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Before it’s 2 late. I don’t want to be the last 1 alive. Sorry, couldn’t help continue the countdown, which is what it feels like here every day.

How many days until we see massive health care breakdown? We’re losing a Minnesotan an hour and then some to Covid. Yet Governor Walz STILL will not speak about delaying the project.

Even on Almanac, he talked COVID, but not that pipeline project. But you know who did? Winona LaDuke. And she had a lot of good things to say.

Walz said on Friday the 13th’s Almanac that it will be 3 weeks until we hit 300K dead in the US. I’m guessing he might be underestimating that – what with exponential growth. Yet he STILL refuses to DELAY Line 3.

It’s not hard, you know. Just clarifying Executive Order 20-20, which was put into place way back in March – the early days of the pandemic – and accurately NOT MENTIONING Petroleum Pipeline Construction as part of the Essential Worker staff.

Governor Walz could add some simple clarification verbiage like this:

Whereas, Northern Minnesota has minimal and rudimentary Health Care facilities and trained COVID-19 care professionals,

Whereas, tar sands as a commodity has a current 400,000 barrel/day excess of pipeline capacity for current demand making a new tar sands pipeline that would carry only 370,000 bpd unnecessary at this time, and

Whereas, an influx of 3600 out-of-area pipeline construction workers would create an undue risk for COVID-19 community spread with their need for housing, food, and entertainment off the work-site, and

Whereas, Enbridge has been clear in their calls with local officials that they can only enforce social distancing rules on their own worksites, not offsite or in community, where COVID-19 is likely to be spread to local populations and worker families, and

Whereas, the health and care of the People of Minnesota is my paramount concern and responsibility, and

Whereas, Minnesota is currently seeing an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths which is becoming difficult to even monitor, let alone treat, 

Now, therefore, as Governor, I declare that a postponement of the Line 3 project until the pandemic can be brought under control, is necessary and prudent.”

Here’s the verbiage that could help us the DELAY Line 3 project to save lives in Minnesota.

But, I’m not holding my breath… though I am staying home. And masking up if I do venture anywhere.

Minnesota Public Broadcasting’s Almanac program (sponsored by Enbridge) hosted Governor Walz (7:30-17:58) and Winona LaDuke (33:30-40:09; including the Enbridge disclaimer… and Winona snagging an extra 10 seconds of messaging!!), though only ONE of them had the courage to speak of the risks the Line 3 project brings to Minnesota.

In addition to some interested political maneuvers by Republicans, they’ve appointed a Democrat as the Senate Leader (this is how corrupted Dems are to Republican corporate support here in MN?).

What did Governor Walz have to say?

  • It took 7 months to hit 100K dead, 7 weeks to hit 200K dead, and he predicts we will reach 300K dead within about next three weeks. [That’s December 6th, in case anyone wants to keep track.]
  • 71% of cases in last 8 weeks are from gatherings, bars & restaurants. In other words, Community Spread. Guidance this week is 10 ppl max, 3 families max. More than 1 person or family is a chance for spread.
  • Upper Midwest is about 120 cases/100K; 150+/100K in the Dakotas and… no health care system can sustain that. MUST Stop the Spread.
  • Almanac’s Eric Eskola asks a good question at 11:12 and Tim answers: “If this saves one Minnesotan’s life, I’ll make those hard decisions.”
  • “I will continue to do all I can, as I said from the beginning of this, to protect the safety, uh, the health, and the well-being of Minnesotans.” (11:51)

THEN WHY WILL YOU NOT DELAY THIS TAR SAND PIPELINE PROJECT? THAT alone could save HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of lives in the long run. Sadly, you seem NOT to have the courage to do it. Perhaps you are unwilling to risk political capital to save Northern Minnesota lives? Is is just cause we’re a bunch of rocks and cows up here? And a few Indians we haven’t yet managed to slaughter off with our white supremacy colonizing culture? Yes, this IS how FUCKING PISSED I am about your diffidence.

You know, Tim, bringing thousands of out-of-area workers into MN – from ND, OK, TX, WI – all hot spots – makes it certain that you’ll definitely be bringing increased risk to rural MN where we do NOT HAVE THE HOSPITAL and HEALTH CARE WORKERS to support this influx of population. Especially not when we’re already facing shortages on housing – which will only be exacerbated by Enbridge workers coming in with bigger paychecks than many have here and gobbling up housing? How many Minnesotans will freeze to death in their vehicles as Enbridge workers are housed in places they might have otherwise stayed?

