530+350 = 0? According to Enbridge…

Protecting our homes and water

Enbridge regularly puts out an Investor Presentation to let their current and potential investors know what they are planning and working on.  For those trying to decipher what Enbridge’s plans are, it is also the best plan to learn what projects Enbridge sees in their future.  In June, Enbridge released an update of the Investor Report.

Enbridge’s investor report in 2015 was the first place we learned details about Enbridge’s plan to build a Line 61-twin or Line 66.  Information about the project continued to appear in their Investor’s Reports until March of this year, days before students held a March Against Pipelines and landowners were meeting to discuss ways they can protect themselves from unfair negotiations with Enbridge.  Enbridge removed the slide from the presentation and claimed they were no longer planning to build the pipeline.

So that’s it?  There’s no pipeline, right?

The Line 61-twin would be…

View original post 417 more words


Landowners File Suit Against Enbridge to Force Imposition of Insurance Requirement Before Expanding Pipeline Flow

Seven Dane County landowners filed suit in Dane County Circuit Court the afternoon of February 8 to force the Enbridge pipeline company to provide $25 million in cleanup insurance before increasing capacity of the largest tar sands oil pipeline in the US. “Enbridge’s bullying tactics met their match today, as seven Dane County citizens took their safety into their own hands,” said 350 Madison spokesperson, Ben Peterson.

Enbridge is intent on tripling the capacity of Line 61 to 1.2 million barrels of tar sands oil per day by upgrading pumping stations along its route across Wisconsin from Superior to refineries in Texas. As previously reported in this blog, last spring we successfully argued for inclusion of the $25 million insurance provision in arguments before the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee. In July, the GOP-controlled legislature passed a law prohibiting counties from requiring pipeline insurance. Tripling the capacity of Enbridge’s dirty tar sands pipeline through Dane County poses substantial risks to taxpayers and the environment. But the GOP legislature’s statute nullified Dane County’s efforts to protect local citizens and the environment.

“That gut punch to the integrity of our political institutions occurred in the dark of night when the company, or someone acting on its behalf, lobbied key legislators to include an 11th-hour budget amendment that sought to override the county’s insurance requirement,” said Peterson. “Fortunately, the lobbyists involved were in such a hurry to avoid public scrutiny of their actions that the language they inserted failed to address a key point. Even though the bill prevents the county from enforcing its zoning requirements, concerned citizens are still able to protect themselves by demanding the enforcement of the zoning regulations. Today, seven citizens stood up and made that demand.”

The seven Dane County plaintiffs live within 350 yards of the pipeline and are near neighbors to the pumping station in the Town of Medina. The upgraded Waterloo Pump Station will increase the capacity of the underlying 42-inch diameter pipeline, which is larger than any other oil pipeline in the U.S., from an original 400,000 to 1.2 million barrels per day of hazardous bitumen from the Alberta tar sands through the Midwest to Gulf Coast refineries for export.

For tar to flow through a pipe, it must be combined with toxic and volatile diluents, heated and forced under pressure, which the new pump station will increase to 1,200 pounds per square inch. That creates additional abrasive and corrosive stresses on the pipeline, through which 2.1 million gallons will flow each hour, increasing the risk of major oil spills. When a tar sands oil spill occurs in waterways, the volatile diluents have been observed to evaporate, and, unlike conventional oil that floats in water, the bitumen sinks, making cleanups extraordinarily difficult and expensive.

Enbridge has been responsible for 800 oil spills, including the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 2010. That spill continued for 17 hours before the pipeline was finally shut down, causing $1.2 billion in damages. The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board that reviewed the accident likened Enbridge’s poor handling of the spill to the Keystone Kops, pointing to the extreme length of time it took to shut down the pipeline and the fact that the company knew the pipe was cracked and corroding five years earlier when 15,000 defects in the pipe had been observed, yet nothing had been done to repair the pipe.

