A major win for backers but not the final word, as state regulators Thursday approved a “Certificate of Need” for Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline upgrade through northern Minnesota — also choosing the Canadian company’s preferred route except avoiding Big Sandy Lake. State Representative Pat Garofalo says it’s “taken far too long to happen and we’re just… fixing old infrastructure and we need to get moving on it. The time for talk is over. It’s time for action.” Native American activist Winona LaDuke responds state officials and Enbridge now “have their Standing Rock” — but says it will be different than in North Dakota because 300 miles of pipeline has not been built. “Faced with what we are faced with now, we will stand our ground — and we feel that the State of Minnesota has declared war upon us,” LaDuke says.
Governor Mark Dayton is urging everyone to “express themselves peacefully,” stressing the Public Utilities Commission decision is *not* the final approval of the pipeline.
Margaret Levin with the Sierra Club North Star Chapter calls the decision an attack on clean water and tribal communities’ treaty rights and says it’s “very likely to be challenged. We’ll be continuing to move forward to block this pipeline.” Representative Garofalo responds if so-called environmentalists are concerned about water pollution, “They should be far more concerned about the existing pipeline rupturing, or that the oil would be moved via railcar, which we just discovered last week in Iowa is far more dangerous than moving it via pipeline.”
More in this interview with Garofalo:
And with Levin and LaDuke: