MN350 has launched a petition to urge Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to speak out against the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline and to use his office to intervene against this dangerous and unnecessary project.
At the 2015 Tar Sands Resistance March, then-Congressman Keith Ellison took a stand against crude oil pipelines. (You can watch his full speech here.) He said he would stand with his Native brothers and sisters. He spoke against a fossil fuel industry that put profits over real human consequences. We need him to speak up against Line 3, now that he’s our Attorney General and in a position to affect change.
The proposed Enbridge Line 3 pipeline would run 340 miles through northern Minnesota’s forests, streams, and wetlands. It threatens our clean water. It violates treaty rights. It would add $287 billion in climate damage over three decades.
Ellison’s office is providing the legal representation for the Minnesota Department of Commerce which is suing in the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s Line 3 permit approvals. According to the Department of Commerce, Enbridge failed to prove the project was needed, a basic requirements to get permits.
We need Ellison to go further — to speak out and take a leadership role against the pipeline. According to MN350, Ellison could follow the lead of another Attorney General:
In June, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit to decommission Enbridge’s Line 5, which passes under the Straits of Mackinac. AG Nessel has said repeatedly that she will use her authority to shut down Line 5, as it presents a serious oil spill risk to Lakes Michigan and Huron. Here in Minnesota, the Court of Appeals just threw out Line 3’s environmental review because the spill risks to Lake Superior were never even studied.
As a publicly elected official, the Attorney General’s job is to take legal action to uphold Minnesota’s laws. Enbridge has admitted in its own application that the pipeline will not comply with Minnesota’s environmental and routing standards. Between the Court of Appeals decision and this blatant disregard for Minnesota’s laws, the very legality of the Line 3 project is in question.
We agree with AG Ellison that human consequences must take priority over oil industry interests. Now, we need him to use his authority to take action against Line 3.
Update Tuesday afternoon: Ellison announced today that Minnesota would join other states in opposing Trump administration efforts to weaken restrictions on coal-burning plants. New York Time story here. In a tweet, Ellison said:
Today MN joined a coalition of states suing the fed govt for making it easier to pollute & harder to fight climate change. Minnesotans take climate change seriously: we say EPA is ditching its legal duty to cut greenhouse gases. I’m taking them to court.
It’s a good step, but Ellison needs to address Line 3 directly and the climate damage issues right here in his back yard.