Oil pipeline protest in Green Bay aimed at stopping construction, protecting land and water
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Protestors in Green Bay want the construction of two oil pipelines that run through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan to stop.
Action 2 News spoke with protestors on August 7 at City Deck about their environmental and safety concerns, while the energy company responsible says they’ve done everything to minimize them.
“These pipelines are constantly leaking,” protest organizer and member of the JOSHUA Environmental Justice Task Force, Justice Peche, said. “There has never been a pipeline that doesn’t leak. They’re destroying the wild rice fields out in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They’re violating treaty rights by destroying these lands that the First Nations have the rights to hunt, fish, and gather on.”
The Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines are being repaired and expanded by Enbridge, one of the leading energy delivery companies in North America.
“This Line 3 issue, we are involved because it is an international issue,” Bobbie Webster, chair of the JOSHUA Environmental Justice Task Force, highlighted. “It affects climate change, it affects treaty rights it affects human rights and it’s something that should concern all of us.”
Line 3 travels about 1,100 miles from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. Line 5 picks up where Line 3 leaves off and continues into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to transport crude oil and natural gas liquids.
In a statement released on August 6, Enbridge said Line 3 construction permits include conditions that specifically protect wild rice waters. Their pipelines have coexisted with Minnesota’s most sacred and productive wild rice stands for over seven decades, Enbridge added.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently concluded that Enbridge “reasonably selected a route for the replacement pipeline based upon respect for tribal sovereignty, while minimizing environmental impacts.”
When it comes to who will be working on this new construction, protestors have even more concerns - especially when it comes to Native American women.
“We are targets of human trafficking,” an Ojibwe woman and member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sandy Gokee, said. “We are targets of these man camps. These people come in with money to spend because they are being paid well and have time on their hands. No family around them. What are they going to do?”
Action 2 News reached out to Enbridge about protestors’ complaints and the company shared that all Line 3 Replacement Project Workers are required to complete human trafficking awareness training and the company has zero tolerance for such illegal behavior which can lead to immediate termination.
According to Enbridge, the Line 3 project is already 80% complete in Minnesota, and is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of this year.
To visit the STOPLINE3 website, click here.
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