Another Pipeline??

Dear Friends,

Stringing pipe depicted in August 2 FERC report.

This week, two Boone County landowners contacted me when they noticed a large amount of pipe arriving at the staging area used last year to stockpile materials for the Dakota Access pipeline. Ever suspicious of Dakota Access’ activities and motives, folks in Boone County were rightfully on guard.

So, I dug into it a bit. I contacted officials with both the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). I learned that the pipe is for the Northern Natural Gas (NNG) Company Des Moines B-Line Loop Project (Docket No. CP17-434-000, for those inclined to dig further). It’ll extend 13.8 miles through Boone and Polk counties.

The filing from Northern Natural Gas to FERC. Click on the picture to read document in full.

Here’s one of the documents from FERC that I’ve been studying. It tells a bit about the project, and shows photos of extensive crop destruction. It opens the door to a lot of unanswered questions. For starters:

– Why is NNG’s project just coming to the public’s attention now? Did we miss something? Were the press and general public asleep at the wheel? Or did NNG hope to avoid public awareness, input, and potentially, opposition?

– Will this project expand the capacity to transport natural gas? If so, by how much? If it does increase gas production, that raises concerns about the impact on climate change, since methane is arguably more problematic than carbon dioxide. (Check out this Union of Concerned Scientists article on the subject.)

– Is the gas being transported through this pipeline fracked? If so, there are concerns about water quality and land-use issues at the site where the gas is being fracked.

August 2 FERC report shows clearing of beans.

– How much corn and bean crop will this pipeline project destroy? Are landowners being compensated for crop damage? Since the project is fairly small, why couldn’t NNG wait until the crops have been harvested? It seems doubtful that farmers were given much notice about this project, because I suspect they wouldn’t have wasted time and money planting this spring if they’d known their crops were going to be destroyed.

– Is NNG using only existing easements, or is new land being condemned through eminent domain?

– What precautions are being taken to assure the safety and protection of Beaver Creek, which the pipeline crosses three times?

– How many men and women working on this pipeline are from Iowa? Thinking back to the many times I visited construction sites along the Dakota Access pipeline, only one out of every ten vehicles had an Iowa license plate.

I’m sure I’m missing some important questions. I’ve known about this situation only since late Wednesday. If you live in Boone County or feel inclined to an investigative road trip, I’d appreciate any additional information you can share. Let’s remain vigilant, and let’s keep pushing back against big fossil fuel companies (mostly from Texas, it seems) that think they can trample on our land, water, climate and property rights with impunity.

 

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Do You Support or Oppose DAPL Property Destruction?

Dear Friends,

Before we ask “What Would Jesus Do?” with regards the destruction of equipment along the Dakota Access pipeline, I’ve got two other asks:

1. Sign the petition demanding that Senate Republicans, not Iowa taxpayers, pay the settlement in Kirsten Anderson’s sexual harassment lawsuit. Click here.

2. Sign the petition calling on Gov. Reynolds to remove Richard Lozier from the Iowa Utilities Board for his blatant conflict of interest. Click here.

When it comes to oil pipelines, heavy equipment, valves, fences and other property owned by Dakota Access, we don’t have to ask “What Would Jessica and Ruby Do?” {Check out the conversation on the July 24 Fallon Forum 7.24.17 podcast.}

Unicorn Riot reports video of Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya removing letters from the IUB sign.

At a press conference Monday in front the Iowa Utilities Board, Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya confessed to sabotaging a whole lot of Dakota Access property over the past seven months. (Read their official statement here.) At the conclusion of the press conference, to drive home their point, they pulled out tools and began removing the IUB sign. That’s when State troopers stepped in and arrested them.

Jessica and Ruby have sparked a critical conversation about whether such actions are violent or non-violent, effective or ineffective — a dialogue more important now than ever. As the unholy collusion of Big Business and Big Government becomes less and less accountable, more and more disgruntled Americans are embracing tactics that, historically, have been regarded as extreme, dangerous and counter productive.

Usually in my weekly blog, I come at you with a strong opinion. Today, I’m going to leave you hanging as I want this to be a bottom-up, free-flowing dialogue — one that analyzes conscience-based property destruction from both a strategic and moral perspective. I’ve already received a lot of feedback on both sides of the issue (check out my Facebook page and weigh in with your own thoughts).

