What is going on with this state? At one time we were considered a leader in technology, medicine, and education. Now it appears that our leaders cannot make the tough decisions needed to keep Minnesota a great place to live and work.

It has been more than a year since I made the journey to St. Paul to attend the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearing to support Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project. The commission approved both the certificate of need and route permit last summer, and yet it appears we are no closer to construction than we were a year ago.

Everything I hear is delay, delay, delay. This project should be a no-brainer; it is a project that is replacing old infrastructure with new, state-of-the art technology. It is not a new pipeline. The oil transported in this pipeline is oil we as Minnesotans use on a daily basis; it is not being shipped overseas. It is being shipped to refineries in St. Paul and elsewhere throughout the Midwest.

We use this product and, believe it or not, need this product to fuel our vehicles, heat our homes, and produce safety equipment that keeps us alive and well. Hemp will not produce inherently flame-retardant materials. Solar and wind will not build roads we need to drive electric cars or wheels for bikes.

It’s time for our leaders to get their heads out of their you-know-wheres and stop all the unnecessary delays. The regulatory process has gone on long enough; it’s time to make a decision that is right for our state, right for our communities, and right for our environment. Every delay in replacing Line3 increases the risk to our environment, communities, and treaty territory.

Michael J. Singpiel