Governor envy

Michigan’s Whitmer nixes crude oil pipeline under the Great Lakes while Minnesota’s Walz administration greenlights crude oil pipeline that threatens state lakes and streams

It’s a tale of two states, Michigan and Minnesota.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the state was revoking and terminating Enbridge’s easement to operate crude oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.

They cited Enbridge’s bad-faith efforts to protect the environment and Enbridge Line 5’s threat to the Great Lakes.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota DNR announced this week they would allow Enbridge to build a crude oil pipeline trenching through 355 miles of northern Minnesota, threatening climate, clean waters and treaty rights.

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Minnesota’s environmental watchdog approves environmentally damaging project

No bark. No bite. MPCA rolls over, approves Enbridge Line 3 permit.

Agency uses PR spin to justify its flawed decision.

As expected, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today approved a water crossing permit for the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline through northern Minnesota.

Enbridge is expected to begin construction sometime this month.

Gov. Tim Walz and MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop talk a good game about addressing climate change and environmental justice. This Line 3 decision makes clear they don’t live up to their promises.

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Construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline could start next week — Call Gov. Walz!

Construction on the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline could start as early as next week. It’s a project that threatens clean water, climate, and treaty rights. It makes no sense given the oil market is floundering and the project unneeded.

Our political leaders and regulatory institutions have failed us.

It’s time once again to put pressure on Gov. Tim Walz.

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The pipeline company that cried ‘Wolf!’

Honor the Earth asks the PUC to investigate Enbridge’s false alarm

Once upon a time, there was a pipeline company from Way Up North that said it couldn’t ship all the oil it wanted. It issued a proclamation calling it a Very Big Problem.

Its pipeline needed to run through the Lands Down South. The pipeline company requested a right of passage from local leaders. It told these leaders that its current pipeline was old and ailing and a new one was desperately needed.

The townspeople in the Lands Down South had no use for this new pipeline. They said they did not want it. They said they did not need it. Yet the rulers of the land were befogged by a magic spell and ran to aid the pipeline company.

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Investing in Healing Minnesota Stories fundraiser tomorrow!

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6:50-8:00 p.m., Online

Please join us tomorrow in supporting the transformative work of Healing Minnesota Stories, whose mission is “to create understanding and healing between Native American and non-Native people in Minnesota, including reparations, with a particular focus on communities of faith.”

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Corporate cancel culture

Billboard company refuses ad on risks of rebuilding Husky Refinery in Superior, Wisc.

Rejected billboard.

Lamar Advertising Corp., one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world, has refused to run billboards in Superior, Wisc. critical of rebuilding the Husky Refinery and touting the benefits of green energy, Honor the Earth said in a news release.

An equipment failure resulted in an explosion and fire at the Husky Refinery on April 26, 2018. It injured 36 people and forced the evacuation of thousands of Superior residents, the Star Tribune reported.

“The evacuations were ordered because of concerns that a release of hydrogen fluoride (HF) from the refinery could produce a deadly gas cloud. … Under the worst-case scenario, up to 180,000 people in the region surrounding the Lake Superior port community could have been hurt or killed if the blast had compromised a tank of hydrogen fluoride that sat within 200 feet of the Husky fire, according to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”

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News and events: Updates on DAPL, Keystone XL, winter gear drive for Fond du Lac children and more

In this blog:

  • Standing Rock, other Native nations, try again to shut down DAPL
  • Judge denies Native nation’s bid to halt Keystone oil pipeline work
  • Tanka Fund raising money to return buffalo to Native lands
  • Winter gear drive for Fond du Lac children
  • Students at the U. of M. Forest Resources Dept. sign-on letter to address systemic racism 
  • A look back at Native vote suppression
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MN Council of Churches makes anti-racism core to its work, launches multi-year truth and reparations effort

Rev. Billy Russell has served on the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) Board of Directors for eight years, and characterized its past racial justice work as “a bunch of noise.”

“We made noise every time something happened, from Philando Castille up til now, we’ve made noise,” said Russell, who is President of the
Minnesota State National Baptist Convention and Senior Pastor at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

People would want to pray, or protest, or participate in some events, but nothing led to long-term change, he said. Russell, who is now the Council’s board chair, believes that’s changing. Last month, the Council’s board voted unanimously to launch a multi-year effort of truth telling, education, and reparations with Indigenous and African American communities.

“I think this move right now is saying, ‘We’re going to make a difference,'” he said during the Councils Zoom media conference today, officially announcing the major initiative.

“I support this move,” Russell said. “It’s time. It’s past time.”

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Line 3 and political hypocrisy

When political leaders make decisions that contradict their promises, they owe the public an explanation.

Such is the case with the decisions state leaders have made on the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline. This project seems to fly in the face of political promises to protect the environment, address climate changes, and honor treaty rights.

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