For the past few weeks, I have been watching the struggles happening at the Minnesota Capitol regarding budgets. Each side is fighting about how to spend our tax dollars, whether they should raise taxes on Minnesota families after a pandemic year, and how to move forward.
Thankfully, apart from the government’s troubles, we are seeing private enterprise work as it should with the Line 3 pipeline replacement project, currently under construction. After six years of navigating the bureaucratic process of red tape and regulations, a crumbling pipeline is finally being fixed, and the work is about 60% complete.
It is a good thing we don’t have to depend on the government and partisan politics to be a part of everything.
Enbridge fulfilled all requirements, permits, and studies. The company went above and beyond with dozens upon dozens of open forums and town halls and rerouted the pipeline route to avoid historic tribal areas. Enbridge has invested nearly double what it originally committed to tribal training and hiring opportunities; in total, it has invested more than $3 billion on this project.
Importantly, in 2020 alone, Enbridge paid nearly $50 million in taxes to the state of Minnesota, money lawmakers are currently debating how to allocate. Without those tens of millions of dollars, our legislators would have an even harder time figuring out their budgets in St. Paul.
It is clear to me that lawmakers and citizens alike should be celebrating Enbridge and its incredible investment in our state and for our budget. It should also be one more incentive for Enbridge to be able to get its jobs done.
The writer is mayor of Babbitt.