Enbridge holding the Great Lakes hostage

July 8, 2021

By Barbara With

Illustration by William J Krupinski

Enbridge is holding the Great Lakes hostage. The Canadian foreign multi-national oil company is being enabled and protected by the State of Minnesota to take 5 billion gallons of our water as they rip their Line 3 across our forests and rivers, basically saying F-you to us and our kids and grandkids, to the health and well-being of the planet, and life as we know it.

On Nov. 16, 2020, 12 out of the 17 members of the Minnesota PCA’s Environmental Justice Advisory Group (MPCA) announced their resignation in protest of the decision to allow Line 3 to move forward. Their resignation letter criticized the pipeline’s environmental risks and the route’s violation of Indigenous treaty rights. 

“The decision to approve the permit sends a clear message that the Walz Administration and the MPCA hold no regard for the well-being of Minnesotans or our relatives around the world, who depend on us to dramatically, rapidly, and justly transition our economies away from fossil fuels,” the letter reads. 

Water protectors during Treaty People Gathering in Minnesota June 2021. Photo: Unicorn Riot

“In this territory alone, over 800 wetlands, 200 water bodies, 22 rivers—that’s what Enbridge seeks to contaminate with its tar sands,” Tara Houska, lawyer and founder of the Giniw Collective, told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. Houska noted that Enbridge bills Line 3 as a “replacement” project, but that is not the case. “It’s a brand-new pipeline and a brand-new route,” she told Goodman. “They want a new corridor. There is no pipeline in the places that we’re talking about. There is nothing there. It’s just pristine ecosystems.”

Shell City Campground Water Protector camp, July 2021. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Enbridge marches on, despite the cataclysmic danger. Despite violating treaty rights. Despite the public outcry. Despite warnings that the impact of Line 3 tar sands will be like building 50 coal plants. Despite the damage they will do to millions of lives. Despite lawsuits from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, who are suing to get Enbridge to take their 67-year-old Line 5 pipeline out of the Penokee watershed in northern Wisconsin. Despite the ailing pipes of Line 5 that cross under the Straits of Mackinac, on its ways to Canada again to be shipped to foreign markets, currently operating illegally.

Water protectors evicting Enbridge from the Straits of Mackinac, May 13, 2020. Photo: Barbara With

Enbridge is holding the planet hostage, purposefully sending us into extinction… for what? It’s not like we don’t have what we need to make the transition into a new sustainable world without fossil fuels.

Water protectors at Minnesota Governor’s mansion. Photo by Kori Suzuki, 2021

Then there’s all those Democrats who have been claiming to care about the impending climate chaos. Why then is Gov. Walz in bed with Enbridge? As is the Fond du Lac Tribal Council, despite the 7th Fire Prophesy. Why does President Biden side with Enbridge? But even in Michigan, an order from Governor Whitmer terminating Enbridge’s permit to operate isn’t stopping the oil cartel from now operating illegally and dangerously under the Straits of Mackinac.

We are all water protectors now. Take action to help stop Lines 3 and Line 5. Future generations are depending on us.

Photo: Overpass Light Brigade

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3 Comments on “Enbridge holding the Great Lakes hostage”

  1. Michele Bourdieu July 8, 2021 at 8:33 pm #

    To Barbara With:Barbara, this is an excellent article! Could I post it on Keweenaw Now as a guest article? I have been writing about Line 5 but haven’t been able to cover news on Line 3, and you talk about both. Also, could I have permission to use the image at the top and the photos? Or whom should I contact for the permission? Thanks for your good work! Michele Bourdieu, Editor, Keweenaw Now  Keweenaw Now

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    • wcmcoop July 20, 2021 at 9:09 pm #

      Hi Michelle it’s Rebecca. Please feel free to post any of our articles to Keweeaw Now!

  2. Ayi Etim July 14, 2021 at 5:56 pm #


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