skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Activist Who Shut Down Pipeline on Trial: "Act of Desperation" to Save Planet

play audio
Play

Wednesday, November 22, 2017   

FORT BENTON, Mont. – In October 2016, Leonard Higgins and four other activists concerned about the imminent impact of climate change took action into their own hands to stop it.

Known collectively as the "valve turners," the five climate activists shut off oil pipeline emergency valves across the country, stopping about 15 percent of the country's oil imports for nearly a day.

Higgins, who turned the valve in Coal Banks Landing, began his trial in Fort Benton this week.

His calm demeanor betrays the fact that he faces up 10 years in prison on felony charges of criminal trespass and mischief.

Above all else, what's clear is Higgins' dedication to stopping climate change.

"For myself, this is an act of desperation,” he states. “I'm not the kind of person that you would have ever thought would take civil disobedient, direct action.

“I'd never had any trouble with the law or courts. I worked for the state of Oregon for 31 years."

Higgins shut off Spectra Energy Express' pipeline importing tar sands, which he calls the dirtiest carbon emitter.

The other activists shut down tar sand pipelines in Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington state.

Spectra Energy says closing the emergency valve on a pipeline is dangerous.

But Higgins says the team planned for months and informed the companies what they were doing, and so no oil was pumping when they shut the lines down.

Higgins stresses the importance of reducing carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.

He wants people to be as active and passionate about this issue as they would be if their "child had cancer," because he wants his children and grandchildren to enjoy this planet. He hopes the valve turners' actions will drive change.

"Like other civil disobedient acts in the past around abolition or around women's suffrage, civil rights, might have some chance to move this issue into the public discussion, change public opinion, and move public policy as quickly as it needs to happen," he states.

Despite his feeling that the public is not directly engaged enough on this issue, Higgins is encouraged by efforts to modernize the power grid and agriculture and thinks the country is ready to move in a new and cleaner direction.

"I'm inspired by all of the work that's being done to make the changes that we need to,” he says. “Obviously, our technology in terms of wind energy and solar energy have moved at the same rate that the advancements in computers did."





get more stories like this via email

more stories
A new report shows that people who complete Prop 47-funded programs like those offered at Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Los Angeles are much less likely to be reincarcerated. (Safe Harbor)

Social Issues

play sound

Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data…


Social Issues

play sound

Arizona is gearing up for its presidential preference election that takes place in less than a month, and registered Democrats and Republicans were …

play sound

You might say "every day is 'bring your child to college day'" at New Hampshire's Manchester Community College. On-campus childcare programs are …


Social Issues

play sound

The number of Black mothers in Ohio who die during or following pregnancy continues to climb and health advocates said they hope to shine a light on t…

Legislative supporters say had South Dakota taken part in a new federally funded summer meal program for low-income families, an estimated 54,000 children around the state would have benefited. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

It's been an uphill battle for childhood nutrition advocates to advance meal access policies in the South Dakota Legislature. However, organizers say …

Environment

play sound

A cooperative effort has seeded more than 26,000 acres in eastern Nevada. It's all in an effort to increase desirable grasses, forbs and shrubs while …

Social Issues

play sound

Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021