A Love Letter to Y’all

I’m looking forward to being with my Des Moines Mutual Aid (DMMA) friends this morning, for our weekly free grocery store, described below.

As a Quaker, I find it particularly interesting that the first public action of DMMA was participation in a peace march.

Originally tweeted by Des Moines Mutual Aid (@dsm_mutual_aid) on January 6, 2021.

A Love Letter to Y’all (a thread)

One year ago yesterday Des Moines Mutual Aid participated in a march protesting the potential for war or increased hostilities with Iran that followed the fallout of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by drone strike in Baghdad.

This was our first “public” event since adopting the name Des Moines Mutual Aid, a name we gave our crew during our growing work with our relatives at the houseless camps throughout the city and our help with coordinating a weekly free grocery store that has a 50 year history, founded by the Des Moines Chapter of The Black Panther Party For Self Defense.

A year ago we started laying the foundation for work we had no idea what was coming.

As we were adjusting our work with the camps and grocery re-distribution in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, both that continued to grow in need and importance, the police continued their jobs and legacy of brutality and murder.

This nation exploded in righteous rage in response to the pig murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

DMMA realized we were in a position to organize a bail fund to keep our fighters out of jail, both to keep the streets alive as a new phase of The Movement was being born, and because jails are a hotspot of Covid-19 spread.

Not to mention the racial and economic oppression that is the cash bail system.

In the past year DMMA has expanded it’s work in multiple directions and gained many partners and allies.

We partnered with the Des Moines Black Liberation Movement (@DesMoinesBLM) to create the DSM BLM Rent Relief initiative to help keep families in their homes in the midst of a pandemic and the winter.

The camp work has grown exponentially, but is being managed with our collaboration with Edna Griffin Mutual Aid (@egma_dsm), DSM Black Liberation Movement (@DesMoinesBLM), and The Great Plains Action Society (@PlainsAction).

The bail fund remains successful because of desire from the public and a partnership with Prairielands Freedom Fund (@prairielandsff) (formerly The Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project).

The weekly free food store has maintained itself, carrying on the legacy it inherited.

Every one of our accomplishments are directly tied to the support of so many people donating time, talent, and funds to the work. We are overwhelmed with all of your support and hope you feel we are honoring what we promised.

All of these Mutual Aid projects are just a few of many that this city has created in the last year in response to the many crises we face, not only confronting the problems and fulfilling the needs directly in front of us, but creating a sustainable movement that will be capable of responding to what’s next and shaping our collective futures as we replace the systems that fail us.

These last 12 months have been wild and a real test of all of our capabilities to collectively organize.

But it is clear that we as a city have what it takes to do what is needed in 2021, no matter what crisis is next.

Much gratitude to you all.

In love and rage,
Des Moines Mutual Aid

Originally tweeted by Des Moines Mutual Aid (@dsm_mutual_aid) on January 6, 2021.

Hazardous liquid carbon pipelines

There are many reasons why carbon, or CO2 pipelines, should not be built.
Some I’ve written: https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/?s=carbon+co2

My friend Mahmud Fitil maintains the Facebook group Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition @NoCCSIowa.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is not the answer to the climate emergency. CCS is unproven, dangerous and delays real solutions to the climate crisis such as energy conservation, regenerative agriculture and renewable energy

The Iowa Sierra Club, Science and Environmental Health Network, Iowa Food and Water Watch, and Great Plains Action Society are all a part of the Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition.

Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition

Mahmud gave an excellent presentation at the Buffalo Rebellion Climate Summit this past weekend, “Launching the Movement: Strategic Applications of Drones for Grassroots Actions” during which he discussed and showed drone videos that documented the damage from leaking pipelines, damaged oil rail cars and toxic ethanol plant waste.

The state requires the hazardous liquid pipeline permit because carbon dioxide in large concentrations can cause illness and asphyxiation.

Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register

The following article about carbon capture pipelines was published in the Des Moines Register today.

