With the contested case hearing at the MPCA regarding Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline project just weeks away, some folks may be interested in what is happening with some of the companies that Enbridge works and competes with.

Earlier this year, Canadian companies suddenly reduced their environmental monitoring duties, violating constitutionally protected rights of Athabasca Chipewyan, Fort McKay, and Mikisew Cree First Nations by ignoring them in the decision-making process. Suncor, CNR, and Cenovus cut about $1.3 billion that had been planned to fund “green” initiatives. The companies building the Trans Mountain pipeline are seeing their insurance premiums increasing, since insurance companies Zurich and Chubb are no longer on board, and Liberty Mutual is under intense pressure to withdraw coverage. International financial institutions are also taking a pass on Canadian oil projects and operations for many reasons, including liability concerns related to environmental issues.

In the U.S., Enbridge is failing to convince Michigan that they have an explicit agreement regarding liability for pipeline failures.

Elsewhere in the world, green hydrogen projects using excess solar and wind are popping up. The hydrogen serves as big batteries that can be one way the energy continues to flow when the sun goes down on windless nights. But hydrogen will be competing in places where other new and old green technologies are utilized to do the same thing. Such infrastructure frees regions and islands from outside influences such as undeserving fossil-fuel companies, giving those places greater independence and security.

Back here in the Midwest, we have options. If we tie ourselves to companies in the oil industry, it will be with the knowledge that we will be retracing the failed economic and environmental path that anachronistic coal companies followed 10 years ago.

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Peter Truitt

Danbury, Wisconsin

Sources cited by the writer for this letter include the CBC, the Economic Times, Reuters, National Post, The Economist, Financial Post, The Tyee, GreatLakesNow, and Forbes.