Progressive Briefing for Tuesday, September 11

Native American tribes sue Trump over Keystone XL. Japan aims to overthrow whaling ban, and more.

Construction along the Keystone XL pipeline.
Construction along the Keystone XL pipeline.

Native American tribes sue Trump over ‘unlawful’ Keystone XL approval

Accusing the Trump administration of failing to take into account the significant damage TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline could do to sacred cultural sites when it approved the project last year, Native American tribes from Montana and North Dakota sued the State Department on Monday and demanded that it immediately “rescind the illegal issuance of the Keystone XL pipeline presidential permit.”

Represented by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), the Fort Belknap and Rosebud Sioux tribes argue in their suit (pdf) that the Trump White House conducted “no analysis of the potential impact of the pipeline on treaty rights, no analysis of the subpar leak detection system and the potential impact of spills on Fort Belknap’s tribal members, and no analysis of the potential impact on Fort Belknap’s cultural resources and historic properties in the path of the pipeline, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.”

Pipeline spills more than 8,000 gallons of jet fuel into Indiana River

A pipeline spilled more than 8,000 gallons of jet fuel into an Indiana river, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

The affected river was St. Marys River in Decatur, which is a town of 9,500 people about 100 miles from Indianapolis.

Cleaning the spill could take weeks, Decatur Mayor Kenneth L. Meyer told the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Journal Gazette.

Conservationists fear Japan’s ‘blatant’ attempt to overturn whaling moratorium could be accepted by International Whaling Commission

Conservationists fear that a 1986 moratorium on commercial whale watching could soon be lifted. At this year’s International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Florianópolis, Brazil, Japan proposed some rule changes that will “blatantly” resume commercial whaling, something experts say the country is ultimately trying to achieve.

While the country said its aim is for “the sustainable use of whales,” Japan started their “scientific whaling” program in 1987 as a “loophole” to IWC’s whaling ban. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Japan has killed 15,600 whales in the Antarctic since it launched its program.

‘Major victory:’ Landowner’s legal challenge halts construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana

In a “major victory” for local landowners and pipeline activists who are fighting to block the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana, the company behind the project agreed to halt construction on a patch of private property just ahead of a court hearing that was scheduled for Monday morning.

The path of the 163-mile pipeline runs through Atchafalaya Basin, the nation’s largest wetland and swamp. Local landowners and activists have raised alarm about the threat the pipeline poses to regional water resources, wildlife, and communities.


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