It's important to represent the diversity of views that reflects the diversity of any newspaper's community and readership. Even as a firm opponent of the Enbridge Line 3 expansion, I recognize union president Zak Radzak's right to have differing opinions and to make them heard. What I took issue with and was surprised by with Radzak's April 1 column in the News Tribune, "No good reason for Walz's Line 3 delay," was the newspaper's willingness to publish a piece so rife with questionable claims. Some of Radzak's points were deeply misinformed, I felt.
Among those were that decommissioning this tar sands crude oil pipeline, carrying a fuel completely different from the fuel we use in vehicles, could result in rationing and price hikes for gasoline; that Alberta's tar sands producers would sell their product with or without demand and transportation (they wouldn't, and their production already is decreasing in response to market pressures); and that, as Radzak wrote, "Unsurprisingly, Minnesotans are anxious for this project to get off the ground."
He cited no evidence for that last statement, and I'd guess it's because there isn't any. Of the more than 72,000 public comments submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the government body tasked with ruling on utilities infrastructure development projects, during its research phase, 94 percent were opposed to issuing Enbridge Line 3 a permit of need.
Minnesota doesn't need Line 3 to meet its energy demands. The numbers suggest that almost no one outside of a few special interests standing to benefit, the oil and gas lobbies, and the leadership of certain unions wants it.
St. Paul, Minn.