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.

Kevin Fjelsted
St. Paul

4 Responses

  1. Thomas Bauch

    The proposed Line 3 pipeline is called a replacement but it also doubles the capacity of the old line. Also this is not an issue of rail versus pipeline but rather this country’s insane addiction to fossil fuel.
    Expanding Line 3 would add five times as much greenhouse gas annually as Minnesota electricity production created in 2016. Minnesota greenhouse gas emissions from electricity totaled 40.1 million tons CO2 that year, according to the MPCA.
    Clean air and water is critical to life, supplying an over abundance of tar sands oil to provide cheap fuel for your SUV is not.

  2. Thomas Bauch

    The new line 3 is not just a “replacement” but would double the capacity of the old pipeline. Expanding line 3 would have the equivalent impact of adding 50 new coal-fired power plants or adding 38 million vehicles to our roads.
    The issue here is not pipeline over rail but rather this country’s insane addiction to fossil fuel.
    Clean air and water is critical to life. Having a over abundant supply of dirty tar sands oil to provide a source of cheap fuel for your SUV is not.

  3. Lisa Kentgen

    How about removing a leaking pipe that is left behind? And tell me why ‘rebuilding’, which is actually not rebuilding, with the dirtiest fuel that costs $70 a barrel to extract is the way to move forward. Folks that think this is a way to the future are drinking the koolaid.

  4. Daniel Yildirim

    Line 3 has almost nothing to do with the energy that Minnesotans rely on for their day-to-day lives. It is the most polluting oil currently used by civilization, and is destined to be used in China. The only reason that makes sense to go forward with line 3 is that folks are concerned that some super-wealthy people need to get even wealthier before the Earth no longer sustains human life.

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