Friends of Headwaters announces new legal partnership
Friends of the Headwaters (FOH), Hubbard County's grassroots organization fighting for an alternative route for the proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline, announced that they have signed an agreement with the Minnesota Center for Environmental Adv...
Friends of the Headwaters (FOH), Hubbard County’s grassroots organization fighting for an alternative route for the proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline, announced that they have signed an agreement with the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) for legal representation in the matters of the pipeline approval process.
Arguably the most widely respected environmental stewardship organization in the state, the MCEA brings 40 years of experience to the battle for denying Enbridge’s application. Staffed with scientists, researchers, and an expert legal team, the MCEA is the ideal advocate and counsel to represent FOH.
“While this battle has been going on for nearly a year now, it is still in the very early stages”, said FOH President Richard Smith. “To have representation from a prestigious organization like the MCEA not only re-enforces FOH’s view that this a terrible route for a pipeline, it also serves as credible evidence that we have a fighting chance of re-routing it. They would not have taken on this case if they didn’t think we could prevail,” he added.
The process of the proceedings in this matter is unprecedented in Minnesota history. The contested proceedings before administrative law judge Eric Lipman have yet to even begin. Those proceedings will result in a recommendation to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which will then hold meeting(s) on the matter. No decision by the PUC is expected until at least June, and that is just for whether Enbridge is granted a Certificate of Need for the pipeline. “While we would hope that the PUC would deny that certificate, even if it is approved, the process begins anew with proceedings on the best route. This fight will likely last for the bulk of 2015,” Smith went on to say.
When queried about Enbridge’s staging of pipes just north of Lake George as evidence of the inevitability of the proposed route, Smith remarked with a sense of frustration, “There are people in this community that think Sandpiper is a done deal. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I truly wish Enbridge had a history of building and managing safe oil pipelines as they seem to have in managing a public relations campaign.”
“While FOH is a party to the proceedings as described above, we also have the responsibility of educating our fellow citizens on the facts of the Sandpiper matter. We need to continue to lend our voice to that and provide the public with those facts. But people just need to take a deep breath on this and see if Minnesota can get it right”, he concluded.
For more information visit FriendsoftheHeadwaters.org, or visit them on Facebook.