Marketing is a powerful tool, with most of the ability to market accessible to those with the financial resources. I have kept all of the Enbridge advertisements in the Pioneer since November 2018 (it’s quite a stack), listened to the local radio ads supporting Line 3, noted the Enbridge ads that popped up on some social media feeds and also saw advertisements supporting Line 3 on the TV. My father-in-law in Park Rapids even said Enbridge was offering gas vouchers to Chamber of Commerce members.

I do not have the financial means to do the same. What I do have is a deep passion for people and planet and a commitment to educate others about our responsibility to the Earth. Regarding the Line 3 replacement proposal, one thing is clear to me. To help the environment (contrary to what the ads might tell us to believe), Minnesota should not support another oil pipeline that would be around for another 50 years.

The socially, economically and environmentally responsible path to take is to decommission the old Line 3, remove it where feasible, and halt plans to build any more pipelines. Let’s be clear. Enbridge, not even an American company, makes huge profits off of moving oil and has poured a lot of financial resources into making sure the status quo continues.

Oil is in limited supply and most have understood our need to slow down consumption. The burning of fossil fuels is negatively impacting our health and our climate, not to mention the environmental degradation involved with the intense extractive process of either removing “overburden” (tar sands in Canada) or hydraulic fracturing (oil fields in North Dakota). The latest research is finding microplastic nearly everywhere with consequences that we haven’t even really begun to understand.

Water is sacred and so is oil. Oil takes hundreds of thousands of years to be produced naturally, and there are some uses for oil which we have no current substitute. Shouldn’t we be more cautious, more careful, more thoughtful with our use? Wouldn’t that be the responsible and “common sense” approach with something in limited supply?

We need to be using less oil, not creating capacity for more. We have begun the transition out of the fossil fuel era, and Minnesota continues and should continue to be a leader in the shift away from fossil fuels.

We can do better.