The Progressive - September 9, 2021

“President Biden has the opportunity, and the responsibility in making good on his word to be the climate President, and must direct the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permit for Line 3.”

On September 3, Representatives Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota; Cori Bush Democrat of Missouri; Ayanna Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts; and Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan, held a press conference in Minneapolis calling on President Joe Biden to shut down the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, which would transfer oil from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, was planning on attending but remained in New York to assist with the flooding caused by Hurricane Ida. 

“The voices of Indigenous people are often not prioritized,” Omar said. “We want this issue to be elevated and for it to be important enough for the President to take action.”

On August 30, Omar, along with sixty-three other elected officials, sent a letter to Biden calling on him to take action against Line 3.

At a roundtable on September 4, the Representatives and tribal leaders discussed the treaty violations and lack of tribal consent associated with Line 3. Afterward, they visited the Mississippi Headwaters and learned about the pipeline’s impacts on land and water from Indigenous leaders.

“Enbridge can’t be trusted in Michigan, and it can’t be trusted here in Minnesota either,” Tlaib said, referencing Enbridge Line 5 in Michigan. In 2010, Enbridge created a massive oil spill in the state.

Last fall, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer revoked a key easement for Line 5 that would have allowed the pipeline to cross the Straits of Mackinac. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now preparing an environmental impact statement of the underground tunnel proposed for the strait.

“President Biden,” said Pressly, “has the opportunity, and the responsibility in making good on his word to be the climate President, and must direct the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permit for Line 3.”

These actions took place as Enbridge notified oil shippers on September 1 that it would, as Reuters reported, “offer capacity for 620,000 barrels per day on its Line 3 oil pipeline starting in October.”

The press briefing follows a letter sent to the U.S. government by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on August 31, requesting a response to allegations of human rights violations.

The letter states that the permitting process for Line 3 “has been conducted without adequate consultation with and without obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Anishinaabe Indigenous peoples, despite the serious harm such pipeline could allegedly cause.” ...
Read full report at The Progressive