Stop Line 3
In a Native-led gathering of some 2,000 pipeline fighters, participants — hoping to attract President Joe Biden’s attention — marched to establish a camp on a spot where the Canadian Enbridge Energy Inc. wants to lay Line 3 pipes to pump hazardous materials in the form of diluted bitumen (dilbit) across the Mississippi River near its headwaters in the Anishinaabe 1855 treaty territory of Northern Minnesota.
Photo courtesy Angel Amaya
Foes hold line against Enbridge in leadup to ruling on tribal appeal
Friday, June 18, 2021

BEMIDJI, Minnesota — Law enforcement reported arresting a total of 247 people for participating in a peaceful pipeline demonstration that took place over the last two days of the June 5-8 Treaty People’s Gathering on Anishinaabe treaty-protected land near here.

Following the Native-led gathering of some 2,000 pipeline fighters, more than 200 hundred remained at a camp they established on a spot where the Canadian Enbridge Energy Inc. wants to lay Line 3 pipes to pump hazardous materials in the form of diluted bitumen (dilbit) across the Mississippi River.

The activities followed on the heels of a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden from 300 organizations. They called on his administration to stop the pipeline construction while tribal governments appeal federal and state court refusals to grant injunctions.

“I’m calling on you Joe Biden to uphold our treaties because they are the supreme law of the land,” said Anishinaabe gathering participant Dawn Goodwin, a RISE Coalition Co-Founder. “It is part of my inherent responsibility as a Wolf Clan member to protect the environment and the people,” she told the Native Sun News Today.

The gathering disrupted pipeline company activities in the week of construction leading up to an anticipated June 14 Minnesota court ruling on tribal and grassroots legal appeals of state Public Utilities Commission’s Line 3 permitting.

Defending treaty rights, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, the Red Lake Nation, and the White Earth Nation are being joined in the appeal by the Youth Climate Intervenors, Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, and Friends of the Headwaters. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has been appealing Line 3 clearance for three years.

In Commerce’s initial appeal it wrote, “In light of the serious risks and effects on the natural and socioeconomic environments of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built.”

The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard testimony from several parties in March. The plaintiffs brought forth challenges to the pipeline giant’s Certificate of Need, Route Permit, and Environmental Impact Statement. Those permits are part of the foundation of the company’s legal right to build Line 3 and, if overturned, could stall the project for months or even years.

“Once Line 3 is constructed, the earth cannot be restored, the trees and other removed plants cannot be put back, the water bodies cannot be restored, and indigenous peoples cannot be made whole by money or sympathy,” Honor the Earth and the Sierra Club argued.

The Youth Climate Intervenors maintained that the PUC did not take into full account $287 billion in damages from greenhouse gases that the project would cost society over 30 years. Line 3 would increase the amount of oil being transported through Minnesota by nearly half a million barrels per day while global demand is dropping fast, multiple plaintiffs noted.

Note: On June 14, 2021, the Minnesota Court of Appeals cleared the way for Enbridge to continue pursuing the Line 3 project over the objections of tribes and environmental advocates. [PDF: Decision In the Matter of the Application of Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, for a Certificate of Need and a Routing Permit for the Proposed Line 3 Replacement Project in Minnesota from the North Dakota Border to the Wisconsin Border]

NATIVE SUN NEWS TODAY

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Contact Darren Thompson at darrenjthompson@hotmail.com

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