ICWA under attack in Big Oil proxy fight, sacred Indigenous cave art sold to highest bidder, and more

In this blog:

  • ICWA under attack in Big Oil proxy fight
  • Sacred Indigenous cave art sold to highest bidder, leaving the Osage Nation heartbroken
  • Rondo Redux: highway splits black neighborhood in Virginia
  • New evidence of corruption at the EPA
Continue reading

Line 3: Martineau declines award; Enbridge Line 5 mediation ends; U.N. committee presses U.S. on human rights abuses of the Anishinaabe

In this blog:

  • Taysha Martineau declines award, rejecting corporate climate hypocrisy
  • Mediation talks on Enbridge Line 5 in Michigan end with no agreement
  • U.N. Committee seeks U.S. response to allegations of human rights abuses of Anishinaabe people resisting Enbridge Line 3
Continue reading

Tar sands industry, Enbridge, face collapsing insurance market for spill cleanups

Take heart, water protectors, public pressure is having success in stopping the tar sands oil industry.

Ironically, pressure seems to be more successful on the private sector than government itself, which is supposed to protect the public interest.

This month, Chubb Insurance announced it was dropping coverage on any tar sands oil projects, the result of public pressure, according to the Insurance Business Magazine. (Chubb describes itself as “the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company.”)

In June 2020, the Swiss-based Zurich insurance company announced it was dropping its coverage of Canada’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. Zurich had been the pipeline’s lead insurer.

Some 16 insurance companies have dropped Trans Mountain’s coverage.

“Insurers are being pressured by environmental activist groups to exit their coverage of fossil fuel infrastructure because, without insurance, these projects can be stopped in their tracks,” according to an article in the Insurance Journal.

The insurance crunch will have an impact on Enbridge, and raise challenging questions for Minnesota state regulators.

Continue reading

Key political leaders have ducked the Line 3 controversy, pressure now on Biden to embrace the moment

Those of you, like me, who went to elementary school in Minnesota will recall playing the game “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck!”

We apparently are unique in using this name, as kids in every other state call it “Duck, Duck, Goose!”

Politicians have come up with their own version of the children’s game around the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline. They call it “Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck.”

Continue reading

In spite of what its says, the DNR didn’t hold Enbridge accountable for blatant permit violations and environmental damage

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is ordering Enbridge to pay up to $3.3 million in mitigation, restoration and a fine for violating a Line 3 pipeline construction permit.

“Enbridge’s actions are clear violations of state law and also of public trust,” the DNR said in a statement. “This never should have happened, and we are holding the company fully accountable.”

Line 3 workers busted through an aquifer lining in a sensitive ecosystem, leading to a discharge of more than 24 million gallons of water and unknown long-term damage to the environment.

It’s $3.3 million bill to Enbridge is pathetically weak, and doesn’t represent accountability.

Continue reading

Events: Rally on Minneapolis charter amendment, march to honor boarding school survivors and victims, and more

In this blog:

  • #LetThePeopleVote Rally for Democracy, Friday, Sept. 17
  • Boarding School Survivor and Victim Memorial March, Friday, Sept. 24
  • MN Council of Church’s first ‘truth telling’ event on the state’s racial legacy, Sept. 24-25
  • 2021 Overcoming Racism Conference set for Nov. 12-13 online
Continue reading

Line 3’s almost done, but the promised Decommissioning Trust Fund still isn’t in place

In 2018, Enbridge proposed, and the PUC accepted, the creation of a Line 3 Decommissioning Trust Fund to pay for the removal and clean up of the new Line when its taken out of service.

It’s been three years, and that agreement’s still in limbo. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has contested Enbridge’s language and it’s yet to be resolved.

Continue reading

The MPCA failed at meaningful consultation with Native Nations on Line 3: Here’s what it did

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order in 2019 committing the state and its various departments to “meaningful and timely consultation” with Native Nations on issues of mutual concern. So what did the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA’s) “meaningful consultation” look like around Enbridge Line 3? Second in a two-part series.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) failed to engage Native Nations in “meaningful consultation” around the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline’s Water Quality Permit, according to documents obtained through the state’s Data Practices Act.

Continue reading

Reading the fine print on the MPCA’s commitment to ‘meaningful consultation’ with Native Nations

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order in 2019 committing the state and its various departments and agencies to “meaningful and timely consultation” with Native Nations on issues of mutual concern. So why didn’t the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) meaningfully consult with Tribes on Line 3? First in a two-part series.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approved several key permits for Enbridge to build its Line 3 tar sands pipeline through northern Minnesota’s streams, wetlands, and wild rice areas, including one certificate that’s supposed to protect water quality.

Under Walz’s executive order 19-24, the MPCA was supposed to engage in meaningful consultation with Native Nations. By all appearances, the agency failed to do so on Line 3.

Examining the MPCA’s tribal relations policies tells why.

Continue reading