Rep. Ilhan Omar and three other “Squad” members made public remarks Friday in a last-ditch effort to get President Joe Biden to stop construction on the Line 3 pipeline.
Joining Omar along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis were Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, and Ayanna Pressley, as well as Minnesota state Sen. Mary Kunesh. The group is heading to northern Minnesota over the weekend to continue their anti-Line 3 tour by speaking with protesters and representatives of Native American communities.
“We are here because nearly all of Minnesota is in a state of drought. We are here because wildfires are burning in northern Minnesota,” Omar began her remarks. “We are here because the Twin Cities just had their hottest summer on record.”
“The climate crisis is now,” she asserted. “The climate crisis is happening and the last thing we need to do is allow the very criminals who created this crisis to build more fossil fuel infrastructure.”
Stop Line 3 https://t.co/TKskTc5rzG
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) September 3, 2021
In addition to the alleged impact on the climate, Omar once again claimed, as she has multiple times, that the pipeline puts the health and safety of local people at risk, particularly low-income communities and Native American tribes. She also said law enforcement is “repressing” anti-Line 3 protesters and “indigenous leaders.”
Many of these claims have been debunked. In one instance, Minnesota government officials responded to Omar’s recent letter to the president by saying she made multiple statements that include “false or misleading information,” then proceeded to offer a rebuttal to each one.
Alpha News also reported on the response of an engineers union leader who called Omar’s letter a series of “blatant and intentional insinuations.”
Line 3 has been one of the most studied pipeline projects in history, according to Enbridge. Prior to construction, the pipeline needed 24 total permits, authorizations, and licenses from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Fond du Lac Band and Lake Superior Chippewa tribes, three watershed districts, and Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, and Department of Transportation.
Republican legislators held a press conference at the Minnesota Capitol Friday morning to respond to the Squad’s visit.
“We are offended the D.C. ‘Squad,’ led by Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, is coming to northern Minnesota to protest and further obstruct a thoroughly vetted, tested, and approved project,” they said in a statement. “Their presence will only serve to incite the obstructionists when it’s clear Line 3 has brought incredible benefits to the state and people.”