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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Indigenous leaders come to NY to speak about pipeline impacts

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Monday, April 8, 2024   

Indigenous community leaders will be in New York addressing the United Nations.

They'll be speaking at the UN's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - about the Line 5 oil pipeline running through the Great Lakes region and Ontario, Canada.

Since 1968, it's had 33 spills leak more than one million gallons of oil. Ships' anchors also struck it in 2018 and 2020.

Whitney Gravelle, president of the Bay Mills Indian Community, said the permanent forum has called for the U.S. and Canada to decommission the pipeline.

"The permanent forum also stated it jeopardizes the Great Lakes in the United States," said Gravelle, "that the pipeline was a real and credible threat to the treaty-protected resources of indigenous peoples in both the United States and Canada."

Critics are taking legal action to stop the pipeline. One lawsuit stems from Bad River Band not renewing permits for Line 5 to cross through their land.

The other is from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, in which a state court ruled the pipeline should be shutdown.

But Enbridge has brought the case to a Federal Appeals Court, leading to further delay of the state court's ruling.

Gravelle said a ruling for Enbridge in either case could set precedents for pipelines to operate on Indigenous lands without any recourse.

Misinformation has dogged efforts to shut down the pipeline - ranging from saying there are no alternatives to Line 5, to claims that it's an important regional energy source.

One particular point Enbridge stands behinds the safety of Line 5, despite the leaks.

Gravelle called the pipeline an environmental threat.

"When it was first designed, it had seven layers of protective coating around the pipeline," said Gravelle, "and in independent reviews, we have found that protective coating has either worn away or is down to the last layer in some places along the pipeline."

She added that keeping this pipeline operating could lead to a much larger oil spill in the Great Lakes.

A University of Michigan study finds the pipeline's location leaves it vulnerable to unpredictable currents that would make oil recovery almost impossible in the event of a spill.

Gravelle said the region's Indigenous communities wouldn't be able to survive an oil spill in the Great Lakes.




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