Block (Line 3) Party at the PUC May 18-19 — Spread the Word!

File photo

Come join pipeline resisters and water protectors at the Block (Line 3) Party in St. Paul, Friday May 18 to Saturday May 19.  We must come together to show the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) how important the denial of Line 3 is to all of us.

In June, the PUC will make its final vote on whether or not to approve Enbridge Line 3’s Certificate of Need and Route Permit. This Block Party is one of our last opportunities before that vote to educate one another about Line 3’s very real harms and show the PUC Commissioners that many, many Minnesotans oppose this potentially devastating project.

  • Here is a link for the Facebook Event where you can sign up to attend and share.
  • Here is a link to sign up to volunteer at the event.

Invite your friends and family to a weekend filled with lots of opportunities for connecting, sharing, and creating.  Music, food and art are just a few of the highlights you’ll experience during our time together.

The Block Party will run from 2 p.m. on Friday May 18 to 2 p.m. on Saturday May 19. It will be held in front of Metro Square, 121 7th Place East, where the PUC has its offices.

Here is the planned schedule of events:

Friday, May 18:

2:30 PM – Capitol Visit:  Meet in rotunda at Capitol to visit our elected leadership and ask them to stop Line 3! We’ll walk to the PUC for Block (Line 3) Party, arriving by 4 p.m. or earlier.  (Alternative to PUC walk will be offered for people with disabilities)

3:00-6:00 PM – Solutions Fair, Art, & More!  The heart of the action! Bring a t-shirt and get it screenprinted for free with pipeline resistance art (donations accepted to help build an action camp art tent), check out a multitude of community organizations and clean energy groups, and learn about statewide action to stop Line 3.

4:00-6:00 PM – Community Meal:  Enjoy dinner with the community, contributed by volunteers (food quantities limited), concurrent with the Solutions Fair & Art Tent.

6:00-8:30 PM – Concert to Stop Line 3!  A fabulous lineup of musicians from the movement. Bring camp chairs or blankets!

Saturday, May 19:

8:30 AM – Water Ceremony at Mississippi River: Water walker Sharon Day will lead a ceremony starting at the Mississippi River (near Sibley St) and progressing to the PUC. Bring a small container of water from where you live to contribute to the ceremony.

10:00 AM – Line 3 Pledge of Resistance: Let’s show the PUC we’re committed: come sign the Line 3 Pledge of Resistance to commit to take nonviolent action to resist this project or support others who may choose to do so.

12:00-4:00 PM – Direct Action Training or March, Your Choice: Participate in a Direct Action Training at the PUC site hosted by the Line 3 Resistance Training Program OR join the March for Science at nearby Mears Park. Continue reading

Line 3 Abandonment: Enbridge Wants to Leave its Mess for Someone Else to Clean Up

Enbridge’s current deteriorating Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Erosion and other factors have exposed the pipeline above ground (2016). Photos by John Ratzloff.
Close-up of the corrosion on the exposed pipeline’s exterior.

One aspect of Enbridge’s proposed new Line 3 crude oil pipeline in Minnesota needs more scrutiny: The company’s plan to abandon its old Line 3 pipeline in the ground.

Enbridge is a multi-billion dollar company and runs the world’s longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. Surely it can do better.

Minnesotans for Pipeline Cleanup recently released a report titled Enbridge’s Mess that highlights the problems around pipeline abandonment.

Line 3 would be the first crude oil pipeline abandonment in Minnesota history. What state leaders allow to happen now sets a precedent for all future pipeline abandonment. Further, Enbridge’s plan would shift future clean-up costs to the next generation of Minnesotans. Continue reading

Introduce Native Rights, Anti-Oil Pipeline Resolution at Your Precinct Caucus, Feb. 6

Map of the current Line 3, the proposed Line 3, and Anishinaabe treaty territory. (Honor the Earth)

Precinct Caucuses are coming up the evening of Tuesday, February 6. Caucuses are the first step in the process that political parties use to develop their statewide party platforms and endorse candidates, including Governor.

Anyone can propose a resolution at the Precinct Caucus. There are many worthy issues that need our attention, but consider introducing a resolution to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline and similar projects through our state.

Enbridge has proposed to abandon its old and failing Line 3 and install a new and larger Line 3 along a new route. The line would come down from Canada, enter Minnesota at the state’s northwest corner, and travel 337 miles to Duluth/Superior. Along the way it would cross the Mississippi headwaters and pass by clean lakes, rivers, and wild rice beds. Significantly it would affect Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) treaty rights. While the new line would not cross reservation lands, the Anishaabe retain treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather across much of northern Minnesota. A spill would affect those rights.

