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World Enbridge Energy's Pipeline Opponents Promise 'Fight' to Stop Project After Judge Gives Go-Ahead

20:17  14 june  2021
20:17  14 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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After the Minnesota Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead on Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline, opponents of the project have pledged to fight the decision. This comes after 250 pipeline protestors were arrested last week at construction sites in northern Minnesota calling for President Joe Biden to cancel the project.

a group of people riding on the back of a boat: Climate activist and Indigenous community members gather on top of the bridge after taking part in a traditional water ceremony during a rally and march to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in Solvay, Minnesota on June 7, 2021. - Line 3 is an oil sands pipeline which runs from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin in the United States. In 2014, a new route for the Line 3 pipeline was proposed to allow an increased volume of oil to be transported daily. While that project has been approved in Canada, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, it has sparked continued resistance from climate justice groups and Native American communities in Minnesota. © Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images Climate activist and Indigenous community members gather on top of the bridge after taking part in a traditional water ceremony during a rally and march to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in Solvay, Minnesota on June 7, 2021. - Line 3 is an oil sands pipeline which runs from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin in the United States. In 2014, a new route for the Line 3 pipeline was proposed to allow an increased volume of oil to be transported daily. While that project has been approved in Canada, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, it has sparked continued resistance from climate justice groups and Native American communities in Minnesota.

"If the Biden administration is under any illusions, this is now very much a national fight that people are going to be knowing more and more about," said Bill McKibben, founder of the climate change group 350.org. "People are already flooding in from all parts of the country."

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Tribal and climate change organizations, as well as the Minnesota Department of Commerce, had asked the court to reject key approvals for the pipeline on the grounds that Enbridge's oil demand projections did not meet legal requirements. However, the three-judge panel decided 2-1 to affirm the approvals, the Associated Press reported.

The pipeline's challengers can appeal the ruling with the state supreme court.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The Line 3 replacement would carry Canadian tar sands oil and regular crude from Alberta to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The project is nearly done except for the Minnesota leg, which is about 60 percent complete.

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Opponents of the more than $7 billion project say the heavy oil would accelerate climate change and risk spills in sensitive areas where Native Americans harvest wild rice, hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants and claim treaty rights.

Calgary-based Enbridge says the replacement Line 3 will be made of stronger steel and will better protect the environment while restoring its capacity to carry oil and ensure reliable deliveries to U.S. refineries. It underwent a rigorous environmental permitting process. The old line currently runs at about half its capacity because it's increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking.

Activists are vowing to keep up a summer of resistance against the project amid the escalating battle over energy projects and rising awareness that racial minorities suffer disproportionate harm from environmental damage. And they're drawing parallels with the fight over the Dakota Access pipeline, which was the subject of major protests near the Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas in 2016 and 2017.

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"Minnesota does not need this conflict. Minnesota has already had enough police problems, and we are very upset at the level of private security and police forces that are all over the north right now," Winona LaDuke, executive director of the Indigenous-based environmental group Honor the Earth, told reporters on a conference call Friday. "For a Canadian corporation. So we'll stand our ground ... and more will be coming. Guaranteed."

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Activist Jane Fonda joins hundreds of protesters chanting © David Kolpack/AP Photo Activist Jane Fonda joins hundreds of protesters chanting "Stop Line 3!" and "Water is life!" gathered at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in in Solway, Minn., on Monday, June 7, 2021 to resist a Canadian-based company's plan to replace an aging pipeline that carries crude oil from Alberta to Wisconsin. David Kolpack/AP Photo

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