LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Replacing Line 3 is safest, best option
As we approach the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearings, it’s important to understand what Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project is about: Protecting communities and the environment and bringing economic opportunities to the region.
While we are currently operating Line 3 safely, it is in significant need of repair. Not replacing it would be irresponsible. Roads, bridges and buildings eventually need to be upgraded, and an aging pipeline is no different. PUC approval would allow us to replace the existing line with a modern pipeline using world-class construction techniques, equipment and technology to safely deliver needed energy to Minnesotans.
Our pipeline system moves more than two million barrels of oil across Minnesota each day. We supply 80 percent of the crude oil refined in the Twin Cities, 100 percent in Wisconsin, and 70 percent around the Great Lakes. Line 3 is an important part of delivering the energy that heats homes and powers businesses across the state and region.
The Line 3 replacement project will bring 6,500 jobs and a $2.1 billion private investment to Minnesota. That’s equivalent to the economic investment of two Vikings stadiums. Enbridge has also committed to a $100 million target of training, contracting and hiring opportunities for tribes related to construction of the pipeline.
We designed this project with a commitment to communities and the environment. Over the past three years, we’ve held more than 5,000 meetings across the region, seeking input on our route and safety measures, answering questions and responding to concerns. We’ve made more than 50 changes to the proposed route to address tribal and community feedback. We also have great support for this project including 90 resolutions of support from counties, townships and elected officials, while 94 percent of private landowners have signed easement agreements with Enbridge.
We have operated safely in northern Minnesota for more than 65 years. We believe replacing Line 3 on our proposed route is the safest and best option to continue providing the energy that Minnesotans need and rely on every day.
Lorraine Little, Duluth, is Director of Community Engagement for Enbridge.