Enbridge announced yesterday that the upgrade of its notorious 1,097-km, 760,000 bpd Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline across Minnesota is "substantially complete" and that the vessel will be filled with heavy oil by the end of the week.
The multinational company headquartered in Canada has gone through with the project despite vociferous opposition from local Indian tribes and environmentalists who maintain that Line 3's operation would violate treaty rights, worsen climate change and risk spills in waters where Native Indians harvest wild rice. They note it would carry oil from Alberta's tar sands, a heavier crude that consumes more energy and generates more carbon dioxide in the refining process than lighter oil, making it an even bigger contributor to climate change.
”This is not the outcome we hoped for, but the fight to stop Line 3 has always been a fight for climate justice and a future free from fossil fuels, and that fight will not stop just because Enbridge has succeeded in building this pipeline,” Margaret Levin, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.
Winona LaDuke, executive director of the Indigenous-based environmental group Honor the Earth and prominent opponent of Line 3, paid tribute to the many people from across the country who came to Minnesota to protest: “Your brave efforts about Enbridge’s Line 3 have reshaped the world’s views on the climate crisis we are in, the Treaty Rights of the Anishinaabe, and the escalating divestment in fossil fuels around the world and here at home," LaDuke said in a statement. "You are the true heroes of this tragic saga.”
At a news conference later, LaDuke called on Biden to stand by his promise to be a “climate president.” But she said they’re not throwing in the towel, rather pinning their hopes on the federal courts, which she noted have made rulings against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and on the White Earth Ojibwe tribal court in northern Minnesota.
Line 3 starts in Alberta, Canada, and clips a corner of North Dakota before crossing Minnesota en route to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The Canadian, North Dakota and Wisconsin segments were finished earlier and the Canadian and Wisconsin legs are already in service. The process of filling the line starts in North Dakota on Friday, Golden said. Enbridge puts the cost at $5.3 billion Canadian dollars for the Canadian section and $4 billion U.S. dollars for the work in the U.S.