They do seem to be feeling the heat.
Representatives for Enbridge addressed the (Minnesota Public Utilities Commission) first, adding new commitments in an effort to get a Certificate of Need from the state.
Enbridge said it would buy renewable energy credits to offset energy use after a new Line 3 is in service. In addition, Enbridge offered to work with those concerned about the old Line 3 to set up a trust fund to decommission all old pipelines in Minnesota.
Finally, Enbridge would put a guarantee in place by its parent company, Enbridge Inc., to ensure there would be cleanup money available in the event of a spill.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has said (and, from the article above, is reiterating) that a new Line 3 is not needed. Tar sands oil pipelines are also opposed by Minnesotans by about 2:1. But the Public Utilities Commission generally does approve proposals like this. Which doesn’t mean it’s over. Not by a long shot.
Because to not go with one final piece of petty, infantile crap – and a piece that is bad for public health, at that – just is not in Minnesota legislative Republicans’ playbook. A**holes to the end.
A new state rule aimed at reducing groundwater contamination by farm fertilizers could be delayed by a legislative move made formal on Monday…
The so-called Groundwater Protection Rule has been several years in the making and looks to reduce the amount of nitrogen reaching groundwater aquifers, which many Minnesotans rely on for their drinking water. In delaying the rule, the Legislature tapped an obscure 2001 law that appears to put a check on administrative rules by giving the next Legislature a chance to weigh in on it in 2019.
But Dayton said he has instructed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to proceed as planned and has called the Legislature’s move unconstitutional.
It’s possible the matter will end up in court. On Monday, Dayton reiterated that he thinks the Legislature overstepped its bounds.
It’s important to understand that those referenced above would quite honestly view my remarks as unfair and offensive, if they saw them. Their motivated reasoning is such that they really do see themselves, in this, as heroically “combating government overreach” and “letting the markets work.” After all, Almighty Reagan would approve. So would Donald Trump.
My gut feeling, based on nothing specific, is that this one doesn’t really stink of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), either. I figure they did it on their own.
Here’s some wonderful, uplifting corporate citizenship.
The state of Minnesota has repeatedly overvalued Enbridge Energy’s oil pipeline system, a state Tax Court judge ruled Tuesday, possibly leaving several counties on the hook to pay tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds…
Enbridge’s pipelines traverse 13 northern Minnesota counties, and some of them count on Enbridge for a large portion of their tax base. At least two counties — Clearwater and Red Lake — could end up refunding more money than they raise annually from all of their taxpayers.
Enbridge reported a 2017 pre-tax profit of $10,317 million.
My suggestion, and I’m sure I’m not the only one making it, is that we do all we can to turn this into a PR nightmare for Enbridge. They deserve it.
The saga of the highly controversial Enbridge Line 3 replacement/rerouting proposal took another turn last week.
Administrative law judge Ann O’Reilly issued a non-binding recommendation on (April 23) that Minnesota regulators should approve the pipeline, but only if it runs along the current route and not Enbridge Energy’s preferred new path.
– Also from that article, Gov. Mark Dayton says that is not feasible. (Dayton is not opposed to the project. Though he has, bless his heart, said he’ll veto a bill from the GOP-controlled Minnesota legislature that would allow Enbridge to basically bypass the rest of the review process and start whenever they want to.)
– The ruling would likely strengthen the positions of affected Native Americans.
– Enbridge very much wants to stick with its plan.
So we’ll see.
Comment below fold.
– People get fed up, and I don’t blame them.
Leaders of the Red Lake Nation are formally calling for the removal of oil pipelines from their reservation in northern Minnesota.
The tribal council in January pulled out of a deal with Canadian energy firm Enbridge that would have allowed the pipelines to stay in place. Leaders now want the infrastructure removed altogether.
“We just want them to move their lines and clean up the pollution and the damages they’ve done the past 70 years,” Chairman told The Bemidji Pioneer after the council voted unanimously on Tuesday to remove the pipelines.
– Enbridge spent more than $5 million lobbying Minnesota state officials, last year.
– A result in a closely watched “necessity defense” protest case:
Tuesday’s sentencing hearing tested a Montana court’s willingness to apply the severe penalties already available for use against pipeline protesters. For halting the flow of oil through Enbridge’s Express pipeline for several hours, Leonard Higgins, a 66-year-old retired information technology manager for the state of Oregon, faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for charges of misdemeanor trespass and felony criminal mischief. Higgins was sentenced to three years’ probation and $3,755 in restitution to the pipeline company…
Although the sentence is lenient in light of the possible penalties Higgins faced, it does not represent a full win for the activists. Higgins’s legal team had hoped Judge Daniel Boucher would allow them to argue that, given the severity of the climate threat, he had no choice but to act — a strategy known as a necessity defense. But Boucher said that since Higgins appeared to fear harm to his children and grandchildren, rather than an imminent threat to his own life, the defense could not apply. In his denial, Boucher wrote, “The energy policy of the United States is not on trial, nor will this court allow Higgins to attempt to put it on trial.”
A win as far as the judge refusing to dismiss the lawsuits, that is. There is no question that the proposed land swap is an atrocious giveaway, but whether courts will see that in the long run is another matter. You know how plenty of judges are.
A federal judge has put on hold four lawsuits filed by eight environmental groups to block a land swap that the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota needs to move forward.
U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen stayed the lawsuits while Congress considers legislation to force completion of the land exchange between PolyMet and the U.S. Forest Service. The bill passed the House last November and is pending in a Senate committee…
In her order Tuesday, Ericksen denied PolyMet’s motion to dismiss the lawsuits.
Groups have filed for a contested case hearing on PolyMet with the Minnesota DNR.