Thursday, March 27, 2014

"We've got it covered?"

Do you recall seeing anything in the Twin Cities' news media about the opposition to Enbridge's "Alberta Clipper" pipeline? A search of the Star Tribune's web site yields articles about Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission deliberations, and about the "environmental opposition" from the Sierra Club and MN350. What seems to be missing, at least I couldn't find reference to it, including doing a search on "enbridge horseback protest" is any mention of the protest ride organized by the Native American environmental organization, Honor the Earth. What I find most strange about the lack of coverage is that the protest was noted in newspapers throughout the northern part of Minnesota. It was even picked up by a couple of national blogs, Huffington Post and TreeHugger.

northern Minnesota hillside
The slippery slope of lack of coverage?        © harrington

Lest you think I'm singling out the Star Tribune, I'll report here that I neither could I find a word about the protest on MinnPost, although Twin Cities Daily Planet did have a couple of opinion columns and MinnPost reported, back in 2010, that Enbridge has pipelines in Minnesota and an Enbridge line in Michigan sprang a notable leak. Compound what I see as a lack of coverage with recent stories about how devastating the Exxon Valdez oil spill has been and still is 25 years after it occurred. Then multiply that by the 40,000 plus or minus public comments on the SDEIS for the proposed PolyMet NorthMet mining project (which was well covered in the Star Tribune), and I have to wonder if a pipeline would have to run under the Vikings stadium or Target Field before local news outlets would say boo. Minnesota is one state, isn't it? Aren't we all in this together? That's not a conclusion I'd draw from reading or watching the local news. Maybe that's why months ago I started reading The Guardian to find out what's happening in the good old U.S. of A. As William Carlos Williams has noted “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” David Tucker helps us understand a "slow news day."

northern Minnesota roadside cairn
Lost our way?   © harrington

Today’s News

By David Tucker 

A slow news day, but I did like the obit about the butcher   
who kept the same store for fifty years.   People remembered   
when his street was sweetly roaring, aproned   
with flower stalls and fish stands.   
The stock market wandered, spooked by presidential winks,   
by micro-winds and the shadows of earnings.   News was stationed   
around the horizon, ready as summer clouds to thunder--   
but it moved off and we covered the committee meeting   
at the back of the statehouse, sat around on our desks,   
then went home early.   The birds were still singing,   
the sun just going down.   Working these long hours,   
you forget how beautiful the early evening can be,   
the big houses like ships turning into the night,   
their rooms piled high with silence.

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