Quantcast

4 Activists Arrested After Prompting Shutdown of Enbridge Pipeline

Climate

Four activists were arrested Monday after attempting to shut down an Enbridge pipeline near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, The Associated Press reported. The activists, who call themselves the Four Necessity Valve Turners and are affiliated with the Catholic Worker movement, said their actions were needed to address the urgent threat posed by climate change.


"The recent scientific study on climate change presented to the UN indicates that the threat of irreversible damage and destruction to our planet is imminent," the activists wrote on their website. "Therefore, having exhausted all legal and political avenues, and having found those avenues lethally inadequate either to curb our dependency on fossil fuels or to stop its expansion, we find it necessary to take this direct action of turning off the flow of this poisonous tar sands oil."

Michele Naar Obed, of Duluth, Minnesota; Allyson Polman, of Denton, Texas and Brenna Cussen Anglada and Daniel Yildirim of Cuba City, Wisconsin broke into a fenced-off area around noon on Monday that held shut-off valves for three Enbridge pipelines, their spokesperson Diane Leutgeb Monson told The Associated Press. After a period of prayer, they called Enbridge to inform them they would be turning off the company's line 4 pipeline, prompting Enbridge to shut it off remotely. The activists were taken into custody by Itasca County sheriff's deputies around 1:30 p.m.

"The actions taken to trespass on our facility and tamper with energy infrastructure were reckless and dangerous," Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner said in an email reported by The Associated Press. "The people involved claimed to be protecting the environment, but they did the opposite. Their actions put themselves, first responders, neighboring communities and landowners at risk."

The Enbridge pipelines targeted by the protesters carry crude oil from Alberta's tar sands through Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin. Their action also follows the controversial approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission of a plan by Enbridge to replace its aging Line 3 pipeline. In addition to concerns over the need for more fossil fuel infrastructure, environmental and indigenous groups are worried about the risk of an oil spill close to land sacred to the Ojibwe.

This is a concern taken up by the valve turners as well.

"This act is step towards reparations for the damage that colonization has done both to the indigenous peoples of this continent and the land," Cussen Anglada said in a press release.

The recent action follows on a similar attempt in 2016 to shut off Enbridge pipelines in Minnesota, which also prompted the company to shut off flow temporarily. The activists were allowed to present a "necessity defense" saying their actions were necessary to prevent climate change, but the judge ultimately dismissed charges in October 2018, as Minnesota Public Radio explained.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change activists gather in front of the stage at the Extinction Rebellion group's environmental protest camp at Marble Arch in London on April 22, on the eighth day of the group's protest calling for political change to combat climate change. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP / Getty Images

Extinction Rebellion, the climate protest that has blocked major London thoroughfares since Monday April 15, was cleared from three key areas over Easter weekend, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism refers to a way of living that attempts to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. For this reason, vegans aim to exclude all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey from their diet (1).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
American farmers use chlorpyrifos, a pesticide tied to brain and nervous system issues, on crops such as apples, broccoli, corn and strawberries. Stephanie Chapman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jessica Corbett

In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.

Read More Show Less
fstop123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.

To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.

Read More Show Less
NASA

By Shuchi Talati

Solar geoengineering describes a set of approaches that would reflect sunlight to cool the planet. The most prevalent of these approaches entails mimicking volcanic eruptions by releasing aerosols (tiny particles) into the upper atmosphere to reduce global temperatures — a method that comes with immense uncertainty and risk. We don't yet know how it will affect regional weather patterns, and in turn its geopolitical consequences. One way we can attempt to understand potential outcomes is through models.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Gunnoe Flight, courtesy of southwings.org

By Julia Conley

Green groups on Saturday celebrated the latest federal ruling aimed at preventing President Donald Trump from rolling back environmental regulations that were put in place by his predecessor.

Read More Show Less
NASA scientists flew over the Kuskokwim river in southwest Alaska in 2017 to investigate how water levels in the Arctic landscape change as permafrost thaws. Peter Griffith, NASA

By Tim Radford

Scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils.

Read More Show Less
Youtube screenshot

A woman has been caught on camera dumping a bag of puppies near a dumpster in Coachella, California, CNN reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less