Actress and climate activist Jane Fonda has hit out at Joe Biden for not being “bold” or “fast” enough to tackle the climate crisis as she joins demonstrations over the Line 3 pipeline.
Ms Fonda’s comments come as she continues to speak out against plans for a new pipeline in Northern Minnesota with protesters arguing that plans for the replacement line violate tribal land.
During an interview on CNN on Tuesday, Ms Fonda said that while she was “grateful” for the steps Mr Biden had taken to combat the climate crisis, he has not done “enough”.
“He’s done a lot of very good things. But not enough. Not bold enough. And not fast enough. We’re up against time,” she said.
Around 2,500 people showed up to a rally on Monday in protest of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline which will carry Canadian tar sands oil and regular crude from Alberta to Wisconsin.
Environmental and tribal groups argue that the replacement pipeline will contribute to the climate crisis and violate sacred lands. The Mississippi River is one of the water crossings for the pipeline.
Native Americans harvest wild rice, hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants in the land, and claim the new construction will violate treaty rights.
Fonda, an American actress, political activist, and environmentalist, spoke at the demonstration on Monday where she said protesters “are going to Standing Rock this place”.
The comment came in reference to the Dakota Access pipeline, which faced major protests near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas in 2016 and 2017.
Fonda told MSNBC in an interview that “big oil has a stranglehold on our government” before hitting out at the president once again.
“While president Biden has done some wonderful things… There's still too much that he’s doing that needs to be stopped. He has the power to stop this,” she said.
Enbridge says the 1960s-era Line 3 pipeline is deteriorating and can run at only about half its original capacity. The company says the new line is needed to improve safety, The Star Tribune reported.
According to MPR News, demonstrators occupied an Enbridge Line 3 pump station near Park Rapids amid the protests and chained themselves to equipment.
“This is important. This is what we need,” Fonda told the Associated Press at the pump station rally while holding signs of President Joe Biden which read: “Which side are you on?”
Tribal attorney and activist Tara Houska told MSNBC that the project is an “illegal pipeline” saying that the line runs through a “completely new route” through an “untouched area”.
She said: “The solution to an old aging line is not to build a brand new one through a new place. The solution is to clean up the old mess and move on from fossil fuels.”
Although more than 300 groups delivered a letter to Mr Biden last month asking for him to pull the clean water permit for the project, the president has not taken a stand on Line 3.
Both sides are awaiting a ruling, expected by 21 June, from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on a legal challenge against the project.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press