Line 3 pipeline expansion must be stopped

The Line 3 pipeline expansion must be stopped

Gerald Sastra/ The Cougar

In order to combat climate change and help Indigenous people, we need to support the Stop Line 3 movement. 

Line 3 is a pipeline expansion that would bring about oil from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. Canadian company Enbridge, the same company that is responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the United States, proposed this expansion. The pipeline would go through wetlands and the treaty territory of the Anishinaabe. 

This pipeline threatens wildlife, climate and would break treaties with the Anishinaabe along with other Indigenous groups. An oil spill would also likely threaten the health of Indigenous people in the pipeline’s path.

The U.S. government is obligated to respect and honor treaties with Indigenous groups. This pipeline violates treaties that guarantee Anishinaabe tribe members’ rights to harvest on their land and preserve cultural sites. The pipeline would go through rice fields, which provide sacred food to the tribe. Enbridge’s largest oil spill in 2010 severely and permanently damaged the Nottawaseppi people’s land. This oil company can’t be trusted to not damage Indigenous land. 

It’s widely known that oil spills greatly damage the environment. They kill animals and plants, damage pH levels, pollute the air as well as water and basically can make the area unlivable for most species. Biodiversity is essential for our planet to survive, so hurting the habitats of many animals is dangerous.

To clean up an oil spill, the oil has to be burnt away, which releases carbon emissions into the atmosphere contributing to climate change. Overall, oil is bad for the environment and it would certainly damage the wetlands and rice fields of the Anishinaabe nation.

Additionally, the building of pipelines strongly correlates with the murders of Indigenous women and those who have gone missing. For the safety and rights of Indigenous people, as well as the safety of our planet, Line 3 must be stopped.

Pipelines often result in the deaths and disappearance of Indigenous women. This is due to man camps, which are temporary housing for pipeline workers, near Indigenous reservations. Since September of 2019, there have been 690 cases of missing Indigenous people in thirty six states. These pipelines result in direct violence against Indigenous communities. 

Thankfully, there is a movement to stop this pipeline from being built. The Stop Line 3 movement has water protectors out on the frontlines protesting the construction. However, police are arresting, shooting with rubber bullets and using tear gas on peaceful protestors. Indigenous people are being brutalized by police for protecting their land sovereignty and the environment. 

The time to act is now. Stop Line 3 has a lot of resources on how to help the cause such as writing to legislators and President Biden asking to stop the pipeline’s construction. Donations can also be made directly to people on the frontlines. We can’t keep allowing oil to take precedent over Indigenous lives and the health of this planet. 

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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