Enbridge Line 3 tree and shrub clearing well underway, law enforcement hypocrisy, and other news

In this blog:

  • Enbridge Line 3 tree and vegetation clearing well underway
  • Use of force: Capitol vs. Standing Rock (Indian Country Today)
  • Biden could swing these 5 pipeline battles (E&E News)
  • 96-year-old Navajo woman becomes an internet hit (Indian Country Today)

Enbridge Line 3 tree and shrub clearing well underway

Enbridge is working to build Line 3 simultaneously along multiple “spreads.”

While numerous legal challenges to the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline are pending in state and federal court, the environmental damage already is well underway.

Enbridge has divided Line 3 pipeline construction into five “spreads.” (Six actually, as it has a Spread 1A (grey area above) and Spread 1B (yellow section above). Enbridge has been clearing trees and shrubs and other vegetation to make way for trenchers and other massive pipeline equipment.

According to its weekly update, ending Saturday, Jan. 2, here is the amount of line clearing completed, by spread:

  • Spread 1: 76.1 percent
  • Spread 2: 17.8 percent
  • Spread 3: 22.7 percent
  • Spread 4: 42.7 percent
  • Spread 5: 28.7 percent
Newly-cleared corridor through a forested wetland area. Large trees cut and stacked (left). Pile of wood mulch (center). Ground shows irreparable soil compaction and topsoil disturbance. (Photo: Watch the Line)

Workers also have begun scraping off the top soil along the route in preparation for trenching. Top soil grading is complete on more than one-third of Spread 1, according to Enbridge’s report. In some sections, the pipeline already are laid out.

Meanwhile, front-line resistance is ramping up as temperatures drop. Winona LaDuke recently wrote a piece in the Nation titled: Stopping Trump’s last pipeline will take all of us.

We are digging in for the winter. After all, we’ve got good genes and warm clothes and being outside during COVID is a good idea. But, really, we are looking to Washington now. This is the Pandemic Pipeline Project, and it shouldn’t happen. It’s the end of the tar sands era and it’s time for a Just Transition. A new president says he will take action on climate change, the Army Corps needs to do an environmental impact statement, and we want the court to stay the project, so we can have our day in court. In the meantime, the movement grows, to stand for the water.

Construction is moving fast. Line 3 route in Pennington County, Dec. 27. (Photo: Watch the Line)

Use of force: Capitol vs. Standing Rock

There’s been a lot written already contrasting the aggressive law enforcement responses to Black Lives Matter rallies to the lax police response to the U.S. Capitol takeover by right-wing extremists. See coverage from NPR, CNN, and USA Today.

Here’s the take from Indian Country Today: Use of Force: Capitol vs. Standing Rock.

As a violent mob backing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday with what appeared to be relative ease, many in Indian Country took to social media to point out drastic differences of past treatment by law enforcement of water protectors and other peaceful protestors. …

NDN Collective CEO and President Nick Tilsen, who was arrested during a rally against Trump’s visit to the Black Hills in July, didn’t hold back on Twitter.

“If these were Black, Brown and Indigenous people they would of killed us already; read between the lines people,” Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, said in a tweet.

Click on the link above for the full story.

Biden could swing these 5 pipeline battles

An E&E (Energy & Environment) News article from Dec. 9, 2020 updates news on five pipelines: Keystone XL, Dakota Access, Mountain Valley, Enbridge Line 5 and Enbridge Line 3.

Here’s the takeaway about Line 3 challenges at the federal level. Enbridge received approval to build Line 3 from the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act. (Line 3 would cross more than 200 lakes and other water bodies in Minnesota.)

However, the permit language allows the Army Corps to “reevaluate” the permit if it finds that Enbridge provided false or inaccurate information or if “significant new information surfaces,” according to the Sierra Club, which has opposed the plan. That could potentially allow the Biden administration to influence the pipeline’s development. …

E&E News

Click on the link above for more details.

96-year-old Navajo woman becomes an internet hit

On a more upbeat note, the most-read story in Indian Country Today last year was about Annette Bilagody, a 96-year-old Navajo woman, her love of beading, and her granddaughter, Attiya Bennett.

Bilagody beaded when she was young, then took up weaving to make money. As she got older, she returned to beading.

Attiya loved beading, too. She had posted pictures of her beading on Instagram and developed a following. When Attiya visited her grandmother, she noticed all the beaded necklaces that were piling up. Attiya asked her grandmother if it would be OK to share photos of her necklaces on Instagram.

You have probably guessed the ending. Bilagody sold out in 40 minutes. In her second sale, she made $1,000, more than she had ever made in her life.

It’s a lovely story. Click on the link above for photos of Bilagody.

Curious about the must read stories in Indian Country Today last year? Here’s the Top 20

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