Line 3 to Begin Flow of Dirty Tar Sands Oil Friday

The Biden administration still has time to reverse course and conduct required analysis


Keith Rushing, Earthjustice, (757) 897-2147

Moneen Nasmith, Earthjustice, (212) 845-7384

Alexis Andiman, Earthjustice, (212) 845-7394 

This morning, Enbridge announced that oil on the illegally permitted Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota will begin flowing on Friday.

“The announcement that Line 3 will begin operating is sad news for anyone who cares about respecting Indigenous cultural resources and communities and the need to fight climate change,” said Earthjustice Attorney Moneen Nasmith.

“Line 3’s operations will be responsible for more yearly greenhouse gas emissions than many medium-sized countries,” Nasmith said, adding: “The fact that the Biden administration is allowing the project to start operating without having considered those emissions is unacceptable. We need the President to lead on climate.”

“The Biden administration has had months to rescind Enbridge’s permits and make good on its promises to take tribal concerns and the climate crisis seriously,” said Earthjustice Attorney Alexis Andiman. “The administration and the Army Corps can still do the right thing and reverse course on the Trump administration’s illegal approval of the water permit and conduct the analysis that’s required under federal law of climate change impacts and treaty-protected resources.”

Honor the Earth’s Executive Director Winona LaDuke said: “Line 3 is a crime against the environment and Indigenous rights, waters and lands, and it marks the end of the tar sands era — but not the end of the resistance to it. Enbridge has raced to build this line before the Federal court has passed judgment on our appeals about the line, but the people have: We believe the most expensive tar sands oil pipeline ever built in the U.S. will be the last. And I personally want to recognize the many Water Protectors over the years who came from Native communities, from Minnesota cities and from around the country to put their lives on hold to bear witness to the dangerous environmental folly that is Line 3. 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. You are the true heroes of this tragic saga.”


Earthjustice, which is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — on behalf of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Honor the Earth, and the Sierra Club — is arguing the federal agency illegally approved a water permit so Enbridge could construct a 330-mile pipeline carrying tar sands oil.

Earthjustice argues in the lawsuit filed in December that the Army Corps, in approving the permit, failed to fulfill its duty to evaluate the pipeline’s risks to tribes and tribal resources and contributions to climate change, as well as other devastating impacts the pipeline would have on waters and wetlands in Minnesota.

In November, under the Trump administration, Canadian oil giant Enbridge received a permit from the Army Corps after ignoring environmental risks and threats to tribes and the environment.

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