Emails Raise Ethical Questions Over Trump Official’s Role in Gas Project

The US interior secretary, David Bernhardt, is promoting a fossil fuel project for which his former employer, a lobbying firm, is a paid advocate, e-mails obtained by the Guardian suggest.

Experts say Bernhardt is probably violating ethics guidelines issued by the Trump administration with the stated goal of “draining the swamp”. Based on these rules, Bernhardt should be recused from specific issues involving a former client for at least two years.

The Jordan Cove Energy Project was proposed by the Canadian energy giant Pembina to transport fracked natural gas through Oregon to the international port at Coos Bay in the state. It would include a new 232-mile pipeline that passes through several dozen miles of interior department land. Click here to keep reading @ The Guardian. >>

FBI and Police Monitoring Oregon Pipeline Opponents (The Guardian, Aug. 8, 2019)

Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas infrastructure project in Oregon and circulated intelligence to an email list that included a Republican-aligned anti-environmental PR operative, emails obtained by the Guardian show. The South Western Oregon Joint Task Force (SWOJTF) and its members were monitoring opponents of the Jordan Cove energy project, a proposal by the Canadian energy company Pembina to build the first-ever liquefied natural gas export terminal on the US west coast, as well as a new 232-mile pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas to the port of Coos Bay. Click here to keep reading @ The Guardian. >>

Border Patrol Museum Demonstrators Targeted in Crackdown on Migrant Solidarity Protests (Shadowproof, May 20, 2019)

Four activists turned themselves in to El Paso police on May 13 after the police issued warrants for their arrest related to a nonviolent demonstration inside a United States Border Patrol museum. The 15-minute action in February highlighted the stories of Jakelin Caal Maquin, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, and Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, three migrant youth who died in Border Patrol custody between May and December 2018. […] Activists contend the charges are part of a coordinated campaign to persecute political opponents of the U.S. border enforcement regime — one that relies on misrepresentation and sometimes outright lying, as well as putting opponents of President Donald Trump’s administration in physical danger. Click here to keep reading at Shadowproof. >>

Pennsylvania Governor Under Scrutiny for Role in Approving Pipeline (The Guardian, April 8, 2019)

Internal government records obtained by the Guardian raise questions about the role of Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf in permitting construction of a controversial fossil fuel pipeline that now faces two criminal investigations stemming from widespread environmental and property damage. The 350-mile, $2.5bn Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline through southern Pennsylvania has sparked growing outrage. It has caused roughly 140 documented industrial waste spills into wetlands and waterways, destroying numerous residential water wells, and opening large sinkholesjust steps from residents’ homes. Click here to keep reading at The Guardian. >>

North Dakota Seeks to Restrict Access to Public Records After Standing Rock Reporting Exposed Law Enforcement Abuses (The Intercept, Feb. 11, 2019)

North Dakota lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict the release of records related to security operations involving “critical infrastructure” — a category that includes fossil fuel pipelines. The bill comes after The Intercept and other media outlets published stories documenting law enforcement surveillance and coordination with private security during the Dakota Access pipeline protests, many of which were based on records released under the North Dakota Open Records Act. Click here to keep reading at The Intercept. >>

How Police Are Preparing for a New Pipeline Stand-Off in MN (The Intercept, Jan. 30, 2019)

Minnesota police have spent 18 months preparing for a major standoff over Enbridge Line 3, a tar sands oil pipeline that has yet to receive the green light to build in the state. Records obtained by The Intercept show that law enforcement has engaged in a coordinated effort to identify potential anti-pipeline camps and monitor individual protesters, repeatedly turning for guidance to the North Dakota officials responsible for the militarized response at Standing Rock in 2016. Click here to keep reading at The Intercept. >>

Standing Rock Activist Faces Prison After Officer Shot Him in Face (The Guardian, Oct. 4, 2018)

Marcus Mitchell lay facedown on the snowy North Dakota prairie, blood pouring through the gaping wound on the left side of his face. It was just past midnight on 19 January 2017, and a Morton county sheriff’s deputy had just shot the 21-year-old indigenous activist with a bean bag pellet amid a demonstration near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation against the Dakota Access pipeline. The lead pellet entered Mitchell’s left eye socket, shattering the orbital wall of his eye and his cheekbone, and ripping open a flap of skin nearly to his left ear. Click here to keep reading. >>

Recent Arrests Under New Anti-Protest Law Spotlight Risks That Off-Duty Cops Pose to Pipeline Opponents (Aug. 22, 2018)

During the weekend prior to the publication of this story, four opponents of the Bayou Bridge pipeline and an independent journalist covering their activities were arrested and charged under Louisiana House Bill 727, which makes trespassing on “critical infrastructure” facilities — a category that explicitly includes oil pipelines — a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of $1,000, or both. A total of nine people have now been charged under the law since it took effect on August 1. This story for The Intercept looks at the impacts of the new law, as well as the role of public-private fusion policing in driving this increased criminalization. I traveled to Louisiana to report on this story. Click here to read it. >>

The U.S. and Canada Are Preparing for a New Standing Rock Over the Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline (July 17, 2018)

Kanahus Manuel of the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and Tiny House Warriors.

Following a weeks-long investigation, Alleen Brown and I published a story in The Intercept on how US and Canadian authorities are girding for the mobilization against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion in British Columbia by relying on heightened surveillance and criminalization of the project’s indigenous-led opposition. The story also documents the crisis that has engulfed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration since his decision to purchase the pipeline and associated assets from Houston-based energy giant Kinder Morgan. I reported on this story partly by traveling to British Columbia. Read the story here. >>