As Minnesotans, we care for each other and know how interconnected our lives are. Part of that connectedness is our shared environment. Building a better shared future includes bold climate action so that generations to come can continue to make the earth a thriving place for all.
ISAIAH leaders have taken action by sharing their perspectives in the form of LTEs and daily personal actions. Together, we make Minnesota’s climate future sustainable and equitable for all, no exceptions.
A recent StarTribune article, “Minnesota regulators approve $750M Xcel wind-power project,” reported that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) had asked Minnesota power utilities for their plans to help in the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I was surprised to learn that “the PUC was particularly looking for projects that would create jobs and more carbon-free energy.” Where was this particular interest when the PUC approved the permits for Enbridge to construct its Line 3 pipeline to deliver more high-carbon energy?
The PUC could have achieved its goal to create jobs—safe, clean, sustainable jobs— and more carbon-free energy simply by saying no to Enbridge and yes to actual carbon-free energy producers. That decision would have helped to protect the health of Minnesotans by eliminating potential COVID-19 super-spreader events that could result from Line 3. It would protect Minnesotans who may someday drink water contaminated by pipeline leaks. It would have respected treaties with the Ojibwe, whose lands Line 3 will destroy. And it would have helped move Minnesota into the future because the future of energy is carbon-free.
Minnesotans may not have the future we deserve if the Minnesota Court of Appeals rules in favor of the Minnesota Department of Commerce and other groups appealing the PUC’s decision. However, that ruling is not expected until early summer, and Line 3 construction has already begun. To prevent further damage to the land and the threat posed by COVID-19, the Court of Appeals should order an immediate halt to construction.
Like Jack Uldrich (“Ebenezer Scrooge, Line 3 and me” Opinion Exchange, December 17, 2020) I believe that when it comes to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, we need to listen to the voices of the future. My nieces and nephews want to know how we adults let the climate crisis get so bad, and what we are doing about it. They also ask how it can be that our state is once again breaking faith with indigenous people, threatening ruin to lands promised to them and to waters that should be sacred to all of us. The MN Court of Appeals can stop the construction now before it is too late. Then let’s get serious about building a future where my nieces and nephews – and all of our children, native or newcomer, rural or urban – can thrive.
Now is the time for all Minnesotans to stop the Enbridge Line 3 construction in northern Minnesota. Enbridge has no plans to remove the old line 3, which will continue to ooze petroleum into the wetlands surrounding the source of the Mississippi. The new line, three times the size of the old one, will no doubt also be abandoned when oil is replaced by cleaner energy alternatives unless the legislature passes new laws regarding old lines.
Oil companies recognize their decreasing time to make profits and are doing all they can to build this line before we wake up and see it for the boondoggle it is. We need to put more pressure on our Public Utilities Commission to stop this new line and demand that Enbridge cleans up the old one. Native American communities in northern Minnesota are appealing to the Minnesota Court of Appeals to stop construction until the line’s full impact on the environment can be examined.
All of us in Minnesota will be affected if this line is built. Call the governor and your legislators and demand that this threat to our state’s environment is stopped and that Enbridge cleans up its old line.
All Minnesotans no matter their race or where they live want to have good-paying jobs so they can take care of their families. We value opportunities for long term employment and creating products that will be sustainable for the future. Enbridge’s pipeline 3 isn’t one of these opportunities. In a letter, scientists say pipeline 3 will add to climate change. Minnesota will be complicit in increasing emissions equal to 50 coal plants running for 30-50 years.
Dispersing toxic substances into the water when the pipe leaks will ruin our water supply harming plants, animals, and humans. Another concern is the disregard of and violation of our treaty with indigenous people. How many more promises will be ignored when they are deemed “ in the way of business”? The construction jobs will end when the toxic sludge runs through the pipeline, but the damage to indigenous peoples’ lands will continue.
The courts need to stay the construction of the pipeline to allow time for the appeals to be heard. Make no mistake, Enbridge is betting the courts will deny the appeals if enough construction is completed.
I serve as a pastor at Christ The King Lutheran Church, here in Bloomington, where we try to put our faith into practice through right relationship with the Earth and all God’s creatures. Many in my congregation, across political differences, are concerned about climate change and want to build a healthy future for our families and the next generation of Minnesotans. We have shared resources, connected to the city’s sustainability commission, made some ecological shifts on our own church property and at our homes, and yet, we have come to realize that our individual actions can only do so much.
We need our local and statewide leaders to fund renewable energy sources for all of us, rather than look the other way as the dangerous Line 3 pipeline continues to be built across northern MN. According to the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, the amount of emissions that would be added by the new Line 3 is astronomical – equivalent to building 50 more coal plants that would operate for 30-50 years, when we only have 4 coal plants currently.
Everyone deserves clean water and air to breathe. We know that Line 3 isn’t good for Minnesota because when it leaks it would poison our water and the Tar Sands oil it would bring would poison our air. As a grandmother to Native grandchildren, I feel especially enraged that the pipeline would also go through land treatied to the Anishinaabe people. This would repeat the history of white settlers exploiting the land of indigenous people yet again.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals needs to institute a stay of construction until all our voices are heard democratically. And our lawmakers need to save the world from another catastrophe and recognize that it’s time to shift to renewable solutions for ourselves, our families, and future generations of Minnesotans.
