Minnesota and Wisconsin Pipeline Resistance Drives Enbridge to North Dakota

On August 1, 2016 Enbridge, Inc. announced that they were investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and that once the deal was done, they would be abandoning the Sandpiper Line that was to run through northern Minnesota and the White Earth Reservation, and hook up with the Twin 66 that cuts across Wisconsin.

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Over the past several years, a well-organized resistance led by Winona LaDuke and Honor the Earth has forced Enbridge to abandon the Sandpiper Pipeline. DAPL, however, is being met with an even greater resistance, as members of First Nation tribes are gathering in unprecedented numbers at the Standing Rock Sioux’s Sacred Stone Camp, a water protector camp at the site of where the DAPL is slated to cross beneath the Missouri River. What started as a small group in April has grown to 1500-2000 people from all over the world who have come to stand united in defense of the water.

routeThis summer, another group of water protectors walked the Twin 66 pipeline, Enbridge’s project that was to run through Wisconsin. With the Sandpiper all but abandon, expansion on the Twin 66 is likely to halt as well. But water protectors spoke at a press conference on July 6, 2016 on the site of the Enbridge/Namekagon River crossing. Ironically, it was there that Gaylord Nelson came in the 1960s to announce the Namekagon River being named as a wild and historic river and protected by federal laws.

Enbridge has not yet filed for withdrawal of its application of the Sandpiper line, so it’s not done yet. They will have to file withdrawal, and then there will be comment period, then Public Utilities Commission will address their request at a meeting, hopefully accept the withdrawal with prejudice—meaning that they can’t apply again. That’s what must be pushed for in the comment period, that PUC allow withdrawal, but only “withdrawal with prejudice.”

A hearing is being held in Washington DC on August 24th to determine the outcome of the current standoff in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux filed a motion for preliminary injunction to force the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers to withdraw its approval for the project.

After that, members of the camp will be prepared to dig into their resistance and prepare for a long winter.

 

 

Sacred Water Sacred Land Pipeline Walk Cuts Through the Heart and Soul of Wisconsin

June 25, 2016 by Paul DeMain

Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation is marked in orange boundary. The pipeline easement is the straight black line righting diagonal and cuts through LCO. The new easement for #61 and #13 runs down the reservation border outside the borders. The Enbridge pumping facility is about 1/4 mile north of where the original easement in black crosses right of way road (yellow). The tribe receives no money for the easement or facility on their property.

Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation is marked in orange boundary. The pipeline easement is the straight black line running diagonally through LCO. The new easement for #61 and #13 runs outside and along the reservation border. The Enbridge pumping facility is about 1/4 mile north of where the original easement in black crosses right of way road (yellow). The tribe receives no money for the easement or facility on their property.

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Tribe will be hosting lodging and meals for those walking on the 33 Days on Twin #66 Pipelines Awareness Walk on July 3-7th, 2016 at the Honor The Earth Pow Wow Grounds (HTE).

The public is welcome to join them as they walk a 15-mile section each day from Ladysmith to Iamalone (July 3), from Iamalone to Meteor (7/4), from Meteor to Stone Lake (7/5), from Stone Lake the Hayward (7/6), and from Hayward to Gordon (7/7).

Walkers will be transported to and from HTE grounds to the walk starting site each day and back at the end of the day.

July 3rd and 4th: Maryellen Baker is hosting the  evening meals at her Anishinaabe Culture Center home from 6-8 PM. If any friends and helpers want to contribute to her efforts, please feel free to call her, or go and help.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2 PM: Press Briefing and Tour of Lines #61, #13, and the Arrowhead Transmission line on the LCO Reservation. Meet at Summit Lake Road in the southwest corner of the reservation, and will include the old easement site at Highbridge on Right of Way Road and the Enbridge Pumping Station on the LCO Reservation. The LCO tribe does not get any payment for either the pipeline easement that runs through the reservation or the pumping station site. See maps below for location.

