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Reader's View: Don’t let Enbridge rush pipeline decision

Enbridge seems on the offensive lately, working to persuade Minnesotans the company is being treated unfairly in the Sandpiper permitting process (“Enbridge calls regulatory action on Sandpiper ‘unlawful and unreasonable,’ ” Feb. 3).

Here’s what’s really happening: For the first time in Minnesota, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being required before Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline is considered. It’s hard to believe that until now train lines and power lines in Minnesota have required an EIS first but not oil pipelines. Requiring an EIS for pipelines is a step in the right direction toward a stable future with plenty of clean water. It’s not the wrong step, as Enbridge might have us believe.

Enbridge isn’t the only company transporting oil. Bakken oil isn’t backing up in North Dakota, waiting for Enbridge to get its pipeline approved. Oil is flowing freely through other companies’ pipelines, so much so there’s an oil glut in the U.S. and not enough places to store it. Enbridge dearly wants a piece of the pie and seems happy to sacrifice our water to get it.

Fortunately, Minnesotans realize we can’t be cavalier about our water resources. We realize that just because Enbridge built its pipeline infrastructure through the wetlands and lakes country of northern Minnesota back when no one seemed too concerned, we can no longer give the company carte blanche to expand without question. Especially not with concerns about contaminated water in the headlines, and not while we’re seeing the effects of climate change all over the world.

We need clean, drinkable water more than oil. To have clean water, we need to be careful with it. Enbridge officials seem to want us to do as they ask instead — and quickly.

Let your representatives know you expect a full and comprehensive EIS for Sandpiper. There’s no need to rush, even if Enbridge wants to.

Janet HIll