Recap of Dane County Board comments, December 3, 2015

Report and comments re Dane County Board meeting last night on Enbridge REJECTED appeal re environmental insurance language:

Thanks to all for turning out, wearing RETAIN! Stickers, registering and/or speaking in opposition, the ZLR’s decision to retain the insurance was upheld by a 27-2 vote!

Please let Mary Beth know if your name is left off these lists!

People who testified orally against Enbridge included Ronni Monroe, Peter Anderson, Cassie Steiner, Harry Bennett, Mary Beth Elliott, Don Ferber, Carl Whiting, Susan Nossel, Bruce Noble, Kevin McGettigan, Joan Arnold, Tim Jensen

Folks who were there for us and/or registering in opposition to Enbridge appeal included Judy Stadler, Kate Schulte, Ken Skog, Phyllis Hasbrouck, Kevin Corrado, Steve Spieckerman , Susan O’Leary, Lynn Shoemaker, Janette Rosenbaum, Laura Schlachter, Lori van Caster, Tim Jensen, Julie de la Terre, Bill Greendeer, and Bob Hoass

Carl Whiting and Ronni Monroe and Peter Anderson have provided most of the info below, but here are a few things to note:

–Enbridge may be under threat in the future if the legislature repeals the law preventing counties from requiring environmental insurance

–One of the county board members pointed to us in the audience, and said that if a future elected legislature did repeal the law (thus allowing the insurance requirement to take force) , that it was up to us, 350 Madison to help elect such a legislature!

–Obfuscation by Enbridge attorney: Claimed he had no knowledge re whether Enbridge had anything to do with the legislature passing the offending law [although they hired four lobbyists shortly before]….but several county board members made clear they did not believe that!

–We brought in/brought closer new supporters, rural and urban

–Tremendous support by ZLR and County Board, this will stand us in good stead for the upcoming Line 66

Now for the pieces de resistance:

From Ronnie Monroe today (see Brave Wisconsin facebook page below)

Courage versus Cowardice

By Ronni Monroe        December 4, 2015


I am so incredibly proud of the Dane County Board voting to deny Enbridge’s appeal. It makes no difference as far as the pumping station goes, because our State Legislature passed a law stating that counties can’t require insurance from pipeline companies…great law, hey? But, it was the first spark of local governments resisting the heavy fat thumb of tyranny, which is what we are living under right now. Tyranny. Plain and simple. Finally, some of those elected to represent us, ARE! Regardless of the cost to them, and Enbridge will exact a cost, as I call it ‘monetary penance’ for defying them, so we need to be there to support these brave souls. 27 to 2 was a pretty impressive vote. I’m over the moon happy to see that many brave people willing to tell Enbridge to stick it with their demand that they retroactively change the original CUP conditions and expunge them, forever….that they admit that the conditions were illegal, when in fact they were not.

Enbridge’s attorney argued that if the County Board members voted to deny the Conditional Use Permit, that they were violating Wisconsin law, and could be subject to some kind of penalty, even though, when the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee approved the CUP last April, the Wisconsin State Legislature had not yet passed a law banning municipalities from requiring insurance from pipeline companies. Not to mention, they did not write in a retroactivity clause.  I’m hoping that the weasels in the legislature are not rushing to an emergency meeting to pass a law for this to be retroactive.

The Dane County Board stood with the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee’s decision to require that Enbridge purchase an additional environmental insurance policy.  (Even though the State has made that clause unenforceable.)

Peter Anderson and Mary Beth Elliott of Madison 350.org did a masterful job presenting the case for denying the appeal and retaining the wording of the April CUP.

So, does that mean that will happen?  In one word, no.  But those who stood for the people’s safety, will be forever on record, historically, as having done that.  More importantly, it is the first time we have had a major community rights action against Enbridge.  That is real victory here.  The Dane County Board refused to be bullied into retracting its wording, to expunging its mention of wanting an insurance policy, because they were within their rights to do so, and because it was the reasonable action to take, to protect the citizens of Dane County.  Obviously our State Legislature feels no compulsion to protect our citizens from the fossil fuel industry.  They don’t want them to have to pay for the damages they do, they are letting them run roughshod over our rural people with their new and improved eminent domain law too.

