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
https://www.facebook.com/NoCCSIowa/

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

Networking

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.

Carbon pipeline opposition

WOW. This is the front page of today’s Des Moines Register and part of that story can be found below.

After years of resisting pipelines, beginning in 2013 with the Keystone Pledge of Resistance, I am cautiously optimistic we might stop these carbon pipelines. Clearly there is much more attention paid to, and resistance from large numbers of people. Landowners suffered in many ways from being forced by the abuse of eminent domain for construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Now they know and won’t easily allow this to happen again.

There are a lot of pieces to learn about these new concepts, including different ways the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is captured is used. My friends Rodger Ruth and Mahmud Fitil have an excellent discussion about these pipelines in the video at the end of this.

One of the unique and extreme dangers of these new CO2 pipelines is what happens when the CO2 leaks. The carbon in these pipelines is under high pressure. When there is a rupture there is an explosion and then the rapid release of vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which displaces oxygen in the air. People and other living beings immediately become disorientated. Nonelectric vehicles stop working because there is not enough oxygen to burn the gas in the engines. The deaths of large numbers of people could occur if such a rupture happened in a highly populated area. First responders become disoriented as well. This video is about a carbon explosion that occurred in Satartia, Mississippi, in 2020. https://www.facebook.com/FWWIA/videos/6717059531697606

Sequestration (CCS) involves shipping the captured carbon, hence the need for the pipelines, to areas where there are rock formations to inject the carbon into. This is an unproven idea and many of us are skeptical that carbon won’t escape.

Even worse is the use of recovering fuel by injecting the carbon into diffuse pockets underground, to force the oil to the surface the same way water is injected for fracking.

It really is tortured logic to say CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere to decrease greenhouse gas concentrations, and then use that CO2 to extract more oil to burn, adding MORE greenhouse gases.

Many groups of my friends are working to stop these pipelines, including the Great Plains Action Society and Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Other articles I’ve written https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/?s=carbon

One part of this resistance is to challenge the abuse of eminent domain to force landowners to allow pipeline construction.

Following are some photos from various events to call attention to carbon pipelines and why they should not be built.

These are from an event by my friends Sikowis Nobiss and Mahmud Fitil at the headquarters of Summit Carbon Solutions in Ames, Iowa, one of the companies involved in CO2 pipeline construction.

Yesterday some people from the Catholic Worker House(s) held this banner and talked with people at the Iowa State Capitol.

The first carbon capture pipeline proposal to make its way to Iowa regulators is drawing more early opposition in the state than the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, which grabbed national attention in 2016 and 2017, when Hollywood stars joined Native Americans in monthslong protests.

So far, Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposal to build a $4.5 billion carbon capture pipeline in Iowa has drawn 750 comments, according to Don Tormey, the Iowa Utilities Board spokesman.  The comments — mostly in opposition — are double the number the Dakota Access project had received roughly a month after filing its permit request with state regulators in 2015, a Des Moines Register review shows. 

And opposition is growing. Organizers say hundreds of Iowa landowners are banding together to fight Summit’s project and two other carbon capture pipeline proposals. They’re refusing to sell easements for the pipelines and pledging to battle the companies in court, if necessary.

Dubbed the Iowa Easement Team, the group says it has hired Domina Law, a Nebraska firm that helped stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported Canadian crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas. It declined to say exactly how many Iowa landowners are part of the effort.

“I’ve been kind of amazed at the amount of resistance we’ve seen to these projects” so early in the process, said Wally Taylor, an attorney for the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, which challenged Dakota Access and opposes the more recent carbon capture projects.

In the submitted comments, farmers, landowners and county and state officials are challenging Summit’s likely use of eminent domain to force unwilling landowners to sell access for the 680-mile pipeline, which would cross 29 Iowa counties. Fifteen county boards of supervisors have filed statements of opposition to the use of eminent domain.

“These are Republican Trump voters, and they’re just mad about these pipelines,” Taylor said.

First month of Summit carbon capture pipeline comments exceed those on Dakota Access. Here’s what’s next. By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register, 2/22/2022

Eminent domain abuse again

Eminent domain is once again an issue as more pipelines are proposed to go through the state. These are called CO2 or Carbon pipelines. These pipelines should not be built, for many reasons. But the issue today is about the abuse of eminent domain for any reason. There will be an event related to this at the Iowa State Capitol from 12-1 pm.

