Honor The Earth, Winona LaDuke look to federal courts to help resist Line 3 pipeline

MINNESOTA & NORTH DAKOTA — Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 pipeline is complete and the company may begin shipping oil as soon as Friday.

“People and workers are doing backflips, what can I say?” said Enbridge Chief Communication Officer Mike Fernandez.

While those at Enbridge are celebrating a milestone, some tribal members and environmentalists are devastated. “It’s a really tragic day in northern Minnesota, as Enbridge decides to go towards oil,” Honor The Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke said.

The Line 3 pipeline, which Enbridge says has been in the works for roughly eight years, was completed despite stiff opposition from tribes, environmentalists and others.

“The idea was bad when it began. It was wrong in the process. It was wrong in every allocation of water and rights, and it’s still wrong,” LaDuke went on to say.

Tribal members say the pipeline violates treaty rights, could worsen climate change and would risk spills. Enbridge says it’s necessary to replace and expand the deteriorating pipeline built in the 1960s with a safer and more reliable one.

“We’re not, you know, climate deniers by any stretch of the imagination.” Fernandez says Enbridge acknowledges that eventually a transition to clean, renewable energy is needed.

“But the idea that you can do it without having infrastructure in place for the other—it would be nice if it worked that way, it’d be nice to have a magic wand, but it just doesn’t work that way,” he said.

Those with Honor The Earth, a group dedicated to creating awareness and support for Native environmental issues, say they will continue resisting Line 3.

LaDuke is calling on the Biden Administration and federal courts to help shut the pipeline down. “There was no federal environmental impact statement done on this project. That is the right thing for the Biden Administration to do and that is the right thing for the courts to recognize and to order, so we are hopeful that the federal court will order such.”

Enbridge has begun decommissioning the old Line 3 pipeline. That process is expected to take roughly two years.

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