Those born and raised in Minnesota and those who have relocated here for education or work can agree: we live in a spectacular state. It’s beautiful. It’s got character. It has fun cities and excellent outdoor activities. And it’s worth protecting. We must strive to protect both our environment and our way of life – and that requires a bit of a balancing act.
When it comes to industrial projects that could impact our environment, Minnesota doesn’t want to be careless, we do our homework. We want to know that our work isn’t going to have a negative impact on our environment, because it is too precious a resource to risk. That’s why there’s been so much controversy around Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project. How do we respect our environment while improving our way of life?
Caring for our environment doesn’t mean we’re anti-business and industry. Quite the contrary, in many ways, industrial progress has made the planet better. A clean, healthy environment is possible because of energy. Think back 300 years, families breathed in smoke from fires they had in their homes to keep warm; now we flip a switch and get heat. Our water tastes fresh and it’s safe to drink; previously water was drawn from water sources shared with animals which led to people getting sick. Previously changes in weather created unsafe conditions in our homes, now we turn a knob that makes it cool when it’s hot and hot when it’s cool. Energy-powered machines allow us to transform our naturally hazardous environment to a far healthier environment. Using energy has risks, but thanks to technology and care taken by people employing that technology in the energy industry we minimize the risks. Highly industrialized countries have environments that are safe, healthy and clean. Our way of life, conveniences we’ve grown accustomed to will change without energy. Yet, we are racked with guilt over industrial development. We hear our impact on nature is too big; we are made to feel bad about our impact. We hear that we need to save our planet from human beings, rather than improve the planet for human beings.
Minnesotans consume more than 12.8 million gallons of petroleum products every day. As a state without any domestic source of crude supply, Minnesota relies on imports to meet its energy needs. 100% of pipeline-delivered Canadian crude oil supplied to Minnesota refineries comes from Enbridge’s system. Access to a reliable and secure energy supply will help ensure an affordable and reliable source of energy for consumers. While we are making great strides in renewable energy and electric vehicle growth, it is not sufficient to displace the demand for petroleum products. Petroleum will still be the single largest source of energy for Minnesotans for the foreseeable future. Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement project is an important part of our energy infrastructure and Minnesotans’ way of life.
The Line 3 Replacement project stands to create 4,200 construction jobs, 2,100 of which will go to hardworking Minnesotans. It will also impact nearly 3,000 jobs in hospitality and retail and 1,600 local supply jobs. That’s over 8,000 Minnesotan jobs positively impacted by the Line 3 project. It also represents a $2.1 billion private investment in our great state and will bring $162 million in local wages for Minnesotan workers.
The existing crude oil pipeline was built in the early 1960s. Because of the type of coating that was used on the pipeline at the time it was built, it has external corrosion and is only operating at 50 percent of capacity. There is an extensive dig and repair program required to keep the pipeline operating safely while the regulatory process for the replacement proceeds. This pipeline needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
The proposed new pipeline will protect our environment and improve safety with new infrastructure. The likelihood of spills or leaks will be dramatically decreased. To further protect our environment, a partially new route has been proposed. This is a tough situation because it runs through culturally important lands and waters as well as the headwaters of the Mississippi River. We all agree that protecting these lands needs to remain a priority throughout the construction of the pipeline as well as when it is put into service.
Enbridge understands that we as Minnesotans care about our state. We want what’s best for our environment, our economy, and the health and safety of our communities. That’s why we need to keep moving forward to keep progressing responsibly and sustainably in Minnesota.
Extensive public hearings for the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement project have taken place across the state of Minnesota over the past several weeks. There are two remaining, in Cross Lake on Wednesday, October 25 and St. Cloud on Thursday, October 26. Share your reasons for the project.