What is Line 3?

The Line 3 Expansion is a massive new tar sands oil pipeline being proposed through the heart of Northern Minnesota. If built, the pipeline would move 760,000 barrels per day of oil (bpd), an amount similar to Keystone XL (830,000 bpd) and the Dakota Access Pipeline (570,000 bpd). Line 3 would cross over a hundred waterways Minnesota alone, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River. It would also pass extremely close to the border of multiple Native nations and across hundreds of miles of treaty-protected land: land that those communities depend on for drinking water and wild rice gathering.

The company developing Line 3, Enbridge, is a Canadian company that owns a large share of the Dakota Access pipeline and is responsible for two of the largest inland oil spills in US history: 1991 in Grand Rapids, MN and 2010 in Kalamazoo, MI. Enbridge refers to this project as the “Line 3 Replacement,” intending for it to replace an existing, aging pipeline also called Line 3. However, this is no mere replacement: the new Line 3 would have more than double the capacity and follow a largely different route

For more information about Line 3, click here. 

What’s next in the process?

(Click here to read more at length about the status of the public process, summarized below)

In order to build the pipeline, Enbridge needs a number of permits and the approval of the Public Utilities Commission. In June 2018, the Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the pipeline project, ignoring the legal arguments concerning treaty rights and climate change and going against the concerns of 68,000 public comments (fully 94% of the public comments). But the fight is far from over.

More than a year after this approval, due to the movement of people who rose up to protect treaty rights, Minnesota's waters, and a livable future, Enbridge is still stuck in the public process trying to gain permits and public approval.

What are people doing about this?

Two Twin Cities-based volunteer teams meet regularly to plan resistance to Line 3. They are:

Hopeful resistance has been abundant throughout the long public process.

-A group of Indigenous youth fighting Line 3 went on a 250-mile canoe journey to stand for the water. Read more about their story here.

-A group of 13 young people (under 25) are legally intervening as a party in the case to stop Line 3, representing themselves in a room full of lawyers. Follow their work here.

-On Sept. 28, MN350 and 1,200 people from all corners of Minnesota, as well as many neighboring states, came together in Duluth for the Gichi-gami Gathering to Stop Line 3

Other official parties in the legal process to stop Line 3 include:

  • Fond Du Lac

  • Friends of the Headwaters

  • Honor the Earth

  • Leech Lake

  • Mille Lacs

  • Northern Water Alliance

  • Red Lake

  • Sierra Club

  • White Earth


Get Involved!

It is as important as ever now to take action and clearly communicate to public officials that we have a moral imperative to stop Line 3 for Anishinaabe people, protection of water, and safeguarding of future generations. Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light is committed to bringing the clarity and power of our faith traditions to bear in this movement.

Contact [email protected] to learn more about how to get involved.