Jun 21, 2014 - ACTION ALERT: STOP THE SANDPIPER by Winona LaDuke


We live in the north. This is the only land that the Anishinaabe know, and we know that this land is good land, and this water is our life-blood. One-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water supply lies here, and it is worth protecting. Our wild rice beds, lakes, and rivers are precious – and our regional fisheries generate $7.2 billion annually, and support 49,000 jobs. The tourism economy of northern Minnesota represents $ll.9 billion in gross sales (or 240,000 jobs).

Honor the Earth’s Executive Director Winona LaDuke PSA on the Sandpiper pipeline:

All of this is threatened by the proposed Sandpiper pipeline – and for us, on the White Earth reservation in northwestern Minnesota, it is the Sandpiper which threatens our community, and our way of life. The Sandpiper line of fracked oil will cross pristine ecosystems, and facilitate the creation of a national sacrifice area in western North Dakota. This land and this water are precious and they are endangered. The Enbridge Sandpiper line, hopes to bring up to 375,000 barrels of fracked Bakken oil through a route in northern Minnesota.

Fracked oil from the Bakken poses a serious risk to the North Country – particularly in light of the recent 800,000 gallon oil spill in a remote area of North Dakota. That spill, on a six-inch Tesoro line, went unmitigated for almost a week due to an understaffed Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and all figures presently released come from Tesoro, the owner of the pipeline. The Sandpiper would carry that same oil, which has proven to be very volatile. In northern Minnesota a lot of our towns are 15-20 miles apart, with fire departments and rescue squads being even further apart.

Response times are not quick and sometimes oil spills go days before discovered. In fact, less than 20% of pipeline spills are found by the company, despite their equipment. Most pipeline spill first responders are local citizens, who are not equipped to stop spills. A spill is likely given the 800 plus spills of the Enbridge Corporation in the past decade and the response will still be long. The Enbridge Kalamazoo Spill continued for 17 hours and cleanup has not been completed.

Last Real Indians