Reconciliation Pipeline? Efforts to stop Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline just got really messy

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.

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Duluth renames park in Ojibwe; Enbridge’s role in Line 3 front group exposed, and other updates

In this post:

  • Duluth renames a city park in the Ojibwe language while opposition to restoring the name Bde Maka Ska continues in Minneapolis
  • Enbridge’s role in Line 3 front group exposed
  • Trump administration trying to crack down on pipeline protesters; protests continue in northern Minnesota
  • Winona LaDuke’s excellent Op/Ed on Enbridge Line 3

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PUC Staff Oversteps Authority, Shows Bias Against Pipeline Resisters

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.

This bias and disrespect needs to be called out. Continue reading

PUC Casts Final Pro Pipeline Vote: Line 3 Opposition Now Heads to the Courts, Streets, Camps, Pulpits, and Gov. Walz’s Office

The Minnesota Senate Building opens at 7:30 a.m. but the powers-that-be required those wanting to attend the PUC hearing on Line 3 to wait outside in the cold until after 9 a.m. to get inside

As expected, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today rejected requests to reconsider its approval of the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. As predictable as it was, the decision remains heart breaking.

Pipeline Resisters visited with Gov. Tim Walz transition staff Randolph Briley and Alexis Kochanski after the PUC vote.

Red Lake, White Earth, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club, the Youth Climate Intervenors, and Friends of the Headwaters had asked the PUC to reconsider approving Line 3. Commissioners summarily and unanimously dismissed their request, 5-0. The PUC continued to ignore the Environmental Impact Statement’s conclusion that Line 3 would generate $287 billion in climate damage. It continued to ignore the Administrative Law Judge’s findings that approving Enbridge’s preferred route failed to meet the cost/benefit test. It continued to ignore Commerce’s conclusion that Enbridge failed to prove Line 3 was needed. It continued to ignore the impacts the pipeline would have on treaty rights.

The PUC took no comments from intervening parties asking for reconsideration. The whole process probably lasted five minutes, enough time for a few commissioners to say they had already considered these issues and there was nothing more to talk about.

The PUC gave Enbridge pretty much everything it wanted. It’s an example of corporate capture, where the government institutions created to protect the public get co-opted by corporate interests. Its the Minnesota version of what is happening with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Tell Governor Dayton it’s Time to Take a Stand on Line 3: Action Planned this Sunday

Gov. Mark Dayton (image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Governor Mark Dayton said he would not take a position on the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline before theĀ Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted on the project. He wanted the process to run its course, he said. He opposed legislative efforts to meddle in the approval process, too.

The PUC voted 5-0 Thursday to approve Enbridge Line 3’s Certificate of Need, an extremely disappointing vote. The PUC voted 3-2 to approve Enbridge’s preferred route, with one exception. The approved route will jog around Big Sandy Lake, a sacred area to the Anishinaabe. (Star Tribune article here.)

It’s time for Governor Dayton to take a stand.

To add your voice to this call, attend a rally planned outside the Governor’s Mansion, 1006 Summit Ave., St. Paul, at 4 p.m. this Sunday, July 1. (Facebook event here. Check for updates.) Stop Line 3 is organizing the event, which is co-hosted by Honor the Earth, MN 350 and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.

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PUC Discusses Protests After Line 3 Vote, Police Response and Sex Trafficking

Day Four of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) deliberations on Enbridge Line 3 included concerns aboutĀ  possible civil disobedience after the vote, how law enforcement should respond, and plans to mitigate the sex trafficking and drug problems that can follow these large construction projects. Continue reading

Enbridge Line 3 Gets Late Backing from U.S. DOT; Honor the Earth Starts ‘Welcome Water Protectors’ Campaign

MPR reports that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration is a late entrant into the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline debate — recommending the state approve the Canadian company’s request. The letter, arriving at the 11th hour, could foreshadow Trump administration intervention on Line 3, similar to what it did on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Today was Day Two of four scheduled meetings for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to debate and vote on Enbridge Line 3. The process already appears to be taking longer than expected. Continue reading