Anyone who has ever watched a hockey game knows what happens when a team realizes it’s losing and there is not a lot of time left on the clock.  The losing team gets desperate and often takes their goalie off the ice because there are few other options left.

Winona LaDuke’s recent attempt in a piece in The Circle to use the tragic accident at the Husky refinery in Superior, Wisconsin as a reason to justify not replacing Line 3 to me is the equivalent of a desperate team “pulling the goalie.”

People were hurt at the Husky refinery incident, and thankfully no one lost their lives as a result.  The only connection this event has to Line 3 is that they are both in the same industry and brought together by LaDuke. Linking these and making it a “Line 3” issue is wrong and to me it is also disgusting.

Trying to confuse people like this shows that LaDuke and the other “Line 3 misleaders” know they are on the wrong side of facts and reality as we get closer to the Public Utilities Commission decision in June.  The facts and data clearly show what myself and others have known about this important part of energy and economic infrastructure.

Administrative Law Judge Anne O’Reilly said in her April 23 decision that Line 3 is “old, needs significant repair, and poses significant integrity concerns for the State.” Replacing Line 3 is “reasonable and prudent.”

When you have lost the argument about needing Line 3, all you apparently have left is to bring is unrelated things  — a  refinery accident,  a hurricane in Puerto Rico, California wildfires, and people using climate change as a reason to justify criminal damage to property — to confuse the issue in hopes that people don’t see through it.

It failed when it came to determining that Minnesota needs Line 3. The only question to be resolved now is what route should be used because the real danger is in not replacing Line 3. Yet it’s clear that LaDuke and others again know facts and reality are not on their side when it comes to what is the best route for rebuilding Line 3.

The more you review information developed from the work done to study Line 3 and where it should go, it becomes even more obvious why the preferred route makes the most sense and is clearly better for Minnesota.

As someone well known for being a passionate advocate for tribal communities, LaDuke knows that the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac tribes want Line 3 to avoid their tribal land. That was a key part of looking for other locations and why she knows the preferred route is the best way to rebuild the pipeline.

She knows that rebuilding Line 3 along the existing route ignores this and will instead create unresolvable and un-necessary conflicts with sovereign tribal nations. Governor Dayton says he doesn’t see any viable way (and neither do we) that areas of the latest ALJ’s recommended route could be attempted or should be attempted because it goes through the two tribal lands.

Instead, LaDuke again brings in other unrelated information to continue to try to confuse the real issue along with encouraging people to get ready to take “necessary action” this summer – another veiled call to violence and vandalism when construction work would start.

Losing a game, an argument, or a position on a key issue like Line 3 is not easy.  We know what happens when you are down a goal or two and there is not a lot of time left in the game.  You pull the goalie because there is not much else you can do.  And when you are on the wrong side of the facts and reality, you do anything but admit being wrong.

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