The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) have utterly failed the public in proactively explaining what is happening on the ground regarding Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction.
The project has traumatized many Native peoples, who say Line 3 violates their treaty rights and threatens their sacred wild rice. It has traumatized many other citizens, particularly young people, who believe Line 3’s climate impacts will significantly damage their future.
Water protectors on the ground still see problems along the route and struggle to get answers.
It’s the state’s job to inform the public about matters of great public interest. The state’s lack of transparency is inexcusable and infuriating.
On July 6, water protectors found an Enbridge Line 3 frac-out at the Willow River.
On Monday, Honor the Earth reported a suspected Line 3 frac-out at the Shell River. [Update July 22: The MPCA says there was no frac-out on the shell. It did report that Enbridge has had frac-outs at nine different construction sites. Updated blog coming soon.]
Today, the Indigenous Environmental Network reported a suspected Line 3 frac-out near the Mississippi headwaters. (Video here.)
Details of the frac-outs are still coming in.
It’s possible to see frac-outs on the surface of rivers and wetlands. There could be other frac-outs below the surface that remain unseen.
How many frac-outs will it take for state regulators to require something different, or do they dismiss frac-outs as an acceptable environmental cost?
The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) and the Indigenous Environmental Network have both issued statements on the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, identifying the roots of the problem and ways to get involved.
In a related matter, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz today announced an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, focusing on discriminatory practices against people of color. Continue reading →
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.
Hundreds of people opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline gathered today in downtown St. Paul to ask President Obama to stop the project altogether. They carried colorful homemade signs and chanted in a call-and-response,”Mni Wiconi … Water is Life!” The rally started in Mears Park and participants then marched to the nearby local headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — an agency that holds a key to the pipeline.
This was part of a National Day of Action against the pipeline, sponsored by indigenous and environmental groups. Locally, the sponsors ranged from the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and Honor the Earth to the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. According to an MPR story, this was one of 300 rallies held across the country, including 10 others in Minnesota.
The rallies focused on the Corps of Engineers offices. The pipeline company needs an easement from the Corps to bore under the Missouri River. Yesterday, less than 24 hours before the rallies, the Corps announced that the project needed more study. (More here.)
Following the rally, approximately 50 people splintered off and marched to Wells Fargo Place. It was an effort to draw attention to the fact that Wells Fargo is one of the 38 financial institutions providing credit to the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners. This is part of an effort to embarrass these banks into pulling their funding. This tactic has had some recent success. (We recently wrote that DNB, the largest bank in Norway and a pipeline financer, is now doing its own investigation into the project. More here.)
With the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) just days away from arriving at the Missouri River near Standing Rock, now is the time to increase public pressure on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
DAPL needs the Corps to issue an easement and a permit to bore under the Missouri River. Instead, the Corps should require more detailed environmental and cultural reviews of DAPL — which it should have done earlier.
In yesterday’s blog, we wrote about the importance of delaying DAPL construction to drive up costs. Today, we outline several key arguments for why more review is needed.
The Indigenous Environmental Network has posted a video with hopeful news about efforts to delay — and eventually stop — the Dakota Access Pipeline. Meanwhile, the Water Protectors are facing rubber bullets, mace and concussion grenades. And Winona LaDuke sends an Open Letter to members of North Dakota’s law enforcement and National Guard appealing to their conscience. Continue reading →
Native Americans and their allies are coming from across the country to support the Standing Rock Reservation’s efforts to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172 mile long pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken fields to Illinois for processing.
As tensions rise, they are asking for more help, from church people to the United Nations.
One of the key issues is that the pipeline will run under the Missouri River just one mile from Standing Rock Reservation’s drinking water intake. The pipeline threatens their drinking water and also will run through sacred sites, opponents say. (The reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border towards the west.)
North Dakota’s homeland security director ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite Monday, citing mounting reports of unlawful activity …
… the loss of their main drinking water supply came as a blow and sent local officials scrambling to find an alternative water source.
Those organizing the protests maintain they are peaceful.