Duluth renames park in Ojibwe; Enbridge’s role in Line 3 front group exposed, and other updates

In this post:

  • Duluth renames a city park in the Ojibwe language while opposition to restoring the name Bde Maka Ska continues in Minneapolis
  • Enbridge’s role in Line 3 front group exposed
  • Trump administration trying to crack down on pipeline protesters; protests continue in northern Minnesota
  • Winona LaDuke’s excellent Op/Ed on Enbridge Line 3

Efforts to use indigenous place names getting traction and push back

The Duluth City Council unanimously voted to change the name “Lake Place Park” to Gichi-Ode’ Akiing, which means “a grand heart place” in Ojibwe, according to a story earlier this month by MPR.

The city had a renaming ceremony, which had none “none of the controversy that has surrounded similar recent naming efforts in the Twin Cities, at the Fort Snelling historic site and Bde Maka Ska,” the story said.

Meanwhile, in the latest Bde Maka Ska controversy, City Pages ran an item about how Twins co-owner Jim Pohlad  (described in the article as politically progressive) found time to sign a petition “advocating against changing the name of ‘Lake Calhoun’ to its traditional Native American name of Bde Maka Ska.”

Pohlad did not return a call from City Pages seeking further comment. Disappointing to say the least.

Enbridge’s role in Line 3 front group exposed

Anyone who spent time opposing Enbridge Line 3 as part of the regulatory process saw people wearing the “Minnesotans for Line 3” t-shirts. The group also funded pro-Line 3 TV and Facebook ads. This won’t come as much of a surprise but needs to be said: The group is an Enbridge puppet.

The publication DeSmogblog wrote the backstory in a piece titled: Enbridge Is Behind This Front Group Pushing the Company’s Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project. It begins:

Minnesotans for Line 3, a group established last year to advocate for an Enbridge oil pipeline project, presents itself as a grassroots organization consisting of “thousands of members.”

But a DeSmog investigation has found that behind the scenes, the Calgary-based energy giant is pulling the strings. Enbridge has provided the group with funding, public relations, and a variety of advocacy tactics.

The investigation has also found that a public relations firm [Velocity Public Affairs] behind the operation recently tried to erase its ties to Enbridge.

Click on the link above for the full story.

Feds push stiffer penalties for pipeline protests; protests themselves continue

“The Trump administration is joining calls to treat some pipeline protests as a federal crime, mirroring state legislative efforts that have spread in the wake of high-profile demonstrations around the country,” according to a recent article in Politico.

Current federal law allows a sentence of up to 20 years for “‘damaging or destroying’ pipelines currently in operation.” A Department of Transportation proposal would broaden the law to include “vandalism, tampering with, or impeding, disrupting or inhibiting the operation of” either existing pipelines or those “under construction,” the article said.

(For comparison, the longest sentence issued for any of those involved in the Mueller probe was the 7.5 years received by Paul Manafort. That’s the combination of two sentences, one for bank and tax fraud, another for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and witness tampering.)

Meanwhile the indigenous women-led Ginew Collective reported on a direct action against Enbridge Line 3 June 3. Three water protectors locked down on logging equipment being used to clear a path for a power line needed for Line 3 pump stations. Enbridge Line 3 does not have the needed permits to proceed with construction, but in this industry-friendly environment, the rules apparently allow the project to clear trees as a part of “pre-construction” work.

This practice allows environmental damage to occur when the project itself might not go through.

“Enbridge pretends to follow the process while it is busy bulldozing through our forests and wetlands,” said Frances Weatherall while locked to logging equipment, who was cited in a media release from the Ginew Collective.

For more, see Stop Line 3’s Facebook Page.

LaDuke’s excellent Op/Ed on Enbridge Line 3

If you missed it, Winona LaDuke, executive director and co-founder of Honor the Earth, wrote a terrific op/ed for the Star Tribune on Line 3 headlined: Tar-sands economics don’t add up.

Tar-sands oil is too expensive. Say you had the most expensive oil in the world, and it was landlocked in northern Alberta. Put it this way, every source of oil in the world is cheaper — much cheaper. According to Rystad Energy oil analysts, the average tar-sands project won’t even break even on the cost of getting it out of the ground unless international oil prices rise to $83 per barrel and stay there. In contrast, the average U.S. fracked oil well will break even with oil prices at $46 per barrel. That’s the reality.

Click on the link above for the full piece. It’s a quick read.

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