Project Updates: Round 1

No aire, no te vendas. Energy Sovereignty and Collective Creation in the Context of the Eolic Parks in la Guajira

Neko’s Greetings

The project has advanced a series of meetings to build confidence among the team. In addition, literature and press releases have been researched to generate a baseline for the case. Some proposals for project funding have been submitted to cover logistical and production costs of the project. Finally, Neko has initiated research on the names of the winds and the relationship with the Wayuú culture. 

Exploring the Ethics of Communalism in Oil producing Communities of the Igbo-South East Nigeria and the Environmental Justice Implied

From Lawrence: At the first presentation to the IEC group workshop the aim was to articulate the direction of our research- Why and How it has been found cogent to engage the emergent forms of community in the Igbo oil producing area of Nigeria. The focus was to articulate and present the direction of the research and method that will be applied to achieve the objectives of the research. The concept of environmental justice through which the outcome of our effort will be measured was also articulated. By environmental justice as implicated in our work is meant justice that makes all members of the community equal stakeholders in the environment through a fair allocations of the gains and burdens of the environment. The theoretical assumption of our research is that oil communities are often made up of different categories of the people – the expatriate workers; the indigenes/host of the oil community; the entrepreneurs, etc, whose resources are invested in oil productions, etc. Given these categories, it is pertinent to inquire how oil production defends environmental justice in an Igbo/African community. In the course of the presentation the objectives of our research was also shared to the group. They include:
(i)Collection of data from community groups in Oil producing areas of Egbema-in Imo areas, Igbo culture of South East Nigeria with focus on communal projects;
(ii)Working with community groups in the oil producing areas to produce facts and data that would help to explain the state of the community in relational to communal projects;
(iii)Interviewing heads/members of community groups in Oil producing area; 
(iv)Relating the findings to Igbo belief in Ala deity-the arch-earth deity in Igbo thought which sees the earth as from of deity and upholds the principle of earth justice.
(v)Interpret the findings to provide a formidable publishable material on the community and energy culture in the Igbo culture; 
These were discussed with the IEC group. Illustrative pictures of the communities where the research are conducted were also displayed and discussed with the working group and the notion of the Ala deity- the Igbo arch-deity the belief on which endorses, regulates Igbo concept of the community was also discussed. This presentation mapped out the direction of the research and the findings that are expected out from the work.

From Theresa: I am currently gathering secondary and primary sources on the history of oil management in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. I am gathering data on the oral history of the local communities that were impacted by oil production. 

St. Fittick’s Park

St Fittick’s park filming

From the 1930s, the newly independent Irish Free State, later the Republic of Ireland, implemented large-scale infrastructure projects to provide electricity to the country, including the Rural Electrification Scheme and, most important for our purposes, the large-scale drainage and exploitation of the bogs. This commenced with the Turf Development Board in 1933, which would become Bord na Mona (BnM) under the Turf Development Act of 1946. 

In the 1940s, BnM industrialized the process of peat extraction, and in the 1950s-1960s built several peat-fired power plants across the midlands and west in partnership with the Electricity Supply Board, the world’s first national energy utility. These efforts are best understood in the context of postcolonial nation-building and development, giving rise to a “modern” form of social life in the previously “underdeveloped” rural midlands – this included the building of worker villages, schools, and other social infrastructures.

Since the 1980s, the peat industry has been in decline but it is only in the past decade that the direction of the post-peat transition has taken a clearer form led by the Irish state. BnM, rebranded as a “climate solutions company,” is now involved in a range of public-private partnerships with global private actors from energy, tech and finance sectors, rapidly seeking to develop large-scale wind energy, solar parks, biogas plants, battery storage, carbon sequestration, and energy-intensive facilities like data centres. 

While the Irish state is committed to a just transition, these ‘green’ projects provide few local jobs or opportunities for local development. The impulse to make these “wasted” post-extractive bogs productive and “green” also carries with it a profound displacement of existing cultures and ways of life – including the banning of peat-based energy cultures and community-led projects of heritage protection, bog rehabilitation and repair that have existed in the bogs since the start of the industry’s decline in the 1980s and 1990s. 

The Project
This project is a collaboration between Patrick Bresnihan, Patrick Brodie and Larry Fullam. Larry is a co-founder and organiser with Creative Rathangan Meitheal (CRM), a small community group based in Rathangan, Co, Kildare. CRM draws on perspectives and practices from visual art, history, and environmental science, as well as local experiences and knowledge, to consider, and ideally intervene in, the future of the bogs.

