Monday, 22 October, 2018

Utke statement on PUC approval of Enbridge Line 3 certificate of need

An infographic of how Vesper Marine's web-based Guardian:protect would An infographic of how Vesper Marine's web-based Guardian:protect would
Priscilla Morrison | 01 July, 2018, 19:11

On Thursday, the Minnesota Public Utility Commission gave the green light to Enbridge Energy's Line 3 - a new Canadian tar-sands pipeline that would replace a deteriorating pipeline that's now running at half capacity.

Governor Mark Dayton is urging everyone to "express themselves peacefully", stressing the Public Utilities Commission decision is *not* the final approval of the pipeline.

In a statement released by the Fond du Lac Band Thursday, the band said they would push for some areas to be avoided by the route.

The 1,000-mi Line 3 project would help carry about 370,000 more bbl of heavy and light crude a day from Hardisty, Alberta, to a storage hub in Superior, Wisconsin. It says replacing the deteriorating old Line 3 from Alberta to Wisconsin will ensure the safety of critical energy infrastructure and ensure reliable crude oil supplies for regional refineries.

"We will stop this in the regulatory process, we will stop this in the legal process and we will stop this with our bodies", Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth, said, according to video of the event.

Referring to protests that drew thousands of people to the Standing Rock reservation in neighboring North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to rally against the Dakota Access pipeline, she says, "This is Minnesota's Standing Rock". "This is Minnesota's Standing Rock".

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But Enbridge's rationing of demand from oil shippers for space on Line 3 was more convincing of a need to rebuild, said Chairwoman Nancy Lange. But she's still optimistic that the new line won't happen: LaDuke called the project "Enbridge's most expensive pipeline that will never be built".

The commission also approved a route that closely follows Enbridge's preference and will take Line 3 over a new corridor for part of its path.

But Guy Jarvis, Enbridge's vice president of liquids, pipelines and major projects, said Friday morning, June 30, that he still expects the project to obtain an authorization to construct in November so work on the pipeline can begin and finish within 2019.

"This is where it stops for us", said Andy Pearson of the anti-pipeline group Minnesota 350. In the end, the Minnesota commission voted to permit the pipeline along Enbridge's preferred route, with a change to one segment.

While the Public Utilities Commission goes on a noontime break from its deliberations, Line 3 replacement project supporters, in green T-shirts and with green stickers, mostly remained in the room. And he said once that's resolved the company can seek local and federal permits it needs to begin laying pipe. "We were giving them the voice for a healthy future".

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