Multiple Strategies

Yesterday was another episode in the saga of not only carbon pipelines but Indigenous rights more broadly.

There is increasing pressure from many places to use the idea of carbon capture and storage to meet the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden administration is supporting this unproven technology, which even if it worked would not impact global greenhouse gas concentrations. This is something I’ve written about extensively.
(See: )


Yesterday and today public meetings are being held in Des Moines by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Technical Safety Panel (See: )

Carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines are classified as carrying hazardous materials because they pose significant safety risks in case of a rupture. CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that can displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation at high concentrations. It can also travel long distances from the pipeline after a leak, creating a large danger zone for people and animals. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), CO2 pipelines require special safety measures such as corrosion control, leak detection, emergency response plans, and public awareness programs.

There is environmental racism in building pipelines and storage facilities near Indigenous lands. This occurred when the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline was moved away from Bismark, to Standing Rock, when Bismark residents feared contamination of their water.

This environmental racism also facilitates the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives because of the “man camps” of pipeline/storage construction workers.

Now there is a similar situation, where landowners, developers, and politicians in Bismark are opposing a proposed carbon dioxide storage project near them.

Not in my backyard

They are showing up in earnest in opposition to the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline, a plan of Summit Carbon Solutions to gather up 12 million tons of CO2 from 31 ethanol plants in five states and send it through pipelines to be sequestered at an underground storage facility in western North Dakota.

The project is well underway, but an apparently well-funded and vocal group of folks, many of them who no doubt appreciate the jobs and tax revenues provided by fossil fuels, are fighting the proposed pipeline tooth and nail.

To be fair, these developers, home builders, politicians and homeowners don’t seem to oppose the pipeline in general, they just don’t want it to be close to places where they live or where they might enrich their businesses with new housing development and construction.

In other words, they don’t mind if the pipeline impacts someone else, they just don’t want it to impact them.

Speaking out: Liking the upside means accepting the downside by Steve Andrist, The Bismark Tribune, 5/31/2023

Great Plains Action Society

My friends at the Great Plains Action Society continue to teach us about Indigenous views and rights. My friend Sikowis Nobiss worked to have a panel discussion related to Indigenous peoples as part of this PHMSA gathering. You can hear her, and others’ remarks here:

Sikowis spoke about most tribal nations not being consulted about these pipelines.

And spoke about the safety equipment that is required for first responders wherever the pipeline is built. Such as oxygen supplies and electric vehicles. Leaked carbon dioxide can spread quickly and stays near the ground, potentially causing asphyxia. Sikowis asks, where is the money going to come from for tribal nations to purchase such safety equipment?

She also spoke about the biome below ground and how we don’t know how pipelines and carbon storage affect that.

Sikowis concluded by pointing out how these are unproven technologies. And asks for a moratorium on these projects until more research is done.

Our Executive Director, Sikowis Nobiss, is speaking today on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Technical Safety Panel regarding safety concerns in light of several proposed projects slated for Iowa and the Great Plains region after a recent incident in 2021 at Satartia, Mississippi. Earlier this year PHMSA has stated updated safety regulations tailored specifically for carbon dioxide pipelines are needed and will take 1-3 years to establish—the same timeframe these proposed projects aim for completion.

As such, we call for a federal moratorium until regulations are complete and moreover don’t believe they should be actualized at all! Rather, re-Matriation of Prairie can safely, effectively and efficiently sequester carbon dioxide just as good or better than any of these techno-solutions.

(See video here:


Multiple Strategies

It was very important that Sikowis was able to speak during the PHMSA meeting.

We had also planned to hold a rally outside the Marriott Hotel the meetings were held at. Unfortunately our efforts were thwarted by police who were working for the hotel. So we gathered across the street with our signs, and people spoke about these issues.

Carbon pipeline safety meeting

Public meetings about carbon pipeline safety are being held today and tomorrow in Des Moines. These meetings are sponsored by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). (See: ).

CO2 Safety Public Meeting 2023

This public public meeting and forum on carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline safety is entitled: “CO2 Public Meeting 2023.” The public meeting will serve as an opportunity for pipeline stakeholders to help inform pipeline safety-related rulemaking decisions and share information surrounding CO2 pipeline safety. Key stakeholders include the public, states, tribal governments, other federal agencies, industry, and international regulators and/or organizations. Key topics are expected to include:

  • Safety expectations for pipeline operators.
  • General state of CO2 pipeline infrastructure – current mileage and forecasts.
  • Federal and state jurisdictions and authorities.
  • Public awareness, engagement, and emergency notification.
  • Emergency equipment, training, and response.
  • Dispersion modeling.
  • Safety measures to address other constituents besides CO2 in CO2 pipelines.
  • Leak detection and reporting.
  • Geohazards.
  • Conversion to service.
  • Environmental justice

CO2 Safety Public Meeting 2023

Satartia, Mississippi

February 22, 2020, a carbon capture pipeline ruptured in Satartia, Mississippi, which brought attention to the multiple hazards of carbon pipeline ruptures.

Just after 7pm on February 22, 2020, a carbon capture pipeline ruptured in Satartia, Mississippi. Shortly after a greenish cloud settled into the valley surrounding the little town. Within minutes, people were inside the cloud, gasping for air, nauseated, and dazed. What follows are firsthand accounts of the victims and first responders.

PHMSA Announces New Safety Measures to Protect Americans From Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Failures After Satartia, MS Leak

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced it is taking steps to implement new measures to strengthen its safety oversight of carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines around the country and protect communities from dangerous pipeline failures. The new measures, as well as an enforcement action taken today are a result of PHMSA’s investigation into a CO2 pipeline failure in Satartia, Mississippi in 2020 that resulted in local evacuations and caused almost 50 people to seek medical attention. 

 To strengthen CO2 pipeline safety, PHMSA is undertaking the following:

  • initiating a new rulemaking to update standards for CO2 pipelines, including requirements related to emergency preparedness, and response;
  • issuing a Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Civil Penalty, and Proposed Compliance Order (NOPV) to Denbury Gulf Coast Pipeline, LLC for multiple probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations (PSRs). The proposed civil penalties amount to $3,866,734.  
  • completing a failure investigation report for the 2020 pipeline failure in Satartia, Mississippi;
  • issuing an updated nationwide advisory bulletin to all pipeline operators underscoring the need to plan for and mitigate risks related to land-movements and geohazards that pose risks to pipeline integrity like the 2020 incident in Satartia, Mississippi; and
  • conducting research solicitations to strengthen pipeline safety of CO2 pipelines.

“I recently visited with the first responders in Satartia to hear firsthand of the pipeline failure so that we can improve safety and environmental protections for CO2 pipelines and work to protect communities from experiences like this,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “The safety of the American people is paramount and we’re taking action to strengthen CO2 pipeline safety standards to better protect communities, our first responders, and our environment.” 

PHMSA’s investigation identified a number of probable violations in connection with the 2020 accident, including the following alleged failures: 

  • the lack of timely notification to the National Response Center to ensure the nearby communities were informed of the threat; 
  • the absence of written procedures for conducting normal operations, as well as those that would allow the operator to appropriately respond to emergencies, such as guidelines for communicating with emergency responders; and 
  • a failure to conduct routine inspections of its rights-of-way, which would have fostered a better understanding of the environmental conditions surrounding its facilities that could pose a threat to the safe operation of the pipeline.