A company that wants to build a controversial carbon capture pipeline across Iowa should tell residents in its path how much danger they face in the event of a leak, the state’s consumer advocate says.

Summit Carbon Solutions should provide an analysis assessing the pipeline’s risk along with the company’s emergency response plan before regulators consider the company’s request for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit, Jennifer Easler, Iowa’s consumer advocate, wrote in a motion filed this month with the Iowa Utilities Board.

The state requires the hazardous liquid pipeline permit because carbon dioxide in large concentrations can cause illness and asphyxiation. 

“Iowa official asks Summit Carbon Solutions for more information about possible pipeline leaks, dangers” by Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register, April 26, 2022

Mahmud and Sikowis Nobiss organized a gathering at the offices of Summit Carbon Solutions in Ames. Following are some of the photos I took at that event.

I took these photos at last weekend’s Buffalo Rebellion Climate Summit.

#IAClimateJustice #ClimateJustice @NoCCSIowa

Dare we hope?

I was searching for a way to describe what WE experienced during OUR Buffalo Rebellion Climate Summit this weekend. A moment reminiscent of the times of the civil rights and anti-war movements which brought together thousands of people and created change. This weekend a coalition of people and organizations came together to rise to the challenges of rapidly evolving environmental devastation and collapse of the systems of capitalism and white supremacy.

As I wondered whether to write “what WE experienced” versus “what I experienced” I realized this was emblematic of what the Buffalo Rebellion is about. Dare WE hope? In its simplest expression, we need to change from “I” to “We” in all we do.

Those of us who have been working to protect Mother Earth are more aware than the general public of the breadth and depth of damage being done. More alarmed, more discouraged after years of work with little apparent progress.

The COVID pandemic made us more isolated and made it difficult to safely do our organizing work. Although our Des Moines Mutual Aid community never stopped distributing free food every week. We strictly enforced wearing masks and gloves and attempted to maintain social distancing by limiting the number of volunteers.

As an example of how long some of us have been working to protect our environment, fifty years ago I was led to refuse to own a car. I’m not aware of that changing other people’s lives.

In 2013 the Keystone XL pipeline struggles began to bring some people and organizations together. One group was known as the Cowboy-Indian Alliance.

What little I learned about native cultures showed peoples who lived with far more integrity than I was able to. When I first became engaged with fossil fuel and pipeline resistance in 2013, I began to hear stories of Indigenous peoples working to protect the water. The Cowboy-Indian Alliance came together to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. I was honored to be given this poster from the 2014 Harvest the Hope concert.
[See: The Cowboy and Indian Alliance.]

It was clear to me and others that nonnative folks needed not only to join with Indigenous peoples but be led by them. How to make that happen?

Indigenous Iowa and Bold Iowa organized the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018, with the intent of providing a small group of native and nonnative people the time to get to know each other, so we could begin to work on issues of common interest and concern. We walked and camped for eight days along the path of the Dakota Access pipeline from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, Iowa, ninety-four miles.
[see stories and photos from that sacred journey here: First Nation Famer Climate Unity March]

A number of us worked on various projects together since, strengthening our friendships. A number of those on that March are involved in the new coalition, the Buffalo Rebellion. That includes Sikowis Nobiss, Mahmud Fitil, Trisha Entringer, Donnielle Wanatee, Miriam Kashia, Peter Clay and me.

I plan to write a lot about the Buffalo Rebellion but wanted to begin with this introduction.

I believe the answer to the question posed by this post, Dare WE hope? is yes.

Buffalo Rebellion


Earth Day Rally Des Moines

As I’ve written about recently, we held an Earth Day Rally in Des Moines yesterday. The rally was part of the three-day Climate Summit of the Buffalo Rebellion I’m attending.

After a number of people spoke, we walked to the offices of MidAmerican Energy, which has been the focus of climate activists for some time because of their refusal to close their coal burning plants. https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/?s=midamerican

As we chanted outside the building the security guard called the police. Several Des Moines police cars arrived, but then left when they saw we were peaceful and exercising our right of free speech. At least I assume that’s why they left. Then we returned to Cowles Commons.

Another nail in our coffin

In 2020, President Biden told voters, “no more drilling on federal lands, period.” Yesterday the Biden administration broke that promise, saying it will resume selling leases to drill for oil and gas on federal lands.

The fossil fuel industry has found new life as the energy consequences of the war in Ukraine are being used not as an opportunity to wean off oil production, but the opposite; to ramp up fossil fuel development.

Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released part of its latest report on Monday.

Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness

Humanity confronts a great dilemma: to continue on the path of capitalism, depredation, and death, or to choose the path of harmony with nature and respect for life.

Jake Grobe

“It is never a good sign when the President announces something at 5pm on a Friday. But President Biden can’t get away with this disastrous climate decision. The fact of the matter is that more drilling won’t solve high gas prices right now – so why is Biden breaking his campaign promise to stop drilling on public lands? 

“This is why young people are doubting the political process altogether. If Biden wants to solve for voter turnout in 2022, he should actually deliver on the things he promised, not move farther away from them. On November 8, 2022 we don’t want to hear anyone asking why young people didn’t vote. Biden is actively turning voters away. If we’re going to combat fascism and win in 2022, he must be a leader and course correct. This election and our futures depend on it.”

In 2020, President Biden not only ran and won on a bold climate agenda, but told voters, “no more drilling on federal lands, period.” Today, his administration is expanding drilling on public lands, stalling on climate legislation and concurrently, his approval ratings are plummeting, especially among young people. 

Sunrise Responds to Biden Plans to Open More Public Land to Drilling, Sunrise Movement, 4/15/2022

Is there no hope for the future? How can we possibly do this to our children? How long will these questions go unanswered? Is it too late?

Midwest Quakers and Native Peoples

The purpose of this brief history is background for a request from Sikowis (Christine) Nobiss for funds to support the documentary “They Found Us” that’s being done about her reservation’s residential school. George Gordon First Nation had the longest running residential school, which didn’t close until 1996.

During the 2017 annual sessions of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) there was panel discussion about building bridges with native peoples. The panel consisted of Peter Clay, an Iowa Friend, Donnielle Wanatee from the Meskwaki Settlement, and Sikowis (Christine) Nobiss, one of the most active Indigenous leaders in the Midwest. All three have played a large role in my connections with Native Americans since.

In February 2018, I was part of a group who went to Minneapolis to protest US Bank’s funding of oil pipelines. Sikowis spoke at that gathering.

I began to get to know Sikowis when she and I were among a small group of native and non-native people who walked and camped for eight days along the route of the Dakota Access pipeline, from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, Iowa. Iowa Friend Peter Clay was also on this First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March.  Jon Krieg (AFSC) joined us for the first day. And my Scattergood School roommate Lee Tesdell participated in one of the evening discussions during the March. Another Iowa Yearly Meeting Friend, Liz Oppenheimer, organized a time of worship sharing and prayer among Friends each morning, supporting our sacred journey.

In this photo during the March Sikowis is holding the bowl Peter Clay is smudging from.

The purpose of the March was to create a community of native and non-native people who began to know and trust each other so we could work on things of common concern. That was highly successful, and we have done a number of things together since.

One of the first was when several of us from the March, including Sikowis (in the center of this photo), Iowa Friends Shazi and Fox Knight, and I lobbied Senator Grassley’s staff to support several bills related to native concerns.

Lobbying Iowa Senator Grassley about native legislation

The summer of 2019 Sikowis suggested I attend the National Network Assembly at the Des Moines YMCA Camp near Boone, Iowa, that she helped organize. I was aware that if I wanted to build on relationships with native peoples, I should wait to be invited. Seeing this as one of those opportunities, I did attend.

In early 2020, I began to hear about the struggles of the Wet’suwet’en peoples in British Columbia, as they worked to prevent the construction of a liquid natural gas pipeline (Costal GasLink) through their pristine lands and waters. There was little being written about this in the mainstream media, so supporters were asked to write about what was happening on our social media platforms.

