Environmentalists Demand Biden Shut Down the Line 3 Pipeline

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Mar. 9 2021, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

Line 3 Pipeline
Source: Getty Images

The environmentally-destructive Line 3 pipeline recently began construction in Minnesota, despite years of protests, clear environmental threats, and a worsening climate crisis. Now that the project is finally off the ground, environmental and tribal groups are amplifying the need to shut the project down, comparing it to the Keystone XL pipeline. A recent letter to President Joe Biden from environmental and tribal groups is now demanding that he shut down the Line 3 pipeline.

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What exactly is the Line 3 pipeline? Keep reading to learn more about the project, why it would be bad for the environment, and how Biden could stop it.

line  pipeline
Source: Getty Images
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What is the Line 3 pipeline? Enbridge has proposed a devastating route through Minnesota.

The Line 3 pipeline is a 337-mile crude oil pipeline that would carry crude oil from Canadian tar sands through Minnesota and to Wisconsin. The project, which is managed by Canadian energy company Enbridge, began construction in December 2020.

As per the Sierra Club, if the Line 3 pipeline is completed, it would transport 760,000 barrels of crude oil every single day. The pipeline’s route passes through about 200 bodies of water, 78 miles of wetlands, and protected Anishinaabe treaty lands.

Pipelines present numerous risks to nearby communities — which tend to be BIPOC communities and low-income communities. Things like pipeline leaks, ruptures, and explosions harm the soil, air, and water, which cause public health issues, and harm sacred Indigenous sites. With renewable energy on the rise — and a desperate need to shift toward a renewable energy economy — there’s no reason to keep building pipelines other than corporate greed.

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Water protectors have been protesting the Line 3 pipeline for years.

line  pipeline
Source: Getty Images

According to the organization Stop Line 3, Minnesota-based water protectors, tribal nations, community groups, and environmental groups have been fighting against the construction of the Line 3 pipeline for about seven years. 

In November 2020, both the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers issued permits allowing the project to get started. Protests promptly ramped up, but Enbridge ignored concerns and began construction in December 2020. 

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Environmentalists are demanding Biden shut down Line 3, like he shut down Keystone XL.

On Monday, March 8, 2020, 370 environmental and tribal organizations banded together in opposition of the Line 3 pipeline. The coalition wrote President Joe Biden a letter demanding that he revoke permits and shut down Line 3’s construction, and the letter represents more than 10 million Americans and Canadians, as reported by Common Dreams.

“We write to urge you to take swift action to revoke the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline’s permits and stop its construction,” the coalition wrote to President Biden in the letter. “Line 3 is a threat to water, Indigenous rights, and our global climate, and its rushed construction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is an extreme danger to Minnesotan communities and energy workers alike.”

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The letter also urges Biden to revoke Line 3’s presidential permit, which he did for Keystone XL. 

“Your rejection of the Keystone XL’s pipeline’s presidential permit was a clear signal that the Biden administration represents a break from the fossil fuel giveaways of the Trump administration,” they wrote, adding that like the Keystone XL, Line 3 would be the same size (in diameter), it would transport the same oil through the Midwest, and it “was also inappropriately permitted by the Trump administration.”

On Inauguration Day in January 2021, one of Biden’s very first actions as president was shutting down Keystone XL pipeline construction. With the Line 3 pipeline presenting many similar environmental threats to the Keystone XL pipeline, it's imperative that Biden do something.

Sign this petition to stop the Line 3 pipeline.

To join the fight in stopping the Line 3 pipeline, you can sign Stop Line 3’s petition, which is aimed at President Biden. Stop Line 3’s website also has other tips for taking action, such as donating to Honor the Earth; divesting from your bank, if it is one that funds pipeline construction; and getting involved in demonstrations and protests.

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