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In Response: Line 3 Replacement realities far from 'pipe dreams'

Let's be clear. Other than Line 3, Enbridge has no future plans to deactivate or relocate pipelines within our existing mainline corridor through Minnesota.

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Let's be clear. Other than Line 3, Enbridge has no future plans to deactivate or relocate pipelines within our existing mainline corridor through Minnesota.

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John Swanson

In response to the News Tribune story on Aug. 26, " Pipe Dreams: With a new corridor secured, Enbridge has options for future projects ," I would like to reinforce what the company's Laura Kennett and Jennifer Smith both said in the article: We have one focus, and that is the Line 3 Replacement Project.

The route approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for the Line 3 Replacement Project came as the result of comprehensive study and consultation with tribes, communities, landowners, local governments, and others.

Enbridge will spend $2.6 billion on this enormous construction project here in Minnesota, creating well-paying jobs, providing an economic boost for local communities during construction, and increasing property-tax contributions for years to come.

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Also notable: Enbridge is investing in its pipelines located in the existing mainline corridor. The company built two new pipelines there in 2009 and 2010, Lines 67 and 13. Based on consumer need and shipper demand, we recently added capacity on Line 67. Now that the new right of way has been approved, we plan to maintain both corridors. To suggest anything else is purely speculative.

It also was noted in the story that Enbridge's existing mainline corridor crosses tribal land through negotiated agreements that run out in 2029. The question was raised: What happens then? We renegotiate easements in the normal course of our business. These were last renegotiated at the time of Clipper construction and extended for 20 years at that time. Enbridge has operated pipelines in Minnesota for more than 65 years. We have existing relationships with tribal governments. We fully expect to enter into negotiations on these agreements in the future.

We respect the rights of others to express their views on the energy we all use, but let's call a fact a fact and an opinion just what it is. The fact is: Enbridge is focused on the Line 3 Replacement Project and has no future plans to deactivate or relocate any other pipeline within our existing mainline corridor.

 

John Swanson is vice president of major projects for Enbridge. He is based in Duluth.

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