Today there will be an event at the Iowa State Capitol from 12-1 pm

If you are concerned about the great threat that carbon pipeline projects in Iowa bring to the land and water and the use of eminent domain for private corporate gain, join us at the Iowa State Capitol from 12-1pm!

This is a weekly gathering for folks to meet as well as let lawmakers know that people from all walks of life are standing together, united in saying, “Protect our land and water!” “No eminent domain for private gain!” and “NO CARBON PIPELINES!”

People will gather in the rotunda at 12 noon. All are welcome! Add your voice and make a difference!

https://fb.me/e/1tgvkxJ5b

Thursday, February 17, I was at the meeting of the Iowa Energy Center Board meeting, where we tried to discuss shutting down MidAmerican’s five coal power plants (https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/2022/02/18/stopburningcoal/)

At the same time another group of my friends were at the Iowa State Capitol in support of Bill 2160

A coalition of environmentalists and land owners is seeking a meeting with Governor Kim Reynolds, hoping she’ll intervene and block the Iowa Utilities Board from granting eminent domain so carbon pipeline developers can acquire land from reluctant property owners.

Group seeks meeting with governor about carbon pipelines by Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa, FEBRUARY 17, 2022

Unfortunately, the GOP killed the eminent domain bill.

The abuse of eminent domain was one of the reasons a group of us walked and camped for ninety-four miles along the route of the Dakota Access pipeline in 2018, as seen in these photos.

#NoEminentDomainForPrivateGain
#NoCarbonPipelines
#PrairieNotPipelines
#NoCO2Pipelines
#StopNavigator
#StopSummit
#NoCCS

#StopBurningCoal

I was talking with my friend Jake Grobe, of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) recently as we were working at the Des Moines Mutual Aid free food project. (see: Des Moines Mutual Aid Networking). He knows I am a photographer and asked me to take photos at the Iowa Energy Center Meeting yesterday. The reason for going to the meeting is MidAmerican’s CEO Kelcey Brown has refused multiple requests to meet with ICCI and she was going to be at this meeting.

Jake is ICCI’s Climate Justice Organizer. From his bio: He believes that climate justice is an intersectional fight for racial, economic, and social justice. “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.”

“Climate justice is an intersectional fight for racial, economic, and social justice” is the premise of Religious Socialism. https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/

Jake said, “our climate justice team organized this action. We had the intention of shutting down the meeting if we were ignored and did because these coal plants are a leading contributor to the climate crisis which is an existential threat to everything we love.”

There were handouts (below) and signs. And preparation prior to going into the building together. Jake summarized the intention of the meeting, the issues, and what the action would be if the board did not address their coal power plants. Including leaving as a group if the police were called. No arrests were planned. The police were called and showed up right after we walked out of the building.

Here is what Iowa Energy Center Board’s agenda was supposed to be: https://www.iowaeda.com/board-agenda/ieda-energyfeb22/

Our group entered the conference room quietly. Signs were kept out of sight by hiding them under coats. When the meeting asked if anyone wished to speak during public comments, four people from our group raised their hand (who had prepared ahead of time what they would say). Each person was allotted two and a half minutes.

When the first person began speaking, the signs “Your Greed Kills. MidAmerican Iowa’s #1 Polluter” were uncovered and passed among us. But everyone listened quietly with some finger snapping to support certain comments.

When the time for public comments had expired, Jake continued to speak. Asking Kelcey Brown to explain why MidAmerican was not going to shut down their five coal plants, raising many of the points in the handout below. Kelcey Brown said something like thanks for your comments and then didn’t respond when Jake made the ask that she meet with us to discuss our demands. When he kept going after that she briskly walked out. 

Jake continued to speak over calls from the board that the time for public comments was over. He spoke about the existential threat of greenhouse gas emissions. Asking if members of the board weren’t worried how their own children would be affected. He pointed out MidAmerican’s development of wind power wouldn’t matter if they continued burning coal until 2049.

This made me think of the term, going into the belly of the beast, meaning “being in the middle of a very bad situation or a dangerous place.” Also, “speaking truth to power.”

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

The issue of CO2 pipelines came up, which we are definitely against.

Jake and a few others in our group continued to ask questions. After some time, the board adjourned, and we were told it was time to leave. Jake said a few more things, then asked us if we were ready to go. In the preparation Jake said we would leave on our own terms, and we did.

