Young people bird dog Minnesota’s U.S. Senators on Line 3 stances

It’s a great disappointment that Minnesota’s two U.S. senators have shown no leadership in stopping the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. They’ve avoided taking a position altogether. Young people have been trying to catch up with them, get them to support the Line 3 resistance, and urge President Biden to pull the pipeline’s permits.

In other news, Canada’s invoking treaty rights to keep Enbridge Line 5 operating in Michigan when treaty rights have been roundly ignored in Minnesota around Line 3.

CodePink posted a Tweet showing a young woman pressing Minnesota U.S. Sen. Tina Smith to take a stand opposing Enbridge Line 3.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith avoids Line 3 questions. Screen grab from CodePink Tweet.

The interaction lasts less than a minute and a half. The woman asked Smith: “Are you going to be pressuring President Biden to stop Line 3?”

Smith waffled: ”I have spoken with the White House about how strongly people feel about Line 3 in Minnesota.”

Comment: Smith avoids stating her own opinion, offering a vague answer. What did she tell Biden? Did she tell him people oppose Line 3, or did she say something neutral like people feel strongly on both sides of the issue?

The young woman presses Smith again, saying the pipeline would cause as much carbon emissions as 50 coal-fired power plants and violate treaty rights.

Smith simply repeats her vague answer. She adds: “Given … the status of the pipeline right now, I am putting all of my energy in trying to do everything I can to reduce the demand for the fossil fuels flowing through pipelines all across the country. I believe that is the most powerful thing I can do right now.”

Comment: Considering Smith never took a stance on Line 3 during her time in office, it’s disingenuous to say that given “the status of the pipeline right now” it’s too late to stop it. She never tried.

Her answer about reducing future oil demand kicks the can down the road. She could, if she chose, address oil supply and demand at the same time.

The most powerful thing Smith could right now is to call on the White House to stop Line 3.

Resist Line 3 posted a tweet with a video of a young woman getting on an elevator with Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and pressing her on Line 3. “We’re asking you to call on President Biden to stop Line 3. It has a higher carbon footprint than the entire state of Minnesota.”

Screen grab from video.

Klobuchar appears annoyed. “Thank you. Yes, I know about those concerns,” she said.

The entire interaction lasts less than 45 seconds. Klobuchar seemed flustered by the Line 3 questions. Trying to get away from the questioner, Klobuchar started walking down the wrong hallway. She had to double back.

Klobuchar could have offered the same dodge she gave to KVRR, Fargo-Moorhead, in August. She said Line 3 “is under the state’s control when she was asked if President Biden should consider stopping the project,” the story said. “‘Well, I think right now, that is in the state jurisdiction,’ Klobuchar said. ‘I think you’ve got to really listen to the tribes and listen to their concerns.’”

According to the tweet, Klobuchar had just come from an evening of mingling with the monied class at a $1000-per-plate fundraiser.

Comment: I wonder how many times she listened to a millionaire discuss one of his political concerns, frowned, said, “Yes, I know of your concerns,” and walked away?

An ABC affiliate reported this week that Canada is invoking treaty rights in a dispute over Enbridge Line 5.

Line 3 ends in Superior, Wisc. Line 5 continues east from Superior through Wisconsin and Michigan and ends back in Sarnia, Ontario.

Line 5 goes from Superior, Wisc. to Sarnia, Ontario. Map: Indigenous Environmental Network.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel “say Line 5 is risky and should be shut down,” WDIO reported. “However, their legal action is expected to be suspended after Canada’s action this week to invoke the dispute settlement provision of the 1977 treaty on transit pipelines.”

Comment: Anishinaabe nations have argued for years that Line 3 violates their treaty rights. That argument has fallen on deaf ears. Now Canada, on behalf of Enbridge, is invoking treaty rights to keep operating a dangerous pipeline. Apparently treaties only work if you have the financial wherewithal to take them to court.

Further, this pipeline starts in Alberta Canada, goes south through the United States, and ends in Ontario. If Line 5 is so important to Canada, why not have the pipeline run through Canada? Why is the United States stuck with all the environmental risks and little to no benefit?

Answer: The Canadian people didn’t want it.

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