Flags at the entry of the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp, 2014. Photo: Paul DeMain

Flags at the entry of the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp, Penokee Hills, 2014. Photo: Paul DeMain

Tuesday, July 5th, 6-10pm: Potluck, concert and reunion for the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp. 6-8 PM: Melvin Gaspar is cooking the main course at the HTE powwow grounds. Contributions of veggies, desserts, fruits, liquids are welcome. Dinner will include Fry Bread, Deer Meat with Gravy/Boiled Potato and Steamed Veggies. 7-10 PM: Local speakers and music by Skip Jones, Frank Montana, Michael Buchor, Dennis & Cleo, and others.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2 PM: Press Conference,  Namekagon River Pipeline Crossing – Stinnet Landing Rd. Six miles South of Hayward on Hwy. 63 right before Highway E, just north of the Enbridge/ Namekagon River Crossing. Featuring LCO Vice Chair Rusty Barber, Walk organizer Julie de la Terre, Harvard Economist Winona LaDuke, activist Sandy Lyon, and several other speakers. It was here that Gaylord Nelson came in the 1960s to announce the Namekagon River being named as a wild and historic river and protected by federal laws. See maps below for location.

Wednesday, July 6th, 6-8 PM: Dinner. Mel is cooking up the main course which may include Fern Soup with Dumplings, (Waagogoyn) Sunfish Fillets, Corn on the Cob and Mac n Cheese at the Honor The Earth Pow Wow Grounds. Pipeline walkers will be first in line.

Thursday, July 7th, 6-8 PM: Evening dinner at the HTE grounds will be assisted by potluck from members of the Sawyer County and Lac Courte Oreilles Democratic Party.

Maps of Events

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Photo from the Pipeline Walk

Day 17: Pipeline walker John Endrizzi took these photo with this commentary:

“2.9 miles from my home, Enbridge has excavated a part of its pipeline 61 corridor. The site is located just north of Akron Drive about 1 mile west of Highway 13 in the Town of Rome. (See Map).

The line in question is the eastern most in the bundle. It is color coded with a yellow marker. At one time, Enbridge used the line numbers on its petroleum markers. I believe that this line may be either 14 or 6A. They are the oldest lines in the bundle. By the way, these lines all travel under Lake Arrowhead. ( less than two miles south of the “repair”) Please share this widely.”

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Day 9:

Below is Doug Cole (L) and Bill Greendeer, Ho-Chunk tribal member. Cole is the chairman of the Town of Wyocena and has been spending all his money fighting the pipeline.

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Myron Buchholz, running against Ron Kind.

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For the entire story, please visit the 33 Days on Twin #66 and see how you can get involved.

Menominee River Walk and “Back Forty

 

Please join us and learn what you can do
To stand united in defense of the water

Presentations on
Menominee River Walk

The “Back Forty” Mine

Sacred Water Sacred Land

33 Days on Twin #66 –
Walking the Embridge Pipeline

Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Routing By County & Roadway (click here for interactive map)

Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Routing By County & Roadway (click here for interactive map)

When: Saturday May 21, 2012

Time: 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm Potluck at 12:30 pm
Presentation and discussion to follow.

Place: McMillan Memorial Library
490 E. Grand Avenue
Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin

Directions: 4 blocks east of river or 4 blocks west of 8th Street on east Grand Avenue across from the Mead Hotel.

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United in Defense of the Water Endorses Joe M. Rose for Ashland County Board, District 12

Mr. Rose is the incumbent and is currently serving on four committees of the Ashland County Board: Joint Impact Committee on Mining, Land and Water Conservation Committee, Zoning, and Long Range Planning Committee.

District 12 in Ashland County is unique, as it serves both Madeline Island and the Town of Sanborn, Ward 1, on the Bad River Reservation. Whoever represents this district is the voice of both island residents and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa living in Sanborn.

In our estimation, Mr. Rose is the best qualified to represent these areas for several reasons:

Jan. 26, 2012 Joe Rose at the WI State Capitol to testify against the mining bill. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Jan. 26, 2012 Joe Rose at the WI State Capitol to testify against the mining bill. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Mr. Rose grew up on the Bad River Reservation and has served on the Ashland County Board in the past. His experience with both tribal and non-tribal governments, and his love of the water and resources instilled in him growing up on Lake Superior as a tribal member have given him the unique ability to represent native and non-native alike.

Mr. Rose has ties to Madeline Island that go back 500 years. 

Mr. Rose has consistently fought to protect the resources. Unlike his opponent, Mike Stark, a Scott Walker supporter and Republican who backed Gogebic Taconite and their attempts to take over the Penokee Hills with a 22-mile open-pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine, Mr. Rose has stood up his entire life to fight against such atrocities. In the first video below, Mr. Rose outlines his consistent stand for 35 years against a multitude of threats to the safety and health of the area.

