Enbridge Inc. has officially dropped its bid to build the $900 million Sandpiper oil pipeline, which would have crossed through Ojibwe wild rice lands.
The company said on September 1 that it was withdrawing its applications from the Minnesota Public Utilities after determining that “the project should be delayed until such time as crude oil production in North Dakota recovers sufficiently to support development of new pipeline capacity,” the company said in a statement on September 1.
The announcement came a month after the energy conglomerate revealed that it had bought a stake in the Dakota Access pipeline project, which is being opposed all along its four-state route.
“We are grateful for this victory against the black snake that threatened our water, wild rice, and way of life as Ojibwe people,” said Winona LaDuke, founder of the conservation group Honor the Earth, in a statement. “We call this land Anishinaabe Akiing. This is the land we belong to, and we will continue to protect it, as our ancestors did before us. We stand united against the proposed Line 3 pipeline, Dakota Access, and any new fossil fuel infrastructure anywhere. Our resistance will only continue to grow.”
LaDuke and Honor the Earth have been vocal opponents of Dakota Access, which is being opposed by about 2,000 water protectors camped out near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation along the Missouri and Cannonball rivers in North Dakota.
The Sandpiper would have run 616 miles through pristine waterways, and opponents were worried about the ecological effects, especially on delicate wild rice fields, an economic and sustenance mainstay for many tribes.