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Challenge of northern Minnesota oil pipelines continues

Two oil pipelines planned for northern Minnesota will be challenged by American Indian activists, reports Don Davis of Forum Communications.

The pipelines are scheduled to be built from northwestern Minnesota to Superior, Wis.

The 285-mile-long pipelines will cross Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Clearwater, Beltrami, Hubbard, Cass, Itasca, Aitkin, St. Louis and Carlton counties. A 36-inch pipe is to carry oil from a tar sands site in northern Alberta, Canada. A 20-inch pipe is planned to return an oil thinner material to Canada for re-use.

The Twin Cities-based Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Bemidji-based Indigenous Environmental Network brought well-known Indian activists Clyde Bellecourt and Winona LaDuke to a State Capitol news conference to protest the pipelines.

Bellecourt on Wednesday said Indian pipeline opponents “definitely” will attempt to block construction any way they can.

“We have our rights …” said Bellecourt, an American Indian Movement founder, “particularly when it is going to pollute our land.”

Environmentalists’ and Indian efforts to derail the pipeline project have failed to stop construction so far as Minnesota utility regulators and the courts have rejected their claims. The state Public Utilities Commission last week gave its final approval for Enbridge Energy to go ahead with the pipeline project.

Enbridge’s Denise Hamsher said construction will begin this summer, with oil expected to flow in slightly more than a year.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Leota Hardy on 05/08/2009 - 12:13 am.

    I, Leota Hardy, a Leech Lake Ojibwe member am commenting to “Challenge of Northern Minnesota Oil Pipeline”

    with concern as to forward this information for the Leech Lake Ojibwe people and the Leech Lake Tribal Council since the court procedures have not been a foundation for protection, human rights, in favor of the Leech Lake Oijbwe people. Then, in recourse to the court, the Leech Lake Ojibwe people must have legal stance to procede within:

    U.S.C. 1443 Title 28
    Civil Rights Cases Sec. (1) (2)

    The Leech Lake Ojibwe people are entitled to procede within the law above another fact that is not been surfaced is that Leech Lake Tribal Council can stop Enbridge in this law, which is:

    U.S.C. 1362 Title 28
    Indian Tribes

    Leech Lake Tribal Council has completely and accurately failed to have this law be an option for the Leech Lake Oijbwe children, women, men, grandmothers, grandfathers, and the unborn generation of the Leech Lake Ojibwe nation. Could it be that the Leech Lake Legal Department is scared? Or maybe it’s because the Tribal Council has no idea of what options are available to them. There is more laws that are not mentioned here, in waiting to be given an idea for use so that the Leech Lake Ojibwe people have idea of what’s available to our cause on keeping our land and people safe on the Leech Lake reservation.

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