MN environmental leaders press Walz to pull Line 3 permits, PA Attorney General sues pipeline company for ‘environmental crimes,’ and more

In this blog:

  • Minnesota environmental leaders press Walz, Flanagan to pull Line 3 permits due to Enbridge’s construction problems and reporting failures
  • Scientists provide extensive list of Enbridge Line 3’s construction and oversight problems
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General sues Energy Transfer for ‘environmental crimes’ during construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline
  • Scientists release water analysis from Enbridge Line 3 frac out sites
  • Looking at future environmental damage from Enbridge Line 5 in Wisconsin
Continue reading

Guest Blog: Former pipeline inspector raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the current regulatory system

Reprinted with permission from Watch the Line. The author previously worked as a state pipeline inspector, working in conjunction with the Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA). The author requested anonymity.

I became a state pipeline inspector to protect the public. Inspectors are charged with inspecting each oil, gas and ammonia pipeline in the state for compliance with the federal codes on such things as pipeline construction, operations, maintenance and public awareness.

Each time an accident occurs – whether it results in small environmental harm or a death – new regulations are written to prevent that failure in the future.

Continue reading

State’s lack of transparency on Line 3 construction disrespects and traumatizes citizens

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) have utterly failed the public in proactively explaining what is happening on the ground regarding Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction.

The project has traumatized many Native peoples, who say Line 3 violates their treaty rights and threatens their sacred wild rice. It has traumatized many other citizens, particularly young people, who believe Line 3’s climate impacts will significantly damage their future.

Water protectors on the ground still see problems along the route and struggle to get answers.

It’s the state’s job to inform the public about matters of great public interest. The state’s lack of transparency is inexcusable and infuriating.

Continue reading

Another Enbridge promise bites the dust, to Minnesota regulators’ indifference

Enbridge promised the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that the Line 3 Decommissioning Trust Fund would be in place before it started Line 3 operations.

It turns out to be an empty promise, because it’s not enforceable. Enbridge will start Line 3 operations in the coming weeks, and the PUC has yet to open proceedings on the Decommissioning Trust Fund.

It’s one more act in the Kabuki theater that’s Minnesota’s regulatory oversight of Enbridge Line 3: All image, no substance.

Continue reading

ICWA under attack in Big Oil proxy fight, sacred Indigenous cave art sold to highest bidder, and more

In this blog:

  • ICWA under attack in Big Oil proxy fight
  • Sacred Indigenous cave art sold to highest bidder, leaving the Osage Nation heartbroken
  • Rondo Redux: highway splits black neighborhood in Virginia
  • New evidence of corruption at the EPA
Continue reading

In spite of what its says, the DNR didn’t hold Enbridge accountable for blatant permit violations and environmental damage

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is ordering Enbridge to pay up to $3.3 million in mitigation, restoration and a fine for violating a Line 3 pipeline construction permit.

“Enbridge’s actions are clear violations of state law and also of public trust,” the DNR said in a statement. “This never should have happened, and we are holding the company fully accountable.”

Line 3 workers busted through an aquifer lining in a sensitive ecosystem, leading to a discharge of more than 24 million gallons of water and unknown long-term damage to the environment.

It’s $3.3 million bill to Enbridge is pathetically weak, and doesn’t represent accountability.

Continue reading

Walz flops on question about what his Line 3 support says about his climate leadership

I spoke to candidate Tim Walz twice when he was running for Governor in 2017, once at a house party, once at a DFL unity event at a St. Paul brewery.

Both times I asked him one question: Where do you stand on the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline?

Both times he assured me he opposed the project. “Peggy would never let me do that,” he said, a reference to his running mate, Peggy Flanagan, an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation and then an outspoken Line 3 critic.

Walz spoke briefly about Line 3 Friday on MPR. I wasn’t surprised at his comments, but still angry.

Continue reading

State of Intimidation Part II: Police overkill on Capitol Hill

South lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol. Photo: Maggie Schuppert

Minnesota law enforcement launched an over-the-top, fear-and-intimidation response to water protectors camped out in front the Capitol Friday.

The ‘Treaties Not Tar Sands’ rally had run Monday-Thursday on the Minnesota State Capitol Mall, calling on elected officials to shut down the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. It was a peaceful scene; roughly 20 tipis had been erected on the mall.

By late Thursday, a single large tipi remained. Native leaders were holding ceremony. Others were sleeping on the mall, according to one participant.

On Friday morning, law enforcement officers approached from multiple directions and swarmed the lone tipi. [Update: A media release from ResistLine3.org estimated 200 officers responded.] It as if they were trying to prevent a hostage situation or a bank robbery.

They demanded the tipi come down.

Indigenous leaders had to negotiate to be allowed to take the tipi down so that it could be saved rather than have law enforcement tear it down, one source said.

[Update: Six people had been arrested Friday.] The charges were not immediately known.

This situation raises significant questions about law enforcement’s bias against Indigenous water protectors and its ability to respond in proportion to the situation.

Continue reading