Native American tribe and Oil company clash
1. The Dakota Access Pipeline would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota into Illinois, directly to refineries throughout the east. The 1,100-mile pipeline would be the first to tap into the Bakken shale, a oil formation very close to tribal land. The $3.8 million project was expected to be finished and operating by the end of the fourth quarter, however protests have lengthened the project timeline.
2. Standing Rock Sioux leaders and other tribes say they fear the pipeline will destroy sacred sites and contaminate drinking water. Protest have become violent after bulldozers allegedly went over sacred sites. Local news outlets and videos show at least 30 protestors were pepper sprayed and two security dogs, and four private security guards were injured. The tribes filed for a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access and Dakota Access filed its opposition to the tribes' request early on Tuesday. A federal judge is expected to decide to temporarily halt construction near ancient burial and prayer sites.
3. Business as usual or a rights issue?
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Things over at Volkswagen are bad. Like, really, really bad. The German car manufacturer has been caught cheating environmental standards with software designed to skirt emissions tests. While it's tough to say exactly what will happen to Volkswagen, the company has set aside $7.3 billion to deal with the ensuing mess. So far, the company's stock has lost 20 percent of its value, erasing $18 billion in market value in a matter of hours. Reportedly, the Department of Justice is opening a criminal investigation into the matter. Yikes.
EPA dumps toxic sludge, faces scrutiny
1. Isn't an organization with a name like the "Environmental Protection Agency" supposed to be, ya know, protecting the environment? Such wasn't the case when a recent EPA inspection of a gold mine resulted in the release of harsh heavy metals into surrounding rivers in Colorado and Utah. The pollution, which is turning the waters mustard yellow, is much, much worse than expected. Opponents of the EPA are using the catastrophe as a sounding board, challenging EPA's competency, and badgering the White House for their muted reaction.
2. "We're on it, you guys," says the EPA to its critics. While the spill has since been contained, the EPA has pledged to continue testing the waters for their toxcity, hoping to releive local concerns that question the safety of drinking wells. Public statements from the EPA continue to acknowledge the mistake, but assure speedy response.
3. So, should the EPA consider an acronym change? Or was this just a fluke?
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