I love pipelines and think that you should too.  I feel so strongly about this that I have the saying stitched into a jacket I wear!

At the same time, I know there are others who have the exact opposite view of this issue and Line 3.  The people opposed to replacing Line 3 have passion and their opinions about this important project as the approval and permitting process moves forward.

There is a lot at stake with the 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.

“Pipelines don’t scare me, people do”!  At a recent legislative hearing, someone representing the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) gave “on the record” shocking testimony about a bill that would let Line 3 move forward.  Irene Folstrom is the Great Lakes Program Coordinator for the organization:

“The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) is a statewide coalition of environmental and conservation nonprofits. Together, our coalition members and supporters work for clean energy, clean water, and investments in Minnesota’s Great Outdoors through policy initiatives, public education, and community events.

Our coalition makes a difference for Minnesota. In 2011, MEP was named the #1 high-impact environmental nonprofit in Minnesota by more than 175 local experts.”

After testifying about why she and the MEP opposed the bill, she issued a dangerous warning about what would happen in Minnesota is Line 3’s replacement is approved. There is a link to the video below.

“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.”

It’s one thing to have a position on an issue.  It’s another to threaten violence if the results of a process are not to your liking.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me and I have clear differences of opinion with groups like the MEP.  What I do expect, and would hope that others do as well, is that violence and threats of violence from people on either side of this issue is beyond wrong. It’s also dangerous and should not be tolerated.

Irene went even farther in her testimony, referring to what happened in North Dakota on the Dakota Access Pipeline and implying the same violence will happen here if Line 3 is approved.

“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.”

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.

I hope you and everyone involved with and connected to this issue will join me in a call to civility.  Call the MEP and let them know this is not ok.  We all are better than thuggish threats.