About 2,000 demonstrators rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday as part of a week of action called “Treaties Not Tar Sands.” The movement is reacting to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, which could carry 750,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin every day.
Indigenous people and environmentalists led the protest. The pipeline violates treaty rights and endangers clean water, say the protestors. Some Indigenous leaders walked more than 250 miles of the pipeline’s route to attend the Saint Paul rally.
“We’re here in ceremony. We’re here to assert our treaty rights and our right to exist and our right to clean water,” Nancy Beaulieu, a founder of the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging Coalition, said Wednesday, as reported by Common Dreams. “Line 3 violates our treaty and all the treaties along the Mississippi because the water flows. This is a people’s problem, this is not just a Native issue here.”
Wednesday’s rally came in response to the Minnesota Supreme Court upholding state regulators’ decision to let Enbridge continue construction. Protestors are running out of legal options to halt the project.
The pipeline first won approval during the Trump administration. But Biden’s Justice Department backed it, too, much to the horror of opponents. Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz, has also supported the Line 3 project. Line 3 refers to replacing 300 plus miles of existing pipeline. The entire system runs 1,097 miles.
Environmentalists are also worried about climate impact. One estimate predicts that the Line 3 project will be as detrimental as building 50 new coal-fired power plants.
“This pipeline’s dangerous effects on the environment, surrounding communities, and Tribal groups will be irreversible,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “The Biden administration must immediately suspend Line 3’s Clean Water Act permit and conduct a full environmental impact statement.”
Via Common Dreams
Lead image via Fibonacci Blue