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Congressional Support of Line 3 Project

Congressional Support of Line 3 Project

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
Attn: Mr. Scott Ek
121 7th Place E, Suite 250
Saint Paul, MN 55101-2147

RE: MPUC Docket Nos. CN-14-916 and PPL-15-137
OAH Docket Nos. 65-2500-32764 and 65-2500-33377

Dear Commissioners:

We write in support of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project under consideration by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, and believe the project should move forward to improve safety, provide rural Minnesota counties with addition tax revenue, and create thousands of high-paying, living wage jobs. As you review the case we urge a final route that most adequately protects our region’s lakes, waters, and surrounding environment as required under state and federal laws.

With respect to pipeline operational safety, the replacement will significantly improve Line 3’s environmental footprint and integrity with the installation of new, high-quality steel, anti-corrosion coatings, and other state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. We also appreciate that the preferred route and alternatives under review avoid disturbing new tribal reservation land and follows other existing pipelines, transmission lines, and railroad lines as much as possible. A modern replacement also significantly lowers the risk of a spill on country and state lands that would be crossed by the project in Minnesota. It also has the benefit of keeping additional heavy oil trucks off our roads and tank cars off our railroad tracks. Studies have shown both these transportation methods are more prone than pipelines to accidents and spills when moving crude oil.

The project will also provide an important boost to Greater Minnesota’s rural economy. The construction and installation phase are estimated to create thousands of jobs, with a significant number of them being local workers. The demand for high-paying, skilled workers and laborers will be welcomed in our communities, especially during peak construction periods. A number of other industries will also see benefit from the multiplier effects associated with the construction of this project and Enbridge’s investment.

Rural counties we represent stand to gain significant property tax revenues from Enbridge if the Line 3 Replacement Project is approved. Tens of millions of dollars in new revenue are expected to be collected to further support schools, hospitals, libraries, and other services in rural Minnesota counties. For these safety, public benefit, and economic reasons, we support the Line 3 Replacement Project and hope the Commission will consider our views when making a final determination on the project.


Collin C. Peterson Richard M. Nolan
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Driving Our Economy Together | Mining + Tourism

It’s like the Capulets and Montagues. Hatfields and McCoys. Vikings fans and Packers fans. Mining and tourism are often pitted as rivals in northern Minnesota, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t be.

Both the mining and tourism industries are critical to Minnesota’s economy and way of life, especially up north. And while they’re both important, they play vastly different roles. You can have one without the other, but our state is stronger when both sectors thrive. The strength of our economy is more important than a rivalry between industries.

A few months ago at the SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration) Conference, Mining Minnesota shared results of an economic impact study conducted by Praxis Study Group (PSG) in 2016. The study took a close look at the impact of both the tourism and mining industries on the Duluth-Arrowhead region and the results were compelling. It showed that together, these two industries contribute to a diverse, strong economy.

It’s no secret that many choose to live and visit the Duluth-Arrowhead region because of the outdoor opportunities. It’s paradise on earth. People love the scenery. The fresh air. Our big, beautiful lake. They love to get outside and enjoy hiking the trails, mountain biking, road biking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, exploring the Boundary Waters and so much more. Locals even make the most of winter by way of cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sports, ice fishing, etc. The lists go on and on – a little ice and snow doesn’t stop this crowd. And these activities are enjoyable because of the region’s dedication to protecting our environment. They’re also enjoyable when enthusiasts can afford to participate. Some of those hobbies are expensive to maintain.

That means regional workers need high paying jobs. And some of the region’s highest paying jobs come from the mining industry. The PSG study showed the mining industry employs over 5,000 workers and the average salary is $80,000 per year. In addition, the mining industry supports thousands of jobs in other important sectors in our region. Without mining, northern Minnesota would be without many jobs in healthcare, retail, government, construction and tourism, among others. The tourism industry, however, employs over 6,000 people, but those jobs are often part-time or seasonal – and the average salary is only about $18,000 per year.

Mining creates high-quality jobs and the tourism economy and outdoor opportunities improve enjoyment of our region for both residents and visitors. Without a doubt, the tourism industry contributes to our region’s unique identity. It is a key part of local quality of life and makes the Duluth-Arrowhead region a place where people – including mining workers – want to build their homes and families. People come here for a reason. Let’s keep them here with good paying jobs.

Together, mining and tourism create our region’s character. We work hard and we play hard. We take every opportunity we can to get outside and enjoy the fun, excitement and challenge our land offers. We also have mining rooted deep in our history. It’s oftentimes in our blood as many of our fathers or grandfathers proudly worked in iron ore mines – and we’ll continue the tradition today in a responsible, ethical and environmentally conscious manner. Because it is better in our backyard #betterinourbackyard.

