As northern Minnesota prepared for an influx of hundreds of Line 3 pipeline protesters, I thought it important to look at the larger picture and the importance of this pipeline to our energy infrastructure in Minnesota and in the upper Midwest. This is particularly important when we look at the recent chaos surrounding the Colonial pipeline hack, shutdown, and subsequent fuel shortages that plagued a large part of our country.
The recent incident involving one of our nation’s main arteries for transporting fuel highlights the large significance pipelines play in our energy infrastructure. We watched as people filled plastic bags with gasoline and got in physical fights at gas pumps in order to have access to this crucial commodity.
This is why it seems so ridiculous for pipeline opponents to advocate for shutting down the Line 3 pipeline. Think of what this would do to the already-rising summer gas prices in Minnesota. And what would the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport do without access to jet fuel?
Not only that, this also would remove more than $40 million in property taxes our legislators are currently debating spending as part of the state budget.
Halting construction on a pipeline that is more than 60% complete would leave our environment vulnerable and would have detrimental repercussions to consumers across the state.
Pipeline opponents need to reassess their shortsighted view of this project and understand that without Line 3 we’d be facing the same chaos other Americans saw last month without access to a critical pipeline.
The writer is a former mayor of Grand Rapids.
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