Pipeline Updates: Breathing Room on Line 3 Construction, the Necessity Defense Gains Ground, and More

Lots of news to share on the pipeline front, short summaries and links follow

  • Positive sign: Enbridge tells shareholders Line 3 construction won’t start until year’s end
  • Massachusetts judge affirms “Necessity Defense” for civil disobedience against pipeline causing climate damage
  • Michigan Governor stops Enbridge Line 5 tunnel under the Great Lakes
  • “Stop bankrolling Line 3” event
  • Enbridge’s greenwashing

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Four Arrested in Northern MN for Pipeline Tampering and Other News and Events

In this blog:

  • Ecumenical “Gather at the River” event honoring water set for Tuesday, Feb. 12
  • Star Tribune: Four arrested in Itasca County for pipeline tampering
  • Netherlands-based Aegon, one of the top-10 largest insurance companies in the world, to stop investing in tar sands crude oil.

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U.S. Bank Pulls Enbridge Line of Credit, Line 3 Opponents Say

U.S. Bank has pulled its portion of a $1.3 billion line of credit from Enbridge, according to a news release from Honor the Earth and MN350. It is a victory in efforts to get banks to divest from tar sands pipelines.

Here is the release in full:

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL — November 2, 2017 — U.S. Bank has ended its credit relationship with Enbridge Inc., the Canadian company seeking to expand tar sands oil transportation through Northern Minnesota with the controversial proposed Line 3 pipeline. U.S. Bank’s move comes amidst a growing local and global movement calling on the banking industry to cut ties to fossil fuel extraction.

A report released today by the Rainforest Action Network, “Funding Tar Sands: Private Banks vs. The Paris Climate Agreement,” cites Bloomberg investor data and criticizes 36 other banks for financing the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge. The report shows that U.S. Bank no longer holds a credit relationship with Enbridge.

As recently as August 2016, U.S. Bank had been a part of extending a multi-bank $1.3 billion line of credit to Enbridge that was not set to expire until late 2019. Last spring, U.S. Bank updated its Environmental Policy to end project-level pipeline construction financing. Continue reading

DAPL Updates: Senators Press Corps of Engineers for Answers, Divestment Push Tops $5 Billion

Top democratic U.S. Senate leaders are pushing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for detailed information on the steps it took to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), what plans it has to provide clean drinking water in case of a pipeline rupture, and what steps it took to honor the treaty and trust obligations the government has to the Standing Rock Nation.

Thanks to the Lakota People’s Law Project for posting this information.

Senators Tom Carper (D., Delaware), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, and Maria Cantwell (D., Washington), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, have sent an oversight letter to the Army Corps of Engineers demanding documentation about its rushed DAPL approval, including all communications and contact with the Trump transition team and administration.

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Native Women Speak Up for Immigrants; ND Oil Production Down, So Why DAPL? and Native Nations Rise March on DC

News summary:

  • The group Indigenous Women Rise is making a strong statement in support of immigrants that the Trump administration is trying to keep out.
  • Once economically booming, the state of North Dakota is facing large revenue drops because of declining oil and agriculture revenue. It begs the question: If oil production is down, why build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)?
  • Today is the Native Nations Rise March in Washington D.C. What you can do.
  • U.N. Official: Trump administration retreating on Indian Rights

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DAPL Update: News on Ongoing Divestment and Minnesota’s Native-Owned Bank

A collection of major pension funds, a labor union, and many religious organizations are putting financial pressure on banks supporting  the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). They are asking the banks  to address or support the Standing Rock Nation’s request to reroute the pipeline. They have some financial muscle, collectively holding $653 billion in investments.

In other news,

  • Norway’s largest private investor just pulled its investments out of all companies involved with DAPL.
  • This month in history, the largest inland oil pipeline spill happened in Minnesota, near Grand Rapids.
  • And did you know that there are 18 banks owned by Native American people in this country? One of those banks is in Hinkley.

Keep reading.

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Army Corps Abruptly Ends DAPL Environmental Review; More Pressure Brought Against Pipeline’s Financial Backers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has prematurely scuttled the environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a move both expected and discouraging. Meanwhile, the Sierra Club and thousands of Japanese protestors have joined the push to divest from the banks backing the pipeline, the Standing Rock Nation is struggling from declining casino revenues, and the FBI investigates DAPL protestors as potential terrorists.

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