I had the honor, by luck of the draw, to be the first speaker before the county board.  There were many passionate and eloquent speakers last night and being first to speak allowed me to enjoy the full experience by listening to each and every one.  The meeting went on to almost midnight before the vote was taken.

I won’t bore you with the entire speech, but the closing words of my 5 minute statement to the board were, “If it isn’t clear to the Dane County Board by now, the legislature will attack the County’s right to zone, regardless of what the county board decides to do here tonight. Enbridge will likely attempt to extract monetary penance from those who dare to oppose them. We are not dealing with a reasonable legislature or system, we are dealing with tyranny and we can stand up to it with courage or cower. A governmental body that represents people, must at some point take a stand for the people. No matter which body takes a stand and no matter when they do it the odds are next to impossible to prevail but the duty to take a stand has never been greater. For history will record our courage or our cowardice on the matter.”

We seldom realize we are making history while we are doing it but history will record our Dane County Board as courageous.  The vote may vanish into obscurity, but it’s possible that history may record yesterday’s vote as another ‘shot heard round the world’ and a shot in the best way. History will certainly record our 27 Dane County Board members who voted ‘no’ as patriots.  I salute them.


Testimony opposing Enbridge’s Dane County Board Appeal on Dec. 3rd, 2015

By Carl Whiting

For the next five minutes, I would like to tell you a bedtime story.

Actually, this may well be a story that will keep you up at night:

Which is where we begin…with a wealthy, powerful benefactor tossing and turning in his bed as the hours tick on. He is trying desperately to think of a way to help the oppressed…particularly that vanishingly narrow class of the oppressed called ‘oil pipeline operators in the state of Wisconsin’, who the benefactor knows to be staggering under the burden of a local county’s requirement that they purchase the necessary insurance to properly clean up their messes.

But how, how to help these poor souls, thought the benefactor? And this is where our story goes a bit dark, but as he lay scheming in that rumpled bed, the wealthy and powerful altruist must have hit upon the idea of inserting his handiwork into the state budget 999 Bill. He, or she, or they—perhaps it was a big bed—jumped to their feet and rushed right down to the State Legislature, just in time to encourage a successful block to the county’s legal rights. But, alas, when they uncapped their pens to proudly affix their signatures, they found there was no place to sign!

Such a loss for humanity, this anonymity, for if we could only identify this powerful person or persons, we could implore them to use their miraculous persuasive gifts for other worthy causes—perhaps in Paris to get a stronger climate change accord– or something like that.

And that should be where our story ends. The giant pipeline company now found itself free, no longer shackled to the appropriate environmental insurance requirements, and able to build without care of consequence, happily ever after….

But like any appropriately frightening bedtime tale, this one grows by turns yet darker: Because now the giant pipeline company is back, demanding not only that the right of the County to protect its flora, fauna, and citizenry should be forfeited, but indeed, that any trace of this effort to protect the community should be permanently expunged from the record.

Why? Why would a Limited liability partnership with so many other irons in the fire be concerned with a ragged little hole in a trampled community rights document? 

And then, dear reader, it dawned on me:

A giant new pipeline would soon be coming to town, and although any county’s successful bid to protect its citizens is understandably frightening to the pipeline giant, it is also true that –when their massive line eventually blows out– a second, almost equally awful terror would be to have any evidence on record that a county had ever tried to protect itself.

And that’s what really kills me. That you are here again, Enbridge. That wrinkled scrap of assurances, ripped out of our collective rights, isn’t for you. It never was for you, any more than your ever-expanding tar sands freeway through our county is for us.

Fresh from your quiet work to create the largest tar sands pipeline in the Western  Hemisphere, you have announced (to investors), and then denounced (to the public), and then announced again (to the business community) your plan to twin Line 61, modestly suggesting that the new line will carry an additional 800,000 barrels per day (or just about as much is the cancelled Keystone pipeline, which the federal government found NOT to be in our national interest).

