Construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline could start next week — Call Gov. Walz!

Construction on the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline could start as early as next week. It’s a project that threatens clean water, climate, and treaty rights. It makes no sense given the oil market is floundering and the project unneeded.

Our political leaders and regulatory institutions have failed us.

It’s time once again to put pressure on Gov. Tim Walz.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) faces a Friday deadline to make a decision on Line 3’s water crossing permit. All indications are that the agency will approve it. If it does say “yes” to Line 3, construction is imminent.

Gov. Walz oversees the MPCA and could influence the agency’s decision.

There are multiple challenges in the Minnesota Court of Appeals seeking to reverse Line 3 permits granted by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The Court is not expected to rule until June, 2021. If construction is allowed to start now, a considerable stretch of pipeline would be built — and environment destroyed — by the time the Court issues its decision.

Enbridge is expected to begin construction on several different spreads, indicated above by the different colors.

Here’s the Sirrra Club’s ask:

Call the Governor using this number: 202-750-2411.

Here is a script for making your call:

This is __________ and I’m calling from ____________. I’m calling to
demand that you stop Enbridge Line 3. You and the MPCA
have all the legal tools and arguments you need to deny the permit and
stop this dangerous project. (Choose a reason or call back another time too)

We need you to stand up for our environment, our climate, and our treaties.

Approving this project would create an enormous environmental deficit, a deplorable legacy passed on to our children.

We’re not only in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s spiking. You shouldn’t be approving a project that will attract a flood of outside workers into northern Minnesota, threatening everyone’s health.

Tar sands is the dirtiest fuel on the planet, and nearly impossible to clean up when it spills.  The draft permit does not even consider oil spills.  This is unacceptable and does not protect our water.

We’re asking that you ensure your agencies rigorously apply the science to the law.

Your Department of Commerce has been clear that the pipeline isn’t needed. Don’t allow construction to happen while this lawsuit is in the courts.

We are counting on you and Commissioner Bishop to do the right thing and say “No” to Line 3.  

If you want more details, Steve Morse, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, wrote an excellent Op/Ed for the Star Tribune explaining why the state should reject Line 3. He wrote in part:

The reality is that Minnesota has every law and authority needed right now to deny this project a permit. If the administration issues this water quality permit, it is because it has made deliberate choices to find a path to grant this permit to Enbridge. That path would be legally objectionable and scientifically flawed.

Last week, 75 clergy and leaders from diverse faith and spiritual communities gathered at MPCA’s office in St. Paul, according to Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. They urged MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop to take the moral action of stopping the pipeline.

Here’s additional analysis from the Sierra Club:

The MPCA has sufficient reason to reject the permit.

  • Water experts have found that this pipeline cannot be built and meet our water quality standards. The only option when reviewing the science and applying the law is to deny the permit. The Sierra Club jointly submitted technical comments against the permit being issued with the Red Lake and White Earth Nations and Honor the Earth.  
  • In 2017 the MPCA found that Enbridge’s preferred route would cause the most harm from all the route options. They have already said this would damage our pristine water ways, now they need to follow the science and reject the pipeline.
  • The MPCA’s own Environmental Justice Advisory Committee has submitted a letter calling on the MPCA to reject Line 3 in order to uphold their Environmental Justice policy.  

Despite the facts, and Governor Walz’s stated commitment to climate action and tribal rights, the MPCA seems poised to approve Line 3.

Minnesotans deserve government agencies that serve and protect us — not big business. We are calling on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to do their duty: protect us from Enbridge and the pollution Line 3 will bring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s