Reader’s view: Enbridge plan would disrupt farming boomI’m writing to add my voice to the growing opposition to a proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline expansion.
I’m writing to add my voice to the growing opposition to a proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline expansion.
I’ve worked the last six years on farms in Wrenshall, and my wife and I recently purchased 40 acres about a half-mile north of the proposed route. I feel compelled to speak up because the current route cuts through some of the best farmland in our region. This area has fed our local food movement and represents a tremendous resource to our rural community and the urban communities we feed. The farm my wife and I purchased is bordered by two other young farms, both of which are less than a decade old and are still growing in production. This isn’t mere coincidence; because this land is exceptional, our area is blossoming year by year with new farms.
In addition to the calls by affected landowners and the Carlton County Land Stewards to protect our farmlands, forests and watersheds, we also should consider carefully the impacts on future farms in our region. The food system that has been built in our region is a supportive and attractive one for young farmers. We should be thoughtful not to break this momentum. I fear it would be shortsighted to accept this route and disrupt land that could strengthen our communities and future generations.
Right of way easements are granted if the proposed project represents a public good. I feel the benefit these lands offer our region in terms of our health and economic well-being also is a public good. Should protection of this good not carry equal weight? Is it not reasonable that Enbridge could follow an existing pipeline corridor or the Soo railway to defend this good? These alternative routes strike a less-harmful balance between these two public goods.