Ed talks about the Pipeline Walk with State Rep. Dan Kelley today at 11:00 a.m. Also, State Reps. Bruce Bearinger and Sally Stutsman discuss the House Rural Caucus – Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.
Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day Seventeen & Eighteen
Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Mingo, Iowa/Friday, March 20, 2015 – Maxwell, Iowa
Walkin’ the Bakken is proving to be a bigger undertaking than I imagined. My deepest thanks to all of you along the route who have helped with logistics or who have walked with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I also want to acknowledge three colleagues who are making a huge difference in the success of the Walk. Shari Hrdina, who served as the Administrative Director of the Great March for Climate Action, keeps all the pieces from falling through the cracks. And there are so many pieces! Shari is the glue behind the scenes, and we could not do this without her.
Peter Clay works with our local supporters along the route to organize meetings. Peter joined last year’s Climate March for 700 miles, and is now instrumental as a volunteer with the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. He continues to keep us networked and supporting each others’ efforts.
Landowners are asking lots of legal, procedural and technical questions that I can’t answer. Managing this critical task is David Goodner of the Des Moines Catholic Worker. David is one of the most promising young organizers I know, and he’s getting back in touch with the hundreds of landowners and rural Iowans I’ve met along the Walk.
Of course, with legal questions, it helps to have . . . a lawyer! Several experienced attorneys are working with landowners and other parties opposed to the pipeline. Wally Taylor with the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club and I recently discussed the contracts signed by landowners – many of whom are opposed to the pipeline. Here’s what Wally shared:
“A number of attorneys agree that the easements landowners are signing or being asked to sign by Dakota Access have serious problems that adversely impact landowners. In fact, for landowners who have already signed easements, they could declare the leases null and void. Landowners should not sign anything until they have discussed the easements with an attorney. Review by an attorney would only require a short conference that would not be very expensive but would save the landowners a lot of heartache.
“We have also discovered that Dakota Access is now presenting an addendum to the easement to provide insurance coverage. The insurance allegedly covers liability of the company up to $5 million per year. This is per occurrence, not per landowner. There is also an additional umbrella coverage for another $5 million. One problem with this is that $10 million doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of cleanup.
“Other pipeline spills have incurred costs of hundreds of millions of dollars, or even over a billion dollars. Another problem is that this is an insurance policy. Anyone who has dealt with insurance companies knows that the company will either deny coverage or try to limit the amount of the insurance payment. A landowner would have to take legal action to be properly compensated, involving great time and expense.”
More and more Iowans are stepping forward to help defeat the pipeline. Perhaps you are already engaged as well. If not, and if you’d like a niche in this critical undertaking, let me know and we’ll make it happen!
Please follow Ed Fallon’s walk across Iowa along the route of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Go to http://fallonforum.com/pipeline-walk/
Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day Thirteen
by Ed Fallon
Saturday, March 14, 2015 – Mahaska/Jasper County line
Toady marks 150 miles of walking as I step into the seventh county along the pipeline route. A heartfelt “Thank you!” to State Rep. Dan Kelley and Kathy Holdefer (a landowner near Mingo), who each organized a meeting today with landowners and other concerned Jasper County residents.
At a 7:00 a.m. meeting at Uncle Nancy’s on the Newton town square, Dan spoke about his strong opposition to the pipeline. He has introduced legislation and also signed a letter from 15 lawmakers to the Iowa Utilities Board calling for an environmental impact assessment.
Today, Dan surprised me with a new angle that throws a whole new wrinkle into the pipeline conversation.
Apparently, no one had ever asked the Iowa Utilities Board’s staff if there already existed in Iowa another oil pipeline. Dan asked, and was told that there was, indeed, one other crude oil pipeline running through Iowa.
This pipeline travels north-south, roughly following I-35. It was built in the 1950s and is now owned by the infamous Koch Brothers. It was mothballed in 2013.
“I don’t want an oil pipeline running through Iowa,” said Dan. “But if Dakota Access wants to build one, why tear-up farmland diagonally across Iowa when there’s already an established right of way?”
This begs so many additional questions. Where did the oil transported through this pipeline come from? What was its final destination? Who were the original owners? How long have the Koch Brothers owned it? Were there ever any leaks or accidents? How many gallons a day did it move? Why was it abandoned in 2013? Why hasn’t Dakota Access considered using this route?
Dan and I will talk about this on today’s Fallon Forum at 11:00. Also, State Rep. John Forbes joins Dan with talk about industrial hemp. What would it do for Iowa’s economy? And find out why John feels industrial hemp is also good for the environment.
Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.
Thanks! – Ed Fallon
March 2 – April 22 (Earth Day) – Iowa Pipeline Walk
Ed Fallon will walk over 400 miles following the proposed path of the Bakken Oil Pipeline to help landowners opposed to having their land taken by eminent domain – an area of law Ed worked on extensively while a state lawmaker. Ed will also discuss the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to protect our water. For information on the route, click here. Contact email@example.com.
March 16 – Meeting to discuss the Bakken Oil Pipeline (Farrar)
A public meeting for residents of Polk County at the United Methodist Church at 7:00 p.m. to meet with Ed Fallon to discuss concerns about eminent domain, climate change, water quality and related issues during Ed’s 400-mile walk along the proposed route of the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Contact Peter Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 18 – Meeting to discuss the Bakken Oil Pipeline (Ames)
A public meeting for residents of Story County at the Ames Public Library from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to meet with Ed Fallon to discuss concerns about eminent domain, climate change, water quality and related issues during Ed’s 400-mile walk along the proposed route of the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Contact Susan Franzen at email@example.com.
March 27 – April 12 – Climate Action Across America
Congress will be on Easter recess, or home for district work periods, for these 17 days this spring. Please call your Congressional representatives and Senators to arrange a time to meet with them about the need for climate action.
[Dave Bradley’s Sunday Funday civics quiz will be back next week.]
Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day Eleven
by Ed Fallon
Thursday, March 12, 2015 – North of Oskaloosa, Iowa
Since last summer, it has been clear that Kelcy Warren’s company would push hard and fast to get the pipeline built as quickly as possible.
But walking across Mahaska County this week, I am learning just how aggressive they have been in making their sales pitch.
Today, I spoke with 12 landowners. About half were against the pipeline. Yet most feel there is nothing they can do to stop it.
One 60-year-old farmer who is dead set against the pipeline nonetheless signed a contract. The company paid him $60,000 for an easement to two acres, access to his property from the nearest road, and for the removal of nine mature cottonwood trees. (He was upset about the cottonwood trees because they provide shade for his cattle.)
But the money wasn’t the main reason he signed. The company official told him they would eventually get his land through eminent domain and he would get less money. The farmer described this sales rep as very slick, very aggressive. The rep would even call as many as six times a day, pressuring the farmer to sell.
The farmer also told me that the pipeline would run across the very highest part of his property. If it broke on his land, it would absolutely ruin the rest of his farm.
I wish I’d had a chance to talk with him before he signed the contract. I told him the company does not yet have the authority to condemn farmland. And I told him there is bipartisan legislation moving in the Iowa House and Senate that would make it impossible for a private business to condemn land for a pipeline.
While most pipeline opponents have yet to sign a deal with the company, some have. We need to keep in touch with them as well, and encourage them to keep us posted on things they are hearing from the company and from their neighbors.
For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail click here
Help this information reach more Iowans. Please like and share.
Saturday, March 7, 2015 – Bladensburg, Iowa
For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.
“Are you out for exercise or are ya broke down?” asked the bearded man driving a white pick-up truck sporting a thick coat of mud. I laughed and said, “Neither,” as I explained that I was walking the path of the proposed pipeline. “I don’t much like what this Texas billionaire has in store for Iowa,” I probed.
The driver said, “There’s only about six people who are going to get rich on this thing, and none of them live in Iowa.” He owned land just up the road, not quite on the pipeline route. He was noncommittal on what he would have done had the pipeline company wanted to come through his land. But he agreed emphatically with me when I said the pipeline wasn’t going to improve anyone’s property values.
As I walked 14.3 miles to Hedrick today, I passed about two dozen rural homes. Most of them had probably received a letter from the pipeline company. Perhaps some of them had already settled, maybe even received a check. There was little activity on the road, and I only passed one farmstead with anyone outside – two men removing boards from an old barn. One of them told me he was for the pipeline. I wanted to ask him why, wanted to talk further.
But I felt rushed to get to Hedrick in time for an appointment, and realized that even at three miles an hour, I was moving too fast. I needed to slow down. Tackling 15-16 miles per day left me little time to stop and talk with people along the route. I decided then and there that, even if it meant extending the walk another two weeks, I would cut back the distance to around 10 miles a day. That would give me an additional 2-3 hours of potentially quality conversation time.
