Minnesota regulator signals support of Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline

Darnell Taylor
July 1, 2018

She tells Grist she's disappointed in the public utility commission's decision.

While opponents of the pipeline may continue to fight the project through protests and legal challenges, the votes represent a victory for Canada's oil industry, which has supported the Line 3 expansion as a way to alleviate the pipeline bottlenecks that have weighed on prices for its crude.

Commissioners said if the Fond du Lac don't agree, they'll shift the route.

On Friday, about 20 opponents gathered near the border south of Duluth where Line 3 will cross into Wisconsin, where construction has already begun. 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.

They'll do everything in their power to stop Line 3 from being built, said Winona Laduke, executive director of the Ojibwe-led group Honor the Earth.

"We think water protector tourism should be at an all time high", she says, and warns that a Standing Rock-like protest may be on the way.

Jarvis said that work includes securing at least 29 state, local and federal permits. "Faced with what we are faced with now, we will stand our ground - and we feel that the State of Minnesota has declared war upon us", LaDuke says.

Enbridge would prefer to push the route along what's called RSA 22, which would follow the existing pipeline corridor through Fond du Lac.

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The victims did not recall Williams ever having a bat, however, and no bat was found at the scene, according to the news release. Blanding Watson, president of the Lancaster NAACP, told the Lancaster Online that the incident "requires a full investigation ".

But climate change and tribal activists vow to keep fighting.

Enbridge shares gained during Thursday's meeting as members of the commission spoke favorably about the project, citing the need to replace the current Line 3, which was originally installed in the 1960s.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commision also took a vote to determine the route of the replacement pipeline, after considering both Enbridge's preferred route and the route Enbridge is now using.

The commission vote was just 3-2, compared to a unanimous vote to approve the certificate of need.

"Projects like this help us make sure we're getting product to market, which is good for Canada", Enbridge CEO Al Monaco said in response to reporters' questions at the World Gas Conference in Washington while the hearing was ongoing.

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.

Fresh off approval by Minnesota regulators, the parent company of Enbridge Energy says it's on track to finish building its Line 3 replacement pipeline and put it into service by the second half of next year. He urged pipeline opponents to look at that need as they oppose such projects in the future.

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