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Tribal Activist 'Dismayed' By Line 3 Court Ruling

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Tuesday, June 15, 2021   

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld approvals of permits for the Line 3 oil pipeline.

The move is seen as a win for Enbridge Energy, the company behind the project, but tribal activists opposed to the effort say they'll keep fighting.

In a 2-to-1 decision, the court said state regulators acted properly when giving their consent to Line 3, which is being built to replace an aging oil pipeline that runs across northern Minnesota.

Winona LaDuke is one of the leading tribal advocates speaking out against Line 3. She said the state, including Gov. Tim Walz, has let them down.

"I am so dismayed by the Court of Appeals, and we will stand in resistance with thousands of others," LaDuke vowed. "This summer is young."

She contended the ruling will result in more people arrested or hurt, with opposition surfacing along the construction route. Last week, protesters held their largest gathering yet, resulting in arrests after people locked themselves to equipment.

Meanwhile, LaDuke emphasized they are pleading with the Biden administration to intervene. Canada-based Enbridge said Line 3 creates thousands of jobs, and that high degrees of safety are being applied to construction and maintenance.

Installation of Line 3 is nearly 60% complete, and the court noted its presence, while troublesome to many groups and tribal members, is less of an environmental risk than the current line. But LaDuke said it's a direct threat to natural resources tribes rely on.

"All of our wild-rice watersheds are now subject to Enbridge's aggression and destruction," LaDuke asserted.

Even if this decision is appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, opponents worry it would take a long time before a ruling is issued, which is why they want President Joe Biden to take action with construction moving forward.


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