First public information meetings coming up for draft environmental review of proposed Line 3 pipeline project

Meetings offer opportunity for Minnesotans to learn about and comment on draft environmental impact statement

SAINT PAUL –The first public meetings on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline project will be held during the week of June 5.

Under the authority of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and its decisionmaking process, the State of Minnesota issued the draft EIS on May 15 for a public review and comment period that extends through July 10 and includes 22 public meetings in the counties through which the proposed pipeline or an alternative route is under consideration.

Meetings will be held in Bagley and Grand Rapids on Tuesday, June 6; Park Rapids and Cass Lake on Wednesday, June 7; Floodwood and Brainerd on Thursday, June 8; and Wadena on Friday, June 9.

The draft EIS and full schedule of public meetings are available at:

To read the rest of this news release, visit:

Why We Mine

You may know that we mine in Minnesota, but do you know why?

Minnesota’s iron mines account for 80% of “first pour” steel in the United States.1

“First pour” is used to describe steel the first time it’s been made. This is an important denotation to make, because believe it or not, steel is the most recycled material in the world.2

More steel is recycled each year than aluminum, paper, glass, and plastic combined, and the recycling rate for steel is 86%. This recycling rate is a source of pride for America’s iron and steel industry, as the high recycling rate saves enough energy to power 20 million homes for one year.3

Steel can be continually recycled with no degradation. While this is an amazing property of the metal, it also means many steel products remain in service for decades at a time, though the demand for steel around the world continues to grow. For this reason, even while two out of every three tons of new steel are produced from old steel, it is still necessary to mine iron ore for “first pour” steel.4

Recycled and “first pour” steel alike are used to make the vehicles you drive, appliances you use, and infrastructure you see every day – not to mention machines used on a larger scale for agriculture, construction, and defense nationwide and abroad. Take a moment to think about all the products you use every day that wouldn’t be available without the materials we must recycle and mine. Makes you think – doesn’t it?


Think Global, Mine Local

In the past several years, the locavore movement has gained momentum throughout the U.S. The locavore movement emphasizes the importance of eating food that was raised and processed within your local area, recognizing the contribution of your neighborhood farmers and the minimized impact on the environment. By consuming local food, you have the opportunity to visit the farm, see how animals are raised and have insight into the management of the environmental impacts. With local food, you can support your neighbors, build relationships and support ethical operations that align with your values.

If local is the direction we’re going for our food sources, why should the metals and minerals we consume in our daily lives be any different?

We aren’t isolated from the decisions we make in our consumption habits. When we choose to receive our material goods from other areas of the world, the environmental impacts still affect us here at home. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) mercury TMDL (total maximum daily load) study of 2007, 90% of the mercury entering Minnesota’s water is from out-of-state sources, including China and India. Mercury in its elemental form can travel through the atmosphere for years, making its way to Minnesota where the biological conditions in our abundant wetlands convert that mercury into a form that travels up through the food chain to us.

Americans are the largest consumers of metals and minerals in the entire world and we are responsible for 18% of the energy consumption worldwide, with only 5% of the world’s population. As these impactful consumers, we bear an ethical responsibility in the lifecycle of these material goods, from the initial extraction to the ultimate disposal. We need to ask ourselves WHERE are these goods coming from, HOW were they extracted from the Earth, WHO did the extraction, and HOW were these workers treated?

While we should all strive to minimize our consumption of goods, particularly given that metals and minerals are finite resources, there will always be a demand to meet and we have to ask ourselves how we intend to meet that demand now and in the future. How do we intend to develop the resources necessary to support the next generation of energy and technology? If the next generation of windmills requires 3000 kg of copper per megawatt of energy and the average electric car requires 20 kg of cobalt, we must reach further back in the lifecycle to ensure that these green technologies are being built with minerals and metals that were mined responsibly, both socially and environmentally.

Minnesotans are poised to be the world leaders for ethically, sustainably-mined metals and minerals to support the green revolution. We are the Land of 10,000 Lakes. We are the Land of 130+ years of iron ore mining with remaining pit lakes that are so clean that they are now used by several communities for drinking water sources. We are the Land of the original Labor movement.

Local isn’t just good for our food sources, it’s good for all of our consumption habits.

Do it right. Do it ethically. Do it in Minnesota.



New Report Reveals Critical Importance of Mining to the Economy

When it comes to quality of life for all residents of the Duluth-Arrowhead region, high-paying jobs are key. Over the past 15 years, the region’s economy has remained stagnant, lagging in per capita income and gross domestic product per job. Improving the economic future of the region is of the utmost importance to our communities.

A recent economic impact study explores the roles of mining and tourism, two of the region’s key industries that are sometimes, unfortunately, pitted against each other. The study indicates that while tourism plays an important role, it cannot sustain the Duluth-Arrowhead region’s economy on its own. The study was the subject of several news stories. Mining and tourism, together, drive the best possible future for our communities.

Find more about this study at: