Dear President Biden,
As people of faith and spirit across the United States, we urge you to take bold, executive action to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
We applaud your opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, and your support of a climate test for pipelines. Line 3 is on the same scale as Keystone XL and Dakota Access. Not only does Line 3 violate Indigenous rights, the pipeline would be a 10% expansion of tar sands. In total, the pollution this pipeline would carry is equal to about 50 coal power plants. In order to be a consistent climate leader, you must extend the same criteria to the Line 3 pipeline and do everything in your power to reject this pipeline and build back from COVID-19 fossil free.
As a devout Catholic, you have surely heard the first lines of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’s encyclical:
...Our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us...This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
We must not further plunder our earth, soil, water, and air if we are going to continue to live on this earth. Minnesotans submitted 68,000 public comments against Line 3, they've marched in the streets, attended the hearings and engaged in every step of the process. Despite Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce suing the Public Utility Commission for approving this project, the bulldozers are here to plow through sacred wild rice watersheds, over 800 wetlands, and 200+ water bodies in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The police are militarizing and the drill is ready to burrow millions of barrels of tar sands oil under the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
All of our faith and spiritual traditions teach us that we must care for sacred earth. In your inaugural address, you said “a cry for survival comes from the planet itself.” We hear that cry, it is being sung by our Indigenous siblings standing in the cold Minnesota winter against this destruction of the sacred. Join their prayer and stand against Line 3.
As clergy, faith leaders, and leaders of religious communities, we implore you to use your executive power to uphold the decisions of the Obama administration and stop these climate and water destroying pipelines. Use your power to stop Line 3 as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all other climate destroying pipelines that will lock us into decades more of fossil fuels.
Be brave and faithful and do not let this dirty project continue. Drilling under the Mississippi River is imminent, it is urgent that you act now.
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