Minnesota needs state leaders to get off the fence and show courage and leadership to stop Line 3

Minnesota’s top political leaders — Gov. Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith — have failed to take a stand and show leadership opposing the proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline, a dangerous and unnecessary project.

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Further Court Delays, Uncertainty Ahead for Enbridge Line 3

Why are farm/agricusiness groups supporting the pipeline?

The proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline that would cross 340 miles of northern Minnesota and violate treaty rights is now tied up in legal knots, creating greater uncertainty and delays in the process.

A number of business interests are pressuring the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to expedite a fix to problems identified by litigation. Most bizarre, farm/agribusiness groups are supporting Line 3 in spite of the pipeline’s long-term negative affects on agriculture.

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Gov. Walz Executive Order Affirms Government-to-Government Relationship with Native Nations

Gov Tim Walz

Enbridge Line 3 could provide order’s first significant test

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan met with leaders of Minnesota’s Native nations Monday in Morton, Minn. and held a ceremonial signing of an Executive Order that recognizes and supports “the unique status of the Minnesota Tribal Nations and their right to existence, self-govern, and possess self-determination.”

The order officially went into effect on April 5. According to a media release from the Governor’s office issued at that time, “the order applies to all state agencies and was made in consultation with both agencies and tribal governments as it was written.”

“This order ensures the State of Minnesota and the eleven tribes engage in true government-to-government relationships built on respect, understanding, and sovereignty,” said Governor Walz. “We are committed to meaningful consultation with the tribal communities in our state.” (Emphasis in original.)

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May 31 Hearing Set to Comment on PUC’s Public Engagement Process

The Office of Legislative Auditor has set a public hearing to take comments on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC’s) public engagement process. It will be Friday, May 31, 10 – 11 a.m. in the Minnesota State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Room 10.

The May 31 hearing won’t be the only opportunity for the public to comment. People can submit comments online through the Legislative Auditor’s website or by e-mailing team leader Laura Schwartz directly at laura.schwartz@state.mn.us. Legislative Auditor staff also will be conducting one-on-one interviews. Continue reading

Pro Line 3 Group Drops $247,000 on Facebook Ads; MN Senate Proposes New Felonies for Pipeline Opponents

A pro-Enbridge Line 3 pipeline group spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars since November on Facebook ads to sway Minnesotans’ perceptions of this unnecessary and risky project.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Senate today approved new felony crimes for those who trespass on pipeline property or damage pipeline equipment or property.

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State to Audit PUC’s Flawed Public Engagement Process

The Minnesota Legislative Audit Commission voted this morning to review the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC’s) public engagement process, a process that came under heavy criticism during its recent handling of the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline case.

(For details, see: PUC Staff Oversteps Authority, Shows Bias Against Pipeline Resisters.)

Legislative Audit Commission Chair Rep. Rick Hansen said there was bipartisan support for the PUC review. “It is somewhat unique, because it’s both public participation but it’s also commerce, energy, environment all kind of wrapped together,” he said after the meeting. “It’s a good and timely topic.” Continue reading