On October 18 2017, energy infrastructure companies and workers rallied to fill the parking lot of the Convention Center in Duluth, MN with the machines and vehicles they use every day in construction and operation of pipelines. The vehicle rally, which was actively promoted by Energy Builders, was ahead of a public hearing at the Center on permits for construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement project in Minnesota.
Event organizer and Energy Builder member Bob Schoneberger, United Piping Inc. CEO, in rallying his colleagues said, “If you support the project for whatever reason, you should go to the meeting. Even if you just have questions, you should go. We need to show the rest of the country we can handle this. If you believe in laws, you should go. You cannot just stay home.”
Unfortunately, a small number of extremist pipeline opponents disrupted the hearing with abusive and threating behavior, posing physical security concerns and forcing the presiding judge to suspend the hearing well before everyone’s statement could be heard.
The contrast between the orderly and civil demeanor of supporters and the extremist and disruptive behavior of opponents was clearly on display.