How We Can Stop Enbridge’s Toxic Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline

Action alert from petitions –

Indigenous leaders and allies organized for more than a decade to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and finally won after the project was cancelled earlier this month. Now, we have a chance to come together again to stop another dangerous project: Enbridge’s toxic Line 3 tar sands pipeline, which is a threat to treaty rights, clean water, and the climate.

My petition asking President Biden to stop the construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline just crossed 50,000 signatures! Will you add your name and then share it with friends to help us get to our next goal of 100,000?

For seven years the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) people of Northern Minnesota and our allies—have been organizing to stop the construction of the massive Line 3 toxic tar sands pipeline, which is a terrible threat to our treaty rights, clean water, and the climate.

President Biden can cancel the permits for Line 3 with the stroke of a pen, just as he did for the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office. It just needs to become a priority for him.

Will you show your support and sign my petition asking President Biden to stop construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline?

This month was a month that touched my heart. More than 2,000 water protectors took peaceful, bold action side by side with frontline Indigenous leaders in resisting Enbridge’s Line 3. Nearly 200 were arrested.1 Others are still prayerfully holding space in solidarity with the RISE Coalition, upholding our treaty rights at the spot where the pipeline is slated to cross the Mississippi headwaters.

Now we need YOUR help to send a loud message to President Biden, asking him to stop construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

The Enbridge corporation’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline project would expand the production of one of the world’s dirtiest fuels—tar sands crude oil—through 200 bodies of water in our treaty territory.2 These are lands where we have the right to hunt, fish, and gather the sacred manoomin (wild rice). In the face of climate catastrophe, the pipeline would carry the carbon impact of 50 new coal plants.3

Over the past seven years, youth, Indigenous leaders, community groups, scientists, and tribal governments have fought this project. The state of Minnesota’s own Commerce Department has joined tribal governments and others in a pending lawsuit saying this project is not needed.

But big money talks loudly, and the Trump administration and state regulators let the project go through, without a proper Environmental Impact Statement taking into account treaty rights or climate change. More than 300 groups wrote to President Biden asking him to use his power to revoke the Army Corps of Engineers permit for this project.4 But we need you to add your voice.

Please sign this petition to President Biden, asking him to stop construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

Just this month, the company that has spent more than a decade trying to build the Keystone XL pipeline officially cancelled the project.5 That didn’t just happen; it was the result of tireless organizing that built political power stronger than corporate lobbyists. Together, we can build on that momentum and make Line 3 the next pipeline to be cancelled.

There is no time to lose. Over the next few weeks, the Enbridge corporation is preparing to drill under dozens of Minnesota’s rivers and lakes, including the Mississippi headwaters.

Hundreds of us have faced arrest, threats, and harassment for rising up against the Line 3 pipeline and for our rights and everyone’s future.

Seeing people from all over—every race, age, and religion, Native and non-Native—put their bodies on the line this month told me we can win.

Please join us by adding your name to my petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Miigwech (thank you),

–Gina Peltier, Water Protector & Organizer, Honor The Earth


1. “Hundreds Arrested at Line 3 ‘Treaty People Gathering.’ Water Protectors Vow To Continue Until the Pipeline is Canceled,” DeSmog, June 8, 2021

2. “As Line 3 construction rolls on, river crossings draw pipeline resisters,” MPR News, June 4, 2021

3. “Greenhouse gases from Line 3 pipeline raise questions about meeting Minnesota’s goals for cutting emissions,” StarTribune, March 28, 2021

4. “Dawn Goodwin and 300 Environmental Groups Consider the new Line 3 Pipeline a Danger to All Forms of Life,” Inside Climate News, June 7, 2021

5. “The Keystone XL pipeline project has been terminated,” The New York Times, June 9, 2021

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Bernie Wants To Talk About Billionaires

“I think Americans agree…after years and years of worrying about  billionaires and the rich now it’s time to have a budget that speaks to the needs of working families and the climate crisis that we face.” – Bernie Sanders

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How Can We Activate Democracy’s Immune System?

If we can’t regulate the “news” or even stop trolls and foreign operatives from inciting Americans, how can we activate the “immune system” of democracy? – Thom Hartmann

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Iowa Clean Water Fight Far From Over

CCI and Food and Water Watch issued a joint statement on the Iowa Supreme Court 4-3 decision against their clean water lawsuit.