Bresnihan is currently working on an Irish Research Council (IRC) funded project with Fullam called ‘A Midlands Retrospective: Energy, Modernisation and the Bogs’. This involves a combination of oral history interviews with former workers and residents in the Midlands, archival work and fieldwork.

The research project for Intersecting Energy Cultures (IEC) connects this work with five years of collaboration between Bresnihan and Brodie on the intersections of digital and energy systems in Ireland since the onset of the country’s “data centre boom” in the early-2010s. This work is concerned with the role of Ireland’s boglands in the wider social transformations occurring under the ostensible green transition.

A large part of the funding for the IRC project is for the design and publication of a short book in collaboration with a designer and photographer who are also committed to the questions and aims of the project. We have also considered making a radio documentary. Radio documentary has a particular cultural value in Ireland – Irish people listen to the radio, and there are several venues we could target including national broadcaster and smaller, independent digital radio platforms.

We are interested in learning from others in the IEC network about methods and approaches for making our research more politically effective in challenging the kinds of green-tech, FDI-led developments outlined above. There is a strong consensus about the benefits of this model of development and its inevitability, which makes it hard to challenge. What we encounter in our fieldwork is often a sense of powerlessness in the face of ‘green’, market-led and large-scale development projects. Where there is conflict or resistance it is often localized, under-resourced and unable to articulate with other campaigns to form a broader social movement of political platform. With this project, we’re encouraged to think about our research and outputs as organizing tools, helping to articulate across different, contentious elements of environmental politics in Ireland.

Between ‘Park’ and ‘Energy Transition Zone’: Experimenting with political possibilities in Aberdeen

[Words spoken by Gisa] Our working group includes anthropologist Gisa Weszkalnys, urbanist William Otchere-Darko and freelance curator Rachel Grant. This project aims to design an artist-led research programme, which takes as its vantage the dispute around a planned Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) in Aberdeen, Europe’s self-declared oil and gas capital. Our thoughts are incipient – the objectives open-ended this text is framed as a conversational form, reflective of how the project was presented online and reflective of our emerging collaboration. The ETZ, as it’s commonly known, comprises approximately 30 ha of brownfield and green space. It partly overlaps with the St. Fittick’s Park nature reserveIt, which is located between the working-class neighbourhood of Torry and Aberdeen’s semi-industrial southern periphery. When I came across the proposal for the ETZ and how it would affect St. Fittick’s Park, I felt that this would make an excellent entry point to explore the tensions and vicissitudes in post-oil imaginaries and capitalist development in North East Scotland. This is an area typical of late industrialism. It has had both its socio-economic heart and its aquatic edges corroded by the impact of the oil industry, rising social inequality, harmful chemicals, and the search for capitalist opportunity. The current dispute around the ETZ, St. Fittick’s Park and Torry reflects, in part, Aberdeen’s ambivalent transformation, over the past 50 years – from a fishing port into the onshore base for North Sea exploration and a centre for oil and gas expertise. The discovery of North Sea oil resulted in increased affluence but also growing social and spatial inequalities. The burden was carried by sacrifice zones such as Torry, which transformed very rapidly from a lively urban fishering and fish processing village into a more precarious working-class community. Torry also has experience with environmental activism and protest, especially when a few years back the controversial decision was made to construct a waste incinerator plant here, generating energy from rubbish. The impacts of all this have been only weakly balanced by the preservation of St. Fittick’s Park as a sanctuary for local humans and non-humans, including hundreds of bird species, deer, and other wildlife. Today, St. Fittick’s Park consists of wooded areas, grassland, and patches of wetlands canalised to filter effluents from the nearby industrial estate enroute to the sea. Play areas and a skating rink share space with the ruins of a medieval church. Our proposed project seeks to engage the multiple ways in which the area has been both ‘dumped upon’, as locals put it, and demonstrated persistence through repeated efforts at more-than-human relation building. The socio-economic and ecological ramifications of the UK oil-complex will certainly persist across Aberdeen, but are now refracted by lively, sometimes heated, debates about how to ensure a “Just Transition” in Scotland. Backed by major Scottish and UK government funding, the ETZ invokes imaginaries of future ‘green recovery’ undergirded by expert forecasts and technological innovation. Opponents to the ETZ highlight that local decision makers, embroiled in a web of corporate and political influence, have run roughshod over residents to push through a development damaging for the area’s fragile ecology and the wellbeing of humans and non-humans.

