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And then this happened…

The Water Protectors were right!

In our March 2017 issue, we reported on the Water Protectors protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) crossing beneath the Missouri River, and predicting that the pipeline would leak and eventually contaminate essential water resources.

Nevertheless, the pipeline owners got the go-ahead from Donald Trump and began operations in June 2017. DAPL has leaked at least five times since then. The biggest was a 168-gallon leak near DAPL’s endpoint in Patoka, Illinois, on April 23. According to federal regulators, no wildlife was involved, although soil was contaminated. The Energy Transfer Crude Oil pipeline (ETCO), is a natural gas pipeline converted to carry crude. Together with DAPL it makes up the Bakken pipeline system. ETCO leaked at least three times in 2017. So far, the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration considers one spill “significant” a 4,998-gallon leak on the ETCO pipeline in Dyersburg, Tennessee, on June 19. 

Democracy Won!

In October and November WIP ran stories on oil money in Washington politics, including the Port of Vancouver race. There, oil giant Tesoro-Savage poured in nearly a half million dollars to defeat a candidate, Don Orange, who represented widespread local opposition to a huge oil transfer terminal the corporation intended to construct. Orange won with over 60 percent of the vote. In his first Port Commission meeting, Orange joined his two colleagues in voting to terminate the lease for the terminal effective March 31, 2018. In the meantime, the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) had recommended rejection of the site certificate needed for the proposal. On January 29 Governor Inslee signed the decision rejecting Tesoro-Savage’s application to build the massive terminal at the Port of Vancouver.. Judicial appeals from the Governor’s decision must be filed in Thurston County Superior Court and direct review to the Washington Supreme Court may be sought and is likely.

They made it!

WIP’s September issue covered De-Escalate Washington’s drive for signatures on an initiative that would mandate mental health and de–escalation training for police officers, require them to provide first-aide to victims after shootings, and change language in Washington law that presents an insurmountable barrier to finding a police officer accountable in any shooting. Last month, the Secretary of State certified Initiative 940 for the 2018 ballot. In 2017, police in Washington state killed 32 people, including two pregnant women. According to a national data base, mental illness played a role in 9 of the killings.

WIP plans to make “And then this happened..” a regular feature. So we’re looking for someone who likes to know the rest of the story to take on responsibility for looking up the outcomes of earlier stories each month. If this could be you, contact us at Be sure to put AND THEN THIS HAPPENED in the subject line.


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In the word of my fellow American, Malcolm X: I’m…