Simon Davis-Cohen's blog

Oregon Again a Battlefield for Fracked Gas Pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG Terminal

Read time: 5 mins
Youth Against Fracked Gas march against Jordan Cove LNG and pipeline

When the incumbent Democratic Governor Kate Brown defeated Republican Knute Buehler in a contentious race for Oregon’s governorship, many in the state’s climate movement let out a momentary sigh of relief. Brown had promised to “lead on climate” while Buehler had pledged his support for new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Now, residents are working to hold Governor Brown to task over what they see as the most pressing climate issue facing the state: the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and its Pacific Connector Gas pipeline. Backed by the Canadian company Pembina Pipeline Corporation, the project would transport natural gas extracted via hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from Colorado to Oregon’s coast, where it would be super-cooled into liquid form and loaded on ships to international markets.

Backed by Big Oil, Opponents of Washington’s Proposed Carbon Fee Claim Latino Businesses Support Them—Except They Don’t

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Washington I-1631

With Washington State voters poised to put a price on carbon pollution, the oil and gas industry has made history to keep the ballot measure, Initiative 1631, from passing. The opposition campaign, funded with more than $30 million primarily from out-of-state oil and gas companies, also distributed bilingual flyers listing Latino businesses that recommended voting “no” on I-1631.

The only problem, however, is that a dozen Latino businesses say they never agreed to this, according to the Yes on 1631 campaign.

Environmental Activist Sued for Libel Over Facebook Comment About Oil and Gas Company

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Pete Kolbenschlag (center) and anti-fracking activists in Colorado

On November 17, 2016, a Colorado environmental activist named Pete Kolbenschlag used Facebook to leave a comment on a local newspaper article, the kind of thing more than a billion people do every day.

However, most people don’t get sued for libel over their Facebook comments. (Although some do.)

Court Orders Nonprofit Law Firm to Pay $52,000 to Oil and Gas Company for Defending Local Fracking Waste Ban

Read time: 6 mins
Marcellus Shale gas well in Pennsylvania

In early January, a federal judge ordered the nonprofit law firm Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to pay $52,000 to an oil and gas exploration company for defending a rural Pennsylvania township’s ban on underground injections of frack waste.

This sanction comes at the request of Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, but is part of a growing trend to prevent municipalities across the nation from pushing back against state and federal attempts to overrule them.

Fossil Fuel Dollars Flow into Local Elections Threatening Development in the West

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A child holds a hand-drawn sign protesting fracking near his school in Colorado

This election season, cities in Colorado and Washington are proving to be battlegrounds for community groups pushing to locally restrict oil, gas, and coal development. And in both places, the fossil fuel industry has been pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into making sure that doesn’t happen.

Ohio Court Overturns Law Preventing Cities From Voting on Anti-Fracking Measures

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Building home to the Ohio Supreme Court

In a slight break with previous state policies that have encouraged fracking activity and new pipelines, the Ohio Supreme Court recently struck down a controversial provision restricting citizen efforts to vote locally on these and other issues through the ballot initiative process.

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