Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

4 Activists Arrested After Prompting Shutdown of Enbridge Pipeline

Climate
Four Necessity Valve Turners -- Enbridge Line 4 Shutdown

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana has been converted to a 1,000-bed field hospital for coronavirus patients to alleviate stress on local hospitals. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

An area in Louisiana whose predominantly black and brown residents are hard-hit by health problems from industry overdevelopment is experiencing one of the highest death rates from coronavirus of any county in the United States.

Read More Show Less
A woman lies in bed with the flu. marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A central player in the fight against the novel coronavirus is our immune system. It protects us against the invader and can even be helpful for its therapy. But sometimes it can turn against us.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Several flower species, including the orchid, can recover quickly from severe injury, scientists have found. cunfek / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Calling someone a delicate flower may not sting like it used to, according to new research. Scientists have found that many delicate flowers are actually remarkably hearty and able to bounce back from severe injury.

Read More Show Less
A Boeing 727 flies over approach lights with a trail of black-smoke from the engines on April 9, 2018. aviation-images.com / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With global air travel at a near standstill, the airline industry is looking to rewrite the rules it agreed to tackle global emissions. The Guardian reports that the airline is billing it as a matter of survival, while environmental activists are accusing the industry of trying to dodge their obligations.

Read More Show Less
A National Guard member works on election day at a polling location on April 7, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. Andy Manis / Getty Images.

ByJulia Baumel

The outbreak of COVID-19 across the U.S. has touched every facet of our society, and our democracy has been no exception.

Read More Show Less