MN350 statement on PUC Line 3 decision

In taking this position — with the three Democrats, one Republican, and one independent on the commission backing Enbridge — we see a few specific things.

We see five commissioners who have chosen to disregard an extensive record, including the adamant recommendation of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, that shows that the project does not meet need criteria and should not be built.

We see treaty rights and future generations being utterly tokenized and disregarded — brought up as examples of “good participation in the process,” then kicked in the shins and shown the door without their fundamental concerns addressed.

We see all three Democrats on the commission speaking primarily in support of Enbridge’s views, with not a single one willing to say that the pipeline should not be built.

We see all the commissioners accepting as fact that this project will put a $287 billion climate change cost on future generations, and being okay with that.

We see a hearing room and overflow rooms packed with people — hundreds here today to oppose the line — but most of the people in the hearing room are with Enbridge; mainly their paid staff or pipefitters who showed up at 4:22am from their nearby hotel to claim seats for the 11am meeting.

We see a movement in the streets and across this state that is powerful, and growing, and adamant that this project will not be built.

We see a long road ahead in this fight — appeals, resistance, arrests, turns and twists we can’t anticipate — and we know we’ll walk that road together, because that’s what the future demands of us.

Commissioner Lange was crying as she announced her decision. Commissioner Lipschultz said it felt like Enbridge had a “gun to their heads.”

If you’re looking for courage in the room here today, don’t look behind the dais. The courage is in the pipeline opponents in the room, and in the overflow rooms, and in the crowd outside, and in the resistance camps along the route, and inside all of us who try to act in ways our descendants would be proud of.

We’ll #StopLine3 together, but the road ahead is long, and today’s decision is a dark mark in this state’s history. Shame on the PUC, shame on Minnesota, and to those of us who cannot bear the thought of Line 3 being built and who will continue this fight, may strength be with all of us.