Reader's View: Delay Line 3 to protect people, the planet

COVID-19 is raging in Minnesota.

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The Red Lake and White Earth bands of Chippewa filed a motion on Nov. 25 asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to stay its approval of Line 3 construction. If construction is allowed to proceed this winter, it would cause irreparable harm, they argue.

COVID-19 is raging in Minnesota. Hospital capacity is stretched to the limits, and we are back in a partial lockdown. If construction starts on Line 3, Enbridge plans to mobilize more than 4,000 workers, including out-of-state workers, into temporary housing across rural Minnesota this winter. This would put the health of those workers, and rural and tribal communities, at risk of irreversible harm from COVID-19.

Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce filed a legal appeal in August after its review shows there is not enough oil demand to merit the construction of a new Line 3. If construction is permitted now, Enbridge will start digging up wetlands, cutting down forests, and drilling across river beds. This Canadian oil company will cause irreversible harm to our precious natural infrastructure while Minnesotans wait for our day in court.

Throughout the Line 3 regulatory process, we’ve heard that we must follow the science and follow the process. If that is really the case, then we should let the process play out at all times. Not just when it works in favor of Enbridge. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must issue a stay on construction of Line 3 to protect people, the planet, and the process.

Vishnu Laalitha Surapaneni



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