Biden commits federal agencies to meaningful consultation with tribes, and Line 3 news

In this blog:

  • Biden executive order requires all federal agencies to have a ‘strong process’ for ‘tribal consultation’
  • State legislators call on Biden to Stop Line 3
  • One-minute video gives quick history of Enbridge’s oil spill history in Minnesota
  • GM to stop making gas-fueled cars in 2035

Biden executive order requires all federal agencies to have a ‘strong process’ for ‘tribal consultation’

Back in June, 2019, I blogged expectantly about Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order expressing a commitment “to meaningful consultation with the tribal communities in our state.”

The order states: “All [state] agencies must recognize the unique legal relationship between the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Tribal Nations, respect the fundamental principles that establish and maintain this relationship, and accord Tribal Governments the same respect accorded to other governments.”

What a bust. The Walz administration has approved Line 3, allowing the project to 1) violates tribes’ treaty rights, and 2) allow construction to start without allowing time for courts to evaluate the tribes’ treaty claims.

Given that history, I have some misgivings about posting the following news item from the new President. On Tuesday, Biden issued a memorandum to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with tribes, according to an article in Indian Country Today. “It requires all federal agencies and executive departments to have a ‘strong process in place for tribal consultation,’” the article said.

Biden included this announcement as part of his racial equity plan. He said respect for tribal sovereignty “will be a cornerstone of our engaging with Native American communities.”

Here’s hoping Biden does a better job of living up to his promise than Walz.

State legislators call on Biden to Stop Line 3

In a letter published in the Star Tribune, a dozen DFL state lawmakers are calling on President Joe Biden to revoke federal permits for the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline, the same as he did for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Allowing the Line 3 pipeline to move forward, despite years of opposition from Native communities, is nothing short of a betrayal of treaty rights and an assault on Indigenous sovereignty. The pipeline threatens tribal lands, watersheds and precious natural resources like wild rice fields.

Letter signers were: Rep. Heather Keeler, DFL-Moorhead, and senators Jen McEwen, DFL-Duluth, and Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton, supported by nine other legislators.

One-minute video gives quick history of Enbridge’s oil spill history in Minnesota

Still trying to explain to friends and family why you oppose Enbridge Line 3? Here’s a short video to share on your social media.

The Honor the Earth video gives a fast-paced history of Enbridge pipeline spills in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

(Screen grab from video.)

GM to stop making gas-fueled cars in 2035

General Motors announced today it will stop selling “all gasoline and diesel powered passenger cars and light sports utility vehicles by 2035, marking an historic turning point for the iconic American automobile company and promising a future full of new electric vehicles for American motorists,” the Washington Post reports.

That’s only 14 years away. GM isn’t an outlier, this is will be a major trend. So why do we keep approving oil pipelines?

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