Back to my original question: “What Would Jesus Do?” If a poll were taken today, I suspect a solid majority would oppose what Jessica and Ruby did.

But what about Jesus overturning the money changers’ tables in the Temple? Violent or non-violent? Effective or non-effective?

What about the colonial “Sons of Liberty” dumping tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 to spark the American Revolution?

 

 

What about Gandhi’s burning of English-made cloth to ignite a movement to liberate India from dependence on foreign goods?

 

 

 

And what do we make of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s comments in The Trumpet of Conscience? “I am aware that there are many who wince at a distinction between property and persons — who hold both sacrosanct. My views are not so rigid. A life is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man.”

This is not a comfortable conversation, and none of the examples I cite are black-and-white. During my three decades of activism on behalf of people, planet and political reform, I’ve come down against property destruction as an acceptable form of non-violent protest. But I can’t ever recall participating in a detailed, analytical discussion of the topic. Perhaps now is the time for that, as the strategic and moral relevance of the conclusions we draw may prove more timely than ever.

 

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Activists Who Damaged Pipeline Arrested in Des Moines

{Here’s the statement read by Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya prior to their arrest Monday, July 24 for a series of actions that disrupted work on the Dakota Access pipeline.}

The Dakota Access Pipeline is an issue that affects this entire nation and the people that are subject to its rule. With DAPL we have seen incredible issues regarding the rule of law, indigenous sovereignty, land seizures, state sanctioned brutality, as well as corporate protections and pardons for their wrongdoings. To all those that continue to be subjected to the government’s injustices, we humbly stand with you, and we ask now that you stand with us.

Federal courts gave corporations permission to lie and withhold information from the public resulting in a complete media blackout. So, after recently being called by the Intercept, an independent media outlet, regarding illegal surveillance by the Dakota Access Pipeline and their goons, we viewed this as an opportunity to encourage public discourse surrounding nonviolent direct action as well as exposing the inadequacies of the government and the corporations they protect.

After having explored and exhausted all avenues of process, including attending public commentary hearings, gathering signatures for valid requests for Environmental Impact Statements, participating in Civil Disobedience, hunger strikes, marches and rallies, boycotts and encampments, we saw the clear deficiencies of our government to hear the people’s demands.

Instead, the courts and public officials allowed these corporations to steal permissions from landowners and brutalize the land, water, and people. Our conclusion is that the system is broken and it is up to us as a individuals to take peaceful action and remedy it, and this we did, out of necessity.

We acted for our children and the world that they are inheriting is unfit. There are over five major bodies of water here in Iowa, and none of them are clean because of corporation’s flagrant irresponsibility, and now another wishes to poison literally millions of us irreparably by putting us all at risk of another major catastrophe with yet another oil spill. DAPL has already leaked, and it will continue do so until the oil is shut off and the pipes are removed from the ground.

On elecion night 2016, we began our peaceful direct action campaign to a Dakota Access construction site and burned at least 5 pieces of heavy machinery in Buena Vista County, IA. Details regarding this action are attached to this statement below. This was information which was not shared with the public. We recognize that our action wasn’t much, but we at least stopped construction for a day at that particular site.

We then began to research the tools necessary to pierce through 5/8 inch steel pipe, the material used for this pipeline. In March we began to apply this self-gathered information. We began in Mahaska County, IA, using oxy-acetylene cutting torches to pierce through exposed, empty steel valves, successfully delaying completion of the pipeline for weeks. After the success of this peaceful action, we began to use this tactic up and down the pipeline, throughout Iowa (and a part of South Dakota), moving from valve to valve until running out of supplies, and continuing to stop the completion of this project. More information on these actions is followed at the end of this statement.

These actions of great public interest were hardly reported and the federal government and Energy Transfer Partners colluded together to lie and withhold vital information to the public.

We then returned to arsonry as a tactic. Using tires and gasoline-soaked rags we burned multiple valve sites, their electrical units, as well as additional heavy equipment located on DAPL easements throughout Iowa, further halting construction.

