This is in response to Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan’s Oct. 13 commentary in the News Tribune, “Replacing Line 3 is what’s best for Minnesotans, the environment.”
While the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission under then-Gov. Mark Dayton approved a certificate of need for Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement Project, the decision was not supported by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The department appealed it on legal grounds and presented evidence that Minnesota does not need this pipeline, that it would only serve to help Canada’s foreign export efforts. Dayton said in a statement, “I strongly support my Commerce Department’s appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s order. ... Enbridge failed to provide a future demand forecast for its product, which is required by state law. Instead, the company presented its analysis of the future oil supply from Canadian tar sands extractions. It failed to demonstrate that Minnesota needs this pipeline to meet our future oil demand. In fact, most of the product would flow through our state to supply other states and countries.”
Environmental and tribal groups across Minnesota have appealed this ruling. For instance, Friends of the Headwaters said both the state Department of Commerce and the administrative law judge who issued an independent recommendation on Line 3 concluded that “there is no demonstrated demand for the oil, certainly not in Minnesota or the Midwest. All domestic refineries that might be served are already securing all the crude they need to run at or near their capacities. In fact, U.S. demand for crude oil is dropping.”
As for the relative safety of a pipeline, new or old: the safest pipeline is one that is not built in the first place, especially one not needed at a time when we must turn away from yesterday’s oil-burning technology to cleaner, safer, sustainable renewable energy.
Park Rapids, Minn.