More than 2,000 people converged on northern Minnesota to oppose further construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline on June 7, 2021. Photo by Rilyn Eischens/Minnesota Reformer.
More than 200 celebrities, activists, writers and wealthy democratic donors sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to halt construction on Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota.
The list of signatories includes Katy Perry, Danny Glover, Leonardo DiCaprio and Amy Schumer. They call on Biden to make other moves toward sustainable energy, citing his campaign promises to take aggressive action on climate change. The letter also compares Line 3 to Keystone XL, the pipeline project for which Biden revoked a key permit on his first day in office.
“In politics you win some and you lose some. But treating this as a political balancing act — pleasing climate advocates on one pipeline and appeasing fossil fuel interests on the next — would not be realistic climate policy,” the letter says. “We are asking you to reject Line 3 and to firmly establish the principle that we will move forward toward real climate solutions — not backward and forward simultaneously.”
Pipeline opponents also argue in the letter that the project threatens natural resources critical to Indigenous people and violates their treaty rights to the land.
They reference a memo issued by Biden in January about tribal consultation, in which Biden said he would prioritize “respect for Tribal sovereignty and self-governance, commitment to fulfilling Federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations, and regular, meaningful, and robust consultation with Tribal Nations cornerstones of Federal Indian policy.”
“We need to move forward in the spirit of reconciliation toward our national ideals,” the letter reads. “This project would do the opposite.”
The letter comes just weeks after the Biden administration defended the project in response to a legal challenge filed by tribes and environmental groups over a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for the project. His administration urged the court to reject the challenge, a victory for Enbridge and major disappointment to activists fighting the pipeline in Minnesota.
The 337-mile Line 3 replacement is about 60% complete and expected to be operational by the end of the year, following six years of permitting, review and litigation. Opposition to the project has been heating up since construction started in December, including a demonstration that drew more than 2,000 people to northern Minnesota in early June.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.