The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Enbridge Line 3 in Minnesota, Enbridge Line 5 in Wisconsin and Michigan, and other crude oil pipelines have had, or continue to have, controversial paths towards approval.
With the exception of Keystone XL, corporate interests have won out over strong public resistance and weak regulatory oversight.
Pipeline firms have got the go-ahead on massive infrastructure projects in spite of their their treaty violations, their troubling track records, and their long-term environmental costs, including their significant climate damage.
The Regulatory/Industrial Complex has a Pipeline Playbook that needs to be named and called out.
Three days before “Thanksgiving,” a squatters camp of unhoused Indigenous women in South Minneapolis is closing following the property owner’s demand to leave.
Camp Nenoocaasi (Ojibwe for hummingbird) had provided a safe space for Indigenous women since Sept. 19. It was located on the site of an abandoned Speedway gas station at East 25th Street and Bloomington Avenue South. It was serving 30-35 women.
The camp got notice last week it needed to leave on Monday, said Erica Whitaker, one of the camp’s volunteers.
Rather than be forcibly removed, volunteers began packing up tents and other supplies this morning.
“We don’t have anywhere to go right now,” Whitaker said. “I acknowledge and understand property rights. But these women, this is their land to begin with.”
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund seeks information on the ties between Enbridge, sheriff’s offices
Government transparency is critical to make the engine of democracy work. If we don’t know how and why the government makes decisions, we can’t make informed choices.
In the case of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, a greedy corporation and weak state regulators have scapegoated Native American water protectors and their allies as lawbreakers. Enbridge’s Line 3 construction has done more harm than the front-line activists, yet the company doesn’t face nearly the public scrutiny or penalties.
Information is power. What information is publicly available — or not available — shapes public opinion.
Law enforcement agencies put water protectors under the microscope and closely monitored their activities while state regulators allowed Enbridge to operate in the dark.
This imbalance in scrutiny is built into our public institutions’ structures.
Honor the Earth got pushback on its planned Aug. 18 music festival in Duluth, a fundraiser to oppose Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
A group of 11 northern Minnesota mayors and councilmembers wrote Duluth Mayor Emily Larson telling her to pull the event’s permit, claiming Honor the Earth has been involved in “violent” protests against the pipelines. “Honor the Earth has played a significant role in creating the dangerous and harmful environment surrounding the Line 3 pipeline replacement project.”
Winona LaDuke, co-founder of Honor the Earth, called the elected officials’ claims “scandalous” and “wrong.” “We haven’t led any violent protests,” LaDuke said. “We have been entirely non-violent and educational.”
“We spent eight years trying to make the system work in the legal and regulatory hearings and are now encouraging people to express their First Amendment rights.”
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a scheme for Enbridge to reimburse local law enforcement and fire departments for any Line 3-related expenses they incurred. This blog recently updated the reimbursements and it turns out it under reported the amount. Based on new information from the PUC, the total is now $1.67 million.
A few reimbursements date back to 2016-2018, when law enforcement agencies were already getting trained to respond to Line 3 opposition.
Enbridge funds the Line 3 Public Safety Escrow Account. Law enforcement units submit invoices for reimbursement.
In addition, Enbridge has paid $237,000 to police and nonprofit organizations for human trafficking stings and services to victims of human trafficking. The final decision to pay or not to pay is made by a third-party independent manager.