“Iowans have the right to clean water. According to the Public Trust Doctrine, which has been Iowa law since Iowa became a state, it is the State’s duty to protect that right. The legislature failed to protect Iowans’ right to clean water as provided by the Iowa Constitution.

The Iowa Supreme Court has decided that a favorable decision in our case would not remedy the harm from pollution in the Raccoon River and that the lawsuit raised political questions that the legislature, not the courts, should resolve. Until further action is taken, industrial agricultural runoff will continue to pollute the river unimpeded, and Iowans’ right to clean water will remain a right without a remedy. We speak for many people across the state of Iowa when we say that we are deeply disappointed.”

You can read our full press release here.

We’re already considering the next legal steps we can take. Stay tuned: we’ll be in touch with more in-depth, exclusive details about what this ruling means for our case and for our work going forward.

What we know for sure: The fight for clean water in Iowa is far from over.

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Iowa’s Water Quality: Legislation, Litigation Or Collaboration?

ICYMI – Ted Corrigan, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works, and Larry Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa, who leads the Iowa Watershed Approach and is co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center and former director of IIHR. They discuss water quality and water supply issues across the state.

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Dry Spring In Iowa

It is abnormally dry in our part of Iowa. Just as we are needing rain, we are not getting it. A home gardener can irrigate new trees, fruits and vegetables, but the massive scale required to hydrate Iowa’s main commodity crops and livestock is not available. Creating the infrastructure to pump water from ancient aquifers is doable, yet an unsustainable practice. It seems like we are heading into a drought. (The map is from the state climatology website which provides data about precipitation, temperature and other aspects of the climate).

Iowans are familiar with drought. In the 2012 drought corn yield per harvested acre was 123.1 bushels compared to the average of the seven following years at 170.4 bushels. The drought decreased corn yield by 27.8 percent according to USDA numbers.

There is a relatively finite amount of water on Earth which cycles through the atmosphere, on land, and in the oceans. Some of it rests in deep underground aquifers where it has been since prehistoric times. An increasingly warm climate impacts how water cycles, It is getting hotter. “Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record,” according to an analysis by NASA. The oceans are getting warmer too.

Rising air and water temperatures and changes in precipitation are intensifying droughts, increasing heavy downpours, reducing snowpack, and causing declines in surface water quality, with varying impacts across regions. Future warming will add to the stress on water supplies and adversely impact the availability of water in parts of the United States.

Fourth National Climate Assessment.

The problem goes beyond Iowa. The Hoover Dam, located on the Colorado River near the Nevada-Arizona border, is suffering the consequences of drought. Lake Mead, the artificial lake created behind the dam, is at a lower water level than was when it was built. The water shortage will impact 25 million people including in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.

Farmers are abandoning crops, Nevada is banning the watering of about one-third of the lawn in the Las Vegas area, and the governor of Utah is literally asking people to pray for rain.

Firefighters are facing worsening conditions this summer — after nearly 10,000 fires in California alone during the last wildfire season burned 4.2 million acres (1.7 million hectares), an area nearly as large as Kuwait.

Reuters, June 10, 2021

Water in California’s Lake Oroville will fall so low this summer that its hydroelectric power plant may be forced to shut down for the first time.

We must do something more than pray for rain. It begins with recognition.

The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni” (“Water is life”) was the protest anthem from Standing Rock heard around the world, but it also has a spiritual meaning rooted in Indigenous world views. For Native Americans, water does not only sustain life, it is sacred.

Action to prevent drought must include acknowledging that climate change is real, something Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have both done. The next step is addressing the climate crisis through policy and legislation and that’s been the rub. The climate crisis is more complicated than any single policy or law.

Peter Rolnick of Citizen’s Climate Lobby wrote a guest opinion in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on June 15, 2021. He commended the Iowa senators and Rep. Cindy Axne for supporting the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act. If passed, the law would engage farmers in storing more carbon in our soil instead of emitting it into the air in the form of carbon dioxide or methane. The relationship to drought is clear. A molecule of CO2 or methane sequestered in the ground is one that does not get into the atmosphere and increase warming. Even the American Farm Bureau is in favor of this bill, which on its own raises red flags. One bill is not enough.

We need much more in the way of policy and legislation. The Biden administration’s approach of embedding work on climate change in each of the executive branch departments is important. It is up to each of us to encourage those in government to work toward viable climate solutions. There are personal actions we can take to reduce our carbon footprint, yet the most effective action is in the government arena. If constituents don’t remind members of our governing bodies to act on the climate crisis, they seem likely to forget.

