Pipeline Protest Tests Biden’s Pledges on Climate, Native American Lands

One of the attorneys working with EarthJustice who is contesting the project stated, “The case for a brand new and enormous tar-sands pipeline is exceedingly flimsy and basically nonexistent,” he added. We need to do better for tribes, take climate change and environmental factors more seriously right now,” he said.

When it comes to energy, “we know people have strong sentiments about it and they have the legal and peaceful right to express their ideas,” a representative for Enbridge stated in an email. A rigorous, science-based examination and several project approvals had us hoping that all stakeholders would accept the results.” “Line 3 has passed every regulatory and permitting assessment over the past six years,” he said.

There has been little impact on building, which began in December and is currently 60% complete, he said. In most cases, construction was still going on Monday, he said.

At 390,000 bpd (billion barrels per day), the present crude oil pipeline was reduced in 2008 by half because of corrosion, leaks and spills. In 2015, Enbridge stated that it would reroute Line 3 in order to restore its capacity, citing corroding pipes and future oil demand.

Several legal challenges have been made by opponents. Tribes and environmental groups filed a lawsuit in Minnesota state court, asking the court to rule on whether Enbridge conducted an adequate environmental evaluation of the project. A ruling is due this month. Oral arguments also focused on whether there was sufficient evidence of long-term demand for oil from Line 3

The Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Air Act permits for the project are the subject of two separate lawsuits. Controversial claims have been made that the Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately assess the impact of an oil spill on the watershed of Lake Superior.

Additionally, indigenous lawyers and lobbyists have also been utilising their Washington contacts. When Tara Houska, a member of the Couchiching First Nation, Anishinaabe bordering the Canada-U.S. border, challenged top Biden officials about what she viewed as policy duplicity, she said, “How could the administration then allow Line 3 to go forward?”