Given your track record, Enbridge, forgive us for our suspicions that 800,000 barrels per day–staggering a figure as that may be– is only the camel’s nose under the tent. Line 61 started out at an announced 400,000 barrels per day and, at that time, no larger figure could be found anywhere, including the 115-page WDNR Environmental Assessment. And yet, since then the behemoth has somehow tripled in size. This time around, hearing the rather loud snufflings of an 800,000-barrel camel nose, we’re more than a little worried about the size of the entire beast lurking outside.

With the construction of this monster looming on our county’s eastern flank, it  indeed makes quite good sense that you wouldn’t want to leave behind a ragged hole torn from this county’s collection of rights. Better that you seek, here in this body of democratic government, to apply a little selective amnesia …. so that when the next inevitable rupture occurs, we can all throw up our hands to a surprise brand new worst day of our lives, unsullied by a nagging paper trail documenting the legal efforts of a community who once stood firm and demanded the proper protections, should they ever find themselves in a rising pool of oil.

That wrinkled scrap of our rights, unenforceable as your miraculously-invisible friend may have rendered it, still belongs to us–all of us who must live with the increasing threat this expanding pipeline corridor poses to our lakes, our rivers, our land, our lives, and our future.

By your actions in this chamber, you have shown that the undemocratic actions of an international tar sands shipper are clearly not in our national interest, and that, in coming back here to sweep up the evidence of this trampling of our rights, your actions are indeed a threat to local democracy everywhere.

Wisconsin never signed up to be the nation’s tar sands freeway, at least not the Wisconsin I know. I suggest we keep our scrap of paper.

—–And to all, a goodnight.


And, here is Peter Anderson’s comment today:

Last night the County Board voted 27-2 to reject the appeal by Enbridge, which objected to the Zoning Committee’s decision to retain cleanup insurance requirements in the April conditional use permit, which intended to prevent the need for a taxpayer bailout in the future when the inevitable oil spills from this disaster-prone company occur.

             350-Madison is proud that we have a county board in Dane County willing to stand up for what is right, even though the $42 billion Canadian pipeline behemoth appears to be able to treat many Legislators as a lapdog ravenous for campaign contributions, and willing to throw under the bus their constituents who will later have to pay higher taxes to bail out this Canadian firm’s next disaster here.

Last night the County Board voted 27-2 to reject the appeal by Enbridge, which objected to the Zoning Committee’s decision to retain cleanup insurance requirements in the April conditional use permit, which intended to prevent the need for a taxpayer bailout in the future when the inevitable oil spills from this disaster-prone company occur.

             350-Madison is proud that we have a county board in Dane County willing to stand up for what is right, even though the $42 billion Canadian pipeline behemoth appears to be able to treat many Legislators as a lapdog ravenous for campaign contributions, and willing to throw under the bus their constituents who will later have to pay higher taxes to bail out this Canadian firm’s next disaster here.

             Although the County is now legally prevented from itself enforcing this taxpayer protection provision, which the County Board’s action last night preserved, we are anticipating interesting developments in the future


Thanks to all for your support and efforts!

Mary Beth Elliott, Tar Sands Lead

Update on Enbridge Pipeline Expansion

In the spirit of celebrate all our victories, even non-huge ones, let me share with you some things, pardon for getting down in the weeds a bit for those not familiar with the details:

 As many of you know, Enbridge was offered a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in April this year for building a new pump station in Dane County, which included that they purchase Environmental Impairment Liability Insurance, ordered by the Zoning and Land Regulation Cmte (ZLR). That was a real coup, and there have been rumblings of this victory encouraging folks elsewhere to demand the same thing.

