In this episode, Sikowis picks up from an episode she did in August 2021 concerning a new greenwashed, fossil fuel industry tactic called carbon capture and sequestration, also known as CO2 pipelines. Sikowis meets up with Mahmud Fitil from Great Plains Action Society, Joye Braun from Indigenous Environmental Network, and Scott Skokos from Dakota Resource Council to talk about the new greenwashed, carbon capture tactic to address the climate crisis.
There is a huge mess of interconnecting CO2 pipelines slated to be built in Iowa by Summit, Navigator, and Wolf which will also reach into Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. This greenwashing tactic is not so much a solution to curbing the climate crisis but more of a ploy by the fossil fuel industry to keep drilling, fracking, and extracting rather than truly reducing emission levels. The process of retrieving CO2 out of ethanol, fertilizer, or coal plants actually requires 20-30% more energy to carry out the task and it then the liquified CO2 needs to be pumped underground into geologically appropriate spaces–which is a huge problem in and of itself. But, there is also the health consequence of CO2 pipelines–and that is, what happens when they leak? Currently, there are no first responders in the midwest that have been interviewed about this that have a plan. Also, what is going on in Indian Country? Are tribes being consulted yet and if so, how? And, what is it like for Indigenous organizers to stand for white landowners in order to protect the land?
If you missed it, you can go back to the original CO2 Pipeline Episode from August 31, 2021.
Eagle Feather Woman is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Joye’s history of community activism includes the long fought campaign against the Keystone XL the project resurrected at the same time DAPL was renewed and continues to threaten her homelands. She is also making stands to protect the Sacred Black Hills, her Ancestral sacred lands against Fracking, Uranium and Gold mining. Joye travels extensively and speaks throughout the northern plains and participates in Indigenous gatherings in the U.S. and Canada speaking about the negative impacts the extractive economy has on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the abuses taking place in the oil patch, pipeline work, and communities where man-camps bring drugs, human trafficking, and increase crime rates wherever they are located.
Scott has over 15 years of experience working in public policy, politics, and community organizing. Scott has served as the Executive Director of Dakota Resource Council since 2018. Dakota Resource Council (DRC) is a statewide conservation and family farm group that works with farmers, ranchers, and frontline communities to address community issues, climate change, and promote family farm agriculture. Prior to becoming DRC’s Executive Director, Scott worked as a Regional Organizer for the Western Organization of Resource Councils where he was responsible for WORC’s regional oil and gas campaign. Scott also spent four years working as a community organizer at Dakota Resource Council focusing on clean energy and oil and gas. Scott is a board member for North Dakota Voters First (an organization founded to combat gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement) , the REAMP Network Agriculture Hub (working to uncover climate solutions in the agriculture sector throughout the midwest), and lastly is a member of the Methane Partners Campaign Steering Committee (a campaign working to combat methane emissions from the oil and gas industry). Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Theory from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy from University of Denver.
Mahmud Fitil is Qırımlı (Crimean Tatar), the Indigenous peoples of Crimea, and a water protector. While in college Mahmud formed many life-long friendships with other Indigenous people, which motivated him to do more with folks from Turtle Island to help curb the climate crisis and stop social injustice. In addition to his involvement with Great Plains Action Society, Mahmud is also a founding member of Ní Btháska Stand, a grassroots Indigenous / Nebraskan collective in opposition to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline where he serves as a field scout, drone operator, social media admin and does some occasional organizing. In January 2021 Ní Btháska Stand Collective began working with the community of Mead, NE in order to raise awareness, organize and inform the public of the environmental disaster caused by that was the AltEn ethanol plant. Mahmud plans to continue working on Mead’s issues with AltEn in Nebraska through the collective while also increasingly engaging other projects with the relatives of Great Plains Action Society such as returning to the work of stopping the illegal Dakota Access Pipeline.