FACT CHECK: Is Line 3 Being Expanded Into Duluth?

CLAIM: An activist group held a news conference to announce that the final segment of the Line 3 pipeline will be built in Duluth, Minnesota – attracting media attention from at least one television station.






A state senator from Minnesota sums up the issue in an oped in Town Hall:

An activist group called the “Yes Men” developed an elaborate plan about the fictitious development of a pipeline in Duluth. The goal of this stunt was to try and create fear about pipelines and prevent the construction of a major pipeline that is being upgraded and replaced for efficiency and improved safety. 

The Yes Men created the “Indigenous Pipeline Council”, a fake group behind their hoax that resulted in a local television station reporting on their fake news conference as factual information. The fake news conference was held at a banquet hall in downtown Duluth, where two men named “Carl Iron Eye” and “Coyote Mick Tomi” delivered a PowerPoint presentation that included asking the unsuspecting audience members to put on a black foam headdress with the words “Oil Chief” written on the headpiece and dance around the room. 

Harmless fun? Hardly. A local television station covered their news conference and posted a story on its website.

This isn’t a one-off prank that isn’t in line with mainstream activist antics, either.

The fake news stunt also garnered support from Honor the Earth through the Stop Line 3 coalition – the same group that was considered one of the leaders at the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest (DAPL). Earlier this summer, Minnesota Sheriffs reached out to local law enforcement in North Dakota to ask for advice if Honor the Earth’s Line 3 protests ramped up. It’s no surprise Minnesota law enforcement wanted to avoid another standing rock considering the DAPL protest came at a high cost to taxpayers. North Dakota taxpayers footed a bill of over $1 million dollars for cleanup crews to remove 48 million pounds of trash.

The Duluth News Tribune laid out the facts about the Line 3 Pipeline:

In reality, the final segment of Line 3 is already built in Wisconsin, and connects to the company’s terminal in Superior. In Minnesota, the company is looking to replace its aging Line 3 oil pipeline with a new 340-mile-long pipeline, but the project faces numerous legal and regulatory hurdles.

“No part of it is true,” Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner told the News Tribune.

We commend the News Tribune for accurately reporting the story. This is precisely why the GAIN Fact Checker was created – to combat misinformation by people who will do or say almost anything to stop the development of our nation’s energy infrastructure.