Line 3 pipeline supporters, opponents speak out Friday | KSTP.com

Line 3 pipeline supporters, opponents speak out Friday

In this June 29, 2018, file photo, pipeline used to carry crude oil is shown at the Superior terminal of Enbridge Energy in Superior, Wis. Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone, File. In this June 29, 2018, file photo, pipeline used to carry crude oil is shown at the Superior terminal of Enbridge Energy in Superior, Wis.

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: September 03, 2021 05:52 PM
Created: September 03, 2021 09:17 AM

Both supporters and those opposing Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline held events in the Twin Cities on Friday.

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN District 8) and Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch) joined Sen. Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake), state legislators and union leaders at the Minnesota State Capitol Friday morning to discuss support for Line 3.

"We have the opportunity today to stand up for energy independence, good-paying jobs, a pipeline that needed to be replaced, was replaced, that's close to 90% completed, and will benefit, will have an economic benefit, for those communities for years to come," Stauber said at the news conference Friday morning.

Stauber added a reported "5,000 skilled union workers are working this project."

Enbridge said it has spent over $287 million on the project with tribal nations, citizens, communities and contractors, and has created thousands of jobs as well as millions in local spending and tax revenues.

The company also noted the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently determined "the commission reasonably selected a route for the replacement pipeline based upon respect for tribal sovereignty, while minimizing environmental impacts."

View Friday's news conference at the Minnesota State Capitol via the video player below.

Also Friday, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN District 5), U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) held a news conference ahead of a Saturday visit to a Line 3 intersection with the Mississippi River "to discuss treaty violations and the lack of tribal consent."

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," Omar said Friday afternoon.

Omar went on to state the pipeline "largely threatens places that are put out of sight and out of mind for most Americans: The prairies, the wild rice wetlands, the Mississippi tributaries, and the treaty lands of Indigenous peoples."

During Saturday's visit to the Mississippi headwaters, the congresswomen will talk with Indigenous leaders about how they view the impact of the pipeline on their land and the environment.

Opponents of the new Line 3 say the heavy oil that would move through the pipeline would accelerate climate change and risk spills in lakes, wetlands and streams where Native Americans harvest wild rice, hunt, fish and claim treaty rights.

Several members of Congress and the Minnesota Legislature sent a letter to President Biden earlier this week that upset many union leaders. The letter highlighted environmental concerns, but also said "the influx of temporary residents in the region has exacerbated the concerns of violence and health threats to local communities..."

"My first reaction to it was disgust," said Jason George, leader of the International Operating Engineers Local 49. "The portrayal of workers in that letter, my members, Minnesotans, was shocking....I'll be sending a personal request to all of them who put their name on that letter to come to my union hall and educate themselves about pipelines and about the workers who build this country because they're woefully ignorant."

View Friday's news conference at Boom Island in Minneapolis via the video player below.


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