Appleton, Wis. – Outagamie County Executive and pro-labor populist U.S. Senate candidate Tom Nelson is scheduled to testify against the controversial Line 5 crude oil pipeline project at a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hearing set to begin at 4 p.m. today (details and remarks below).
Nelson has been alone among the Democratic field for the Senate nomination in opposing the troubled 64-year-old pipeline, which he called a “rotten artery of fossil fuels,” that does little to lower energy costs for Wisconsin consumers.
“Line 5 should be stopped, plain and simple,” Nelson said, in prepared remarks. “It’s an aging relic that threatens our environment, undermines the next generation of Wisconsin jobs, places an undue burden of risk on Wisconsin localities and violates the heritage and sovereignty of Wisconsin’s First Peoples.”
Information about and links to Wednesday’s DNR hearing appear here.
Nelson’s full remarks as prepared appear below:
“I’m Tom Nelson, the Outagamie County Executive and also a candidate for the United States Senate.
Line 5 should be stopped, plain and simple.
It’s an aging relic that threatens our environment, undermines the next generation of Wisconsin jobs, places an undue burden of risk on Wisconsin localities and violates the heritage and sovereignty of Wisconsin’s First Peoples.
Meanwhile, throughout the long debate about Line 5, the Canadian corporation that profits from this aging relic has presented Wisconsin with a set of totally false choices – either Wisconsin jobs OR the environment. Either this antiquated heirloom or higher energy costs.
I’m testifying today to oppose Line 5 because I support Wisconsin jobs AND the environment AND lower energy costs.
The environmental threat posed by Line 5 is obvious and there is a reason Canada wants it to run in our backyard instead of theirs, violating Tribal treaties along the way. Line 5 is a rotten artery of fossil fuels that has spilled more than 58,000 barrels over its 64-year lifetime. The line crosses our Bad River and other watersheds that flow into Lake Superior, one of the greatest reserves of fresh water in the world.
But it’s not just the threat of spills that makes Line 5 unacceptable for Wisconsin. It’s unacceptable because it represents a continued and dangerous reliance on the very fossil fuels that are causing the ongoing and ever-escalating climate crisis.
We need to break this cycle of dependence and we can do this while creating good jobs right here in Wisconsin with a Blue-Green New Deal.
For example, right now, as we speak, innovators in the Wisconsin paper industry are creating alternatives to petro-chemicals. And this means that Line 5 is bringing to market a commodity that will directly compete with Wisconsin goods and jobs.
Instead of Line 5, let’s honor our treaties with our Tribes.
Instead of Line 5, let’s protect our water.
Instead of Line 5, let’s invest in infrastructure that lowers our energy costs, protects our markets, our environment and our jobs.”