Line 3 Protesters Temporarily Halt Clearwater County Road Construction Project
People protesting Enbridge’s plans for the construction of the Line 3 Pipeline halted construction today on a Clearwater County road construction project near where the Line 3 pipeline is intended.
The tipi blockade included a water ceremony performed by a Native American woman.
Clearwater County Sheriff’s Deputies cleared the scene after the protesters finished their ceremony and reported no arrests.
Clearwater County Highway Department planning documents show that this bridge construction project has been in the works since at least 2016.
“The road project had nothing to do with the future Line 3 pipeline construction in Clearwater County,” said Clearwater County Engineer Dan Sauve. “It was completely unrelated to that.”
Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, and Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, who support the pipeline project reacted to the news of the protest in a press release today.
“The Line 3 replacement pipeline is the safest and most efficient way to move oil to market,” said Rep. Grossell. “This project will bring badly needed jobs and commerce to Northern Minnesota. Shutting down a bridge in need of repair is just the latest example of how out-of-state protesters are standing in the way of good paying jobs and better quality of life for the people of our community all to suit their radical agenda.”
“This is an important project that has been in the planning stages for years and now protesters are standing in the way of its much-needed completion,” Rep. Green said. “These kinds of actions may grab headlines, but they ultimately will not sit well with people in our area. It’s actually going to alienate local citizens. Not everyone supports Line 3, but standing in the way of a bridge project is not a way to gain supporters for any type of cause.”
The group who organized the protest today is Ginew (Golden Eagle). The group describes itself as a grassroots, frontlines effort led by indigenous women to protect Anishinaabe territory from the destruction of Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands project.
In one press release today, the group claimed to be shutting down actual Line 3 construction, but construction on the pipeline has not started yet.
“There is no Line 3 Replacement Project construction going on anywhere in Minnesota. Construction is not expected until 2019,” Enbridge Communications Specialist Juli Kellner said in a press release. “Enbridge continues to work through Minnesota’s robust regulatory process and moving forward with obtaining numerous environmental and other required federal, state, and local permits.”