Mr. Stark has since admitted his mistake in aggressively pushing through the “Responsible Mining” resolution while serving on the County Board in 2011 without consulting his constituents. UDW feels, however, that any future misjudgments of this nature could be devastating to the health and well-being of District 12.

Reicks Concentrated Animal Feed Operation. This is a huge disaster looming in Ashland County. A 26,000 hog CAFO is on the verge of being permitted in Eileen that would destroy the water of our region. Mr. Rose not only understands this imminent danger and explains it clearly in the video below, but is already working hard on several fronts to prevent the destruction of Lake Superior that would inevitably happen if this CAFO is allowed to move forward. He is a strong supporter of local control and understands the power of the Treaties.

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February 2014, standing united in defense of the water, with Edith Leoso at a press conference in the Penokees. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Mr. Rose is Chairman of the Anishinaabeg Environmental Protection Association. This sub-committee was formed by the Bad River Tribal Council, which works to protect the land and water for all. With Mr. Rose we have two governments standing up for us.

Mr. Rose has working relationships with all of the county’s State legislators, including Sen. Janet Bewley, Assemblywoman Beth Meyers, former Senator Bob Jauch, and State tribal leaders. He also is able to bring the Ashland County Board together and has used these relationships to broker support for important issues. Board Chair Pete Russo has said his presence on the Board is “invaluable” and has strong support from the Native American community.

Mr. Rose was Professor of Native American Studies for many years at Northland College. He has an excellent track record as an effective educator.

For these reasons and many more, United in Defense of the Water feels he is the best candidate to represent District 12.

Be sure you are registered to vote:
https://myvote.wi.gov/Voter/VoterSearchScreen.aspx

Information on the proper ID:
http://bringit.wi.gov/

For more information, contact:

The League of Women Voters for Ashland and Bayfield Counties

Town of Sanborn

Town of La Pointe

Joe M. Rose speaking at the candidates forum, March 27, 2016 at La Pointe Town Hall.

 

Nothing Trumps Water: Why it must be Bernie or Bust

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination is proving to be rip-tear-claw between old-school Democrats who still talk as if the US is a democracy (Hillary Clinton supporters), those who understand that the United States of America is now a corporate oligarchy (Bernie Sander’s people), and the Democratic National Committee and Wall Street, who appear hell bent on getting Clinton elected at all costs.

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The Bad River Watershed in the Penokee Hills on the shores of Lake Superior.

Many old-school Dems still can’t say the words “corporate fascism,” even the ones who watched the corporations, led by the Koch Brothers, take over Wisconsin in 2011 and begin draining the State of all its wealth. The crowning gem was to be the Penokee Hills and Lake Superior, the lavish watershed in the north that represents 20% of the last of the world’s fresh water. US Steel had rejected the low-grade iron ore here in the 1960s. But a billionaire coal mining kingpin from West Virginia named Chris Cline had his sights set on the Penokees for his first-ever iron ore venture.

Unknown to us (but not for lack of trying), lawyers for the mining company, Gogebic Taconite (GTac), were allowed to write a new ferrous mining bill. Headed by a man who we later learned was fleeing prosecution in Spain for ruining the water of 300,000 Spaniards, GTac had their lawyers write a bill that threw out every protection for the people, water, air, economy, and democracy. Despite overwhelming opposition from every corner of the state, the corporate abusers got their wish and the bill passed. GTac moved forward with their plans for their 22-mile mountaintop removal open-pit iron ore mine on the shores of Lake Superior.

GTAC armed security forces in northern Wisconsin. Photo: Rob Ganson

GTAC armed security forces in northern Wisconsin. Photo: Rob Ganson

Long story short, the good guys prevailed—this time. GTac finally gave up in February 2014—iron ore prices were dropping all around the world, Native Americans were exercising their Treaty Rights, and opposition to the mine was at 92%. After three years of lying about how pure the ore was and how safe their process would be, they now declared that mining the Penokees was not “feasible.”

What might have been the real nail in GTac’s coffin, however, were documents released from a second John Doe investigation that revealed illegal campaign coordination going on between Gov. Scott Walker’s office and GTac around a $700,000 campaign donation. The first John Doe sent six of Walker’s associates to jail for embezzlement, money laundering, child enticement, and staffers mixing state business with campaigning to get Walker, then a Milwaukee county executive, elected to governor. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, dominated by cronies of Walker and the Kochs, declined to hear the second case. Why should they? Several of them were heavy Walker donors. But three of the five attorneys fighting the case appealed, and JD II is now headed for SCOTUS.

