After six years of delays and numerous protests over the last year, Enbridge’s replacement for Line 3 officially went into action Friday, Oct. 1.

Enbridge issued a press release Sept. 29 saying the Line 3 Replacement Project had reached substantial completion and it would be in service Friday. The step marked the replacement of the full 1,097-mile-long pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.

“After more than eight years of many people working together, extensive community engagement, and thorough environmental, regulatory and legal review, we are pleased that Line 3 is complete and will soon deliver the low cost and reliable energy that people depend on every day,” said Al Monaco, Enbridge president and chief executive officer. “From day one, this project has been about modernizing our system and improving safety and reliability for the benefit of communities, the environment and our customers.”

The announcement drew a flurry of responses last week – responses that varied both in tone and in support.

“Line 3’s competition is good news and a major accomplishment for our state,” said Minnesota Congressman Pete Stauber. “This would not have been possible without the hard work of union members, contractors and tribal members who successfully and safely managed its construction, as well as those who staunchly advocated for this replacement project.”

In response to the announcement, Honor the Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke issued a statement as part of a larger press release condemning “dirty tar sands oil.”

“Line 3 is a crime against the environment and indigenous rights, waters and lands, and it marks the end of the tar sands era – but not the end of the resistance to it,” said LaDuke, who also held a press conference Sept. 29. “Enbridge has raced to build this line before the federal court has passed judgment on our appeals about the line, but the people have: We believe the most expensive tar sands oil pipeline ever built in the U.S. will be the last.”

She recognized the many people – who used the name “water protectors” over the course of the construction – saying that their efforts “reshaped the world’s view on the climate crisis we are in.”

“You are the true heroes of this tragic saga,” she added.

Other groups, including Camp Migizi – a water protectors’ camp in Cloquet – promised to continue the fight, as did Tania Aubid, an Aitkin County resident and member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

“The livelihood of the Anishinaabeg people is consistently being put at the hands of genocidal terrorists, for whom have the delusions of being the conqueror,” Aubid said.

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