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For Immediate Release: Federal Court hears White Earth Nation
v. Kerry September 10, 2015
Thane Maxwell:
Winona LaDuke:
(218) 280-1720
Sarah LittleRedfeather:
(414) 514-2449

Federal Court hears White Earth Nation v. Kerry
This Thursday Federal Court hears case against secretly
approved Alberta Clipper project
This Thursday, September l0 at 9:00 am, Federal Judge Michael
Davis will hear White Earth Nation v. Kerry. Plaintiffs, including the
White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Honor the Earth and the Sierra Club,
charge that the US State Department secretly approved Alberta
Clipper aka the “switcheroo project,” skirting the environmental
review required under the National Environmental Policy Act
(“NEPA”) and the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”). The
State Department’s action has allowed Enbridge to switch lines at
the border from the Alberta Clipper Line to an expanded and
improved, (but aging) Line 3. The l6 mile border segment moves
oil between the Clipper line and the Line 3 segment to, ostensibly,
according to plaintiffs, avoid federal law.
“Congress enacted these statutes to ensure federal agencies
carefully consider projects with significant impact. The State
HONOR THE EARTH P.O.Box 63 Callaway, MN 56521 | (218) 375-3200 |

Department assessed, among other things, the potential for oil
spills, air pollution, ground disturbances, climate change effects,
and impacts on properties eligible for inclusion in the National
Register of Historic Places,” the suit charges. “We think that the US
State Department should follow the same laws as the rest of us,”
Joe Plummer, General Counsel for the White Earth Nation, the lead
plaintiff in the case explained.
In late August, over 100 protesters gathered in front of Secretary
of State John Kerry’s Georgetown home, urging him to stop
Enbridge’s expansion, Kieran Williams, a protester and student at
Kalamazoo College in Michigan, told ThinkProgress, “We think it’s
absolutely absurd that there has been the environmental review
and delay of the Keystone pipeline, but that Enbridge can continue
this illegal expansion.”
In 2012, Enbridge   applied   for presidential permit from Obama
allowing them to expand the Alberta Clipper pipeline, which runs
from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. However, going
through appropriate environmental reviews makes obtaining a
presidential permit from the State Department a lengthy process.
While awaiting a presidential permit for the Alberta Clipper
expansion, Enbridge decided to build connections on either side of
the border between the new Alberta Clipper, and Line 3, an older
cross-border pipeline. Enbridge also proposes to expand and
reroute this Line 3, because of 900 structural anomalies. Line 3,
built between l962 and l968 had a vaguely worded presidential
permit. Enbridge claimed that it could send more barrels of tar
sand through its pipelines by capitalizing on unused capacity on Line
3, without having to apply for the same permit required for the
Alberta Clipper. In August of 2014, the State Department approved
Enbridge’s plan to move forward with certain elements of this
connection scheme. In April, a coalition of tribal and environmental
groups sued the State Department in the suit White Earth Nation v.

HONOR THE EARTH P.O.Box 63 Callaway, MN 56521 | (218) 375-3200 |

What: Formal Federal Hearing for secret pipeline project White
Earth Nation v. Kerry
When: Thursday, September l0 at 9:00 am
Where: Minneapolis Federal District Court. 300 S 4th St #202,
Minneapolis, MN 55415

HONOR THE EARTH P.O.Box 63 Callaway, MN 56521 | (218) 375-3200 |