Money talks, and Enbridge has lots of it

It is undeniable that much is at stake with Line 3. For the people of northern Minnesota, the quality of life that is made possible by the public resources of clean water, forests, wild rice, and wild places is at stake; for the foreign corporation that is Enbridge - continuing to post profits.

Allowing Line 3 would bring more destruction to Canadian and Minnesota forests, bring tar sand with 1:3 efficiency ratio (one barrel of oil’s energy is needed to produce three barrels of oil, contrast with Texan oil having 1:40) through yet another new swath of public land, cross more than 200 water bodies and 400 wetlands, bring Enbridge (the largest user of electricity in Minnesota) to use two megawatts for pumping oil/tar (equivalent to two nuclear power plants), and eliminate the possibility that Minnesota could reach current pollution reduction goals.

Line 3 makes abundantly clear that laws apply very specifically to individual Minnesotans but very vaguely or not at all if a large corporation is involved. Why is that? It is the same reason that most of the travesties in human history have taken place. Money talks. And it is very disheartening to see people normally of good conscience change their ways when personal financial benefit is made large enough. It is a very human tendency that becomes problematic when people can no longer drink their water, harvest their food and enjoy the benefits of functional ecology.

Enbridge actions also demarcate the extent to which our communities are willing to tolerate corporate racism. Indigenous peoples have been inherently disenfranchised by monstrous projects like Line 3, and Enbridge is set on punishing tribal attempts to assert autonomy on treaty and reservation lands by ravaging a whole new, hundred yard wide stripe through the areas where usufruct rights are retained. Why a hundred yards? Because there is never just one pipeline in the plan.

This was all made possible by fictitious oil demand forecasts made by Enbridge to claim public need for the project. The Public Utilities Commission legally erred by accepting Enbridge claims, and also erred in a cowardly fashion when it sanctioned Enbridge’s use of state law enforcement for this private project. Enbridge’s continuing failure to operate lawfully has forced tribes and conservation groups to take up shielding court actions which require addressing before Line 3 is rammed through. And you can bet that Enbridge intends to ram this through before the truth can be brought forward and before enough people can organize to physically oppose their project.

Enbridge is clinging to a dying, century old technology; bullying and buying the way through Minnesota. If ever there was a time for those who hold good intent for all to rally, now is it. The culture that built out of petrochemicals was fine for the beginning of the last century, but only while the externalized costs could be ignored.

Mike Tauber

Backus

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