Later, in the first week of May we attempted yet again to pierce a valve located in Wapallo County, IA with an oxy-acetylene cutting torch. It was at this time we discovered oil was flowing through the pipe. This was beyond disheartening to us, as well as to the nation at large. This event was again hidden from the public and replaced with lies about “ditch depressions”. http://www.ottumwacourier.com/news/isg-county-s-pipeline-issues-minor/article_dc06b27c-3516-11e7-b2b6-131cb4cdc0ae.html

We stand here now today as witnesses of peaceful, nonviolent direct action. Our actions have been those of necessity and humility. We feel we have done nothing to be ashamed of. For some reason the courts and ruling government value corporate property and profit over our inherent human rights to clean water and land.

We are speaking publicly to empower others to act boldly, with purity of heart, to dismantle the infrastructures which deny us our rights to water, land and liberty. We as civilians have seen the repeated failures of the government and it is our duty to act with responsibility and integrity, risking our own liberty for the sovereignty of us all.

Some may view these actions as violent, but be not mistaken. 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 rampantly across our country seizing land and polluting our nation’s water supply. You may not agree with our tactics, but you can clearly see the necessity of them in light of the broken federal government and the corporations they protect.

We do not anticipate a fair trial but do expect our loved ones to undergo harassment from the federal government and the corporations they protect. We urge you to not speak one word to the federal government and stand firm in order to not be oppressed further into making false, but self-incriminating statements. Film these interactions. There are resources as what to do if the federal agents appear at your doorstep, educate and protect yourself. https://ccrjustice.org/sites/default/files/assets/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf

It is unfortunate to have to prepare for such things, but this is the government that rules, which continues to look more and more like a Nazi, fascist Germany as each day passes. We salute the people.

Details of our peaceful direct action are as follows. We hope this information helps inspire others to act boldly and peacefully, and to ease any anxieties to perceptions held that the state and these corporations are somehow an “omniscient” and “undefeatable” entity.

After studying intuitively how fires work, and the material of the infrastructures which we wished to halt (metal) we learned that the fire had to be hot enough to melt steel — and we have learned typical arsonry is not allows the most effective means, but every action is a thorn in their side.

On election night, knowing that gasoline burns quickly, but does not sustain by itself, we added motor oil (which burns at a higher temperature and for longer) and rags to coffee canisters and placed them on the seats of the machinery, piercing the coffee canisters once they were in place and striking several matches, anticipating that the seats would burn and maintain a fire long enough to make the machines obsolete. One canister did not light, and that is unfortunate, but five out of six ain’t bad.

As we saw construction continue, we realized that pipe was going into the ground and that our only means to obstruct further corporate desecration was somehow to pierce through the empty steel pipes exposed at the numerous valve sites. We learned that a welding torch using oxygen and acetylene was the proper tool. We bought the equipment outside of our city in efforts to maintain anonymity as our goal was to push this corporation beyond their means to eventually abandon the project. We bought kits at Home Depot and the tanks at welding supply stores, like Praxair and Mathesons. Having no experience with welding equipment before, we learned through our own volition and we were able to get the job down to 7 minutes. http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/03/burntdapl.png In our particular circumstances, we learned that scouting often hindered our ability to act in windows of opportunity. So, we went with our torches and protective gear on, and found numerous sites, feeling out the “vibe” of each situation, and deciding to act then and there, often in broad daylight. Trust your spirit, trust the signs.

Having run out of supplies (the tanks) we decided to return to arsonry because every action counts. We used gasoline and rags along with tires (as tires burn a nice while, once a steady fire within them burns) to multiple DAPL sites and equipment.

We were able to get more supplies shortly after and returned to a valve site in Wapello County to act again. It was then we discovered that oil was flowing through the pipeline. This was not reported to the public, instead a story of “ditch depressions” was reported to the public in Wapello County as the reason to why the pipeline continued to be delayed.

It is because of these lies we choose to come out publicly, to set the record straight, and be open about these peaceful and viable tactics against corporate atrocities.

If there are any regrets, it is that we did not act enough.

Please support and stand with us in this journey because we all need this pipeline stopped.

Water is Life, oil is death.

Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya

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Demand Repubs Pay Harassment Settlement

Dear Friends,

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION!

Kirsten Anderson, the Iowa Senate Republican staffer fired during the Statehouse scandal involving a toxic “boys club” environment of lewd jokes, vulgar comments and inappropriate remarks about women’s bodies, had her day in court this week. Kirsten won and the jury awarded her $2.2 million!

Kirsten Anderson

Kirsten won. Women won. Justice won.

But alas, Iowa taxpayers lost. We’re the ones now stuck paying the tab.

That ain’t right. And it doesn’t have to end like this. For sure, Kirsten deserves every penny of the settlement. But there’s an alternative to soaking the taxpayers.

Typically, when a party is found guilty and ordered to pay fines and restitution, that party pays. Not someone else. Certainly not an innocent bystander.

If Senate Republicans believe all their talk about fairness, if their clamor to cut taxes isn’t simply a cloud of political hot air, they’ll dig that $2.2 million out of their collective campaign pockets. We know it’s there. But do they have the integrity to do the right thing?

I’m not holding my breath. Politicians are known for clinging to wads of cash like an eagle clutches a dead fish. I suspect it’ll take an outpouring of public pressure to get them to respond.

So, what are we waiting for!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THIS PETITION! Thank Senator Rick Bertrand (R-Sioux City) for speaking out against the Senate leadership’s culpability in this scandal. (See Des Moines Register story here.) Encourage Bertrand and Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) — rumored to be considering a leadership challenge to Majority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) — to demand that Senate Republicans and the Iowa Republican Party pick up the tab.

I’m elated the court ruled with Anderson. I’m encouraged to see Iowa jurisprudence come down on the side of justice. Now let’s demand justice for Iowa taxpayers, too!

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The buzz continues from the important rally and concert organized earlier this month by Indigenous Iowa and Bold Iowa. Check out the collage of photos and videos Shari Hrdina has assembled, including summary video by Rodger Routh.

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Heed Iowa’s Native Leaders

Dear Friends,

Most of the mainstream media missed it, as did most of Iowa’s political leaders. You might have missed it too, but last week, a truly important event happened in Des Moines.

Rally organizers Ed Fallon of Bold Iowa and Christine Nobiss of Indigenous Iowa, with Christine’s children.

No, it wasn’t Independence Day, although that’s important, and this year’s celebration was unique given the Legislature’s decision to legalize fireworks.

The truly important event was the NoDAPL Rally, Concert and Call to Action at the Iowa State Capitol on July 1, spearheaded by Christine Nobiss and Indigenous Iowa. It was small, maybe 150 people. But participants came from all over with a united sense of purpose that will continue to shape the conversation on climate, water and our land well into the future.

Regina Tsosie with the Native American Coalition of the Quad Cities opens the rally with a song.

July 1 showed that Native voices are not backing down in the fight to protect Earth from the full-blown war being waged against her by greed and myopia.

July 1 showed that Indigenous leaders are no longer isolated, and that people from many nations are working together in this struggle. There were at least ten Native nations represented at the rally.

July 1 showed that non-Native allies increasingly understand that, as Native people step forward to assume leadership roles, we must stand with them as supporters and resist the colonial impulse to sweep in, take over and show them how it’s done.

Gabriel Ayala of Tucson, Arizona, headlined the rally with powerful music and words.

I wrote about this truth in one of my blogs from Standing Rock last year, and reprint a portion of it here:

Manape LaMere, a camp leader and one of the seven Elders, invites us to a meeting of camp Elders. Lyssa and I lean into the blizzard for the grueling ten-minute walk from our tent site to the dome.

Donnielle Wanatee of the Meskwaki People speaks.

We assemble in a cold, crowded structure heated by a wood stove. The air is filled with a cocktail of smoke from sage, wood and tobacco. With people constantly coming and going, bursts of blizzard air slip in through the dome’s entrance. The interior never warms up much.

The meeting is long, interesting, important. The Elders talk about tribal unity, and the importance of non-native allies remembering that they are guests and not here to provide leadership. The camp is governed by Native leaders using traditional structures and time-honored procedures. This is likely to be foreign, uncomfortable to non-natives. It’s easy for those of us from a western mindset to slip into a mode of benevolent, well-intentioned colonialism. It’s easy for us to want to take over, insist on a “better” way to do things.

