Victory! Sandpiper pipeline will not threaten Minnesota’s water, climate

Now citizen and tribal members’ concern shifts to other pipelines

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Sign the petition to tell Governor Dayton no new pipelines, instead 100% renewables! 

Minneapolis, MN, 9/2/16 — Minnesota citizens and Tribal Nations are celebrating the announcement that Enbridge is shelving its Sandpiper pipeline project for the foreseeable future.  The project had been delayed by several years and the pipeline company formally announced on September 1st that it will stop seeking permits for the line that would have carried fracked crude oil across Northern Minnesota.

“The people of Minnesota stopped Sandpiper because we love our water and value our children’s future more than a foreign corporation’s profits. The era of the fossil fuel mega-project is coming to an end,” said Kevin Whelan, Executive Director of MN350. “The sooner we switch all our attention to creating good jobs in a local, clean energy economy, the better.”

MN 350 and other climate justice activists are now focusing on the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline “replacement” project, which in fact is a re-route and expansion that would follow the same route as the scuttled Sandpiper.

“The new Line 3 would carry Canadian tar sands oil, which is even more dangerous, more expensive, and more difficult to clean up – an even worse investment for Minnesota,” said Akilah Sanders-Reed, of MN350.

“Disastrous spills in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Mayflower, Arkansas have proven clean water and tar sands oil are incompatible.”

Sandpiper’s demise is also connected to the current controversy over the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.

“The Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) must be thwarted as well,” said Bill Adamski of the MN350 Pipeline Resistance Team. “If this line is built, oil that would have come through the Sandpiper would come through the Dakotas. We know that a lot of fossil fuels must stay in the ground in order to seriously address climate change.” Critics point out that the Dakota Access pipeline lacked a thorough environmental impact review, public hearings, tribal consultation and was fast-tracked through a US Army Corps of Engineers’ nationwide permit process.

Many groups opposed the Sandpiper pipeline including Honor the Earth and tribal governments, MPIRG, Sierra Club, the Northern Water Alliance. People from all walks of life–students and lake associations, workers groups and conservation groups, spoke out.  The citizens’ groups Friends of the Headwaters working with the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Carlton County Land Stewards, won a key legal victory requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Diverse advocates filed petitions and formal comments and gathered for countless hearings, forums and rallies, and several activists were arrested at Enbridge’s offices in Duluth last year as indigenous leaders attempted to deliver a letter asking for dialog with the company.

MN350 supports job creation in the clean, renewable energy industry. The group is circulating an online petition urging Minnesota Governor Dayton to “ban on any new or expanded crude oil pipelines in Minnesota” and begin a “just transition to 100% renewable energy.” Supporters can add their names at: http://mn350.nationbuilder.com/nomorepipelines.

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MN350 works to build the climate movement in Minnesota through creative local, state, and national campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass mobilizations in order to keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate a just transition to renewable energy.