Minnesota Supreme Court delivers blow to Line 3 opponents

Aug 24, 2021, 4:16 PM | Updated: 5:04 pm
FILE - This June 29, 2018 file photo shows tanks at the Enbridge Energy terminal in Superior, Wis. ...

FILE - This June 29, 2018 file photo shows tanks at the Enbridge Energy terminal in Superior, Wis. The state of Minnesota has gone to federal court to block a lawsuit over Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline project from proceeding in tribal court. The novel case names Manoomin — the Ojibwe word for wild rice — as the lead plaintiff. Wild rice is sacred in Ojibwe culture and a traditional source of food. The lawsuit, which was filed two weeks ago in the White Earth Band's tribal court, is the first "rights of nature" enforcement case brought in a U.S. tribal court and the second such case to be filed in any U.S. court. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal by opponents of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline, letting stand a key decision by independent regulators to allow construction on the project to proceed.

Without comment, the state’s highest court declined to take the case, issuing a one-page order that effectively affirmed a decision in June by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. And it left the Native American and environmental groups that have been protesting at construction sites across northern Minnesota with a dwindling number of legal options.

The Court of Appeals declared that the state’s Public Utilities Commission correctly granted Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge a certificate of need and route permit for the 337-mile (542-kilometer) Minnesota segment of what’s a larger project to replace an aging crude oil pipeline built in the 1960s that can run at only half capacity. The court also backed the commission’s approval of the environmental review for the project.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday dismayed the opponents, who cited the impacts of climate change being felt around the world and the drought in Minnesota. They have long argued that the replacement Line 3 violates treaties and threatens waters where wild rice grows, and that the oil it carries will aggravate global warming.

“The rights of a Canadian corporation continue to prevail over the laws of nature and the human rights of Anishinaabe people,” Winona LaDuke, executive director of the Indigenous based environmental group Honor the Earth, said in a statement. “It’s a sad day for Minnesota. That a court would rule there is no environmental impact when the rivers have been sucked dry and scientists are declaring a Code Red for the planet is deeply disturbing. A crime is being committed in front of us all. And now Enbridge is set to make a profit off the destruction of our north.”

But Enbridge welcomed the decision. The Minnesota segment is approaching 90% complete, while the portions in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin are already finished. The Line 3 replacement will carry Canadian crude from Alberta to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge expects to put it into service sometime in the fourth quarter this year.

“The project is providing real world economic benefits for Minnesota counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members – including creating thousands of family-sustaining construction jobs, and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues,” Embridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner said in an email. “Enbridge has already spent well over $287 million project dollars specifically with tribal nations, citizens, communities, and contractors.”

Line 3 opponents are holding a series of events at the state Capitol in St. Paul this week, including a march and rally on Wednesday to call on President Joe Biden to order the Army Corps of Engineers to cancel the project’s federal permits despite its impending completion. They say Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has already failed them. More than 700 protesters have been arrested or ticketed along the route since construction in Minnesota began last December.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James moves the ball up court in the second half of an NBA basket...
Associated Press

Ticket demand, anticipation grows as LeBron nears Kareem

Courtside seats 166 and 167 at the arena where the Los Angeles Lakers play their home games are pretty much as good as it gets. The people occupying those chairs when LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record will have an up-close view, with their feet on the very hardwood where the history-making shot […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Bono speaks with Cathedral Canon historian Jon Meacham at the Washington National Cathedral ...
Associated Press

Bono, a shooting hero, Nichols’ family members to join Biden

Rock star Bono, the 26-year-old who disarmed a gunman in last month’s Monterey Park, California, shooting, and the family of Tyre Nichols will be among the featured guests sitting alongside first lady Jill Biden at Tuesday’s State of the Union address. The White House said the guests were invited “because they personify issues or themes […]
5 hours ago
Frank Caltagirone, a sports book employee at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., counts...
Associated Press

Group: 1-in-5 U.S. adults will bet on this year’s Super Bowl

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A record 50.4 million American adults plan to bet on this year’s Super Bowl, wagering a total of $16 billion, the gambling industry’s national trade group predicted Tuesday. The American Gaming Association forecasts that 1-in-5 American adults will place a bet on Sunday’s NFL championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles […]
5 hours ago
Relatives stand by the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. ...
Associated Press

Russian shells spark hospital fire before expected assault

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian shelling hit more civilian targets in Ukraine, starting a fire at a town’s hospital and damaging five apartment buildings, local officials said Tuesday, as Ukrainian authorities reported a Moscow troop buildup in eastern areas before what Kyiv suspected was an impending new offensive by Russia around the anniversary of its […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

French protesters hold more strikes over pension changes

PARIS (AP) — Public transportation, schools and electricity, oil and gas supplies were disrupted on Tuesday in France as demonstrators were taking to the streets for a third round of nationwide strikes and protests against the government’s pension reform plans. The demonstrations come a day after the debate on the bill started at parliament. Last […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Denmark Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Jakob Ellemann-Jensen arrives to atten...
Associated Press

Denmark’s defense minister takes sick leave after checkup

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s defense minister has taken a leave of absence for an undetermined period of time after he felt unwell and went to a Copenhagen hospital for a medical checkup last week. The 49-year-old Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, who is also deputy prime minister, heads the Liberals that are part of Denmark’s governing three-party […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Minnesota Supreme Court delivers blow to Line 3 opponents