PUC to Vote Thursday, Dec. 7 on Line 3’s Environmental Impact Statement

Honor the Earth map of Enbridge Line 3.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is scheduled to vote on the Enbridge Line 3 environmental impact statement (EIS) Thursday, Dec. 7, starting at 9:30 a.m. at its regular meeting space in Metro Square, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul.

The public will not have an opportunity to speak, but public presence sends a message to the PUC that people are watching.

To recap: Enbridge’s existing Line 3 is old and failing; Enbridge wants to abandon it in the ground. (Bad idea.) It has proposed a new and larger pipeline along a new route through northern Minnesota. It threatens the Mississippi headwaters, lakes, rivers and wild rice areas. It violates the interests of Ojibwe people who have reserved treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather along lands crossed by the pipeline.

The EIS decision is one of several key  Line 3 votes. Should the PUC find the EIS “inadequate” it would not kill the project, but would likely delay it. The EIS would need further work. (A project delay would also cost Enbridge money.) Even if the PUC approves the EIS, the PUC still needs to vote on Line 3’s Certificate of Need and Route Plan. Those votes are not expected until April.

The EIS has been criticized by indigenous and environmental groups. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, in cooperation with six Chippewa bands and Honor the Earth, has released its own draft environmental impact statement, called the Tribal Cumulative Impact Statement.

Here is the PUC’s Dec. 7 agenda:

1. Should the Commission find that the Final Environmental Impact Statement is Adequate?
2. Should the Commission adopt the administrative law judge’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation?
3. Whether the data identified as Trade Secret in Appendix F and Appendix I of Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership’s Certificate of Need Application for the Proposed Line 3 Replacement Project is public under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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

Line 3 Update: Paddle to Protect Youth Complete 250-Mile Journey; Petition Needs Your Signature; The Big Sandy Lake “Tragedy”; Pipeline Work in Minnesota?

A group of approximately 80 people gathered in ceremony at Big Sandy Lake Recreation Area to congratulate the Paddle to Protect Youth on a job well done.

Rose and a number of other Native youth just finished a 250-mile canoe trip down the Mississippi to try to bring attention to the threat posed by Enbridge Line 3 — a proposed expansion of a tar sands crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. The “Paddle to Protect” trip was organized by Honor the Earth.

Some 80 people showed up at Big Sandy Lake Recreation Area Saturday, where the canoe trip ended. People stood in a large circle to show their support for the youth, to congratulate them on their journey, and to listen to their beautiful words.

“Everyone needs clean water to survive,” Rose told the crowd. “We don’t need pipelines to survive. Our ancestors didn’t need pipelines to survive.”

Rose said the canoe trip was an amazing experience for her. As someone who grew up in the city, she never experience nights that were so quiet and where she could listen to the animals.

You don’t have to paddle 250 miles to support the youth and the work they are doing. Several of the paddlers are part of a group called the “Youth Climate Intervenors.” The group has started a “Stop the Line 3” petition that already has more than 30,000 signatures. Please add yours and share with your networks.

The Youth Climate Intervenors are one of the select groups who will have standing to testify before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the pipeline’s contest case hearing. They were recognized specifically because they are young, and will have to deal with the pipeline’s long-term consequences.

Nina, one of the paddlers and a youth climate intervenor, said: “I want to tell my grandchildren that I fought for this water.”

Continue reading

Events: Healing Place Festival; ‘Paddle To Protect’ Celebration; and Indigenous History of Bdote

The inaugural Healing Place Festival, an indigenous-led event, will explore the Mississippi River’s vital role to the Twin Cities through a day of activities about the river as both a source of healing and a place of healing. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held:

Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Mill City Museum, 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis

Participants can walk to different stations and events throughout the museum, such as:

  • Native cooking demonstrations
  • Čhokáta Nážiŋ – The Dakota Language Medicine Wheel Table, a living and traveling gathering space for the Dakota language to be strengthened.
  • Mniówe – A place for getting water (mniówe) is the indigenized rendition of the esteemed “Water Bar”. Learn about indigenous philosophies, relationships and practices relating to Mní (water) that have allowed Dakota people to thrive in this area for millennia.
  • Feast of Words, where people will cook a traditional berry pudding together and learn Dakota words.
  • Film screenings of Keeping My Language Alive: The Perfect Imperfections.
  • Information table on the impact on Anishinaabe people of the proposed Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota.

The event is hosted by the Healing Place Collaborative, an indigenous-led group of artists, educators, researchers, and activists who play leadership roles in articulating the vital role of the Mississippi River in the life of the Twin Cities. .

Hope to see you there!  Please consider sharing the Facebook event page. Continue reading

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

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