Pipeline battle in Minnesota pits Enbridge against native environmental groups

In this May 12, 2014 file photo, LaSalle Creek flows out of LaSalle Lake, left, crossing the right of way of a proposed Enbridge Energy pipeline through pristine lakes and forests near Pequot Lakes, Minn. Native and environmental groups are fighting a pair of proposed Enbridge pipelines that would cross lake-dotted country in northern Minnesota. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP/Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Brian Mark Peterson Pipeline battle in Minnesota pits Enbridge against native, environmental groups CALGARY – Native and environmental groups are fighting a pair of proposed Enbridge pipelines that would cross lake-dotted country in northern Minnesota.The Sandpiper and Line 3 Replacement projects would take the same route through much of the state — carrying North Dakota light oil and oilsands crude, respectively, to Superior, Wisc.Opponents are using a variety of legal and bureaucratic means to stymie the pipelines, which are at different stages in the Minnesota regulatory process. Both are slated to start up in 2017.For Ojibwe communities near the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the big concern is over wild rice beds, said Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, an environmental group based on the White Earth reservation.Not only is wild rice a sacred crop to her people, but it’s a major source of income, said LaDuke.“It is the only thing our people can count on. You cannot count on the U.S. economy,” she said.“But you can count on your rice.”The $2.6-billion Sandpiper pipeline is already about a year behind schedule because the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission last fall decided to review the need for the project and its route separately, rather than at the same time.The commission granted Enbridge a certificate of need for Sandpiper in early June, a move that LaDuke said was tantamount to a “declaration of war.” Groups are planning to challenge the certificate as soon as they’re able. The route permitting process is now underway.Meanwhile, the commission is just about to begin reviewing the Line 3 Replacement. The $7.5-billion project, the biggest in Enbridge’s history, involves decommissioning a nearly half-century old pipeline that runs between Hardisty, Alta., and Superior and replacing it with all new pipe.Enbridge spokeswoman Lorraine Little said the lines don’t cross reservation boundaries, so there’s no formal negotiation process with bands. The Ojibwe do, however, gather, hunt and fish on ceded land.Some, but not all, native groups have chosen to engage in consultations with the Calgary-based company, said Little.“We certainly are sensitive to the concerns that have been raised in terms of the wild rice. And so that is part of the consultation process and the conversations that we’d like to have with the reservations to address those concerns.”Frank Bibeau, a lawyer for Honor the Earth, is drawing on his past career experience in the Minnesota government to “add confusion and delay” to the process.“I think there’s going to be a lot bigger fight than Enbridge understands right now,” he said.While opponents would prefer pipelines not be built in the first place, many are pragmatic.Friends of the Headwaters, a local environmental group, pitched a route that juts diagonally across southwestern Minnesota, well away from most wild rice lakes.“We understand that in the practical realities of today’s world, that there’s still a need to move petroleum product around the nation and around North America,” said Richard Smith, with Friends of the Headwaters. “We think that Enbridge already has too large a footprint across Minnesota’s northern water resources.”Enbridge pipelines have been crossing through the area for several decades. Smith is concerned that if Line 3 and Sandpiper go ahead, yet more pipelines will proliferate.Little foresees Enbridge having to make “micro-adjustments” to Sandpiper to minimize impacts, but a drastic reroute would only mean a longer pipe that would affect more densely populated areas.Joe Plumer, a lawyer who represents the White Earth reservation, said he recognizes that “they’re probably going to put a pipeline through,” but the company’s proposed Sandpiper path “is the worst route that they ever could have chosen.”“The waters communicate above and below ground in those sensitive areas. You can’t segregate a spill.”Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter. by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 13, 2015 11:50 am MDT Last Updated Jul 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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57yearold man charged with attempted murder after early morning assault

first_imgA 57-YEAR-OLD MAN has been charged with attempted murder following an assault at a house in Newry two days ago.A 27-year-old man was found with serious stab wounds to his chest just before 3am in the early hours of Thursday morning.He was brought to hospital to be treated where his condition was described as stable.The 57-year-old man who was arrested over the incident was also treated for stab injuries to his leg.The PSNI confirmed this morning that the man had been charged to appear at Newry Magistrates Court later today.last_img read more

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