Bylt: Real Time Construction News & Market Data
Construction Everyday. Real Time News and AEC Industry Market Data. Powerful News For The Architectural, Engineering & Construction Industries.

ACTIVISTS BLOCKING CONSTRUCTION OF $4 BILLION MINNESOTA PIPELINE

ESRI - MINNESOTA PIPELINE LINE 3

Protests are not the only hurdle for Enbridge however. The Minnesota Court of Appeals is set to decide on June 21st if Endrige successfully proved there was a demand for oil in the locations that could be reached by Line 3. Frank Bibeau, an attorney for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, is suing in federal court claiming that the Army Corps of Engineers are not able to issue a permit without tribal approval.

MINNESOTA PIPELINE UNDERGOING EXTENSIVE GEO POLITICAL ACTIVISM

MINNESOTA, USA – Activists are continuing to protest the construction of a $4 billion pipeline expansion project in Minnesota after approximately 100 reformists were arrested on Monday as numerous more protests and groups have banded together bringing construction to a halt. Protestors affirm that such activity will damage the environment.

FOR AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE PROJECT CLICK HERE

In the initial months of Line 3’s construction during 2020, protests were limited as a result of cold weather and the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, over 60% of the project was completed.

            With construction starting up again this week and with the country easing COVID-19 restrictions, waves of demonstrations have begun. On Monday, 2,000 individuals came to oppose the construction of the oil pipeline. Some chained themselves to construction equipment and others blocked construction paths with cars, hotly displaying their disagreement of expanding Line 3 to the wetlands and forests of northern Minnesota.

            Hundreds of protesters led by Native American women alongside celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener, marched to a construction site operated by Enbridge; the Canadian company behind the creation of the pipeline. The site is located in Solvay, Minnesota.

            Indigenous activists believe that the pipeline is merely a carbon producing fossil fuel project being erected at the time of heightened climate change. The project also poses a threat of polluting tribal lands and the Mississippi River.

            Protestors remain hopeful at the possible cessation of the expansion blueprint. Activists are determined to increase pressure on the Biden administration to suspend the pipeline permit before the project can be completed. The Keystone XL and Standing Rock pipeline proposals were previously aborted due to activist gatherings.

            Construction equipment was damaged and 44 employees were forced to evacuate but to date, the protest has done little to halt pipeline activity in Minnesota. The operation is set to replace a decades-old pipeline as well as expand portions of it.

Approximately 350 miles of the new Line 3 have already been built by over 4,000 construction workers. Line 3 currently spans nearly 1,000 miles from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin.

Disputes over pipeline projects run by Enbridge have historically occurred. In November 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer terminated pipeline Line 5 in Michigan due to apprehension over potential impacts to the Great Lakes. 

            Enbridge spokesperson Mike Fernandez states that the comparison between the canceled Keystone XL pipeline and Line 3 is invalid. Fernandez made the claim that Line 3 already exists and serves as an energy source for millions in both the U.S. and Canada.

            The 34 inch pipeline was first built in the 1960s and its original state operates at half capacity. The new line will be 36 inches and will permit 760,000 barrels of oil to be carried through each day.

            According to Enbridge, Line 3 has passed every single test throughout six years of regulatory and permitting review including over 70 public meetings. Enbridge officials have even claimed that extensive input has been taken from tribal nations and over 500 Natives Americans have contributed to working on the project. Two Native American reservations support the Minnesota pipeline for the $250 million in economic opportunity that was granted to tribal members. Other supporters profess that oil transportation via the pipeline will be safer than transit by truck or train.

            Paul Eberth, Enbridge’s Director of Tribal Engagement in the United States has stated that construction of the pipeline has largely proceeded as planned. In final closings, Enbridge only wishes for all parties to accept the outcome of the scientific reviews and approvals of the project which is scheduled to begin operation by the end of 2021.

On Tuesday, protestors infiltrated the Two Inlets pump station, demanding serious action to be taken within the realm of climate change and fossil fuel projects.

Department of Homeland Security helicopters and police arrived at the scene shortly before arrests were made.

Tara Houska, a Native American lawyer and Line 3 protest leader, has attended meetings at the White House, pressuring the Biden administration to intervene and have the Army Corps of Engineers suspend permits. Houska’s concerns are centralized around the 22 bodies of water the pipeline will pass through as well as rice plantation fields. Tribal nations in the area still have the right to fish and gather on ground that would be interrupted by the project. Houska believes that the pipeline is explicitly destroying Native Americans’ rights and culture.

Although protestors were prepared for prolonged occupation until construction stopped, police in riot gear arrested and loaded activists into vans and school buses before crowds dispersed. 

Protests are not the only hurdle for Enbridge however. The Minnesota Court of Appeals is set to decide on June 21st if Endrige successfully proved there was a demand for oil in the locations that could be reached by Line 3. Frank Bibeau, an attorney for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, is suing in federal court claiming that the Army Corps of Engineers are not able to issue a permit without tribal approval.

- Advertisement -

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Hi!

This feature is in BETA.

Wanna try?

Join the wait list or be the first to know when its live to the public.

You have successfully joined!

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

bylt will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.