Donnielle Wanatee’s daughter, Loveena Adeline Jefferson

It’s solid advice. White folk still have this imperial mindset, where we’re the ones to fix things, the ones who ride to the rescue.

I don’t watch a lot of movies, but as I listen, Dances With Wolves comes to mind — it takes a white guy, Kevin Costner, to help the Indians figure out how to save themselves (he fails).

At what point will European-Americans, as individuals and collectively, move beyond the failed notion that we have all the answers? Clearly, we have a ways to go if a U.S. Congressman (Steve King) can disparage non-white constituencies as “sub groups” while making the outrageous statement that historically, all valuable contributions come from whites.

State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad and his friend, Jacks.

After each of the Elders speaks, Manape invites me to share what’s happening in Iowa in opposition to the pipeline. I’m honored to have this opportunity, and talk about landowner and farmer resistance, upcoming court hearings, and Jessica Reznicek’s open-ended fast demanding revocation of Dakota Access’ permit.

They appreciate my report and the commitment of their allies in Iowa. But here at Standing Rock, this movement is more than just a fight against the pipeline. It’s a movement of historic proportions, a movement that’s just beginning, a cultural revival of traditions that will supplant the failed, non-sustainable paradigms that have dominated Western civilization.

Lakasha Touches Lightning from Little Creek Camp helps emcee the rally.

I ask Manape what happens after the pipeline fight is over. “The traditional chiefs who’ve been appointed to lead this camp are looking to build a future that is sustainable and eco-friendly,” says Manape. “We’re a community where people are showing up with wonderful technology, whether it’s heating or cooling systems or just general power usage.

“And this new form of government we’re building is breathing life into our people, reviving the significance of our treaties. Some people get it, some people don’t. But what we’re doing is going to save non-Natives as well as Natives.”

I hope you’ll take time to review the photos and video we assembled from July 1. You’ll find it in my Facebook “NoDAPL Rally, Concert and Call to Action” album and Facebook “NoDAPL Rally on July 1, 2017” playlist and in various other places too numerous to list. Also Rodger Routh produced a wonderful summary video. Videos include some powerful speeches by both Native and non-Native leaders. Thanks for continuing to stand together! – Ed

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Pipeline Fighter to File Appeal

Dear Friends,

Heather Pearson

Late yesterday afternoon, Heather Pearson was found guilty of trespass for her brave stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline last fall. Among the many hats she wears, Heather is Bold Iowa’s Director of Rabble Rousing and is never shy about leading songs or chants during rallies and marches.

Yesterday, seated with her attorney, Channing Dutton, in a courtroom in Rockwell City, Heather comported herself with dignity and clarity on the witness stand and talking with reporters after the verdict was read.

Here’s the press release sent out this morning by Bold Iowa and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Please share it with others, and let folks know that this pipeline fight is not over. Heather plans to appeal yesterday’s ruling, and three other pipeline fighters have cases coming up, all in Calhoun County. They are Kriss Wells, Emma Schmidt and Mahmud Fitil.

Press Conference at Heather’s trial

Over the lunch hour, a brief press conference was held in front of the Freedom Rock on the north side of the Courthouse. Click here to view video. Reporters from three local and regional papers — The Fort Dodge Messenger, The Storm Lake Times and The Calhoun County Graphic-Advocate — were at the trial for its entirety. Click here to read The Messenger article, and we’ll post the others as they’re available.

In terms of our options for justice, there’s also the lawsuit involving nine landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club, now before the Iowa Supreme Court. More on that soon.

So to those who say, “This fight is over,” today’s trial is more evidence that it’s not even close. – Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

8:00 a.m. CT, July 7, 2017
Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa, 515-238-6404, ed@fallonforum.com

Iowa Pipeline Fighter Found Guilty, Will File Appeal 
Ruling in Heather Pearson’s trial ignores justification defense

Rockwell City, IA — Heather Pearson, a resident of Logan, Iowa and a Dakota Access pipeline opponent who was arrested on October 29, 2016 during nonviolent direct action to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on Shirley Gerjets’ property in Calhoun County, was found “guilty” yesterday in a jury trial. Gerjets, age 82 and a life-long farmer, remains an outspoken critic of the pipeline, which crosses her land and includes a valve station that permanently removes farm ground from production.

