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Line 3 Pipeline Resistance Heats Up

Residents of a camp near Cloquet are vowing to stop Enbridge Energy from building a new oil pipeline across Minnesota. (Laurie Stern)
Residents of a camp near Cloquet are vowing to stop Enbridge Energy from building a new oil pipeline across Minnesota. (Laurie Stern)
September 27, 2017

ST, PAUL, Minn. - Hundreds of people opposed to Enbridge Energy's proposed pipeline across Minnesota are expected on Thursday at a rally at the State Capitol.

The rally will be held at 4 p.m., between the only public hearings to take place in the Twin Cities. Resistance to the Line 3 pipeline has been growing quietly.

Dallon White, who grew up on the White Earth reservation and helped found a resistance camp on private property about 20 miles northeast of the pipeline route, said several families live at the solar-powered camp full time and many more come on the weekends.

"What happened is Standing Rock, that changed everything," White said. "I'm no longer alone. There's several other camps up, and I'm sure there will be more like this, a lot more."

Last month, White was among six people arrested for trespassing at the Line 3 construction site in Superior, Wis. He said they plan to continue with actions of civil disobedience until the pipeline proposal is defeated. Enbridge Energy has said the new pipeline is necessary to increase capacity and replace an old line in need of repair.

Meanwhile, a group of young people has gained a voice in court proceedings needed to approve the pipeline. Brent Murcia is one of 13 "Youth Intervenors," who range in age from 16 to 24.

"In Minnesota, any citizen can become a party in a case like this if they can show that they're directly affected by the outcome, and that no other party represents their interests," Murcia said. "This pipeline is supposed to last at least 30 years, so the impact of it will disproportionately hit the people who live with it the longest."

Murcia said the Youth Intervenors will rally, organize and argue against the pipeline in court. He said he believes that if they keep up the pressure, clean-energy backers will prevail over those who promote fossil fuels.

"There's so much passion and love being put into this fight, because people are really standing up for things and people and places and communities that they love," he said. "I think we can do this."

The Line 3 public hearings will be held at 1 and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul.

More information on the Youth Intervenors is online at stopline3, and the project information is at mn.gov.

Laurie Stern, Public News Service - MN