In the Lead up to June Mobilization, Over 300 Groups Call for President Biden to take Presidential Action to Stop the Line 3 Pipeline Project
USA, May 26, 2021 — Over 300 organizations, representing Indigenous groups and national and local organizations, submitted a letter today to the Biden Administration calling for President Biden to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately re-evaluate and suspend or revoke Enbridge’s Line 3 Clean Water Act Section 404 permit.
The letter delivers key information on the impacts of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline project and clarifies how Line 3 directly undermines the Administration’s priorities, including respecting Indigenous rights and responding to the climate crisis. The letter also alerts President Biden of the upcoming Indigenous-led June mobilization along the Line 3 pipeline construction route and urges him to cancel the project.
The decision to mobilize for non-violent action was not made lightly, especially with the occurrence of state violence at Standing Rock in 2016. However, after years of Anishinaabe and Dakota community members in Minnesota actively opposing this pipeline, and an ongoing legal battle led by Tribal governments, concerned citizens across the United States are heeding the call of Indigenous leaders.
If built, the Line 3 pipeline would unlock CO2 emissions equivalent to 50 coal plants, and cost society more than $287 billion in climate impacts in just its first 30 years of operation. The project is set to cross more than 200 waterways and cut through the 1854 and 1855 treaty territory where Anishinaabe people retain the right to hunt, fish, gather medicines, and harvest wild rice.
The letter is signed by prominent Indigenous, environmental, youth, faith, and health organizations, including Giniw Collective, Honor the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, Fridays for Future USA, Hip Hop Caucus, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Jewish Climate Action Network, CatholicNetwork US, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), and more. In the letter, signatories request President Biden take Presidential Action to stop the pipeline:
“Your Administration’s announcements on protecting our nation’s lakes and rivers, cleaning up aging and retired fossil fuel infrastructure currently polluting delicate environments, and building a clean energy economy powered by good, union jobs have set the vision and direction for the United States and the world—with Glasgow on the horizon. Together this mandate comes the inseparable and urgent need to stop fossil fuel companies from further entrenching the fatal fossil fuel era with dangerous projects like Line 3, which threaten to hamper your goals for decades into the future. To successfully and authentically Build Back Better, your Administration must promptly revoke the Line 3 permit.”
This letter follows up on an initial letter sent in March by over 350 groups, encouraging President Biden to stop Line 3.
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Tara Houska, Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe, Founder of Giniw Collective: “It’s great to hear the Biden administration acknowledges the U.S. shouldn’t bend to endless expansion dreams of Canadian tar sands companies — it would be better if President Biden took action, right now. Line 3 is a climate atrocity and a slap in the face to the multiple Ojibwe nations suing against its approval. Respect our sovereignty, respect climate science. Stop Line 3, before it’s too late; before our rivers, wetlands, and wild rice watersheds are violated irrevocably.”
Winona LaDuke, Bear Clan from Round Lake on the White Earth Reservation, Executive Director of Honor the Earth: “As the North experiences a great drought...and we see catastrophes of biblical proportions, it is not time for this pipeline. It's time for infrastructure for people, not for a rogue Canada corporation trying to make a buck at the end of the fossil fuel era. It's time for water and for a just transition in DC."
Dawn Goodwin, Anishinaabe White Earth Mississippi Band, Co-founder of R.I.S.E. Coalition, Indigenous Environmental Network Representative: “Our Elders have told us that over 50 years ago we were told to start moving away from fossil fuels due to the dangers of rising CO2 levels in our atmosphere. Today the youth are calling upon our elected officials to take their future seriously, and to heed the warnings of scientists. It is misleading to say Line 3 is a replacement, it is not! It is a relocation and expansion of the tar sands industry that would put our water, and our Anishinaabe homelands and lifeways at risk from potential spills and climate chaos."
Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, National Pipelines Organizer Indigenous Environmental Network: "Line 3 is a climate bomb waiting to go off. It is yet again another dirty tar sands project that threatens the sovereignty of tribal communities, wild rice, sacred medicines and above all the water. This whole project is madness and Governor Walz and President Biden need to step up and stop this climate changer if they truly believe in stopping climate catastrophe. Stand with the people, all the people."
Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar, Middlebury College: “Thank heaven KXL is history--but physics is physics, and the tar sands crude that will flow through Line 3 will do precisely as much damage as the tar sands crude that would have flowed through Keystone. As the IEA has pointed out, 2021 is the year to finally draw a line in the sand, and northern Minnesota is the obvious place to do it!"
