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Group Of MN Lawmakers Gathers At Capitol In Support Of Line 3, Oppose Visit From 'DC Squad'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In just over a week, we've seen two protests of the Line 3 pipeline. But Friday morning, some Minnesota lawmakers and union members gathered at the State Capitol in support of it.

Senate Republicans on Friday sent out a statement from 60 lawmakers, saying they are "offended" that a group, led by Rep. Ilhan Omar, is visiting northern Minnesota to protest the project.

"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. Their presence will only serve to incite the obstructionists when it's clear Line 3 has brought incredible benefits to the state and people. The blatant mistruths in their recent letter to the Biden Administration have already been debunked by union leaders," the statement said.

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-8th District) hosted the press conference along with other state lawmakers and union members late Friday morning.

"In northern Minnesota, the constituents I represent are happy this project is moving forward. Are happy about the economic benefits. Are happy about the vetting process. Are happy that each and every part of the process was met or exceeded in both environmental standards and labor standards," he said.

Omar, along with other U.S. House and Senate lawmakers, is calling on the Biden administration to suspend the Clean Water Act permit for the pipeline.

In a letter sent last month, the group calls for a "thorough review of the Trump administration's faulty permitting process." They are also calling for an environmental impact statement that "fully considers the irreversible impact the pipeline will have on the environment, climate change, public health, nearby communities, and Tribal groups."

Omar (D-MN), Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-MI) will be visiting Enbridge Energy's Line 3 pipeline project in northern Minnesota Friday.

Enbridge Energy says the nearly completed pipeline will replace a 1960's era pipeline with a safer one, helping to protect Minnesota's environment.

Those against it disagree, and say it intrudes on Indigenous land.

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