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Fast forward to the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, joined the Democratic Party and launched his people-powered campaign, taking most of his donations from individuals and firing up an otherwise lackluster Democrat party with a grassroots “revolution.” The lone Bernie “Super Pac,” National Nurses United, stated that they support Bernie because their mission aligns with his as they cover the front lines of US healthcare.

Sanders record on environmental protections is stellar, and earned him a 100% rating from the League of Conversation Voters in 2015, with a 95% rating for his lifetime career as an elected official.

While Clinton gets an 82% lifetime rating from the same group, her activities in the US and around the world in relation to corporate abusers is a staggering report that few in mainstream media are covering, and even fewer democratic supporters are willing to acknowledge.

According to Mother Jones, in 2009 Clinton traveled the world promoting fracking as Secretary of State. She appointed David Goldwyn as her special envoy for international energy affairs:

Goldwyn had a long history of promoting drilling overseas—both as a Department of Energy official under Bill Clinton and as a representative of the oil industry. From 2005 to 2009 he directed the US-Libya Business Association, an organization funded primarily by US oil companies—including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Marathon—clamoring to tap Libya’s abundant supply. Goldwyn lobbied Congress for pro-Libyan policies and even battled legislation that would have allowed families of the Lockerbie bombing victims to sue the Libyan government for its alleged role in the attack.  

October 16, 2013, Children in Pungesti blocking the access of the heavy machinery that arrived at the fracking site. Photo: Frack Off Romania

October 16, 2013, Children in Pungesti blocking the access of the heavy machinery that arrived at the fracking site. Photo: Frack Off Romania

The details of her international crusade were disturbing enough, but for me personally it was a nauseating moment to realize what Hillary Clinton was doing to my friends in Romania. While I was fighting off GTac, I was in contact via social media with Maria Olteanu and a group of Romanians who were going through a similar corporate takeover of their resources in Pungesti, a small, poor section of northeast Romania that is rich in fracking shale gas. Much like the Chippewa in northern Wisconsin and our Harvest Camp, Romanians were camping out and putting their bodies between their water and the fracking pumps that were sent into the area. Police were eventually called in to remove the protesters.

Hillary Clinton was personally responsible for this. This was not some distant foreign policy decision; this was the Secretary of State traveling to Romania and bringing Chevron and their money with her to push fracking on my friends there. In return, Chevron rewarded Hillary Clinton with hundreds of thousands of dollar for the Clinton Foundation, as well as bundling donations for her 2016 presidential run:

The two Clinton bundlers also were part of a much-criticized campaign by Chevron to manipulate Congress into inserting language into the Andean Trade Preferences Act that would require Ecuador to dismiss a longstanding lawsuit against the company for polluting the Amazon jungle. — Politico, November 16, 2009

But perhaps even more horrifying are her ties to the mining company that is responsible for the Brazilian mining disaster in November 2014. A dam burst at a BHP Billiton-owned iron ore mine in the Rio Doce region and 50 million tons of highly toxic mining waste were unleashed. Brazil is calling it the worst environmental disaster in its history.

The search for bodies and survivors was slow. Mudslides knocked out roads and cellular towers, covered houses, upturned cars, smothered wild and farm animals in their paths, cut off drinking water for a quarter-of-a-million people, and raised health and environmental concerns in cities more than 186 miles downstream.  — The Guardian, November 25, 2015

The government of Brazil is suing BHP Billiton for billions.

An aerial view of the Rio Doce (Doce River), which was flooded with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst, at an area where the river joins the sea on the coast of Espirito Santo in Regencia Village, Brazil, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

An aerial view of the Rio Doce (Doce River), which was flooded with toxic sludge after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst, at an area where the river joins the sea on the coast of Espirito Santo in Regencia Village, Brazil, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BHP Billiton was part of a group of 13 major corporations that donated to the Clinton Foundation as they were lobbying the State Department while Clinton was Secretary of State. BHP wanted the US government to protect its mining interests in Gabon, Africa, where it was meeting fierce resistance by concerned Gabon residents. The iron ore deposit was situated within Gabon’s Ivindo National Park, a rainforest home to forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees.