However, after indicating they would appeal to the County Board, Enbridge then turned around and lobbied to sneak an 11th hour bill into the WI budget, preventing the county from requiring insurance of pipeline companies, other than the (inadequate) insurance they already have.  !@#$%

As many of you may remember also, threats have arisen from the Legislature that they would retaliate if ZLR tried to enforce other monetary assurances that were not specifically outlawed by the new legislation. This would mean stripping counties further of other important zoning powers, which has worked against ZLR members being able to do as much as they would like.  again, !@#$%

 In further skulduggery July 24, Enbridge was given an illegal permit for the pump station (illegal in that it was provided by a zoning dept administrator, not only without zoning committee members’ signatures, but without their KNOWLEDGE for about six weeks!  This is despite that any CUP must be approved by the Zoning Committee members.  again, !@#$%

ZLR members were not happy when they found out!

 So, what we have worked on now is to encourage ZLR members vote down the unlawfully issued July 24 permit.
Last night, we were successful!!
ZLR voted unanimously to declare null and void the July 24 illegally signed permit, and elicited from the administrator that this was the case.

They instead said that the original CUP would stand (although, due to the Republican legislature, the insurance piece cannot be enforced by the county).

 But, remember, in the meantime, these good things have happened over the last 15 months: ☺

Enbridge could not beat our testimony and turn-out at any point, with a turnout at one point of 132 of our folks

 Enbridge did agree to release the composition of the toxic mix of diluents which are mixed with tar sands to allow flow. These had heretofore been held as “proprietary” but now we have that info, it was posted on the County Board website, and we have shared with others

 Enbridge could not win with the ZLR, which voted unanimously to require EIL insurance, a vote nicely locked in by a post-Chernobyl insurance expert recommended by Peter, hired by the County, and paid for by Enbridge.

 It appears that Enbridge was afraid to face the County Board, but not afraid to shell out for lobbyists

 Enbridge did not do well in the publicity area, with a New York Times opinion piece, a story in the Pulitzer prize winning online journal, Inside Climate News, many other published stories, and a fine combative one-on-one between Peter Anderson and Mark Maki, President of Enbridge Energy Company, on Channel 27.

 We were asked by the Patagonia foundation to apply for a grant, and with leadership from Laura, Cathy Loeb and others, we were successful and have already sent in another grant. Carl Whiting is the project leader on the project, Drawing a Line in the Tar Sands, and is busy working with landowners along line 61

 Enbridge was ready to start digging for the pump station upgrade in mid-June 2014 but is only now digging. This means (caveat, my arithmetic here) that ~263 million barrels (11 billion gallons) of tar sands that would have been pumped through Wisconsin were not. At a loss of $2.49 per barrel transported, that is a loss of $0.65 billion dollars to Enbridge, not counting attorney’s fees nor lobbyist fees.

 Finally, this was all a dress rehearsal for another line that will run alongside line 61, something that Enbridge denies they are considering, although it appears in their material for investors, as a “line 61 twin” (we and many others call it Line 66), and we are getting ready for this fight.

 And, even last night, Enbridge had to pay big bucks to have their fancy lawyer be there to eat a little crow as his phony permit got filleted!  😀

Thank you all for your support of all the facets of 350 Madison

Mary Beth Elliott, Sept. 30, 2015, Madison WI.

Update on WI Tar Sands Struggle

September 10, 2015

More than 60 people showed up at the September 8 Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee meeting to urge the committee to revoke the permit for Enbridge’s Line 61 expansion and impose a $25 million trust fund requirement. The trust fund requirement would have replaced the environmental impairment liability insurance that the committee unanimously voted to require as a condition of the permit issued last April—a requirement nullified in July by the GOP Legislature via a provision anonymously slipped into the state’s budget bill at the 11th hour.

The Zoning Committee declined to act out of fear that the Legislature would retaliate not just by banning the trust fund requirement, but also by approving a pending proposal to rescind the county’s zoning authority altogether. A Madison.com news article—and a slew of spinoff articles showing up in local, regional, and national press outlets in the ensuing days—concluded that the issue is dead. But like our allies in the Midwest and beyond, we’re in this for the long haul.

