The pipeline company that cried ‘Wolf!’

Honor the Earth asks the PUC to investigate Enbridge’s false alarm

Once upon a time, there was a pipeline company from Way Up North that said it couldn’t ship all the oil it wanted. It issued a proclamation calling it a Very Big Problem.

Its pipeline needed to run through the Lands Down South. The pipeline company requested a right of passage from local leaders. It told these leaders that its current pipeline was old and ailing and a new one was desperately needed.

The townspeople in the Lands Down South had no use for this new pipeline. They said they did not want it. They said they did not need it. Yet the rulers of the land were befogged by a magic spell and ran to aid the pipeline company.

The leaders of the Land Down South seemed mesmerized with the pipeline’s company’s fancy suits, its courtly manners, and long, confusing documents. So bewildered were the leaders that they failed to see the pipeline threatened their lands.

The townspeople told their leaders the pipeline would bring ruin. It would bring climate change and crude oil spills which would harm their clean waters, wetlands, wild rice, their crops, their health …. They spoke at great length.

The leaders of the Land Down South did not heed them.

“We need that pipeline!” cried the pipeline company.

The Indigenous peoples of the land reminded the leaders of the Land Down South of the promises their ancestors made to protect lands and lakes for their hunting and fishing and gathering.

The leaders of the Land Down South did not heed them.

“We need that pipeline!” cried the pipeline company.

Most surprising of all, the leaders of the Land Down South ignored the wise advice from their Council of Commerce. The Council had laughed at the pipeline company’s silly reports. As far as the Council could tell, a new pipeline wasn’t even needed.

The leaders of the Land Down South did not heed them.

“We need that pipeline!” cried the pipeline company,

The magic spell over the leaders of the Land Down South was clearly a powerful one.

The townspeople tried marches and petitions and scribed many an epistle pleading their case to their leaders.

The townspeople tried logic and reason.

They even tried “Abracadabra!” and “Alakazam!”

Nothing seemed to work.

Yet the townspeople kept trying.

Then it came to pass one day that a group of Indigenous people learned that the pipeline company from Way Up North hadn’t been square with the leaders of the Land Down South. With great urgency, this group went to their leaders, petitioning for an audience to draw their attention to this latest bamboozlement by the pipeline company.

“Surely,” they thought, “this will change everything.”

Unfortunately, Gentle Reader, it remains to be seen whether this story ends happily ever after, or not.


Modern translation:

On Tuesday, Honor the Earth filed a petition with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) asking it to investigate Enbridge for withholding information in its Line 3 proposal.

Since Enbridge first applied to the PUC to replace its Line 3 pipeline, Enbridge has upgraded its Main Line Corridor adding carrying capacity that more than offsets Line 3’s loss.

A new Line 3 really wasn’t (and isn’t) needed, Honor the Earth said.

Throughout the Line 3 hearing process, Honor the Earth consistently argued that Enbridge could transport more oil than the proposed new Line 3 Pipeline by simply using its existing pipelines more efficiently, thereby making a new Line 3 Pipeline unnecessary. Now, Enbridge’s own data and statements prove that Honor the Earth’s arguments were correct. Unfortunately, the PUC refused to investigate Enbridge’s ability to transport more crude oil by using its existing pipes more efficiently, and instead shoved an unnecessary new pipeline down Minnesota’s throat.

Honor the Earth media release

The old and failing Line 3 carries 370,000 barrels per day (bpd). Honor the Earth says Enbridge’s upgrades have added 400,000 bpd to the system. What’s more, Enbridge plans further expansion of Lines 4 and 67 through Minnesota, adding another 178,400 bpd.

What other projects does Enbridge have in it’s back pocket?

Enbridge is pushing pipeline expansion as oil demand is dropping. Earlier this year, Canadian crude demand dropped by 400,000 bpd in the wake of the pandemic, Honor the Earth said in a media release. It “cast significant doubt on future expansions of Canadian crude oil production.”

We’ll report when the PUC takes action. Here’s hoping it gets it right this time.

Click here for Honor the Earth’s media release.

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