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Indigenous youth and organizers opposing the Dakota Access and Enbridge Line 3 pipelines will be in Washington on Thursday for a series of actions urging President Joe Biden to stop the projects.

Beginning with a run at 10:00 a.m. local time from the National Museum of the American Indian, youth will travel to the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters, 441 G St. NW, for a rally at 11:00 a.m.

Actions include carrying a 200-foot symbolic black snake, signifying the danger of pipelines, at the rally, a die-in, songs, dance, street theater and speeches from participants regarding environmental justice for Indigenous peoples, and urging the Army Corps to withdraw its permit of Line 3.

The White Earth and Red Lake Nations, the Sierra Club and Honor the Earth filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the water quality permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers failed to consider the far reaching environmental impacts of the Line 3 project.

The permit allows Enbridge to discharge dredged and fill materials from the project into rivers and streams in Minnesota treaty territory lands. This, opponents argue, could negatively impact tribal hunting, fishing and gathering as well as the health of wild rice, an important subsistence food and cultural resource for Ojibwe people.

The case is currently in oral arguments.

Water protectors rally against Line 3 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (photo by Mary Annette Pember)

Meanwhile, in a lawsuit in the Minnesota Court of Appeals regarding the state’s Public Utilities Commission approval of need for Line 3, the commission filed a brief stating that greenhouse gases associated with the pipeline “would not significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions because the oil transported through the pipeline isn’t produced by the pipeline.”

Macalester College physicist Jim Doyle found that emissions from Line 3 would equal the act of firing up 50 new coal fired power plants. In his report, “A Giant Step Backward,” Doyle notes that the Line 3 project would negate Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan’s proposed “One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy,” requiring electric utilities to zero out greenhouse emissions by 2050.

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The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the Army Corps granted an easement for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe dam without preparing an Environmental Easement Statement despite criticism from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

A hearing regarding Dakota Access’s right to continue the project without a key permit is scheduled for April 9.

Timing for pipeline opponents is key as President Biden administration officials announced a public accounting of Trump era politically motivated rule changes at the Environmental Protection Agency.

On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Michael Regan announced his decision to remove over 40 outside experts appointed by former President Donald Trump from the Science Advisory Board the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.

“Scientific integrity is one of EPA’s foundational values-and as Administrator, I am committed to ensuring that every decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards,” said Regan in a statement released by the Agency.

Find out more about the Indigenous youth event in D.C. at the Indigenous Environmental Network and Honor the Earth.

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