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News Release

Western Organization of Resource Councils

Yesterday, Indigenous, environmental, and allied activists, including Mark Ruffalo, Winona LaDuke (Executive Director, Honor the Earth), and Tara Houska (Founder, Giniw Collective) held a press call to follow their letter sent to the Biden administration calling for an immediate stop to the Line 3 pipeline.

Signed by more than 200 actors, musicians, environmentalists, Democratic donors, and community leaders, the letter, delivered yesterday morning, applauded the administration for its work thus far in cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline, and urged President Biden and Jaime Pinkham of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to follow this same standard with the nearly identical Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota.

[LISTEN TO THE FULL CALL HERE]

The following are portions of the speakers’ statements from yesterday’s call:

Mark Ruffalo, Award-winning Actor, Co-Founder, Solutions Project

“The Line 3 pipeline is an attack on our clean water and our climate that perpetuates environmental injustice and our nation’s shameful legacy of oppression of Indigenous peoples. The time to act is now. President Biden and Army Corps of Engineers Secretary Jaime Pinkham must take swift action to reject the Line 3 pipeline. By withdrawing the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for the pipeline, these leaders can show they are serious about pursuing those critical goals. When we build back better, we can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. Stopping Line 3 isn’t just an investment in building a better future, it's a necessity if President Biden plans to keep his promises to Indigenous peoples and his pledge to tackle the climate crisis.”

Tara Houska, Founder, Giniw Collective

“Since the construction of the Line 3 project, there have been over 500 people arrested throughout the course of resisting this destructive force that should have never been allowed in the first place, including myself. The level of state repression has become a point of human rights being openly violated. The people who have been arrested have been thrown into kennels, we’ve been shackled, we've been strip-searched, all for misdemeanor charges. And now they've started to offset two felony charges for doing nothing more than protecting the land and the water. We are not trespassing, Enbridge is trespassing.

The situation is dire and it's not going to stop, we are not going to stop. The border crossing permits that were issued under President Trump must be suspended and reviewed by the new administration. There is no way it will pass any semblance of a climate test, and there is no way it is in line with the protection of Tribal cultural resources, of which there are many in this territory. This is a direct violation and an appalling approach towards Indigenous sovereignty and towards these ideals that the President is purporting to have by placing themselves as a climate President. We are asking for action, not just words. And our rivers are under a full-on assault right now.”

Moneen Nasmith, Attorney, Earthjustice

“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration is not using the authority it possesses and instead is waiting for a court to force them to do the right thing. In fact, it's even worse, they're doubling down in court and they are defending the Trump administration's illegal actions. The Biden administration, including Jaime Pinkham and the Army Corps of Engineers and President Biden himself as the commander in chief of the Army Corps of Engineers have to swiftly rescind these permits and redo the analysis the right way.

The analysis of climate by the Army Corps was a single paragraph that dismissed the climate impacts of this pipeline as de minimis. That is so absolutely contrary to everything that President Biden has said about climate, all the promises he has made. It is shocking that they have not used the authority they have to rescind these permits and do a proper legitimate climate analysis. The climate crisis isn't going to be resolved by an executive order or promises or words, President Biden is responsible for ensuring that all the agencies that report to him including the Corps, actually use the power they have to make permitting decisions that are consistent with taking this climate crisis seriously. We are confident that once the Corps does an environmental impact statement, and actually does an appropriate analysis it will be clear that this project cannot be permitted to go forward.”

Loren Blackford, Political Donor and Fundraiser, Former Sierra Club President

“[President Biden] centered his campaign around climate action and environmental justice, and made a promise to Americans that, if elected, he would transition us away from fossil fuel and towards a just, clean economy. If President Biden is to make good on this promise, and stay true to the millions of people across the country who tirelessly organized, mobilized, and donated to his campaign, he must stop the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.”

The full audio recording of yesterday’s press call can be found here.

Jane Fonda Instagram video.