This photo is from a post about a rally I organized to support the Wet’suwet’en in Des Moines on February 7, 2020. Iowa Friend Peter Clay attended.

I’m convinced the Spirit led Ronnie James to come to this rally. Ronnie is an Indigenous organizer with twenty years of experience. He was surprised anyone in Iowa knew about the Wet’suwet’en, so he came to see who we were. Since that day Ronnie has been patiently mentoring me about Des Moines Mutual Aid. Including helping me become involved in the food giveaway project. We’ve become good friends.

This relates to my relationship with Sikowis because Ronnie is a member of the Great Plains Action Society (GPAS) that she organized for Indigenous activism in the Midwest. Several other friends I made during the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March also work at Great Plains Action Society.

As often happens, once people know I love photography, I get invited to events for that purpose (even though I’d want to go, anyway). This photo of Sikowis was taken at last year’s Indigenous People’s Day. She’s holding a Great Plains Action Society bag.

Sikowis Nobiss

Another event where I took photos was a gathering on the State Capitol grounds related to racist statues. In this photo Sikowis is speaking at the Pioneer statue.

Sikowis Nobiss

Last December, Sikowis asked me to come to Ames for a rally at the office of Summit Carbon, one of the companies that want to build a CO2 pipeline.

Residential institutions of forced assimilation

The legacy of what are sometimes called Indian Boarding Schools has been a concern of mine for years. The involvement of Quakers in establishing and teaching in these institutions has become a source of tension and conflict among Quakers today. I think my past ignorance about these institutions was common for Quakers, thinking Friends involved in those schools were doing the best they could to help native children assimilate into mainstream American society. Not critically thinking why that would be a good thing. But we began to learn more about the great harm this did to native children and their families. And that was before learning about the widespread emotional, physical and sexual abuse of the children.

I was led to make this something I needed to learn more about. And share what I was learning with Quakers and others. Friend Paula Palmer, who has become a friend of mine, was called to a ministry related to these institutions and Quaker’s involvement in them.  Peter Clay and I helped organize events among Iowa Friends, Conservative and FUM, when Paula came to the Midwest.

Prior to the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March I was unsure whether I should bring up the subject of forced assimilation, especially as I had learned more about trauma from those institutions being passed from generation to generation. I had hoped to learn about Indigenous spirituality on the March but didn’t see how that could happen without acknowledging Quakers’ involvement in forced assimilation.

Matthew and I began to get to know each other early in the March because he was shooting video of the same things I was taking photos of. We shared quite a bit about this common interest. I believe it was the second day of the March as we were walking and talking together that the Spirit led me to tell him I knew about the Quaker involvement in the residential schools, and I was sorry for what had happened. Of course, I had no idea how he would react. But all he did was nod his head, and we continued to walk and talk together. I didn’t say anything else about that.

But just a few hours later he said he wanted to tell me a story. It involved a traumatic incident related to his mother and the residential schools. I was so grateful he felt he could share that with me. We didn’t talk about that any further.

Since then, when it seemed appropriate, I brought up Quaker involvement in the boarding schools with each of my native friends. Each one had personal experiences related to the schools. I believe that it was an important part of our developing friendships that we shared these stories.

Sikowis told me briefly of family members who had experienced traumas from those institutions. We had that brief discussion several years ago.

I believe this is in part why she invited me to ask Quakers if we would help support making a documentary about her reservation’s (George Gordon First Nation) residential school.

Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee has an annual budget to support peace and justice work. This year it was decided that rather than give token amounts to various peace and justice organizations, we might discern to invest a larger sum, for a more significant impact, to an organization or project. But we didn’t know what that would be.

This request from Sikowis is an opportunity to build on Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)’s relationship with Indigenous peoples in the Midwest. An opportunity to begin truth and healing.

I’m pleased the Peace and Social Concerns Committee unanimously supports using our budget to support the documentary that’s being done about the George Gordon First Nation’s residential school.

