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PUC grants Eminent Domain for Sandpiper, calls for Environmental Review and Cooperation with Tribes, Federal Agencies

On Monday, August 3, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued two orders for Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline application – granting the Certificate of Need, which conveys to Enbridge the powers of eminent domain, and commencing the routing permit review process.   However, there were conditions...

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Canadian Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Native Land Rights

The Canadian Supreme court recently made one of the  “most important Supreme Court ruling on aboriginal rights in Canadian history.” This June 2015 ruling recognized that tribes had title to lands that they had not ceded through treaties.  Particularly, the ruling granted the Tsilqhot’in Nation (pronounced Sil-KO-tin) aboriginal title to a vast piece of land in the interior of British Columbia.

 

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NCAI Calls for Federal Intervention in Sandpiper Process

On July 1, 2015, the National Congress of American Indians adopted a formal resolution calling for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Enbridge Energy’s proposed Sandpiper/Line 3 oil pipeline corridor across treaty-ceded territory in Northern Minnesota.  The NCAI is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments.  The official resolution can be viewed on their website here.    

The resolution calls for...

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Petition Filed to Add Moose to Endangered Species List

On July 9, 2015, Honor the Earth and The Center for Biological Diversity filed a legal petition seeking federal Endangered Species Act protection for a subspecies of moose found in the Midwest.  Climate change, habitat degradation, and disease have driven a nearly 60% drop in Minnesota’s moose population in the last ten years.   

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Sandpiper Certificate of Need is Declaration of War

On Friday, June 5, the Minnesota Public Utility Commission (PUC) granted Enbridge Inc. a certificate of need for the Sandpiper pipeline, despite requests from the tribes to postpone this decision to take into account their public hearing process, and despite clear evidence that the pipeline would violate treaty rights and endanger the wild rice and water of the north.  The White Earth and Mille Lacs bands of Ojibwe each came out strongly against the Sandpiper pipeline.

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Thousands Join Tar Sands Resistance March

June 6th, 2015

ST Paul, MN — Honor the Earth joined IEN, MN350.org, Sierra Club, and others to help organize a the largest march against tar sands that the midwest has ever seen.  An estimated 5,000 people came out to demand an end to tar sands extraction and the numerous pipeline projects being pushed on Minnesota's lake country. It was a festive atmosphere, full of art and music and dancing, and at the rally at the state capitol building at the end, leaders from across the country voiced their support for protecting our fresh water and our climate.

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Summer of Action 2015

In the upcoming months, you will see amazing changes in the work in the North. More people than ever are aware of the threats of new pipelines: not only threats to our water and wild rice, but also the links to climate change and violence against people elsewhere.   In early June, the tribal governments of the Mille Lacs and White Earth Bands, joined by the 1855 Treaty Commission, will host public hearings on the Enbridge pipelines.  Our people will testify as to why our lakes and wild rice are sacred and worth protecting from dirty oil.

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Coalition of Native American and Women’s Organizations File Submission to United Nations Requesting Intervention in Epidemic of Sexual Violence

On April 21, 2015, Honor the Earth was part of a coalition of Native American and women’s organizations that filed a submission to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, requesting UN intervention in the epidemic of sexual violence brought on by extreme fossil fuel extraction in the Great Lakes and Great Plains region.  

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Judge Lipman recommends PUC Certificate of Need for Enbridge's Sandpiper

On Monday, April 13, Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman gave his recommendation to the MN Public Utilities Commission, in favor of granting Enbridge a Certificate of Need for the Sandpiper pipeline.   

This is not surprising, given Judge Lipman's refusal to consult with tribal governments, honor our requests to hold public hearings in Indian Country, or take seriously the threats to our water, rice, and way of life that this pipeline would bring with it.   But somehow it is still baffling how anyone could conclude that a superhighway of dirty and volatile oil is something Minnesota "needs" passing through its pristine lakes, especially as oil production in the Bakken contracts in response to low oil prices.

Read Honor the Earth's official Press Release in response here.

It's time to turn up the pressure.   The official PUC decision on the Certificate of Need is expected sometime in June.   If they choose to approve it, we then enter the second phase of the process, the selection of route.    In the upcoming months we intend to increase our opposition to this extreme extraction project, this violation of our sovereignty and our treaty rights, this threat to our sacred lands.   Love Water Not Oil.   Please join us today by becoming a Sustaining Member of our movement to protect Mother Earth and our Anishinaabe Akiing.  

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Enbridge Update: More Oil, Aboriginal People’s Policy and missing Rice Beds

What started as 375,000 barrels of oil per day crossing by Rice Lake and the Mississippi Headwaters, is now almost l.5 million barrels per day in the Enbridge lines.  Also, Enbridge proposes to abandon a rusting Line 3 and leave it in the ground, with a lot of unknown consequences, and rebuild it in the Sandpiper corridor.  In late January, public hearings were held across MN for the Sandpiper “Certificate of Need”. Tribal Attorney Joe Plummer represented the White Earth band at the hearings.   To be clear:  if the Minnesota Public Utilities commission grants this certificate of need, Enbridge will be able to seize private property through eminent domain.

(Continued....)

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