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Line 3 Jane Fonda

Actress and Climate activist Jane Fonda (R) and Indigenous community members gather before praying for water during a rally and march in Solvay, Minnesota on June 7, 2021. Line 3 is an oil sands pipeline which runs from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin in the United States. (Photo: KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden Has the Power to End This Outrage and Stop Enbridge Line 3

So far, he has chosen not to.

Eric Hansen

Biden needs to stop construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline that threatens the headwaters of the Mississippi as well as Lake Superior and other valued waters in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Ojibwe treaty rights, and our planet’s health.

Rosy images of electric buses and other infrastructure projects Biden is advocating for were part of his presentation in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Those images ignore the widespread destructive impacts of the oil pipeline project he is enabling upstream.
 
Question: Will transitioning to electric buses offset endorsing a permit for a tar sands pipeline that is the carbon equivalent of building fifty new coal fired power plants?
 
That pipeline construction is tearing apart communities, pristine streams and forests, wild rice waters sacred to the Ojibwe, and civic democracy itself. 
 
Enbridge, a Canadian oil pipeline company with an extensive record of massive oil spills and bullying behavior towards landowners, is now financing militarization of police forces in northern Minnesota.
 
Biden has the power to stop this outrage today, to withdraw the pipeline’s permit. So far, he has chosen not to. Worse, the federal Justice Department is signing off on it, filing a brief last week endorsing a Trump era finding that Enbridge has met all the requirements for a permit.
 
Why does Enbridge want to increase their pipeline capacity through Minnesota and Wisconsin?
 
Check the map.
 
Enbridge, and other promoters of the Alberta tar sands, need to get their product to saltwater to ship it to the world market.
 
Their shortest route would be through British Columbia. Ferocious resistance by ranchers and indigenous nations there pushed Enbridge to attempt a much longer route through the Upper Midwest and on to the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Nebraska ranchers and tribes figured out the tar sands pipeline scam quickly. It is all risk and no reward for locals. Nebraskans fought the Keystone XL pipeline for a decade and Biden wisely canceled the project’s permit on his first day in office.
 
Now, Biden must stop Enbridge’s Line 3. Minnesotans filed 72,000 public comments on the Line 3 project. 68,000 opposed it.
 
Enbridge is trying to avoid that wave of public opposition, and pending lawsuits, by rushing to complete the Line 3 project.
 
Over a hundred water protectors have been arrested in recent weeks during protests against the pipeline construction.
 
Winona LaDuke, executive director of the indigenous organization Honor the Earth, put it well:
"This is a racist pipeline project forced down the throats of our people, an ecological time bomb and a giveaway to a Canadian multinational oil interest."
Now is the time to speak out for treaty rights and common sense, clean water and the clean government procedures that protect it, a livable future for our planet and an end to Enbridge’s destructive Line 3 construction. See StopLine3 for ways you can help.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Eric Hansen

Wisconsin author Eric Hansen is a nationally recognized conservation essayist. ehansen@wi.rr.com

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