11:19 – Walz: “…if this saved one Minnesotan’s life, I’ll make those hard decisions” – well I call BS. You could ANY MOMENT say that Minnesota is going to PAUSE 4 PANDEMIC on an UNNECESSARY pipeline project. And you have YET to do so. And another 31 dead Sunday in Minnesota. We only had 12 new dead today, which is typical for Mondays, typically our lowest day of the week for reporting. [Last Sunday, Monday, Tuesday was 31, 19, 23… then 56 on 11/11, if that portends anything.]

Walz gets the updates at 9PM for the day – wish I could have that data then… I get the massaged 7-day rolling average… that disguises the exponentiality of these growing numbers.

Duluth Mayor, Emily Larson, in St. Louis County, was asked about emergency rotation on the police department due to rolling outages of personnel. The Mayor noted:

  • 43% of ppl testing are 15-29. [Uh, because we’re not seeing cooperation from older people for GETTING tested? Or because they are the ones doing much of the community work? What with likely older professionals working from home?]
  • All schooling is going to digital… where many children do not have technology broadband connectivity – creating disproportionate learning for those with less resources – “yet bars are still open”. (19:59) [Yeah, we’re sacrificing our children to hedonism.]
  • Restarted weekly updates to keep citizens updated and share information. (21:30) [Weekly often enough?]
  • And finally, noting ~180 staff in Duluth PD w/157 sworn officers, they’ve had 26 cases in the department to date, with quarantines also. 23 since October. Indicative of what we’re seeing across MN. Alt work schedule taking people off investigations to patrol, working 5-days on, 10-days off. Trying to keep up with investigations. Process kept cases low when pandemic started. [Uh, so, we’re seeing our public safety personnel being taken out of commission as WELL as our health care professionals?]

Next up was Dr. Rahul Koranne (head of MN Hospital Assn) on staffing. We have beds… but concern is number of professionals getting exposed to the virus. (26:30) A spot check Wednesday showed over 6000 heroes out of service in our hospitals. Everyone is looking for same agency nurses so no relief is to be found outside the state. Control of spread is key. A discussion on rationing of care (27:42) found Dr. Koranne saying, “A patient, a Minnesotan that needs a hospital care is getting it.” He also noted that 1 in 4 ICU beds is COVID. 16% of medical surgical has COVID. Heart attacks, strokes, cancers still being managed. [As I consider exponential growth, I foresee a real ripping out of the rug any moment. Did you see Texas is starting with the refrigerated trailers for the dead? Lucky it’s cold in Minnesota?] “Trying to coordinate across the state. … Some patients have to be transported great distances and that’s what a pandemic will do.” I am not feeling confident. Are you?

Even the funny part of Almanac wasn’t funny to me. Sheletta Brundidge did her best and, if it weren’t for the way adults CONTINUE to IGNORE the CLIMATE CRISIS as if we can just keep going on with life as we’ve known it… I might have laughed. But I couldn’t… as she spoke about “kids day” and assumed her child would ask for less “chores, ice creams instead of veggies, and unlimited piggy back rides.” I’m guessing she’d rather have you save the planet’s ability to support human life.

Then we go to Winona. And she talks some REAL TRUTH.

