As most people say, Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction. We are so conditioned that each summer when the necessary maintenance and updates occur on our state’s traffic infrastructure that we have a joke about it.

So, it is not unusual that a recent multi-billion-dollar project was just completed to update and better maintain a huge part of our state’s energy infrastructure: the Line 3 pipeline project.

After six years of permits and environmental studies, and just 10 months of construction, the Line 3 pipeline project is functional and started transporting oil at the beginning of October.

The only thing frustrating about this project is that hundreds of pipeline opponents have stood in the way of progress, spread lies and misinformation, and created chaos at construction sites constantly. To them, conducting necessary maintenance on the Line 3 pipeline to ensure the future safety of our environment and communities was ridiculous.

While it is aspirational that pipeline opponents want to live a fossil-fuel-free life, it’s certainly not realistic.

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Society currently depends on pipelines and the oil it transfers to play a huge role in our energy infrastructure. And to make certain there was no disruption to fulfill societal energy demands, updating and replacing the Line 3 pipeline was essential.

While summer 2021 included pipeline construction along with the usual road construction, work is done. The pipeline is operational. We should all be grateful that this necessary maintenance was done now, so less work can be needed in the coming years.

Kip Reinarz

Bemidji, Minnesota

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