All Minnesotans deserve access to clean water, air, and a sustainable future. Line 3 threatens all three. The company building Line 3, Enbridge, has a track record of oil spills, which means the 200 bodies of water that the pipeline crosses will inevitably be contaminated. Furthermore, the emissions the pipeline will create are equivalent to 50 coal plants running for 30-50 years. This is an immediate health hazard for the Indigenous communities who live on the land Line 3 (illegally) cuts through. It would also drastically set back our ability to achieve 100% renewable energy in Minnesota.
We cannot in good conscience allow a pipeline to be built that will have lasting health and environmental impacts which will hurt generations to come. As someone who hopes to build a future in Minnesota, I urge the Court of Appeals to mandate a stay of construction.
In determining what is in our best interest as Minnesotans, it is vital that we consider the health impacts of a major project, such as Line 3. The article, “Enbridge says it can keep COVID-19 at bay during Line 3 construction, but some worry project could drive cases in rural Minnesota” by Walker Orenstein provides an important insight into the current concerns about bringing thousands of workers, who could spread Covid in already struggling Northern Minnesota communities.
As Enbridge continues to race right ahead in an attempt to finish the project and start profiting before the Minnesota Courts of Appeals decides against the project, the current and future health impacts are too great to be pushed aside. For, in addition to exacerbating the pandemic, Line 3 would contaminate our air and water for years to come. As a young person who wants to raise her future children in Minnesota, I want to see our state prioritize sustainable projects, like renewable energy, which will propel us towards a healthy future.
Mary Ann Vande Vusse
I spent my childhood swimming and playing on the shores of Lake Michigan. We used the Kalamazoo River to fish and canoe – activities we could not do in a lake as big as Michigan. In 2010 Enbridge Line 6B leaked almost a million gallons of tar sands oil contaminating 30 miles of the river. When the spill happened, hundreds of residents and businesses had to evacuate, and the spill is still affecting the area.
Now Enbridge is trying to build Line 3, a new larger tar sands oil pipeline in Northern Minnesota. It would not only poison our water but our air besides, with the equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants running for 30 years. I want to build a safe, healthy future for my children, grandchildren, and the whole next generation of Minnesotans and I know we can if we fund clean energy starting this legislative session. That’s why I’m contacting my representatives and urge you to do the same.
As I read the New York Times article published in the Minneapolis StarTribune, “Line 3: Not just another pipeline”, on January 3, I was reminded that the name Minnesota is a Dakota word, meaning “cloudy water” or “sky-tinted water.” Water is central to who we are in this land of 10,000 lakes. We swim, we boat, we fish, we ski, we lounge at the beach, and hike around lakes. Our northern lakes and rivers draw visitors from across the country and sustain life in communities across the state. It is my favorite place to take my kids and grandkids.
And now Enbridge – a Canadian oil company – is building an oil pipeline that threatens to pollute many of our rivers including the mighty Mississippi with dirty tar sands oil, which – when (not if) it spills – sinks to the bottom of rivers and lakes, and is impossible to remove. All pipelines leak. From 2002 to 2018, Enbridge (and its joint ventures and subsidiaries) averaged one pipeline incident every 20 days.*
We must safeguard our waters for the communities who rely on them for life and for future generations. A pipeline crossing over 200 of our bodies of water is an unacceptable and unnecessary risk.
I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life and been lucky to experience the beauty of the Boundary Waters and kayaking on the Mississippi. I care about preserving the state we call home. That’s why I’m urging Governor Walz to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. Line 3 will be detrimental to this Earth: by adding emissions equal to 50 coal plants running for 30-50 years. Hundreds of pipelines have leaked in the past. Line 3 will be no exception; it will leak and destroy the lands and waters promised to Anishnaabe peoples and nations, violating treaty rights.
Healthcare workers have warned that the construction of Line 3 will be a super-spreader event, as thousands of out-of-state workers come to Minnesota. Not only will this surge in workers increase COVID-19 cases, but an increase in transient workers will exacerbate violence towards Indigenous women.
It’s past time to end the colonial legacy of violence towards Indigenous people. It’s past time to get the pandemic under control. It’s past time to transition to 100% clean energy, and stop putting profit over people and the planet.
I was distressed to read that Minnesota is one of the fastest-warming states, “State’s climate report card shows we’re failing.” According to the report, not only has Minnesota missed its first climate reduction goal of 15 percent back in 2015 but that we are going backward. The report goes on to say that we “cannot build new fossil fuel infrastructure anymore if we are to have any chance of preventing the worst impacts of climate change. It’s time for bold action.
Rev. Andrew Davis
I write in favor of the 100% Clean Energy Standard bill, which is being considered by our Minnesota Legislature.
This bill will encourage investment in wind farms, solar gardens, hydropower, and infrastructure, thus creating jobs in communities across our state. These jobs will be more than a paycheck — they will be opportunities for workers to create a better future for us all. These will be jobs with dignity and purpose and will aid in the spiritual health of our communities.
Clean energy and storage is now cheaper than fossil fuel and would meet electrical reliability standards, even during extreme weather events like a polar vortex. Investment in clean energy projects would create a net economic benefit in addition to saving our climate (www.2035report.com). This is incredibly good news.
We can have a clean, growing economy that benefits everyone.