The Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline is a $9 billion project. They company is responsible for 75% of the tar sands oil that comes into the United States. The pipeline runs from Canada into the U.S., spanning the Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, and Wisconsin states. Line 3 would carry more than 75,000 barrels of tar sands oil each day through rivers, lakes, Indigenous land, and wild rice beds. Furthermore, Line 3 will cross 67 rivers, of which 22 will be drilled. Line 3 is also violating tribal treaty rights. Therefore, protests are being led by Indigenous women and water protectors. Many have been arrested and many have locked themselves to machines to stop construction.
Protests against Line 3
Minnesota police have attacked protestors with rubber bullets, tear gas, excessive force, and pepper bullets. Enbridge also hired 40 state police squads to stop and arrest the protestors. Winona LaDuke and other water protectors spent three nights in jail. Another protestor, Tara Houska, posted pictures of herself on social media showing the bloodied welts on her arms—injuries incurred by the rubber bullets. The protestors were denied medical care and food, while others were held in solitary confinement. The state of Minnesota, the police, and Enbridge are essentially working together to harass and surveil protestors.
Earlier this year, the federal government sent a Customs and Border Protection low-flying helicopter to disrupt site protestors. Though Biden has acknowledged the threats posed by climate change, he has refused to shut down Enbridge Line 3 and the Dakota Access Pipeline. His administration also allowed Enbridge to deplete 5 billion gallons of water from local rivers and lakes.
Federal government’s response
The Biden administration has also approved Enbridge’s permits to construct the pipeline. They even requested a judge to throw out a complaint made by Native Americans and environmentalists who are against Line 3. Meanwhile, several Democrats are pressuring the administration to suspend the Clean Water Act permits issued by the Trump administration. Democrats sent a letter to President Biden demanding him to halt Line 3’s permits. They are also are urging the Army Corps of Engineers to investigate how the pipeline will hurt the environment.
The Biden administration should protect our environment, our water, and our planet. It is no secret that oil pipelines can and have destroyed numerous ecosystems. President Biden cannot advocate for both climate change and oil pipelines. The solution is clear here: President Biden needs to shut down Enbridge Line 3. There is no excuse not to do so. We must protect our water and our ecosystems.