The climate is affected by burning fossil fuel, not by how it is transported. The April 6 commentary by Duluth’s Becky Hall (Local View: “Line 3 needs to be part of what comes after crisis”) concluded that the Line 3 pipeline will protect the environment because it is safer to transport oil in a pipeline than by rail. This was a distraction at best. The carbon dioxide released while burning the oil is causing global warming, not the method of transport.
Oil from the Alberta tar sands is not just the dirtiest and most toxic oil in the world; it is also some of the most expensive to produce.
There is a glut of cheap oil in the world. The price of Canadian tar sands oil is increasingly not competitive. The Line 3 pipeline seems destined to be a stranded asset. It will be a 1,097-mile modern pipeline running to Superior from an oil source in northern Alberta that may be too expensive to be competitive. I fear it will sit empty.
The cheapest and cleanest energy today is from wind. We should use the same route and install a new wind turbine every half mile for the 1,097 miles. That would provide plenty of jobs and plenty of clean energy. We do not need a pipeline. An electric power line really is an environmentally better, safer, more efficient, and cheaper way to transport energy. There is no need to worry about oil leaks and spills. There is no need for a smoke-belching power plant. There is no need for a smoke-belching refinery. We need to remake our energy system so we can compete in this modern world.
Also, why do we need to keep importing wind turbines? Do we not have enough technology to build them in the U.S. and in Minnesota?