Line 3 opponents took their case against the controversial newly built pipeline to Washington last week, focusing on Democratic President Joe Biden during his first year in office.
A show of strength to demonstrate continued opposition to Line 3 came Tuesday near a popular area in the nation's capital, at an event that included music and speakers outside the headquarters for the Army Corps of Engineers. Some in the crowd held signs saying "STOP LINE 3" while another read "Biden Declare Climate Emergency."
"I hope that it gets more people out on the front line," 13-year-old Silas Neeland, a member of the White Earth Nation, said before Tuesday's event began. "I hope they finally listen."
After the event, a news release said opponents of Line 3 had "delivered one million petitions asking the Biden Administration to stop the project pending a full environmental review." While Biden has taken climate-focused action in his first year as president, some want to see more from the president, especially when it comes to Line 3.
"He campaigned on being the climate president," said Ron Turney, a White Earth Nation member who is also part of the Indigenous Environmental Network. "This is not the way to do it."
A legal challenge against Line 3 continues in a Washington, D.C., federal court, where pipeline opponents have sued to revoke the Army Corps' permit for Line 3. Biden's administration, through the Army Corps, has backed the permit in court. When asked to respond to the Line 3 opponents last week, a White House spokesperson pointed to comments press secretary Jen Psaki made last month. "We are certainly aware of the concerns, of the expression of viewpoints on this particular issue, no question about it," said Psaki. "But we're going to, it's in the middle of active litigation, so there's not a lot I can say from here on it."
Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner said in an e-mail that "pipeline opponents have apparently forgotten the open and transparent more than six-year review process of the Line 3 Replacement Project in Minnesota," when asked about the activity in Washington.
"Their rhetoric implies that government leaders and the courts somehow failed to prevent Line 3 from being built. The truth is that our regulatory system worked as intended," she said, adding that "the replacement of Line 3 was complete at the end of September. Line 3R/Line 93 came into service as expected on October 1."
Last week also saw protesters in Washington for People vs. Fossil Fuels, described by organizers as five days of civil disobedience. A news release from People vs. Fossil Fuels detailed an occupation of the Interior Department on Thursday, saying that 55 people were arrested. Melissa Schwartz, a Department of the Interior spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that Federal Protective Service personnel responded to a group of protesters who came into the Stewart Lee Udall Main Interior Building. "Multiple injuries were sustained by security personnel, and one officer has been transported to a nearby hospital," Schwartz said.