[Update: MPR did run on-air stories about the Line 3 human trafficking sting. It didn’t post an on-line story until the day after this blog ran. I had emailed MPR media relations to ask if I had missed any coverage of the sting on MPR. MPR media relations didn’t respond, apparently not checking on-air coverage. I friend emailed the news department to complain about the lack of coverage on this issue and got an email from the Deputy Managing Editor informing her of the on-air stories. A separate updated post will run soon.]
Four workers on the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline have been arrested in two separate human trafficking stings, one in February, one in June. Line 3 workers represent at least 30 percent of all arrests in the two incidents.
MPR didn’t cover either sting. In fact, MPR hasn’t written anything about the concerns and connection between Line 3 and human trafficking, according to a website search. Asked about the lack of coverage, MPR’s media relations department ducked the question.
MPR supporters and listeners need to contact the newsroom and tell it to cover this important issue. Details below.
Honor the Earth and other groups opposed to the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline are asking the public to show up this Saturday,. Jan. 9, at the Rally for the Rivers near Palisade, MN indefense of the water, treaty rights and for a just transition to a livable economy.
This is the site where Enbridge is preparing to bore under the Mississippi River for the pipeline. The rally will run from 10 a.m. to 3 pm. Here is the Facebook Page for the rally and a separate posting by Stop Line 3 with directions and tips on how to participate.
In other news:
Stop Line 3 gatherings at the Stone Arch Bridge
Red Lake, White Earth, Honor the Earth and the Sierra Club sue the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in federal court to Stop Line 3
Report: The Power behind Climate Denial in Minnesota
Winona LaDuke: ‘PUC has a systemic blind spot in dealing with Native tribes’
Sierra Club: ‘A bad process leads to bad outcomes’
PUC: ‘Improved public engagement is a priority’
The Minnesota Office of Legislative Auditor released a report today critical of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and its public engagement process. The PUC has done a “poor job” in helping the public engage in its complex review process, it said. Specifically, the PUC was “not adequately prepared” for engaging the public during the controversial Enbridge Line 3 pipeline hearings.
The report makes a number of recommendations, such as directing PUC leadership “to provide more oversight of the agency’s public participation processes” and to “better prepare for cases with significant public interest.” (Summary here.)
The 98-page report disappoints in one aspect: It fails to clearly call out that, at least in the case of the Line 3 hearings, the PUC’s public engagement failures focused on Line 3 opponents. The report doesn’t explicitly name staff bias as a problem that needs addressing, and it does.
The Progressive Magazine just published a piece updating the Enbridge Line 3 story. Please share.
Meanwhile, MN350 provides this update:
Despite the delays in the permitting process, Enbridge is clearing land in northern Minnesota to make way for Line 3. It’s critical that we continue to grow the resistance. Governor Walz has acknowledged many times that this tar sands project requires a social permit, in addition to a legal permit. When we organize and show up, we make it clear that Minnesotans are not granting that social permit.
Gov. Tim Walz administration is reconsidering the state’s role in a lawsuit to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline, according to a MinnPost story.
Under Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, the Minnesota Department of Commerce opposed approving Line 3, saying Enbridge had not proved the pipeline was needed. (Line 3 will cross 330-plus miles of northern Minnesota, threatening the environment and treaty rights.) The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the project last year and Commerce sued in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, asking it to overturn the PUC’s decision.
It remains unclear if the Walz administration will continue the legal challenge or not.
News reports often highlight when water protectors disrupt the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) meetings or Enbridge Line 3 public hearings; they have not covered the bias and disrespect PUC staff has shown to water protectors. Those actions have undermined trust in the institution and its credibility.
I got a call Monday morning from friend and long-time pipeline resister Marty Cobenais, who is enrolled at Red Lake. He was attending the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ annual convention and trade show in Bloomington. Enbridge was tabling the event, he said. Company reps were talking about Line 3’s so-called “benefits” and conveniently leaving out the litany of harms: climate damage, impacts on treaty rights, oil spill risks, etc. 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.
U.S. Bank has pulled its portion of a $1.3 billion line of credit from Enbridge, according to a news release from Honor the Earth and MN350. It is a victory in efforts to get banks to divest from tar sands pipelines.
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL — November 2, 2017 — U.S. Bank has ended its credit relationship with Enbridge Inc., the Canadian company seeking to expand tar sands oil transportation through Northern Minnesota with the controversial proposed Line 3 pipeline. U.S. Bank’s move comes amidst a growing local and global movement calling on the banking industry to cut ties to fossil fuel extraction.
A report released today by the Rainforest Action Network, “Funding Tar Sands: Private Banks vs. The Paris Climate Agreement,” cites Bloomberg investor data and criticizes 36 other banks for financing the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge. The report shows that U.S. Bank no longer holds a credit relationship with Enbridge.