What is Line 3?
The Line 3 Expansion is a massive new tar sands oil pipeline being proposed through the heart of Northern Minnesota. If built, the pipeline would move 760,000 barrels per day of oil (bpd), an amount similar to Keystone XL (830,000 bpd) and the Dakota Access Pipeline (570,000 bpd). Line 3 would cross over a hundred waterways Minnesota alone, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River. It would also pass extremely close to the border of multiple Native nations and across hundreds of miles of treaty-protected land: land that those communities depend on for drinking water and wild rice gathering.
The company developing Line 3, Enbridge, is a Canadian company that owns a large share of the Dakota Access pipeline and is responsible for two of the largest inland oil spills in US history: 1991 in Grand Rapids, MN and 2010 in Kalamazoo, MI. Enbridge refers to this project as the “Line 3 Replacement,” intending for it to replace an existing, aging pipeline also called Line 3. However, this is no mere replacement: the new Line 3 would have more than double the capacity and follow a largely different route
What’s next in the process?
In order to build the pipeline, Enbridge needs a number of permits and the approval of the Public Utilities Commission. In June 2018, the Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the pipeline project, ignoring the legal arguments concerning treaty rights and climate change and going against the concerns of 68,000 public comments (fully 94% of the public comments). But the fight is far from over.
More than a year after this approval, due to the movement of people who rose up to protect treaty rights, Minnesota's waters, and a livable future, Enbridge is still stuck in the public process trying to gain permits and public approval.
Currently, Enbridge is seeking approval from state agencies for a number of permits
-Army Corps of Engineers
-Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
-Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
What are people doing about this?
The movement to Stop Line 3 is a living ecosystem of advocacy, direct action, and education. Click here to visit an ever-evolving toolkit of ways those things are happening in the current moment!
Tell the Story!
Hopeful resistance has been abundant throughout the long public process.
-A group of Indigenous youth fighting Line 3 went on a 250-mile canoe journey to stand for the water. Read more about their story here.
-A group of 13 young people (under 25) are legally intervening as a party in the case to stop Line 3, representing themselves in a room full of lawyers. Follow their work here.
-On Sept. 28, MN350 and 1,200 people from all corners of Minnesota, as well as many neighboring states, came together in Duluth for the Gichi-gami Gathering to Stop Line 3
-Faith leaders lead on Line 3! 550 faith leaders said no to Line 3 at the Public Utilities Commission in June 2018, then gathered at the Headwaters of the Mississippi for an interfaith prayer gathering to Protect Sacred Water, then in February 2020 returned to the Minnesota Capitol to pray for that same water in the Governor’s Office.
Other official parties in the legal process to stop Line 3 include:
Fond Du Lac
Friends of the Headwaters
Honor the Earth
Northern Water Alliance
It is as important as ever now to take action and clearly communicate to public officials that we have a moral imperative to stop Line 3 for Anishinaabe people, protection of water, and safeguarding of future generations. Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light is committed to bringing the clarity and power of our faith traditions to bear in this movement.
Contact [email protected] to learn more about how to get involved.