A proposed natural gas pipeline is underway in Nevada, being built by El Paso Corp. It would cross hundreds of miles of pristine (endangered) sage grouse habitat in northern Nevada and cut through some of the most untouched lands in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and Oregon. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the pipeline will “trench through more than 1,000 rivers and streams, acutely affecting endangered fish species and fish habitat. It will use more than 400 million gallons of water over the next several years from an arid region.” The risk of pipeline rupture and leakage into sensitive desert watersheds is real, yet the FERC and BLM both recently granted El Paso corporation approval to go ahead with construction of the pipeline, and yesterday a federal appeals court denied the CBD’s attempts to get an emergency injunction.
Lahontan cutthroat trout (above) and Warner Creek sucker (below) are especially endangered, as their designated critical habitat in Twelvemile and Twentymile Creeks in Oregon will likely be blasted to make way for the Ruby Pipeline.
There had been more widespread opposition to the Ruby Pipeline, but then El Paso Corp. paid out $20 million in conservation trusts to Western Watersheds Project and the Oregon Natural Desert on the condition that they drop their opposition to the Pipeline. The Summit Lake Paiutes, the Toiyabe Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity have all expressed their opposition and are involved in litigation against the pipeline, though as of yet no direct action group such as EF! has gotten involved. There are several articles on indymedia detailing the risks and following the legal battles of the pipeline. (indybay, LA Indymedia, Portland Indymedia). El Paso Corp. has also paid out $15 million in a trust agreement with ranchers from the Public Lands Council whose concerns over grazing area are also being silenced.
Anything that EF! could do to help stop this pipeline would be vital to protecting endangered sage grouse of northern Nevada!
— submitted by “a concerned Nevada resident”
A little critical thinking here: perhaps WWP and ONDA took the money because they knew that going the lawsuit route would be a loser? Rather than thinking these groups “sold out” by taking money from El Paso, we could all look at the evidence of this failed injunction and see that maybe WWP and ONDA were being pragmatic. If the pipeline can’t be stopped through the courts, getting mitigation money may have been the best option.