PHMSA Announces New Safety Measures to Protect Americans From Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Failures After Satartia, MS Leak. Thursday, May 26, 2022

Although carbon capture and storage is a false solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is tremendous pressure from many sources to build these systems so companies can claim they are meeting requirements to reduce emissions.

Great Plains Action Society’s Statement on C02 Pipelines

Great Plains Action Society is firmly opposed to proposed carbon capture and sequestration or storage (CCS) projects (aka, CO2 Pipelines) such as Summit’s Midwest Carbon Express, Navigator’s Heartland Greenway, and Wolf Carbon Solutions’ ADM pipelines. The reasons for our opposition are numerous, however, our greatest concern is that CCS only serves the interests of the fossil fuel industry and that the government will sanction further land theft and harm to communities on Indigenous territories. Carbon capture and sequestration is by design a way to prolong the usage of fossil fuels while reducing CO2 emissions. Amidst this climate emergency, we must demand a reduction and phase out fossil fuels as a wider part of a just transition. 

We are also concerned about intense water usage as drought and warmer temperatures are greatly affecting access to clean water. Fossil fuel companies have known that their products were contributing to climate change for over forty years and now they see CCS as a government bail-out with many governmental subsidies providing just the type of perverse incentive for CCS operators to manipulate the system. Additionally, there are the same concerns present with other pipeline projects in the area regarding degradation of the land, disturbance of sacred ceremonial and burial sites. CO2 pipelines are also dangerous because when they rupture, they can spread over 1300 ft in under 4 min making it impossible to breathe and for vehicles to drive. First responders are not at all prepared to deal with such a catastrophe and many have been pushing back C02 pipelines for this reason alone. Furthermore, Indigenous communities will inevitably face encroachment on to treaty land, including environmentally racist moves on behalf of individual states to make sure that CCS does not negatively affect wealthy, white communities with influential power.

CCS is greenwashing rather than a solution to the climate emergency that Iowans deserve, as Indigenous people, we remain committed to the water, the land, and the future generations of Iowans.

Locally we have held multiple events to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon pipelines.
(See: )

What should be non-negotiable

We have a choice for future generations.

  • Take drastic environmental measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or
  • Stay on the present course of continuing to view fossil fuels as resources for profit. To continue to make incremental changes that can never be enough.

This morning is particularly devastating for me because of the bartering for approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in exchange for support of the legislation around the debt ceiling.

The Biden administration says MVP is an important part of U.S. energy security.

I know the pieces of the legislation that will be included in the final version are in flux. But whether approval of the MVP is part of that, the point is the continuing willingness of politicians and their backers to exploit any natural resources that will generate profits for them. The current administration was elected on promises to protect our environment. You can point out the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline as an environmental win, one close to my heart. But oil leases in the Gulf, drilling in Alaska, and support of the carbon capture and storage boondoggle are just of few of the environmental harms the administration supports.
(See: )

Also extremely troubling is the obliteration of oversight from Federal and State agencies, or the courts!

We can only hope and pray this particular language is not included in the final legislation. That seems highly unlikely because of the vote needed from Sen. Manchin to support the debt ceiling bill.

What should be non-negotiable are any infrastructure construction, plans, laws, or regulations that harm Mother Earth.

A friend recently put it this way: The capitalist system is incapable of addressing environmental devastation.

Another important reason to embrace mutual aid.

The legislation would direct key agencies to issue all necessary permits and mandate that “no court shall have jurisdiction to review any action taken” that grants an approval necessary for the construction and initial operation of the embattled pipeline.

Last month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm signaled the Biden administration’s support for the pipeline when she wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying the “MVP project will enhance the Nation’s critical infrastructure for energy and national security.” The letter triggered backlash from some Democrats.

The debt ceiling legislation would direct key agencies to issue all necessary permits and mandate that “no court shall have jurisdiction to review any action taken” that grants an approval necessary for the construction and initial operation of the embattled pipeline. A federal water permit from the Army Corps of Engineers is still needed by the project, for example, and would need to be issued within 21 days after the bill’s enactment.

If the bill is signed into law, the pipeline would no longer need a new water certification from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to complete its federal approvals and restart construction, according to a congressional aide familiar with the legislation. The 4th Circuit vacated that certification at the beginning of April, prompting opponents of the project to urge investors to walk away from the 42-inch diameter pipeline.

The debt ceiling bill text states that “Congress hereby finds and declares that the timely completion of construction and operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is required in the national interest.”

Mountain Valley pipeline poised for completion by Carlos Anchondo, Nina Farah, Energy Wire, May 30, 2023

The text of the debt ceiling bill released on Sunday would approve all the remaining permits to complete the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline, delivering a big win for West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.

But the backing of the pipeline that would deliver gas from West Virginia into the Southeast is sure to set off bitter complaints from the environmental groups that have fought its construction for years and turned the project into a symbol of their struggle against fossil fuels.

The project has won support from the White House, which argues the controversial project is needed for U.S. energy security. Its approval comes after the approval of the Willow oil project in Alaska, which activists have said undercuts the Biden administration’s climate promises.

Debt ceiling deal includes surprise approval of natural gas pipeline championed by Manchin. The controversial natural gas project has been a priority for West Virginia, but its approval will bring new criticism for the Biden administration by Josh Siegel, Politico, May 28, 2023

‘Cowardice’ vs. ‘compromise’

While the section on Mountain Valley was welcomed by West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R), it wasn’t acceptable to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

Kaine is “extremely disappointed by the provision of the bill to greenlight the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia, bypassing the normal judicial and administrative review process every other energy project has to go through,” said Janine Kritschgau, a Kaine spokesperson, in an emailed statement Monday.

The senator plans to file an amendment to remove the provision related to Mountain Valley, the Kaine spokesperson added.

Mountain Valley pipeline poised for completion by Carlos Anchondo, Nina Farah, Energy Wire, May 30, 2023

During his campaign, Biden promised he would be “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” NPR writes. However, this has not come to fruition during his presidency.

Despite the implications for climate change, the Gulf of Mexico auction was actually a stipulation of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that arose as a compromise between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and other Senate Democrats. The auction, called Lease Sale 259, was to be held “no later than March 30, 2023,” and put up for sale an Italy-sized area for the purpose of oil drilling. Manchin’s IRA requirements also called for the sale of land in the Cook Inlet of Alaska, according to CNN. That lease is likely to begin in September 2023.

Why did Biden auction off the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling? by Devika Rao, Yahoo News, April 2, 2023

#StopCopCity activists shouldn’t be tried as terrorists

One of the key tactics of authoritarianism is to brutally suppress dissent.

I’ve been writing about the huge proposed police training facility in Atlanta.

This project has generated a great deal of opposition, in part because it furthers the advancement of violent, militarized policing. Just the opposite of what so many of us are working toward, an end to the carceral systems in this country.