It also made sense, I concluded, to carry with me a letter laying out my concerns, and the concerns of others I had met along the way. I wanted something I could give to people I met, or leave at their doors if they weren’t home. If you’d like to see what I’m sharing with landowners, click here. Your feedback is most welcome.
This week’s Fallon Forum again features State Rep. Dan Kelley as host. I’ll call-in and talk about the walk for the first half of the program. Then State Rep. Bruce Hunter joins Dan to talk about minimum wage and wage theft.
The Fallon Forum airs Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) or online. Join the conversation by calling (515) 528-8122. You also can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks!
Physicians for Social Responsibility
20 East Market ● Room 200 ● Iowa City, IA 52245 ● www.psriowa.org
- 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history.
- 2014 was the year of the Great Climate March for Climate action from Los Angeles to Washington DC over 8 months and 3,000 miles.
Now it’s 2015…
PSR/Iowa and UNA Iowa are co-sponsoring a dinner and fundraiser featuring a presentation by Ed Fallon on the Great Climate March and the Bakken Pipeline
Thursday March 11, 2015, 5 PM to 8 PM
at the University Club at 1360 Melrose Ave, Iowa City
Admission is $40 per plate for this sit-down dinner and presentation
Ed Fallon, former Iowa legislator and the leader of the 2014 Great March for Climate Action, will be speaking about his experiences walking across the country, and his encounters with the President’s special advisers on Energy and Environment.
Of the Great Climate March Ed tells us “We experienced things most people can’t even imagine. Throughout our journey, we encountered first-hand some of the unprecedented weather climate scientists have predicted. And we met face-to-face people impacted by climate change and people grappling with an expanding fossil fuel infrastructure that is damaging or destroying their land, water and very way of life.”
Ed will be joining us from a new March. Starting March 1, Ed will walk across Iowa engaging the land owners along the route of the proposed Bakken Pipeline. The plan is for the pipeline to begin hauling crude oil from North Dakota across Iowa to Illinois for eventual refining in the gulf beginning some time in 2016.
Please join is for what will prove to be a stimulating and educational evening:
5-6 PM: Arrive & gather with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
5:45 PM: Sit-down dinner served
6:00 PM: Opening remarks from PSR/Iowa and UNA Iowa.
6:15 PM: Ed Fallon’s presentation and discussion
For questions or more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 319-530-3608
Beginning on March 2, 2015, Ed Fallon began a walk of 400 miles following the path of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. He will walk from the southeast corner of Iowa to the northwest corner of the state, meeting with landowners and others to talk about the importance of respecting farmland and the imperative to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Follow his walk on the Fallon Forum website. You can also keep track of Ed’s walk on Facebook and through regular email updates. For Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.
Here is Ed’s post written yesterday, prior to embarking on the first step of his journey.
I’ve not even taken the first step of my walk and I’m already meeting landowners opposed to the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Last night I had dinner with Hughie Tweedy at a Lee County farmhouse. Hughie is a colorful, fiercely independent farmer whose homestead is just a few farms west of the Mississippi River – and directly in the path of the pipeline. A forest that Hughie and his Dad before him planted and cared for would be torn to pieces if the pipeline were built. Hughie considers his land sacred, and cannot understand how anyone would condemn it for an oil pipeline.
Hughie informed the pipeline company that, in no uncertain terms, his land was not for sale, not for a million bucks. His neighbors don’t want a pipeline coming through their land either, but many feel helpless, resigned to the notion that “you can’t beat City Hall.”
Last night, I told Hughie about some of the nearly two dozen eminent domain battles I was involved with back in the 1990s and 2000s. I told him how farmers and landowners banded together to stop developers who wanted to take their land. Often it was for a lake or an airport, sometimes for a mall or a four-lane highway. When people in the path of these projects stood firm – and got others to stand with them – more often than not, they won.
Hughie is one of several Iowans featured in a documentary focused on Iowans fighting against the misuse of eminent domain. Last night, our evening went late as the documentary crew filled the living room with cameras and equipment and captured much of our conversation.
Today, I head down to the Mississippi River for the first leg of my journey. I’ll take with me cedar, sage and sweet grass given to me by my Native American friend from Earlham, Robert Knuth. Following Robert’s instructions, I’ll offer a prayer of protection for the land threatened by this pipeline, and a prayer that Hughie Tweedy and all caretakers of the land will continue to stand strong.