Katie Bryan, ICCI’s communication director called me prior to the action to make sure I knew there might be some intervention at the meeting. And we discussed how I would get the photos to her. She also suggested if possible, sharing photos as the action was occurring. Not being adept at either using my phone camera, or using twitter, I did manage to send her the photo that she was able to use in the tweets below.

Our Demands

  • Shut down coal plants by 2030 at the latest 
  • No utility shut offs and utility bill relief for working people who don’t qualify for LIHEAP 
  • Reinvest into energy efficiency programs above pre-2018 levels

Facts 

MidAmerican Energy is the single biggest carbon polluter in the state

  • They own five coal-powered plants to generate electricity and plan to keep burning coal until 2049
  • A report of MidAmerican’s electricity generation in 2020 shows that all the electricity they generated from coal was in excess of Iowa’s needs 
  • In fact, nearly a third of all the electricity they generated was sold to other utilities out of the state for $124.3 million
  • It’s clear that MidAmerican Energy is burning coal for greed, not for need. And we’re paying the price. 
  • In 2020, the excess coal generation in Iowa sent 16,977,124 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, representing economic harm ranging from $865 million to $2.58 billion.
  • Sponsoring a *small* fleet of electric buses in our city is a greenwashing scheme and an empty gesture when you consider that in order to offset the last two years of MidAm’s C02 emissions, they’d have to electrify 193,000 buses! 

MidAmerican Energy is making working families pay more to keep their homes warm

  • In 2018, MidAmerican spent over $100,000 dollars to lobby Republicans in the Iowa state legislature to pass a bill that made massive cuts to energy efficiency programs
  • This included $9,000 to State Rep. Gary Carlson who spearheaded the bill, $16,000 to Republican Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, $11,5000 to Republican Senate president Jake Chapman, $10,000 to Republican House Majority Leader Pat Grassley, and $10,000 to Kim Reynolds since 2018
  • Since that bill passed, working families are getting less help to weatherize their homes to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • MidAmerican Energy reported kilowatt-hour savings for 2020 that were 64% lower than what the utility achieved the year before the law took effect.
  • Now, MidAmerican customers are paying twice as much for their heat and 61,000 Iowan families have been forced to apply for utility assistance because they can’t pay their bills!  
  • Meanwhile – MidAmerican is on track to make over a billion in yearly profits, another record year! 
  • This is corporate greed and political corruption at it’s finest! 

MidAmerican Energy could save ratepayers over $1 billion by retiring their coal fleet by 2030

Study published by Synapse Energy Economics, a nationally recognized energy analytics firm

  • Recent expert analysis shows that retiring MidAm’s coal fleet by 2030 and replacing it with solar, wind, battery storage, and energy efficiency would save ratepayers $1.2 billion through 2040, while creating high-quality jobs for Iowans.
  • $1.2 billion is their conservative estimate! — In the likely scenario that high gas prices continue and we finally see a national tax on carbon emissions, MidAm would save $5 billion by retiring its coal fleet by 2030 instead of allowing it to remain online indefinitely!!!! 
  • That same scenario would also reduce carbon emissions by 318 million tons by 2040!
  • When the captive customers of MidAmerican pay for their power, they certainly are not agreeing to health impacts or death as a part of the deal. Yet, MidAmerican corporate greed results in 5 to 13 Iowans dying per year and increases the health care costs of Iowans by $64,681,145 to $145,675,343.  

MidAmerican Energy is poisoning Iowa’s water

  • MidAmerican has coal plants and stores ash on the banks of the Missouri, Des Moines, and Mississippi rivers, at least 3 sites have been found to be polluting groundwater above federal advisory levels 
  • MidAmerican emissions are worsening the climate crisis which is making droughts worse and drying up Iowa’s waterways. Hotter temperatures combined with lesser water flow is increasing blue-green algae blooms which make the water toxic. This has gotten so bad, that the major water sources for the Des Moines metro area have been untappable at times during the last two summers. 
  • Water is life!

#StopBurningCoal

Des Moines Mutual Aid Networking

Yesterday I wrote about the Quakers for Abolition Network I am a member of. We will be meeting this afternoon, so I’m thinking of what I hope our network might do. There is so much that needs to be done.

