Construction on the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline could start as early as next week. It’s a project that threatens clean water, climate, and treaty rights. It makes no sense given the oil market is floundering and the project unneeded.
Our political leaders and regulatory institutions have failed us.
It’s time once again to put pressure on Gov. Tim Walz.
Members of the public hope and expect that when they take time to attend public hearings to testify on policies that affect their lives, such as protecting clean water, their questions will get answered and their comments will make a difference.
Yet too often it feels like a futile exercise. People get two or three minutes to speak. There’s no give and take. Leaders don’t answer the tough questions speakers pose. The committee chair will simply say, “thank you, next speaker.”
Thirty-four state lawmakers submitted a letter to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Laura Bishop Wednesday, urging action to deny the Enbridge the environmental certificate it needs to build the Line 3 pipeline expansion.
Line 3 threatens our state’s clean waters, our climate, and treaty rights, they said.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Commerce faces an Aug. 19 deadline to refile its legal objections to Line 3. Commerce’s independent analysis shows that Enbridge failed to prove this pipeline is needed. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the project over Commerce’s objections. Commerce now needs to take the issue to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Recent news from the Canadian tar sands region strengthens Commerce’s hand. It shows the industry is tanking, meaning there’s even less demand for Enbridge’s new pipeline.
Action by the MPCA and the Department of Commerce could help stop this dangerous project.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Laura Bishop is saying all the right things when it comes to the urgent need to address climate damage and to engage the public and tribal nations in these conversations.
Yet when she was asked to comment on the proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline — and its harm to climate, water and treaty rights — she gave a cautious response, calling for more public input. At one point, she said: “It’s a tough one.”