Channing Dutton

“The result today is difficult to understand,” said Channing Dutton, Pearson’s attorney. “We had a great client and an excellent judge. There is no way the prosecution proved its case. This is the power of a big corporation using local law enforcement to arrest good people whose only crime is their commitment to protect our climate future and stand up for landowner rights. We’ll soldier on. There will be another day.”

Pearson plans to appeal the decision. On the stand, Pearson stated, “Why should we have to put our air, our water, our land, and our climate at risk so some private company can get rich running oil through our farmland. They’re not only stealing our land, they’re putting everything we need to survive at risk.”

Shirley Gerjets

Landowner and farmer Shirley Gerjets took the stand and told how she did everything she could to stop Dakota Access from taking her land. “I kicked those Dakota Access surveyors off my land I don’t know how many times. It was sickening the day it started. Their pickups drove through my corn, then they chopped it all down, and then the bulldozers came and messed up the topsoil. This fight has cost me lots of money and many, many sleepless nights. An agronomist told me we’d never get the land back to the way it was. As far as I’m concerned, it’s this pipeline that’s trespassing, not Heather.”

Brenda Brink

“This court case illustrated how Iowans continue to stand together against an out-of-state corporate oil pipeline that risks our livelihoods, property rights, health and water,” said Brenda Brink of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. “Another thing that’s become clear in this trial is how the pipeline company expected local law enforcement to do whatever it wanted, regardless of the costs or other needs of the community.”

“We’re deeply disappointed in the jury’s decision,” said Bold Iowa director, Ed Fallon. “Jurors got stuck on the side issue of trespass, ignoring the justification for Heather’s action. This pipeline impacts Iowa farmers, landowners and all people concerned about our land, water and climate. When our politicians fail us, as they have, civil resistance is the historically appropriate response.”

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TigerSwan Operated Without a License in Iowa

Dear Friends —

Wow! Dakota Access’ hired security squad got caught cracking down on pipeline opponents in North Dakota without a license. Well, it looks like the situation in Iowa is pretty similar. Read the release below, and help us get it out to your local news sources, online networks, bathroom walls, and where ever else thinking people get their news.

To those who were planning to come to Rockwell City tomorrow for Heather Pearson’s trial, hang tight. The court has again moved the date. Now it’s July 6 and 7. And I hope to see you this Saturday for the big rally, concert and call to action featuring Gabriel Ayala at the Iowa State Capitol. — Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 3:00 p.m. CT, June 29, 2017
Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa at (515) 238-6404 or ed@fallonforum.com

Company Spying on Pipeline Opponents Operated Without License
Analysis suggests TigerSwan guilty of a serious misdemeanor

Des Moines, Iowa — Conversations with two Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPS) officials (Amber Markham and Ross Loder) and preliminary analysis of relevant records show that TigerSwan, the para-military security firm hired by Dakota Access to spy on pipeline opponents, operated in Iowa without a license for at least six months.

Flags line Oceti Sakowin’s “Main Street” at Standing Rock last November. Photo by Lyssa Wade.

After it was revealed earlier this week that North Dakota officials refused to issue TigerSwan a license to operate in that state, Ed Fallon, the head of Bold Iowa and a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, inquired with state officials as to whether TigerSwan might have been similarly negligent in Iowa.

“It was confirmed by IDPS that they received from TigerSwan an application requesting a license on November 28, 2016,” noted Fallon. “We know from reports released by The Intercept that TigerSwan was actively spying on pipeline opponents in Iowa at least as early as August 2016. The company’s license wasn’t approved until February 1, 2017, so TigerSwan should be charged with a serious misdemeanor. Dakota Access and its subcontractors have gotten away with one infraction after another. We’re going to do everything we can to hold them accountable on this. It’s like driving without a license. There are consequences for scofflaws who do that. There ought to be consequences for TigerSwan and Dakota Access, too. They aren’t above the law, though sometimes they act that way.”

