For simple and complex reasons, it’s time to move forward! Minnesota has reached an important time to act on something that is both simple and complex at the same time.
It’s time to move forward with plans to replace the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. This means the State of Minnesota should drop its appeal of the PUC [Public Utilities Commission] approvals and let the process move forward. It clearly makes sense to something this old with something newer, better, stronger and safer. Line 3 was built in 1968 and needs to be replaced.
Almost one third of all oil shipped into the U.S. comes through Minnesota. It’s coming here by train or pipeline. Pipelines are clearly better and safer. Replacing Line 3 means less oil on trains. It is a simple choice that Minnesota must make.
The complex part of this issue is climate change. I agree we should continue to find ways to reduce carbon emissions and be smarter about how we use energy. The hard reality is that separating Minnesota from fossil fuels is something much bigger than Line 3 that will take decades to get done.
So what do we do in the meantime? Minnesota needs to take responsibility for our energy needs and energy safety. This is why the PUC spent years reviewing Line 3. There are strong rules in place for things like pipelines and the review of the project made it better as things were changed.
Line 3 has passed every test. The process has worked. It’s clear we need Line 3 and the new route will take line away from the Leech Lake tribal reservation and avoid more environmentally sensitive areas.
Blocking the replacement line will leave a corroding and cracking pipeline in place, creating a needless risk that should be addressed.
The perfect scenario is that tomorrow Minnesota immediately stops using carbon-based fuel. That may happen someday. But for the immediate future, we need a transition plan.
We need to rebuild Line 3 and Minnesota needs to let this process move forward.