[Words spoken by William] Our community based partner is the Friends of St Fittick’s Park which was formed in October 2020 to campaign against the ETZ plans and put forward alternative ideas for a potential community buy-out of the park. The group was created by Torry and Aberdeen residents and other loosely associated allies, mostly older and middle-aged. FOSFP consists of 10-15 people in addition to a 1,200-member affiliated Facebook group. The members have diverse expertise and have worked in public and private sectors, some are life-long campaigners, artists, researchers and even oil workers.

[Words spoken by Rachel] The aim of the project is to investigate the impact of successive and overlapping energy regimes in and around Torry, and within St Fitticks park. The intention is to create an undisciplined, more-than-human contact zone (Isaacs and Otruba 2019) where varied understandings of socio-ecological and energy futures can be explored. Our outputs for the project will include an artist-led research programme; commissions and public activities such as talks, workshops and camps in the park itself. We’re interested in the site as both a place of generation for and public dissemination of – the research and the politics produced by temporary occupations of public spaces.

Calling Hours

As much of the world transitions away from coal energy, communities across the globe grapple with the industry’s retirement and legacy. In the United States, this problem is most acute in the Appalachian region, a place that once at the center of coal production in the Western Hemisphere and has since faced a precipitous and systematic economic and social decline that has corresponded with the decline in coal extraction and use. The region is at once a whirlwind of industrial triumph and environmental degradation, political and economic influence and also subordination; it is a complex region that has been socially re-constructed, culturally maligned, stereotyped and mythologized. Residents there are much older than the rest of the country, and experience disproportionately high rates of disability, illness, poverty, infant mortality, low life expectancy and addiction. The trans-disciplinary Ohio Coal Transitions Project seeks to combine social science with theatrical performance, fine arts photography, and archival library science to the tell the story of three Ohio case study communities in the midst of their transition away from coal. Over 50 key informant interviews with coal industry workers, elected officials, community leaders and residents centers the stories of those impacted in the Ohio River Valley experiencing past, present, and future coal facility closures. Our current and future outputs range from scholarly articles to applied community toolkits and transition guides, to a curated archival and fine arts photography exhibition that was first exhibited on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, OH in Autumn of 2022 and will then travel to the three case study communities, and a community-theatre-produced theatrical production that uses the interview transcripts as the basis of a two-hour play centered on the experiences of power plant workers coming to terms with the closure and demolition of one of the United States’ largest coal-fired powerplants. These outputs apply a combined critical disability justice and environmental trauma-informed approach to understand these transformations and detangle how the social construction of Appalachia complicates the ongoing coal transition and influences how local residents process these changes. This perspective of critical trauma asks us to look beyond “a cure” for these places, to center the experiences and perspectives of the people impacted, to reflect upon and accept these radical transformations for what they are and to imagine inventive solutions that transform despair into causative and creative power. This framing – along with community driven outputs grounded in the arts – helps to confront normative assumptions of worth and productivity and move to assert agency and autonomy in a region that has been so deeply paternalized and constrained by narratives previously unable to accept the end of life for an industry and way of life. 

Innovative Arts-based Pathways to Energy Justice with Australian First Nations

ABC News Clip – Energy Injustice remote Central Australian Aboriginal community
Reflections on climate change – poem from Dr Vicki Saunders

Our project is focused on innovate pathways to energy justice with Australian First Nations communities. Energy justice is a priority issue for Aboriginal communities experiencing heatwaves of increasing intensity and duration due to climate change. Years of housing and energy policy neglect has led to a situation where most households cannot afford expensive diesel generated power and experience regular electricity disconnection, particularly during extreme heat. Disrupted energy supply compromises safety and wellbeing of households reliant on electricity dependent medical equipment that is (such as respirators and dialysis machines) and safe storage of medicines. The newsclip here reports on the current energy crisis compounding health and social inequities for the Warumungu community in Tennant Creek.  

Our team works collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams to strengthen health care systems and determinants of health (including energy and environment) to address inequities between First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians. Underlying principles of our work are that projects are place-based and community-driven, centering Aboriginal knowledges, wisdom and experience. We are working with communities in central Australia, on intersecting climate change, health and energy issues. 

