By Brett Larson, June 14, 2015
by Vivian LaMoore Messenger Contributing Writer |
Oil pipeline is given green flag by PUC while the Mille Lacs Band waves the yellow caution flag
In the race to get their voices heard regarding the controversial proposed $2.6 billion oil pipeline that will run 299 miles across Minnesota, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe held a public hearing Friday, June 5, at the East Lake Community Center for members of the tribe, public, state and federal leaders. Before the public hearing was over near the Rice Lake Wildlife Refuge, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in St. Paul unanimously voted granting one of two permits required for the Sandpiper Pipeline to move forward. While the pipeline itself was approved the route it will take was not.
Nearly 100 members of the Mille Lacs Band attended the public hearing to listen to tribal experts, Band leaders and elders offering testimony against the proposed route that would move 225,000 barrels of crude oil per day through an ecologically sensitive watershed that is vital to the Anishinaabe of the Mille Lacs region.