Twin Cities Public Hearings to Take Place at 1 and 6 p.m. at Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul
Rally with Jingle Dress Dancers and Speakers September 28 at 4 p.m. at State Capitol, March to Public Hearing at 5 p.m. and PUC Public Hearing from 6 to 9 p.m.
The only Twin Cities public hearings on whether to build the proposed Enbridge Line 3 tar sands replacement pipeline, which would run through 337 miles in northern Minnesota, will be held Thursday, September 28, at the Intercontinental Hotel at 11 East Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul. Prior to the evening public hearing, a protest rally will be held at 4 p.m. at the State Capitol, featuring jingle dress dancers, speakers and music.
Opponents of the proposed Line 3 project will express concerns about the project’s risks to Minnesota’s clean water, wildlife, and local communities, and tar sands oil’s contribution to global climate change. Rally speakers at the State Capitol will include an Honor the Earth Native member, a landowner, and Representative Frank Hornstein. The purpose of the State Capitol rally and march will be to encourage Governor Mark Dayton to oppose the proposed Line 3 expansion.
At 5 p.m. the group will march from the Capitol to the Intercontinental Hotel where the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will be conducting a public hearing from 6 to 9 p.m.
Line 3 is proposed by Canadian company Enbridge to carry tar sands crude from Canada across northern Minnesota and the headwaters of the Mississippi River. An existing, aging Line 3 pipeline would be abandoned. The PUC is considering whether to issue a Certificate of Need and a Routing Permit, which are the major approvals Enbridge must get before beginning construction.
For interested parties who can’t attend the evening session, there will also be a public hearing held that day from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel. The rally and march are being organized by groups including Climate Generation, Honor the Earth, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Minnesota Rising, MN350, Power Shift Network, Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, Sunrise Movement, Young People’s Action Coalition, and Youth Climate Intervenors.
Among the concerns about Line 3 voiced by environmental, treaty rights and property rights groups are:
• Tar sands: Line 3 carries tar sands oil, which is more carbon intensive polluting 20 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional crude oil. Tar sands oil is also nearly impossible to clean up once spilled because it sinks to the bottom of waterways.
• Leaks and ruptures: Despite promises, pipelines eventually leak or burst – and that threatens Minnesota’s waters. The proposed new pipeline corridor runs through the Mississippi headwaters and the heart of Minnesota’s lake country, threatening the state’s $12.5 billion tourism economy. It crosses farmland and comes within a few miles of several organic farms, which have consistently opposed the project.
• Difficult repairs: The route passes through remote wetlands that would be inaccessible to emergency cleanup equipment in the event of a spill. New roads would be needed.
• Abandoned Line 3: Under the plan, the old Line 3 would be filled with nitrogen and sealed. Future land owners would face risks. For instance, an underground pipeline in the water table could crack, letting surrounding water pour in.
• Treaty Rights: The pipeline will violate U.S. treaty agreements with the Anishinaabe people. The treaties granted Anishinaabe people rights beyond reservation boundaries, such as the right to hunt, fish and harvest wild rice. Line 3 runs through this treaty territory.
A total of nine public hearing days are scheduled in September and October throughout Minnesota on the Certificate of Need for Line 3.The full list of public meetings is available here.
In addition to the public meetings, comments can be submitted electronically or by mail. More information on the Line 3 tar sands pipeline environmental review process and public comment period is available via the Minnesota Department of Commerce website: https://mn.gov//commerce/energyfacilities/line3/