The 13 Youth Climate Intervenors are Leading the Fight to Stop the Line 3 Pipeline

On July 5, 2017, 13 young people were granted full status as a formal intervening party in Minnesota’s contested case permit process for the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline. This group of people, known as the Youth Climate Intervenors, have the right to represent themselves as stakeholders in the decision to permit Line 3. What does this mean?

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will hold hearings on the Line 3 pipeline proposal from Enbridge—the largest pipeline company in North America—in the fall of 2017, and will decide whether or not to permit it in 2018. Organizations, governments, and individuals can apply to formally intervene in that process, meaning they have certain rights in court that a regular citizen does not. Official intervenors are able to submit testimony, call expert witnesses, and request information from other parties in order to magnify their voices in court if they are directly affected by its decision.

On May 15, 2017, the Youth Climate Intervenors successfully argued in front of Administrative Law judge Ann O’Reilly that the decision to permit Line 3 directly affects their lives and futures, and that no other party can represent them. From higher likelihood of health challenges, dangers of heat waves, loss of cultural foods, and loss of personal use and enjoyment of land, these youth argued that the construction of Line 3 will significantly personally affect their lives and those of future generations—voices that are often lost in legal battles like this.

As young people, the Youth Climate Intervenors will live with the consequences of decisions made today far longer than most of the officials in charge of making those decisions—so they are demanding a seat at the table, on behalf of all young people alive today and future generations to come.

Check back soon for profiles of the rest of the Youth Climate Intervenors!

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More about the Youth Climate Intervenors