In a recent column by Winona LaDuke regarding Line 3 and the Public Utility Commission, she tells of a seven-year story of heroes, villains, and corporate greed to influence the reader’s emotions. This is not the story at all.
The real story is about choosing the safest method to protect our water when transporting a commodity that the world - and Minnesota - currently is dependent on.
Within that story is an aging pipeline currently running at a reduced capacity that has forced oil that used to go in the pipeline to now travel by rail. This is a story about the single safest method of transportation and the opportunity to replace aging infrastructure with a new state of the art pipeline. These are still the facts and is a story without emotion.
Enbridge and the PUC are not the villains she would have you believe. Projecting “corporate greed” as the motivation for Enbridge, while leaving out the interests of the her funders is disingenuous.
The PUC made the best possible decision to protect our water and satisfy demand. The demand is visible by the multiple trains delivering oil across our state, through towns and over the very waters they wish to protect.
The good news is the demand for alternative energy sources is still rising. No one wants to be dependent on a single source. But alternatives aren’t substitutes. Our dependence on oil will take years to overcome as alternatives and infrastructures to support them are fully developed. There will still be a demand far into the future. Flipping the switch to stop using oil hurts everyone, especially the most vulnerable that can least afford it.
Laduke’s “struggle” didn’t have to occur.
She could have chosen the green path that dozens of Canadian tribes who worked with Enbridge to the betterment of their own tribal communities.
Not choosing the safest way puts the public and water at greater risk. Yet much of the millions she raises go to resistance efforts, activist training camps, militant protests, and activities where property was damaged, and arrests were made. She promises Dakota Access Pipeline style protests that will put construction personnel, the public, and a willingness to put her own followers at risk.
This is a sad story about the scorched path of mob-rule. Who will the villains be in this story? To the donors: Is this what you are paying for?