Why don’t I trust Enbridge? Let me count the ways

Big month ahead, including major Line 3 court ruling

File: Gichi-gami Gathering to Stop Line 3 in Duluth.

Tribal nations and environmental and Indigenous-led groups have worked for years to stop Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tars sands pipeline through northern Minnesota. Line 3 is bad for the environment, bad for climate, violates treaty rights and simply isn’t needed.

Enbridge is a multi-national, bottom-line company seeking to minimize its costs and maximize its profits. It prioritizes its profits over the environment, climate, and treaty rights.

Minnesota regulators shouldn’t have put their trust in Enbridge, let alone approved Line 3 permits. There are plenty of examples to show how Enbridge has lacked transparency and not been a reliable partner, both here and in other states.

Work on Line 3 has slowed in the past few months due to springtime construction restrictions. It’s now picking back up.

Water protectors and their allies are hosting the Treaty People Gathering up north from Saturday-Tuesday, with large-scale, non-violent civil disobedience being organized.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals will rule no later than June 21 on the first of three major legal challenges to Line 3 in state and federal courts. This first suit seeks to overturn Line 3’s Certificate of Need, Route Permit, and Environmental Impact Statement.

With a busy and important month ahead, I’m take this opportunity to review the red flags I’ve seen surrounding Enbridge and its Line 3 proposal.

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Enbridge’s behind-the-scenes Line 3 lobbying raises questions about whether it skirted state disclosure laws

Most people would agree that sunshine laws are important to democracy. These laws make government decisions more transparent to average citizens. They include requirements that citizens get access to public documents, have access to public meetings, and have information about the individuals and organizations lobbying to shape public policy.

In Minnesota, these laws are imperfect, as shown in the difficulty in finding information about who is behind Minnesotans for Line 3. The organization claims large grassroots support, but Enbridge appears to be its sugar daddy. Continue reading

The moral issues behind building an oil pipeline

File: Religious leaders walked to the Capitol to deliver a letter opposing Line 3 on moral grounds to Gov. Dayton’s office in 2018.

A front group supporting the construction of Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline is tying itself in knots around the issue of whether or not building a new crude oil pipeline is a moral issue.

Answer: It is.

Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light recently posted on Facebook: “We have a moral responsibility to protect water and climate for future generations, and therefore we must #StopLine3.”

It apparently got under Minnesotans for Line 3’s skin. It responded: “Trying to attach morality to supporting Line 3 ignores … key facts.”

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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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