March 27, 2022

This letter in regards to a request for financial support for a documentary title “They Found Us”, to support community presentations of this film that I produced.

My name is Curt Young and I a member of the George Gordon’s First Nation.  I am a descendant of Mike Longman, along with my mother Longman-Young; both members of this nation.  The development of this documentary was an intent for myself to learn more about my maternal familial lineage, as I had not grown up on GGFN and wanted more connections to my cultural heritage.  I applied for the “Peoples Investment Grant”, while residing in Calgary and was a successful candidate.  These funds were intended to financially support a compilation of Elder’s narratives, however, during the initial interviews, the findings of the 215 bodies outside of the Kamloops residential schools, inspired myself to change the direction of the documentary.  I decided to focus more on the process that GGFN reserve’s undertaking of a ground search outside of the local residential school; to see if there were any unmarked graves or bodies buried there. 

Over the past year, I have made three trips to GGFN to obtain footage of the community’s initial activities related to the ground search of the area.  Aside from the footage of the community, I also have compiled interviews from GGFN members, and other Indigenous people, including leaders and Elders, that have shared their own narratives and experience with residential schools.  The budget that I was provided by the grant I received was allocated to travel costs associated with these trips to GGFN, along with the rental of video technological equipment, necessary to create the documentary.  I have spent time and effort into producing this documentary and have been promoting it through various online platforms, along with connections I have within Indigenous communities, both urban and rural.  I have much interest in public showings of this documentary, particularly since June is coming up, with it being National Indigenous Peoples month.  One showing that I have confirmed is the first week of June; at Fort Calgary.  Although I am quite excited for the interest and opportunities, I would like to honour my home community and acknowledge the stories that are compiled in my documentary, by having the first public showing of “They Found Us” on GGFN.

In order for myself to bring the documentary to GGFN I am requesting funds to support my travel, accommodation and honorarium for traditional drummers and possibly a dancer to create a healing and culturally safe space for a community show.  My first showing that I have booked for this documentary is June 4, 2022, thus, I am asking to have funds to showcase the documentary on GGFN prior to this date. 

Reflections on First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March

Quakers in my Yearly Meeting, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative), have instituted Spiritual Sharing Small Groups for Friends who are interested in participating. There have been several cycles of these groupings. I was led to participate in the current groupings, hoping to find some help with a Spiritual crisis I’m in.

There are four of us in my group, and we meeting every Tuesday night. There isn’t a specific format for these meetings. We each take turns introducing the night’s discussion. Tonight is my turn and I’m looking forward to sharing an experience that changed my life, and relates to my Spiritual crisis.

I plan to talk about the sacred journey I was led to make, the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March. I created a WordPress website with many photos, videos and stories from the March at this link:

First Nation-Farmer Unity

As the name implies, this was a march to unify a small community of native and non-native people. Our group was around thirty native and non-native people. Unify in the sense of getting to know, and begin to build trust among us. It was clear to me, and many of my non Indigenous friends, that native views and practices are essential to heal Mother Earth.

We began to get to know each other as we walked together for hours down nearly empty rural gravel roads. This sacred journey began in Des Moines, and ended ninety four miles and eight days later in Fort Dodge. This was literally an act of faith. I was not at all sure I could walk all the way, but was very grateful I made it. Fortunately it was suggested that we pack an extra pair of shoes, because my first pair were worn out about halfway.

We walked and camped along the path of the Dakota Access pipeline. The truck that carried our tents from place to place had a huge banner that said “Stop Eminent Domain Abuse”. Eminent domain was used to force landowners to allow the pipeline to be built through their land despite their wishes otherwise.

Eminent domain is in the news again, as companies are pushing for the construction of carbon pipelines. My friends Sikowis Nobiss and Mahmud Fitil, both of whom walk on the March, organized this gathering at the headquarters of Summit Carbon a couple of months ago and invited me to take photos. Just one example of how those of us on the March have worked together since.

