Stop Line 3

What is the Line 3 Pipeline?

The Line 3 Replacement Project is Enbridge’s plan to build a brand new oil pipeline through Minnesota. The company calls Line 3 a replacement since there is an existing Line 3 pipeline that is in poor condition, but the new line would be almost twice the capacity of the existing pipe and follow a new route for much of its Minnesota length. The pipeline would carry tar sands oil through a 337-mile route, causing irreparable harm to the climate and the environment. Meanwhile, Enbridge intends to leave over 90% of the existing Line 3 buried in place underground, where it will continue to corrode.

The pipeline would cross through Mississippi headwaters and twice across the Mississippi River. If the new Line 3 ruptures, then these waters could carry oil across the state, polluting wetlands, wild rice beds, forests, and farmland. Oil leaks threaten the livelihoods of the Ojibwe because the pipeline route passes through ceded territory. Treaties with the U.S. government protect this territory, where the Ojibwe people retain the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wild rice. If constructed, Line 3 would also increase our dependency on oil, leading to massive climate costs. According to the State of MN, Line 3 has a climate change cost to society of $287 billion in damage over 30 years.

Indigenous communities, landowners, water protectors, environmentalists, and thousands of other Minnesotans have been resisting this pipeline for years. Groups opposing the pipeline have built an immense record of evidence for why the pipeline is unlawful and unnecessary. The MN Dept. of Commerce, the Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural Resources, the Administrative Law Judge who built the case record, and many intervening parties including sovereign indigenous nations have held that Enbridge’s project does not meet the necessary conditions under Minnesota law and should not be built as proposed.

On June 28th, 2018, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to allow Enbridge to build the new Line 3 through one of the worst possible routes. This decision threatens our environment, our climate, and the people of Minnesota.

But the fight has only just begun.

What is Tar Sands Oil?

Line 3 will carry several kinds of Canadian tar sands crude, a carbon intensive oil that contains up to 37% more carbon than conventional oil, giving it a far greater climate change impact. When tar sands spill, the heavy oil mixes with sediment and sinks to the bottom of a river or lake, making it very difficult to clean up. Enbridge has a long history of oil spills, averaging over one oil spill every week for the last 15 years.

What is the New Route?

Line 3 will be built across some of Minnesota’s most pristine waters, permeable soils, and best wild rice lakes. This route violates treaty rights, crossing over 1855 Treaty land where indigenous people have the right to hunt, fish, and gather.

What is the Risk…

…to the environment?

  • Line 3 will cross 192+ bodies of water, including the Mississippi River twice.
  • An area in Alberta of land roughly the size of Florida will be destroyed for tar sands oil extraction.
  • An Enbridge pipeline ruptured in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010. Seven years and $1 billion later, residents report that the river still has oil on the bottom.

…to people?

  • Crude oil contains over 1,000 chemicals, including harmful carcinogens like benzene.
  • Line 3 threatens native culture and livelihoods by crossing treaty territory, where native people have the right to live off the land.
  • There are 20 wild rice lakes within just one mile of Line 3 where many native people harvest this sacred food

…to the climate?

  • Line 3 will be nearly 2x bigger than the old pipeline it replaces, carrying up to 370,000 more barrels of oil a day.
  • The additional oil transported through Line 3 is the equivalent of the total CO2 daily emissions of 16- 18 million cars, every year the pipeline operates.
  • Line 3 has a climate change cost to society of $287 billion in damage over 30 years, according to the State of MN

Brief History of the Fight

Enbridge proposed the Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project in 2014. Friends of the Headwaters, using grassroots efforts, won a lawsuit and required Enbridge to file an Environmental Impact Statement of the project. In September of 2017, The Department of Commerce gave testimony in opposition to Line 3, saying it is economically unnecessary. In April of 2018, Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly issued her recommendation that the PUC should approve a new pipeline but deny Enbridge’s preferred route, instead requiring the existing Line 3 to be replaced in-trench. Going against both of these recommendations, the Public Utility Commission approved the Certificate of Need and Route Permit for the pipeline (last June).

Paths to Victory

  • Appeal the process: There are multiple tribal nations involved in appealing the PUC decision and the Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Pressure authorities: Governor Mark Dayton has promised to uphold the state’s environmental standards when deciding on permit approvals for Line 3. Pipeline fighters will continue to pressure Dayton and others to take definitive action and prevent construction.
  • People power: Thousands of people have already taken to the streets in opposition to this pipeline. Massive, people-powered movements have brought about big wins on pipeline fights across North America. A majority of Minnesotans oppose this line; let’s make ourselves heard, in political centers of power and on the ground in northern Minnesota.

10 Reasons Why We Can Win

  • We have won before! Grassroots work (especially a legal challenge by the all-volunteer organization Friends of the Headwaters)  stopped Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline in 2016. Across North America, many proposed tar sands pipelines have been scrapped due to fierce opposition.
  • People are rallying across the country and the world to fight pipeline construction projects. We are part of a greater movement to end our dependence on fossil fuels, meaning there is wide social support for this fight.
  • Minnesota do not want Line 3. 94% of the public comments submitted for the Evidentiary Hearings on Line 3 opposed the pipeline.
  • We have built an immense record of evidence for why the pipeline is unlawful and unnecessary. Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce recommended against approving this project. Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly (who built the record) stated that the costs to MN of building a new pipeline on a new corridor far outweighed the benefits. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources raised serious concerns with Enbridge’s route. Dozens of experts and multiple sovereign tribal nations helped show that this project would be the wrong choice.
  • We are committed. Pipeline fighters have been staging actions, risking arrest, and building community action for five years.
  • We are gaining recognition across the country.
  • There are still several smaller permits that need state approval before Enbridge can go forward with construction.
  • There are still appeals to the PUC’s decision and the Environmental Impact Statement. If these appeals succeed, Line 3’s construction will be delayed.
  • The market is in our favor. Demand for petroleum use in Minnesota has fallen 19% since 2014. Without pipelines, oil transportation and use would be dis-incentivized further. Midwest refineries are already at full capacity, and fossil fuels are being phased out by renewable energy.
  • Renewable energy is growing faster in Minnesota than fossil fuels, producing jobs at a faster rate than any sector of the fossil fuel industry.

We gain power in numbers, and need all the help we can get.

Not sure how you can help? Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Sign the Pledge of Resistance
  • Educate yourself and others
  • Spread the word
  • Come to a Pipeline Resistance Team meeting
  • Host an action in your community → contact us for trainings and more information
  • Participate in letter-writing campaigns → follow the MN350 Facebook page for info about call-in days
  • Support resistance camps up north (and attend resistance trainings)
  • Vote for climate → link to MN350 Action
  • Follow Enbridge Watch (letting Enbridge know that we know when they’re up to no good)

Line 3 and Pipeline Resistors in the News

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