December 3, 2015, was a landmark day in the fight against the Enbridge tar sands invasion in Wisconsin. That evening, the Dane County Board of Supervisors voted 27-2 to reject Enbridge’s appeal of the Zoning and Land Regulation’s insurance requirement.
It was a courageous stand by the Board, urged on by 350 Madison and allies. Among those offering stirring testimony in opposition to Enbridge’s appeal were Ronni Monroe, Peter Anderson, Cassie Steiner, Harry Bennett, Mary Beth Elliott, Don Ferber, Carl Whiting, Susan Nossel, Bruce Noble, Kevin McGettigan, Joan Arnold, Tim Jensen. All of their remarks are now available in full in the recently released transcript of the proceedings. Here’s a short excerpt from Ronni Monroe’s testimony to whet your appetite:
It is bad enough our land is going to be snatched by eminent domain for Line 66, made easier by the state legislature. Is it also reasonable that this company not be held financially liable for the damages? If it isn’t clear to the Dane County Board by now, the legislature will attack the County’s right to zone, regardless of what the County Board decides to do here tonight. Enbridge will extract monetary penance from the people who dare to oppose them. We are not dealing with a fair and reasonable legislature or system. We are dealing with tyranny, and we can stand up to it with courage or cower. A governmental body that represents the people must at some point take a stand for the people. No matter which body takes a stand, no matter when they do it, the odds are next to impossible to prevail. But the duty to take the stand has never been greater. For history will record our courage or our cowardice on this matter. I’m asking that the language of the [conditional use permit] be retained and that the appeal be rejected.