Oct 6, 2019

Greta Thunberg to visit Standing Rock Reservation

Greta Thunberg. Photo: Till Rimmele/Getty Images

16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will visit Standing Rock Reservation and the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota this week, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

Why it matters: Thunberg, who gave a scathing speech attacking world leaders for their inaction in the face of climate change at the United Nation's 2019 General Assembly, will be participating on panels about the environmental effects of 2 proposed oil pipelines that ignited protests in 2016 and 2017.

Details: Thunberg will participate on a panel on Sunday about the Keystone XL pipeline at the Red Cloud Indian School Field House on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

  • On Tuesday, she'll participate in a forum on the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock High School in Fort Yates, North Dakota.

Context: TC Energy's (formerly TransCanada) Keystone XL pipeline is a proposed addition to the Keystone Pipeline System. The Keystone XL would carry oil from Canada across Montana and South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska. In South Dakota, the XL would run near the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations.

  • TC Energy on Oct. 4 informed a federal court that it would begin preparing for the XL's construction in South Dakota and Montana, according to the Rapid City Journal.
  • The Keystone Pipeline System, which runs through eastern North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in eastern South Dakota on Nov. 17, 2017.

The Dakota Access Pipeline starts in North Dakota and runs for 1,172 miles through South Dakota and Iowa to oil terminals in Illinois.

  • In North Dakota, it runs near the Standing Rock Reservation and under Lake Oahe, the reservation's main source of water.
  • Lake Oahe's river crossing was the center of protests over potential water contamination and damage to sacred tribal sites in 2016 and 2017.

Of note: Thunberg will join fellow youth climate activist and indigenous rights advocate Tokata Iron Eyes on both panels.

Go deeper ... Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Greta's climate moment

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Keystone Pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons of oil in North Dakota

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

State officials said Thursday that TC Energy's Keystone Pipeline System leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: The Keystone Pipeline — which can carry 23 million gallons of tar sands oil every day from Canada to oil terminals in Illinois — and its proposed "XL" expansion project have been the target of environmental protests for years.

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Powerful wintry snowstorm dumps 2 feet of snow across Northern Plains

A powerful early season snowstorm closed roads, as it continued to pummel the Northern Plains with blizzard conditions Saturday. Parts of the plains were hit by more than 2 feet of snow, and 3-10 inches were set to fall overnight, ABC News reports.

What they're saying: The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center said, "Estimated observed snowfall over the past 72 hours depicts a rather large swath of 18-30 inches across portions of north central and northeast North Dakota." Forecasters warn some areas were set for the season's coldest night, with temperatures as low as 26 degrees expected overnight.

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Kim Kardashian wants to help Greta Thunberg's social media presence

Greta Thunberg and Kim Kardashian. Photos: Getty Images

Kim Kardashian told Reuters Tuesday that she'd like to help teen climate activist Greta Thunberg's parents manage the 16-year-old's social media presence because "speaking on a big platform invites a lot of different opinions and personalities."

Why it matters: The reality TV star has proven herself to be an effective political navigator in the Trump administration, helping to free over a dozen inmates in 2019 and bringing rapper A$AP Rocky's detention in Sweden to President Trump's attention. Thunberg has more than 10 million followers between her Instagram and Twitter accounts while Kardashian has nearly 150 million on Instagram alone.

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