PUC Commissioner makes strong case against Line 3 plan and strengthens legal cases poised to stop it

Commissioner Matt Schuerger.

After years of research, testimony, organizing, letter writing, pleas, protests, and other public pressure by Indigenous Nations, environmental groups and regular citizens, one Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Commissioner came around to vote “no” on Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion.

Commissioner Matthew Schuerger’s lone “no” vote Monday didn’t change the outcome; the PUC approved Line 3’s Certificate of Need and Route Permit on 3-1 votes. Significantly, however, Schuerger’s arguments will lend credibility to the pending lawsuits seeking to overturn the PUC’s ill-considered decisions. Continue reading

After Line 3 Vote, Two PUC Commissioners Appear at Comedy Improv Theater, Curtain Falls Early

This Monday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) took its final vote approving Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline, the end of a long and painful years’ long process where many people who participated felt they played by the rules and got totally screwed, their voices ignored.

That same evening, PUC Commissioners John Tuma and Dan Lipschultz participated in Bryant Lake Bowl’s “Theater of Public Policy,” which mixes policy wonks with improv comedy. This is how it was supposed to run: Tuma and Lipschultz were there to be interviewed about how the PUC works, then improv actors were supposed to riff a few sketches based on their stories, followed by audience questions.

The booing started before the show opened. The curtain dropped before the improv started. Heated interruptions and pointed questions from the audience shut it down. Continue reading

Eighteen Criticisms of the PUC’s Approval of the Enbridge Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) failed Minnesota citizens and Native nations by approving the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. The PUC seemed to bend over backwards to favor international corporate interests over Minnesota’s interests. At the same time, it seem to cave into Enbridge’s thinly veiled threat to keep running the old and dangerous Line 3 if the new Line 3 wasn’t approved.

Here are 18 flaws in the PUC’s decision and its 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