Tar Sands

The 350 Madison Tar Sands Team mobilizes to stop new oil pipelines from being built in Wisconsin and to get existing pipelines decommissioned and removed. We work with landowners, environmentalists, tribes, and anyone who shares our goals. We oppose the use of eminent domain for private gain and laws that criminalize peaceful protest.

Our aim is to stop the flow of tar sands oil through the Midwest by denying extractive industries a means to get the oil to markets via pipelines. In this way, we are helping to defuse the “carbon bomb” that climate scientist James Hansen stated would mean “game over for the climate.” Our current priorities are to #ShutDownLine5 and #StopLine3. Learn more about our Line 5 campaign here and our support of Line 3 resistance here.

With 350 Madison’s Divest & Defund Team, we’re also creating a joint campaign of public pressure to #StopTheMoneyPipeline that props up the fossil fuel industry through loans, insurance, and investment. Learn more about the Divest & Defund Team here.

Our Successes

The 350 Madison Tar Sands Team has been working to block Enbridge’s Midwest tar sands invasion for more than six years, with outsized success:

  • For the July 1, 2020, Department of Natural Resources virtual hearing on Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 reroute, we helped recruit more than 800 people to attend, more than 1,500 people to make public comments, and 73 folks to testify. We urged the DNR to reject Enbridge’s application for water permits.
  • We collaborate with allies across the Midwest to meet Enbridge’s regional ambitions with regional resistance. We have coordinated with and supported our allies in Minnesota and Michigan who are fighting to #StopLine3 and #ShutDownLine5.
  • We played a decisive role in Dane County’s epic battle with Enbridge over the permitting of a pump station to triple the capacity of Line 61. We persuaded the county to impose a precedent-setting cleanup insurance requirement. Enbridge sued, and the case went all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  The case broke new ground, and the lessons learned informed similar struggles elsewhere.
  • Our campaign against the expansion of Line 61 kept that pipeline below full capacity for three years at great cost to Enbridge.
  • We were one of the founding members of the Wisconsin Safe Energy (WiSE) Alliance, which was established to provide a “big tent” under which people could come together to fight pipelines.
  • We promote the Wisconsin Easement Action Team, which provides legal support to landowners anticipating the loss of land to eminent domain for Enbridge’s private gain.

Read about our success stories here. Learn more about tar sands here.

Join Us!

We’re at a critical and promising point in our movement to rid the Midwest of oil pipelines. Tribal leaders, rural landowners, farmers, climate activists, environmentalists, youth activists, and other concerned citizens are coming together and finding common ground.

The struggle to move from our fossil fuel past to a just and green future is playing out right in our own backyard. Please join us! There’s a place on our team for anyone with an interest in making a difference; no contribution is too small. Email Phyllis Hasbrouck or click here to get involved.

Photo: Monika Blazs