300DPI Promotional Shot for Press Usage
The article below, covering a Middle Tennessee supply caravan to Standing Rock, appeared in The Tennessean on November 4th 2016.
Nashville Compressor Fight Finds Common Ground at Standing Rock
Anti-gas compressor activists in Nashville are lending support to their counterparts in North Dakota.
Concerned Citizens for a Safe Environment, a group opposed to the Kinder Morgan gas compressor in Joelton, and the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee sent a 28-foot trailer full of supplies to the Standing Rock Sioux camp two weeks ago.
“We did it because we are also fighting unwanted pipeline infrastructure,” said Nashville-based singer-songwriter Mike Younger. “And we see their battle as ours and our battle as theirs.”
Younger drove the trailer with Charles “Mac” Wilson, president of the Davidson County Council of Community Clubs, and the two stayed at the the camp for a week and a half.
Others who contributed supplies include Joelton grocery store Tony’s Foodland, Long Hungry Creek Farm in northeastern Tennessee, Nashville in Solidarity with Standing Rock and horse veterinarian Travis Whitlow of Mt. Juliet. In addition to sending basic supplies used to eat, sleep and keep clean, Tyler Hunter of Tony’s Foodland sent seven live hogs.
The hogs went to former Standing Rock chief Ron His Horses Thunder, who promised to use them to feed the most vulnerable at the camp.
Younger said the two conflicts are intrinsically connected.
“It’s an issue where the private issues of a corporation outweigh our constitutional rights,” he said.
The Standing Rock Sioux, along with hundreds of other tribes and indigenous nations, are protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. The 1,172-mile crude oil pipeline would cross sacred burial sites and pollute the Missouri River, from which the Sioux and millions of others drink should there ever be a leak.
The issue garnered national attention when peaceful protesters, including women and children, were assailed by private security guards and then police with stun guns, pepper spray, sound cannons and clubs.
The construction, less than a mile away from the reservation, is on land that was part of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation recognized in a treaty nearly 150 years ago but that has since been taken back. The natural gas and propane company recently came under fire from North Dakota regulators for failing to report the discovery of Native American artifacts during construction.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is examining whether the project can be rerouted in southern North Dakota to alleviate concerns.
Despite efforts by residents and state and local lawmakers in Middle Tennessee, Kinder Morgan has managed to secure a certificate of approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the Joelton compressor station.
Opponents argue the compressor station will be physically and financially harmful, saying it could expel toxic gases and leak chemicals into local groundwater. Joelton neighbors are fighting FERC’s decision by requesting a rehearing.
“The world is moving away from fossil fuels, but the U.S. has a policy that reflects the stranglehold fossil fuels have on the country,” Younger said of the two clashes.
The federal government has pre-emptive jurisdiction over pipelines that run through multiple states, regardless of whether Nashville is willing to host the compressor in Joelton or the other Columbia Pipeline Group compressor project in Cane Ridge, which is awaiting FERC’s approval.
“What we’re dealing with are vulnerable communities,” Younger said. “Almost on a weekly basis, there’s some pipeline spilling oil in some river. It’s like a drumbeat for our nation now.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 10 million to 25 million gallons of oil are spilled each year.
Activists will head to a protest outside the Federal Courthouse on Broadway and Eighth Avenue North at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday after attending a Tennessee Department of Energy and Conservation hearing on the Joelton compressor. The demonstration is part of a national action day in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux.
“We don’t have another 100 years to dither,” Younger said. “We have to take action.”
Reach Ariana Sawyer at 615-259-8382 and on Twitter @a_maia_sawyer.
American Songwriter Magazine May 2000
This from virginmega.com back in 1999 when Mike performed at The Kennedy Center on behalf of homeless issues for The National Alliance to End Homelessness
From The Nashville Scene, March 2000
A little blurb comparing Mike Younger to Kris Kristofferson from the LA Times from coverage they did of a Wayne Kramer show with Mike as the opener back in 2000.
This was a nice piece reviewing “Somethin’ In The Air” in Album Network back in 1999.
This was a particularly memorable review from 3rd Coast Music back in 1999 when Mike was promoting “Somethin’ In The Air”, produced by Rodney Crowell on Beyond Music.