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Corrupt BLM Approves Ruby Pipeline

On Tuesday, July 13, the BLM granted El Paso corporation approval to construct the Ruby Pipeline, despite lack of input or public comment options ANYWHERE in the state of Nevada, whose residents and ecosystems must bear the long term effects of a natural gas pipeline crossing the pristine wilderness of northern Nevada.
The proposed Ruby Pipeline route is also the mating grounds of endangered sage grouse, whom the BLM under Obama's Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar decided no longer needed ESA protections. How about that for some change from GW Bush policies!!


Several articles detail the recent BLM decision granting approval to El Paso corporation to construct the Rubty Pipeline through pristine lands of Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and CA.

"BLM Approves Ruby Pipeline for BP Gas"

Wild Horses to Pay the Price


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By ROBERT WINKLER
The Desert Independent

July 14, 2010

"WASHINGTON, DC - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just approved the Ruby Pipeline through a destructive route across the West. This is the same pipeline that will carry British Petroleum (BP) gas.

The route chosen and approved by BLM for the Ruby Pipeline is the least expensive and most damaging route. Instead of choosing to build on already disturbed lands along highways and power lines, the BLM has allowed the path of most destruction through pristine wilderness.

 http://www.thedesertinde.com/Articles%202010/BLM-Approves-Ruby-Pipeline-0714.html

In April, suspicions peaked when the project coordinator for the pipeline told a reporter that "All hell would break loose" once the plan was approved, and that the pristine land along the route would "look like Hiroshima." Would that be a reason to thin out the horse herds? The BLM and El Paso both vigorously deny the Calico roundup was related in any way to the pipeline, but it is clear from documents that the mustangs were discussed by both at several points in the permitting process.

 http://www.8newsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=12769788

Secretary Ken Salazar of the BLM authorized this destructive route which shows they are hell-bent on destroying the last big areas of the West where wild horse herds roam and wildlife currently thrives just to make things cheaper for the BP and the rest of the gas industry. A route through disturbed lands would have avoided all of these conflicts with public lands and wild herds. We have just seen the results of industry cost-cutting with energy projects in the Gulf.

The route chosen and approved by BLM for the Ruby Pipeline is the least expensive and most damaging route. Instead of choosing to build on already disturbed lands along highways and power lines, the BLM has allowed the path of most destruction through pristine wilderness. These public lands are not only home to herds of wild horses but sensitive species such as sage grouse and pygmy rabbits.

The American public is now footing the bill for the massive removals of wild horses, some of whom stood in the way of the Ruby Pipeline. The American public is being robbed of the serenity and beauty of our vast Western landscapes."

above info found here;
 link to highboldtage.wordpress.com


other article from Elko;

ELKO -The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday announced its approval of rights of way for the Ruby Pipeline that will extend from Wyoming to Oregon, coming through Elko County.

El Paso Corp. can't begin construction on the 678-mile, $3 billion natural gas pipeline, however, until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a notice to proceed and state historic preservation offices sign off.

"We're very, very close to that finish line," El Paso spokesman Richard Wheatley said Tuesday. "It's been two and a half years in the permitting process."

FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen said Tuesday the order to proceed will come from Director of Energy Projects Jeff Wright, and "he has to make sure all the ducks are in a row to make a determination."

Approvals have been slower than El Paso expected, but Wheatley said the company still hopes to put the natural gas pipeline into production next March.

"We have the ability to mobilize workers and worker camps very quickly," he said.

Robert Scruggs, acting for State BLM Director Ron Wenker, signed the record of decision and the right-of-way grant for the pipeline as the designated federal officer for the four-state project, according to BLM spokeswoman JoLynn Worley.

The BLM action involved the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We are very pleased to receive conditional BLM approval for this important infrastructure project," said Jim Cleary, president of El Paso's Western Pipeline Group.

"We expect to satisfy the BLM conditions and receive our FERC notice to proceed very soon and begin construction shortly thereafter," he said.

