I for one sure hope so. A couple of intertwined items.
Climate change protesters are claiming victory in their effort to present an unusual “necessity defense” against felony charges stemming from efforts to shut down oil pipelines.
The Minnesota Supreme Court declined (July 18) to review a ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals that backed the protesters, who will still face an uphill legal battle when their case goes to trial this fall.
Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein acknowledge turning the emergency shut-off valves on two pipelines in 2016 in Clearwater County of northwestern Minnesota as part of a coordinated nationwide action. Eleven activists were charged in all.
Environmental and Native American groups in Minnesota are gearing up to thwart the replacement of an aging pipeline that crosses the state…
Enbridge still must apply for 29 required federal, state, and local permits before they can begin construction…
Great, great news.
Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 project — an effort to replace and expand an oil sands pipeline through Minnesota — hit a roadblock Monday when the state’s Department of Commerce said that the project is environmentally and economically risky and that the company has failed to show that the pipeline is even needed at all…
“The Commerce Department testimony is really damning and really well reasoned,” Aaron Klemz from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy told ThinkProgress. “They seem to have taken a really hard look at the facts and made a decision on them rather then just taking the company’s word for it.”
Enbridge’s application would relocate and expand a pipeline, already known as Line 3, which carries Canadian tar sands oil from the border to refineries in Wisconsin or to other pipelines. Opponents to the project say the new route will carry oil through sensitive wetlands, including some of the only wild rice marshes in the world. They also say that building more fossil fuel infrastructure now — oil sands is one of the dirtiest fuels in the world — is antithetical to efforts to transition to clean energy, reduce climate change, and keep air and water clean.
Here is a sort of cover page and article on the Commerce Department website, with links to all the minutiae.
Click here to find a map with meeting dates and locations.
June is your chance to speak out against tar sands in Minnesota!
Between June 6 and June 22, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is hosting 22 public meetings across the state about Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion.
The website from which I got the following is packed with info on the issue.
Line 3 is a disaster waiting to happen. This Enbridge oil pipeline was built in 1961 and despite having hundreds of thousands of structural anomalies, Line 3 continues to ship crude oil from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. This aging pipe as ten times as many corrosion anomalies per mile than any other Enbridge pipeline in the same corridor. Enbridge wants to abandon this legacy of contamination in the ground, walk away, and build an entirely new corridor, through the heart of Minnesota’s best lakes and wild rice beds, and through Anishinaabeg treaty territories.
(Stop Line 3)
A couple of recent developments.
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Sierra Club, MN350, and Center for Biological Diversity filed comments (April 17) opposing reauthorization of a permit that could allow Enbridge’s existing Line 3 pipeline to operate in the Chippewa National Forest for up to thirty years. Substandard welding and extensive corrosion on thousands of joints risk an immediate tar sands oil spill from the pipeline. The permit being sought by Enbridge would allow a six pipeline corridor, including Line 3, to continue to operate across Chippewa National Forest land. The existing permit expires at the end of 2017. Because of the threat to the Chippewa National Forest, the conservation groups argue Enbridge’s special use permit application should be denied, or at a minimum, that environmental review of the application is required.
(Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy)
In 1990, a helicopter patrol spotted a patch of oil on the ground about a mile south of Millecoquins Lake near Engadine. The oil was from Enbridge Line 5, which had spilled 630 gallons through a pinhole leak.
That spill is among almost 30 spills along the pipeline — many of them previously unknown or largely forgotten incidents — unearthed in federal records by National Wildlife Federation (NWF) pipeline safety specialist and researcher Beth Wallace.
The organization released the results of Wallace’s research this week, estimating that Line 5, which runs from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario by way of Michigan, has spilled at least 1.13 million gallons of oil in 29 incidents since 1968.
Comment below fold.
I wrote before about Enbridge’s activities in Minnesota, here.
Enbridge has been trying since 2012 to get a presidential permit to expand the Alberta Clipper from its current permitted capacity of 450,000 barrels per day to 800,000 barrels per day.
Thanks in large part to our public pressure, activists have stalled approvals for this tar sands project and others, like the Keystone XL pipeline. So Enbridge concocted a dangerous scheme that essentially amounts to smuggling to get their filthy product across the border.
Instead of carrying tar sands across the border on the Clipper pipeline directly, Enbridge is diverting the tar sands flow to an adjacent 47-year-old pipeline, where it will travel 20 miles across the US border into Minnesota, then back to the Clipper pipeline. Disturbingly, the aging “Line 3” was not designed to carry toxic and corrosive tar sands crude, yet would be operating at more than double its current capacity.
Yes, this is a proven recipe for disaster: The 2013 Mayflower Arkansas spill was caused by a rupture of the similarly aging Pegasus pipeline, which had been also co-opted to carry tar sands crude.
The Star Tribune confirmed all of this, albeit of course in a much more rhetorically meek way, here.
It looks more and more as if Enbridge isn’t any better than TransCanada (I don’t type that lightly), and deserves similar levels of public scrutiny and pressure.
The image is from the Mayflower spill, via insideclimatenews.org