  • Enbridge has cut the EQUIVALENT of a NEW Line 3 and has NO NEED with 400K barrels/day excess capacity at present. (34:06) [And likely forever?] Enbridge doesn’t need this pipeline and oil production is down.
  • Nowhere else are pipeline projects getting approved. Keystone problems, Constitution never got approved, and Michigan’s Governor Whitmer just withdrew the easement for Enbridge’s Line 5. (35:00)
  • And, when challenged by (again, idiot) Eric on the politics of it all, turning the tables to this being a Challenge of Enlightenment. World, and even MN has a commitment to cutting greenhouse gasses and moving to renewables… this makes no sense.
  • Regarding Covid (36:30): “The GOVENOR is APPROVING TO BRING 4200 out-of-state workers into northern Minnesota from Louisiana, Texas, Wyoming, and all around the country, during a Pandemic. [Like FKN Seriously, Tim Walz?] Into the poorest counties in the state of Minnesota already struggling – like Aitkin County where we have 5600 at-risk people who are older – with 4 ICU beds? Why import 4200 pipeliners, “who are already social prospecting for dates on social media and wandering through the stores in northern Minnesota without masks on?” Yeah, Walzy, WTF?
  • Line 3 didn’t make sense then, why now, with oil at $-38/barrel? “Why would you do that to Minnesota… to us?” (37:30)
  • Carol Wurzer asks if massive protests are expected (37:37) and Winona assured her the project will be met with resistance [YEP] and that people will be masked up. She further explains that SHE is “not in charge of the resistance”. “Librarians that chained themselves and closed down… the pipelines up in Clearbrook” and “Catholics closed it down after that”.
  • In a time of climate disaster, after noting 70K people testified against this pipeline, she says, “Nobody thinks this is a good idea except for, apparently Governor Walz and Enbridge.” (38:05) and she say Whitmer has the right idea, “Don’t let risky Canadian corporations, you know, put a gun to your head and say that we need a new pipeline. Instead, say, “Close your stuff down. Let’s move on.” [Yes, Ma’am!]
  • She further explains how Red Lake Nation is implementing solar and her tribe is putting up another 200 kW of solar. (38:30) So why is Minnesota’s SINGLE LARGEST ENERGY CONSUMER… ENBRIDGE? Because it takes a lot of energy to move sludge. If we don’t have unnecessary pipelines, we can also quit putting up unnecessary electricity and focus on doing what IS necessary for PEOPLE, eh?
  • The final question (38:55) on economics is addressed with perhaps my favorite analogy (I always go to drug dealers for mine – kinda feel like Enbridge is just a dealer for addicts):

The fact is that we’ve got the poorest counties and Enbridge is slathering out a hundred million dollars worth of money, and you know they should have slathered that out a long time ago cause they got six pipelines across the north and all kinds of leaks. The single largest leak was actually in Grand Rapids.

So, you know, there’s some people that are… that are up there trying to get some money because it’s a really difficult time in the north. But, you know what? It’s kinda like getting a job in the gas chamber. That’s a great job to have but it’s really not the job you wanna have over the long term. And that’s what this pipeline is like. It’s like… the ecological equivalent to Auswitz. That’s what this pipeline is.”

Winona LaDuke 11-13-2020 Almanac (39:10)

Winona closes noting that she wants water, wild rice, and a future without conflict in it. Enbridge’s pipeline is just gonna bring conflict to our state.

If you agree with any of these points made by Winona, perhaps you can voice them to Almanac at 651-229-1430?

Meanwhile, if you want more TV from today, this is perhaps the most well-done non-violent direct action I have ever seen for Climate Justice. Londoners apparently have an abundance of creativity as they anticipate Extinction. So many good messages in this, my nominee for Best NonViolent Direct Action 2020 – Black Humor category, aka The Real Truth.

Good luck, Everybody. Especially if you live in a community where government leaders are aligned with the oil interests more than they are their human constituents. [Is that all of us?]

Good luck, especially to Northern Minnesota as you are inundated with unnecessary pipeline construction workers. Stay inside, because Enbridge (and many local law enforcement officers up here, best I can tell by the non-enforcement of mask mandates and other concerns) aren’t willing and/or able to control these itinerant workers off the job-site. And a most prayerful wish for all the women and girls along the pipeline corridor, and all the relatives young and old, to be protected.

My best hope is for a Pause4Pandemic on the Line 3 project. The MPCA may say they are “protecting our environment”…

Seriously, they NEVER SAY THAT in their memo to Enbridge issuing the 401 certification that they “protect the water”. [That’s just the BS they try to tell US that they do.] Indeed, “water quality” only occurs 12 times in the document but they did say once “protect the buried pipeline from corrosion”. Though they do say “protect the environment” (again only once) in this lovely paragraph that truly explains how TOTALLY UNNECESSARY this project is in light of EVERYTHING we KNOW about Climate Change, needing to move away from fossil fuels, especially the dirtiest in the world, tar sands oils.
Oh, and we get one “protect aquatic life during sensitive periods” (but not all the time, apparently…). Here we learn that most of the pipeline destruction of our environment will occur in winter? While everyone is tucked away and not paying attention?

… while sacrificing our health care workers… and really all of us. Approving this pipeline project, on the assumption of Need provided by the PUC – now facing so many court battles, I’m losing count on this project, though most recently regarding Enbridge’s lies during testimony for the project – is truly negligent.