I have read the letters to the editor, heard the ads on the radio, had ads on my social media and my son’s YouTube feeds, driven by dozens of road signs, and read the ads in the newspaper telling me that I should support Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project. I still am nowhere near convinced that this is the responsible thing to do.
They say building Line 3 will create thousands of jobs (most of them short-term). They say building Line 3 is the safest thing to do (the safest thing to do is not build it and decommission the old line). They say we need Line 3 to boost our economy (building solar panels along the pipeline route would boost our economy, too). They say we need this oil (we don’t; we have plenty of other pipelines that can fulfill demand). They say this project has taken too long (there is a reason – we are attempting to quit an addiction).
Currently the Line 3 pipeline is running at 50% capacity. Have we suffered? I say shut the old Line 3 down and begin the Just Transition.
I don’t see the ads saying anything about climate change or the toxic tailings ponds or the severe habitat destruction. No one mentions the huge amounts of water and energy needed to process Canadian tar sands. Tar sands is the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive oil in the world. I can’t even begin to describe all of the pointless plastic items made from these petrochemicals that create plastic waste being found everywhere. Everywhere.
There are very few constants in our lives. We all need water and air, the cleaner the better. We all need Mother Earth. The more we respect her, the better. We have forgotten our responsibility as members of a community.
Building another pipeline, with another 50 years of polluting infrastructure, is not being a good relative. We need to go in the opposite direction, and fortunately, Minnesota has committed to going down a different path. A greener, cleaner path. A path that is better for the greater good, for the longer term. I’m not saying “no oil,” I’m saying “less.”
I see a different future where we slowly begin to heal the Earth and our relationships to each other. There are no more oil pipelines built in that future. Can you see it? We are in trouble if you can’t.