On Monday and Tuesday of this past week, participating parties presented their oral arguments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project Certificate of Need and Route Permit. After two days of testimony, it was abundantly clear from the discussion that we need Line 3 to be replaced!

Throughout the two days and close to 20 hours of oral arguments, some facts were made clear while some flawed testimony was corrected.

The Facts:

  • Enbridge’s expert testimony provided a number of different forecast alternatives, including a forecast that anticipated an increase in utilization of electric vehicles. Under all scenarios the capacity from a replaced Line 3 is needed.
  • There is a need to replace Line 3 for various reasons, including:
    1. Improved safety
    2. Replacing outdated infrastructure
    3. Economic and job growth
    4. Eco-societal benefits

The Flaws:

  • The Minnesota Department of Commerce continued to support their flawed report on which looked at a very narrow scope of demand and failed to consider the energy demands of the broader region. In fact, Enbridge has clearly demonstrated the need for the Line 3 Replacement Project to ensure future adequacy, reliability and efficiency of energy supply in Minnesota and neighboring states according to Minnesota statute.
  • There were allegations from intervenors in opposition to the project that Enbridge has not provided evidence supporting the need of a replacement pipeline based on refined product demand. The demand for a new Line 3 is based on the demand of Enbridge’s system to transport crude oil from customers to refineries. The argument that a refined product demand outlook is required under state status is without merit as:
    1. Enbridge transports crude oil, not refined product
    2. Minnesota is not an independent energy island. Because of this interconnectedness, Minnesotan and Midwestern refineries can maintain their crude oil demand with or without an increase in refined product demand only in Minnesota

The biggest take away from these hearings is that it is clearer than ever that we need this replacement project to be approved. Not replacing or completely decommissioning (which opposing parties at the hearing suggested) is not an option. During the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday of this upcoming week we need to continue to visibly show our support and let the Commissioners know how important this project is!

Additional Information from This Past Week

We also learned valuable information this week outside of the hearings. This information being that Winona LaDuke ADMITTED that she has established “camps” for protestors from across Minnesota and the country who are planning to come here to attempt to stop future construction work.

We have seen the unfortunate consequences and impact in the recent past from similar events in North Dakota. Landowners, first responders, and the communities along the route should not be threatened by this and the complete disregard and disrespect for what Minnesota stands for.

We are calling on Winona LaDuke and other opposing parties to stop misleading policy makers about the proposed Line 3 Replacement project and take into consideration who is actually negatively affected by these protests.