We’ll know it when we hit the drought this year. News media has been forthright in reporting it because so many Iowa livelihoods depend upon the weather. When will we wake up to take action to address what is causing the drought? Not soon enough.

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Juneteenth Is A National Holiday

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a law which created Juneteenth (June 19) as a federal holiday. Following are the president’s remarks at the signing ceremony.

East Room – 3:51 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Well, thank you, Madam Vice President.

One hundred and fifty-six years ago — one hundred and fifty-six years — June 19th, 1865 — John, thanks for being here — a major general of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and free the last enslaved Americans in Texas from bondage. A day, as you all know — I’m going to repeat some of what was said — that became known as Juneteenth. You all know that. A day that reflects what the Psalm tell us: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and subjugation, and a promise of a brighter morning to come. This is a day of profound — in my view — profound weight and profound power.

A day in which we remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take — what I’ve long called “America’s original sin.”

At the same time, I also remember the extraordinary capacity to heal, and to hope, and to emerge from the most painful moments and a bitter, bitter version of ourselves, but to make a better version of ourselves.

You know, today, we consecrate Juneteenth for what it ought to be, what it must be: a national holiday. As the Vice President noted, a holiday that will join the others of our national celebrations: our independence, our laborers who built this nation, our servicemen and women who served and died in its defense. And the first new national holiday since the creation of Martin Luther King Holiday nearly four decades ago.

I am grateful to the members of Congress here today — in particular, the Congressional Black Caucus, who did so much to make this day possible.

I’m especially pleased that we showed the nation that we can come together as Democrats and Republicans to commemorate this day with the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Congress. I hope this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with one another.

And we’re blessed — we’re blessed to mark the day in the presence of Ms. Opal Lee. As my mother would say, “God love her.” (Applause.)

I had the honor of meeting her in Nevada more than a year ago. She told me she loved me, and I believed it. (Laughter.) I wanted to believe it. (Laughs.) Ms. Opal, you’re incredible. A daughter of Texas. Grandmother of the movement to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

And Ms. Opal is — you won’t believe it — she’s 49 years old. (Laughter.) Or 94 years old, but I — (laughter). You are an incredible woman, Ms. Opal. You really are.

As a child growing up in Texas, she and her family would celebrate Juneteenth. On Juneteenth, 1939, when she was 12 years old, the white — a white mob torched her family home. But such hate never stopped her any more than it stopped the vast majority of you I’m looking at from this podium.

Over the course of decades, she’s made it her mission to see that this day came. It was almost a singular mission. She’s walked for miles and miles, literally and figuratively, to bring attention to Juneteenth, to make this day possible.

I ask, once again, we all stand and give her a warm welcome to the White House. (Applause.)

As they still say in the Senate and I said for 36 years, “if you excuse me there for a point of personal privilege,” as I was walking down, I regret that my grandchildren aren’t here because this is a really, really, really important moment in our history.

By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come but the distance we have to travel, Jim.

You know, I said a few weeks ago, marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They don’t ignore those moments of the past. They embrace them. Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made. And in remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger.

The truth is, it’s not — simply not enough just to commemorate Juneteenth. After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning.

To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we have to continue toward that promise because we’ve not gotten there yet. The Vice President and I and our entire administration and all of you in this room are committed to doing just that.

That’s why we’ve launched an aggressive effort to combat racial discrimination in housing — finally address the cruel fact that a home owned, to this day, by a Black American family is usually appraised at a lower rate for a similar home owned by a white family in a similar area.

That’s why we committed to increasing Black homeownership, one of the biggest drivers of generational wealth.

That’s why we’re making it possible for more Black entrepreneurs to access — to access capital, because their ideas are as good; they lack the capital to get their fair — and get their fair share of federal contracts so they can begin to build wealth.

That’s why we’re working to give each and every child, three and four years of age, not daycare, but school — in a school. (Applause.)

That’s why — that’s why we’re unlocking the incredibly creative and innovation — innovation of the history — of our Historical Black Colleges and Universities, providing them with the resources to invest in research centers and laboratories to help HBCU graduates prepare and compete for good-paying jobs in the industries of the future.