My friend Jake Grobe, from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) was at our Des Moines Mutual Aid food distribution this morning. He doesn’t get to attend too often because of his organizing work. He told me about an upcoming action at MidAmerican Energy to demand that they shut down all their coal plants. Here is the story about a previous action.

Protesters gathered outside the MidAmerican Energy headquarters in downtown Des Moines today to demand Iowa’s largest energy company retire all of its coal plants in nine years. They were part of two groups: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) and the Iowa Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

They also want MidAmerican to invest in retrofitting homes for energy efficiency with a focus on families of color and low-income individuals.

Jake Grobe stood on a ledge wearing a bucket hat and a blue T-shirt with “REVOLUTION NOW” printed in all capital letters. He held a megaphone to his mouth, which was covered by a black and white bandana. (All the protesters wore masks.) Grobe asked the crowd who is most hurt by the effects of climate change.

“It’s Black, Indigenous, it’s poor working families that are unable to recover from flash floods, from droughts from wildfires. Climate crisis increases all inequalities,” he answered himself.

Environmental Activists Urge Iowa Energy Company To Retire Coal Energy By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio, August 18, 2021

One of the things I love about Mutual Aid is how we network about each other’s work. I hadn’t known about the MidAmerican actions, but now I hope to attend the next one. He said it would be good if I could take photos there. This networking lets us know who has skills, like photography, which can help each other’s work.

Speaking of photos prompted me to share about a recent action at Chase Bank in support of the Wet’suwet’en peoples fighting against the Coastal GasLink pipeline. He hadn’t been aware of that.

Support for Wet’suwet’en at Chase bank

That also reminded me of going to SUMMIT headquarters in Ames, Iowa, recently. SUMMIT is one of the companies proposing to build carbon pipelines in the Midwest. My friends Sikowis Nobiss and Mahmud Fitil know of my photography and asked me to attend the gathering there.

Jake and ICCI are also working to stop CO2 pipelines.

We talked about how bad the Iowa legislature is. He said we need our own socialist party. I told him about the Central Iowa Democratic Socialists of America’s prison letter writing project.

He asked what I had been doing. I described the Quakers for Abolition Network, which interested him. He had been arrested three times last year at direct actions and said you don’t really know how bad prison is until you experience it yourself.

our response and an invitation that we allow the Spirit to awaken our imagination to build a world where we can all be safe(r) and flourish without threats of violence.  

The call for the abolishment of police, policing and the police state is not a new call. For centuries, Black and Indigenous people have called for the end of violence enacted on their bodies and communities by police. They have been calling for other possibilities that move us from the appearance of safety to truly safe and whole communities. In the wake of continued high profile police shootings across the United States, many people in the church pushed for an Anabaptist-oriented response and resources that helped us to move as a church into solidarity with the pain and brutality being felt and witnessed on Black, brown and Indigenous people. This curriculum is our response and invitation that we allow the Spirit to awaken our imagination to build a world where we can all be safe(r) and flourish without threats of violence.  

Defund the Police? An Abolition Curriculum
EPSON MFP image

CO2 Pipeline Dangers

After nearly a decade of work to resist the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, Coastal GasLink and other fossil fuel pipelines it is so discouraging to witness plan for an entirely new type of pipeline. These pipelines go by several names, including CO2, or Carbon pipelines. They have the potential to do so much damage, represent grave dangers and have already done so.

My friends Rodger Ruth and Mahmud Fitil have an excellent discussion about these pipelines in the video at the end of this.

But I want to tell you about an event tonight. The carbon in these pipelines is under high pressure. When there is a rupture there is an explosion and then the rapid release of vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which displaces oxygen in the air. People immediately become disorientated. Vehicles stop working because there is not enough oxygen to burn the gas in the engines. The deaths of large numbers of people could occur if such a rupture happened in a highly populated area. First responders become disoriented as well. That is what will be discussed in this webinar.

Such an explosion and those consequences actually happened in Satartia, Mississippi, and will be the discussion of a webinar tonight.

https://www.facebook.com/events/930148724538738/

Join us Monday, January 24, for a webinar hosted by Food & Water Watch and the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, featuring stories from first responders and residents of Satartia, Mississippi, site of the 2020 carbon pipeline rupture, moderated by Dan Zegart, the investigative journalist who broke the story nationally in 2021

Event by Food & Water Watch Iowa and Iowa Chapter Sierra Club
https://www.facebook.com/events/930148724538738/