Spiritual Crisis

As I see and learn more about white supremacy and its toxic effects on peoples and Mother Earth, I find it difficult to consider myself a Christian. The weaponized version of a religion. The Crusades. The Doctrines of Discovery that not only purported to gave white people the permission to take over lands around the earth, but also to subjugate and kill the Indigenous peoples.

And the incomprehensible history and consequences of the forced assimilation of native children. The multigenerational traumas. The physical, mental, and sexual abuses and thousands of deaths.

Something important happens when we gather in pursuit of a common goal. First we form rituals that help us relate to and negotiate each other, everything from a civic tradition that allows anyone with a voice to be respectfully heard, to sharing food and music in the local town hall every Friday night, to a labour system that fairly distributes the burden of work. Then, those rituals that stand the test of time become embedded in daily life. The ritual activities themselves and the good they produce help a community identity take root. As identity strengthens, so too does our sense of connectedness — our sense of affection, responsibility and obligation — to one another. When this happens, we then share a greater capacity for coherence and cooperation. And where we share greater capacity for coherence and cooperation there is also greater resilience: the ability to mobilise skills and resources to support the emergence of collective intelligence in response to crisis, enable rapid adaptation and ensure the continuity of the most important functions and structures of the community. This coherent togetherness and the collective intelligence that emerges out of it is the source of human strength and ingenuity. Within it lies our ability to transition from one evolutionary niche to another, even against the odds.

Pontoon Archipelago or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Collapse. By James Allen, originally published by Medium, June 18, 2019

What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship — we change the world one story at a time.

Richard Wagamese (October 14, 1955-March 10, 2017)
Ojibwe from Wabeseemoong Independent Nations, Canada

We are our stories, stories that can be both prison and the crowbar to break open the door of that prison; we make stories to save ourselves or to trap ourselves or others, stories that lift us up or smash us against the stone wall of our own limits and fears. Liberation is always in part a storytelling process: breaking stories, breaking silences, making new stories.  

Rebecca Solnit, ‘Silence Is Broken’, in ‘The Mother of All Questions’

Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness

The fossil fuel industry has found new life as the energy consequences of the war in Ukraine are being used not as an opportunity to wean off oil production, but the opposite; to ramp up fossil fuel development.

The Biden administration is releasing a million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And pressuring oil companies to activate their oil leases. To ramp up natural gas exports. Other countries are releasing their oil reserves.

PARIS (AP) — The International Energy Agency said Thursday that its member countries are releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves on top of previous U.S. pledges to take aim at energy prices that have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The releases show “the determination of member countries to protect the global economy from the social and economic impacts of an oil shock following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. “Events in Ukraine are becoming more distressing by the day, and action by the IEA at this time is needed to relieve some of the strains in energy markets.”

Energy markets have been squeezed by surging demand as the global economy rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic, outpacing supply and driving up prices. High energy prices have fueled inflation worldwide, and the war in Ukraine exacerbated the problem amid uncertainties about oil and natural gas supplies from Russia and Western sanctions on Moscow.

IEA member countries hold 1.5 billion barrels in public reserves.

Nations to release millions of barrels of oil amid war, Associated Press, April 6, 2022

As horrific as the atrocities of the war are, the real consequence is acceleration and escalation of the consequences and chaos of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released part of its latest report on Monday. This scientific summary, focused on how the world can cut greenhouse gas emissions, warns of the extraordinary harm to all of humanity caused by fossil fuels and the need for a rapid energy transition away from oil, gas, and coal, calling for meaningful changes over the next three years. “Such investments will soon be stranded assets, a blot on the landscape, and a blight on investment portfolios.”

That same day, oil giant ExxonMobil made an announcement of its own: a $10 billion final investment decision for an oil and gas development project in the South American nation of Guyana that the company said would allow it to add a quarter of a million barrels of oil a day to its production in 2025.

Meanwhile, major carbon capture projects like Southern Company’s $7.5 billion attempt to build a coal-fired plant that could capture its own emissions were abandoned. Other closely watched carbon capture projects like Petra Nova and Boundary Dam have failed to live up to expectations.