We welcome and value this opportunity to work with the International Working Group on Intersecting Energy Cultures. We see climate change and energy transitions as opportunities for redress and empowerment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and also for building a shared understanding of kinship with, and caring for, Country as we, in Australia, move towards/into an era of truth telling and treaty, and towards more respectful relationships between people and Country. Climate justice relies on addressing historical and contemporary energy injustices and constructing equitable frameworks for meaningful participation in energy transitions.

Our journey so far…
Catherine Joyce
Reflecting on the beginning of our IEC project, I notice the familiar pattern of a new research journey. The discussion of research possibilities and ideas, the identification of colleagues and community partners, and the decisions that lead to the establishment of a research team. Even at the outset, the building of understanding and relationships within the research team mirror the processes that will follow with community partners. Who am I? What is my history? What do I bring to this research? How do I understand the concepts of energy, art and health? The answers to these questions are the myriad facets of understanding that grow into the relationships. Relationships that will underpin our work and enable us to create and explore and analyse together.

Vicki Saunders

At this stage of the journey more remains unknown than known, 
kind of like a koan 
or a paradox that sits behind our many questions, 
without any clear sense of a possible answer or clear directions.  
While possibilities abound, our map we know unfolds in stages
And as a creative collaboration, we’ve only just turned the first pages
Listening and reading local chapters being written in Country … in the land, 
in an old story with many beginnings and at this stage no end …  

Veronica Matthews

Many of our mob have endured large extractive resource developments on their Country and received few or no benefits in exchange. Recent indications are that the boom of renewable energy will be no different. However, in 2023 there is a confluence of opportunity… new political leadership, a greater focus on renewable energy transition and a national referendum on a long overdue permanent Indigenous voice to Australian parliament ( Working alongside Aboriginal communities in Central Australia we hope to draw on this renewed hope and create local arts-based, First Nations approaches to strengthen understanding and act on continuing injustices. 

An Alternative Greenhouse Farming Energy Culture

Design workshop example

A Greenhouse is an “energy object”—it embodies energy, mediates temperature, contains technology, requires technique, and has politics. For the Intersecting Energy Cultures workshop and future events, I propose a history and design-based workshop on greenhouse farming at the village of Leibei, a place along the Yellow River in Shaanxi Province in Northwest China. The workshop will be organized by the greenhouse farmers, two architectural designers, and myself. And the targeted participants are local farmers and policymakers in the village. The workshop and field research is part of my dissertation project, titled “Energy Objects”, which studies the histories and contemporary cultural practices of energy, technology and environment by interpreting the cultural and political meanings of mundane objects in rural China. From Marshall McLuhan to Frederic Kittler and John Durham Peters, generations of media scholars have been seeking mediation of mundane objects and their cultural denotation. In rural China, for example, the everyday objects of energy, embedded in practices of culture and agriculture, configure the lives of men and women working in the farming field and at home. Having relatives in the village is only part of the reason why I choose this place. Leibei offers historical value as it was a “model village” during Mao’s campaign of “Learn From Dazhai Village in Agriculture, 农业学⼤寨” (1963-1980). Mao Zedong’s idea of “Human Must Conquer Nature ⼈定胜天” and the campaign “Learn From Dazhai Village in Agriculture” led to a national mechanization of agriculture including greenhouse design. It was until 6-7 years ago, farmers in the village began to work on jujube Greenhouse farming. Today, the internationally famed Winter Jujubes, nurtured in the greenhouses of Leibei, introduce the village to the global network. I see this transformation as a commercially successful case and hope this workshop brings our attention to this corner of rural China again in finding an alternative energy culture. Workshop Details: 1. Mapping the village farming land. First of all, there are three types of greenhouses in Leibei. Earth-wall/Warm Greenhouse, Iron-plastic film greenhouse, and cold greenhouse. A warm Greenhouse has a thick earth wall. The earth’s wall would absorb solar energy during the day, and emit heat during the night. Very efficient and cheap material. After talking with my partners in the village, I learned that the earth-wall greenhouses have less usable farming area than the iron-plastic film greenhouse because the thick earth-wall will take up some area, and also they need to reserve larger gaps between greenhouses for natural lighting purposes (wall block light), also and can only face south in order to receive maximum sunlight. The iron-plastic film greenhouses have fewer limitations, since they don’t have an earth wall, they can face either north or south. They are a bit more expensive than the earth-wall greenhouse. However, their ability in containing the heat during the night is worse than the earth-wall greenhouse because of the lack of the earth wall. There are several factors affecting which type of greenhouse a farmer would choose—economic factors, the cost of a greenhouse, the type of the earth, some ground cannot be used to build earth-wall greenhouses because they are not suitable for laying the earth-wall foundation, the slope, and elevation, and also the shape of the farming land, why is that? Here I tried to draw an illustration to show how the shape of the farming land affecting the type of greenhouse one can choose. In 1980, the Household responsibility system is created—meaning households are held responsible for the profits and losses of their farming land came to replace the socialist collective farming, maintained through public ownership (see the image attached). So this mapping section of the workshop will take farmers and hopefully some village policy makers walking around the farming land, using drones and cell phones to take pictures, mapping out each household’s land, to seek a possibility to adjust the shapes of each household’s farming area. 2. Telling a history of agriculture in Leibei, one of the well-respected elders in the village. Arrange a desk at the public square, they have a very well-designed public space. 3. Irrigation—what does the Yellow river mean to them? To greenhouse farming? Yellow river is a notorious monstrous mother river) gave birth to towns along the river but also destroyed many. 4. Greenhouse Design and Construction Most of the funding will be spent here. During the workshop, we will reenact several greenhouse designs from history on a smaller scale, and look for lessons and inspirations from these designs, especially in their thermal energy production methods. In the end, we will build a greenhouse—not as a model to be duplicated, but as a laboratory to fail and learn.

