(CLEARBROOK, MINN) While final construction work is almost complete and major work has been done for almost a month, the positive impact of Line 3 is still being realized by communities across Northern Minnesota. While most of the construction crews have moved on to new projects, the positive impact from the almost year-long project is still being felt, leading another local elected official to thank the effort it took to get the Line 3 Replacement project approved and permitted.
“A year ago, we still did not know if work would ever be allowed to start,” said Clearbrook Mayor Dylan Goudge. “Today work is just complete, and our community is better and stronger as a result. What is even more important is the amazing collaboration that came together to make sure permits were issued and work could be complete. We are so thankful for all the people who worked together for years to support the process and this project. Without them it could not have happened. The achievement is incredibly significant.”
While the process to replace Line 3 started in 2014 during the Obama-Biden Administration, actual construction work took less than a year. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics study estimated the project would represent a total economic impact of more than $2 Billion in Minnesota. A workforce of approximately 5,000 workers directly worked on the project and the UMD study estimated the project also supported more than 3,000 non-construction related jobs.
“In addition to helping make sure Line 3 was permitted, the amazing coalition that supported this project helped us lift up so many businesses and communities who were reeling from COVID and economic impacts of the pandemic,” Goudge said. “As a person fortunate to be able to represent my community, I have heard amazing stories and seen the impact of being able to put so many people to work at such a trying time. It is important that all take the time to fully understand and appreciate the positive impact of what has happened.”
The replaced Line 3 is now called Line 93. It is a noteworthy upgrade of the existing line that was built in the 1960s. Line 93 has restored the ability to safely move the amount of oil Line 3 was originally able to deliver. The new line is significantly thicker and stronger and has additional environmental protections. Being able to restore the line to its original capacity will decrease the need to use less-safe ways to transport oil and related materials as the country continues to transition to a more renewable energy-focused economy.
After more than six years of review, the Line 3 project is the most studied pipeline project in state history. It is also one of the largest privately funded construction projects in Minnesota history. Enbridge invested more than $2 billion in Minnesota to replace the 337-mile section of the pipeline.
Thousands of people from every county across Minnesota came together to attend meetings, send in comments, make phone calls and take other actions to support the project and the process to review and approve permits. Local elected officials and labor leaders were joined by a broad coalition of people who supported the project as a better way to protect the environment and an opportunity to create jobs and new economic activity.
“This was a long and intense process to review and ultimately approve this project,” Goudge said. “Construction work on the project and the ongoing protests was a very active time across Minnesota, yet what I think is important to focus on is the broader view of all of this. It was not perfect, but Minnesota showed others that we can come together and move important and complex projects forward. It is possible to bring people together to be ‘for something’ in a way that gets results.”
Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617