The coming month will be critical for the controversial Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline, currently under construction in Northern Minnesota, AP reports. “Due to the urgency of the climate crisis and the fact that Indigenous leaders have not consented to the Line 3 project,” organizers from 300 groups warned President Biden in a letter last week, “large-scale non-violent civil disobedience is now being organized for early June along the Line 3 pipeline route.”
Organizers are calling on Biden to halt the pipeline, and will convene a “Treaty People Gathering” June 5th through 8th. Construction on the project to dramatically increase the amount of oil the pipeline can carry is scheduled to resume soon and Gov. Tim Walz (D) is waiting for a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling expected by June 21 — the state Department of Commerce, two tribes, and other opponents argue that the company’s demand projections failed to meet the legal requirements.
The majority of a state environmental justice advisory panel also “collective[ly] and public[ly]” resigned last November after the state Pollution Control Agency approved a key water permit. Like the Keystone XL pipeline Biden canceled on his first day in office, Line 3 would also carry ultra-polluting tar sands oil. The pipeline is owned by Enbridge, which is also defying a Michigan order by continuing to operate its Line 5 pipeline under the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, risking both environmental disaster and all its profits since May 12.
Organizers did not share details of their plans because police are also preparing for their protests but Winona LaDuke, founder of the Indigenous-based environmental group Honor the Earth, told the AP she expects “over 1,000 people are going to get arrested” if Walz fails to halt the project. (AP)