Tag Archives: Pipeline Opponents

Photo credit StopLine3.org

Opponents sue to shut down Minnesota construction of Enbridge pipeline

Photo credit StopLine3.org

Photo credit StopLine3.org.

Opponents of a pipeline project that crosses three states have asked a federal court to halt construction in Minnesota on allegations that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to address several environmental issues when it approved a water quality permit.

Two Minnesota Ojibwe bands and two environmental groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Thursday that asks for a preliminary injunction to stop work on the Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline that began early this month across northern Minnesota.

Line 3 starts in Alberta and clips a corner of North Dakota before crossing northern Minnesota en route to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The 542.35-kilometre line in Minnesota is the last step in replacing the deteriorating pipeline that was built in the 1960s.

The complaint said the Corps decision to issue the permit authorizing the pipeline violates multiple federal laws and treaties and is causing irreparable harm.

The suit was filed by the Red Lake Bank of Chippewa, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the Sierra Club and the environmental group Honor the Earth.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Nov. 23 issued its “404 permit” for the discharge of dredged and filled material into U.S. waters during Line 3’s construction. The permit was the last major approval Calgary-based Enbridge needed to begin construction in Minnesota, after a contentious process that lasted several years.

The suit argues that the Corps failed to evaluate the risks and impacts of oil spills, which is particularly important given the nature of the oil that Enbridge will transport, plaintiffs allege. Line 3 will carry thick Canadian oil that sinks in water and is harder to contain during a spill, the Star Tribune reported.

The suit also contends that the Corps didn’t properly evaluate the pipeline’s impact on climate change and that the agency should have conducted its own environmental impact statement on the pipeline. The Corps also failed to fully assess Line 3’s impacts on tribal treaty rights, the suit said.

The Army Corps didn’t respond to a request for comment Monday.


Army Corps Won’t Grant Easement for Final Section of Dakota Access Pipeline to Explore Alternate Routes

Native American self-styled water protectors celebrate at the Oceti Sakowin camp as news breaks that Dakota Access Pipeline construction has been halted. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Native American self-styled water protectors celebrate at the Oceti Sakowin camp as news breaks that Dakota Access Pipeline construction has been halted. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Pipeline opponents celebrate as governor calls move “a serious mistake.”

By Red Power Media, Staff | Dec 04, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided it won’t grant an easement for construction on the final section of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Energy Transfer Partners $3.8 billion underground oil pipeline project is largely complete except for the segment underneath Lake Oahe.

The Army Corps decision is a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of demonstrators across the country who flocked to North Dakota in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The route has been the subject of months of protests by the tribe and others, who have argued the pipeline threatens a water source and cultural sites.

According to Star Tribune, Corps spokeswoman Moria Kelley said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.

Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said her decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement that the Corps’ decision “is a serious mistake,” “prolongs the serious problems” that law enforcement faces and “prolongs the dangerous situation” of people camping in cold, snowy conditions.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners previously said it was unwilling to reroute the project.

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

“Our prayers have been answered,” National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby said in a statement. “This isn’t over, but it is enormously good news. All tribal peoples have prayed from the beginning for a peaceful solution, and this puts us back on track.”

The Army Corps says it intends to issue an Environmental Impact Statement with “full public input and analysis.”

“Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline,” tribal Chairman, David Archambault II said in a statement. “Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternatives routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.”

Archambault II said the tribe welcomed the decision, but he also sounded a note of caution saying he hoped the incoming Donald Trump administration would “respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point.”

Archambault II went on:

“When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes. Treaties are paramount law and must be respected, and we welcome dialogue on how to continue to honor that moving forward. We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development, or national security concerns but we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our Indigenous peoples.”

NBC News reports, North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer says that the Army Corps’ decision not to grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline is “a very chilling signal” for the future of infrastructure in the U.S.

Cramer said in a statement that infrastructure will be hard to build “when criminal behavior is rewarded this way,” apparently referring to the large protest encampment on federal land and the clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement. Cramer also said that “law and order” will be restored when Donald Trump takes office and that he feels bad for the Corps having to do “diligent work … only to have their Commander-in-Chief throw them under the bus.”

The federal government has ordered people to leave the main encampment, which is on Army Corps’ land, after Monday.


Demonstrators say they’re prepared to stay, and authorities say they won’t forcibly remove them.

Earlier Sunday, an organizer with Veterans Stand for Standing Rock said tribal elders had asked the military veterans not to have confrontations with law enforcement officials, adding the group is there to help out those who’ve dug in against the project.

The group had said about 2,000 veterans were coming, but it wasn’t clear how many actually arrived.

Both the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation occupy much of the western shoreline of Lake Oahe.

Hearing Into Allegations That CSIS Spied On Pipeline Opponents Set To Begin

People gather during a demonstration against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver, B.C., on Nov. 16, 2013. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

People gather during a demonstration against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver, B.C., on Nov. 16, 2013. (DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Globe and Mail

A hearing into allegations the Canadian Security Intelligence Service spied on people opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline project will begin Wednesday in downtown Vancouver – and two of the people who will testify say the allegations have had a chilling effect on environmental advocates.

The BC Civil Liberties Association filed a complaint with the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which oversees CSIS, in February of last year. The civil liberties association alleged that CSIS spied on community groups and First Nations opposed to the pipeline, and that CSIS then shared at least some of that information with the National Energy Board and the oil industry.

Josh Paterson, the civil liberties association’s executive director, in an interview Tuesday said it is illegal for CSIS to gather intelligence on law-abiding groups. He said documents released through Freedom of Information indicate CSIS was spying on people who were acting in an entirely peaceful manner – such as those who met in a church basement to paint signs and even a First Nations basketball tournament.

“What we’re going to see through the evidence in the next few days is that the effect of finding out that you’re being spied on, and that others are being spied on, is to turn people off from being engaged,” he said. “There are literally people who decided not to get involved, not to volunteer, not to come out to a meeting because they were concerned about being watched. That is a huge problem. We think it’s a violation of people’s freedom.”

The hearing is expected to run for three days and is not open to the public. Mr. Paterson will testify, as will Caitlyn Vernon, Sierra Club BC’s campaigns director.

Sierra Club BC was one of the organizations alleged in media reports to have been spied on during meetings and other events. Dogwood Initiative and ForestEthics Advocacy were among the others.

Ms. Vernon, in an interview, asked how speaking out for the environment could brand a person an enemy of the state.

She said the spying allegations were a serious concern and Sierra Club BC secured its online server as best it could. Ms. Vernon said fear they were being monitored also caused staff, at times, to lose their focus.

“The question being asked organizationally changed from ‘What’s the best thing for the environment?’ to ‘Will this make us vulnerable in the eyes of the federal government?’” she said.

Ms. Vernon said staff would at times grow paranoid, such as when a new volunteer came through.

She, like Mr. Paterson, said the allegations turned some people off from participating altogether.

“Some people, not everybody, are perhaps more reluctant to sign a petition or to go to a rally or to get involved in something, for fear of being put on some unknown list and being monitored,” she said. “There’s definitely a lot of talk out there. That seems like it’s potentially making it harder for us to do our work of raising awareness of these important environmental issues.”

The Security Intelligence Review Committee did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

CSIS also did not respond. When the complaint was first filed, a CSIS spokesperson said the agency does not comment on specific complaints. However, the spokesperson added that “CSIS investigates – and advises government on – threats to national security, and that does not include peaceful protest and dissent.”

The BC Civil Liberties Association has also filed a complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP and alleged it, too, was involved in spying on environmental advocates.

Source: http://fw.to/YwyHzXC