The campaign to defend the forest in Atlanta, Georgia has become one of the most vibrant movements of the post-Trump era, interweaving environmentalism, abolitionism, and the fight against gentrification. Yet as police shift to employing lethal violence and indiscriminate terrorism charges, it has reached a critical juncture. Participants explore how this struggle has developed over the past year, reflecting on the practices that have given it strength and analyzing the challenges before it.

The Forest in the City. Two Years of Forest Defense in Atlanta, Georgia by CrimethInc., 2/22/2023

I came of age at the time this country was in the midst of significant unrest related to the war in Viet Nam, and racial injustice. Looking back at the late 1960s, it looks like a different world. A world where dissent and free speech were protected. In the decades since then, I’ve been involved in many acts of protest. It was known that law enforcement was keeping track of this dissent. But most of us didn’t fear the police then. We White people, anyway.

Nonviolent civil disobedience, where an arrest is likely, is a tactic to bring attention to injustice. Those involved in intentional disobedience did so to demonstrate how much we were willing to risk to bring attention to injustice. The Keystone Pledge of Resistance involved training people to hold acts of nonviolent disobedience to stop the approval of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the US-Canada border. President Obama denied that permit.

Not one of the activists I know condone any use of violence.

Some activists have decided the threats from increasing greenhouse gas emissions, leading to increasing environmental chaos, are such an existential threat that they had to break the law.

The defense of necessity may apply when an individual commits a criminal act during an emergency situation in order to prevent a greater harm from happening. In such circumstances, our legal system typically excuses the individual’s criminal act because it was justified, or finds that no criminal act has occurred. Although necessity may seem like a defense that would be commonly invoked by defendants seeking to avoid criminal charges, its application is limited by several important requirements:

  • The defendant must reasonably have believed that there was an actual and specific threat that required immediate action
  • The defendant must have had no realistic alternative to completing the criminal act
  • The harm caused by the criminal act must not be greater than the harm avoided
  • The defendant did not himself contribute to or cause the threat

Only if all of these requirements are met, will the defense of necessity be applicable.

The Necessity Defense in Criminal Law Cases

I’ve learned to be careful to not include people’s faces when I take photos at justice events, having learned law enforcement looks at photos to identify people for arrest.

Recent efforts to criminalize protests in the United States have been observed in various states. For instance, 20 states have passed laws that criminalize protesting, including on infrastructure such as pipelines. Since 2016, as many as 225 anti-protest bills have been introduced in 45 states, with over 100 introduced since the Black Liberation demonstrations in June 2020. According to the US Protest Law Tracker, 51 bills were under consideration in 24 state legislatures as of February 2021.

These efforts to criminalize protest have raised concerns about the potential infringement on the right to peaceful assembly. The US Protest Law Tracker provides a comprehensive overview of state and federal legislation introduced since January 2017 that restricts the right to peaceful assembly.

Returning to authoritarianism, recent years have seen the escalation of charges against peaceful protesters. Even so, I was shocked yesterday to learn that those who protest to stop cop city have been designated a terrorism-related threat. I learned that protesters might be considered domestic violent extremists (DVEs).

“Since spring of 2022, alleged DVEs (Domestic Violent Extremists) in Georgia have cited anarchist violent extremism, animal rights/environmental violent extremism, and anti-law enforcement sentiment to justify criminal activity in opposition to a planned public safety training facility in Atlanta. Criminal acts have included an alleged shooting and assaults targeting law enforcement and property damage targeting the facility, construction companies, and financial institutions for their perceived involvement with the planned facility”

Summary of Terrorism-Related Threat to the United States, Department of Homeland Security

Atlanta police on Monday charged 23 people with state domestic terrorism charges, a day after officers detained dozens of people following a violent clash at the proposed construction site of what has been dubbed “Cop City” – a $90m police and firefighter training center in a forest near Atlanta.

Atlanta police charge 23 with domestic terrorism amid ‘Cop City’ week of action. Move follows violent weekend clash at proposed construction site of Georgia police training facility in forest by Edwin Rios, The Guardian, March 6, 2023

THREE ACTIVISTS INVOLVED in the Defend Atlanta Forest movement are facing charges of felony intimidation of an officer of the state and misdemeanor stalking for placing flyers on mailboxes in a neighborhood in Bartow County, Georgia, about 40 miles from Atlanta. The detainees were held for days in solitary confinement, a lawyer working on the case and a relative of one of the activists told The Intercept.

The flyer, according to the lawyer, named a police officer who lives in the area where the activists were arrested and alleged he was connected to the killing in January of forest defender Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán during a multi-agency raid on the Atlanta Forest protest encampment.

Julia Dupuis, an activist named Charley who asked that their last name be withheld for security concerns, and an activist named Wednesday were arrested at a gas station outside the town of Cartersville on Friday. According to their lawyer, Lyra Foster, the activists drove once through the neighborhood and placed flyers on numerous mailboxes without exiting their vehicle or approaching any residents. Foster said Wednesday was a passenger in the car and not posting flyers.

If found guilty, they could each face up to 20 years in prison.

“They were not handing out flyers, they were actually extremely careful in trying to avoid doing anything illegal,” Foster told The Intercept. “They posted the flyers on mailboxes, they did not even get out of the van to put flyers on the doors, and did not open the mailboxes because they thought that was potentially illegal.”

“They posted the flyers on mailboxes, they did not even get out of the van to put flyers on the doors.”

The attorney added that the activists “certainly had no intention to intimidate the officer” and “were trying to spread awareness about the police killing.”

Activists face felonies for distributing flyers on “Cop City” protester killing. The activists face 20 years in prison for handing out flyers that identified a cop they said was linked to the killing of a protester in the Atlanta forest by Natasha Lennard and Akela Lacy, The Intercept, May 2, 2023

Yesterday a group of us concerned about “Cop City” and policing in general, carried signs and a banner calling attention to the Nationwide Insurance company’s insurance coverage for the construction of “Cop City”. In light of the escalation of charges for protesting, I am not including any photos with people’s faces visible. “Insures Homicide” refers to the police killing of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán (Tortuguita) who was tree-sitting in the forest.
(See: )

For more information about Nationwide, see:

CO2 Pipeline Safety Meeting

A public meeting about carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline safety will be held in Des Moines on May 31st and June 1st. Register Here… to attend in person or remotely.

Although carbon capture and storage is a false solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is tremendous pressure from many sources to build these systems so companies can claim they are meeting requirements to reduce emissions.

This is a significant problem because the Biden administration is pushing carbon capture technology. As one example, the Biden-Harris Administration launched $2.6 billion funding programs to slash carbon emissions by advancing carbon capture demonstration projects and expanding regional pipeline networks to transport CO2 for permanent geologic storage or for conversion into valued end uses. The two programs are the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program and the Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Program, which are funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Pipeline Safety

New carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline safety measures were announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on May 26, 2022[1]. PHMSA aims to strengthen its safety oversight of CO2 pipelines across the country and protect communities from dangerous pipeline failure.

Carbon pipeline ruptures or leaks can pose serious risks, as an explosive plume of CO2 gas can emerge, leading to asphyxiation of living beings and preventing combustion vehicles from starting to enable escape[4]. The world’s first CO2 pipeline explosion in Satartia, Mississippi, serves as a harrowing reminder of the potential dangers associated with carbon pipelines.


