Jun 8, 2015 - For Immediate Release: Tribes Oppose the PUC Sandpiper Ruling


Honor the Earth

For Immediate Release: Tribes Oppose the PUC Sandpiper Ruling

“The Minnesota PUC’s decision to grant a certificate of need to the Enbridge corporation is a declaration of war against the Anishinaabeg people,a slap to tribal governments, and a threat to the water of Minnesota,” Winona LaDuke from Honor the Earth told the media. Honor the Earth and the Ojibwe community is disappointed in the PUC decision to grant the certificate of need to the Enbridge Corporation for a new energy corridor through the heart of our territory.” The Ojibwe tribes as represented by the Mille Lacs and White Earth bands and the Minnesota Chippewa tribe have expressed their concerns , and asked to be heard, and the Minnesota PUC has exercised sheer disdain for tribal governments and people.

The Enbridge company and the PUC have stated that running this dangerous oil pipeline along a highway, and near urban areas poses a risk to society, but is willing to sacrifice our tribal people, lands and wild rice for a Canadian pipeline company. The tribal governments are just completing their hearing process to evaluate the proposed line, and asked the state of Minnesota to make a formal decision, pending the outcome of these reviews, and the PUC has stated it is not intending to respect tribal government processes. The oil itself is causing health problems at the beginning of the extreme extraction process ( benzene and radioactive exposures) and at the end of its deadly process, where the Marathon refinery ( 37 % owner of the pipeline) is exposing a primarily black community to deadly chemicals . “We have the tar sands refinery in our community and it is just horrific. We are sick community. I have had kidney failure. My neighbor died of dialysis. Neighbor next door on dialysis. Neighbor across the street has kidney failure. The chemicals in our pipelines and are in our water will be the same chemicals that come through your land and can break and contamination,” Emma Lockridge from Bloomfield community in Detroit testified at a tribal hearing.” At the need the day you will not be out hunting, gathering ,or fishing, your way of life will end.” Ms Lockridge told the tribal hearing. “…You do not want to become sick. We have cancer, we have auto immune illnesses, we have MS, we have sclerosis, we have chemicals that have come up into our homes where they had to buy up an entire street…”

“…The Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe will continue to fight any and all actions that threaten our culture, our health, our natural resources and our ability to exercise our constitutionally protected gathering rights..” Chairwoman Melanie Benjamin stated in a press release following the PUC decision. The Sandpiper proposal is paired with Line 3 a Tar Sands Pipeline, which together represents over l.4 million barrels a day of oil crossing the North Country. Research indicates that l.4 million barrels a day means approximately 261 million metric tons of carbon a year, going from the burning of that oil. “ If we were to remove that carbon from the air, it would cost $600 per metric ton ( according to the American Physics Society), that’s the equivalent of $156 billion a year annually. Who is going to pay for that? A 65 year old Canadian corporation?” Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth said.

“When you stand with people in the line of fire for these pipelines, you know what is at stake, and you continue to work day in and day out to oppose these pipelines, I intend to do that, “ Jane Kleeb from Bold Nebraska said at a meeting with Ojibwe and other people opposing the Sandpiper and Line 3 proposals in Minnesota.

For more information contact: Thane Maxwell, thane@honorearth.org, 612-900-5108, or Winona LaDuke winonaladuke1@gmail.com, 2l8 280 1720

Last Real Indians