Find your caucus location by clicking here.

Here is proposed caucus resolution language from MN350.

Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline Resolution

WHEREAS, nearly 2.5 million barrels of crude oil already flow through Minnesota daily on Enbridge Energy pipelines;

WHEREAS, the demand for petroleum based products is down 19% since 2004 in the state;

WHEREAS, the route Enbridge Energy is proposing for the new Line 3 “replacement” pipeline cuts through 1854 and 1855 treaty protected territory and the headwaters of the Mississippi;

WHEREAS, the intervention before the Public Utilities Commission by five tribal nations, additional citizens groups and the Department of Commerce’s expert witness and staff, all maintain that the new pipeline is not needed and the old line should be removed;

WHEREAS, a spill of crude oil, and particularly tar sands oil, places water, wild rice, lakeshore property and the tourism industry at risk;

WHEREAS; the tar sands crude oil extraction process has the highest carbon cost of any other fuel and addressing climate change is increasingly urgent;

BE IT RESOLVED that the ____________________ Party supports:

The opposition to any new crude oil pipeline in Minnesota, including Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 “replacement”;

The right of sovereign nations’ to determine what construction projects take place in their respective territories.

 

Commerce Offers Rushed and Incomplete Responses to Draft EIS Criticisms

Fifth in a series of critiques of the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s final environmental impact statement (EIS) on Enbridge Line 3, a proposal to expand and reroute a tar sands crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. Commerce is taking public comments on the adequacy of the EIS until 4:30 p.m. Oct. 2. To learn how to submit comments, click here.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce got swamped with comments to its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Appendix T of the Final EIS chronicles the hundreds of pages of comments received and the hundreds of pages of the Department’s responses.

The final EIS is inadequate because some of the department’s responses do not adequately address the questions and criticisms raised by the public and government officials. Let’s look at a few examples.

Continue reading

Tribal Liaison For Enbridge Line 3 Quits State Job, Cites Minnesota’s Lack of “Good Faith” Effort

The state’s point person working to elevate Native voices around a proposed crude oil pipeline in northern Minnesota has quit her job, citing a lack of transparency and good faith effort by the state, according to a story in The Intercept.

Danielle Oxendine Molliver, a member of the Lumbee tribe from North Carolina, worked as the tribal liaison for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the lead agency in shepherding the Enbridge Line 3 project through the regulatory process. Line 3 would carry tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin, traveling 337 miles through northern Minnesota.

Oxendine Molliver explained her decision to resign in a July 24 letter, quoted in The Intercept article.

“There are a multitude of reasons why I have come to this decision. The single most important one is the failure of the state of Minnesota to fulfill its obligations of good faith and fair dealing with the tribes in connection with the Line 3 project.”

She added, “I feel as though my resignation is the only option to maintain my integrity, commitment, and standing with the tribal communities as both a liaison and indigenous woman.”

It is the latest controversy over Enbridge Line 3. In related news, the first non-violent direct action against Enbridge Line 3 is set for Cloquet this Monday. Here is a link to the event page.

Continue reading

MPR Tar Sands Pipeline Story Flawed, Slanted

DAPL protest sign.

Let’s start watching how the media covers the proposed expansion of a tar sands pipeline through northern Minnesota, a project that threatens our environment and provides no significant benefit to Minnesota. Today’s example is MPR’s story: Minn. oil pipeline fight stokes threats, fears of Standing Rock.

Quick background: Enbridge Line 3 is a tar sands pipeline that runs from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, via northern Minnesota. Enbridge wants to abandon its old and deteriorating pipeline in the ground. It wants to install a new and larger pipeline, running 337 miles along a new route through northern Minnesota. It would cut through the Mississippi headwaters, threaten lakes and wild rice beds, and violate treaty rights.

The MPR story is deeply flawed.  Starting with the headline, the story raises “threats” and “fears” over the pipeline fight. So the first question to come to mind is: Who is doing the threatening and creating fear?

Here’s how the story sums it up:

Activists are pressing Minnesota officials now to deny the permit and kill the project. State officials and company executives working to head off a confrontation say they’re doing more than ever to listen to the concerns of those in the pipeline’s potential path.

That may not be enough to stop a confrontation.

Comment: In this frame, activists are “pressing” and even trying to “kill” the project. (“Kill” is a violent word.) State officials and company executives, on the other hand, are framed as peacemakers. They are “working” to head off a confrontation. They are doing “more than ever to listen” to concerns. As this frame goes,all that hard work and listening might not be enough to stop the confrontation, the threats, the fears.

