A last-minute alert: There is a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol tomorrow (Thursday), 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., to oppose legislation making it easier to large energy companies to get their crude oil pipelines approved by the state. The event is being supported by Native Lives Matter, Honor the Earth, MN350, Take Action Minnesota and the Sierra Club North Star Chapter. Here’s the link to the Facebook page.
The pipeline provisions are contained in the Omnibus Energy Bill that is up for a vote before the House of Representatives on Thursday. This is critical now as Enbridge is proposing an expansion and reroute of its Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. The new route crosses the Mississippi headwaters and violates treaty rights. For more, see our earlier blog: .
Here is how organizers describe the bill:
The proposed Jobs and Energy Omnibus Bill has a lot of terrible things in it, including 2 changes to state law that would fast track pipelines (including Enbridge’s Line 3) and eliminate some of our most important tools for environmental and social protection. The bill has been approved by the Senate and the relevant committee in the House and is now moving to the House floor for review.
The bill would:
1) Exempt oil and gas pipelines from the “Certificate of Need” part of the permit process. This means Enbridge would no longer have to prove that Line 3 (or other proposed pipelines) are actually needed. The CON process is the state’s only mechanism for rejecting a project.
2) Prevent regulators from considering alternative routes that don’t start and end where Enbridge wants them to. This means that Enbridge would get to define the project based on what’s best for their profits, and the State of MN would no longer be able to consider other routes that could get oil to market with less impact on our land, water, health, and human rights.
This is a clear attempt to circumvent due process and force the destructive Line 3 pipeline down our throats, as Enbridge and their allies know they cannot demonstrate a public need for the project or justification for a new corridor through our best lakes and wild rice beds, and the heart of Anishinaabe treaty territory.
Join us as we say NO to allowing these companies to build without due process and the free, prior, and informed consent of our Indigenous peoples. We will call on the MN legislature to reject this bill, and if necessary, on Governor Dayton to veto!