The latest round of public meetings to speak out against a proposed tar sands crude oil pipline through northern Minnesota are over, but you can still make your voice heard until July 10!
The project is called Enbridge Line 3, and it runs from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin, crossing the length of northern Minnesota and passing near some of our cleanest lakes and rivers.The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission isn’t expected to vote on the project until early 2018, but this is a critical step. The Minnesota Department of Commerce issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which will shape the debate. The DEIS is deeply flawed. Commerce needs to hear from citizens like you just how bad it is.
Here are four quick points that show how bad a proposal it is. Any one of these should be a deal killer.
- Tar sands mining is doing incredible damage in Canada and adding to climate change. Tar sands mining generates as much air pollution as the city of Toronto. It has created 300 billion gallons of toxic tailing ponds with mercury, arsenic and benzene (and growing). Canada’s First Nations people are bearing a disproportionate pain from this pollution.
- The new Minnesota route crosses the Mississippi Headwater region. What more needs to be said?
- The proposed pipeline crosses lands where the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) have treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather. The draft EIS all but admits the proposal violates these treaty rights.
- Minnesota does not benefit from this project. Our state’s petroleum use is on the decline. The U.S. already imports more crude oil than it needs. These new pipelines support foreign exports.
Here are ways you can still make a difference. Please share with your friends.
- Check out Stop Line 3 for action items.
- Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter has a sign-on letter.
- Sierra Club youth leaders have organized a letter writing event at the Birchwood on Saturday, July 8th from 3-5 p.m. Facebook announcement here.
- You also can comment directly by emailing Pipeline.Comments@state.mn.us. (Include the docket numbers, CN-14-916 and PPL-15-137, in your comments when emailing them in directly.)
This proposal has drawn strong public reaction. The last of 22 public meetings was held June 22 in Bemidji. It was another jam-packed hearing room, another strong showing by those opposed to the proposed Line 3 expansion, and another time the Department of Commerce had to extend the hearing to give more people a chance to speak.
Each hearing generates new insights. Here is what we learned from Bemidji. Continue reading