One topic will be dispersion modeling of carbon dioxide from a pipeline rupture.

Modelling of accidental releases from a high pressure CO2 pipelines by Menso Molaga, Corina Damb, 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license

Meeting Information

Meeting Information
StartsMay 31, 2023 at 8:00 AM CT
EndsJun  1, 2023 at 5:00 PM CT
LocationDes Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa.
Virtual InformationTo be announced
On-Line RegistrationRegister Here…
Purpose & SummaryThe purpose of the two-day CO2 Public Meeting is to inform rulemaking decisions, by discussing key topics such as public awareness, emergency response and effective communication with emergency responders and the public, dispersion modeling, safety measures to address other constituents besides CO2 in CO2 Pipelines, leak detection and reporting, and Geohazards. The CO2 meeting will be webcast for those who cannot attend in person.


This public public meeting and forum on carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline safety is entitled: “CO2 Public Meeting 2023.” The public meeting will serve as an opportunity for pipeline stakeholders to help inform pipeline safety-related rulemaking decisions and share information surrounding CO2 pipeline safety. Key stakeholders include the public, states, tribal governments, other federal agencies, industry, and international regulators and/or organizations. Key topics are expected to include:

  • Safety expectations for pipeline operators.
  • General state of CO2 pipeline infrastructure – current mileage and forecasts.
  • Federal and state jurisdictions and authorities.
  • Public awareness, engagement, and emergency notification.
  • Emergency equipment, training, and response.
  • Dispersion modeling.
  • Safety measures to address other constituents besides CO2 in CO2 pipelines.
  • Leak detection and reporting.
  • Geohazards.
  • Conversion to service.
  • Environmental justice.

Anticipated speakers/participants are expected to include:

  • Public advocacy groups.
  • Pipeline operators.
  • Federal regulators.
  • Tribal governments.
  • States through the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR).
  • Other U.S. government agencies.
  • International governments or other international organizations.
  • Others from academia, emergency response community and industry.

DATES: The CO2 Public Meeting 2023 will be held on May 31–June 1, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT). Anyone who would like to attend the public meeting must register by May 12, 2023. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign language interpretation or other aids, are asked to notify PHMSA no later than May 12, 2023.

ADDRESSES: This public meeting and forum will be held in person and via webcast. The agenda and instructions on how to attend will be published once they are finalized on the following public meeting registration page:

PRESENTATIONS: Presentations will be available on the meeting website and on the E-gov website,, at docket number PHMSA-2023-0013, no later than 30 days following the meeting.SUBMITTING COMMENTS:
You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. PHMSA-2023-0013, by any of the following methods:

  • E-Gov Web: This site allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any agency. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management System: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, D.C. 20590–0001.
  • Hand Delivery: DOT Docket Management System: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

Fax: 202-493-2251. The Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation will not issue confirmation notices for faxed comments.

  • Instructions: Identify Docket No. PHMSA-2023-0013 at the beginning of your comments. If you submit your comments by mail, please submit two copies. If you wish to receive confirmation that PHMSA received your comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Internet users may submit comments at:
  • Note: All comments received are posted without edits to, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
  • Confidential Business Information: Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments in response to this notice contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and is relevant or responsive to this notice, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Pursuant to 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 190.343, you may ask PHMSA to provide confidential treatment to information you give the agency by taking the following steps: (1) mark each page of the original document submission containing CBI as “Confidential;” (2) send PHMSA a copy of the original document with the CBI deleted along with the original, unaltered document; and (3) explain why the information you are submitting is CBI. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Max Kieba, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, DOT: PHMSA – PHP-40, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001. Any commentary PHMSA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket.
  • Privacy Act: DOT may solicit comments from the public regarding certain general notices. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at
  • Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. Alternatively, you may review the documents in person at the street address listed above.


Max Kieba, Director, Program Development, by phone at 202-420-9169 or via e-mail at max.kieba @

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:The mission of PHMSA is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy products and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. This meeting is a follow-up to PHMSA’s May 2022 press release announcing new safety measures to protect Americans from carbon dioxide pipeline failures after the Satartia, Mississippi, incident (, and the December 2022 public meeting that discussed several topics, including some aspects of calculating potential impact radii for CO2 pipeline releases. PHMSA also received a letter from the Pipeline Safety Trust on February 17, 2023 (Docket No. PHMSA-2022-0125), formally requesting that PHMSA hold a public meeting on CO2 pipeline safety and the announced rulemaking under RIN 2137-AF60.

Public Participation: The meeting and forum will be open to the public. Members of the public who wish to attend must register on the meeting website, including their names and organization affiliation. PHMSA is committed to providing all participants with equal access to these meetings. If you need disability accommodations, please contact Janice Morgan by e-mail at janice.morgan @

PHMSA is not always able to publish a notice in the Federal Register quickly enough to provide timely notification of last-minute changes that impact scheduled meetings. Therefore, individuals should check the meeting website listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice or contact Janice Morgan by phone at 202-815-4705 or via e-mail at janice.morgan @ regarding any possible changes.

PHMSA invites public participation and public comment on the topics addressed in this public meeting and forum. Please review the ADDRESSES section of this notice for information on how to submit written comments.

Agenda Summary: This CO2 Safety Public Meeting is to help inform pipeline safety-related rulemaking decisions and provide a venue for information exchange among key

stakeholders including the public, states, tribal governments, other federal agencies, industry, and international colleagues.

Carbon Capture update 4/4/2023

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) continues to be promoted as an important way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. There are many reasons why CCUS is not a viable solution, as described in detail in a new report from the Oakland Institute titled The Great Carbon Boondoggle.

I just saw an advertisement from Valero, one of the fossil fuel pipeline companies supporting CCUS. The ad asks why everyone is focused on the past. Then talks about how Valero is saving the planet by removing carbon dioxide from the air. The entire ad was about CCUS.


SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO, “Valero”) and BlackRock Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund III announced today that they are partnering with Navigator Energy Services (“Navigator”) to develop an industrial scale carbon capture pipeline system (“CCS”). The initial phase is expected to span more than 1,200 miles of new carbon dioxide gathering and transportation pipelines across five Midwest states with the capability of permanently storing up to 5 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Pending third party customer feedback, the system could be expanded to transport and sequester up to 8 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Valero, the largest renewable fuels producer in North America, is expected to become an anchor shipper by securing a majority of the initial available system capacity. Navigator is expected to lead the construction and operations of the system and anticipates operations to begin late 2024. In the coming months, Navigator will seek additional commitments to utilize the remaining capacity via a binding open season process.

Valero and BlackRock Partner with Navigator to Announce Large-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage Project

Boondoggle: work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value

During the current legislative session, the Iowa House passed legislation that would have carbon pipeline companies restrict the use of eminent domain to force landowners to allow pipeline construction on their land. But the Iowa Senate will not vote on it. This photo was taken outside the Iowa State Capitol during a rally against carbon pipelines.

(c)2023 Jeff Kisling

A House bill that would restrict the use of eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines — an idea favored by a strong majority of Iowans — won’t receive a Senate hearing ahead of a key legislative deadline, meaning the bill is effectively dead for the session.

