Why are farm/agricusiness groups supporting the pipeline?
The proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline that would cross 340 miles of northern Minnesota and violate treaty rights is now tied up in legal knots, creating greater uncertainty and delays in the process.
A number of business interests are pressuring the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to expedite a fix to problems identified by litigation. Most bizarre, farm/agribusiness groups are supporting Line 3 in spite of the pipeline’s long-term negative affects on agriculture.
It’s been a good month for those opposing the proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota.
First, earlier this month, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that Line 3’s environmental impact statement was inadequate because it failed to consider the harm of spills in the Lake Superior watershed. That decision essentially voids Line 3’s Certificate of Need and Route Permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). That sends the issue back to the PUC for further deliberations and a revote, and it delays the permitting process the project needs to move forward.
Second, the U.S. Climate Action Network’s (USCAN’s) annual meeting is happening now in St. Paul, and affiliated organizations are throwing their support behind the Stop Line 3 movement. Around 80 people from both local and national groups gathered today at Kellogg Park near the Mississippi River to express their opposition to this unnecessary and dangerous project. Continue reading →
Enbridge Line 3 could provide order’s first significant test
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan met with leaders of Minnesota’s Native nations Monday in Morton, Minn. and held a ceremonial signing of an Executive Order that recognizes and supports “the unique status of the Minnesota Tribal Nations and their right to existence, self-govern, and possess self-determination.”
The order officially went into effect on April 5. According to a media release from the Governor’s office issued at that time, “the order applies to all state agencies and was made in consultation with both agencies and tribal governments as it was written.”
“This order ensures the State of Minnesota and the eleven tribes engage in true government-to-government relationships built on respect, understanding, and sovereignty,” said Governor Walz. “We are committed to meaningful consultation with the tribal communities in our state.” (Emphasis in original.)
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that the state’s environmental impact statement for the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline is inadequate “because it does not address the potential impact of an oil spill into the Lake Superior watershed.” It ordered the issue back before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for further evaluation.
It’s only a partial win.
The Court of Appeals rejected other key arguments made by Line 3 opponents. Opponents argued the environmental impact statement had failed to adequately analyze route alternatives to Enbridge’s preferred route. They also argued the PUC shouldn’t have approved Line 3’s environmental impact statement before the “traditional cultural properties survey” was complete. (Such a survey makes sure projects such as Line 3 take into account potential damage to places of historic and cultural significance.) The court rejected both arguments.
PHMSA lists seven incidents that have occurred in the past several years, including the release of more than 1,238 barrels of gasoline into the Loyalsock Creek from a Sunoco/Energy Transfer pipeline in Lycoming County in October, 2016.
Flash floods and landslides led to the rupture of the line, which was built in 1937.