Folks, the promise of equality is not going to be fulfilled until we become real — it becomes real in our schools and on our Main Streets and in our neighborhoods — our healthcare system and ensuring that equity is at the heart of our fight against the pandemic; in the water that comes out of our faucets and the air that we breathe in our communities; in our justice system — so that we can fulfill the promise of America for all people. All of our people.

And it’s not going to be fulfilled so long as the sacred right to vote remains under attack. (Applause.)

We see this assault from restrictive laws, threats of intimidation, voter purges, and more — an assault that offends the very democracy — our very democracy.

We can’t rest until the promise of equality is fulfilled for every one of us in every corner of this nation. That, to me, is the meaning of Juneteenth. That’s what it’s about.

So let’s make this June- — this very Juneteenth, tomorrow — the first that our nation will celebrate all together, as one nation — a Juneteenth of action on many fronts. 

One of those is vaccinations. Tomorrow, the Vice President will be in Atlanta on a bus tour, helping to spread the word, like all of you have been doing, on lifesaving vaccines.

And across the country this weekend, including here in Washington, people will be canvassing and hosting events in their communities, going door-to-door, encouraging vaccinations.

We’ve built equity into the heart of the vaccination program from day one, but we still have more work to do to close the racial gap in vaccination rates. The more we can do that, the more we can save lives.

Today also marks the sixth anniversary of the tragic deaths of — at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A killer motivated by hate, intending to start a race war in South Carolina. He joined his victims in a Bible study class, then he took their lives in the house of worship.

It’s a reminder that our work to root out hate never ends — because hate only hides, it never fully goes away. It hides. And when you breathe oxygen under that rock, it comes out.

And that’s why we must understand that Juneteenth represents not only the commemoration of the end of slavery in America more than 150 years ago, but the ongoing work to have to bring true equity and racial justice into American society, which we can do.

In short, this day doesn’t just celebrate the past; it calls for action today.

I wish all Americans a happy Juneteenth. I am shortly going to — in a moment, going to sign into law, making it a federal holiday.

And I have to say to you, I’ve only been President for several months, but I think this will go down, for me, as one of the greatest honors I will have had as President, not because I did it; you did it — Democrats and Republicans. But it’s an enormous, enormous honor.

Thank you for what you’ve done. And, by the way, typical of most of us in Congress and the Senate, I went down to the other end of the hall first and thanked your staffs because I know who does the hard work. (Laughter and applause.) They’re down there. They’re at the other end, but I thanked them as well.

May God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you. (Applause.)

Now, I’d like to invite up, while I sign, Senator Tina Smith, Senator Ed Markey, Senator Raphael Warnock, Senator John Cornyn, Whip Jim Clyburn, Representative Barbara Lee, Representative Danny Davis, Chair Joyce Beatty, and Sheila Jackson Lee, and Ms. Opal.

(The act is signed.) (Applause.)

4:06 P.M. EDT

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Celebrate Pride Month At These Iowa Events

June is pride month!  Here is a list of events around Iowa

June 24
Thu, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Frauenholtz-Miller Park, 4329 St Patricks Dr
Iowa City

June 21
Pride Week 2021
Mon, Jun 21 – Sun, Jun 27

June 18
Studio Summer Pride Week
Wed, Jun 16 – Sun, Jun 20
13 S Linn St
Iowa City

June 26
TPI Pride Month Color Run
Sat, 8 AM
Maytag Park, 301 South 11th Ave W

June 21
Pride 2021 LGBTQ Community Forum
Mon, 6 – 8 PM
Dubuque Museum of Art, 701 Locust St

June 26
Pride with Found
Sat, 3 – 11 PM
6022 Maple St

June 27
Sun, 2 – 7 AM
852 Washington St

June 30
Drag King DSM Show
Wed, 9:00 – 11:30 PM
Wooly’s, 504 E Locust St
Des Moines

June 26
Sat, 12 – 2 AM
Bicknell Park

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Republicans Are Why Iowa Can’t Have Nice Things

Does no one else find it strange, mind-boggling and infuriating that our governor REFUSED FEDERAL MONEY that is supposed to be helping Iowans?  Kim Reynolds said no thanks, we’re all fine,  especially those of us who live in the governor’s mansion and make regular appearances on Fox News.  Democratic candidates for office, please, please hammer this in your campaigns as an example of how one party rule is ruining our state.  Our Republican governor gave back money that belonged to Iowans. Money from the federal government that was intended for people.  How pathetically bad is that.  And from the Iowa press?  Crickets…

In May, Gov Reynolds promised Fox News she would reject $33 million a week in federal help for unemployed Iowa families. Now it’s happening.

