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Proposed pipeline raises questions

Citizens beware. The proposed pipeline raises questions and concerns.

Are there significant funds set aside by the pipeline company that will deal with disasters such as massive spills, regardless of the financial health of the pipeline company at the time of the disaster?

When there is no more oil running in the pipeline in the next decade or so, who is going to maintain the pipeline? Is there a fund for that?

If the company fails, who is responsible then?

No matter the safety record, accidents both technical and human error happen. What could the damage be of a massive spill or explosion?

If eminent domain is used, who does the condemning? Cass County? Minnesota? If it is a government entity, then shouldn’t everything be public record — including the money involved?

How much money for the right-of-way? Are there ongoing royalties to the property owners? How about the township? Or the county? Or the state?

We might seriously reconsider what we mean by “progress.” Is acidifying the oceans “progress?” Or global warming with extreme weather (ask insurance companies), rising sea levels, melting glaciers?

Is the need for extreme polluting technologies to get the last remaining oil “progress?” Are dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico? Oil spills in the ocean? Or spills on land that don’t get reported?

Is Fukushima “progress?” Is the growing global scarcity of water? Are rivers that no longer flow to the sea “progress?” Are drones killing innocents “progress?” So we can have things, are sweat shops “progress?”

Is progress leaving a polluted planet for the future with floating islands of plastic and dying reefs worldwide?

All these things, and much more, intertwine and fold together.

I’m not sure I would call our addiction to oil “progress.”

John Weber,


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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