Mike Myers: Energy industry continues push for crude oil pipelines

Tribal members gathered wild rice at Hole In the Day Lake in Minnesota last August as an exercise of their treaty rights. Photo from Facebook / Honor the Earth

Mike Myers (Seneca Nation) of the Network for Native Futures doesn't think the $2.6 billion Sandpiper crude oil pipeline, which crosses treaty territory in Minnesota, will be going away despite a setback at the state level:
A few weeks back the Minnesota Public Utility Commission (PUC) did a 180 and ordered full Environmental Impact Statements be done on the Sandpiper and Line 3 pipelines proposed to run through northern Minnesota. Not that they did this on their own but had to be court ordered to do so.

There is some interesting evidence about 6 miles from my house that suggests that the pipeline and oil companies aren’t worried about this reversal. There’s a site where there is a rail spur and every month since last Spring it has been filled with flat bed rail cars stacked four layers high with pipes for the pipelines. Each of the 25 to 30 cars parked there haul 15, 36 inch pipes. So on any given day there are 375 to 450 pipes being off loaded onto trucks that then head to staging area to the east and west.

One such staging area sits alongside Highway 200 about 10 miles north of Itasca State Park – the home of the Mississippi Headwaters. This is where the Mississippi begins its 2,320 mile journey creating a River Basin of some 1,151,000 square miles. There is a sign there that tells you if you put something in the river it will take about 36 days to reach the Gulf of Mexico.

When you’re driving around this part of Minnesota you pass over the Mississippi over and over as it meanders through the region beginning its southward journey. These pipelines will cross the Mississippi several times there is no way to avoid it unless you go much further south.

Get the Story:
Mike Myers: Pipelines and Pipe Dreams: A Big Fracking Mess (Indian Country Today 1/5)

Another Opinion:
Editorial: Pipeline process stringent; must be predictable (The Alberta Lea Tribune 12/31)

Also Today:
Enbridge hits stumbling block on path to Sandpiper Pipeline (NNCNOW.Com 1/14)
White Earth Band requests Department of Commerce to step aside in PUC proceedings for Sandpiper crude oil pipeline (The Walker Pilot Independent 12/30)
Minnesota Supreme Court upholds need for Sandpiper EIS (The Northland Press 12/29)
PUC orders combine EIS for Sandpiper and Line 3 crude oil pipeline projects (The Walker Pilot Independent 12/23)
Minnesota Supreme Court backs Sandpiper pipeline opponents (AP 12/15)

Minnesota Court of Appeals Decision:
In the Matter of the Application of North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC for a Certificate o f Need for the Sandpiper Pipeline Project in Minnesota (September 30, 2015)

Related Stories:
Minnesota court deals setback to oil pipeline opposed by tribes (9/15)
Frank Bibeau: Ojibwe people assert treaty rights in Minnesota (9/2)
Young tribal members cited for wild rice harvest in Minnesota (9/1)
Tribal members in Minnesota assert treaty right to gather wild rice (8/28)
Winona LaDuke: Energy company hasn't been listening to tribes (6/8)
Mille Lacs Band holds public hearing on proposed energy pipeline (5/28)
Michigan tribes warn of disaster from pipeline spill in Great Lakes (5/28)
Native Sun News: Winona LaDuke addresses energy addiction (11/18)
Winona LaDuke: Energy project threatens Ojibwe ricing tradition (7/7)
Honor the Earth weighs next move in fight over pipeline route (5/22)
Honor the Earth challenges pipeline route through treaty lands (5/8)

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