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Black Community in Memphis Defeats Oil Pipeline That Threatened Water Supply

HeadlineJul 06, 2021

In Tennessee, environmental activists are celebrating the cancellation of the Byhalia Connection pipeline, which would have carried crude oil over an aquifer that provides drinking water to 1 million people. The company dropped its bid to build the 50-mile pipeline through predominantly Black communities in the Memphis area amid intense community opposition. Community leader Justin J. Pearson called the pipeline’s cancellation an “extraordinary testament to what Memphis and Shelby County can do when citizens build power toward justice.” The fight against the Byhalia Connection drew the support of civil rights leaders including Rev. William Barber, as well as former Vice President Al Gore, who called the pipeline a “reckless, racist rip-off.”

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