"It's just a matter of putting the documents together and sending them out for a signature. We're almost there," Mark Mackiewicz, project manager for the BLM, told The Associated Press.

Wheatley said the Ruby Pipeline construction work will involve 5,000 workers, and El Paso has already trained hundreds of workers for the project.

Ruby Pipeline has a temporary FERC permit for project staging and an earlier permit for inventory storage that includes the hundreds of pipes at the Northeast Nevada Regional Railport at Osino.

El Paso also is seeking condemnation of 0.768 acres of land in Elko County for the project because the land is in an estate with no owner of record for the company to work out an easement agreement, Wheatley said.

"It is now being administered by the county. We had no choice but to go to court," he said.

Ruby is a 42-inch interstate natural gas transmission pipeline that extends from Opal, Wyo., to Malin, Ore., bringing gas to markets in Nevada, California and the Pacific Northwest.

The pipeline will have an initial design capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.

El Paso is partners with Global Infrastructure Partners in the Ruby Pipeline Project. Global Infrastructure is an independent fund that invests worldwide in infrastructure assets and businesses.

According to the record of decision, Ruby will post a $42 million performance bond.

The document states that the bond will apply to all cultural resource post-field work costs associated with implementing the approved treatment plans in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and Oregon.

The BLM's record of decision was based on an environmental impact statement of the proposed pipeline project, and copies of the decision will be available on compact discs, on the Internet and at BLM offices, including the Elko office.

The Internet address is:

 http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/info/nepa/ruby_pipeline_project.html.

Mail requests may be sent to Mark Mackiewicz, BLM national project manager, 125 South 600 West, Price, UT 84501. The e-mail address for requests is blmruby [at] blm.gov.
"

article found here;
 link to elkodaily.com

The other Sierra Club chapters in Utah and Oregon were paid off by El Paso corporation to grant their nod of approval, so these groups lack any info on their website. However, the Toiyabe Sierra Club based in Reno has written several letters of opposition against the Ruby Pipeline to the BLM and FERC, and is now considering legal action.

The Summit Lake Paiute nation has also expressed their opposition to the Ruby Pipeline, as it would disrupt their cultural land based resources, including indigenous food sources and sacred and endangered animals such as the sage grouse.

Letter from Summit Lake Paiute to BLM;

Dear Mr. Mackiewicz,

"On behalf of the Summit Lake Paiute Council, governing body of the federally recognized
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe, and a Ruby Pipeline affected Tribe, I submit this Comment on the
FERC Final EIS on the Ruby Pipeline Project, FERC Docket CP0954-000 as instructed in the
Cover Letter to the Final EIS at page 3, and by your letter, extending the Comment period to
today.

A copy of this email will be electronically filed with FERC.

The Summit Lake Paiute Council (Council) represents and speaks for 120 members of the
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe.
Please enter these additional comments of the Summit Lake Paiute Council into the BLM

Record of Decision and Right of Way Record.

We viewed the FERC Issuance of the Certificate of Necessity and Convenience yesterday with
great disappointment. On April 5, 2010, the FERC Commissioners basically told Nevada
Tribes, in effect, like in yesteryear, "don't worry the Great White Father will protect you and
what is sacred to you." FERC Commissioners also played off of Nevada Tribes the cooperation
and support of Council of Energy Resource Tribes member Tribes--the latter never explicitly
discussed in any of their comments the differences between the Proposed Route over the
Black Rock Route or the Highway 140 (Sheldon) Route.

Much of the process is not yet even complete. Intense ESA, biological, cultural, wild lands,
and other conflicts need to be resolved. As this Tribe learned at the El Paso Corporation
sponsored 3rd Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, February 18-19, 2010, more intensive
studies, like ground penetrating radar, have been used on the western side of the pipeline
construction route to locate remains of Northern Paiute ancestors and others. I do not see
that FERC has had Ruby review the records of the U.S. Army during its occupation of Camp
McGerry or any other U.S. Army Fort or Camp along the pipeline construction route to see
where the U.S. Army reported killing Northern Paiutes and others, where they are buried or
whether they were left where they fell. BLM should require identical studies and additional
record searches before it issues its ROD or ROW.

