#NoDAPL Succeeds: On Sunday afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers announced they will deny a permit for the final easement of the Dakota Access pipeline on sacred Standing Rock Sioux burial sites, and will instead explore alternate routes. The announcement comes four months after the protests in Cannon Ball began and one day before the governor’s deadline of December 5 to evacuate the camp in over winter weather concerns. Hundreds of veterans poured into the camp over the weekend, prepared to help the protesters survive a possibly long and cold standoff with authorities. (Army Corps: NYT, WSJ $, Washington Post $, The Guardian, Reuters, AP, NPR, EnergyWire $, NBC, CNN, Politico, Vox, Slate Vets: NYT, LA Times, Reuters, NPR, Mic, BBC, CBS, Commentary: Washington Post, The Nation)
How Will Trump Deal with DAPL? Sunday’s victory for the Standing Rock Sioux may be only temporary, raising the question of how Trump will deal with the DAPL as well as future environmental struggles involving minority groups. In a statement, the pipeline’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, vowed to push ahead with the project, and Republican lawmakers also blasted the decision. Former EPA and DOJ attorneys voiced concerns on Friday that a Trump administration may target the increased focus on environmental justice that the EPA developed under Obama. Trump’s transition team announced his backing of the completion of the pipeline on Thursday, claiming the president-elect’s investments in Energy Transfer Partners had no impact on his support. (ETP statement: BBC, The Verge, UPI Trump support: AP, Reuters, Vox, Huffington Post, ThinkProgress, The Guardian, Mother Jones, Fusion Lawyers: Greenwire )
Wait’s Almost Over: Trump dropped a hint on Friday that most of his remaining Cabinet picks will be announced this week, including the heads of DOE, EPA, and DOI. The WSJ reported on Sunday that billionaire investor and EPA critic Carl Icahn was helping Trump vet candidates, including interviewing coal lobbyist Jeff Holmstead. Top contenders for EPA include Koch-funded Kathleen Harnett White and Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt, while Politico reports that Trump may lean towards giving the DOE job to a Democratic appointee. (The Hill, WSJ $, Politico $, Greenwire $, Colorlines).
IL Saves Nuclear, Updates RPS: The Illinois General Assembly passed an enormous energy bill last week that keeps two Exelon nuclear plants in business, preventing an estimated $10b in increased carbon pollution costs from the plants’ closures. The bill also includes an update of the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and expansion of state energy efficiency programs; residential demand charges and limits on net metering were cut from the final text at the last minute. The bill is expected to easily pass the governor’s desk. (News: Greentech Media, UtilityDive, EnergyWire, Chicago Tribune, Midwest Energy News, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Southern Illinoisan, Quad City Times, Miami County Republic, Alsip Patch, Commentary: Forbes, Quad City Times, Champaign News-Gazette)