“Energy Transfer Partners has finished drilling under Lake Oahe and will soon be laying pipe under the Missouri River reservoir,” according to a story by Minnesota Public Radio. As legal challenges to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) linger in court, the oil could start flowing in two weeks.
Meanwhile, Native peoples in West Texas are trying to stop an Energy Transfer Partners natural gas pipeline project that crosses under the Rio Grande. Minnesotans are gearing up to stop a proposed pipeline expansion that would increase the flow of high-polluting tar sands through the state.
The most recent details on the Minnesota pipeline proposal can be found in a post I wrote for the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter: Action Needed on Alberta Clipper/Line 3: Stop Tar Sands from Threatening Minnesota’s Water and Wild Rice.
The blog provides recommendations for action to stop a State Department approval for a proposed pipeline crossing at the U.S.-Canadian border. This is one of several opportunities to stop this project by blocking permits. Stay tuned.
Here are some highlights about why Line 3 should be stopped:
- This is not about our energy security, it is about private profit. This increased crude oil is not needed for domestic consumption and our energy security; we have been exporting gasoline as a nation since 2011.
- Tar sands are highly polluting. Mining results in the destruction of Canadian forests; the overall process of mining and processing releases a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gases.
- These projects threaten Minnesota’s water, and Enbridge has a bad safety record. Enbridge was called incompetent by the National Transportation Safety Board for its role in allowing for the largest inland pipeline disaster in the United States, the massive 800,000 gallon spill in 2010 into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
- The Line 3 Expansion and Reroute would violate treaty rights. The Anishinaabe people (Ojibwe/Chippewa) retain hunting, fishing, and wild rice rights in broad areas of northern Minnesota beyond just reservation lands. It is time the Minnesota and Federal Government take responsibility and respect treaties they hold with Indigenous peoples.
Check out the blog for more details.
Meanwhile, in the Big Bend area of West Texas, the Society of Native Nations has set up the Two Rivers Camp for water protectors opposed to the Trans Pecos Pipeline (TPPL), The TPPL is owned by Kelcy Warren, billionaire and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that owns DAPL.
Marfa Radio ran a story today headlined: Protesters Continue Direct Action Planning as Pipeline Nears Completion. It said 16 people have been arrested so far protesting the pipeline.
The pipeline will carry natural gas 148 miles through the Big Bend Region of Texas and across the border. Mexican energy officials want American natural gas to fuel their growing electric sector – it’s a cleaner and cheaper option than coal and petroleum-based products. Energy Transfer says the pipeline will also include delivery locations in towns on the American side that currently rely on propane.
According to the Society of Native Nations’ website:
One hundred and forty three (143) miles of this pipeline is considered “intra-state,” which means it requires NO environmental, archaeological, socioeconomic, safety, routing or other studies or impact assessments have to be taken into consideration.
The TPPL will threaten the Chihuahuan Desert, one of the world’s most biologically diverse arid region, and “destroy the delicate ecology on both sides of the border,” the website says. In the event the pipeline bursts or there is an explosion, the released methane could infiltrate the water aquifer under the Rio Grande.
If the project goes through and the fracking starts, it increases the risk of water contamination in an area with scarce water resources.
According to Marfa radio: “According to Energy Transfer, the Trans-Pecos Pipeline is more than 96% complete. It’s on schedule to be in service by the end of next month.”