By: Jacob Philip
Summary. Canadian oil company Enbridge's recently constructed Line 3 pipeline runs southeast from Canada’s oil sands region across northern Minnesota and into the western tip of Lake Superior near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. Throughout it’s construction this pipeline was highly contested not only because of the risk of a potential oil spill somewhere along the route, but also because the set route violates multiple indigneous land treaties with the United States government. Despite this, the project was completed at the end of September this year and Enbridge claimed that it was fully operational by the beginning of October. However, this has not stopped climate activists and indigenous water protectors from continuing their protests, even in the face of over 900 activists being arrested. Alongside this, Enbridge has reimbursed Minnesota state and local police over 2.4 million dollars for surveilling and arresting anti-pipeline activists, even going so far as to pay for things such as meals and hotels for officers from other regions of the state. Activists continue their fight even in the face of such conditions because this pipeline has more than doubled carbon emissions for the state of Minnesota. Additionally, even though the Minnesota Court of Appeals has claimed that the project meets state and federal clean water standards, there was no federal environmental impact assessment completed prior to pipeline construction. Activists have said that they intend to continue protests until the pipeline is no longer operational, while Enbridge has stated that they have no intentions of closing Line 3 in the foreseeable future.
Why we should care? I think that we should care about this topic because it sets a precedent for the construction/decommission of other pipelines such as Michigan's own Line 5.
I found this article interesting because I think it is something we should all be concerned about given the climate crisis. Personally I do not believe that anything that would double the carbon emissions of an entire state should be constructed in the modern day and while I am by no means an expert/authority on energy resources I feel comfortable saying that there has to be a better way to meet our energy needs. Alongside this the whole time I was researching it was really frustrating to learn about just how much Enbridge seems to have gotten away with in this situation with little to no regard for the population or environment.
Science in Action.
Dr. David Schindler was an ecologist at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Schindler did research on tar sands extraction proving that the process creates many pollutants in the surrounding environment, disproving the statement that Enbridge and the Canadian government had put out saying that these pollutants were "naturally occurring".