Bakken Related Articles:
Bakken flyer Oct 2015
Bakken hearing speeches in Boone October, 2015:
I am pro-labor and pro-union. All Iowans who want to work deserve a job that pays a living wage. And the pipeline corporation says it will create 12 to 15 permanent jobs.
On the other hand is the devastation that occurs when a pipeline leaks. The Bakken Pipeline is a 30-inch diameter underground pipe that would carry volatile crude oil across 343 miles of Iowa land.
It is human nature to consider how a policy will affect us individually. But when the issue under consideration is one that may affect everyone in the state, it is imperative that we zoom out and make a decision based on the well-being of our fellow citizens and our children’s children.
The 100 Grannies are working with a process called Community Rights – where residents in a town or county define what constitutes their quality of life and then pass ordinances to safeguard what they’ve defined. Typically ordinances have been used to protect families from pollution or ensure water is not bottled and sold for profit. But the process can also be used to require a living wage for all workers.
If you are interested in learning more about the community rights process, please talk with one of the Grannies.
And remember, whatever decision the Iowa Utility Board makes about the Bakken pipeline, we can protect our locality through the community rights process. We can still assert our democratic right to institute a living wage, as well as halting corporate actions that threaten the health of our families and our land.
I’m one of the 100Grannies and I’m not paid to be here. I’m here to help give our grand kids a better future. I’ve lived in Iowa all my life, raised on a farm in Hancock county. I’m concerned about Iowa land & water, about preserving the precious little wildlife habitat we have left in our state. Seems to me that the pipeline brings great risk to all that. What happens if it gets approved? Do we give up?
We don’t have to give up if just ONE of our counties passed a Community Rights ordinance. That could STOP Dakota Access Corporation from using eminent domain to SEIZE our land.
WE could STOP the entire pipeline!
I am one of a growing number of citizens getting involved in the Community Rights movement. For 15 years now this movement has been working with our local governments to shift political power back to local communities. 200 communities in nine states have ALREADY PASSED locally enforceable laws that do three things. Those three things are:
#1) PROHIBITING harmful corporate activities that the community doesn’t want,
#2) DEFENDING the INHERENT RIGHT of local communities to govern ourselves and to PROTECT our own health and welfare, and
#3) REMOVING unjust corporate “rights” from corporations that can trump the rights of citizens.
Imagine what might happen if our communities INSISTED on deciding for OURSELVES what sorts of corporate industries would be allowed where we live. My guess is large corporations would no longer have the political and legal power to run ROUGHSHOD over our livelihoods and our land. We could protect our rights to a safe environment.
We do not have to quit if the IUB approves the pipeline. Your community can organize & stand up to corporate power with Community Rights and can prosper. We don’t lose till we quit MY community didn’t authorize the Iowa Utilities Board to make this decision for the citizens of Iowa! Did YOURS? Why do WE, the sovereign people of Iowa, continue to ALLOW unelected and unaccountable regulatory groups – like the Iowa Utilities Board – to make these important decisions FOR us? Does our state government fear its own citizens?
Hundreds of concerned citizens have traveled long distances today to testify about the Bakken pipeline. Whether we’re here to support or oppose the pipeline, the fact is that each of us is allowed to speak for only two minutes and then SHUT UP for the rest of the day, and the rest of the decision making process. That violates MY constitutional rights, AND YOURS! Want to learn more about Community Rights ordinances?
Come talk to me, or any of the other women wearing these green shirts. Thank you!
When Senator Harken wrote about climate change he explained that the Democrats believe we are headed for a cliff. Republicans believe the earth warms and cools in a natural cycle. As a Democrat I can understand the cycle but what if the earth warms to the point of becoming uninhabitable before it cools again? The international scientific community has agreed that 2 degrees of warming is the limit to sustaining life as we know it. So far it has risen .85 degrees Celcius and is bound to heat more because of what we’ve already done.
Climate change is measurable now and it’s not a matter of believing in it or not. The oceans are warming 3.2 degrees yearly and scientists believe it is unstoppable. The coral reefs, which provide food and livelihood to 500 million people are in trouble. Species are going extinct in record numbers.
Global warming is fueled by carbon being dug up from the ground.
We need to keep the carbon in the ground. Extracting crude oil for the profit of a corporation at the expense of a safe environment for us all is a bad idea.
We the people of Iowa deserve better than an unelected and unaccountable Iowa Utility Board having the authority to decide whether we get this dangerous pipeline, and whether private land owners will have their property rights taken away from them and handed to a corporation. This whole regulatory hearing process is illegitimate, as it violates our right to govern ourselves in our communities, and to decide for ourselves whether the pipeline is a good fit for our state. I encourage you to find out more about the Community Rights movement, which could help you pass a locally-enforceable law in your county that bans the pipeline. Look for women wearing these green shirts in the back of the hall later to answer your questions about a more powerful strategy for saying NO to this ridiculous proposal. Thank You.
Mary Beth Versgrove
My name is Mary Beth Versgrove and I am here in solidarity with those Iowans who are stewards of the earth to oppose the proposed Bakken pipeline.
