One of the largest problems the COVID-19 crisis has brought to our state is the high and rising number of people who need economic help. So what should we do? Well, we could start by approving projects that will immediately put more of our people to work. Approving the Line 3 Replacement Project, which would create more than 4,000 good jobs, would do just this.

There are many other reasons to approve the Line 3 Replacement Project: the environment, safety, and our basic need for petroleum among them. But most important right now are the jobs and the money the project would bring to Minnesota.

Our state needs something good, and this is an answer that is right in front of us.

The current Line 3 supplies petroleum needed by our refineries. Replacing the old line with one that is new would increase capacity to meet the refineries’ needs that currently are not being met.

As long as Minnesotans continue to use cars and planes and trucks and anything else made of plastic, we will need petroleum. If we want to drive on blacktop roads, we need oil to make asphalt.

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Why not have it delivered here in the safest way possible and put people back to work while making that happen?

Craig Gaasvig

Bemidji, Minnesota

The writer is a Beltrami County commissioner.