For all of us, President Biden, stop the Enbridge tar sands oil pipeline from traversing Minnesota. I spoke at my court hearing in Aitkin, Minn., last week. After eight years of fighting pipelines within the law, I needed to civilly, disobediently, say STOP, no more. This pipeline is wrong. It makes no sense to build fossil fuel infrastructure at this point in human history, in planetary history. We are facing a science-based deadline of less than 10 years to stop the release of climate changing gases into our atmosphere. I want a future for the children of the world that includes a beautiful livable planet with lots of diverse species. I want an end to wealthy nations like ours treating less wealthy peoples like what happens to them is unimportant; an end to the arrogance that says our corporate profits are more important than their lives. People watch as their island nations disappear as oceans rise; as extreme weather events and fires destroy everything in their path.
Indigenous communities have legitimate reasons for opposing the pipeline. Oil pipelines have a horrific record of spills and leaks. There have been spills from brand new pipelines and thousands of spills from pipelines of every age. Our treaties give Indigenous tribes rights to hunt and fish and gather on treaty protected lands. Tar sands oil going through these pipelines must be diluted with diluents to make that sludge liquid enough to flow. Those diluents are known to be toxic carcinogens. The wild rice that grows in lakes adjacent to the pipeline route is highly sensitive to disruptions in its growth environment. Threats to the environment on treaty protected lands make those rights a bad joke.
May we protect our families and communities by protecting the water we all need to live.