On June 26th a letter from the Polk County Commissioners entitled “OK the Sandpiper” appeared in the Crookston Daily Times. This is a belated response and much needed comments.

    On June 26th a letter from the Polk County Commissioners entitled “OK the Sandpiper”  appeared in the Crookston Daily Times.  This is a belated response and much needed comments.   

    It’s disheartening, though not surprising, that the Commissioners are in collusion with society’s addiction to oil and servants to the suppliers of that addiction to the fossil fuel industry.   

    Let’s look at the facts – the safety record of Enbridge who will construct and operate the Sandpiper.  From 1999 – 2010 Enbridge reported 804 oil leaks.  In Minnesota nearly 1.5 million gallons of oil have spilled out of Enbridge/Lakehead pipelines over the past 30 years.  The world’s largest pipeline spill in U.S. history, spilling 1.5 million gallons into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River System has not been cleaned up.   

    The Sandpiper pipeline is about 616 miles in length.  The proposed route crosses 8 state forests, 3 state wildlife management areas, the North Country Trail and 13 trout streams most of them in Carlton County.  The pipeline would carry North Dakota Bakken Crude, a sludgy form of oil mixed with chemicals to move through the line.  It makes it more corrosive, especially at high temperatures, adding real concern about pipeline breakage!   

    The Commissioners say the message they receive is strong support for the pipeline.  Perhaps, but the majority of people are uninformed and the Commissioners, since they are not objective, fail to provide the truth about pipelines.   

    I became aware of local pipeline activity last summer purely by chance.  Driving down County Rd. 54 outside Crookston I saw activity – vehicles and people – in a distant field.  Time went by and the activity ceased.  I then noticed a small sign in the ditch that said WARNING: Pipeline ENBRIDGE.  Later I became aware of a similar activity outside Gentilly, also an Enbridge pipeline matter.  I told others about this and they knew nothing – it was news to them of this existing pipeline.   

    I have attended hearings concerning the Sandpiper in Grand Forks ND and in Crookston the past months.  The Commissioners say a “few opponents keep repeating their views at every possible hearing and opportunity” causing delays and OK of Sandpiper. I testified at the Grand Forks meeting.  I stand with these “culprits” who care deeply for the Earth – Land, Air, Water and its many threatened creatures.  We know that Solar and Wind offer hope and sustainability.  The fossil fuel corporations see clean energy as cutting into their profits and they are determined to stop it.   

    It is crucial to be informed, embrace and respect Life and speak out.  We don’t need the Sandpiper and its greed-driven madness.