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UPDATE: Blockade challenges Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline

The Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline (Line 67) runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin on Lake Superior. On that route, the 1600-kilometre pipeline carries 450,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from the tar sands to an Enbridge hub near Clearbrook, Minnesota. Enbridge is seeking to increase the capacity of this pipeline to 800,000 bpd.

There is now an encampment and blockade near the town of Leonard in northern Minnesota, about 16-kilometres from Clearbrook. The occupation at the Red Lake Ceded Land began on February 28. Angie Palacio, who initiated the encampment, says, “When I was informed about the illegal trespassing of the company Enbridge on my homeland, I knew there was something I could do. I started calling as many Red Lakers as I could to try and make them aware.”

The Nizhawendaamin Inaakiminaan (We Love Our Land) blockade is led by the Red Lake Nation and fully supported by the Ogalala Sioux Nation, Chief Bill Erasmus of the Dene First Nation, and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

350.org founder Bill McKibben says, “I imagine everyone involved in the planetwide resistance to fossil fuel is watching them with thanks.”

In 2009, Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden wrote, “On August 20, the US state department granted a permit allowing Enbridge to build the US portion of the Clipper pipeline bringing tar sands crude from Alberta to Wisconsin and the US midwest. Approving the Clipper pipeline was the wrong choice.” The Council of Canadians opposed the Alberta Clipper with an action alert in 2009.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow begins her 7-city tour in defence of the Great Lakes in Duluth, Minnesota (twin city of Superior, Wisconsin, the destination point for the Alberta Clipper pipeline), about 300 kilometres east of the blockade. For more on that tour, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=19807.

To watch a 4-minute video on the concerns that prompted the blockade, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JXYe88sREc&feature=player_embedded.