On August 17th, more than 50 health professionals, public health advocates, and water protectors rallied outside the US Army Corps of Engineers’ office in the Lloyd District of Northeast Portland. The attendees delivered a letter signed by over 300 Oregonians calling on President Biden to revoke permits for Line 3, a tar sands oil pipeline being built by Canadian corporation Enbridge through Anishinaabe treaty territory in Minnesota. The rally occurred at the same time as a dozen other actions across the country, including in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our sincere thanks to everyone who joined us in solidarity with water protectors and other health professionals across the country opposing Line 3.
Oregon PSR member Marilee Dea, RN, speaks at the rally. Photo courtesy of Karen Weliky.
"The latest IPCC report on climate change confirmed what we already know and are experiencing firsthand: the climate crisis is happening now, causing extreme heat, megafires, historic droughts, and more," said Marilee Dea, a retired pediatric nurse practitioner and Oregon PSR member who traveled at the invitation of Indigenous water protectors to Line 3 in Minnesota to provide medical care in July. "Line 3, like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, is an environmental injustice on Native American treaty lands that must not be built. The bare minimum in addressing the health crisis of climate change is rejecting any and all new fossil fuel pipelines."
Art McConville, with Cathy Sampson-Kruse, Juniper and Annette Sampson. Photo courtesy of Karen Weliky.
“It was important that I stand with our People in every situation and cause and be willing to make the same sacrifices if necessary. It is my unwritten responsibility as an Elder,” said Art McConville, a Nez Perce Elder who also traveled to support the water protectors on the front lines of Line 3.
Line 3 is a tar sands oil pipeline akin to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines that is being built in Minnesota through the territories of the Anishinaabe people, violating treaty rights, damaging sacred wild rice beds, and threatening the health of Indigenous communities. If built and operational, the oil from Line 3 would add 50 coal plants’ worth of emissions every year it is in operation. Line 3’s route crosses over 200 water bodies in Minnesota, including the Mississippi headwaters and rivers that feed directly into Lake Superior and the Mississippi River, which supplies drinking water to over 50 major US cities.
Oregon PSR Board member Candice Jimenez, MPH, speaks at the rally. Photo courtesy of Karen Weliky.
President Biden has pledged the United States to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and holds the authority to revoke permits for the Line 3 pipeline.
Oregon PSR were the core organizers of the rally, with support from 350PDX, Sunrise Movement PDX, Oregon Interfaith Power & Light, and others as we answered the call for solidarity actions from Minnesota-based Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate.
All photos courtesy of Karen Weliky.