The bill represented the most serious legislative effort this year to address the concerns of farmers and other landowners who fear they could be forced to sell access to their land to companies seeking to build pipelines across the state.

Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, the bill’s House floor manager, said the Senate’s decision not to move the bill is disappointing.

“I think the bill we passed was important protections for our landowners and I’m very disappointed that they’re choosing not to move it,” he said Wednesday.

Holt pointed to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll this month, which found more than three-fourths of Iowans, or 78%, oppose letting carbon pipelines use eminent domain for their projects.

That includes 72% of Republicans, 79% of independents and 82% of Democrats.

Senate won’t curb eminent domain for carbon pipelines; most Iowans say they want limits by Stephen Gruber-Miller, Des Moines Register, March 29, 2023

Why Is Carbon Capture & Storage A False Climate Solution?

The promoters of the Midwest Carbon Express fail to reckon with the growing body of evidence exposing CCS as a false climate solution. CCS projects have systematically overpromised and underdelivered. Despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent on CCS to date, the technology has failed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, as it has “not been proven feasible or economic at scale.” [27]

Crucially, the ability to capture and safely contain CO2 permanently underground has not been proven, a dangerous uncertainty given CO2 must be stored underground for thousands of years without leaking to effectively reduce emissions. [28]

It also risks permanently contaminating underground aquifers and poisoning precious drinking water for nearby communities.[29]

Additionally, applying CCS to industrial sources such as ethanol plants requires the creation of massive infrastructure and transportation of carbon to storage sites, and injecting it underground poses new environmental, health, and safety hazards in communities targeted for CCS infrastructure. As carbon capture infrastructure needs to be built near emitting sites, facilities would further impact those already burdened by industrial pollution. [30]

In many cases, this disproportionately impacts lower-income,Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities—furthering a vicious cycle of environmental racism.[31] To date, CCS has primarily been used to prop up the ineffective and environmentally unsustainable fossil fuel energy system. In the US, a dozen carbon capture plants are in operation—the majority of which are attached to ethanol, natural gas processing, or fertilizer plants—which generate emissions that are high in CO2. [32] Over 95 percent of the CO2 captured by these plants is currently used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR)—where instead of storing the captured CO2, it is injected into depleted underground oil reservoirs to boost oil production in wells.[33]

There are legitimate concerns that investing billions in carbon capture infrastructure to lower emissions from fossil fuels and ethanol production will reduce incentives for investors and policymakers to transition towards more sustainable and effective solutions. These include investing in wind or solar energy sources, phasing out of industrial agricultural production, developing infrastructure and services such as public transport. [34]

The Great Carbon Boondoggle

Biden Administration strongly supports Carbon Capture and Storage

The Biden administration has hailed CCS and carbon pipelines as vital infrastructure to meet climate targets and claimed that the US needs 65,000 additional miles of pipeline by 2050. [3] The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed in November 2021 provides over eight billion dollars as federal grants, loans, and loan guarantees for carbon storage and pipelines.[4] In 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which substantially increased the already abundant tax credits for CCS projects and made it easier for projects to qualify for these credits.[5] This flood of public money has resulted in over 40 CCS projects announced in 2021 alone. [6]
In Midwestern US, Archer-Daniel Midlands (ADM), Summit Carbon Solutions, and Navigator CO2 Ventures are currently advancing three major CCS projects. 

The Great Carbon Boondoggle

Endnotes from The Great Carbon Boondoggle

[3] Douglas, L. “U.S. carbon pipeline proposals trigger backlash over potential land seizures.” Reuters, February 7, 2022.
[4] Department of Energy. “Fact Sheet: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – Opportunities to Accelerate Deployment in Fossil Energy and Carbon Management Activities.” September 29, 2022.
October 10, 2022).
[5] Gibson Dunn. “The Inflation Reduction Act Includes Significant Benefits for the Carbon Capture Industry.” August 12, 2022. benefits-for-the-carbon-capture-industry/
[6] Paul, S. “Global carbon capture projects surge 50% in 9 months–research.” Reuters, October 11, 2021.

[27] Center for International Environmental Law. Confronting the Myth of Carbon-Free Fossil Fuels: Why Carbon Capture Is Not a Climate Solution. July, 2021.
[28] Center for International Environmental Law. Carbon Capture and Storage: An Expensive and Dangerous Plan for Louisiana. June 25, 2021.
[29] Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Danger Ahead: The Public Health Disaster That Awaits From Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).” February 10, 2022.
[30] Ibid.
[31] For example, in Louisiana, proposed CCS infrastructure would impact Black and Brown, lower-income communities living in “Cancer Alley,” the industrial region named after decades of poor air and water quality from industrial pollution increased cancer rates and other health risks. Ibid.
[32] Kusnetz, N. “Fossil Fuel Companies Are Quietly Scoring Big Money for Their Preferred Climate Solution: Carbon Capture and Storage.” Inside Climate News, August 17, 2021.
[33] Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Fact Sheet: Low Carbon Standard, Ethanol and Carbon Capture. August 24, 2022.
[34] Ibid.

Three Years Later

Don’t you find there are periods of rapid change interspersed among long plateaus in your life? Although those plateaus are becoming fewer and lasting shorter periods of time.

The last three years have been a time of momentous change, both in my life, and in the world. I’m trying to explain what has been happening to me, because these experiences convince me we must all make similar changes if we are going to make the major adjustments needed to try to mitigate deepening environmental damage. The world has been spiraling out of control these past three years, dramatically impacting all our communities and individual lives. I think of these changes as related to the idea of a house of cards. The cards in this case being dollars of the capitalist economy.

(c)2023 Jeff Kisling

Foundational Stories

I was born into a rural Iowa Quaker community and have been a Quaker all my life. I attended Scattergood Friends School, a Quaker boarding high school on a farm in Eastern Iowa.

Recently I was challenged to consider what my foundational stories are, how they began, how they changed over time, and what they are now. I’ve been writing this series of blog posts about these stories, which are related to the intersections between my Quaker faith, protecting Mother Earth, and photography. You can read my foundational stories here:

I spent my entire adult life in Indianapolis. I arrived in 1970 to spend two years in a Quaker community organizing project, Friends Volunteer Service Mission. To support myself financially, I received on-the-job training to be a respiratory therapy technician. I later obtained a degree in Respiratory Therapy, and a career in neonatal respiratory therapy, and then thirty years doing research in infant lung development and disease in Indianapolis at Riley Hosptial for Children, Indiana University Medical Center. I retired and returned to Iowa in the summer of 2017.

Part of the Mother Earth piece of my foundational stories was “driven” by a spiritual leading that showed me I could not contribute to the pollution from owning a personal automobile, so I didn’t. That had all kinds of repercussions.

Although my leading to try to live without a personal automobile grew over time, the actual decision came about abruptly. I had a couple of used cars but felt increasingly uncomfortable having one. When my car was totaled in an accident, I took the opportunity to see if I could live without a car in the city. It took some time to work out the bus schedules, especially because I was working all kinds of hours and on weekends. And I had to learn how to shop such that I could carry everything home.

