LETTER: Alarmed by Line 3 protests
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. N., Park Rapids, MN 56470.
Recently, it has become alarming to see the increasing number of incidents, protests and arrests at construction sites along the Line 3 replacement project. I am all about protestors voicing their opposition to the project, but to see these recent actions are putting lives at risk is extremely concerning.
I was happy to see the Northern Lights Task Force speak out against the recent protests that included protestors jumping in trenches that are part of the Line 3 construction.
According to their statement, someone who puts themselves in a trench risks being closed in on and being buried by just a foot-and-a-half of rocks or dirt, which is equal to nearly 3,000 pounds of force. That is not just dangerous, but potentially deadly.
The task force also shared a tragic statistic: more than 25 lives are lost every year in the U.S. from accidents related to trenches. These deaths are 100 percent avoidable and are not only putting the lives of protestors at risk but could have detrimental results for pipeline workers and the police, fire departments and EMTs that are called to accidents of this sort.
No one is objecting to the First Amendment rights of those looking to make their voices heard, but there is a better way. I hope this statement causes some pipeline opponents to rethink actions that could injure or kill themselves or others.