Earlier this month, twelve of the 17-members of the MPCA's Environmental Justice Advisory Group resigned after the agency approved a key water quality permit for the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project.
After four years of working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the advisory group submitted a letter to MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop saying they could not "continue to legitimize and provide cover for the MPCA's war on Black and brown people."
Opponents of the Line 3 project had plenty of reasons to fight it up until now, citing concerns over water quality, wild rice beds, and an increase in greenhouse gases.
But since the pandemic began, not only has the bottom fallen out of the fossil fuel market, according to Honor the Earth's Executive Director, Winona LaDuke, but Enbridge has "unleashed 4200 workers - many from out-of-state - into the most high-risk communities."
LaDuke says Native Americans are over 5 times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 and asserts that Minnesota can't "commit to justice and then shove a pipeline down the throats of the poorest and most at-risk people in the state of Minnesota."