Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

line 3 protest

Environmental and Indigneous activists have fought against Enbridge's Line 3 proposal. (Photo: MN350/Facebook)

'This Is What Dem Leadership Looks Like': Minnesota Gov. Praised for Backing Fight Against Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline

"He's rightly putting Indigenous rights, our global climate, and the water resources for thousands of Minnesotans before fossil fuel industry profits."

Jessica Corbett

Green groups and progressive lawmakers heaped praise on Minnesota's new Democratic governor on Tuesday for "working for the people first not a foreign pipeline company" by announcing that he would renew a challenge launched by his predecessor against Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline project, which would run from Canada's Alberta tar sands through North Dakota and Minnesota on its way to neighboring Wisconsin.

"We want to thank the governor for doing the most prudent thing possible to help avert the ecological economic and social disaster that is Line 3."
—Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth

"Minnesotans have clearly voiced that they do not want this dirty pipeline, and Governor [Tim] Walz and Lieutenant Governor [Peggy] Flanagan showed today that they are listening," declared Greenpeace USA tar sands campaigner Rachel Rye Butler.

"By committing to refile the state's appeal to Enbridge's Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion," Butler said, "he's rightly putting Indigenous rights, our global climate, and the water resources for thousands of Minnesotans before fossil fuel industry profits."

Last year, the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the Calgary-based company's proposal to replace a decades-old corroded crude oil pipeline with a new 1,031-mile pipeline that would cross Native American reservations and treaty lands, threatening fresh water resources, and culturally significant wild rice beds. That approval was granted in spite of expert analysis submitted by the state Department of Commerce (DOC) that the project was unnecessary, and "serious environmental and socioeconomic risks and effects outweigh limited benefits."

Former Gov. Mark Dayton's DOC and other critics appealed PUC's approval, but last week the Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed those challenges. On Tuesday, in what many characterized as "his biggest decision since becoming governor last month," Walz came out on the side of environmentalists and Indigenous groups that have been persistently organizing against the pipeline, which would have the capacity to transport 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil daily.

"When it comes to any project that impacts our environment and our economy, we must follow the process, the law, and the science," the governor said in a statement. "The Dayton administration's appeal of the PUC's decision is now a part of this process. By continuing that process, our administration will raise the Department of Commerce's concerns to the court in hopes of gaining further clarity for all involved."

Winona LaDuke, executive director and co-founder of Honor the Earth, characterized the PUC approval as "a rogue decision, contrary to all state agencies and tribal interests." Welcoming the governor's decision, she said, "as Minnesota moves toward efficiency and renewable energy, we want to thank the governor for doing the most prudent thing possible to help avert the ecological economic and social disaster that is Line 3."

"This dirty tar sands pipeline would threaten our clean water, communities, and climate, all for the sake of more oil our state does not need."
—Margaret Levin, Sierra Club

"This dirty tar sands pipeline would threaten our clean water, communities, and climate, all for the sake of more oil our state does not need," added Sierra Club North Star chapter director Margaret Levin. "We will continue to urge the administration to do everything in their power to stop Line 3, and look forward to working with Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan to realize a truly clean, just energy future for all Minnesotans."

While also applauding Walz and Flanagan for the announcement, Andy Pearson, Midwest tar sands coordinator for MN350, pointed out that "for an administration that ran on taking climate change seriously and upholding indigenous sovereignty, continuing the appeal was the only choice that made sense."

The news out of Minnesota on Tuesday comes amid surging national momentum for transitioning the energy system and economy away from fossil fuels, which led Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to introduce the Green New Deal resolution last week. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a proponent of the congressional resolution, is also among the Minnesotans celebrating Walz's move:

"Coming just days after progressive leaders in Washington introduced a bold resolution for a Green New Deal to fight climate change and boost the economy, our elected officials are finally showing the kind of leadership we need to combat the climate crisis," Greenpeace USA's Butler concluded, tying the governor's move to the national momentum for climate action. "Today's decision is a good first step. Now they have a chance to stop Line 3 for good and jump-start a community-led, just transition to a green energy economy in Minnesota."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo