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.