I read the Jan. 17 column by Lorraine Little, director of community engagement at Enbridge, about the Line 3 Replacement Project (“Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement has passed every test”). I agree Line 3 is old and needs to be replaced or removed. Its history is not good, including the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history, the 1.7 million-gallon spill near Grand Rapids in 1991. Line 3 is a mess.
Little cited some facts, data, and projections. One was that the construction of the pipeline is creating construction jobs. Yes, the construction of any pipeline produces lots of jobs. Little said the jobs were "family-sustaining." Well, as a child, a number of my friends' fathers were away from 1975 to 1977 working on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The kids did not have a dad for three years. I don't know how many of those dads were hanging out on Second Avenue in Fairbanks, but the number can’t be zero. I don't think that was a good, family-sustaining thing. Also, after a pipeline is built, the construction jobs go away. The reason a pipeline is cheap is that it is, well, a pipe. It doesn’t take a lot of employees to maintain. If a lot of people were employed to watch it or maintain it or to work on it, the pipeline would not be so cheap to run.
The reason everyone wants a pipeline is it’s less than half the cost to run, compared to rail, for oil transportation. Rail is more expensive due to more people being employed.
Finally, we heard from Rep. Lauren Boebert on Jan. 20. She tweeted, "Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil." It was Boebert; you knew she’d be wrong. A Congressional Research Service report in December 2014 said pipelines spill four to five times more oil than rail.
Ithaca, New York
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