Well, it’s finally happened.
We’ve been waiting 18 months for the DNR (WI Department of Natural Resources) to release their draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS), and now they finally have. This is an important step in the permitting process for Enbridge’s application to create a new 41-mile segment of their oil pipeline, Line 5, through the Bad River Watershed in Northern Wisconsin.
This is an “all hands on deck” moment, as we strive to stop this expansion of Line 5 that would give it a longer life, just when the world is yearning for an end to fossil fuel use. We have a governor whose Task Force on Global Climate Change came up with some excellent solutions, including:
#47: “No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure” and
#48: “State Divestment of Fossil Fuel Stocks and Other Interests.”
And yet Enbridge is moving forward with their proposal. We all need to raise our voices loud enough to be heard over the steady drumbeat of “this is the way we’ve always done it.” The joint Tar Sands Team of 350 Madison and the Wisconsin Chapter of the Sierra Club has many ways that you can be a part of our movement to save our waters and our climate, whether you can give an hour a month or 5 hours a day! Please read on and choose one or more ways to #RejectLine5.
What’s the purpose of an EIS?
The idea is to make the company and the government agency (in this case the DNR) examine what the environmental, socio-economic, and environmental justice consequences of a project could be. It gives opponents a chance to testify about all the risks involved, so that the DNR can either solve the problems, or deny a permit.
Even if the DNR doesn't respond the way we want, it's a great tool for educating the public about the dangers. As we know, pipeline fights can last for years, and we need a strong, motivated base to defeat the fossil fuel industry!
Why should I participate in a hearing, or write a public comment?
Maybe you have some expertise, that can show the DNR and the public that this pipeline is all risk and no reward. Or maybe you are no expert, but you know what you saw when another pipeline burst, and you want others to understand the magnitude of the tragedy. And maybe you just care an awful lot (as the Lorax would say) and you want to impress the Evers Administration just how unpopular this project is. We need all of these kinds of testimony, in writing or verbally.
What dates should I save?
Jan. 5, 2022: a Tar Sands Team press conference, with the River, critter hats, the fish poster, banners and more! If you can participate on a weekday around noon, please sign up via the google form below!
Feb. 1, 2022: evening virtual office hours for anyone needing help preparing their testimony.
Feb. 2, 2022: There will be a virtual DNR public hearing on the Line 5 expansion. We need hundreds to attend, and many to testify verbally.
Mar. 4, 2022: the closing of the public comment period. We hope to get thousands of comments submitted by this date.
Ongoing: phonebanking, letter writing, social media promotion, webinars, “testimony pods” where people new to public speaking can learn to relax and be effective, and more.
Thank you for your help! We in Wisconsin can be grateful that we are perfectly situated to create the barriers to any more tar sands being mined. Stopping Line 5 is crucial to saving our climate, and we welcome you into the fight.
The Tar Sands Team