Recently I relearned some US history in a course called Democracy School taught by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). Originally charters were only granted for a single purpose that would do no harm and at the same time serve the public good. Corporations had a limited life span, could not contribute to organizations or own any land beyond what was necessary to fulfill their purpose.
Now all that has changed. The Supreme Court has granted corporations constitutional rights. In return, corporations have encouraged government to establish regulatory agencies that appear to protect the public, but in fact are simply a buffer between the corporations and the outrage and fear of the people.
Today we the people of Iowa address the Iowa Utilities Board, a regulatory body, with regard to a petition by Dakota Access, LLC for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit. Thousands of objections have been sent to the IUB raising concerns for the health and well being of we the people of Iowa, should this petition be granted. Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation they represent are NOT a utility and the service they propose will NOT serve any public purpose or benefit the state of Iowa. The IUB has no authority vested in them by the people of Iowa who will the ones to pay the price for their decision on this petition.
We the people must act to protect OUR RIGHTS, granted by the Iowa constitution – to possess and protect our property, along with our right to pursue and obtain safety and happiness (Article 1 Sec 1 Bill of Rights). We must never forget that “all political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and that THEY HAVE THE RIGHT, AT ALL TIMES, TO ALTER OR REFORM THE SAME, whenever the public good may require it.” (Article 1 Sec 2)
Even if the IUB grants this petition by Dakota Access, we the people, have the power to stop it. See any of the 100Grannies, here today, to find out how. Recall the words engraved at the State Capitol rotunda, “Nothing is politically RIGHT which is morally WRONG. (O’Connell)”
My name is Miriam Kashia and I live in North Liberty, IA
I am here as a citizen of the state of Iowa to claim my sovereign rights as stated in the Iowa Constitution, Article 1, Bill of Rights, Section 2 which states: “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.”
There is a rising movement called “community rights” – currently over 200 communities in 9 states – in which local ordinances are passed to assure that the rights of “we the people” prevail rather than the profit-motivated interests of corporations. These ordinances have protected towns from corporate activities such as fracking, CAFOs, and the use of toxic sewer sludge as fertilizer. Such ordinances can be used to obstruct this pipeline.
We, the people of Iowa, deserve better: This whole regulatory hearing process is illegitimate, as it violates our right to govern ourselves in our communities, and to decide for ourselves whether the pipeline is a good fit for our state. I encourage you to find out more about the Community Rights Movement, which could help you pass a locally-enforceable law in your county that would ban the pipeline. Look for the women wearing these green shirts. We can answer your questions about a more powerful strategy for saying NO to this disastrous proposal.
We are in a David and Goliath struggle, and we all know how that came out. We don’t lose until we quit. And we’re not quitting!
Our state’s constitution says in Article 1, bill of rights first paragraph entitled “Rights of persons” that we have certain inalienable rights, among those are “enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”
Second paragraph in Article 1 of our state constitution says:
All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.
Local citizens have an inherent right to self-government, guaranteed by both the U.S. and state constitutions, and as a result hold the right to pass laws to protect their health, safety and welfare.
We, the people of Iowa, deserve better than an unelected and unaccountable Iowa Utility Board having the authority to decide whether we get this dangerous pipeline, and whether private land owners will have our property rights taken away from us and handed to a corporation. This whole regulatory hearing process is illegitimate, as it violates our right to govern ourselves in our communities, and to decide for ourselves whether the pipeline is a good fit for our state. I encourage you to find out more about the Community Rights movement, which could help you pass a locally-enforceable law in your county that bans the pipeline. I along with other women wearing these green shirts, will be in the back of the hall later to answer your questions about a more powerful strategy for saying NO to this ridiculous proposal. Thank you.
I am Ann Christenson, a member of 100Grannies for a fossil fuel-free future. I live In Iowa City.
This issue is not a question of the safety of pipe or rail. It is not a question of jobs. It is a question of an inhabitable world. It is a question of the rights of We the People.
Let me read to you a few lines from the Constitution of the State of Iowa:
Section 1. Rights of persons All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights – among which are acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Section 2. Political power. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people. . . .
Section 8. Personal security-searches and seizures. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated. . .
What is eminent domain by an out-of-state nonprofit corporation than unreasonable seizure?
How dare you—a public regulatory board charged with protecting the public interest!? How dare Dakota Access!? The people of Iowa are speaking loud and clearly that this pipeline is neither needed nor wanted, is of no benefit to the state, and is a land grab for private profit.
According to a Pipeline Safety Trust analysis of federal data, new pipelines are failing at an annual average incident rate exceeding that of pre-1940s pipes. It is estimated that the Keystone XL pipeline would have experienced 91 leaks during its expected 50-year lifespan.
What do you say to the folks hit by disasters like the 2010 Michigan pipeline rupture that went unnoticed for 17 hours, allowing it to spew more than 800,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River, or the pipeline break in 2011 that spilled 63,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River in Montana, or the 2013 Arkansas pipeline breach that spilled 210,000 gallons in the town of Mayflower? No amount of cleanup, no amount of fines can undo the damage to homes, water, and wildlife.
