‘Love Water Not Oil’ – Minnesota’s STOP the Pipeline Tour
From mid-August to late September, national Native environmental organization, Honor the Earth, will sponsor an organizing and outreach tour in northern Minnesota, aimed at engaging communities and summer residents along one of many tar sands and fracked oil pipelines proposed to cross the North Country: the Enbridge proposed Sandpiper pipeline.
The 610 mile Sandpiper pipeline, of a projected 375,000 barrels per day, would cut through a chain of some of the cleanest lakes in northern Minnesota. The oil will eventually end up on the shores of the Great Lakes at the refineries in the Duluth/Superior area.
The Enbridge Company is proposing to transition from the northern corridor along Minnesota’s highway 2, which presently has six pipelines, to a new corridor, led by their proposal for the Sandpiper Line. This preferred route cuts directly through important and sensitive areas. The company is determined to move oil from places where there is no infrastructure, and is showing determination in ways which Northerners may not like.
To support the mounting resistance to pipeline proposals, Honor the Earth has a two week drive of literature, events, press, music and action planned for August l4th to the 29th through northern Minnesota’s Lakes region.
Musical performances will feature three Native musicians: Pura Fe, Frank Waln and Allison Warden. This event will launch the musical portion of the tour, with the larger organizing component stretching across the chain of lakes, ending at the headquarters of the organization on the White Earth reservation. The Honor the Earth organizing campaign will feature educational and outreach presentations on the Enbridge pipeline proposals.
Nationally renowned economist, author and activist, Winona LaDuke, LaDuke, ia executive director of Honor the Earth. LaDuke has ridden horse to Stop KXL at the recent Cowboys and Indians rally in Washington, DC, and now she will ride in Minnesota to protect the wild rice and water from contamination caused by pipeline spills.
The music tour will be joined with horse riders who will travel through Native and non Native communities in the north, drawing attention to the issues and engaging with citizens. Michael Dahl, organizer with Honor the Earth comments, “Political and social participation will be the driving force that protects the waters of the North Country from corporate greed.”
Honor the Earth’s organizing and outreach will then move to North Dakota, the source of the Enbridge proposed Sandpiper pipeline, and focus on capacity building event in the Northern Plains, at the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association and the Ft. Berthold reservation.
Honor the Earth is in the midst of a major campaign to oppose the Enbridge expansions of the tar sands and fracked oil pipelines in northern Minnesota. The organization, along with First nations, tribal communities, harvesters, local churches, civic groups and organizations have joined together to form the Sandpiper Alliance.
The project is opposed by all Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota and prominent Lake Associations through the area. The tour will increase local involvement while applying political and social pressure on the state’s regulatory agencies. These efforts are combined with an extensive policy and regulatory intervention strategy undertaken by Honor the Earth and allied organizations like Friends of the Headwaters.
The Sandpiper and Line 3 proposals would pierce the heart of Minnesota’s lake country, with a potential for one million barrels of oil a day to be shipped through a line which is inaccessible to service or protection. The company’s preferred route will cut across the most substantial wild rice beds in the state, ending in Superior, Wisconsin. There, the oil will sit on the shore of the Great Lakes, with the imminent threat of tankers and port terminal proposals for Lake Superior, which would put over one hundred oil tankers or barges on Lake Superior annually.
Additional pipeline expansions are proposed on the east side of the Wisconsin refinery, to feed into the Great Lakes, along with seventeen refinery expansion proposals. None of this infrastructure is prepared for the shipment of tar sands or Bakken oil. There has not been an oil tanker on Lake Superior since l950, and many local groups are advocating that there should not be one now.
Additional community events and information sessions are planned for the Protectors of the environment through the summer and fall, before and after the ‘Love Water Not Oil’ tour. For more information on Honor the Earth, the Sandpiper, or how to make contributions to help with legal efforts, please visit www.honorearth.org.
“Those [pipelines] go through indigenous territories which are healthy lands. Lands that our ancestors wish to protect; we intend to do the same… Greed makes people act poorly rather than investing into efficiency infrastructure, renewable or safe energy. The push is to extract as quickly as possible, by any means necessary, and to move that oil by any means necessary…. This is not an indigenous issue, this affects us all.”
LaDuke, Honor the Earth Executive Director
in their recent video “Triple Crown of Pipeline.”
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v6_1DLth9U