ICYMI This Week: Stop Line 3 featured in The New York Times, The Nation and more

 

January 11, 2021



This week in The Nation, Honor the Earth executive director Winona LaDuke filed an on-the-ground report from the ‘occupied’ town of Palisade, Minnesota. LaDuke writes:

“Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in the world, is hell-bent on jamming through their Line 3 Pipeline, the company’s most massive project, under the cover of this Covid winter as fast as they can—before we can stop them and before the world takes notice […]

Then there’s the armed forces, the Sheriffs, the DNR—Minnesota Department of Natural Resources—who have deployed here. Their wages are paid by Enbridge. That’s because Minnesota noted the $38 million bill for Standing Rock, and decided just to pay in advance. A Canadian corporation paying for the police in Minnesota. It looks like an occupation. It feels like an occupation. With all the violence that entails.”

Also this week, the American Birkebeiner, an annual ski race in Hayward, Wisconsin, has ended their relationship with sponsor Enbridge Energy after an outcry from the community. In a statement posted to their website, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said:


“We’ve taken pause to reconsider our relationship with Enbridge Energy and have chosen to dissolve our agreement [...] We are grateful to those of you who took the time to share your thoughts. We appreciate your passion and we heard you loud and clear [...] Thank you for your care of the environment and your passionate support of the Birkie lifestyle.”

The site Healing Minnesota Stories spoke with Birkebeiner’s Executive Director Ben Popp about the decision to break ties with Enbridge:

“Birkebeiner staff began hearing from the public in the last 10 days, pushing back on the Enbridge sponsorship. Voices ‘grew, and grew, and grew,’ [Popp] said [...] The Foundation represents a large group of people, 20,000 to 30,000, Popp said. ‘We want to make sure we represent them accurately.’”

A couple weeks ago in The New York Times, Louise Erdrich, Minnesota author and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, explained why Line 3 is not ‘just another pipeline,’ but a fundamental betrayal of tribal rights and the environment:

“This has been a brutal year for Indigenous people, who have suffered nearly double the Covid-19 mortality rate of white Americans. We have lost many of our elders, our language keepers. Covid has also struck an inordinate number of our vibrant young. Nevertheless, tribal people worked hard on the elections. The Native vote became a force that helped carry several key areas of the country and our state. On the heels of those victories, the granting of final permits to construct Enbridge’s Line 3, which will cross Anishinaabe treaty lands, was a breathtaking betrayal [...]


This is not just another pipeline. It is a tar sands climate bomb; if completed, it will facilitate the production of crude oil for decades to come. Tar sands are among the most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet. The state’s environmental impact assessment of the project found the pipeline’s carbon output could be 193 million tons per year. That’s the equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants or 38 million vehicles on our roads, according to Jim Doyle, a physicist at Macalester College who helped write a report from the climate action organization MN350 about the pipeline.”

In a January 1st letter to the editor in the Star Tribune, Minneapolis resident Judith K. Healey asks some important questions about the process that led to Line 3’s permit approvals, which are now being challenged in state and federal courts:

“Let me see if I have this straight: 1) Some of the workers on the project are coming from out-of-state, so there is less local employment benefit. 2) The oil is not destined to be used in this state but will be sent elsewhere. So it's not about heating Minnesota homes. 3) The pipeline is running through land that belongs to Native Americans without their permission. 4) There will be an extraordinary negative environmental cost to the state in this process.


So the question has to be asked: Why are we allowing this? What safeguards in Minnesota environmental decisionmaking have failed us? And the most important question of all: Cui bono?”

 

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