The following is a summary from the excellent article, In Iowa, Candidates Slam DAPL as Documents Show Expansion Tied to Exports by Steve Horn, the Real news network, Feb 3, 2020. I apologize for using so many quotes from the article. It is really worth reading the entire article yourself.
Ed Fallon and many people organized by Bold Iowa worked very hard to press Democratic Presidential candidates about their positions related to climate change. They used a number of creative techniques to get attention. One being to dress up as penguins, which was stimulated by Andrew Yang’s comment that people with financial struggles feel penguins can wait in line. You can hear his response, and see the penguins, in the following video.
“Fallon’s most recent encounter, one with former Vice President Joe Biden on January 26, ended with Biden gently pushing him away and telling him to “go vote for somebody else.” Though a supporter of Tom Steyer, Biden assumed Fallon supported Bernie Sanders.”
“For Bold Iowa, a central part of their organizing strategy in the months leading up to the caucuses was confronting candidates in person.
“We’ve got over 250 people statewide, who early last year agreed to birddog candidates on climate and most of them have been to at least one and some of them a dozen or more events,” Fallon said. “I mean, several people have been to probably 50 events.”
They also asked candidates questions on issues such as their stances on the Green New Deal and how they will respond to the climate crisis if they become president.”
During the 2016 election cycle, Dakota Access (pipeline) was in proposal phase. But by 2017, it opened for business with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, who received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren during the 2016 election cycle.
It is the proposal to double the pipeline’s capacity to about 1.1 million barrels a day, that is now up for consideration. North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, where the oil flowing through the pipeline is obtained via the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) drilling process, currently produces 1.5 million barrels per day of oil.
Bold Iowa has confronted 17 different candidates on the expansion plan, with nine of them opposing the plan. Fallon also worries, though Energy Transfer Partners often makes its sales pitch for the pipeline in the name of “energy security,” that “nearly every drop of this oil they want to double through here is going to be for export.”
“Initially when Energy Transfer Partners notified the Iowa Utilities Board that it intended to perform an “optimization project” for Dakota Access, it stated that it did not need to notify the agency under state law, but was doing so as “courtesy.””
“More recently, the Story County Board of Supervisors in Iowa—the government for the county which houses one of Energy Transfer Partners’ pump stations in Cambridge, Iowa—voted unanimously on January 7 calling on the Iowa Utilities Board to hold a public hearing to “investigate how the proposed doubling of the flow of oil serves the public convenience and necessity of the residents of Iowa, when in fact the U.S. has become a net exporter of oil.””
“Bold Iowa and 50 other organizations did a climate parade on February 1, two days before the Caucus, a march ending at the main media hub for national outlets that come to Iowa to cover the Caucuses. The ending point was not an accident, but part of an ongoing strategy.
For Fallon, he said his group hoped to get the media to shine a light on the pipeline expansion plan through the march and by confronting candidates over the past several months. But instead, he added, the pipeline has garnered far less attention than the original proposal in the months before the 2016 election.
“It’s just been a real surprise to me that neither local nor national media have focused on DAPL, because I mean DAPL was a huge national story for a couple years,” Fallon said. “It is surprising that nobody’s picked it up.””
Following are some of my photos from the Climate Crisis Parade mentioned above.