Our Movement Stopped Keystone XL. Now President Biden Must #StopLine3

Having spent the last decade fighting tar sands pipelines, last week was an emotional roller coaster. 

On Wednesday evening, TC Energy, the company behind Keystone XL, announced that they had finally pulled the plug on their proposed tar sands pipeline 13 years after originally proposing it. I heard about this victory as I was heading home from northern Minnesota, where I’d spent the last five days standing with thousands of Indigenous leaders and allies against another tar sands project -- this one already under construction -- Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 pipeline. 

Though it’s received less national attention over the years than Keystone XL, the Line 3 pipeline would be just as disastrous for frontline communities and the climate. If completed, the pipeline would transport more than 760,000 barrels of toxic tar sands oil per day through more than 200 bodies of water in the Mississippi River headwaters region and the pristine lake country of northern Minnesota where Native Americans harvest wild rice and hold treaty rights. Minnesota regulators have rubber-stamped the project, and the Trump administration rushed to grant the necessary federal permits last year. 

As we gathered along the Mississippi River last week to call on President Biden to uphold Indigenous Treaty rights and protect Minnesota’s clean water and our climate by stopping the pipeline, we were aware that we faced an uphill battle, as the pipeline is already under construction. But I was grateful to be in the presence of so many determined Indigenous leaders, activists, and allies coming together in peaceful solidarity to keep up the fight against a project that would threaten Indigenous ways of life and the health of our planet. 

The news that we’d beaten Keystone XL after all these years was a reminder that these fights always seem impossible until we’ve won them, and that our movement has the power to face seemingly insurmountable odds and come out victorious.  

This is a movement that has not only beaten back Keystone XL, but also stopped the world’s largest proposed fracked gas-to-methanol facility in its tracks in Washington and blocked a 600-mile fracked gas pipeline through the Southeast, to name just a few of the wins of the last year. This is also a movement that helped elect Joe Biden president by pushing him to embrace and campaign on a bold, ambitious plan to tackle the climate crisis and environmental injustice.

We will continue to build on this momentum and stand together to protect our right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy climate. That means keeping the pressure up to ensure that President Biden keeps his promise to protect our communities and climate, not just from Keystone XL, but from all dirty pipeline projects, including the Line 3, Line 5, and Dakota Access pipelines. 

President Biden can act now to stop Line 3 by instructing the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke a critical water-crossing permit. 

Join me in calling on the Biden administration to #StopLine3 now.