On Tuesday, medical professionals across the country rallied to oppose the expansion of Onkyo’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline, saying it poses a threat to the health of humans and the planet.
“The health of Minnesota people is at risk,” said Teddy Porter, director of planetary health at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, speaking to the crowd in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Tar sand oil threatens the health and well-being of future generations; we must stop queuing.”
These activities are part of the nationwide Unity day Oppose the Canadian oil and gas company Enbridge’s project.In the city from Augusta, Maine to Los Angeles, Health professionals joined forces with environmental organizations and indigenous water protectors to express their controversial concerns about the company Line 3 is replaced, already under construction. If completed, the upgrade will Pipe capacity doubled, Transporting large amounts of tar sand oil from Edmonton, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin-through Sacred Anishinaabe Territory in Minnesota In progress.
Enbridge stated that for security reasons, upgrades are needed to reduce maintenance requirements, and “Reduce disturbance to landowners and the environment. “But opponents in the medical profession disagree. According to Health professionals in a healthy climateOr HPHC-the advocacy organization that organized the national protests on Tuesday-the project poses a direct and long-term threat to Minnesota communities and indigenous people, whether it is an oil spill or the pipeline’s contribution to climate change.
Vishnu Laalitha Surapaneni, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota who helped organize the St. Paul rally, told Grist that she was particularly concerned about the potential impact of pipelines on water quality. “We are in the land of Ten Thousand Lakes,” she explained, using the unofficial nickname of Minnesota. “This is incompatible with healthy water.”
In the case of an oil spill, Surapaneni and others raised concerns about the tar sands oil that will be transported on Line 3. Heavy crude oil called bitumenTo facilitate its flow in the pipeline, Enbridge mixes bitumen with diluent-a proprietary mixture whose specific components are trade secrets. But if Enbridge’s thinner is the same as other companies, HPHC says it may contain a mixture of carcinogens, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. Collectively referred to as BTEXEnbridge’s response to Grist’s request for comment did not specify the ingredients in its thinner.
Drilling fluid leakage may also pose a threat. Enbridge has been using this substance to lay new pipeline sections underground in Minnesota.The Minnesota Pollution Control Bureau has investigated Enbridge because Drilling fluid leaked 28 times at 12 river crossingsAlthough Enbridge stated that the drilling fluid is non-toxic and that the leak “has no effect on any aquifer, nor downstream,” geologists and environmental experts are still concerned.The leak elsewhere in the country – although larger than the leak in Minnesota – has Contaminated wetland and drinking water, And may harm river and wetland ecosystems.
Surapaneni also emphasized that Tuesday’s rally was in solidarity with indigenous water conservationists, who led the fight against Line 3 and other fossil fuel infrastructure.Environmental advocates say that the construction of Enbridge on the territory of Anishinaabe Threatening indigenous democracy and Violation of indigenous treaty rights, Partly because it jeopardizes the healthy ecosystem that supports the tribe’s ability to fish, hunt, and grow wild rice.
“I think it’s my responsibility to take a stand,” said Taysha Martineau, water protector from Fond du Lac Reservation, speaking at the São Paulo rally. “If they built Line 3, they might as well bury me under it. …I will do my best to ensure that no oil flows through that pipeline.”
Martineau and many health professionals also raised the issue of gender-based violence on construction sites. According to the website against the Line 3 movement, the so-called “Men’s camp“The pipeline construction workers — most of whom are men — put indigenous women at a higher risk of sexual violence and other violent crimes. “For the indigenous mothers on Turtle Island, this is a daily nightmare,” Martino said , He used the indigenous name of North America. “We don’t know who is next. This is the fear we face every day. “
One of the most common issues at the rally in Sao Paulo on Tuesday is that the expanded Line 3 pipeline will harm public health by promoting climate change.If the project is completed, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Line 3 will be equivalent to 38 million cars -Large amounts of carbon require forests twice the size of California to be stored. Doctors at the rally warned that the consequences of global warming from these emissions will exacerbate the health problems of Minnesota and the wider American population—especially for low-income and non-white communities.
“I have seen it affect my patients,” Minnesota obstetrician and state representative Kelly Morrison was invited to speak at the St. Paul rally, he told Grist. She cited the rising incidence of asthma in Minnesota, and wildfire smoke that made cardiovascular and pulmonary problems worse.This year, the smoke from Canadian fires — fueled by climate change — brought The worst air quality ever in Twin Cities.
Morrison pointed out that Tuesday’s demonstrations symbolized the medical profession’s growing willingness to emphasize the connection between humans and the health of the planet — “a real great change for good,” she said. The leading medical journal “The Lancet” refers to climate change as “The biggest global health threat facing the world in the 21st century“It is possible to erase the health benefits brought by economic development in recent decades. According to the World Health Organization, rising global temperatures may lead to A quarter of a million deaths Between 2030 and 2050, due to the intensification of diseases such as heat stress, malnutrition and malaria.
When doctors, indigenous leaders, and policy makers addressed the crowd in Sao Paulo, a delegation of health care professionals led a small team to the Army Corps of Engineers office. They planned to write a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to revoke the federal permit for Line 3, but were denied entry to the building. Other groups across the country also tried to deliver letters to local offices.
“As a health professional, I think it’s simple: climate change is a public health problem,” Sulapanini said. “We need health professionals to get out of our clinics, hospitals and laboratories, communities and raise our voice.”