Enbridge Opposes Request to Make Public its Insurance Coverage for Major Oil Spill Cleanups in Minnesota

It seems like a reasonable request. Honor the Earth filed a motion with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to have Enbridge make public its insurance coverage to pay for a major oil spill cleanup in Minnesota from the proposed Line 3 pipeline. Line 3 would cross the Mississippi River — twice — and pass through wild rice areas and some of our state’s cleanest waters. Citizens should know if they are covered for a major spill.

Enbridge continues to maintain such information is trade secret. In its Sept. 20 legal response, Enbridge writes that its insurance policies are “confidential and commercially-valuable” information. It says “Enbridge and its insurers consider each of these policies to contain confidential trade secret information.”

At the same time, Enbridge Line 3 is forcing huge environmental risks on Minnesota, and Native nations in particular. Does Endridge’s profit interests in keeping it insurance plans secret outweigh the public’s legitimate interest to know that we are adequately protected?

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Line 3 Civil Disobedience Continues, Pushing Back on a Flawed, Immoral Decision

Water Protectors opposing the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline blocked a bridge near Bemidji Tuesday, erecting a tepee and holding a water ceremony, according to an MPR story.

No arrests were made, but it’s the latest in a series of actions against the pipeline. On Sept. 11, water protectors disrupted and delayed a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission vote on Line 3 permit conditions. On Aug. 29, water protectors blocked a Bemidji intersection for four hours. Other volunteers took their laptops and tablets to Gov. Mark Daytons’ reception room and live streamed the event, an effort to pressure him to get off the fence and take a stand against Line 3. In Bemidji, 26 people received disorderly conduct citations and face mandatory court appearances.

Sadly, Dayton remains silent on whether he thinks Minnesotans should have this crude oil pipeline shoved down their proverbial throats.

Work to stop this project is ongoing. Here’s a few action steps:

  • Sign a petition telling Gov. Dayton that Line 3 is a danger to our community.
  • Sign a Pledge of Resistance to Line 3, with options ranging from hosting an event to participating in a direct action.
  • Call Dayton’s Office directly: 651-201-3400

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Events: Water Protectors Mississippi Headwaters Gathering; DAPL Film Screening; Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Study Group

Events listed in this blog:

  • Protecting Our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters Sept. 21-23 sponsored by Stop Line 3, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Honor the Earth, and the Minnesota Council of Churches.
  • Film Screening: “The Eagle and the Condor — From Standing Rock with Love,” Oct. 8 at Augsburg University.
  • Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Study Group; Nine weekly sessions from Oct. 7 – Dec. 9, at Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis.

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Protests Shut Down PUC Meeting on Enbridge Line 3

Water Protectors kept their backs to the PUC throughout today’s hearings, with messages pinned to their backs.

Water Protectors interrupted today’s Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) meeting, keeping the Commission from a vote allowing the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline to move forward. It’s a sign of the escalating tension and resistance to the project and the Commission’s ill-considered vote.

“You all should be ashamed of yourselves,” said one Water Protector, using a bull horn from the back of the hearing room. “You are supposed to be representing the state of Minnesota. You are supposed to be representing our safety — the citizen’s safety. And you are also supposed to be respect treaty rights.” (Short video segment here.)

According to a Star Tribune story: “PUC Chairwoman Nancy Lange recessed the meeting but eventually canceled it when a protester playing music on a boombox refused to turn it off. … The PUC will reschedule the meeting as soon as possible, said Dan Wolf, the commission’s executive secretary.”

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Native Nations Sue the Federal Government to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) and the Fort Belknap Indian Community (Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes) are suing the Trump Administration in the District Court for violating key federal regulations in approving the Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline, according to an email from the Native American Rights Fund, which also has joined the suit.

The 77-page lawsuit asks the court to find the federal permits violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act( NHPA). The lawsuit asks the Court to rescind the permits and prohibit “any activity in furtherance of the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Pipeline and related facilities.”

Some of the arguments this lawsuit makes are similar to the ones that Native nations in northern Minnesota could make against Enbridge Line 3.

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Enbridge Uses “Trade Secret” Tag to Hide Inadequate Spill Insurance; Honor the Earth Tries to Bring it to Light

Honor the Earth filed a motion with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Thursday to force Enbridge Energy to disclose the details of the insurance it holds to clean up any potential crude oil spills in Minnesota. Enbridge has kept the information hidden, claiming it is a trade secret. It seems more likely the argument is a ruse to avoid public scrutiny of its inadequate coverage.

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News and Events: Mississippi Headwaters Gathering; Healing Place Festival; and More

Items in this blog:

  • Protecting our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, Sept. 22-23
  • Healing Place Festival, Sept. 15
  • Why are Native American Women Vanishing?
  • Artist, Design Selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in DC

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