But because we derive our sense of identity and socioeconomic status from work embedded in a profit driven economy, transformative day-to-day self-sufficient activities, when they are applied in an urban or suburban setting, give rise to second set of intangible sociocultural barriers that involve taking significant social risks. Peter Lipman the former (founding) chair of Transition Network and Common Cause Foundation encourages us to take these social and cultural risks. But what exactly are the more difficult risks needed to move us in the right direction? It is important to identify intangible socioeconomic challenges in order to side-step them.

In short, our identities are tied up in what we do for a living and how we do what we do for a living must radically change. Because, let’s be honest, living and working, having lifestyles and livelihoods that are truly regenerative and sustainable look nothing like how most of us currently live and work.

Against the Economic Grain: Addressing the Social Challenges of Sustainable Livelihoods by Kim Kendall, originally published by, January 27, 2023

It was difficult for us (environmentalists) to find pressure points, places where we could call attention to the existential threats of environmental chaos from burning fossil fuels. In 2013, activists recognized the application for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline as such an opportunity. This decision was solely up to President Obama, allowing us a focus for our efforts. I was trained as an Action Lead in the Keystone Pledge of Resistance in 2013. There I learned many skills related to community organizing. Four of us trained about forty people in the Indianapolis community, and organized many demonstrations and actions against fossil fuel companies and the banks that fund them.

We were able to train others in those skills later when the White Pines Wilderness Academy in Indianapolis wanted to bring attention to the dangers of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Wet’suwet’en peoples

I was always looking for news about fossil fuels and our environment. This blog post from 1/14/2020 describes my discovery of the Wet’suwet’en peoples and their struggles against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) liquid natural gas pipeline being constructed through their pristine territory in British Columbia.

I have just begun to learn about the Wet’suwet’en people. A friend of mine from the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March traveled to the Unist’ot’en camp about 4 years ago and found it to be a life-changing experience. I also asked other friends I made during the March about this, and they indicated support for these people.

You may wonder why I am trying to learn and write about the Wet’suwet’en people now. The literal answer is I saw this article recently: Hereditary First Nation chiefs issue eviction notice to Coastal GasLink contractors. TC Energy says it signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along pipeline’s path. Joel Dryden · CBC News · Posted: Jan 05, 2020.

Any efforts to stop pipelines catch my interest.

Wet’suwt’en People, Jeff Kisling, 1/14/2020

I wrote this booklet about the Wet’suwet’en struggles, including some videos of confrontations with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Assault rifles trained on unarmed youth.

Spirit led connection to Mutual Aid

The title THREE YEARS LATER refers to my introduction to Des Moines Mutual Aid a little over three years ago. I took the photo below on Feb 7, 2020, when a small group of us organized a vigil in support of the Wet’suwet’en. I know the Spirit led Ronnie James, from Des Moines Mutual Aid, to join us. He was surprised that anyone outside his circle knew what was happening to the Wet’suwet’en. Ronnie is an Indigenous organizer working with the Great Plains Action Society (GPAS), and as such was interested to see if these were people who could become allies.

That meeting changed my life in many ways, all stemming from what I was learning from Ronnie and others about Mutual Aid, which has become the focus of my justice work since.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed documenting justice actions photographically. I like the challenge of an ever-moving group of people, the varieties of signs, the reactions of the people and the public. But for the past several years posting photos of demonstrations is discouraged if people’s faces are visible. Which police sometimes later use to bring charges against those people.

Ronnie and I are both part of Des Moines Mutual Aid’s free food project. The Wet’suwet’en being part of our history, we continue to support them. Because of COVID and people wearing masks, we were comfortable taking this photo during one of our Mutual Aid gatherings for the food project.

Des Moines Mutual Aid supports Wet’suwet’en peoples’ struggle again Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline

Three Years Later

And yet, three years later, the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ struggles continue.

March 29, 2023
Contact: Jennifer Wickham, Media Coordinator, Gidim’ten Checkpoint,, 778-210-0067

URGENT MEDIA ADVISORY: RCMP C-IRG Raid Wet’suwet’en Village Site, Make 5 Arrests 


WET’SUWET’EN TERRITORY (Smithers, BC) – This morning, a large force of RCMP C-IRG raided a Gidimt’en village site and arrested five land and water defenders, mostly Indigenous women, including Gidimt’en Chief Woos’ daughter. The raid accompanied a search warrant for theft under $5000 with no clear relation to the Gidimt’en village site.

This large-scale action by the RCMP’s Community Industry Response Group (C-IRG) involved more than a dozen police vehicles and officers drawn from throughout British Columbia. The arrests come just weeks after the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) announced they have “initiated a systemic investigation into the activities and operations of the RCMP “E” Division Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG).”

In the days leading to this police action, RCMP C-IRG have been found patrolling Wet’suwet’en traplines and cultural use areas, harassing and intimidating Wet’suwet’en members and disrupting constitutionally protected Wet’suwet’en cultural activities. Members of a private security firm hired by Coastal Gaslink pipeline, Forsythe, have also escalated harassment and surveillance efforts against Wet’suwet’en members in recent days. 

Both the RCMP’s C-IRG unit and Forsythe are named as defendants in an ongoing lawsuit launched by Wet’suwet’en members, which alleges that police and private security have launched a coordinated campaign of harassment and intimidation in an effort to force Wet’suwet’en people to abandon their unceded territories. 

Sleydo’, spokesperson for Gidimt’en Checkpoint, said: 

“This harassment and intimidation is exactly the kind of violence designed to drive us from our homelands. The constant threat of violence and criminalization for merely existing on our own lands must have been what our ancestors felt when Indian agents and RCMP were burning us out of our homes as late as the 50s in our area. The colonial project continues at the hands of industry’s private mercenaries–C-IRG”

The arrests come days before Indigenous delegates are set to arrive at Royal Bank of Canada’s Annual General Meeting to oppose expansion of fossil fuels without consent on their territories, including Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs who oppose RBC’s funding of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline.

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks offered the following:

“This is harassment, and exactly what Royal Bank of Canada is funding. Ahead of its shareholder meeting next week, RBC continues to fund corporate colonialism, and displace Indigenous peoples from our lands at gunpoint – all for a fracked gas pipeline we cannot afford now or in the future. In the context of the theft of our ancestral land, alleging stolen saws and clothing is outrageous.”

Yesterday morning at my Quaker meeting, we considered the following set of questions related to our environmental responsibilities.



All of creation is divine and interdependent: air, water, soil, and all that lives and grows. Since human beings are part of this fragile and mysterious web, whenever we pollute or neglect the earth we pollute and neglect our own wellsprings. Developing a keen awareness of our role in the universe is essential if we are to live peacefully within creation.

The way we choose to live each day‑‑as we manufacture, package, purchase and recycle goods, use resources, dispose of water, ‑design homes, plan families and travel‑affects the present and future of life on the planet. The thought and effort we give to replenishing what we receive from the earth, to keeping informed and promoting beneficial legislation on issues which affect the earth, to envisioning community with environmental conscience, are ways in which we contribute to the ongoing health of the planet we inhabit.

