Enbridge Line 3: White Earth Spirit Camp Forms; Upcoming Events

New Honor the Earth map on Enbridge Line 3.

A spirit camp has opened on the White Earth Reservation to carry on the water protectors’ traditions started at Standing Rock.  The camp is working to stop the Enbridge Line 3 proposal as well as promote unity among camps across the country doing the important work of protecting Mother Earth, according to William Paulson, Executive Director of the Oshkaabewisag Community Cooperative.

The camp is called MikinaakMinis-Turtle Island, and it has a Facebook page. Asked if the camp needed any support, Paulson asked only that people like and share the Facebook page and “be involved in the moment. Contact your elected officials and talk to them about this.”

Enbridge has an old and failing Line 3 (the black line on the map). Enbridge proposes to abandon that line in the ground and install a new, larger pipeline along a new route (the red line on the map.) That new route runs 337 miles across Minnesota, crosses the Mississippi headwaters and endangers clean lakes, rivers and wild rice beds, and all for nothing. Minnesota’s fossil fuel demand is actually declining.

Paulson said Enbridge Line 3 also crosses what is known as the “1855 Treaty area” (light green shaded area on the map). The Anishinaabe retain rights to hunt, fish and gather wild rice in this area. Enbridge and the state “are not discussing it on a government-to-government basis,” he said. [Enbridge is] trying to buy people off and go through.” The threat to the Mississippi’s headwaters is “unacceptable,” Paulson said.

According to the Facebook page, the camp is: “A support haven on beautiful land for community, culture, and traveling ambassadors for Mother Earth. Water is Life.” Paulson provided additional information about the camp in an email: Continue reading

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Honor the Earth, Other Groups, Add New Education Resources to Stop Line 3

New Honor the Earth map on Enbridge Line 3.

If you are a reader of this blog, mostly likely you are strongly opposed to the proposed expansion and reroute of a tar sands crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota (see map at right).

Enbridge has an old and failing Line 3 (the black line on the map). Enbridge proposes to abandon that line in the ground and install a new, larger pipeline along a new route (the red line on the map.) That new route crosses the Mississippi headwaters and endangers clean lakes, rivers and wild rice beds, and all for nothing. Minnesota’s fossil fuel demand is actually declining.

If you are like a lot of people, you want to have your voice heard but don’t have to time to wade through the hundreds of pages in the recently released draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Even the most ardent opponents struggle to get through it.

But the good news is, they did. As a result, there are lots of easy-to-read fact sheets coming out to help you understand the core issues. Here are a few helpful resources:

We have created a separate Enbridge Line 3 tab on our blog to organize this kind of information about Line 3 and make it easy to find. If you think we are missing content, please send us a comment.

Keep reading to get a taste of some of the fact sheets’ analysis. Continue reading

Your Help Needed to Stop Enbridge Line 3, Public Comment Period Now Open

Honor the Earth’s map showing Enbridge Line 3’s current and proposed routes through northern Minnesota. The green area represents where the Ojibwe have treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather wild rice.

The public comment period is now open for a proposed crude oil pipeline running 337 miles through northern Minnesota, threatening our lakes and rivers and Ojibwe livelihood and lifeways. The pipeline would carry tar sands crude, a particularly dirty form of fossil fuel, for Alberta, Canada to Superior Wisconsin.

This is Minnesota’s version of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter, MN350 and other groups are organizing to stop the project, known as Enbridge Line 3. Enbridge has a current Line 3 which is old and failing. It wants to abandon that pipeline in the ground and install a new and larger pipeline along a new route, which will pass through the Mississippi headwaters region and prime wild rice areas. (See map at right.)

The Minnesota Department of Commerce released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) on May 15, and the public comment period runs through July 10.

Here is how you can get involved: Continue reading

Enbridge: Corporate Social Responsibility or Greenwashing?

Tar sands mining in Alberta, 2008 (Wikimedia Commons)

Energy transportation giant Enbridge is pursuing a 1,097 mile crude oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, through northern Minnesota, ending in Superior, Wisc., raising concerns among Native American and those concerned with the environment. The proposal is currently before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for review.

