In this post:
- White Earth Court of Appeals dismisses Rights of Manoomin (wild rice) suit against DNR
- Canadian government’s effort to get First Nations to buy financially troubled Trans Mountain pipeline seems cynical
In this post:
Enbridge has reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it began purging the old Line 3 pipeline of its tar sands crude oil on Oct. 1, according to an EPA statement to Healing Minnesota Stories. Enbridge expects to complete the purge by Nov. 5,
Enbridge told the EPA it began cleaning the pipeline with a “cleaning pig” on Oct. 2. It expects to finish the cleaning work by Sept. 30, 2022, the statement said.
If Enbridge meets those goals, it would be in compliance with a 2017 federal Consent Decree.Continue reading
In this blog:
As pipeline resisters were celebrating a U.S. District Court ruling requiring the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to shut down pending environmental reviews, DAPL’s operator seemed to thumb its nose at the ruling, suggesting it would refuse to comply.
Shortly after Energy Transfer LP’s corporate chest thumping, the company seemed to back off the threat, but it clearly seemed to want to send a message.
On other pipeline fronts, the Keystone XL pipeline faces a major setback, the Trans Mountain Pipeline loses an insurance provider, and in spite of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline still will be scrapped. Continue reading
A few years ago I saw the powerful indigenous-made documentary Red Power Energy. It highlighted Indian Country’s divergent views on mining and resource management. It featured Native Nations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Some Nations were mining coal and drilling oil as part of their economic development plans. Others rejected resource extraction in favor of sustainable wind farms and solar arrays.
I recalled that film when I read the latest news out of Canada on the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. An indigenous-led group called “Project Reconciliation” is proposing to buy a majority stake in the pipeline. They are calling it the “Reconciliation Pipeline,” and using the tagline: “There’s a pipeline to reconciliation. We should take it.” According to its website:
Through majority Indigenous ownership, it [the pipeline] can improve Indigenous lives throughout the West. How? By returning profits made from shipping resources to market to the traditional owners of the land from which those resources came.
It’s quiet now, but there’s a looming confrontation over Enbridge Line 3.
After many contentious hearings last year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the Line 3 crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. It was a flawed decision, ignoring climate change, treaty rights, spill risks, and the fact that Minnesota doesn’t need this pipeline to meet its oil needs.
On one hand, Line 3 still faces legal challenges and regulatory hurdles and can still be stopped. On the other, the federal government could intervene and try approve the pipeline even if the state objects.
Civil disobedience and direct action could occur should Enbridge start construction. So far things have been relatively calm. Should construction start, it’s going to get ugly. (See earlier blog:)
In the meantime, here’s what’s going on behind the scenes.
When it comes to crude oil pipeline projects, Indigenous concerns and opposition all too often get marginalized by decision makers.
Such conduct violates the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a commitment both the United States and Canada support. The Declaration says that governments should get Indigenous nation’s free, prior and informed consent before “adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”
What happens in practice is that the powers-that-be have a “conversation” with Native nations, check the “consultation” box, and think they’re done. That’s not good enough.
The latest example comes from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota. It has found government documents that show how little Indigenous concerns mattered when it came to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Continue reading
Proposals to build new crude oil pipelines are an investment in an old and failing energy infrastructure. They reflect a world view that favors short-term profits over the long-term health of local economies and the planet itself. Investors make money off selling refined gas, but shift long-term costs to future generations — costs from destructive oil mining practices, costs from future oil spills, and costs from climate change.
It is no wonder that Native nations and indigenous advocates have lead efforts to stop new crude oil pipelines, as they hold to a world view that considers the impacts of decisions seven generations into the future.
As we head into what is expected to be a frustrating Monday meeting at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding the future of Enbridge Line 3, let’s pause for a moment to reflect on some recent wins. They are a reminder that this work takes years, allies continue the resistance, and we do have victories. Continue reading
News in this blog:
The Oglala Sioux Tribe won a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, stopping the planned Dewey-Burdock uranium mine, at least for now, according to a story in Lakota Country Times.
On Friday, July 20, 2018, the Court ruled in Oglala Sioux Tribe vs. Nuclear Regulatory Committee that the committee failed to consider the potential impacts the mine would have on the environment. The Oglala Sioux Tribe had argued that the proposed 10,000-acre mine would permanently damage its resources including, water, cultural artifacts, and historical sites. …
The Court did not revoke the company’s license as desired by Water Protectors. It did, however, force the case back to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for further consideration in light of its discussion in the decision. It also prevented the company behind the mine from conducting any work that disturbs the ground.
In addition to the positive outcome, this gives some small measure of hope for the upcoming legal battles to stop Enbridge Line 3. Click on the link above for the full story. Keep reading for more articles. Continue reading