You get the picture. This makes the activists seem unreasonable and the state and the company seem reasonable. The people — not the pipeline and the damage it would cause — are the threat.

That’s bunk. Continue reading

Line 3 Teach In: Learn about Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline through Northern Minnesota and What You Can Do to Stop it!

Minnesota has an opportunity to stop an unnecessary and ill-advised tar sands crude oil pipeline project in our state. Come to a Teach-In to learn about the project and what you can do to help stop it. The Teach-In is Thursday, June 29th, at Walker Community United Methodist Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Here is the Facebook page for the event.

Enbridge, a large energy transportation and delivery business, has several tar sands oil pipelines running through Minnesota. It has proposed abandoning an existing pipeline (Line 3) in the ground and installing a new and larger pipeline, including a reroute. The proposed new route would cut right through the Mississippi Headwaters region as well as prime wild ricing areas and violate treaty rights.

For more, this blog has a separate page dedicated to Line 3.

The event is being co-sponsored by Honor the Earth, Healing Minnesota Stories, the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative, and the Sierra Club North Star Chapter.

DAPL Court Ruling a Mixed Bag: Reveals Deeply Flawed Environmental Justice Review, but Weak on Treaty Rights

A recent court ruling on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is stunning for what is reveals about how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted its so called “environmental analysis” of the project.

The June 14 decision by U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg will require the Corps to go back and do the analysis correctly. He left open the possibility that the court could shut down the pipeline until these issues are resolved. That decision will come at a later hearing.

The court ruling says the Corps analysis “did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice.” Read more deeply into the decision, and it raises questions about whether the Corps is simply oblivious to the concept of environment justice or whether its staff willfully slanted the review to get the outcome it wanted.

(In a related matter, the Trump administration has proposed eliminating the Environmental Justice Program altogether and making deep cuts to other civil rights services. See this CNN story.)

According to the court decision on DAPL: “The purpose of an environmental justice analysis is to determine whether a project will have a disproportionately adverse effect on minority and low income populations.”

The problem with the Corps’ environmental justice analysis boils down to this: It drew such a tiny circle defining the project’s impact area that it excluded the Standing Rock Nation from consideration.

That’s right. The Corps’ environmental justice analysis only looked at the impact on a predominantly white community mostly upstream from where DAPL crossed under Lake Oahe. It did not consider the impact on the Lakota people of the Standing Rock Nation just downstream from the crossing — the community that would be impacted by any spill. Continue reading

Your Help Needed to Stop Enbridge Line 3, Public Comment Period Now Open

Honor the Earth’s map showing Enbridge Line 3’s current and proposed routes through northern Minnesota. The green area represents where the Ojibwe have treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather wild rice.

The public comment period is now open for a proposed crude oil pipeline running 337 miles through northern Minnesota, threatening our lakes and rivers and Ojibwe livelihood and lifeways. The pipeline would carry tar sands crude, a particularly dirty form of fossil fuel, for Alberta, Canada to Superior Wisconsin.

This is Minnesota’s version of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter, MN350 and other groups are organizing to stop the project, known as Enbridge Line 3. Enbridge has a current Line 3 which is old and failing. It wants to abandon that pipeline in the ground and install a new and larger pipeline along a new route, which will pass through the Mississippi headwaters region and prime wild rice areas. (See map at right.)

The Minnesota Department of Commerce released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) on May 15, and the public comment period runs through July 10.

Here is how you can get involved: Continue reading

“Environmental Justice” Analysis of Proposed Crude Oil Pipeline is Flawed, Lacks Native Voices

The Minnesota Department of Commerce just released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposed crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. The project, Enbridge Line 3, would run 337 miles from the North Dakota border to Duluth/Superior, including stretches through the Mississippi headwaters region and prime wild rice waters.

The 1894-page document includes a short section on Environmental Justice. To its credit, it acknowledges the pipeline would infringe on Anishiaabe (Ojibwe) treaty rights and exacerbate historical trauma. But it lacks Native voices and is silent on some important questions.

The Environmental Justice section concludes:

Disproportionate and adverse impacts would occur to American Indian populations in the vicinity of the proposed [Line 3] Project.
Then a few lines later:
A finding of “disproportionate and adverse impacts” does not preclude selection of any given alternative. This finding does, however, require detailed efforts to avoid, mitigate, minimize, rectify, reduce, or eliminate the impact associated with the construction of the Project or any alternatives.

That’s an indirect way of saying Anishinaabe voices and treaty right don’t really matter — the project can proceed based on what non-Native people consider to be fair mitigation.

Let’s take a hard look at the Environmental Justice chapter in the EIS. Continue reading