If you’re interested in details of the Dane County struggle, see 350 Madison’s petition to the Zoning Committee and our legal brief decimating the objections of the county’s assistant corporation counsel.

Enbridge Appeals Zoning Committee Requirement for Specific Environmental Cleanup Insurance

On April 14th Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee made a groundbreaking decision to require Enbridge to seek a conditional use permit before proceeding and as a condition of the permit, and to require Enbridge to, among other things, obtain specific environmental cleanup insurance.
Yesterday, May 4th,  Enbridge appealed. In the case of zoning committee decisions, appeals start before the full County Board, where a ¾ vote is required to overturn the committee decision.
That, though, is not where our eyes need to focus for the next phase of this battle. We had a unanimous vote from the zoning committee and are near certain to have at least close to that before the full Board. There is no way whatsoever that they could get a ¾ vote to overturn. After that, Enbridge will need to appeal to either Dane County Circuit Court (where they are unlikely to receive a favorable decision either) or, more likely they will seek to establish jurisdiction in federal circuit court, where they would hope for a more favorable reception to their claim that federal law preempts any local requirement. From there, appeals next go to the regional state or federal Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court.

Until and unless Enbridge gets a court to reverse the county’s condition, they will not be able to install the pump station in Dane County to increase capacity from 560,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million bpd. Differing reports suggest that they will be able to increase their capacity somewhat even without Dane County’s pump station because the other pump stations are built. Sometimes they have said they can increase to 800,000 bpd and at other times, to 1.0 million bpd. In either case, that is a big hit.
We have a very strong case in court, in no small measure because of the great care with which we established the record below, but law is unpredicatble and there is no way to be certain what will eventually ensue.
We anticipate that the next battle royal on this for us will be when Enbridge, in all likelihood, seeks to overrule county zoning authority over oil pipelines as an 11th hour, slipped in, amendment to the state budget bill.

To read why the Enbridge tar sands pipelines through the Midwest are the Other KXL, read here.

Major Victory — Local zoning imposes stricter insurance requirements

Enbridge, like the other pipeline companies, have stoutly maintained that, because of federal preemption, the only power local governments have over their pipeline expansion plans are to fiddle with emergency responder issues, which is after the bad things have already happened.

When Enbridge first made known its plans over a year ago to add pumping stations to triple the capacity of existing Line 61, its tar sands pipeline through Wisconsin from Superior to Delavan, all that they expected by way of local interaction was fine tuning of emergency responder training.

In Dane County, however, active and determined intervention by 350-Madison volunteers dealt Enbridge a major setback.  When we found out that Dane County Zoning Administrator had given Enbridge a permit in June of 2014, we met with him to explain that the exemption from local zoning that Enbridge claimed only applied to natural gas pipelines, not liquid oil pipelines like this one.  Instead, we pointed out, the pipeline corridor went through ag lands, which is a non-conforming use that required a conditional use permit.  Convinced by our argument, the Zoning Administrator pulled the permit less than a week before bulldozers were slated to come in to install a new pump station near Marshall in NE Dane.

That led to a 10 month battle by 350’s dedicated volunteer corps to convince the 5-person zoning committee to impose strong requirements for insurance as a condition on the zoning permit in order to make sure that there are funds cover the cleanup costs for a spill — which the 2010 Kalamazoo disasters shows can exceed $1 billion.

And we won … about 100 volunteers all by ourselves beat a $40 billion international corporation, and convinced every one of the zoning committee members to impose strict insurance requirements as a condition

Two key takeaways for climate activists in other counties in Wisconsin and in other states:

1.  The company claimed that insurance was unnecessary because they’re an economically strong corporation who did pay the cost to clean up the Kalamazoo (actually only partly true).  Our side replied that that was irrelevant, even if it were true because those pipelines will be around for more than 50 years, by which time climate change would cripple the financial underpinnings  of the fossil fuel industry.  As that erosion occurred over time, however, the Constitution would prevent zoning officials from later strengthening those zoning conditions to match Enbridge’s future compromised state. That’s why, we argued and the County agreed, the conditions imposed today need to address the likely future when fossil fuel companies would be failing and their maintenance practices compromised.

