creek watershed in central Pennsylvania. Spring Creek is a well-known trout fishery, but the region faces ongoing water quality challenges, including agricultural runoff, stormwater silt and invasive species. It also has legacy pollution sources, including abandoned clay and coal mines and a chemical plant that was a Superfund site in the 1980s. Future challenges include a threat of runoff from Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

Several dozen local groups – including nonprofits, municipal entities and regional water and sewer authorities – carry out a wide variety of water quality testing programs. Each group gathers and organizes its own data sets, but they also coordinate through overlapping memberships, arrangements to share equipment, space, funding and data, and initiatives involving multiple townships and boroughs, which the groups sometimes create themselves.

Citizen water monitoring connects communities

Although these groups have only a few hundred members in total, they are involved in many activities. They advise municipalities and the public on watershed issues, such as development proposals. They also coordinate planning among towns, conduct outreach programs at public schools, observe and collect samples at field sites, and interact with testing laboratories and government agencies.

Some groups have developed data sets and analyses that are curated and published online or available by request. They also have produced a community watershed atlas, which explains what the watershed is, how it works and how it serves the people who live in it.

Several groups that mainly collect data consist almost entirely of older adults. For example, members of the Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps work in teams of four to six, regularly visiting sites throughout the watershed to measure about 40 data points per site, including water chemistry, stream flow characteristics and counts of macro invertebrates.

Members of Trout Unlimited focus specifically on indicators of healthy fish populations, such as identifying trout spawning nests. This involves regular physical work and social interaction, so the groups coproduce better community and personal health as they protect local water resources.

Trout Unlimited volunteers work to identify high-quality trout streams in Pennsylvania and target them for protection.

There are 350 local nonprofit water quality groups in Pennsylvania alone. These volunteer groups could be seen as a transitional workaround whose work will eventually be replaced by remote sensor networks. But that is a narrow view of what they do for local communities and for people. Automation will not engage citizens in learning about water resources, or provide meaningful and rigorous tasks that motivate them to be active outdoors.

Leveraging citizen water activism more effectively

These water monitoring initiatives are sustainable and valuable. They are a hyperlocal variety of citizen science – citizens organizing and carrying out water monitoring activities in their own communities.

Their work produces more than data. It strengthens trust and social capital throughout the community, and makes people more aware of local water challenges. It cultivates critical environmental knowledge and skills, and gives volunteers meaningful work.

But it could be even more beneficial. My Penn State colleagues and I are working with citizens in central Pennsylvania to design and develop a community water quality data platform, which would integrate and amplify local groups’ and government agencies’ diverse data sets, making it easier to visualize and analyze water quality data.

Clean water groups could use this tool to explore scenarios, such as enhancing riparian buffers – planted zones near stream banks – to mitigate impacts from springtime agricultural runoff or summertime thermal pollution episodes. Using data this way could make watershed events and patterns more accessible to residents, and more effective as opportunities for learning and engagement.

This platform could make it easier for citizens to become knowledgeable about water resources, and more generally, about data visualization and analysis and data-driven thinking. We do not think fixing failing water systems should be up to citizens, but we believe it is better for everyone if citizens are informed and engaged about their water supplies. It would be nice to assume that responsible authorities will ensure our water is clean and safe, but examples like the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, show that this is not always true.

In Spring Creek, and probably many other locations, promising local networks like this are hidden in plain sight. Once they are identified, communities can leverage them. And others can work to foster them where they do not yet exist.

Cold winds to pelt northeastern US with 1st snowflakes of season, local power outages and damage

Temperatures will plunge into the 20s and 30s F around the Great Lakes and central and northern Appalachians to the 30s and lower 40s along the Interstate 95 corridor. With the wind and other conditions, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be 10-15 degrees lower.

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – October 17, 2018 – Blasts of cold air will not only bring the lowest temperatures of the season so far to the northeastern United States but also the first snowflakes of the season to some areas and the risk of damaging wind gusts into this weekend.

“Grab your coat and hold onto your hat,” according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

“The cold shots coming in through the rest of October will have gusty winds by day, but even where the wind settles down at night, it will still feel cold,” Pastelok said.

The leading edge of a new blast of cold air will sweep off the Atlantic coast Wednesday night.

Temperatures will plunge into the 20s and 30s F around the Great Lakes and central and northern Appalachians to the 30s and lower 40s along the Interstate 95 corridor. With the wind and other conditions, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be 10-15 degrees lower.

Frost-freeze threat

Frost and freeze conditions will extend much farther south and east on Thursday night, compared to Wednesday night.

A frost to end the growing season is likely in parts of the Ohio Valley, portions of the mid-Atlantic coast and much of the northern New England coast.

“Frosty air is also likely to dip into the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.

This won’t be the last of the cold blasts in the short term, however.

Following a warmup from west to east on Friday, a new and potentially more potent blast of cold air will follow this weekend.

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FILE – In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment is seen at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline were being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, began seeking commitments from shippers to transport additional oil through the pipeline from 500,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels per day, despite ongoing tribal efforts to shut the pipeline down. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/10/web1_121617416-5795656e77ad472d8c9dd732d2913219.jpgFILE – In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment is seen at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline were being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, began seeking commitments from shippers to transport additional oil through the pipeline from 500,000 barrels to 570,000 barrels per day, despite ongoing tribal efforts to shut the pipeline down. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)
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