Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline enters critical month in June

Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline enters critical month in June

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — June will be a critical month for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline as the company resumes construction and opponents mobilize for large-scale protests and civil disobedience.

One prominent opponent, Winona LaDuke, founder of the Indigenous-based environmental group Honor the Earth, said she expects thousands of people from across the state and country to join the protests along the route in northern Minnesota.

Both sides are also waiting for a major ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals in June on a legal challenge by environmental and tribal groups that are seeking to overturn state regulators’ approval of the project. The opponents also hold out hope that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden will intervene.

“I expect that unless Walz stops the project over 1,000 people are going to get arrested,” LaDuke said.

Line 3 carries Canadian crude from Alberta. It clips a corner of North Dakota on its way across northern Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge says the 1960s-era pipeline is deteriorating and can run at only about half its original capacity. It says the new line, made from stronger steel, will better protect the environment while restoring its capacity and ensuring reliable deliveries to U.S. refineries.

The Canadian and Wisconsin replacement segments are already carrying oil. The Minnesota segment is about 60% complete as a planned construction pause for the spring thaw ends June 1. Enbridge plans to finish the work and put the line into service in the fourth quarter, said Mike Fernandez, the Calgary-based company’s chief communications officer.

That adds to the urgency for opponents, who are organizing a “Treaty People Gathering” for June 5-8 and preparing for mass arrests. More than 250 “water protectors” already have been arrested since major construction began in December.

The opposition says the replacement pipeline, which would carry Canadian tar sands oil and regular crude, would aggravate climate change and risk spills in sensitive areas where Native Americans harvest wild rice, hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants and claim treaty rights.

“We will gather in Northern Minnesota to put our bodies on the line, to stop construction and tell the world that the days of tar sands pipelines are over,” organizers say in appeal on their website. “Only a major, nonviolent uprising — including direct action — will propel this issue to the top of the nation’s consciousness and force Biden to act.”

Over 300 groups delivered a letter to the Biden administration on Thursday calling on the president to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to suspend or revoke Enbridge’s federal clean water permit for the project.

“Due to the urgency of the climate crisis and the fact that Indigenous leaders have not consented to the Line 3 project, large-scale non-violent civil disobedience is now being organized for early June along the Line 3 pipeline route,” they warned the president.

They urged Biden to follow the example he set on the first day of his administration, when he cancelled the disputed Keystone XL pipeline on climate-change grounds.

Biden has not taken a stand on Line 3, while Walz is letting the legal process play out. The Biden administration has declined to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline, which is owned by a different company and was the subject of major protests near the Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas in 2016 and 2017. In Michigan, Enbridge is defying an order by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down its Line 5 because of the potential for a spill in a channel linking two Great Lakes.

Enbridge, which updated the projected total cost in February to $7.3 billion (U.S.), has been touting the economic benefits of Line 3. Fernandez said employment on the project will shoot up to 4,000 as full-scale work resumes. More than half the workforce has been from Minnesota with most of the rest coming from neighboring states. Around 500 are Native Americans, many of whom were specifically trained for the project. He put the total local benefit at over $250 million.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals is expected to rule by June 21 on whether Enbridge adequately proved a long-term need for the project. The independent Public Utilities Commission approved the project, but the state Department of Commerce, two tribes and other opponents argue that the company’s demand projections failed to meet the legal requirements. Enbridge and the PUC say the projections complied.

The opponents aren’t disclosing many specifics about their plans for protests because law enforcement also is getting prepared, but they say they’re determined to step up the fight as the final construction push approaches.

“I expect there will be pretty strong resistance,” LaDuke said. “I really have no idea what it will look like.”

Steve Karnowski, The Associated Press

Enbridge

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Red Deer Emergency Services responded to an explosion at a duplex on Rupert Crescent Saturday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to explosion in Red Deer early Saturday morning

There was an explosion at a Red Deer duplex early Saturday morning.… Continue reading

Terry Betts, of Kananaskis, looks at the vehicle he was hoping to sell during the Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet in the Westerner Park parking lot Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet held outdoors

A big automotive swap meet was held outdoors this year in Red… Continue reading

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

A man wears a face mask as he walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, May 16, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canada paid a premium to get doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

OTTAWA — Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Most Read