Tribal activists cheer demise of controversial pipeline in Minnesota

Winona LaDuke, the founder of Honor The Earth, testifies at a public hearing held by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on June 5, 2015. The tribe called the hearing after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ignored requests for more consultation about the Sandpiper pipeline. Photo from Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe / Facebook

The $2.6 billion Sandpiper crude oil pipeline won't be crossing tribal treaty territory in Minnesota any time soon.

Enbridge Energy labeled its decision a "deferral" but the Canadian company told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that it won't be seeking regulatory approval for the oil pipeline. That effectively kills the controversial project that tribes and tribal activists opposed.

"To all those who thought it was not possible to stop a big corporation, take courage from our strength, commitment and very hard work," the non-profit Honor The Earth, which was fighting the pipeline, said on Facebook.

"So we fight, we win. Now we stand with our relatives as they fight the same company, different destructive project. Let's fight the source of the symptoms," the group said, referring to the ongoing fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, of which Enbridge is an investor. With its Red Warrior Camp, Honor The Earth is on the ground in North Dakota as part of the #NoDAPL resistance movement.

A map of the Sandpiper pipeline route through treaty lands in Minnesota. Larger Image

The Sandpiper Pipeline Project would have transported crude from the Bakken region of North Dakota through Minnesota and to an existing oil terminal in Wisconsin. The entire length would have run about 616 miles in all three states.

The route in Minnesota passed through treaty territory. The courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court< have repeatedly recognized the off-reservation treaty rights of tribes in the state.

Read More on the Story:
Enbridge Energy pulling plug on Sandpiper pipeline (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 9/2)
Enbridge Energy Partners Shelves Sandpiper Pipeline Project (The Wall Street Journal 9/2)
Enbridge abandons plans for Sandpiper pipeline in northern Minnesota (MinnPost 9/2)
Enbridge suspends pursuit of Sandpiper oil pipeline approval (Forum News Service 9/1)
Enbridge Scraps Plan to Build Sandpiper Amid Bakken Slump (Bloomberg News 9/1)
Enbridge Energy drops plans for Sandpiper crude oil pipeline (AP 9/1)

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