Iowa pipelines had 42 “significant incidents” from 2001 through 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
*********************** (2 minute time ended comments here********
Time is running out, and we need bold climate action to defend against an unspeakable future.
In denying the permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline, extraction of millions of barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil has been prevented and millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide will not be emitted into our atmosphere. That decision was correct on moral as well as scientific grounds. This is the kind of strong leadership that you owe to our world’s most vulnerable communities and that we need to ensure that our children grow up on a healthy planet.
For 150 years, Americans have been burning fossil fuels with reckless abandon. Now, we’re at a breaking point.
The only statutory qualification that has to be met in Iowa prior to issuing this permit is that the project “promotes the public convenience and necessity.”
It is as a native Iowan, raised and educated to be a critical thinker in our great state, the “bread basket”of the country, that I speak today for the future generations including my grandchildren.
Just as the Keystone XL Pipeline does not serve the national interests of the United States, the Bakken Pipeline does not serve the interests of Iowa! Iowa needs to continue with the strong message that we are serious about taking action to lower carbon emissions! The rest of the country and the world are watching what we do here in Iowa! Iowa needs to continue as a leader in jobs from the sustainable energies of wind and solar. That is Iowa’s legacy! That is the future vision for Our great state! 50% Clean Energy by 2030!
We in the 100 Grannies for a Livable Future, have come to understand that we can no longer expect our elected, heavily-lobbied state and federal officials, or their government regulatory agencies, to prevent corporations from harming us and destroying the natural world, which is the source of all life.
We are committed, through the community rights process, to protect this portion of the planet by opposing the current power structures and to regain our democratic right to keep our children’s children safe and our amazing planet healthy.
We can stop this outrageous project by passing locally enforceable ordinances in the counties it will pass through by starting the community rights process. We can still assert our democratic rights to halt toxic corporate actions and protect our communities.
I would like to end with a quote from Winona LaDuke,
“Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn’t make a corporation a terrorist.”
We the People can do this together!
I am one of the 100Grannies for a Livable Future. I am here today to speak to the people in the audience of the Iowa Utility Board public comment session. I would like to remind you that the members of this board were not elected by the people.
Section 2 of Article I – Bill of Rights – in the Constitution of the State of Iowa states: All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.
We must ask for our rights to be upheld. Our right to clean water is part of our security since we cannot live without clean water. The Bakken pipeline will definitely put clean water at risk. Many major rivers and creeks will be in danger of being polluted.
The right to protect our land from oil spills is also at risk. And the fact that the Dakota Access has a surety bond of $250,000.00 is a joke because the cost of an oil spill would run much more than this on one person’s land. A “for profit” corporation’s rights should not trump a real person’s right to protect their land.
The 100Grannies are working to create a local Bill of Rights – where a town or county defines the qualities that their area must have to make it a good place to live – one that offers its residents life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Two hundred ordinances have been passed in 9 states. Most of those ordinances are protecting their citizens from fracking, heavy-metal-containing sewer sludge being used as farm fertilizer and crude oil pipelines.
We, the people of Iowa, should decide whether we want this “for profit” pipeline running through our state. This regulatory hearing process violates our right to govern ourselves in our communities. I encourage you to find out more about the Community Rights movement, which could help you pass a locally-enforceable law in your county to ban the pipeline. Look for these these green shirts in the back of the hall later to answer your questions about a more powerful strategy for taking back our rights.
My name is Donna Rupp and I am an Iowan. Because I am an elementary school librarian, I am going to tell you a story.
A friend of mine, Pat, had a lovely home on a tree- filled lot and a garden that grew prize-winning tomatoes. She took good care of her home, made sure the roof didn’t leak and the grass was mowed. And Pat was a good neighbor, helping out others when she could. That’s the kind of person Pat was.
One day, the next door neighbors, the Dakotas, asked Pat if she would permit them to run a pipeline through her yard so they could gain access otherwise unavailable. They offered her a one-time payment that would allow her to buy a new car. She liked that idea. And they promised to hire her brother-in-law’s construction company to build it. She was assured they would maintain the line in good condition and she would hardly notice it once it was done. And, because she was a good neighbor, she said okay.
Well, everything went along fine for a time, just like the Dakotas said. No problems. Then one sad day the Dakotas lost their house in a foreclosure. No one came around to check the pipeline. Soon Pat began noticing the rabbits in the neighborhood had some strange birth defects. When she went to her basement, something had been oozing through the cinderblock walls and there was a faint odor. Her garden was just not the same either. Her tomatoes failed to thrive. Some of her lovely trees were dying. And Pat had been having headaches.
Finally she had had enough and asked the city inspectors to check things out. Their report was grim. Leaks in the pipeline had damage her home and land irreversibly. Its value was starkly undermined and would never recover. Worst of all, she would have to give up her garden.
Poor Pat. She had wanted to be a good neighbor and help out the Dakotas. She had been excited about the new car, but it had gotten old. She had wanted to provide good jobs for her brother-in-law, but they only lasted a short time. She had believed the Dakotas when they promised to take good care of the pipeline, but they didn’t. Now it was too late to go back.