At the same time, Enbridge has a Corporate Social Responsibility statement outlining its commitments to “sustainability.” In the introduction, it defines Corporate Social Responsibility as “conducting business in a socially responsible and ethical manner; protecting the environment and the safety of people; supporting human rights; and engaging, learning from, respecting and supporting the communities and cultures with which we work.”

Enbridge Line 3 carries tar sands crude, a particularly dirty form of fossil fuel. The tar sands mining, processing  and pipelines have negatively affected the First Nations Peoples of Canada. Enbridge’s plan calls for replacing an old and failing pipeline with a larger one along a new route. This includes a 337-mile stretch across Minnesota, passing through the Mississippi headwaters region and prime wild rice waters, affecting Anishinaabe people. A major spill here would be devastating.

Some could applaud Enbridge for having a sustainability plan. Others might refer to it as greenwashing, which, Wikipedia explains, is “a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.”

Let’s take a look at Enbridge’s sustainability statements and how they apply to the Line 3 proposal. Continue reading

Stop Enbridge Line 3 — Minnesota’s Version of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Just got an email this morning from Honor the Earth with a link to a new website titled: Stop the Line 3 Pipeline. Enbridge Line 3 is Minnesota’s version of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The pipeline will pose risks to Minnesota’s waters and wild rice areas and ignore and violate Anishinaabeg treaty rights.

Enbridge, an energy transportation company, has pipelines that carry dirty Canadian tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to various sites in the United States. It is proposing an expansion of Line 3 through Minnesota, 337 miles of pipeline that run from our state’s northwestern border to Superior, Wisc. Its proposal would increase Line 3’s carrying capacity. It would reroute a significant part of the line, taking it through the Mississippi River headwaters region. It would abandon a significant stretch of the old Line 3 and just let it deteriorate in the ground. Those are bad ideas for the state.

In a related matter, Enbridge is suing Minnesota counties to reduce the property taxes it pays for its pipeline right of ways. It could mean a hit of tens of millions of dollars to our state budget.

Continue reading

DAPL Operational, Keystone XL Moves Ahead, But Do We Really Need Them?

The 2013 Mayflower oil spill occurred on March 29, 2013 in Arkansas, releasing 134,000 gallons of crude oil. (Wikimedia Foundation)

Dakota Access LLC has reported that oil would start flowing through the pipeline this week, according an article in Slate.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribe are challenging the pipeline in court, claiming the federal government violated environmental, historic-preservation, and religious-freedom laws in approving the project. The ruling is likely several weeks away, the article said.

Keystone XL also is moving forward, and will get federal approval today, according to a story in MPR:

The go-ahead for Keystone will mark a clear victory for oil industry advocates, who say the pipeline will create jobs and improve U.S. energy security. Both of those arguments are disputed by the pipeline’s opponents. They say new jobs will be minimal and short-lived, and argue the pipeline won’t help the U.S. with its energy needs because the oil is destined for export.

And Enbridge continues to pursue its Line 3 expansion through northern Minnesota, another pipeline carrying dirty Canadian tar sands oils.

These projects make little sense given the U.S.’s decline in crude oil imports and the fact that we are now a net exporter of refined gas products.

Do We Need All These Projects?

Here are a few oil-related facts you might find surprising.

  • Minnesota’s petroleum fuel consumption has been flat since 2010, and since its 2004 peak it is down 19 percent, according to data provided by the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter. (On a national level, U.S. petroleum fuel consumption also is down since the mid-2000s, but not as much as in Minnesota, about 6 percent.)
  • From its peak in 2006, U.S. crude oil imports had dropped more than 20 percent by 2016. (See: Crude Oil Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.)
  • In early 2011, the United States became a net exporter of noncrude petroleum liquids and refined petroleum products, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

So why are we expanding crude oil pipelines?

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Doing Its Own Environmental Impact Statement for Northern MN Pipeline

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe is stepping up its efforts to stop Enbridge Line 3, a proposed reroute and expansion of an oil pipeline running through northern Minnesota, from Kittson County in the northwest corner to Duluth/Superior.

We wrote last week about Enbridge’s Line 3 plans (read here). The project has raised concerns about leaks that could contaminate fresh water and wild rice areas. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe plans to develop its own environmental impact statement (EIS) as a “supplement and counterpoint” to the EIS being developed by the State of Minnesota.

Honor the Earth is calling it “The People’s EIS,” and is raising money to help move it forward. Continue reading