, , , ,

Though Enbridge TESTIFIED in 2017 to being able to SAFELY run their current Line 3 – EVEN IF their new pipeline “replacement” project was NOT approved, the PUC used that basis – that their current Line 3 was UNSAFE – for their Line 3 approval order.

Now even Judges Jesson and Kirk appear similarly seduced. All were seemingly so bedazzled by the Enbridge narrative that they agreed it was “REASONABLE” that the MN Public Utilities Commission would agree to allow Enbridge’s new pipeline request… based on their current UNSAFE Line 3!!

It is surely an argument only a cat chasing its tail would comprehend!

One lone soul on the Minnesota Court of Appeals – celebrated Judge Peter Reyes – retained his wits and clearly demonstrated in both words and a simple chart how ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS the PUC had been in their decision.

It’s right in front of our noses and yet there has been no explanation by the PUC on how they made this LEAP to approve Line 3 while getting NONE of the data they’d gotten for their previously submitted Enbridge projects in 2008 and 2012.

How is that reasonable? How is it based on evidence?
And how does it possibly adhere to the law?
As Reyes notes, It Does Not. While the MN Department of Commerce approved previous projects, this one it did not. And rightfully so as is easily seen here:

Chart could be a depiction of “Regulatory Capture” in the dictionary?

Judge Reyes uses the term “arbitrary and capricious” multiple times throughout his dissent. This is a touchy legal term so it feels almost like he’s really rubbing in the point that this is so CLEARLY a violation of the law… or perhaps he’s expressing how amazed he is to be standing alone in his Dissent opinion? It’s clearly stated here.

In sum, Enbridge knows how to provide demand forecast data in a certificate-of need application, yet conspicuously chose not to do so here. The PUC knows how to evaluate demand forecast data and has in the past, but did not to do so here. The inescapable conclusion is that the PUC acted arbitrarily or capriciously by granting the certificate of need unsupported by substantial evidence. Because we afford an agency no deference if its findings are arbitrary and capricious or unsupported by substantial evidence, I would reverse the PUC’s order granting Enbridge a certificate of need.

Judge Reyes’ Dissent on MN Court of Appeals case challenging PUC approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement project

When the picture is this easy to see, why is it Enbridge seems to be able to continue their progress?

When all roads point to corrupt collusion on many fronts within the State government, it’s hard to see any other reason. Healing Minnesota Stories also wrote on the obvious failings at the PUC… Revisiting the PUC’s tortured logic to approve Line 3 regardless of treaty rights violations.

Want to know more about this brilliant and brave Justice?

Among his recognitions, Minnesota Lawyer named Judge Reyes as one of the “Top Ten Minnesota Attorneys of the Year” in 2001, one of the “Attorneys of the Year” in 2012, 2016, and 2017, and as a recipient of the inaugural “Diversity & Inclusion Award” in 2017. In 2012 and 2013, Poder Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America.

Judge Reyes received the Ohtli Award in 2016, the highest award given out by the Mexican government to a non-Mexican citizen. He received the “HNBA Latino Judge of the Year Award” in 2018. And in 2019, Judge Reyes received the “MHBA Courage in Leadership Award” and the ABA 2019 “Spirit of Excellence Award.”

Judge Peter M. Reyes, Jr.

Thank goodness for the brave ones. Judge Reyes, you have my heart.

Appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mark Dayton, April 7, 2014. Elected in 2016. Current term expires January 2023.
William Mitchell College of Law, Juris Doctor, cum laude (1997)
University of St. Thomas, Bachelor of Arts, Major: Chemistry, Minor: Biology

MN Judicial Branch Bio

You and PUC Commissioner Schuerger seem in need of more brave ones in the Minnesota government to join you. I hope they do. Perhaps whistle-blowers in State agencies were awaiting the logic of your reasoning? Will we see the Department of Commerce again pursue the case. It seems unlikely in the horrific Walz administration which he continues to fill with corporation-friendly and environmentally ignorant appointments.

Meanwhile, the PUC is now screwing over landowners as well as Tribes in Minnesota? Sounds like Enbridge used the same $10/foot figure to fuck over Canadians too! Yet the PUC doesn’t agree landowners are getting hosed…
Basically, Enbridge is giving landowners a pittance (1% of the cost of removal) if they agree to keep the old pipeline in place…but doesn’t sound like many of them understood the bargaining power they had with Enbridge.
A story with a long history here in MN… Enbridge selling lies. And getting away with it.
Makes one wonder if Enbridge is the only one making out in these deals…
I mean, what’s in it for the PUC to continue fucking us all over like this?

And still, many are calling for support along the Enbridge Corridor. Indigenous leaders continue to ask for a stop to this project which violates Treaty Rights and ignores the voices of Sovereign Nations, whose territories are affected by this unnecessary pipeline.

Dawn Goodwin’s voice was soft but forceful as she spoke into the camera: “I’m calling on you, Joe Biden, to uphold our treaties, because they are the supreme law of the land.”

We will not stop’: pipeline opponents ready for America’s biggest environmental fight Guardian

As drought ravages Northern Minnesota, we wait for rain, and a return to sensible judgement in our state government.

Special thanks to RISE Coalition, White Earth Reservation, Indigenous Environmental Network, seekjoy, Healing MN Stories, and the many others helping to spread the truth about this unnecessary Tar Sands pipeline… as the oil industry dies.