Prevent Pipeline from Destroying the Welfare of Tribal Community

White Earth Lake, Minnesota

Target: Beverly Jones Heydinger, Chair of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

Goal: Protect freshwater lakes and a tribal community’s wild rice operation from a proposal to reroute an old oil pipeline.

Treasured land that produces 200,000 pounds of wild rice a year is in danger due to a proposal to reroute an old pipeline. Past treaties have granted a tribal community the right to hunt, fish, and cultivate rice in the area. The tribe relies heavily on the rice to survive and thrive. It is time to defend the environment and tribal welfare before this area is taken over by an invasive crude oil pipeline.

Located in Minnesota, the White Earth Band has the largest Indian reservation in the state. Tribal citizens are concerned about Enbridge Energy’s newest reroute of the pipeline known as Line 3. The Line 3 Replacement Program hopes to replace the 34-inch diameter pipeline with a 36-inch diameter pipeline, doubling the carrying capacity from 390,000 barrels to 760,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Line 3’s reroute will deviate from the original route, running through the Sandpiper pipeline corridor instead. The new route will pass through Minnesota’s forests and lakes, including Lower Rice Lake, the body of water where White Earth cultivates a significant amount of wild rice a year.

Crude oil is a dirty fossil fuel, a nonrenewable energy source that can cause severe pollution and harm if it comes into contact with the environment, humans, and wildlife. Heavy processing of crude oil is required to actually use the oil as a viable energy source. If a pipeline were to burst or break, crude oil could severely pollute water sources, soil, and wildlife habitat. Furthermore, the burning of refined oil contributes to climate change by emitting more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

The White Earth tribal community has a right to be concerned about their treasured agricultural land. By signing this petition, you are urging Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission to stand up against Enbridge Energy’s newest Line 3 route. This pipeline should not go through Minnesota’s lakes and forests.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairwoman Heydinger,

The welfare of the White Earth tribe is in danger due to Enbridge Energy’s reroute of the pipeline known as Line 3. Enbridge Energy’s new pipeline will double the carrying capacity and run through Minnesota’s forests and lakes, including the Lower Rice Lake, a lake particularly important to the White Earth’s wild rice operation.

Seven hundred and sixty thousand barrels of heavy crude oil will run through the pipeline daily. Crude oil is a dirty fossil fuel that requires a significant amount of refining to actually use for energy. Three hundred and thirty-seven miles of Line 3 will run through Minnesota. If an accident or spill were to happen, Minnesota’s natural resources could be destroyed forever.

I am urging you to protect Minnesota’s native land and native people. Do not allow Enbridge to run this pipeline near White Earth’s precious wild rice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Shannon Eck

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