Line 3 Pipeline Complete, Oil to Flow on Monday

Image: Frypie via Wikimedia Commons

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer

Enbridge Energy announced this week that the construction of the Line 3 pipeline has been completed, and oil will start flowing Monday. Protesters have fought the pipeline since Minnesota regulators approved the project back in 2015, arguing against its violation of Indigenous rights, harm to waterways and wild rice, and climate impact. The tar sands it will carry over 1,000 miles from Canada to Wisconsin use more energy and create more emissions than other types of oil. Even without oil flowing, Line 3 has already recorded 28 drilling fluid spills and disrupted water levels by pumping billions of gallons of water for construction, further threatening aquatic life. 

 

Why This Matters: The Line 3 project has carried on despite its core justice and climate issues. Indigenous leaders have been at the forefront of opposition to the project, which runs directly through their land. It threatens Indigenous sovereignty, marine biodiversity, and the broader climate. Line 3 is double the capacity of the line it’s replacing, increasing emissions just as the nation makes ambitious commitments to clean energy.

 

“All that money going into oil that’s continual and perpetual could be going into those green energy projects,” Jaike Spotted Wolf, a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes from North Dakota who has spent months protesting the pipeline, told Minnesota Public Radio.

 

What Comes Next

The pipeline may be done, but the movement to stop it is far from finished. Although the Minnesota Supreme Court and the state court of appeals affirmed state regulators’ approval of the project, other legal challenges are still in progress. Building on the growing rights of nature movement, the White Earth Nation brought a case against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources with wild rice as the lead plaintiff. 

 

As Joe Plumer, an attorney for the Red Lake Nation in northwestern Minnesota that opposed Line 3, told Minnesota Public Radio:

I think that tribes are going to be enacting their own laws. Tribes are going to take the bull by the horns and call state actors in their official capacities into the tribal court — not for any money damages, but for injunctive relief to stop what they’ve been permitting.

 

Another hope for Line 3’s demise is revoking its water permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, but this past summer, the Biden Administration defended the permit. Indigenous leaders at the forefront of protests against the pipeline — which were met with violent policing — have also vowed to keep fighting.

 

In a statement, the Indigenous Environmental Network said: 

The Line 3 fight is far from over; it has just shifted gears. Do not think we are going quietly into the night. We will continue to stand on the frontlines until every last tar sands pipeline is shut down and Indigenous communities are no longer targeted but our right to consent or denial is respected.

Up Next

Biden Announces Expansive Offshore Wind Campaign

Biden Announces Expansive Offshore Wind Campaign

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer President Biden announced a plan to develop seven new offshore wind farms along US coastlines. He aims to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030 — enough energy to power over 10 million homes.   Why this Matters: The proposed wind projects could avert 78 million metric […]

Continue Reading 293 words
Fossil Fuel Peak Expected Due to Clean Energy Availability

Fossil Fuel Peak Expected Due to Clean Energy Availability

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer A peak in fossil fuel use is expected by the middle of the decade and according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest annual World Energy Outlook report:There’s still a clean energy gap  when it comes to limiting global temperature rise. Released in the lead up to  the COP26 […]

Continue Reading 350 words
Now You’re Cooking Without Gas

Now You’re Cooking Without Gas

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Gas is the largest energy source in the US. Gas stoves aren’t the largest consumer of natural gas in any home, but they’ve become “a focal point in the fight over whether gas should even exist” as an energy source in people’s residences. Burning gas, especially without ventilation like […]

Continue Reading 397 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.