Activists protesting the movement of Tar Sands Oil from Canada into the United States took action today against five pipelines, including pipelines operated by Enbridge Energy and TransCanada in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

It was reported by the activist group Climate Direct Action that activists were working to take direct action and manually shut off these five pipelines actively transporting oil from Canada into the U.S.

The following was a statement posted online by the group: "This morning, by 7:30AM Pacific time, 5 activists have successfully shut down 5 pipelines across the United States delivering tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. Activists employed manual safety valves, calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe."

It was noted that they were targeting the following pipelines: Enbridge Line 4 and 67 in Leonard, Minnesota; TransCanada's Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota; Spectra Energy's Express pipeline in Coal Banks Landing, Montana; Kinder-Morgan's Trans-Mountain pipeline, Anacortes, Washington.

Climate Direct Action has reported that 9 of their activists have been arrested.

The Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota have released the following statements amid these reports:

"The attacks that were mounted today against pipelines carrying Canadian oil set a terrible precedent, and represent a dangerous escalation in a misguided war on pipelines. When self-styled environmental activists interfere with the operation of live pipelines, they not only jeopardize shipments of fuel and chemicals that are essential to the lives of millions, but also risk damaging the safeguards that are put in place to prevent spills.


These dangerous acts of sabotage are justified by some as necessary to prevent climate change. Yet, like so many other misguided battles over pipelines, these actions will do nothing to lower the carbon emissions produced by the consumption – not the transport – of petroleum and other fossil fuels. Instead, they only serve to alienate our members and millions of other working people who know exactly how important reliable fuel supplies and other petroleum inputs are to their lives and their livelihood from the cause of fighting climate change.


Pipelines are proven to be the safest, cleanest, and most reliable means to transport oil, natural gas and hazardous liquids and our nation and our world rely on them for our survival. We should be working together to ensure that our pipeline infrastructure is as robust and safe as possible while we work on building a lower-carbon future. Unfortunately, today’s extreme actions attempt to take the environmental movement in the opposite direction, endangering our economy and our environment, and increasing the divisions between climate activists and the vast majority of working people."


Kevin Pranis
LIUNA Great Lakes Region spokesman