Products of Our Environment

The relationship between prisons and environments is often less than obvious, perhaps simply because the carceral system is so entangled with the word *justice* that *environmental justice* seems beside the point. Prisons are theoretically sites of “criminal justice,” but they are also massive networks of racial and social injustice. It should be no surprise, then, that environmental injustice is deeply entangled here, even if it is not central to our imagination of prison. Products of Our Environment (POE) hopes to center the environmental in our conception of prisons and justice, and we are doing this through an arts-based collaboration between people in and outside of prison. Speaking in concrete terms, one of the most basic ways in which incarcerated populations are especially vulnerable to environmental issues, climate change, and the effects of energy production is the immobility, or “stuckness [],” they experience. Severe heat exacerbated by climate change, proximity to sites of nuclear or fossil fuel production, and obstacles to evacuation during disasters are just some of the concrete illustrations of the population’s vulnerability to environmental harm. The Human Rights Defense Center details some of the issues at the heart of environmental justice and prison in their response [ 0updated%20comment%207-28-16%20with%20Cover%20Letter%202.pdf] to the EPA’s EJ 2020 Action Agenda. According to the HRDC, the EPA has ignored repeated calls to recognize incarcerated people, who represent “a unique, distinct demographic of people forced to reside *inside* an industrial facility,” as an environmental justice community. This matters, they argue, because “prisoners are [then] excluded from environmental justice protections, both in the permitting of prisons and the permitting of other industrial facilities operating in proximity to prisons.” POE is then responding to what we see as the understudied and underrepresented intersections between prisons, energy, and the environment. My co-organizer Jared Bozydaj and I understand this partnership as a way of building knowledges—data, art, experience. Free people have access to information that is kept from the imprisoned, and incarcerated people have access to data and experience that is inaccessible to people outside the carceral system. In an interview with *The Real News*, formerly incarcerated activist Kempis Songster describes [] water contamination in Pennsylvania prisons and how, in order to gather information on water contamination, incarcerated folks had to “smuggle samples of water out to the streets to be tested.” Or, as Jared wrote about his relationship to energy, “Imagine being locked in a cell controlled by electricity in the middle of a blackout with no access to alternative power sources (candles are contraband).” Imprisoned people may experience blackouts, the effects of climate change, and polluted living conditions differently and in ways that are mostly invisible to the outside world, but these environmental conditions are also pieces of a shared experience that we hope will build solidarity across the wall. In order to do this, Jared is working with the Lifers and Long-termers Organization, an incarcerated-led group at Fishkill Correctional Facility in NY, to convene a group of people interested in reading and thinking about EJ. After encountering roadblocks to starting the in-person group, we have put together a mailing with a piece of writing (a poem by formerly incarcerated poet Jimmy Santiago Baca), response questions, creative prompts, and a recipe provided by an incarcerated participant. We are excited to see how this works; the benefit to this model is that it allows us to connect with incarcerated folks across the country. The questions and prompts for this first mailing introduce our participants to environmental justice and the ideas of prison abolition and reform, but we will devote a future mailing to a reading focused on energy production and use. Even in this first installment, we touch upon energy with some of our questions about Baca’s poem, asking respondents to reflect on the mention of solar panels, energy use, and sustainability in prison. Our first mailing was sent out with a letter of introduction from me and Jared, as well as instructions for sending responses by USPS. Our initial list of recipients includes twenty-five men in multiple prisons across New York and Massachusetts, but we plan to expand the recipient list as we make connections in other prisons. We will also send the mailing to approximately fifteen outside participants, many of whom took part in a workshop organized by Jane Robbins Mize, the PPEH Public Pedagogies Fellow and a POE collaborator. We will continue to collect readings, prompts, and questions for future mailings, and we make the solicitation of feedback from participants in and outside of prison central to our process. As Jared wrote in our introductory letter, “Your responses will breathe life into this project, and it is yours as much as it is ours.”

