Enbridge and other pipeline companies bully their way into getting new projects, including forcing pipelines through communities no matter what.
Enbridge’s preferred corridor for the new Sandpiper and Line 3 Replacement pipeline bisects the 1855 treaty territory, a region of the state in which tribal hunting, fishing, and gathering rights are federally guaranteed. Wild rice, or manoomin, grows in abundance in the region and is critical to the culture and identity of tribes as well as an important food and income source. Many have spoken out against the pipeline, including the Mille Lacs and White Earth Ojibwe bands. When the Public Utilities Commission moved forward with permitting the pipeline, they manipulated the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and put them in between a rock and a hard place, or forced them to choose between “which circle of hell” as their attorney described it. You can read more about this outrageous situation here.
The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has made it clear to Enbridge that now that their lease is up, they want Enbridge to remove the aging Line 5 pipeline from their land. The aging pipeline has outlived its ability to operate safely and the risk of a spill is to large to overcome. You can read more here, including this great quote:
“As many other communities have experienced, even a minor spill could prove to be disastrous for our people,” said Bad River Tribal Chairman Robert Blanchard. “We depend upon everything that the creator put here before us to live mino-bimaadiziwin, a good and healthy life.”
Instead of compiling with their request, Enbridge continues to play games.