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, National Climate Strategist, Advocate for Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Initiative, North America: “Communities from the north, south, east and west are gathering in support of the sovereign rights of Indigenous Nations who steward the land in service to people and planet. We call on our government to act within its authority to do the same! Line 3 is a threat to our shared goals to survive the climate crisis and constrain the forces of greed that extract lives and livelihoods for filthy fossil fuel profit. Now is the time to honor the treaties, and to find the courage for new agreements to end coal, oil and gas for the sake of generations to come.”
Veda Kanitz, Chair, DFL Environmental Caucus: “We are moving away from the use of fossil fuels. Building new fossil fuel infrastructure is wrong. In 20 years or less, when this pipeline is no longer needed, there will be no viable fossil fuel industry to pay for removing it and cleaning up the mess left behind. There should be no new fossil fuel infrastructure built under the Biden administration.”
Zanagee Artis, Co-Founder and Director of Policy, Zero Hour: "The construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline is an affront to Indigenous sovereignty and a threat to the lives of U.S. citizens everywhere. The United States cannot be a leader on mitigating climate change while also allowing fossil fuel infrastructure to become more entrenched in our energy system."
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Executive Director, The Shalom Center: “Just as the Hebrew Bible is a treasury of the practices of an ancient Earth-based community of shepherds and farmers aiming to live at sacred peace with the more-than-human world, so the practice of Indigenous peoples today should be a factor in our assessment of how to live in peace with Earth. Line 3 violates our best science and indigenous practice. We should stop it.”
Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN): “Line 3, like Keystone XL which President Biden cancelled, is a pipeline perpetuating further Indigenous rights violations, destruction of the climate, and increased rates of violence toward Indigenous women living near ‘man camps’ associated with pipeline construction. The Biden-Harris Administration has a chance to make good on their promises to take action on climate, public health, and respecting Indigenous sovereignty. To do so, the Administration must listen to the people and immediately Stop Line 3.”
Marie Venner, Co-Chair, CatholicNetwork US: “President Biden, as a fellow Catholic, I know you care about life for all. Fossil fuels cause so much death and destruction. Air pollution alone, from fossil fuels, causes 8 million deaths per year and the IEA just told us that we should allow no more fossil fuel infrastructure to stay below 1.5 C. Pipeline 3 is threatening the lives and livelihoods of our Indigenous brothers and sisters, those who have preserved 80% of the remaining biodiversity in our common home. Please do right by your kids, grandkids, all people and future generations and stop Line 3!”
Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch: “Water is life. It is sacred and must be protected. Line 3 is a threat to water, land, rights, climate and our future generations. It must be stopped! As the Biden-Harris Administration makes climate action plans, it must go further to achieve climate justice, including policies that guarantee Indigenous peoples’ rights and protect the environment by keeping fossil fuels in the ground. From the Kichwa in the Amazon to the Anishinaabe in Minnesota, we stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples calling on President Biden to stay true to his word to build back better for our communities and the climate.”
Cheryl Barnds, RapidShift Network: “In the White Pine Treaty of 1837, the Ojibwe ceded these lands to the United States, provided ‘the privilege of hunting, fishing, and gathering the wild rice, upon the lands, the rivers, and the lakes included in the territory ceded, is guaranteed to the Indians.’ Guaranteed. In 1999, the US Supreme Court affirmed the state must respect Ojibwe treaty rights. Can we read between these lines of supreme law to justify rerouting a tar sands pipeline through these very lands and waters as we gasp at the tail end of the fossil fuel era, planetary climate teetering? Come on, man!”
Erika Thi Patterson, Campaign Director for Climate and Environmental Justice, Action Center on Race and the Economy: “We need President Biden to use his executive authority to put a stop to the climate disaster waiting to happen known as Line 3, which will unleash emissions equivalent to 50 coal plants. Even worse, Enbridge’s plans to construct this dirty tar sands oil pipeline violate Indigenous sovereignty and threaten to destroy rivers, wetlands, and wild rice watersheds on Anishinaabeg homelands. Biden should honor his campaign promises to frontline communities and immediately take action on Indigenous water protectors’ demands for an end to this destructive pipeline and all new fossil fuel projects.”
Jason Miller, Director of Campaigns, Franciscan Action Network: "In his encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls on Christians and all people of goodwill to 'hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.' In order to stop those cries, President Biden must stop approving new fossil fuel infrastructure including the Line 3 pipeline. The Franciscan Action Network stands with those opposing the pipeline, especially Indigenous communities. We urge President Biden: listen to Pope Francis and ensure that we adequately address the climate crisis so that our planet is inhabitable for all people for years to come."
The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
www.wecaninternational.org - @WECAN_INTL
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is a 501(c)3 and solutions-based organization established to engage women worldwide in policy advocacy, on-the-ground projects, direct action, trainings, and movement building for global climate justice.