In response to the “Replace Line 3” opinion letter in your April issue, here are some harsh facts:
Enbridge is not just replacing an old pipeline. The new pipeline is being rerouted through Native lands, crossing ceded (relinquished) territory and threatening the culture and livelihood of Native Americans.
In addition, Line 3 threatens waterways. It crosses pristine creeks and the Mississippi River, twice.
Furthermore, the new pipeline more than doubles the capacity of the existing Line 3. The total volume of oil this line will transport, along with the extensive history of Enbridge’s pipeline spills puts these waterways at high risk. But these waterways are more than at risk, their future contamination by dirty oil is a near guarantee.
When considering the supposed need for this pipeline for Minnesota, the justification for the line becomes even more suspect. Whether going by train or pipeline, this oil is not going to be used by Minnesotans. This oil is going to supply areas outside of our state to profit a foreign company.
Additionally, this oil comes from tar sands drilling, which is devastating to the environment. Devastating in regard to the carbon emissions it will create along with the vast areas of wildlife it will destroy.
On a much larger level, the completion of this pipeline will take us further away from addressing the worldwide crisis of climate change. Climate change is not a “complex issue.” It is as simple as understanding that we must stop the use of fossil fuels to save the planet for future generations.
The truth is that we have the ability to implement an electrical grid with wind and solar energy now. According the St. Paul Climate and Resiliency Plan, the City could provide 40 percent of its electricity using rooftop solar. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, the costs of solar and wind are now competitive with fossil fuels and becoming even cheaper. Transportation is the biggest user of petroleum, and the generation of electrical energy via wind and solar to power buses, trains and cars will get us off oil by getting us off the internal combustion engine. With all these opportunities available to us, it is even more ridiculous to look at allowing the creation of any new fossil fuel infrastructure such as Line 3.
So, we know what we have to do. We, as Minnesotans, need to take charge of creating a just and equitable clean energy economy and that is what we are doing. More than 60,000 Minnesotans have expressed opinions against Line 3 via comments to the Public Utilities Commission as opposed to the 4,000 who approve of it. Years of review by the PUC have not changed people demanding that this project be stopped. Furthermore, the Minnesota Department of Commerce determined that Enbridge did not demonstrate a need for this oil and is challenging in court the PUC decision on the Certificate of Need.
Line 3 has not passed every test. Therefore, our immediate plan should be to stop the excessive and destructive use of fossil fuels. Encouraging the use of more of them will lead to an uninhabitable future.