At a legislative hearing before the Minnesota House of Representatives March 27, Irene Folstrom, Great Lakes Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP), a statewide coalition of environmental non-profits, gave on the record testimony regarding a bill authorizing Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project construction to move forward, threatening that approval of the project would be “met with violence”.
After testifying about why she and the MEP opposed the bill, she issued a dangerous warning about what would happen in Minnesota if the Line 3 replacement project is approved. A video recording of her testimony can be viewed here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/264091588?app_id=122963
Folstrom testified, “We have worked hard on this to try to convey the message and plead with you please don’t approve the pipeline because you will be met with violence. We have been trying to prevent this from happening. We know it’s going to happen.” Folstrom referred to what happened in North Dakota on the Dakota Access Pipeline, suggesting that the same violence will happen in Minnesota if Line 3 is approved, saying, “If you think that was bad, and horrible, and had a negative impact, approve this pipeline and keep approving bills like this and you will see.”
It’s one thing to have a position on an issue, but it’s another to suggest violence if the results of a process are not to your liking. Violence and threats of violence from people on either side of this issue is wrong, dangerous and should not be tolerated.
We have seen riots in the Twin Cities that started with protests and quickly become much more dangerous. The protests in North Dakota at the construction site turned into riots that created chaos and damage that has changed how future pipeline projects are viewed.
Minnesota is better than this. Threatening violence if regulators do their job and approve a project we need is wrong. Regardless of what you think about Line 3, threats like this need to be called out as we get closer to the key decision from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
There is a lot at stake with the Enbridge Line 3 replacement. It ranges from the jobs people desperately need and money that would be invested to concerns about Minnesota’s future and how to protect the environment while making sure we have enough fuel. These are not mutually exclusive things.
Everyone involved with and connected to this issue should call for civility. Call the MEP at 651.290.0154 and let them know this is not OK. We all are better than thuggish threats.
This Incident Tracker entry is courtesy of and adapted from a post by Minnesotans for Line 3, seen at http://minnesotansforline3.com/2018/04/we-can-agree-to-disagree-about-line-3-but-threatening-personal-violence-goes-too-far/: