Today the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission was set to consider whether or not Enbridge had met certain conditions for regulatory approval of their Line 3 replacement project.
Unfortunately the PUC never got to act one way or another because the meeting was shut down by crude, shouting, disruptive thugs who probably look pretty familiar, in tactics if not identity, to North Dakotans who watched rioters use vandalism and violence in an ultimately vain attempt to block the Dakota Access pipeline.
Here’s video, by way of one of the protesters who posted a live stream to Facebook:
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has more, including threats from protesters apparently made to the regulators and pipeline supporters in the room:
A disruption started around 11:15 a.m. when three pipeline opponents in the back of the PUC hearing room in downtown St. Paul took out a bullhorn made speeches aimed at the commissioners.
“You should all be ashamed,” one protester said.
“It’s going to be really uncomfortable for you for the next couple of years,” another protester said.
PUC Chairwoman Nancy Lange then recessed the meeting until 11:45 a.m. The commissioners came back at 11:55, and they were greeted with protesters shouting, “What do you do when your land is under attack? Fight back.”
Lange tried to restart the meeting, and the protests diminished, though one pipeline opponent continued playing music on a boombox. She then canceled the rest of the meeting when her request to turn the music off wasn’t heeded.
At this point it seems as though the Line 3 project is very close to getting the final approvals it needs to commence the replacement project. Last month the company even reached an agreement with a tribe along the pipeline’s route, allowing them to avoid building a new trench for the pipeline around reservation lands.
So maybe the protesters are thinking, if they throw enough of a tantrum at PUC meetings, the remaining approvals will never happen?
That’s toddler level thinking.