Wednesday July 17th at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Hearing, a large number of activists showed up. Because the PUC was holding another hearing on if Enbridge Corporation should be allowed to expand the capacity of the so called “Alberta Clipper” Line 67 pieline, going through Northern Minnesota by 75%. This is the pipeline which will is carrying the XL Tar Sands. This toxic substance is being taken from Indigenous lands in Canada, against their will and destroying land, water and air. Many environmentalist activists and scientists (those not bought off by Big Oil and Big Money Foundation money) are declaring that if this goes through, that it will be game over for Global Climate Change.
Activists from Occupy Minnesota (whom I was with) Idle No More, the Indigenous Environmental Network and 350.org
showed up to show our opposition to it. Some even thought that they could sway the PUC members to do what was right.
Others of us knew better. We were proven right. Again.
We sat through numerous unrelated items. Then it came to the Tar Sands- Enbridge Line 67 expansion.
A number of people and groups had asked to be able to testify. Going through the formal process. Including noted Native
American activists Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environment Network and Winona LaDuke. Also other experts in the
field of Global Climate Change asked for the abilility to testify. They had not received a response from the Public Utilities
So when the hearing started- we all stood, as one. The room was packed. I had attended these events in the past and
have never seen so many people attending. We made it clear that we would stand until our side- the Public were allowed to
be heard. One fine young woman, Liz from Occupy Minnesota spoke for all of us when she made it clear that we would indeed stand.
We stood as the Enbridge Corporate representatives were allowed to testify. Then the Minnesota Department Of Commerce
testified.(* correctionfrom previous- not MN Chamber of Commerce).
Needless to say those environnmental experts who had gone through their process, Marty, Winona and others were not allowed to speak.
At this point pandamonium erupted. The “Public” Utilities Commission quickly took a vote and were unanimous in their decision
to go through with this. Very reminiscent of the corporate Wilfare Stadium Deal, it must be noted.
President Barack Obama supports this monstrosity. It is obvious that Governor Dayton supports it and Sulfide Mining in northern
Minnesota. Or more to the point their corporate owners. Which is why they bought them and made them “viable” electoral candidates.
The completely corporate corrupted and bi-partisan electoral system is broken.
However, this issue of the Tar Sands is far too critical to blow off or hope that the corporate selected officials like Governor Dayton
will do what is right.
Have no fear though. There are people who are committed to stopping this. People who understand that we may only have about
15-20 years before we reach the tipping point of no return on this planet. We also have a model on how it can be done.
Not by begging Mark Dayton to “Do what is right” or by writing letters to corporate selected officials or indeed a corporate media
that would never publish them. That is a waste of time and energy.
No indeed. We have the example right here in Minnesota during the Power Lines Struggles during the 80’s.
Those are the people that I applaud and support. They will be the heroes who will save our planet.
As an aside- I was there and am writing this because I am sure that the Star Tribune and MPR will produce some fluffy story
about what happened. Not telling you all what really happened there.
Just like their owners tell them to.
Wake Up People. Organize- Get Involved. Action Is Key. Time is of the essence.
As for the five members of the newly renamed Corporate Utilities Commission. Shame On Them.
Now lets get busy. The future of our life on this planet, your children and children’s children depend on it.
Hat Tip to Dan and Toby with Occupy Minnesota Media Committee for video footage link above.
Michael Cavlan is a long time activist who has run for Conngress and the US Senate from his home in Minnneapolis. A founder of the Minnesota Open Progresives he can be contacted at email@example.com