As a result of that one-two punch, new fossil fuel projects may find themselves fighting against the tides, facing not just cheaper competition but also the drive to slash demand for their products to combat climate change. “Without carbon capture, coal and gas plants would need to retire about 23 years earlier than expected in order to hold global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius

ExxonMobil Announces $10 Billion Oil Investment the Same Day IPCC Signals End for Fossil Fuels. The oil giant’s massive plan to drill in Guyana’s waters comes as the UN Secretary General warns of fossil fuels as a “blight on investment portfolios.” By Sharon Kelly, DeSmog, Apr 5, 2022

As the article says, one bright spot is that the expense and failure of carbon capture means the oil industry cannot legitimately use that technology as a part of their plans to show how they will meet targets to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. That doesn’t mean they won’t try.

The following article is wrong. It states the “giant warning” is that it will take time to ramp up oil production. The real warning is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions that will result.

U.S. crude oil prices jumped more than $10 overnight to $130 a barrel on news that the U.S. was considering prohibiting Russian oil imports, though prices backed off later during Monday trading. That rally has driven retail gasoline prices up more than 46 cents in the past week, reaching a national average of $4.06 a gallon, according to fuel price service GasBuddy.

Exxon has said it expected to increase its production from the Permian by 100,000 barrels per day this year, on top of a sharp ramp up last year to 460,000 barrels per day. “We’re well on our way to that,” CEO Darren Woods told an industry conference in Houston on Monday. Chevron has also said it would increase its production there by 60,000 barrels per day this year.

U.S. oil industry prepares to boost production — but with a giant warning. A jump in gasoline prices above $4 has oil companies eyeing crude oil output hikes, but pain at the pump will linger as shaky oil markets shun Russian cargoes. by Ben Lefebvre, Politico, March 7/2022

While the PA Governor and Attorney General continue to delay halting construction and cleaning up toxic spill in Marsh Creek, local residents take matters into their own hands with direct action and win in court today. “We had no choice but to resort to peaceful protest on an active construction site to raise awareness of the dangers that have not been addressed by the responsible government agencies.”

The proceedings were watched with cheering support from families across Pennsylvania. Attorney Read used the argument § 503. Justification generally (a) General rule. Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid a harm or evil to himself or to another is justifiable if: (1) the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense charged.

Pipeline Protestors Found Not Guilty by Watchdogs of Southeastern Pennsylvania (WaSEPA), April 6, 2022

Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance

It was predictable that ridiculous schemes would appear now that the public can no longer ignore environmental chaos beginning to occur in so many, increasingly devastating ways. Learning the cause of these climate catastrophes is greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, the public is desperately calling for ways to reduce those emissions now.

The common theme is the demand to reduce emissions without affecting their lifestyles that are dependent upon energy that is produced by burning fossil fuels.

That is impossible. Not nearly enough renewable energy capacity could be built to meet the demand.

The idea of sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere sounds good, but it is not. The amount of carbon dioxide that could be removed this way is miniscule. And to deal with even that small amount would involve unproven and dangerous technology. Pipelines would be required to transport the carbon hundreds of miles in most cases, to places where it would be pumped into underground rock formations. And no one knows how long it would be before the carbon begins to leak out of those formations.

As with the Keystone XL, Dakota Access and other pipelines, significant environmental damages would occur if the carbon pipelines were built. Eminent Domain would be used to force farmers to allow construction of pipelines through their fertile lands.

These pipelines have the added danger of harming or killing people and animals if they leak. This occurred in Satartia, Mississippi, in 2020. See Carbon Pipeline Opposition.

At Summit Carbon headquarters

Kathy Stockdale says she has the unlucky distinction of having two of three planned carbon capture pipelines across Iowa proposing to run through the 550-acre Hardin County farm her family has owned for a century.

