February 25, 2021

Thousands Tell Joe Biden: People Power Not Pipelines

USA — On Thursday, February 25, 800 people showed solidarity with community leaders in fossil fuel impacted communities who spoke at a telepresser and virtual rally on the fights to stop Line 3 and the Dakota Access pipelines, and demanded Joe Biden implement a Climate Test. You can find the recording here.

This comes as communities across Minnesota are rising up to protect land, water, and treaty rights as Line 3 pipeline construction begins and lawsuits are filed in opposition. Meanwhile communities on the Dakota Access pipeline route are mobilizing to pressure Biden to end the project once and for all. More than 300,000 people across the country have signed petitions to demand Biden stop Line 3 and the Dakota Access pipeline and we delivered them to the Biden administration.

To be a climate president, Biden must build on his rejection of Keystone XL by stopping both pipelines and implementing a climate test on all federal permitting and projects to ensure any project not aligned with tackling the climate crisis and keeping warming under 1.5 degrees does not move forward. 

Communities across the US are recovering and rebuilding from devastating climate impacts, from extreme winter throughout the Gulf South to wildfires throughout the West. 350.org is hosting a Week of Action from March 29th to April 3rd to pressure the Biden Administration to take real action to Build Back Fossil Free.

“Native people are on the front lines of this fight. As an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Nation, I was inspired by the events at Standing Rock and the actions of the water protectors there. Now, as an organizer with MN350, I invest my time working with other Native leaders to stop Line 3 and other fossil fuel infrastructure that invades our land, our waterways and violate the Treaties. Treaties were signed so that we could retain our culture and to live as good neighbors and good stewards of Mother Earth, Mama Aki. In this time of national reflection, thousands of supporters in Minnesota and nationwide are recognizing that our collective well-being depends upon living in balance with the land and with each other. Yet companies like Enbridge, a Canadian oil giant, are allowed to ignore the rights, self-determination, and inherent sovereignty of tribal people while putting our shared waterways at risk,” said Nancy Beaulieu of RISE Coalition & MN350.

“When Gina McCarthy was asked about Enbridge and DAPL, she said every pipeline would be considered on an independent basis. Here’s the basics of Line 3: it’s not a local job creator, Enbridge failed its promises and well over half of its workers are from out of state. Enbridge’s Line 3 violates Indigenous treaty rights, that’s why 3 different tribes are suing. This isn’t a replacement, it’s a triple capacity line through untouched wetlands and 200 bodies of water, including the Mississippi River headwaters. Lastly, Enbridge can’t even demonstrate the “need” for Line 3, that’s why Minnesota’s Department of Commerce is suing Minnesota for issuing a certificate of need. Expanding tar sands in the face of the climate crisis is insanity. Stop Line 3 and shutdown DAPL,” said Tara Houska of the Giniw Collective.

Honor the Earth opposes the Line 3 tar sands oil project because, like Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce, it believes that the line is unnecessary and is not economically or environmentally viable, especially now as the tar sands industry collapses. Line 3’s most serious immediate impacts will be on Indigenous peoples and their lands and waters along the line. But the increasing climate threats to Minnesota – and the planet — will be exponentially exacerbated by this pipeline. In short, Line 3 is a climate time bomb. Tar sands is the dirtiest and most expensive oil on the planet to extract, and the equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants, or 38 million vehicles on our roads, according to Jim Doyle, a physicist at Macalester College. The deadly carbon cost aside, the potential social cost of this pipeline is $287 billion over 30 years. It also flies in the face of everything Governor Walz and his agencies have said about improving relations with tribal communities and protecting against climate change. We need President Biden to continue to pursue his renewable energy agenda and Stop Line 3,” said Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth.

“This NoDapl fight is very important to me because it changed my life to be a leader, to speak up for what I believe in for my people  and be a representative for the youth on a bigger platform. To show Youth that our voices matter, we matter. We need to protect our lands and stand up for what we believe in for our future generations. If we don’t stand up now, when!?” said William Cameron, resident of the Standing Rock Reservation.

“Dear President Biden and administration. I pray everyday that each of you chooses to be on the right side of history! Remember Mni Wiconi – Water Is Life! Without clean drinking water, millions of humans, animals, and our planet Earth will not survive. Now is the time to shut down Dakota Access Pipeline and Line 3! As our leaders in office each of you all took an oath to ensure protection of our human rights and lives. As an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Nation, it is time the United States government respects our sovereignty as a Nation and our relatives across Turtle Island. It is time to move forward and start saving our only home – Unci Maka – Grandmother Earth! I believe in each of you to make the right decision. Think about your family’s future generations and my children.  Mitakuye Oyasin, We Are All Related!” said Bobbi Jean Three Legs of Seeding Sovereignty. 

“We must transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible for the health of our planet and our communities but we must do so in a just and equitable way to protect workers and communities from economic harm. We must create a transition that is both environmentally and economically sustainable,” said Michael Leon Guerrero of the Labor Network for Sustainability.

Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline was a critical step for securing a stable climate and justice for the communities in its path, and by that same logic, Biden also needs to stop Line 3.  Hundreds of thousands of people have raised their voices in solidarity with this indigenous-led struggle, and we will not give up, or be distracted. Everybody deserves clean water, clean air and a stable climate, and we cannot and will not allow Enbridge or the politicians who do Enbridge’s bidding to attack those rights so blatantly. We call on Biden to stop Line 3 now,” said Keya Chatterjee of US Climate Action Network. 

“If we’re going to build back better, as Biden says, we’ll need to end dangerous pipeline construction, prevent all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and Build Back Fossil Free. Fossil fuel companies have destroyed our planet and harmed our communities irreparably, specifically Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. Now we’re rising to secure the livable future we all deserve, which means an end to Line 3 and DAPL and the enactment of a Climate Test,” said Brooke Harper of 350.org.