Pipeline protestor disrupts Haaland at Michigan forum

By Jennifer Yachnin | 03/27/2024 01:52 PM EDT

The Interior secretary faced questions about the controversial Enbridge oil pipeline Tuesday during a stop at the University of Michigan.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks during a proclamation signing ceremony restoring protections stripped by the Trump administration for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts national monuments, on the North Lawn of the White House on October 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks at the White House on Oct. 8, 2021. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Political furor over a contested oil pipeline grabbed the spotlight Tuesday as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland spoke at a University of Michigan event on the “climate crisis and environmental justice.”

Haaland came to Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a speech touting the Interior Department’s work on offshore wind development, land and water conservation, drought response in the Colorado River Basin, and outreach to tribal nations.

But immediately after taking the podium, and throughout much of her remarks, she contended with a lone protester — off camera during a livestream of the event — who raised questions about the future of the Line 5 pipeline owned by Canada-based Enbridge.


The protester, who apologized to Haaland even as she preempted her speech, urged the secretary to push President Joe Biden to revoke an Eisenhower-era presidential permit issued for the international pipeline.