Chippewa Bad River Band Declines to Renew Wisconsin Pipeline Easement

January 16, 2017; InsideClimate News and Reuters

The Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians took a cue from the Standing Rock Sioux protest this winter and declined to allow an oil pipeline to run through their land. The pipeline, known as Line 5, was installed in the 1950s thanks to an easement granted by the tribe to the oil company, allowing the pipe to run through tribal land. Unlike most privately owned land, tribal land is sovereign and not subject to eminent domain, so oil companies cannot force use of it for the public good; permission is required from the tribe, generally in the form of such an easement. This easement expired in 2013, and the tribe voted in the first week of 2017 not to renew it, terminating the oil company’s permission to use the land and effectively forcing them to reroute the line. The pipeline is owned by a Canadian company called Enbridge, which owns more than 11,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. and Canada.

Holder and Obama to Collaborate on Redistricting

January 11, 2017; New York Times

Democrats lost the 2016 election in a big way. Not only did they lose the presidency, they lost House and Senate seats, governorships, and state legislatures across the country. Since that election, the public and the pundits have been wondering: How did this happen? There are a lot of ways to answer that question, but part of the blame must fall on gerrymandering. Every ten years, new census results in hand, states redraw the boundaries of their political districts.

The Problem of Predatory Journals: Fake Academia Joins Fake News

A fight between credible academia and open-access fraud goes to the courts. Scam artists have moved in on vulnerable academics hoping to advance their careers by creating fake journals and conferences, charging thousands of dollars for “publication” while proving no real advancement.