‘No Logical Reason’ Why Line 3 Pipeline Should Be Expanded, Says Bill McKibben

By Hannah Uebele  June 24, 2021Boston Public Radio

Listen 22:52 Bill McKibben on BPR | June 24, 2021

President Joe Biden revoked the controversial Keystone XL pipeline’s permit back in January, and the project was officially terminated by its developer earlier this month. But critics are worried that Biden has yet to withdraw permits for another, very similar, pipeline called Line 3.

The Line 3 pipeline, which is being built by Enbridge Energy, would carry thousands of barrels of oil through the watersheds of Minnesota. Indigenous communities and activists have protested an expansion of the pipeline, saying it would go through tribal lands and sensitive waterways.

Climate activist and writer Bill McKibben spoke to Boston Public Radio on Thursday about the Biden administration’s stance on the Line 3 pipeline.

“It’s a pipeline of exactly the same size, carrying exactly the same stuff as Keystone XL,” McKibben said. “So if in 2015, Keystone XL fails Obama’s climate test, it’s hard to imagine how [Line 3] passes Biden’s in 2021.”

Biden’s stance could be an attempt not to “rattle anyone’s cages” during negotiations of a bipartisan infrastructure bill, McKibben noted. “But there’s no logical reason at all that we should be building a new tar sands pipeline designed to last for 50 years,” he said.

Bill McKibben is a contributing writer for The New Yorker, a founder of the advocacy group 350.org and the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College. He also writes The Climate Crisis, The New Yorker’s environmental newsletter. His latest book is “Falter: Has The Human Game Begun To Play Itself Out?

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