Call Gov. Walz, Tell Him to Support Lawsuit to Stop Enbridge Line 3

In the final weeks of his term in office, Gov. Mark Dayton took a stand against approving the Enbridge Line crude oil pipeline. The project threatens clean waters (think Mississippi River and wild rice beds), breaks treaty rights, and generates climate damage equivalent to 50 coal power plants.

Dayton sat on the sidelines of the debate for a long time. But in the end, he supported the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn Line 3’s approval. (See MPR story: Minnesota governor’s administration files Line 3 appeal.)

“I strongly support my Commerce Department’s appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s Order,” Dayton said in a statement. “Enbridge failed to provide a future demand forecast for its product, which is required by state law. Instead, the company presented its analysis of the future oil supply from Canadian tar sands extractions.”

Gov. Walz. a Camp Wellstone graduate, has taken his spot on the sidelines, going squishy on this critical issue. Walz is undecided on whether to support the lawsuit begun under the Dayton administration. (See MinnPost story: Walz Administration Reconsidering Lawsuit Against Enbridge Pipeline Project.)

He needs to here from constituents. Here’s how.

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Gov. Walz Administration Reconsidering Enbridge Line 3 Lawsuit; Pipeline Resisters Organizing Peaceful Inaugural Response

Gov. Tim Walz administration is reconsidering the state’s role in a lawsuit to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline, according to a MinnPost story.

Under Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, the Minnesota Department of Commerce opposed approving Line 3, saying Enbridge had not proved the pipeline was needed. (Line 3 will cross 330-plus miles of northern Minnesota, threatening the environment and treaty rights.) The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the project last year and Commerce sued in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, asking it to overturn the PUC’s decision.

It remains unclear if the Walz administration will continue the legal challenge or not.

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MN Dept. of Commerce Joins Appeal Against Enbridge Line 3, Protest at Line 3 Storage Yard, and More

More than 50 pipeline resisters met at this pipeline storage yard in a Carlton County gravel pit Thursday to call on the state to halt all Line 3 construction and pre-construction activities until all Line 3 reviews are complete. Enbridge has several such storage yards around the state that don’t have appropriate permits.

Governor Mark Dayton came out today against the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota, backing a legal challenge by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to overturn the decision of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Members of MN350, the Youth Climate Intervenors and the Sierra Club stopped by Gov. Dayton’s office today to thank his staff for his support of the Line 3 appeal.

In a decision that didn’t seem to line up with the facts, the PUC voted this summer to grant Line 3 a Certificate of Need and a Route permit. Line 3 will add significantly to climate damage and violate treaty rights. Oil spills from Line 3 could damage the Mississippi River and our clean lakes and streams. The evidence shows Minnesota doesn’t need this pipeline; it will only serve to help Canada’s foreign export efforts.

Indigenous and environmental groups have been pushing Dayton to take a stand against Line 3 for more than a year. Now in his final weeks in office, Dayton took a very positive step to stop this unnecessary project. According to his news release, he said:

“I strongly support my Commerce Department’s appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s Order.

“Enbridge failed to provide a future demand forecast for its product, which is required by state law. Instead, the company presented its analysis of the future oil supply from Canadian tar sands extractions. It failed to demonstrate that Minnesota needs this pipeline to meet our future oil demand. In fact, most of the product would flow through our state to supply other states and countries.

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PUC Casts Final Pro Pipeline Vote: Line 3 Opposition Now Heads to the Courts, Streets, Camps, Pulpits, and Gov. Walz’s Office

The Minnesota Senate Building opens at 7:30 a.m. but the powers-that-be required those wanting to attend the PUC hearing on Line 3 to wait outside in the cold until after 9 a.m. to get inside

As expected, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today rejected requests to reconsider its approval of the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. As predictable as it was, the decision remains heart breaking.

Pipeline Resisters visited with Gov. Tim Walz transition staff Randolph Briley and Alexis Kochanski after the PUC vote.

Red Lake, White Earth, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club, the Youth Climate Intervenors, and Friends of the Headwaters had asked the PUC to reconsider approving Line 3. Commissioners summarily and unanimously dismissed their request, 5-0. The PUC continued to ignore the Environmental Impact Statement’s conclusion that Line 3 would generate $287 billion in climate damage. It continued to ignore the Administrative Law Judge’s findings that approving Enbridge’s preferred route failed to meet the cost/benefit test. It continued to ignore Commerce’s conclusion that Enbridge failed to prove Line 3 was needed. It continued to ignore the impacts the pipeline would have on treaty rights.

The PUC took no comments from intervening parties asking for reconsideration. The whole process probably lasted five minutes, enough time for a few commissioners to say they had already considered these issues and there was nothing more to talk about.

The PUC gave Enbridge pretty much everything it wanted. It’s an example of corporate capture, where the government institutions created to protect the public get co-opted by corporate interests. Its the Minnesota version of what is happening with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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