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?

In order to build the pipeline, Enbirdge needs two things - a Certificate of Need and a Routing Permit. To stop the pipeline, we have to argue that giving them these things is not Minnesota’s best interest. This September and October, nine public hearings will be the public’s opportunity to comment on Line 3. This November, an administrative law judge will hear legal arguments for and against the project. She will then consider those arguments, along with all public comments and a completed environmental review, before issuing a recommendation on Line 3 on February 28th. The final say goes to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which will issue its decision on April 30th.

What are people doing about this?

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

  • MN350’s Pipeline Resistance Team, which meets every other Thursday at 6:30 at 2104 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (next meeting is August 24th).

  • The Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil and Tar Sands Committee, which meets the third Tuesday of every month at [time and location needed]

A group of Indigenous youth fighting Line 3 are currently 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.

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