Summit Carbon Solutions’ $4.5 billion project would run between her and her son, Kurtis’, homes, while Navigator CO2 Ventures’ $3 billion pipeline would cut across a nearby field.

“This land is part of us. We’ve worked hard to make improvements,” said Stockdale, 71, adding that she feels “like my property rights are being taken away.” 

Stockdale was among about 100 Iowans Tuesday who joined what was billed as a “people’s public hearing” at the Iowa Capitol. They called on lawmakers to impose stronger restrictions on the pipeline developers’ use of eminent domain to force unwilling landowners to sell access to their property for their projects.

Iowans at Capitol push for stronger restrictions on eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines by Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register, March 29, 2022

Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is not the answer to the climate emergency. CCS is unproven, dangerous and delays real solutions to the climate crisis such as energy conservation, regenerative agriculture and renewable energy.

Join us in standing against private corporations for private gain and corrupt governments in Iowa as these pipelines are headed to tribal lands in Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, following the DAPL easement.

Organizations and landowners were at the Iowa State Capitol rotunda yesterday (3:30-6:00) to let our legislators know that Iowans won’t stand for the abuse of eminent domain!

With only a few short weeks left in the legislative session, we need to show our legislators how crucial it is that they take meaningful action right now.

We will hear from experts, landowners, impacted Iowans, Indigenous folks, and legislators as they address concerns about Iowa’s three proposed carbon pipelines—Summit, Navigator, and Wolf.

This event is hosted by Iowa Sierra Club, Science and Environmental Health Network, Iowa Food and Water Watch, and Great Plains Action Society—who are all a part of the Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition.

The Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition

Another Des Moines Register article about carbon pipelines: https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/2022/02/22/carbon-pipeline-opposition/


Yesterday I was struck by all the interconnected relationships among my friends at Des Moines Mutual Aid.

I was happy to see my friend Donnielle at Mutual Aid for the first time yesterday. She and I were part of the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, September 1-8, 2018. A small group of native and non-native people walked and camped along the path of the Dakota Access pipeline, from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, Iowa (ninety-four miles). One of the main purposes of that walk was to create a group of people who began to get to know each other so we could work on issues of common interest and concern. That really worked and many of us have worked together in many ways since. One of the first things several of us did together, was to lobby Senator Grassley’s staff to support a couple of bills related to safety of Indigenous women. That was in 2018. The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act was just passed and includes those tribal protections. The photo below at the Neal Smith Federal Building was taken the day of the meeting with Senator Grassley’s staff.

Jake, the climate justice advocate from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) was also there. Two weeks ago, I attended a board meeting of the Iowa Energy Center Board, having been asked to take photos there. Jake organized a group of us to attend the board meeting to try to get MidAmerican to shut down their five coal burning plants. We have since learned our presence there has had some effect. He also asked me to write a letter to the editor about the same issue, which I did. Yesterday Donnielle asked Jake about an upcoming city council meeting where MidAmerican’s franchise with the city will be discussed.

Jade was at Mutual Aid, as usual. She organizes the prison letter writing project of Central Iowa Democratic Socialists of America, which I have joined. A friend of mine in Indianapolis, a professor at the law school there, got me involved in Religious Socialism, part of DSA, hence the name of this blog.

And as usual, my good friend Ronnie was at Mutual Aid. I had told him about some transgender people who were looking for support. Yesterday we talked about that some more, and he gave me a couple of suggestions that I passed along.

My small Quaker meeting is also part of this networking. Some members have been supporters of ICCI for years. It is this meeting that is looking into how we might support the trans people. And I will be speaking about Mutual Aid during the annual gathering of Quakers this summer.

Other connections include supporting the Wet’suwet’en peoples as they try to stop the construction of the Costal GasLink pipeline through their pristine territory in British Columbia. In the photo below you can see Des Moines Black Lives Matter is helping us stand with the Wet’suwet’en.

The signs about Prairies Not Pipelines and #NOCO2PIPELINES was organized by my friend Sikowis, who also walked on the First Nation-Famer Climate Unity March.