On Thursday last week, Enbridge, the Canadian oil company in charge of the Line 3 project, announced that work on the pipeline was complete. The pipeline is expected to start ferrying oil across Minnesota this Monday.
The $3 billion project was given to Enbridge. The new line replaces an old, corroding pipeline from the 1960s and doubles its capacity.
Despite the setback, activist groups that have been fighting to stop the project vowed to continue opposing Line 3. “The Line 3 fight is far from over, it has just shifted gears,” wrote the Indigenous Environmental Network. “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.”
In June this year, about 250 people were arrested in one day while protesting Line 3. More recently, over 2,000 protestors showed up at the Governor’s office in Minnesota demanding an end to the project. From when the project began to now, roughly 900 protestors have been arrested, according to Honor the Earth, an Indigenous environmental group.
“The U.S. has tragically failed once again to honor our treaties and protect the water that sustains all life on Mother Earth,” the Indigenous Environmental Network said in a statement following the recent developments.
Margaret Levin, director of the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter, has lamented the pipeline’s opening. Levin singled out the Biden administration for ignoring calls from conservation groups to end the project.
“President Biden and the other politicians who chose to do nothing as treaty rights were violated, waterways were polluted, and peaceful protesters were brutalized have placed themselves on the wrong side of history,” said Levin.
Lead image by Lorie Shaull