Clinton’s hands are also deep in the uranium mining that is now being foisted upon the southwest. The Havasupai Tribe, along with several environmental groups, have been fighting a Canadian mining company on a long-contested uranium mine with plans go forward near the Grand Canyon. Energy Fuels Inc, a Canadian mining company, is now suing for their right to mine.

In 2013, a group of Canadian mining industry execs donated millions to the Clinton Foundation. They were in the process of building and eventually selling off a corporation known as Uranium One to Russian interests, which gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Uranium One’s chairman donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation while they were lobbying for the deal under Clinton’s Sate Department. And despite an agreement with the Obama administration that she would disclose all donors, Clinton did not. After Reuters found the error, Clinton was made to re-file five years of tax returns on how they were reporting all their donations.

Energy Fuels Inc. mine just south of the Grand Canyon. Photo: Bruce Gordon/Ecoflight, via Center for Biological Diversity

Energy Fuels Inc. mine just south of the Grand Canyon. Photo: Bruce Gordon/Ecoflight, via Center for Biological Diversity

Uranium One eventually became Rosatom, the corporation now taking legal action against the US government in order to mine the Grand Canyon. The Havasupai and other groups are in the fight for their lives to protect themselves and their water, thanks in part to Clinton’s willingness to go along with the original deal. While no direct evidence of campaign coordination has been uncovered, it is nonetheless a disturbing situation which reveals the deep international corporate pockets Clinton relies on. Even without evidence of “pay-to-play,” it is clear that these multinational corporations support Clinton because she naturally believes in their cause.

While the list goes on of Clinton’s support of corporate domination, her shepherding the Trans Pacific Partnership is perhaps one of the most frightening aspects of her power. Up until it was clear the TPP might threaten her chances to win the White House, she called it the “gold standard” of trade deals. The TPP would allow, among other horrors, lawsuits from foreign corporations doing business in the US against our environmental laws. Say a Chinese corporation bought land in Wisconsin and wanted to open a 100,000 hog Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) that stood to destroy the watershed of the community and people rose up to protect themselves. The TPP would allow the foreign corporation to sue the local unit of government for all of its potentially lost revenue and challenge any environmental laws that stood in the way of their profits.

Right now the United States is in a fight for its democratic soul and its clean water, both of which are being stolen by international corporations. Hillary Clinton is leading the charge, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and the Democrats who support her are aiding and abetting this corporate takeover of our government. The list of Democrats who support Clinton is staggering, and yet, few of any will acknowledge this dark and insidious aspect of her political ambition.

Here in Wisconsin, as long as the corporate abusers were aided by Republicans, the Democrats were outraged. But when one of their own displays such blatant disregard for the democratic process as the DNC has in this election, is financed by the same Wall Street CEOs who should be in jail for almost crashing the entire world economy in 2008, and is in bed with mining companies that are known destroyers of water around the world, they turn a blind eye. It literally boggles the mind.

For this reason, many Bernie supporters have taken the pledge, Bernie or Bust, as a way to fight off the plutocracy of a Clinton win:

Plutocrats’ purchase of our government is the root of all our political evils, and as the only major-party candidate who’s called for a political revolution against plutocrat money, Bernie Sanders is the only adult in the room, the only candidate utterly free from the influence of that money, and the only one with a viable platform for ridding us of it. Therefore, he’s the only major-party presidential candidate worth voting for. As solicitors of billions of plutocrat dollars, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush don’t even register on our radar as serious candidates. And we have a strong bias against other Democrats and Republicans, because their party leadership makes it virtually obligatory for them to accept oligarch dollars. As a lifelong independent scarcely funded at all by corporate dollars, strategically forced to run as a Democrat, Bernie alone has our trust. If he doesn’t win the Democratic nomination—and if he fails to, it will be due simply to party propaganda we aim vigorously to counteract—we plan to write him in in the general election. In states where write-in votes aren’t counted, we plan to simply vote Green.

The “lessor of two evils argument” falls to pieces as we look starkly at Clinton’s allegiance to corporate abusers, and her all-out war against the water for the sake of profits. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate, indeed, one of the few elected officials who understands and will fight against corporate abuse. Without this, it won’t matter which “evil” wins: one path will be the slow death by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the other a faster, more transparent descent into complete domination by the 1%.

For these reasons and so many more, no one but Bernie will do.