June 16, 2021, Washington, D.C.–This week, a Minnesota court announced that it will uphold a decision made by state regulators to approve Enbridge’s proposal to build a new, expanded Line 3 pipeline. Enbridge seeks to build Line 3 through untouched wetlands and the historic territory of multiple Indigenous groups. The new Line 3 would bring crude oil from the Canadian tar sands to the shores of Lake Superior and violate the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples. It would allow a significant expansion of tar sands crude production — one of the dirtiest forms of energy — and enable upwards of 200 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. In Minnesota, Indigenous water protectors and allies have fought in the courts, through public protests, and civil disobedience to halt the construction of Line 3.
Earlier this week, 50 water protectors occupying an Enbridge easement at Camp Firelight were removed and cited as they were peacefully protesting Line 3. This comes after over 200 arrests and citations last week as water protectors stopped construction at an active Line 3 work station. They continue to participate in non-violent direct action to protest the construction of the pipeline, as Enbridge claims that the project will be finalized by September.
“Line 3 is destructive and dangerous,” said EarthRights Executive Director Ka Hsaw Wa. “Indigenous communities have made it clear that they don’t want the pipeline constructed. Enbridge, the company behind Line 3, is already responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the U.S. which took place in Michigan in 2010 when the company’s Line 6B pipeline burst and flowed into Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River.
“I saw first-hand the destruction that a pipeline can bring over 25 years ago in Burma when I worked with communities to oppose human rights abuses connected to Total and Chevron’s Yadana pipeline. If Enbridge cannot be trusted to maintain its older infrastructure, it should not be given free rein to build more, potentially destructive pipeline infrastructure. EarthRights stands with Indigenous communities and their allies who disagree with the ruling and oppose the expansion of Line 3. We call on the Biden administration to prevent this project from moving forward.”