On today’s Fallon Forum, [see re-broadcast times below] I’ll call in with an update from the Iowa Pipeline Walk as State Representative Dan Kelley hosts the program in the KDLF studio. Also, Dan interviews the new director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Jeremy Rosen, about the surprising lack of pardons issued to federal prisoners by President Obama. Also, State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines joins Dan to talk about the achievement gap in education.
The Fallon Forum airs live on Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) or online. Join the conversation by calling (515) 528-8122. You also can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks!
Tip of the hat to www.dailykos/comics
As some of you may have read here Thursday Iowa is in the process of “studying” allowing the Bakken Oil to build a pipeline across Iowa. Minnesota is also looking at a pipeline from North Dakota crossing their land.
Rivers in West Virginia have had all sorts of chemicals and sludge dumped into them as though they were corporate toilets. Yet even with all that the West Virginia legislature is discussing rolling back environmental provisions even further.
Republicans have been targeting the Environmental Protection Agency from the day it was conceived by, oddly enough, Richard Nixon’s Administration. While crying about environmental laws in this country, corporations take their processes to countries with few laws so they can pollute freely over there.
One of the world’s largest cities is running out of water due to climate change, a condition many on the right refuse to acknowledge.
Oklahoma now has daily tremors, a condition that did not exist before fracking. Across the country we see many youtube videos of folks lighting their tap water on fire thanks to fracking.
In Iowa the water works in Des Moines is resorting to the courts to try to force the sate or county governments to enforce some standards on nitrates.
After many years companies are finally slowly taking micro beads out of cleansing products after these products had done much damage to fish and other aquatic wildlife.
And of course we are approaching the 5 year anniversary of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (here is a story on the anniversary last year). Over the years the effects of the spill have slowly faded from the collective memory. The perpetrators have slowly been released from paying for the damages they caused. And projects with huge potential damage are in the works or being planned with little thought toward recovery in the case of problems. Call me old and cranky, but like many I don’t think that a company or a person should leave an area in worse shape than it was before they came. At the very least it should look like no one was there.
The earth is closing in on some tipping points. We may already be too late to reverse climate change with all the feared effects of wild weather and drought. Overpopulation has put a huge stress on earth’s resources. But some of the greatest stresses that the earth must endure are those put on it by industrial polluters. Using the skies, the rivers and the oceans as their toilets they have endangered much of the life on earth and their own species.
It is like they believe there is some kind of an escape hatch, some type of a new America that they can run from the mess they have made. News flash folks: they can’t and neither can we. The earth is full. There are no undiscovered lands on the earth. There are no “nearby” planets that can sustain life. There are no remote and undiscovered planets that could sustain our type of life. Even if there were planets we knew of, how would we get there?
Some subscribe to a theory that a supreme being will swoop down and make it all good. Aside from some mythological books written in the iron age there is no proof nor any real expectation that such will happen.
What we are left with then is humanity’s collective desire to survive on the one world we have and the only world we will have into the foreseeable future. Few want to see their children or grandchildren suffer. People will sacrifice today for their posterity. Our forefathers and mothers did so. Before we have pipelines we need real plans for clean up and restoration. Resources (money) for such restoration must come from those who stand to gain from such projects and not from the taxes of the citizens.
But our political systems worldwide are geared to serve those who have money and power. This has always been true to some degree, but the Supreme Court took the lid off a few years back wight the Citizens United v. FEC decision. Now we find power pretty much fully controlled by those with money.
One thing for sure. No one dies from a spill of sunlight.
On Wednesday, January 28th at 10:00 a.m., twelve participants of the Great March for Climate Action will arrive at the White House for a meeting with Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change and Rohan Patel, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Marchers traveling to Washington, DC for the meeting come from ten states. They will share with Mr. Utech and Mr. Patel their experiences throughout the eight-month, 3,000-mile journey from Los Angeles to Washington, DC last year. Marchers want to thank President Obama and his administration for their leadership on climate change, including the President’s promised veto of legislation authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. At the same time, marchers will urge the President’s staff in the strongest possible way to take bolder action, and to take it sooner rather than later.
“We experienced things most people can’t even imagine,” said Ed Fallon, the March’s founder. “Throughout our journey, we encountered first-hand some of the unprecedented weather climate scientists have predicted. And we met face-to-face people impacted by climate change and people grappling with an expanding fossil fuel infrastructure that is damaging or destroying their land, water and very way of life.”
The participants traveling to the White House are Fallon and Miriam Kashia (Iowa), Steve Martin (Kentucky), Marie Davis (Vermont), Kathe Thompson (Florida), Paul Sherlock (Ohio), Doug Grandt (Nebraska), John Jorgenson (Arizona), Benjamin Bushwick (Maryland), Kat Haber (Alaska), and Kelsey Erickson and Bruce Nayowith (Massachusetts).
Podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum are available here, and include these conversations:
– Lessons for America on Paris terror attack
– Nebraska Supreme Court thwarts justice on Keystone pipeline, with Channing Dutton
– Wanted: Leadership on bio-diesel, with David May
– Change needed in Iowa’s primary election process, with State Senator Brad Zaun
– Bad news for bees, with State Apiarist Andy Joseph
Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM “La Reina.” Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 5:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.
Ed Fallon | email@example.com | The Fallon Forum | 735 19th St. #1 | Des Moines, IA 50314
Proposed Pipeline through Iowa Carries Risks [Bolds and italics BFIA’s]
Energy Transfer Partners (ETF), also doing business as Dakota Access, announced plans for a proposed oil pipeline that will run diagonally across Iowa, through 17 or 18 counties. It will carry light sweet crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it will link with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals along the Gulf of Mexico. The company also announced that some of the crude oil will be loaded onto rail cars for shipment to the east coast.
The company has scheduled public informational meetings in December 2014 in each of the counties that the pipeline will cross, a requirement before asking the Iowa Utilities Board for permits. Members of the public will be able to attend and can speak during the meeting. ETF is expected to seek permits in 2015 through 2016. The company plans to have the pipeline operational in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Counties in Iowa comprising the proposed route include Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Webster, Boone, Story, Polk, Jasper, Mahaska, Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson, Van Buren and Lee. The northeast tip of Sac County is also in the study area.
The Sierra Club Iowa Chapter urges you to join in opposition to the pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners by attending and speaking out at one of the public meetings. The meetings will be held as follows:
December 1, 1:00, Inwood Community Center, Inwood
December 1, 1:00, Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Madison
December 1, 6:00, River Valley Lodge, Farmington
December 1, 6:00, Terrace View Event Center, Sioux Center
December 2, 9:00am, Sheldon Community Services, Sheldon
December 2, 9:00am, Jefferson County Fairgrounds Activity Building, Fairfield
December 2, 3:00, Cherokee Community Center, Cherokee
December 2, 3:00, Bridgeview Center, Ottumwa
December 3, 9:00am, Buena Vista University Anderson Auditorium, Storm Lake
December 3, 9:00am, Memorial Hall, Sigourney
December 3, 3:00, Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Oskaloosa
December 4, 9:00am, DMACC Newton Conference Center, Newton
December 4, 3:00, Ankeny Parks and Recreation Lakeside Center, Ankeny
December 15, 1:00, Sac Community Center, Sac City
December 15, 1:00, Gates Memorial Auditorium, Nevada
December 15, 6:00, Boone County Fairgrounds Community Building, Boone
December 15, 6:00, Calhoun County Expo center, Rockwell City
December 16, 9:00am, Triton Room, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge
Consider additional ways you can oppose the pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners. The Chapter encourages you to:
- Write letters to the editor in opposition to the pipeline
- Once the public meetings have ended, submit written objections to the Iowa Utilities Board. For more information about how to submit your comments, contact the Iowa Sierra Club.
The Iowa Sierra Club is concerned about the impacts a tragic accident or a leaky pipeline involving the highly flammable oil will have on Iowa’s communities, farms and environment, including
- Polluting Iowa’s streams, rivers, lakes and aquifers
- Tragic accidents affecting lives and personal property in the communities along the pipeline
- Destroying Iowa’s farmland
- Harming wildlife and sensitive natural areas in its path
Although the company plans to seek voluntary easements, it may ask the Iowa Utilities Board for permission to acquire the easement through eminent domain. The pipeline will require a permanent easement 50 feet wide, with no structures allowed on the easement. An even wider, temporary easement of 100 feet to 150 feet will be taken during construction.
Once the oil in this pipeline finally reaches the oil terminals in Nederland, Texas, there is absolutely no guarantee that the oil and refined products from the oil will remain in the United States for use in this country.
In March 2013, homeowners in Mayflower, Arkansas, were overwhelmed when oil from a leaky pipeline flowed into their basements, over their lawns and onto their streets.
The Bakken oil is the same oil that was involved in train wrecks in North Dakota in December 2013 and in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, in July 2013.
A new pipeline will delay the U.S. transition to clean and renewable energy and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The United States needs to move away from fossil fuel extractions and to energy sources that have less impact on climate change.