Fallon has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with IDPS to obtain any and all information that might shed further light on communications between Department officials and TigerSwan.

“From everything I’ve learned so far, Iowa’s public officials acted responsibly and with impartiality,” observed Fallon. “I have every confidence they’ll provide any additional information in a timely manner.”

Fallon also learned that individuals working with TigerSwan must be credentialed by IDPS. Originally, there were only two or three credentialed employees. Yet that number jumped to 88 by May 2017.

“Yeah, that’s kind of incredible,” said Fallon. “I’m not sure why they needed a squad of 88 security personnel to crack down on a couple hundred pipeline opponents. I suspect we’ll get an answer as more and more details about this shadowy operation come to light.”

The Iowa Code Chapter relevant to licensing private investigative agencies and security agents is 80A.

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NoDAPL Rally, Concert and Call to Action

Dear Friends –

I’m pumped about Saturday’s big event, spear-headed by Indigenous Iowa and highlighting the music of Gabriel Ayala. Gabriel may well be one of the most accomplished guitarists ever to perform at the Iowa State Capitol. Check out his music in the link I’ve included with this post. I guarantee you won’t want to miss Gabriel’s performance.

Saturday’s event is critical as we continue to push back against the power elite and demand justice in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline. Click here to register your attendance and to learn about the three specific actions we’re asking pipeline fighters to focus on going forward.

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Another pipeline fighter goes to trial this week. Come stand with Heather Pearson in Rockwell City on Friday. The trial begins at 9:00 a.m. and we’ll hold a press conference over the noon hour on the courthouse steps. Heather (a.k.a. Bold Iowa’s Director of Rabble Rousing) played a key role in the development of the Bold Action Team tactics that were so successful at slowing down pipeline construction last fall.

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Participants in this spring’s Climate Justice Unity March continued the conversation with residents of Deep River last Thursday over a cookout in the park where we set-up camp the first night of the March.

The whole point of the March was to show that there’s unity across the political spectrum when it comes to climate solutions. Regardless of whether people agree on the causes of climate change, nearly everyone wants renewable energy and clean water. Many thanks to Darrin and Molly Ehret, Casey and Charlotte Pierce, Jack and Kim Higginbotham and all the other Deep River area folks who helped pull this together and continue to keep the conversation going.

Picture 1: Marchers mingle with locals at a cookout last week in Deep River.
Picture 2: Kelly Boon and Shelley Buffalo.
Picture 3: Ed Fallon played accordion and Ralph King’s film crew traveled all the way from San Francisco to continue documenting the March and its impact.

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Check out this week’s Fallon Forum, with birthday-boy Ron Yarnell and Ed. Here are our segment topics, and you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

1. Is the scare of American Fascism overblown?
2. Health care “reform”
3. What kills more birds: Windmills or Trump Tower?
4. Big Grocer just got bigger
5. Des Moines takes a page from Havana on food production

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Revoke the pipeline company’s permit!

June 26, 2017
To the Members of the Iowa Utilities Board:

In light of the recent federal court ruling that the Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fishing rights, hunting rights, or issues of environmental justice when it issued the permits needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), I urge you to immediately revoke the DAPL permit, which had initially been granted on the basis of the Army Corps’ go-ahead.

The lack of a legitimate permit adds to Iowans’ general mistrust of Dakota Access, especially since they very recently let their insurance on it lapse.

I own land in Jasper County approximately 200 yards from the pipeline. Although incredible damage has already been done to a great deal of farmland in Jasper County and across Iowa — we could still see the end to the threat that the pipeline poses to our soil and waters in the case of a leak, through the revocation of the permit.

Thank you,

Kathy Holdefer,
Des Moines, Iowa

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June 27, 2017
Re: HLP-2014-0001

Iowa Utilities Board Members:

You have a unique opportunity today to stand on the right side of history and revoke the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline across Iowa.

Recently, a federal judge released his opinion in a case brought forward by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant a permit to Dakota Access. In that opinion, the judge stated that “the Court agrees that it [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial. To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court.”