But even then, Governor Reynolds admitted that Iowa has “more jobs available than we have people on unemployment.” BINGO! Iowa’s worker shortage is a chronic problem, not caused by pandemic relief.

Americans have choices…and Governor Reynolds keeps pointing out that Iowa is increasingly not a choice they like.

Young people especially simply don’t want to stay in, or move to, a state like what Iowa’s become, a state where the rights and wages of workers are constantly under attack.

Going on Fox News to reject help for working families may raise Gov Kim Reynolds’ profile with Republican donors, but she’s also making it harder to grow Iowa’s economy.


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99 Counties For Climate Action

Rob Hogg

From our inbox: A note from Senator Rob Hogg –

Climate change virtual statewide program
Thursday, July 8, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Plus other news (my announcement I am not
running for re-election to state senate in 2022)

Dear Friends:

Let me begin with the other news first. Yesterday, I announced I would not be running for re-election to my state senate seat in 2022.

As I said in my statement (see below), I am announcing now because I know I won’t be running for re-election and I believe it is important to allow new candidates to get started on their campaigns. Thanks to everyone who has shared kind thoughts and support. Here is the complete statement I issued:

“Today, I am announcing I will not be seeking re-election in 2022. It has been an honor to represent the people of Senate District 33 in the Iowa Senate.

“I am proud of my accomplishments in the Iowa Legislature, including flood recovery, flood mitigation, the Iowa Flood Center, watershed management authorities, expansion of solar power and other renewable energy, Iowa’s preschool program, Iowa’s STEM education initiative, expanded job training programs through our community colleges, raising the minimum wage, prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ Iowans, strengthening Iowa’s child safety seat law, and passing Iowa’s smoke-free law.

“I have not finalized my plans for the future. This has certainly been a time for reflection about what’s important in life. But I do know I will not be running for re-election in my current senate district so I am making this announcement today. I also know there are other highly qualified people who are interested in running, and I believe it is important to allow candidates to get started. I look forward to seeing what new Democratic candidates can do to compete and win across Iowa.”


I do have another year-and-a-half as a state senator and, beyond that, I hope to stay involved in public policy. I strongly support our leaders, Senator Zach Wahls and Representative Jennifer Konfrst, and the work of legislative Democrats to pick up seats and take back the majority in both chambers.

We had a great event with Senator Wahls last night at Overlook Pavilion in Ellis Park in Cedar Rapids. I hope you can support the Iowa Senate Democrats’ Majority Fund. You can contribute online at this link:

You can also mail a check made payable to the “Senate Majority Fund” care of Senator Rob Hogg, P.O. Box 1361, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406, and I will be sure to get it to Senator Wahls and the Iowa Senate Democratic campaign team. Thanks to all who have already contributed. Democrats need your financial help to compete and win across the state in 2022, especially as we are waiting for the new district maps.


State Rep. Ras Smith announced he is a candidate for Governor today. Here is a link to a one-minute, 47- second video to introduce his candidacy:

State Rep. Ras Smith is a husband, father, veteran state lawmaker from Waterloo, with a family farm in Grundy County. We don’t know who else will run, but I hope you will watch his video and follow his campaign.


With the drought deepening and spreading across Iowa, and other parts of the United States, the fight against climate change and for a sustainable future is as urgent as ever.

Please take action to conserve and sustain our natural resources. And please speak up with our national Congressional delegation – both Republicans (Ernst, Grassley, Feenstra, Hinson, and Miller-Meeks) and Democrat (Axne) – to urge them to actually pass climate legislation this summer.

If you would like to get more involved and more informed, please join me on Thursday, July 8, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., for a statewide virtual event called “99 Counties for Climate Action.”

Speakers include Phil Engen, a volunteer with Citizens Climate Lobby; Brian Campbell, the new director of the Iowa Environmental Council; Genie Maybanks, the new director of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association; and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, Iowa resident and long-time board member of the National Wildlife Federation.

You can learn more about this event at this Facebook event page:

Here is an Eventbrite link where you can register and get the Zoom link:

I hope you will join me for this event, and please speak up for the climate action we so urgently need.


Senator Rob Hogg
Cedar Rapids
Telephone: (319) 247-0223
Twitter: @SenatorRobHogg

Rob Hogg is a State Senator from Cedar Rapids. Contact Rob at
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