September 30, 2021

“We are committed to stopping tar sands”: MN350 statement on Enbridge’s activation of Line 3

(St. Paul, MN)–Today MN350 staff members issued the following statements as oil begins flowing through the Line 3 pipeline. The Line 3 tar sands pipeline violates treaty rights and will dump the carbon equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants into the atmosphere. The 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil flowing through the pipeline from Canada every day poses significant risks to Minnesota’s rivers, streams, and clean water.

Andy Pearson, Midwest Tar Sands Coordinator, said:

“We have been working to avoid today’s outcome since 2014, and today represents a major shift in the fight. This movement has fought Line 3 every step of the way — through the regulatory process, in the courts, and on the ground. Water protectors understand the risks and the consequences of this project. We know, based on the data, that this pipeline is likely to spill. The science is crystal clear that every day of Line 3’s operation makes it harder to return to a climate-stable world. Enbridge and the State of Minnesota have violated treaties and principles of free, prior, and informed consent with the Anishinaabe people. Shame on Governor Walz, who broke his campaign promise and left a legacy of climate chaos and oppression, militarizing the state against peaceful people who want to preserve our best odds for a livable present and future. This fight is no less important today than it was yesterday, and it will be just as important tomorrow. We are committed to stopping tar sands and will continue that work together.”

Nancy Beaulieu, MN350’s Northern Minnesota Organizer, said:

“The Line 3 pipeline clearly violates the treaty rights of the Anishinaabeg by endangering our hunting and  fishing rights, threatening our wild rice, and jeopardizing other cultural resources that were guaranteed by treaties up and down the Mississippi. This pipeline should never have been approved, and we will not stop fighting until it is closed down for good.”

Line 3 will add nearly 200 million tons of climate pollution to the atmosphere each year at a time when national and international watchdogs are sounding the alarm on the impacts of global warming.  A recent International Atomic Energy (IAE) report warned the world that major steps, including a halt on oil and gas development, need to be taken in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The report found that to reach the goal of net zero worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 every nation would need to move much faster and more aggressively away from fossil fuels than they are currently doing. The Line 3 pipeline is a huge step in the wrong direction.

Over the past several years Indigenous Minnesotans have been raising the alarm over the damage Line 3 will cause to Indigenous people in Minnesota’s water and environment, with a particular focus on how the pipeline harms lands protected by treaty rights. In June thousands turned out for a Treaty People gathering to stand up against the dangerous pipeline. More than 100 were arrested, and the action made national and international news.