Shortly after, the Iowa Sierra Club and Science & Environmental Health Network filed a motion with the Iowa Utilities board to void the Iowa permit to Dakota Access because the pipeline has not met all the conditions for the permit.

The Iowa Utilities Board granted Dakota Access a permit to cross the state of Iowa and to seize private land through eminent domain, but this permit was granted on the condition that Dakota Access obtain the Army Corps of Engineers’ federal permit. Without the federal permit there is no basis for the finding of “public convenience and necessity”. Accordingly, the IUB must revoke the Iowa permit and shut down the pipeline.

This gives you, as IUB board chair and members, the opportunity to stand on the right side of history. Overwhelmingly, Iowans have opposed this pipeline. Some have taken arrest trying to protect their farms and homes from destruction. Many more have rallied, marched, signed petitions, submitted comments, written letters-to-the editor, attended legislative and county supervisor meetings, and appealed to you in public hearings over the past three years. The financial analyses put forward in the rationalization of the pipeline were paid for by Dakota Access themselves. Dave Swenson, an economist at Iowa State University, analyzed these documents and found them to be over inflated. His analysis is available online. You have the opportunity to re-examine the inflated claims brought forward by Dakota Access and have evidence of the abuse they have caused to families and our land in Iowa. This information can be used now to revoke the permit.

Already the pipeline has leaked multiple times in its testing. All pipelines eventually leak; but these can be avoided by shutting the pipeline down now. Iowa is a leader in wind energy and solar is a growing sector of our energy economy. There is no reason to continue to allow Dakota Access to put our farms, water, community health, and financial stability of the state at risk.

Sincerely,

Angie Carter
Ames,Iowa

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Pipeline Opponents to Gov Reynolds: Appoint New IUB Member

Dear Friends,

When I ask folks what they think of Iowa’s new Governor, Kim Reynolds, the usual response is, “Well, nothing really.” And that’s fine. She’s only been Governor for a few weeks, and for the last six years, has existed primarily as Governor Branstad’s shadow.

Well, here’s one of Gov. Reynolds’ first big opportunities to show that she’s not just a Branstad clone. Read on, and if you agree with what Christine Nobiss and I are working to accomplish, as laid out in this press release, share it widely. And come join us on July 1st. Thanks!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1:00 p.m. CT, June 14, 2017
Contact: Ed Fallon at 515-238-6404 or ed@fallonforum.com
Contact: Christine Nobiss at 319-331-8034 or cnobiss@gmail.com

Pipeline Opponents to Gov Reynolds: Appoint New IUB Member
 July 1 action at the State Capitol announced

Richard W. Lozier, Jr.

Des Moines, Iowa — In light of Iowa Utilities Board member Richard W. Lozier, Jr.’s statement today that he is recusing himself from any votes or even discussion of the Dakota Access pipeline, Bold Iowa and Indigenous Iowa called on Governor Kim Reynolds to remove him from the board and appoint someone without a conflict of interest. Lozier served as legal counsel for the MAIN Coalition, a public relations firm with close ties to Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Partners.

Read Lozier’s recusal statement here.

“It’s mind boggling that Gov. Branstad appointed someone with such a clear conflict of interest on the biggest issue ever to come before the IUB,” said Ed Fallon. “The question now is will Gov. Reynolds do the right thing: remove Lozier from the board and appoint someone who’s not beholden to the fossil fuel industry.”

“Big Oil and its minions within state government keep giving us more reasons to fight,” said Christine Nobiss, founder of Indigenous Iowa. “We’ll rally at the State Capitol on July 1, right in front of her office, and I hope she’s working that day so she hears our message: ‘No more political patronage for fossil fuel flunkies!’”

The July 1 action (click here for details) will be on the south side of the Iowa State Capitol, just outside the Governor’s office and across from the Iowa Supreme Court Building. The event’s focus is twofold:

  1. Encourage Gov. Reynolds to remove Lozier from the IUB, and
  2. Remind the public of the importance of the lawsuit pending before the Iowa Supreme Court, in which a group of landowners allege eminent domain was used illegally to take their land for the pipeline. Sierra Club Iowa Chapter is also a plaintiff in that lawsuit, alleging that the IUB should not have issued a permit to Dakota Access.

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