OPINION

Letter to the Editor: Yes, impact of Line 3 will be felt far and wide

Submitted by Douglass Keiser
Crookston Times

    In Andrea Zupancich’s letter to the editor entitled “How about we highlight Line 3 supporters?” (Crookston Times, March 29), she contends that Minnesotans for Line 3 is a grassroots organization. Clearly, her definition of what constitutes a grassroots movement is askew.

    Grassroot movements are a collective created to enact change formed from the people not by corporate interests.

    The truth is that for more than six years, Enbridge and its high-priced Minneapolis firm have been cultivating Enbridge’s legion of Line 3 supporters with the promise of jobs and the economy.  

    Their message has not been directed to the average Minnesotan; it has been directed to small town elected officials and businesses that will benefit from the pipeline construction.  

    So it should come as no surprise that so many random mayors writing letters to the Crookston Times supporting Line 3 nor that the Minnesotans for Line 3 headquarters are also the headquarters for Duluth-based United Piping.

    Bottom line: grassroots movements aren’t the product of politicians and private business. Grassroots movements bring together individuals and nonprofit organizations to be a collective voice for change and questioning the corporate status quo. In the end, Line 3 is another timeless conflict between the little guy fighting for their rights and the big corporate greed.  

    What Zupanchich calls “publicity stunts and antics” are actually the action of a real grassroots movement generating visuality for the myriad of significant concerns about the legitimacy and long-term need for Line 3.

    It is a movement that isn’t backed by corporations and contractors that will benefit from the construction.  

    And they don’t have slick advertisements conveniently placed next to their supporter’s letters to the editor.

    I agree with Zupanchich that the impact of Line 3 will “be felt far and wide.”

    Unfortunately, I fear that the Line 3 legacy will be far from positive. Instead of applauding the corporate greed of Enbridge and the fossil fuel industry, we should be applauding the opponents of Line 3 for standing up against the status quo in order to protect Minnesota for future generations.

    It’s time that we recognize the real heroes in this situation.

Douglass Keiser

Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Keiser is a student at the University of Minnesota.