Then newly-elected Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz wrote in 2019 that “Minnesota will lead on climate change if Washington won’t,” but in the face of pressure from the fossil fuel industry, his administration refused the take the step that would have done just that. On Friday, Nov. 13, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) rejected the idea of actually controlling pollution, and instead granted water permits to Line 3, a pipeline which would bring an estimated additional 530K bpd (barrels per day) of tar sands oil to Superior, WI.
MN 350, Honor the Earth, Friends of the Headwaters, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, and many other organizations have been fighting a new Line 3 since it was proposed in 2014. 350 Madison has supported their efforts in many ways, including several bus trips to Minnesota, the latest one being on Sept 28, 2019, when many of us attended a colorful rally along Duluth’s waterfront.
Several groups are filing lawsuits, and also motions to stay, which could stop construction until the lawsuits are heard. Meanwhile, the reaction to the Walz Administration’s decision has been swift. On Tues., Nov. 17, 12 out of the 17 members of an environmental justice advisory group to the MPCA resigned in protest, saying that they “cannot continue to legitimize and provide cover for the MPCA’s war on Black and brown people.”
Meanwhile, the GINIW collective is continuing to do non-violent resistance. On Nov. 18, Mira Grinsfelder, a member of the 350 Madison Tar Sands Team, was one on 2 people arrested for locking themselves down to a piece of machinery at a Line 3 pumping station, causing work to stop for the day.
If Line 3 is built, it will most likely mean that Enbridge will soon dust off its plans for Line 66, aka the Line 61 Twin, which they hope to run parallel to the Line 61 corridor that goes diagonally from Superior to Delevan. Line 66 is also seen as a possible alternative to Line 5, if MI Gov. Gretchen Whitmer succeeds in shutting it down.
We need your help! Please contact Phyllis at Phyllis.hasbrouck@350Madison.com if you want to learn about how you could be a part of the Tar Sands Team, no matter where you live.