A Tale of Two Pipelines

Fossil fuel pipelines on both sides of the Atlantic have been in the news recently — one for nearing completion and the other for being halted. Both have interesting international implications and each pipeline’s story defies convenient narratives based solely around climate change. In this tale of two pipelines, I’m for the completion of one and against the completion of the other. Unfortunately, the reverse is actually happening in reality. Let’s start with the pipeline that I support, yet is now being shut down — possibly for good.

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A Monumental Mistake

On April 26, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13792, otherwise known as the Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act. This executive order tasked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with reviewing “all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996,” where the designation is larger than 100,000 acres or where “the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach,” to determine whether they should be altered. Why does this matter, and what is the Antiquities Act anyway?

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