Preserving the quality of life on Earth calls forth all of our spiritual resources. Listening to and heeding the leadings of the Holy Spirit can help us develop qualities which enable us to become more sensitive to all life


  • What are we doing about our disproportionate use of the world’s resources?
  • Do we see unreasonable exploitation in our relationship ‑with the rest of creation?
  • How can we nurture reverence and respect for life?  How I can we become more fully aware of our interdependent relationship with the rest of creation?
  • To what extent are we aware of all life and the role we play? What can we do in our own lives and communities to address environmental concerns?

Faith and Practice, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)

Stop Oil Trains

I’ve been horrified, watching the scene of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. That reminded me of another train derailment which was in Sandpoint, Idaho in 2016.

The press release below for a protest against fossil fuels train pollution at that time reminds me of one of my solo demonstrations. Oil trains were moving through Indianapolis at the time (2016).

One of the arguments sometimes made for pipelines was they were a safer way to transport oil than trains. We have to keep all fossil fuel in the ground. Thus, we don’t need oil trains or any more pipelines, refineries, cargo ships or any other fossil fuel infrastructure.

We had planned a demonstration, but when no one else showed up, I asked someone walking by to take a photo of me and my sign.

2016 Downtown Indianapolis


Media contact: Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide., 208-301-8039

Saturday Protest of Fossil Fuels Train Pollution

February 1, 10 am rally & carpool at Sandpoint City Beach Park, & 11 am march from Bonners Ferry Visitors Center (Sandpoint, Idaho)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), #No2ndBridge, and regional climate activists are hosting a Fossil Fuels Train Pollution Protest in Bonner and Boundary counties on Saturday, February 1. Participants are gathering at 10 am around the City Beach Park pavilion in Sandpoint, Idaho, for a brief, information sharing rally. Carpoolers are next traveling to the Gateway Visitors Center in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to march at 11 am and return to Sandpoint by 1 pm.

This community event commemorates the one-month anniversary of the January 1, rockslide derailment and January 26 removal and current disassembly of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, mixed freight train locomotive that submerged and leaked at least 2,100 gallons of diesel fuel and engine oil into the Kootenai River near Moyie Springs, north Idaho.

Resistance to ongoing, coal, oil, and hazardous materials train pollution and derailment risks and impacts to public and environmental health and safety is increasing across the Idaho Panhandle. Rural, rail corridor residents continue to oppose bridge, track, and operations expansions that compound these threats, such as BNSF’s inherently perilous, present and proposed, fossil fuels pipelines-on-rails across north Idaho, along the Kootenai River, and almost one mile over Lake Pend Oreille.

After dozens of derailments along waterways and deadly and injurious railroad collisions in north Idaho and western Montana during the last decade, frontline activists are demanding that multiple government agencies provide to the public and enforce several measures, to prevent and remediate the ecosystem and economic devastation imposed on rural communities by the Kootenai River wreck and similar disasters. Through comment letters, they are requesting derailment oil spill information, independent water quality and environmental monitoring, protection of native and endangered fish and wildlife, a Federal Railroad Administration incident investigation and penalties, and railroad operation revisions and locomotive recovery plans.

Protest organizers ask that participants dress for winter warmth and dryness, bring friends, family, and creative, relevant signs and banners, assist with event transportation, and sign the Petition to Deny and Revoke Permits for the BNSF Sandpoint Junction Connector Project [1]. Contact WIRT for further event and emerging issue information, also described through the linked event flyer and announcements [2] and compiled photos and updates [3] on WIRT facebook and website pages.Sandpoint, ID: Protest of Fossil Fuels Train Pollution, RISING TIDE NORTH AMERICA, JANUARY 30, 2020

[1] Petition to Deny and Revoke Permits for the BNSF Sandpoint Junction Connector Project

[2] Fossil Fuels Train Pollution Protest

[3] BNSF Kootenai River Wreck and Spill 1-1-20

Movement to Stop Cop City grows

What do you think about “Cop City”?

Cop City is a proposed $90 million, 300-acre police training compound backed by the Atlanta Police Foundation. It will be the largest police training facility in the US, to include a mock city where police will train with firearms, tear gas, helicopters, and explosive devices to repress protest and mass arrest.

This is exactly the opposite of what those of us in the abolition (of police and prisons) movement are working for. All the more concerning because Cop City would be used to train police from all over the country. Imagine your local police going to Cop City and returning with all this knowledge about militarized policing and repressing dissent.
(See: )

It’s impossible for me to not see the connections of the police killings of Manuel Teran, Tyre Nichols, George Floyd, and hundreds of others.

A coalition of more than 1,300 climate and racial justice groups from across the United States on Monday joined a call for an independent investigation into the police killing of forest defender Manuel Paez Terán earlier this month, and demanded the resignation of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

The groups noted that Dickens and the Atlanta City Council have the authority to terminate the land lease for Cop City in the forest and called for the mayor to do so immediately, denouncing his strong support for the Atlanta Police Foundation’s proposal.

Ikiya Collective, a signatory of the letter, noted that the training slated to take place at Cop City “will impact organizing across the country” as police are trained to respond to popular uprisings.

“This is a national issue,” said the collective. “Climate justice and police brutality are interconnected, which is why we are joining the Stop Cop City calls to action with the frontline communities in Atlanta.”

1,300+ US Groups Demand Atlanta Mayor’s Resignation Over Forest Defender Tortuguita’s Killing by Julia Conley, Common Dreams, January 30, 2023

I attended a vigil for Tortuguita in Chicago the day after they were killed by police. One of the signs posted beside candles and other tributes included words taken from an interview Tortuguita gave to writer David Peisner. This is what they said of the movement to Stop Cop City:

If enough people decide to do this with nonviolent action, you can overwhelm the infrastructure [of the state]. That’s something they fear more than violence in the streets. Because violence in the streets, they’ll win. They have the guns for it. We don’t.

The Death of a Forest Defender at “Stop Cop City” by Kelly Hayes, TRUTHOUT, January 26,2023

NLG National joins our Atlanta and University of Georgia Chapters and comrades in mourning the devastating loss of a beloved community member. Tortuguita was a kind, passionate, and caring activist, who coordinated mutual aid and served as a trained medic. The Atlanta Community Press Collective is compiling memories and accounts of their life, and we encourage everyone to honor and remember Tortuguita through the words of those who love them.

As radical movement legal activists, NLG recognizes that this horrific murder and the related arrests are part of a nationwide attack on protesters, land defenders, and marginalized folks, especially Black, Indigenous, and other activists of color. Labeling these demonstrators “domestic terrorists” is a harrowing repetition of No DAPL activist Jessica Reznicek’s terrorist enhancement last year, and both are clear indicators that the people in power view protesters and environmental activists as enemies of the state.


Jessica Reznicek

As mentioned in the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) statement above, domestic terrorism charges are being brought to stifle nonviolent civil disobedience as part of a nationwide attack on protesters, land defenders, and marginalized folks, especially Black, Indigenous, and other activists of color.

A PANEL OF three Trump-appointed judges this week upheld an excessive eight-year prison sentence handed down to climate activist Jessica Reznicek, ruling that a terrorism enhancement attached to her sentence was “harmless.”

The terror enhancement, which dramatically increased Reznicek’s sentence from its original recommended range, set a troubling precedent. Decided by a lower court in 2021, it contends that Reznicek’s acts against private property were “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government.” The appellate justices’ decision to uphold her sentence, callously dismissing the challenge to her terrorism enhancement, doubles down on a chilling message: Those who take direct action against rapacious energy corporations can be treated as enemies of the state.