While the Summit Lake Paiute Council was told by FERC staff that additional miles alone
would not be a cause to reject one route over another, the length of miles between
alternatives was, in fact, a major reason for FERC's decision. BLM should reject that
reasoning.

FERC appears to have no understanding of sage-grouse, biological issues and threats to
Web-Based Email :: Print Page 1 of 3

 http://email.secureserver.net/view_print_multi.php?uidArray=58|INBOX.Sent_Items&aEml... 4/6/2010
species.

The FERC April 5, 2010 Ruby Decision states:

As described in the EIS, the greater sage-grouse is a sensitive small game species in the
project area that was classified as a candidate for federal protection at the time of
Commission staff's environmental review. However, on March 5, 2010, FWS determined that
the greater sage-grouse did not warrant Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.
FERC Decision, dated April 5, 2010, at page 21, paragraph 56.
FERC has not addressed the fact that the Interior Department in March 2010 found that sagegrouse
do indeed Warrant Listing under the ESA. The status of sage-grouse throughout the
EIS process is also incorrectly stated.

In the EIS and Certificate, there is no acknowledgement of the seriousness of the plight of
sage-grouse habitats and small beleaguered populations that will be ripped apart by the illsited
Ruby Proposed Route.

It will clearly violate BLM Conservation Policy for Sage-Grouse not to fully integrate this new
Warranted but Precluded information into EIS analysis. Agencies must fully examine the
current status of sage-grouse habitats and populations in the path of Ruby in a habitat,
landscape and population conservation context.

The Summit Lake Paiute Council agrees with other comments that an SEIS is needed to
address the myriad outstanding wildlife, migratory bird, golden eagle, aquatic species and
other rare biota impacts. It is necessary for understanding and fully mitigating the severe
effects of massive road construction and road use, the full battery of noise, visual and other
disturbances on the Summit Lake Reservation, its members and Reservation residents, the
huge number of unresolved cultural issues and conflicts, the evaluation of impacts on tribal
members subsistence hunting, conducting spiritual ceremonies, etc.

For example, we understand that a separate EA and Transportation Plan may be in the works
for just the Sheldon NWR. If that is the case BLM will need several EISs before it can issue or
deny any Right-of-Way.

To save Northern Paiute People from being victimized by the federal government again, as
they were in the 1800s, BLM must find that the current EIS is inadequate. It is BLM's duty to
manage the public lands, which includes many Northern Paiute Nation Tribes' traditional
territory (see Except and Map of Omer C. Stewart, Newsletter/Research Page, Summit Lake
Paiute Tribe web site (  http://www.summitlaketribe.org)) to prevent undue degradation, and to
ensure that NEPA is fully upheld. In the case of this Ruby process, BLM cannot rely on the
EIS and information to date."

Sincerely,

Warner Barlese
________________________
Warner Barlese, Chairman
Summit Lake Paiute Council
SUMMIT LAKE PAIUTE TRIBE
1708 H Street
Sparks, NV 894312
(775) 827-9670

above letter found here (click on Environmental Alerts);
 http://www.summitlaketribe.org/


The Toiyabe chapter is so far the only western Sierra Club chapter voicing their opposition to the Ruby Pipeline. All other chapters remain silent!!

 http://nevada.sierraclub.org/RubyPipeline.html

The Toiyabe Sierra Club is attempting litigation to stop the Ruby Pipeline, though they cannot guarantee any success in their endeavors. Looks like Nevada's sage grouse may need the help of ELF to stop the Ruby Pipeline!! Nobody else seems willing or able to do anything!!