Enbridge Opposes Request to Make Public its Insurance Coverage for Major Oil Spill Cleanups in Minnesota

It seems like a reasonable request. Honor the Earth filed a motion with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to have Enbridge make public its insurance coverage to pay for a major oil spill cleanup in Minnesota from the proposed Line 3 pipeline. Line 3 would cross the Mississippi River — twice — and pass through wild rice areas and some of our state’s cleanest waters. Citizens should know if they are covered for a major spill.

Enbridge continues to maintain such information is trade secret. In its Sept. 20 legal response, Enbridge writes that its insurance policies are “confidential and commercially-valuable” information. It says “Enbridge and its insurers consider each of these policies to contain confidential trade secret information.”

At the same time, Enbridge Line 3 is forcing huge environmental risks on Minnesota, and Native nations in particular. Does Endridge’s profit interests in keeping it insurance plans secret outweigh the public’s legitimate interest to know that we are adequately protected?

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Enbridge Uses “Trade Secret” Tag to Hide Inadequate Spill Insurance; Honor the Earth Tries to Bring it to Light

Honor the Earth filed a motion with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Thursday to force Enbridge Energy to disclose the details of the insurance it holds to clean up any potential crude oil spills in Minnesota. Enbridge has kept the information hidden, claiming it is a trade secret. It seems more likely the argument is a ruse to avoid public scrutiny of its inadequate coverage.

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News and Events: Mississippi Headwaters Gathering; Healing Place Festival; and More

Items in this blog:

  • Protecting our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, Sept. 22-23
  • Healing Place Festival, Sept. 15
  • Why are Native American Women Vanishing?
  • Artist, Design Selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in DC

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Water Protectors Ask You To Call Gov. Dayton to Stop Line 3!

Water Protectors occupied an intersection in downtown Bemidji Wednesday to put Gov. Dayton on notice that opposition to Enbridge Line 3 is not going away.

By Scott Russell

Approximately 50 Anishinaabe leaders, faith leaders, and environmental activists occupied an intersection in downtown Bemidji for about three hours Wednesday to continue to bring attention to the tremendous risks posed by the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline and to pressure Gov. Mark Dayton to take a stand opposing it.

Simultaneous to the Bemidji action, other water protectors occupied the anteroom at Dayton’s Capitol office with laptops to Live Stream the event. Twenty-six water protectors eventually received disorderly conduct citations from Bemidji police when they refused the order to disperse.

Dayton has declined to take a position on Line 3. For the past year, he has said he wanted to wait and let the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) make its decision. That decision came in June, and it was irresponsible. The PUC went against the advice of state regulators and the Administrative Law Judge reviewing the proposal and approved Line 3.

The project threatens Minnesota’s clean waters and the world’s climate. The main beneficiary is a large Canadian corporation.

Dayton’s silence is his tacit approval with the project moving forward. The action was meant to let Dayton know that opposition is not going away.

Call the Governor at 651-201-3400 or 800-657-3717 and let him know that you expect him to do everything in his power to ensure that the Line 3 tar sands pipeline is never built.

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Honor the Earth Files First Legal Challenge to PUC Approval of Enbridge Line 3

Honor the Earth is suing to stop Enbridge Line 3 in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, saying the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the project based on a faulty and inadequate environmental impact statement (EIS).

Honor the Earth filed the legal challenge earlier this month, the first of what could be several lawsuits by various parties seeking to stop the pipeline. Honor the Earth’s lawsuit says the PUC’s decision “was contrary to law, not supported by the evidence, and arbitrary and capricious.” Continue reading

Pushing Back on the PUC, Part I: Ojibwe Bands Criticize Enbridge’s Rushed Pipeline Promises

This is the first in a series that will review responses to Enbridge’s last-minute promises on its Line 3 pipeline project. The PUC adopted these with no pubic scrutiny. This blog looks at the responses from Native Nations. The next blogs will look at responses from state agencies and an environmental group.

In late June, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) was entering its final deliberations on the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline. The debate spanned years, including public hearings, an environmental impact statement, and recommendations from an administrative law judge. With a final vote imminent, the PUC changed the rules. It allowed Enbridge to change its proposal after the official record had closed. The PUC accepted Enbridge’s deal sweeteners and voted to approve them without giving regulators or the public a chance to review and critique them.

While Enbridge’s promises might look good on paper that’s no guarantee they will deliver.

Now, predictably, many parties — tribal nations, state agencies and an environmental group — have filed responses to the PUC seeking significant changes. These responses show just how little thought the Commissioners gave to Enbridge’s proposals before giving them the green light. In particular, Enbridge gave no consideration to indigenous rights. While perhaps it’s not surprising that Enbridge tried to game the system, it is disappointing that the PUC went along with it, one more example of its flawed process.

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PUC Discusses Protests After Line 3 Vote, Police Response and Sex Trafficking

Day Four of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) deliberations on Enbridge Line 3 included concerns about  possible civil disobedience after the vote, how law enforcement should respond, and plans to mitigate the sex trafficking and drug problems that can follow these large construction projects. Continue reading