Oil & Water Don’t Mix (Michigan)

“Line 5” is a 30-inch crude oil pipeline owned and operated by the Canadian company Enbridge Energy that runs from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. At the Straits of Mackinac, between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, it splits into two smaller diameter lines that rest on the lakebed. The pipeline was built in 1953 and for most of its operating life (or so the story goes) it has, like so much of our infrastructure, remained largely invisible. But in 2010, another Enbridge pipeline, Line 6B, ruptured near Marshall, Michigan and spilled over a million gallons of diluted bitumen into the Kalalamazoo River. That catastrophe, the result of a cascade of corporate operational failures, placed Enbridge’s regional activities under scrutiny, bringing Line 5 into the public consciousness. Over the past decade a grassroots movement composed of environmental organizations, tribal groups, climate activists, concerned citizens, and business leaders has burgeoned. So much so that today Line 5 is the source of a geopoltical standoff between the US and Canadian governments. What happened is that in 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer revoked Enbridge’s easement to operate the pipeline in the Straits. Enbridge defied the order and that matter is now pending before the Courts. But in 2021, the Canadian government intervened in the case by formally invoking a 1977 bilateral treaty between the United States and Canada prohibiting either nation from impeding the operation of an international pipeline. So now the US State Department is in talks with Canada and opponents of Line 5 are placing increasing pressure on President Biden to step in. But the issue is still more complicated. Canada’s attempt to turn Line 5 into an international dispute between settler governments poses a serious threat to indigenous sovereignty. A federal judge in Wisconsin recently ruled that Enbridge is trespassing on the tribal land of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians by continuing to operate the pipeline despite expired easements. In Michigan, the Executive Council of the Bay Mills Indian Community, located in the Upper Peninsula, last year took the extraordinary measure of voting to formally banish Enbridge from the Straits of Mackinac. The banishment invokes the 1836 Treaty of Washington, which in exchange for the cession of almost half the land that is now Michigan, granted the Anishinaabe people permanent fishing and hunting rights and the continuation of their relationship with the land and water. Oil & Water Don’t Mix is a collaborative community organization that has in many ways led the effort to protect the Great Lakes and indigenous treaty rights from the imminent dangers of a Line 5 oil spill. A diverse coalition, its Steering Committee includes the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (a coalition of five local tribes) and a number of other NGOs and environmental justice groups. We envision this project as a broadening and widening of the scope and purview of OWDM’s work. That is, while the fight goes on, it’s worth asking what happens after the Line 5 issue is settled? How can we harness the power and energy of the coalition to explore ways to make “oil and water don’t mix” not just a slogan for a single issue but a core ethical imperative for Michigan’s transformation to a clean and just energy future? The Line 5 matter is not just about a pipeline; rather, it intersects with a host of other urgent historical, social, political, economic, and institutional problems. Most of all, the Line 5 movement is about values, social justice, and a habitable planet. For example, our governor has initiated an ambitious Healthy Climate Plan. But while policymakers and business leaders encourage investments in such ventures as increased electric vehicle production, it will be important to ensure those efforts don’t reproduce historical and ongoing injustices like those I’ve already described. Our project thus seeks ways to tell stories about Michigan’s energy past and future that make visible the experiences, lifeways, values, and needs of communities harmed or left behind by energy production, distribution, and development in the region. In what ways and in what forums can we help educate decision-makers and the public about, say, indigenous sovereignty or the 1836 Treaty of Washington? What kinds of stories can we tell to help connect the interests of, for example, water-loving recreational sportsmen (and women) Up North with the water-deprived citizens downstate in Flint and Detroit? How can we make the lives and struggles of vulnerable communities central to public conversations about energy transition in our state?