Honor the Earth has prepared a “2015 Year-In-Review” for Enbridge Energy, delivered personally by Executive Director Winona LaDuke to CEO Al Monaco. The report highlights some of the most exciting, frustrating, and at times dangerous adventures that Enbridge had in 2015, along with acknowledging risks to investors in the Canadian pipeline company.
With Enbridge stock prices having dropped 60% over the past twelve months, 2016 is likely to be full of challenges for the Canadian pipeline company. The once-booming Bakken region of North Dakota is in full-on bust, with rig counts down to 54, and a multitude of drilling companies declaring bankruptcy. Oil prices remain at historic lows. In both the Bakken and the Alberta Tar Sands, investors are pulling out and drillers are canceling projects and laying off employees by the hundreds, and an earthquake in northern Alberta has triggered a closure of a massive operation. The landmark January 12, 2016 ruling by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in favor of the First Nations opposing Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, will further complicate the company’s Canadian interests. The court ruled that the province of British Columbia “breached the honour of the Crown” by failing to consult with the Gitga’at and Coastal First Nations. This historic case requires BC to essentially begin again, setting the clock back several years on the regulatory process for the Northern Gateway project, with serious implications for other pipeline proposals as well.
The state of Minnesota will likely want to take note. Enbridge has failed to consult with tribal governments in Minnesota regarding the proposed new Sandpiper Line 3 pipeline corridor, despite written opposition and repeated requests by the White Earth and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe, the 1855 Treaty Authority, the National Congress of American Indians, and thousands of tribal and non-tribal individuals across the region. The Public Utilities Commission claims a fine-print exemption to Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 13-10, which in 2013 instructed all State of Minnesota departments to consult directly with tribal governments on issues that affect Native people.
The Sandpiper proceedings were also recently set back by at least 1 year as the PUC finally begins a full Environmental Impact Statement process, as required when the MN Supreme Court upheld a MN Court of Appeals decision revoking the Certificate of Need that the PUC issued in June 2015. The Court ruled that the lack of EIS constituted a violation of the Minnesota Environmental Protection Act.
Read the entire, "2015 Year-In-Review"