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Protesters gathered in front of the Minnesota State Capitol a day after the state’s Supreme Court allowed construction on the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline to proceed, calling on the Minnesota governor and President Joe Biden to stop the project.
“We’re here in ceremony. We’re here to assert our treaty rights and our right to exist and our right to clean water,” said one of the protesters, the founder of an organization called the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging Coalition.
“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,” Nancy Beaulieu added, as quoted by the Associated Press.
The protest was ignited by the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision to refuse to hear an appeal that was filed by the opponents of the pipeline replacement project. With its decline to hear the appeal, the Supreme Court basically affirmed the decision of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which had affirmed in June the approvals of the Line 3 project issued by Minnesota state regulators.
“They have arrested 800, almost 900 people all for a Canadian corporation to make a buck in the middle of climate chaos,” Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, an Indigenous environmental group, told the AP in an interview. “It’s poor policy and it’s worse practice and we’re here to ask the governor why he continues with such egregious policies and how we’re going to change that.”
The Line 3 replacement project involves, as the name suggests, the replacement of the existing pipeline built in the 1960s with a new one across North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The replacement will increase the capacity of the pipeline by 370,000 bpd to 760,000 bpd. It will also make the infrastructure safer, according to Enbridge. The company also says it had taken into account Indigenous concerns about the pipeline and addressed them.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.