Once upon a time there was an old evil corporation named Enbridge that wanted to transport different types of oils: sweet, medium, sour, and dil-bit, all across the US to export ports. However, they proclaimed it was for the local people to use and enjoy. Enbridge’s pipedream was fractured, they tended to only tell segments of their tales to the people that owned the land they were trying to put their pipeline on or near.
Enbridge in proposing to construct a pipeline, estimated to be 610 miles from Beaver Lodge Station, just south of Tioga, ND, to Superior Wisconsin. Enbridge’s glossy colored brochure states “a minimum of 24-inch diameter based on the shipper’s request”, but could be up to a 36-inch or larger pipeline. Enbridge also states that the pipelines capacity would be “225,000 bpd from ND to Clearbrook, MN, and 375,000 bpd from Clearbrook, MN to Superior, Wisconsin”. However, if a larger 36-inch pipeline is constructed, that amount could increase up to 880,000 bpd, on all the pipeline segments. Between, 1999-2010, Enbridge declared to have had 804 oil leaks, yet they herald themselves to be a safe company.
Enbridge pawns were doing their jobs in promoting that this was US oil. While this is true, they didn’t inform the crowds that Canadian tar sands oil (Dil-Bit) can be injected into this pipeline at the Clearbrook, MN tank farm.
The pawns didn’t announce to the crowds that there were 2 proposed routes. They did inform us that the exact route and locations of the pumping stations have not yet been determined. The Proposed Sandpiper Southern Route is proposed to follow the Minnesota Pipelines from Clearbrook to Park Rapids, MN, which are owned by the Koch Brothers. Past Park Rapids, the line would reportedly follow a MN Power electrical line east. Their brochures didn’t show the Northern route which would follow the 6 other pipelines from Clearbrook to Superior. Some of these pipelines are 64 years old. A possible reason is that if they cross reservation lands, they are only commissioned to sign a 20-year easement with the tribes, while with private land owners it is a one-time payment for the life of the pipeline.
The proposed Southern Route would go to the South of the Fond-du-Lac Reservation. The pawns seemed surprised when they were told that the Alberta Clipper, (36-inch pipeline, built in 2010) was proposed to go in the same area south of the reservation, but was denied by the MN PUC for fears of more contamination risks to wild rice beds. This route would invade several established tribal areas that provide tribal members hunting and gathering rights from the 1854 Treaty.
Some other Enbridge pawns were asked the simple question of “where is this oil going to be delivered to?” The answers varied from them. Some said Superior, while others said various refineries from MN to Ohio and to the East Coast. The pawns failed to speak about the corporations plans to reverse Line 9 from Sarnia Ontario Canada to Quebec. The Quebec refinery is seeking to obtain the sweet crude oil, because it is not upgraded to handle Alberta Tar Sands, and then ship it to Portland, Maine. The pawns also failed to mention that the Flanagan South pipeline was being built from Flanagan, Ill to Cushing OK, to hook up to the recently purchased Seaway Pipeline to Houston TX where it would be refined and exported. Apparently the right hand pawn does not know what the left hand pawn is up to.
Enbridge pawns proclaimed that this project could provide up to 10,000 -15,000 temporary construction jobs, but another pawn said there maybe would be 45 new permanent jobs. When asked about the construction jobs, the reply was about the same number as the Alberta Clipper. However it was 2 pipelines they built then. When asked, “ how many local citizens would be employed, more than 10%?” This is the amount of local people that were hired for the Alberta Clipper. They replied they would get back to me on this.
This fairy tale is not yet finished. We will wait to see if this has a happy ending or one that allows this old evil corporation to bully and buy their way across private land owner’s properties, risking contamination of their lands and waters in the event of a leak, spill, rupture or explosion. Commoners willing to stand up to protect against extortion are threatened with eminent domain.
“Economic Blackmail” is usually offered to Villages and other governmental entities with gifts or contributions and promises of employment for their people. But Enbridge promotes it as “community investment”, when it is more or less a modern day bribe. They like to promote their “community investment” to the local fire departments and ambulance services, yet these responders do not know all the dangerous chemicals in the oils. In the Clearwater County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update 2012, section III: Hazards it states “There is a concern that should the most catastrophic of events occur, a tank explosion and fire, there wouldn’t be enough water to suppress the fire. Should such an incident happen the first course of action would be to evacuate Clearbrook”
These are some of the examples of the parts of the fairytales withheld from the commoners in these ‘feel good’ meet and greets. These meetings should have been held outside around bon fires, so the people would have expected all the smoke that was being blown at them.