As her legal battles continue, Reznicek, whose acts of sabotage place her firmly on the right side of history, if not the law, deserves full-throated public support. As she noted in her 2017 statement claiming responsibility for the actions against the Dakota Access pipeline: “We acted from our hearts and never threatened human life nor personal property. What we did do was fight a private corporation that has run rampant across our country seizing land and polluting our nation’s water supply.”

Right-Wing Judges Say It’s “Harmless” to Label Climate Activist a Terrorist. A court upheld Jessica Reznicek’s excessive sentence for vandalism aimed at stopping the Dakota Access pipeline by Natasha Lennard, The Intercept, June 8, 2022

Stop Cop City

Stop Cop City (SCC) or Defend Atlanta Forest is a decentralized social movement in AtlantaGeorgiaUnited States, whose goal is to stop construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center by the Atlanta Police Foundation and the City of Atlanta. Opponents of the facility are concerned about the growth of policing in the city, which has witnessed several protests against police violence following the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the killing of Rayshard Brooks,[2] both by police officers.[3]

The proposed location for the facility is the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, and opponents of the facility particularly object to this location because of its history and because destruction of the forest conflicts with their concerns about environmental justice, and attempts to preserve the land as an urban park and conservation area.[4]

Stop Cop City, Wikipedia

In Solidarity with Atlanta’s Forest Defenders

I’ve heard of tree sitting as a form of civil disobedience/protest for many years and admire those who do that. The Atlanta Defend the Forest movement of this story is also directly related to abolition and defunding the police. The Atlanta Police Foundation wants to destroy the forest in order to construct a national police training facility.

This article is a moving remembrance to the police killing of Tortuguita.

Little Turtles’s War. The shooting death of a protestor at the hands of police feels like both an inevitable outcome of this long battle over Atlanta’s South River Forest and a completely preventable tragedy by David Peisner, The Bitter Southerner, January 20, 2023

“We call on all people of good conscience to stand in solidarity with the movement to stop Cop City and defend the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta.”

Defend the Altanta Forest

an autonomous movement for the future of South Atlanta

Rising Tide Statement on Tortuguita’s Murder: In Solidarity with Atlanta’s Forest Defenders


Rising Tide North America statement on the murder of Tortuguita by the police in Atlanta, Georgia:

“The news has spread around the country and around the world. On the morning of January 18, police began an attack on the Weelaunee Forest in south Atlanta. In this assault, they shot and killed Cami Teran, known by friends in the movement to defend the forest as Tortuguita.

Tortuguita, remembered by many as “fierce and loving,” was a Black and Indigenous anarchist. Their life was spent seeking a world without prisons and without police where people could care for each other and be in relationship with the natural world. This moving rememberance shares just a small part of their spirit and their story.

The Atlanta Police Foundation wants to clear hundreds of acres of forest to build a massive training facility that would include a mock city and be a site for police forces from across the country to come train in urban warfare.  Tortuguita was part of the movement to protect the Atlanta forest and stop this project.  The movement is centered in Atlanta and includes community groups, forest defenders, lawyers, activists fighting gentrification, racism, and police brutality, and neighbors of the forest. But the movement is not only in Atlanta. Everywhere that police oppress indigenous people to protect pipelines, everywhere that forests are cleared, everywhere that profit and control are valued more than life, this movement resonates. The struggle in Atlanta is all of our struggle.

You can learn more about this movement and how communities in Atlanta and around the country are responding in recent reports from Democracy Now and Rolling Stone. Police would like to blame their brutality on Tortuguita and their fellow forest defenders. There must be an independent investigation of Tortuguita’s murder.

Our hearts are filled with love, sorrow, and rage in solidarity with all those grieving their death.

If you are moved to gather or act in Tortuguita’s memory, vigils are planned in many towns and cities through the weekend. If there is nothing planned near you, organize something with your friends and invite your communities. Support the people arrested in the raid. The outpouring of love and solidarity feeds those grieving and gathering in Atlanta as they care for each other in coming days and weeks.

Here are some other ways to support the movement from the statement in Solidarity with the movement to stop Cop City & defend the Weelaunee Forest, endorsed by RTNA:

  • Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support legal costs for arrested protestors and ongoing legal action.
  • Call on investors in the project to divest from Cop City (list of APF investors). Call on builders of the project to drop their construction contracts.
  • Organize political solidarity bail funds, forest defense funds, and forest defense committees where you live.
  • Organize or participate in local solidarity actions.
  • Endorse and circulate this statement of solidarity.”

On January 18, in the course of their latest militarized raid on the forest, police in Atlanta shot and killed a person. This is only the most recent of a series of violent police retaliations against the movement. The official narrative is that Cop City is necessary to make Atlanta “safe,” but this brutal killing reveals what they mean when they use that word.

Forests are the lungs of planet Earth. The destruction of forests affects all of us. So do the gentrification and police violence that the bulldozing of Weelaunee Forest would facilitate. What is happening in Atlanta is not a local issue.

Politicians who support Cop City have attempted to discredit forest defenders as “outside agitators.” This smear has a disgraceful history in the South, where authorities have used it against abolitionists, labor organizers, and the Civil Rights Movement, among others. The goal of those who spread this narrative is to discourage solidarity and isolate communities from each other while offering a pretext to bring in state and federal forces, who are the actual “outside agitators.” The consequence of that strategy is on full display in the tragedy of January 18.

Replacing a forest with a police training center will only create a more violently policed society, in which taxpayer resources enrich police and weapons companies rather than addressing social needs. Mass incarceration and police militarization have failed to bring down crime or improve conditions for poor and working-class communities.

In Atlanta and across the US, investment in police budgets comes at the expense of access to food, education, childcare, and healthcare, of affordable and stable housing, of parks and public spaces, of transit and the free movement of people, of economic stability for the many. Concentrating resources in the hands of police serves to defend the extreme accumulation of wealth and power by corporations and the very rich.

What do cops do with their increased budgets and their carte blanche from politicians? They kill people, every single day. They incarcerate and traumatize schoolchildren, parents, loved ones who are simply struggling to survive. We must not settle for a society organized recklessly upon the values of violence, racism, greed, and careless indifference to life.

The struggle that is playing out in Atlanta is a contest for the future. As the catastrophic effects of climate change hammer our communities with hurricanes, heat waves, and forest fires, the stakes of this contest are clearer than ever. It will determine whether those who come after us inherit an inhabitable Earth or a police state nightmare. It is up to us to create a peaceful society that does not treat human life as expendable.

The forest defenders are trying to create a better world for all of us. We owe it to the people of Atlanta and to future generations everywhere to support them.

Here are some ways to support the defense of the forest in Atlanta:

  • Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support legal costs for arrested protestors and ongoing legal action.
  • Call on investors in the project to divest from Cop City (list of APF investors). Call on builders of the project to drop their construction contracts.
  • Organize political solidarity bail funds, forest defense funds, and forest defense committees where you live.
  • Participate in or organize local solidarity actions.
  • Endorse and circulate this statement of solidarity. Email