Address all comments to:
Larry Hartman, Environmental Review Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce
Mail: 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55101
*Please include the PUC Docket Numbers (13-474) in all communications.*
Sample letter from Rev. Janet Spring:
I am writing to oppose the building of the Sandpiper Pipeline. There are a number of reasons.
The desire to transport oil from the Bakken fields to the port in Superior for export is not in the national interest or in Minnesota's interest. It serves only the profits of the companies involved, with no benefit to Minnesotans or Americans not directly involved in those companies.
Enbridge is not a trustworthy company. It has been involved in numerous pipeline spills, which have not been identified promptly and where cleanup has been pitifully inadequate. This history of theirs should be taken seriously, as you propose to put Minnesota's lands and waters at risk.
The proposed pipeline runs through lands which are precious for many reasons: the White Earth community, which is rebuilding traditional ways such as harvesting wild rice and much more, will be severely damaged by even a small spill. If you insist on continuing this process, you must hold hearings on the reservation so affected parties can attend.
The lands of northern Minnesota are precious to many people who come for recreation and spiritual restoration. In addition, there is a tourism industry based on these lands, which would be destroyed both during the construction period and particularly by a spill.
If you want to count the few permanent jobs created by the pipeline, you must subtract the many permanent jobs jeopardized or destroyed by it. If you want to count the temporary jobs created during construction, you must also count the social damages known to be caused by the man camps at the Bakken and elsewhere. This will cost Minnesota taxpayers money for increased social services and policing. Worse, lives of innocent local people will be damaged. Does Enbridge plan to pay for the additional cost of protecting local people? You should require it as a cost of doing business.
The Bakken oil fields are a temporary phenomenon. They are made possible only through hydraulic fracturing, an environmentally extravagant procedure which causes earthquakes, wastes and poisons water, and depletes wells rapidly. Do not invest in a near-permanent structure for a short-term energy source.
Climate change is becoming more and more obvious. Witness our bitterly cold winter, the droughts and fires in some places, the floods in others, and a world-wide average temperature increasing. We should not be investing in fossil fuels. We should be investing in every method that avoids or reverses climate change. This would include conservation, wind, solar, and alternative agriculture that sequesters carbon and improves rather than degrading the soil.
Have you considered the impact of this pipeline on the White Earth Land Recovery Project, a major work that does this kind of restoration?
I oppose the building of this pipeline in any location, and its function in developing the Bakken fields is one reason I oppose it. We do not need the oil. We need to change the way we live so we can protect the world that our grandchildren will live in - we hope.
Rev. Janet Spring
Faribault, MN 55021"
Sample letter from Annie Banks:
"To Larry Hartman, Environmental Review Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce,
Re: The proposed Sandpiper Pipeline Project, Docket Number 13-474
I am writing to express my absolute opposition to the proposed Sandpiper Pipeline Project.
The placement of this pipeline goes through numerous Indigenous communities' traditional territories and reservations, such as the White Earth Ojibwe on whose territories I am very grateful to be currently living on, and violates treaty rights and inherent rights as the original peoples of these territories. I completely disagree with these violations of rights and I request that your governmental entity take action to deny the permit of Enbridge’s proposed Sandpiper Pipeline in Northern Minnesota.
Every one of us is a signatory to the treaties and we all have a responsibility to both uphold the treaties and to respect the agreement to ensure a clean environment for current and future generations. The state lacks jurisdiction in White Earth territory because of inherent treaty rights as reaffirmed. As a settler who is deeply grateful to live on these lands, it is the very least that I can do to support the affirmed treaty rights of the Ojibwe people and act in support of protecting the land from dangerous pipelines, and I call on your department to do the same.
This proposed line needs to be challenged as it threatens the people, life ways, watersheds, and wildlife of greater Minnesota and beyond, as it also threatens areas in North Dakota by being the route by which fracked oil will be brought from there. The fracking of oil poses a serious risk to the North Country of North Dakota and also to the Great Lakes, if it is transported anywhere near them.
The North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC, a.k.a. Enbridge Incorporated, has a terrible track record. They are responsible for hundreds of oil spills in the past decade, including the largest and costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history, when an Enbridge pipeline sent over a million gallons of tar sands oil in to the Kalamazoo River, with devastating results. Do you want to be responsible for something like this happening in northern Minnesota, to the communities and ecosystems there?
I vehemently support the call to deny Enbridge Incorporated the permit for pipelines across the north. Without your approval, the pipeline expansion will not be allowed. I strongly encourage you to exercise your ability to deny the request and protect people, communities, and environment from the harm these pipelines would cause.
Ponsford, MN, 56521"