2.  The company also claimed that its standard general liability coverage provided all the protection required.  We researched the insurance market and blew that claim apart. It turns out that those policies have explicit exclusions for pollution clean ups with only partial exceptions — a confusing mush-mash that compelled a requirement that the company get dedicated environmental impairment liability coverage, which is specifically addressed to always pay for clean ups.

In this first outing, we did not get everything we might, in an ideal world, like to have also gained, but we made a major start, and intend to work constructively in the months and years ahead to continue making necessary improvements so that they are not exposed to the very high risks of pipeline oil spill.s

350-Madison is very anxious to help other counties in Wisconsin along the Enbridge corridor join the call for meaningful insurance coverage, and encourage them to contact us.  Indeed, many other counties in the state, such as where the pipeline crosses the St. Croix, face much worse risks than Dane. The same with regard to counties in other states who we would like to help as well.

To read why the Enbridge tar sands pipelines through the Midwest are the Other KXL, read here

February 2, 2015 General Monthly Meeting

“Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition Takes On Pipeline Pox in Iowa”

 Featuring Barbara Schlachter

Monday, February 2nd from 7 to 8:30pm

Friends Meetinghouse (1704 Roberts Court)

Barbara Schlachter

Pipeline Pox is breaking out here in Iowa, your neighbor to the South.  Many of us have been Keystone XL pipeline fighters for years joining Bold Nebraska. More recently we have become aware that Wisconsin and Minnesota are dealing with their own version of the Pox.  And now it has come home.  Dakota Access wants to run a pipeline from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota on a diagonal across Iowa, from the NW to the SE, going through 18 counties.  What are the implications of this for Iowa?  What strange bed-fellows are becoming fast-track pipeline fighters here at home?  And, finally, are the Great Plains becoming a “sacrifice zone?”

350 Madison is excited to welcome Barbara Schlachter, an Episcopal priest who has been fighting the Keystone XL pipeline for four years (including an arrest at the White House with 350.org and daughter-in-law Laura Hanson Schlachter in August 2011).  She’s the co-founder of 100Grannies for a Livable Futere and the Iowa City Climate Advocates, affiliated with Citizens Climate Lobby.  Most recently she has become a member of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition.

Crucial Line 61 Hearing – January 27th in Dane County

On January 27th, the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee will decide what conditions to place on the zoning permit for the proposed Line 61 pump station near Marshall.  350 Madison asks that insurance be a condition of the new pump station construction.

Although we will not have an opportunity to speak at the meeting, a strong presence is important to show our county representatives how deeply committed we are to this issue.  Will you join us?

WHAT: Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, January 27th at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Room 354 in the City-County Building, 201 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Madison

Line 61 is an existing pipeline that cuts through Wisconsin from Superior to Delavan. If this change is approved, the 400,000 barrels of tar sands oil now flowing through Dane County will increase to 1.2 million barrels per day. That’s 45% more tar sands oil – right here in our backyard – than would flow through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

January 5, 2015 General Monthly Meeting



What do we need to do &

how will we accomplish this?”

Monday, January 5th from 7 – 8:30p.m.

Friends Meetinghouse (1704 Roberts Court)


Peter Anderson: Go for broke for big gains

Don Ferber: Tempered activist strategy—a multitude of smaller steps

The questions our leaders will address: Without decisive climate action, time will run out on society’s capacity to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. What lessons have we learned from events such as the People’s Climate March as to how to achieve that? What should be our next strategic focus? Should we focus primarily on major dramatic actions such as more mass marches, disrupting tar sands pipelines, civil disobedience against fossil fuels, attempt to force rapid system change, etc.? Or is an option to pursue reasonable paths to effect changes that may be smaller in magnitude, but might provide a synergistic effect? What options and paths do you see?

After Peter and Don provide their perspectives on the above questions, there will be a moderated audience discussion.